The Dead Kennedys Sell Out – By Going to Court Print
Music - Music News
Written by John James   
Tuesday, 06 February 2001 18:00
Further proof of our ever-growing litigious society: The original West Coast social-political anarchists, the Dead Kennedys, have stepped into the brown shoes of “the man,” as the former members have just succeeded in a long legal attack against founder and new-media icon Jello Biafra for shared ownership of the group’s vast archives. Look for the band’s catalog to be freshly re-issued, and for more of what looks like a promising array of new albums and video packages on the Decay Records label – the band’s owned and controlled partnership. Will moving the DK cash cow to the other farmer’s field signal the demise of the original milkman? It’s a shame if these legal wheels of justice will put burnt stubble to the end of Biafra’s legendary Alternative Tentacles Records label. Got milk?

Just in time to warm the hearts of any early-1980s new-wave fan this Valentine season: a few nice re-issues and retrospectives that herald back to the modern-rock days of Aiwa walkmans and homemade tapes of O.M.D. and ABC. Mercury Records has just re-issued Tears For Fears’ 1985 masterpiece Songs From the Big Chair and its 1989 follow-up The Seeds of Love – the first of which is a prime audio artifact of 1980s sound and college-radio culture. As expected, both are loaded heavy with re-mixes, B sides, and other bonus tracks. Roland Orzabal, half of Tears For Fears, continues his career next month with a new album, Tomcats Screaming Outside, on the Eagle Records label. Also up for fond new-waver reminiscing is Epic Legacy’s two-CD retrospective on Prefab Sprout, due this coming Tuesday. At another perfect moment in 1985, Prefab Sprout’s Two Wheels Good (the album’s US title) and Steve McQueen (its UK counterpart) album introduced the listening world to the songwriting talent of Paddy McAloon. Produced by then-knob-twiddler Thomas Dolby, Two Wheels Good is a true jewel of pop songcraft, characterized by McAloon’s resemblance to Cole Porter and Brian Wilson. Simply entitled The Collection, the entire Two Wheels Good album is presented within the set’s 38 tracks. Highly recommended.

Yeah, it’s a shameless marketing ploy to separate you from your money, but I must admit that Rhino Records’ new trio of Valentine’s Day-inspired collections are pretty darn nice. Revisited in this ongoing Love Songs series are Grover Washington, Dusty Springfield, and Curtis Mayfield. And I’m all for more Curtis Mayfield, all the time, not just for Valentine’s Day. No kidding, my brothers and sisters. If the world played a lot more Curtis Mayfield, the world would grow to be a better place. His Love Songs CD focuses on 16 classic ballads from his solo career and years as the mastermind of The Impressions. Hits like “You Must Believe Me” and “So in Love” are featured with many tracks available on CD for the first time. More Curtis, more peace.

Television Alert:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes the ivory-tactile dynamic pairing of Billy Joel and Elton John tonight, the Deftones on Friday, and Enya on Monday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Rod Stewart on Thursday; Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher lets Chris Rock loose on Donny Osmond’s purple socks Monday overnight; and Saturday Night Live’s musical guest this weekend is Jennifer Lopez.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, February 13

... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.

Arab Strap – “Love Detective” (Matador) 12-inch and CD single with two nonalbum tracks

Bare Jr. – Brainwasher (Immortal)

Shirley Bassey – Greatest Hits (EMD/EMI) featuring her famous James Bond film themes and a selection of unusual covers

John Cale – Vintage Violence (Columbia Legacy) CD re-issue from 1970 with two bonus tracks

Destiny’s Child – Independent Woman (Columbia)

Electric Prunes – Lost Dreams (BMR) 23-track remastered collection of Los Angeles psychedelic garage punk featuring singles and rarities

Mark Erelli – Compass and Companion (Signature Sounds) featuring a duet with Kelly Willis on the title track

John Frusciante – To Record Only Water for Ten Days (Warner Bros) always-interesting solo music from this enigmatic Red Hot Chili Pepper

David Gray – Lost Songs 95-98 (EastWest) acoustic tracks recorded during the White Ladder sessions in 1999

Half Japanese – Hello (Alternative Tentacles) all new from Jad Fair and company

Jaheim – Ghetto Love (Divine Mill/Warner Bros) new on the boutique label owned by Kay Gee of Naughty By Nature

King – Time Move Over (Grapeshot) Gloucester, Massachusetts, singer-songwriter

Mark Kozelek – What’s Next to the Moon (Badman) highly anticipated solo album from the Red House Painters’ singer-songwriter

Ladytron – 604 (Emperor Norton)

Luna – Luna Live! (Arena Rock) also available in a special two-LP set with four bonus tracks

Stephen Malkmus – Stephen Malkmus (Matador) long-awaited new solo album from the ruins of the breakup of Pavement

Thelonious Monk – Live at the Jazz Workshop: Complete (Columbia Legacy) remastered two-CD set from November 1964

The Monkees – Monkees Music Box (Rhino)

Gary Numan – Live Dark Light (Big Eye) two-CD set recorded live in 1994 at London’s Hammersmith Apollo

Pollock – original motion picture soundtrack (Unitone Cinema) score by Jeff Beal and featuring a new Tom Waits track, “World Keeps Turning”

Pornosonic – Cream Streets (J-Bird) music to film Boogie Nights by

Project Pat – Mista Don’t Play Everythings Workin’ (Loud) new from the Hypnotize Camp Posse featuring Crunchy Black, Juicy “J,” and the Three Six Mafia

Raisins In the Sun – Raisins In the Sun (Rounder) new artist/producer supergroup of sorts featuring the talents of Jules Shear, Paul Kolderie, Jim Dickinson, and Harvey Brooks

Dianne Reeves – The Calling (Blue Note) a tribute to Sarah Vaughan with a 42-piece orchestra

The Shazam – Rev. 9 (Not Lame) new from the band that the UK’s Melody Maker magazine honored with “best pop show of 2000”

Dusty Springfield – Beautiful Soul: The ABC/Dunhill Sessions (Hip-O) 20-track collection

Cat Stevens – Back to Earth, Izitso, and Numbers (A&M) remastered and repackaged re-issues

Tantric – Tantric (Maverick) featuring three former members of Days Of the New

Usher – All About U (LaFace/Arista)

various artists – Cafe Del Mar: Volume Seven(MCA/Manifesto) chill-down mix CD featuring a new Moby track and a remix of Bush’s “Letting the Cables Sleep”

various artists – Cash Money Millionaires Present: Platinum Hits (Cash Money) a special “beats only” instrumental two-LP vinyl-only collection of the label’s biggest hits

various artists – Flammable: A Tribute To the Red Hot Chili Peppers (Vitamin) featuring “Under The Bridge” by the Soloman Burke Jr. Project

various artists – Pagan Dance Anthems (Pagen) featuring the Different Gear Vs. The Police original bootleg mix of “When the World Is Running Down”

various artists – Planet Chant (Triloka) with Sheila Chandra, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Michael Brooks & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Robert Burke Warren – To This Day (Jackpot) new from the former Fleshtones bassist recorded after spending a year in the lead role in London theater’s The Buddy Holly Story

Howard Zinn – Stories Hollywood Never Tells (Alternative Tentacles) spoken-word lecture on the people’s history of Tinseltown
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