Play.Stop.Rewind. | June 2006

Bowie, who told New York Magazine he was “fed up with the industry,” will close out the festival with a large outdoor concert.



Grant McLennan, co-leader of the Australian band the Go-Betweens, died on May 6 of a heart attack. Oceans Apart, the band’s third release since the 2000 reunion, was a masterful piece of pop highly acclaimed by critics as one of the finest albums of last year. Nobody summed up the melancholy development better than The Village Voice’s Robert Christgau, who wrote in McLennan’s obituary: “That night, during a huge housewarming party that would root him in Brisbane once and for all, he’d planned to publicly propose to his girlfriend, Emma Pursey. At 4:30 that afternoon, he went upstairs for a nap. Early arrivals found him in his bedroom a few hours later. The autopsy revealed a massive heart attack. He was 48.”

In what is not a first, the Fall ran into problems last month when three of the band’s members departed following an incident in Phoenix in which lead singer Mark E. Smith was hit in the face by a banana peel thrown by Justin Williams, lead singer of the evening’s opening act, the Talk. The tour was set to continue with replacement musicians joining Smith and his wife, keyboardist Elena Poulou.

Early last month, the video unit at Warner Brothers announced a partnership to sell movies and television shows to BitTorrent Inc., one of the most popular file-swapping services on the internet. It’s yet another step in the slow acceptance by large media companies of the influence of download technologies.

Great White’s former tour manager Daniel Biechele was sentenced to four years in prison and three years’ probation for his role in setting off the pyrotechnics that led to the Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people three years ago.

Vagrant Records announced the signing of recently re-formed Boston group the Lemonheads. Evan Dando & Co. are currently in the studio finishing up their eighth studio album. In customary label puffery, Vagrant president Rich Egan said: “The thing I remember most about Vagrant’s first year is being locked up in my apartment, drinking coffee, stuffing seven inches into envelopes, and listening to It’s a Shame About Ray on cassette all day, every day. If it wasn’t for that record, we probably would’ve left the apartment eventually and given up the label. Nobody writes songs like Evan Dando, nobody sings likes him.”

A touch of laryngitis temporarily sidelined Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan, forcing the band to cut short a show in Kansas City and cancel a date in Chicago. No makeup show for the missed show is planned. The band issued a statement that said: “Coming off three concerts in Mexico, Gahan’s voice was challenged throughout the concert by the unusually cold temperatures at the venue.”

Fans of the Moog-pop assemblage known as the Rentals can rejoice, as an announcement on their Web site declared: “Seminal neo-new wave pioneers The Rentals are back. They are currently rehearsing in Los Angeles preparing for their first worldwide tour in over ten years.” The band, which includes founding member and ex-Weezer bassist Matt Sharp, has a number of worldwide dates in the works, but will start with their first Los Angeles concert in over a decade, July 7 at the Henry Fonda Theatre, followed by two nights at the Yokohama Arena in Japan. Plans include studio time later this year to record a new full-length album for release next year.

Upon the heels of their latest release Ships (Secretly Canadian), the expansive sounds of the five-piece Danielson in the midst of a stateside tour that started May 12 in Philadelphia and will take them up through August. Additionally, the documentary Danielson: A Family Movie is still being screened at various festivals.

Rhino Records is set to release a Björk retrospective that will remaster all of her albums, from 1993’s Debut to her recent film collaboration with partner Matthew Barney, the original soundtrack to Drawing Restraint 9. Set to hit on June 27, Surrounded will be comprised of DualDiscs that will include videos for each of the albums on a DVD side.

Rhino is also reissuing the first five albums by the Jesus and Mary Chain (1985’s Psychocandy, 1987’s Darklands, 1989’s Automatic, 1992’s Honey’s Dead, and 1994’s Stoned and Dethroned) in the DualDisc format. Scheduled for a mid-July release, the new discs will offer remastered versions of the albums in addition to a DVD side that will include high-resolution audio versions of the records and music videos.

DJ Shadow has signed to Universal Records. The new album, still untitled, is penciled in for a late summer release and will be his first since 2002’s The Private Press.
The alluring Camera Obscura is putting out its third album, Let’s Get Out of This Country. Recorded in Stockholm with Jari Haapalainen (the Concretes, Nicolai Dunger), the album will be released by Merge Records on June 6, ahead of a planned July U.S. tour.

Guster is co-headlining a summer tour with Ray LaMontagne in support of its fifth album, Ganging Up on the Sun, which will be released by Reprise Records on June 20. The band will perform their new single “One Man Wrecking Machine” on NBC’s Tonight Show With Jay Leno June 27. has reported that Bloc Party is set to enter an Irish studio to record a follow up to the band’s 2005 debut Silent Alarm. The untitled effort is tentatively scheduled for release later this year on Vice/Atlantic.

David Bowie has announced plans for a new festival in New York that will take place next May in Manhattan near the High Line, a neglected 1.5-mile stretch of railway viaduct on the West Side, which is being rehabbed into a public park. The 10-day High Line Festival will feature art, music, and film. Bowie will curate the first festival then select future curators in upcoming years. Bowie, who told New York Magazine he was “fed up with the industry,” will close out the festival with a large outdoor concert.

Slayer has had to push back the start of their “Unholy Alliance” tour due to bassist/vocalist Tom Araya’s minor gallbladder surgery last month. The metal festival, which is slated to become an annual event, is now set to kick off its seven-week itinerary June 12 in St. Louis.

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