· Okay, I guess everyone has a celebrity sighting or two, maybe at the airport or backstage at a concert. And sure, living in New York or L.A. would certainly increase your chances of rubbing hips with the famous, but add to that being a record-label promotions manager, rock-music publicist, or MTV insider. Now those folks must have the best dinner-time stories. So, mix some rock-insider corner-stall confessions with our reality-TV tell-all consciousness and what have ya got? Bears do it, bees do it, and I guess so does Mick Jagger. Everybody poops. Musically obsessed peeping Toms must bookmark the Web site Famous People You've Met in the Bathroom at (http://www.velvetrope.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/005077.html), a highly entertaining ongoing thread of The Velvet Rope, a collection of rants posted by anonymous figures within the corporate record industry. Take a break with your PC sometime and indulge yourself in some guilty pleasure at this dishy hoot.
· Three cheers for the Liverpool, England, airport's decision to rename itself after one of its greatest sons, John Lennon. After the completion of a new terminal next year, the airport will become Liverpool John Lennon Airport. I rather like that.
· Roadrunner Records' breakthrough act Spine Shank is re-releasing its Height of Callousness CD this Tuesday in special Digipak packaging. Originally released last year, the new edition features four previously unreleased tracks, two CD-ROM videos, and all-new cover art. Look for the band on the Ozzfest 2001 this summer.
· The artists and musicians who created the fantastic O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack are spotlighted in this Tuesday's release of Down from the Mountain on the Lost Highway Records label. The CD captures a magic moment in May of last year, when filmmakers Joel and Ethan Cohen hired documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker to record a live get-together of the artists involved with the film's musical canvas. Recorded in Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, the list of performers is amazing, with The Cox Family, John Hartford, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch with David Rawlings. Other roots-music hunger can be sated with Vanguard Records' recent original motion picture soundtrack to Songcatcher, an Appalachian back-porch collection of female stars covering traditional folk ballads. The guest-vocalist list is a who's who, with Dolly Parton, Patty Loveless, Maria McKee, Iris Dement, Hazel Dickins, and Emmy Rosen. The film is set in 1907 and tells the story of a music scholar who ventures deep into the history of traditional American folk music, a blending of Scottish and Irish ballads that became country music's foundation. A recommended answer to that lonesome call from back home.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Melissa Etheridge tonight, Lyle Lovett and Henry Rollins on Thursday, Craig David on Friday, 'N Sync on Monday and Mary Chapin Carpenter on Tuesday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Youssou N' Dour tonight, Ani DiFranco on Thursday, and Widespread Panic on Monday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien features former Clash statesman Joe Strummer on Tuesday overnight; and Saturday Night Live's musical guest this weekend is Jay-Z.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, July 24:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.
Alice in Chains - Greatest Hits (Columbia)
Armored Saint - Nod to the Old School (Metal Blade) collection of new tracks, rarities, and demos
Laurent Brodel - Weld (Tone Casualties) mixing free-form jazz with 1970s German and 1990s British electronica influences
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - Back to Bogalusa (Blue Thumb)
Butterfly Jones - Napalm Springs (Vanguard)
Cake - Comfort Eagle (Columbia) featuring the single "Short Skirt/Long Jacket"
Capitol Eye - Mood Swingz (77/Renegade) featuring Opie Ortiz of the Long Beach Dub Allstars on a low-rider version of Sly Stone's "If You Want Me to Stay"
Darwin's Waiting Room - Orphan (Hollywood) on tour now with Unloco and Simon Says
Drowningman - Still Loves You (Equal Vision) five-track CD EP
Eve To Adam - Auburn Slip (Mikendra)
Fantomas - Fantomas (Ipecac) featuring Mike Patton and Trevor Dunn of Mr. Bungle, Dave Lonbardo of Slayer, and Buzz Osbourne of the Melvins
Fluke - Progressive History X (Astralwerks) rare tracks from early records
The Flying Dutchman - Pathfinder (Tone Casualties) ambient trip hop from Germany
Good Riddance - Exposed! 1994-1999 (Fat Wreck Chords) VHS video
High Standard - Love Is a Battlefield (Fat Wreck Chords) four-track CD EP featuring the group's romp on the classic "Can't Help Falling in Love"
Husking Bee - 4 Color Problem (Doghouse) video-enhanced CD from this Tokyo punk act
The Isley Brothers - Eternal (Dreamworks) featuring Ronald Isley (a.k.a. Mr. Biggs) and guest vocalists Jill Scott and Chante Moore
Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American (Dreamworks)
Leonardo: The Absolute Man - original cast recording (Magna Carta) rock-based musical drama featuring members of Dream Theater, Kansas, and Under the Sun
Pep Love - Ascension (Hiero Imperium) new solo album from the Hieroglyphics crewmember
Maxwell - Now (Columbia)
My Hotel Year - The Composition of Ending & Phrasing (Beyond)
'N Sync - Celebrity (Jive)
Neutral Milk Hotel - Everything Is (Orange Twin)
Shaquille O'Neal - Presents His Superfriendz (Trauma)
Original Sin - original motion picture soundtrack (Gold Circle) score by Terence Blanchard
Rennie Pilgrem - Presents TCR 50 (Streetbeat) two CDs from the UK "Godfather of Breakbeat"
The Start - Shakedown! (143/Geffen) new from former members of LA's Snot and Human Waste Project
Joe Strummer & The Messcaleros - Global A Go-Go (Hellcat/Epitaph) new from the former Clash front man
Tiger Army - II: Power of Moonlite (Hellcat/Epitaph) psychobilly madness featuring Geoff Kresge of AFI
Varnaline - Songs in a Northern Key (Artemis) the fifth album from Anders Parker and company
Zoo Story - Zoo Story (Universal)