Moving in Stereo, Volume 5
music news column by darren paltrowitz
Another month gone by means that I’ve read hundreds – if not thousands – of additional press releases about what “the next big thing” will be and who will be soon be changing my life. Fortunately I’ve found a few bits of worthwhile news within all of that and can assure that great music does still exist in a world where record labels are suing music listeners.
…From The Island
Daryl Palumbo may have two serious bands in Glassjaw and Head Automatica, but his activity doesn’t end there. Although no release date or tour has been announced, he has been linked to a punk-influenced project by the name of Shoot Frank, which is also said to include El P and Glassjaw drummer Larry Gorman…Vision Of Disorder quietly dissolved over the past few years, but vocalist Tim Williams and guitarist Mike Kennedy have been picking up steam with bloodsimple. It is unclear as to which record label will be releasing the album they are readying for the fall – however, some are insisting that bloodsimple has joined the Warner Brothers family…The Reunion Show has decided to continue following the departure of founding members Brian Diaz and Derrick Sherman and semi-retirement of drummer Skully, but under a new name. Action Action will be the new moniker and members of Count The Stars will be two-thirds of who’s backing Mark Thomas…Last Week recently came into the industry’s spotlight as winners of the AOL First Break contest via “Beautiful Girl,” their first single off Wouldn’t It Be Good. Since then, airplay has been received on New York’s Z100-FM, close to 200,000 downloads have been streamed online and tour dates have been done alongside Sugarcult, Fall Out Boy and Zebrahead.
…From The Studio
Weezer may have turned out The Green Album and Maladroit within a year of one another, but things are taking a little longer for the quartet’s fifth album. Still working with Rick Rubin, a release date should be expected sometime around 2005. Hopefully this will not effect the on-the-side collaboration between Rivers Cuomo and Matt Sharp…Taking a more prolific route than Weezer is Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante. Even if Frusciante has never released anything resembling a radio single within his solo catalogue, the man will be releasing a new solo album every month for the rest of 2004 via the Record Collection imprint. Those six discs, which kick off with The Will To Death, should include a collaboration with Joe Lally of Fugazi in a project titled Ataxia…Despite the confirmed collaboration between Wyclef Jean and Steven Seagal never seeming to surface, Ice-T seems to think he’ll yield better results with David Hasselhoff. The two, who are both friends and neighbors, will be collaborating on the latter’s hip-hop debut. It’s been reported that the Baywatch star will be known as “Hassel The Hoff” while in hip-hop mode, which I’m hoping is supposed to be a joke.
…From The Stereo
Comprised of Spencer Seim from Hella and some producer friends, The Advantage have put out an album through 5 Rue Christine that ought to be on the year-end Top 10 list of many. 26 tracks in all, the five-piece plays nothing but note-for-note renditions of Nintendo theme songs. In hearing these selections done with guitars and real drums, you’ll begin to realize how many hardcore, metal and prog-rock musicians were aurally influenced by video games…The Obsoletes is a Wisconsin trio featuring Justin Perkins and Tim Schweiger, songwriters and mouthpieces of Yesterday’s Kids, and Jon Phillip of The Benjamins; their manager is none other than former Benjamins bassist and Manplanet guitarist Ben Perlstein. Despite the punk rock pasts of the band’s members, one should expect relaxed, rootsy and melodic fare from Is This Progress?. Replacements fans will enjoy the new air breathed into a cover of “P.O. Box” while aficionados of Limbeck can rest assured that 2004 has some great alt-country coming out of the Midwest…Letters, the forthcoming second solo effort from Butch Walker, is a lot more mellow and introspective than 2002’s Left Of Self-Centered. I wrongly reported Butch’s signing to Rykodisc in the first edition of Moving In Stereo – the Marvelous 3 frontman jumped to Epic in the 11th hour of negotiations with the Boston indie – but this sounds more like a Rykodisc release with its reliance on harmonies and acoustic instruments. Those not yet familiar with the guy can rest assured that this veteran performer is now a songwriter and producer in-demand; newly-released discs from Avril Lavigne and Midtown feature his production while upcoming music from The Donnas and American Hi-Fi may also contain songwriting collaborations beyond the studio work.
…From The Stage
At Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Trash Bar I caught Murfeesboro, Tennessee’s Imaginary Baseball League, who were touring in support of Revive – a follow-up to last year’s Cardiact EP. Playing a set entirely based on the new CD, the group kept the banter to a minimum and alternated between ballads and rockers. Sound problems plagued some of the set, but that just didn’t matter when songs like “The New A.M.” and the revenge-minded “Fat Boys Are Not Athletes” are being sung with the intense vocals of Aaron Robinson…Piebald gigged at The Knitting Factory on the release date of All Eyes, All Ears, All The Time to a packed house. The Boston ensemble gave the audience little from the heavily underrated We Are The Only Friends We Have disc, but made up for such with apparent excitement to be playing new material. Sandwiched between well-received sets from Avoid One Thing and The Jealous Sound, The Format just about stole the show with its note-perfect cover of Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out.” In terms of value, shows don’t get much better than that of this particularly Tuesday evening…Although not particularly a fan of the aforementioned Avril Lavigne, I attended her release show at Webster Hall, as broadcasted simultaneously on AOL. Not surprisingly, the mostly young crowd got the hits along with most of the teen’s Under My Skin. Two things of note from this event: 1) This was an enthusiastic audience filled with more die-hard fans mouthing lyrics than arm-folding label employees, 2) A gentle mosh-pit had started during “Sk8er Boi.” And they say pop music makes things predictable…
If you have news to report for the next edition of Moving In Stereo, press releases and all other correspondence for Darren should be sent to AsellOut@aol.com.
© 2004 – Column used with permission from Darren Paltrowitz. All right reserved.