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The Music’s Getting Animated PDF Print E-mail
Music - Music News
Written by John James   
Tuesday, 28 August 2001 18:00
• This Friday night at midnight the fun folks at The Cartoon Network will broadcast Toonami Midnight Run Special Edition, an hour-long block of all-animated music videos. Hosted by TOM the computer-generated host, the program will feature three cool videos from the Gorillaz and four videos from Daft Punk, including the world premiere of “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. ”

• Also of an eye-popping nature are the European sensations Cartoons DK – a sextet of outlandishly costumed “toonagers” caught in a cartoon world, mixing an infectious clash of 1950s doo-wop, techno-infused rockabilly, and costume identities that seem to have escaped from Pee Wee’s Playhouse with hookah in hand. Can you envision the Neil Sedaka standard “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” strutted out with an upright bass designed from a towering hammer, a lead guitar crafted from a giant slingshot, gravity-defying corkscrew bouffant hairstyles, and backup singers morphing from Betty Boop to Elvis? If intrigued by the promise of the international language of “oo ee oo ah ah, ting tang walla walla bing bang” processed through 21st Century iconology, reach deep for the kid in you and hunt down the group’s first stateside release, Toontastic!, on the Edel America label.

• Up against the wall! Things are getting surreal at the nation’s Drug Enforcement Agency, which has recently added glow items, pacifiers, masks, and vapor rub to its list of official “drug paraphernalia.” The items, all linked to rave culture, are part of the agency’s desire to close down Ecstasy-fueled raves, but as the ACLU’s Graham Boyd states, “If the police want to enforce drug laws, then they should go after drug dealers, but music and dancing are protected by the Constitution.”

• I’m buzzed thinking about the possibilities of two forthcoming tribute projects. Oglio Records is putting the finishing touches on a two-volume series of CDs saluting the songwriting genius of Paul McCartney, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in memory of Linda McCartney. The first CD is set for release in early October and will feature well-known artists taking their turns at his legacy under the title Listen to What the Man Said, with Semisonic, They Might Be Giants, Matthew Sweet, World Party, and members of the Barenaked Ladies among the 16 tracks. Highlights will include Robyn Hitchcock’s twist on “Let Me Roll It,” the Finn Brothers of Split Enz and their take on “Too Many People,” and Sloan’s tip of the hat to “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Later in October the label will issue the second volume, entitled Coming Up, focusing on independent and lesser-known artists having a go at his catalog, with promised delights from The Jellybricks, Cockeyed Ghost, Phil Keaggy, The Shazam, and many more.

• The MCA imprint is working on a new Red Hot AIDS Awareness project entitled Red Hot & Riot. This new collection features hip-hop contemporaries including Common, Mos Def, the Roots, Les Nubians, Nile Rodgers, and Macy Gray covering songs by famed Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

• My pick of the week is this Tuesday’s Jetset Records release of Past Imperfect Present Tense, the debut solo album from Erik Sanko of Skeleton Key. If you liked the band’s last effort, the critically acclaimed Fantastic Spikes through Balloon from 1997, you’re sure to prick up your ears at the news of new material by the group’s bassist and principal songwriter. Sanko’s new effort is a dark, mesmerizing affair that shimmers in pensive circles of tinkling acoustic harmonies, swelling and creaking out an intimate lonesome call. Highly recommended for moody fans of Grandaddy, Elliott Smith, and Tom Waits.

Television Alert:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosts Brian Setzer tonight, Lyle Lovett and Henry Rollins on Thursday, and Snoop Dogg on Tuesday; The Late Show with David Letterman welcomes Spearhead tonight and Björk on Tuesday; Late Night with Conan O’Brien features Weezer on Thursday overnight, Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro on Monday overnight, and Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones on Tuesday overnight; and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn gets goofy with The White Stripes on Monday overnight and former New Kid On the Block Joey McIntyre on Tuesday overnight.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, Sept. 4:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.

Converge – Jane Doe (Equal Vision) highly anticipated return blending aggressive punk, metal, and hardcore

Drag City Supersession – Tramps, Traitors, & Little Devils (Drag City) with label mates Neil Michael Hagerty, Edith Frost, and Smog’s Bill Callahan

Embrace – If You’ve Never Been (Hut) import only

Firesign Theater – Bride of Firesign (Rhino) all-new studio album

Fugu – Fugu 1 (Minty Fresh) featuring Stereolab vocalist Laetitia Sadier on the single “Sol y Sombra”

Jamiroquai – “Little L” (Epic) new 12-inch single from the upcoming A Funk Odyssey album

KRS-One – Strictly for da Breakdancers & Emcees (Cleopatra)

Last Kreep – Good Scratching Record (Hip Hop Slam) new vinyl-only release from DJ Eddie Def of the Bullet Proof Space Travelers crew

Love as Laughter – Sea to Shining Sea (SubPop) recently supporting dates with J. Mascis & The Fog

Mazarin – A Tall Tale Storyline (Spinart)

Morcheeba – Back to Mine (Ultra)

Murder City Devils – Thelema (SubPop) CD EP

Bif Naked – Purge (Atlantic)

Orbital – The Alltogether (FFRR/Sire) with guest David Gray

Real McKenzies – Loch’d & Loaded (Honest Don’s) kilts and mohawks get tossed in the pit as punk meets traditional Scottish folk music

The Residents – Icky Flix Soundtrack (East Side Digital) re-recordings of selections featured on the band’s new Icky Flix DVD

Busta Rhymes – Genesis (J Records)

S.O.D. – Speak English or Die (Megaforce) DVD release featuring Anthrax’s Scott Ian

Skinny Puppy – Doomsday Live (Nettwerk)

Izzy Stradlin – River (Bilawn Records) third solo album from the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist featuring Rolling Stones keyboardist Ian McLagen

System of a Down – Toxicity (American) on tour with Slipknot this fall

Dwight Twilley – The Luck (Big Oak) all-new power pop featuring guests Rocky Burnett, Susan Cowsill, and members of the Bangles

James “Blood” Ulmer – Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions (Label M) recorded at the famed Memphis studio and featuring his take on John Lee Hooker’s “Money,” Son House’s “Death Letter,” and Muddy Waters’ “Evil” with producer and guest guitarist Vernon Reid

various artists – The Best of Sessions at West 54th (Columbia Legacy) featuring David Byrne, Suzanne Vega, Lou Reed, The Mavericks, John Hiatt, and Ani DiFranco

Velvet Crush – A Single Odyssey (Action Musik) 20-track collection of singles and rarities including the group’s power-pop take on songs by Gene Clark, The Modern Lovers, and Teenage Fanclub

Violet – We Both Know It’s Out There (Wine & Vinyl) Brooklyn-based duo of Meredith Minogue and Jim Barry blending elements and influences of folk and new wave

Vue – Find Your Home (SubPop)
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