September 30, 2001

Smashing Order

As previously reported, New Order's much anticipated album 'Get Ready' is set to hit stores on October 16th. Previews of the new tracks are now available, including 'Turn My Way' with Billy Corgan sharing vocal duties. Hear more samples from the new album at NewOrderGetReady.com including a John Digweed remix of the new track 'Crystal'. Amazon is also offering a free remix of 'Crystal'.

September 11, 2001

As much as I was looking forward to seeing Weezer again...

I am very glad they cancelled tonights performance in San Jose, I don't know anyone in the mood for a rock show. God bless the East Coast. From the San Jose State Event Center website:

Important Notice: Clear Channel Entertainment has postponed the Weezer performance originally scheduled at the Event Center at San Jose. The decision to reschedule the event was made in conjunction with local authorities and the artist. The decision was made out of the respect for the victims of the nationwide tragedy taking place. Please keep your tickets. We will provide further information about the new concert date as soon as it is available. Thank you. - Student Union, Inc.

September 06, 2001

Fantomas & Atomsmasher @ Slim's

If you're looking for background music, or happy music, or summer day driving fast on the highway singing along music, avoid Fantomas at all costs. But if you're looking for a band that pushes the boundaries of music and noise, that combines free jazz and grindcore, Fantomas is for you.

With an ungodly early showtime of 8 pm, unfortunately we missed opener Atomsmasher, but arrived just minutes before Fantomas took the stage. Opening with "The Godfather Waltz," it quickly devolved from singer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Patton playing a plaintive melodica line into brutal grindcore. That pretty much set the tone for the evening.

Drawing heavily from their recent Director's Cut CD, Fantomas ripped through their bizarre free-jazz/experimental-metal interpretations of a dozen movie theme songs, and, sadly, "Flashdance (What a Feeling)" was not among them. But they more than made up for that by closing with a brutal medley of Lombardo-era Slayer songs.

And in between Mike Patton screamed, sang, yelped, conducted, and challenged his band to ascend to new levels of weirdness. Melvins guitarist Buzz Osbourne, his bizarre white man's afro defying gravity, coaxed otherworldly sounds out of Gibsons, while Patton manipulated his myriad effects boxes, keyboards, samplers, and theremin to add to the musical melange. At times it was hard to believe there were only four guys creating all that racket.

If you're anywhere near San Francisco, I urge you to check out the second night of this two-night run. Walk, crawl, drive, or fly to Slim's tonight. You may be disturbed, frightened, bewildered, or downright scared, but you certainly won't be disappointed.

September 05, 2001

Run don't walk...

Target stores are selling Jimmy Eat World's album, Bleed American for under $7. While some may say it's a bargain at any price, like me, good music always sounds better when it's been bargain hunted. Ask any used record/cd junkie, it's true. Make your stereo happy by throwing in your copy of Bleed American and crank track 2 'A Praise Chorus' to 11. For a taste of the album, visit Amazon for a free mp3.

I like your amp.

Pictured below is new Air Guitar world champion Zac 'Mr Magnet' Monro from London UK. He was awarded with a Washburn, a real electric guitar. Check out a video of his winning performance at the official Air Guitar World Championships 2001 website.

picture courtesy of OMVF.net

September 01, 2001

GRAND ROYAL R.I.P. 1993-2001

Mounting debts, decreasing assets and exceedingly harsh industry conditions have forced the venerable Grand Royal label to close its doors. The announcement came today that the label could no longer operate at its current loss.

"This is one of the most difficult decisions we've ever had to make," said co-founder Mike Diamond a/k/a Mike D of Beastie Boys. "Over the years the Grand Royal family had grown to include some of the most talented musicians and staff in the business. It?s tragic that the same growth has also produced an overhead and infrastructure that can no longer viable."

Grand Royal was founded by Beastie Boys in 1993, the first release on the label being Luscious Jackson's now classic In Search Of Manny. Within a few years, the label had gone from a public hobby to a full service operation, with a roster featuring Atari Teenage Riot, Ben Lee, Sean Lennon, BS2000 and others, and Luscious Jackson?s Fever In, Fever Out being certified gold. More recently, Grand Royal releases At The Drive-In's critically lauded Relationship Of Command, which went on to sell nearly 1 million copies worldwide.

"Our intentions were always simply to create a home for exciting music and the people who were passionate about it," Diamond said. "It really sucks that we can't continue to do that."

For more information visit: the bulletin board and GrandRoyal.com.