· A newly conceptualized tour package looks to be the place to fly your sunscreen-slathered freak flag this summer if you're lucky enough for it to touch down near you. Dubbing itself the Unlimited Sunshine 2002 tour, this one sounds wonderfully weird and adventurous with headliners The Flaming Lips.
Other artists to fill the five-hour affair include Cake, De La Soul, Modest Mouse, Kinky, and the acoustic bluegrass Hackensaw Boys. If you've witnessed any of The Flaming Lips' audio mischief - from car-tape-deck symphonies to direct-audio-headset feeds that complement a live performance - then welcome to the tingles of anticipation, my friend. The tour starts on July 31 in St. Louis and drifts over 17 dates to August 31 in St. Paul, Minnesota. I'll see you there.
· With the pomp and ceremony of the Queen's Golden Jubilee this year, the Sex Pistols are once again thumbing their snotty noses, re-issuing their 1977 anthem "God Save the Queen" next week as a U.K. single with bonus remixes, exactly 25 years since its explosive debut. The following week will see the issue of a new three-CD box set entitled Jubilee, collecting 61 tracks, CD-ROM videos, and lots of rarities. Fellow Brit Billy Bragg is also poking his disgruntled head into the celebratory mood, as he's releasing his new "Tear Down the Union Jack" single next week on the Cooking Vinyl label.
· Chumbawamba, the culture-jamming U.K. anarchists, have released intriguing details about their Readymade album due next month on the Republic imprint. The highbrow concept album is based on the work of 20th Century artist Marcel Duchamp, who once described "readymade" as a work of art without an artist to make it.
· World class DJ Paul Oakenfold has lined up a bevy of interesting guest vocalists for his new Bunkka set, due June 18 on the Maverick label. Now simply going by Oakenfold, he's joined by Ice Cube, Nelly Furtado, Tricky, Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction, Shifty Shellshock of Crazy Town, Grant Lee Philips of Grant Lee Buffalo, and gonzo author Hunter S. Thompson on the track "Nixon's Spirit." ... The guest list for the upcoming David Bowie album, Heathen, is also filling up fast. Due June 11 on the ISO/Columbia label, the set features guitarists Pete Townshend of The Who and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Tommy Lee this evening, Jimmy Buffett on Thursday, Willie Nelson on Friday, and Ben Harper on Monday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien hosts the Promise Ring on Friday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn features Phil Lesh & Friends this evening overnight, Marshall Crenshaw on Thursday overnight, Tommy Lee on Friday overnight, and Angelique Kidjo on Monday overnight; and Last Call with Carson Daly gets chatty with Rufus Wainwright on Monday overnight, and Pete Yorn on Tuesday overnight.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, May 28:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change
As Friends Rust - A Young Trophy Band in the Parlance of Our Times (Equal Vision) five-song EP
The Ataris - Anywhere but Here (Kung Fu) CD re-issue of the band's first album featuring bonus tracks and video extras
Black Widows - Stops a Beating Heart (Initial) new hardcore from Louisville, Kentucky, featuring former members of Endpoint and National Acrobat
Coldcut - 70 Minutes of Madness (Journeys By DJ) domestic release of this smash U.K. mix CD blending tracks from Photek, Jello Biafra, DJ Food, and more
Joanna Connor - The Joanna Connor Band (M.C. Records) new from the blues slide guitarist featuring covers of War's "Slipping Into Darkness" and Grandmaster Flash's "White Lines"
Dag Nasty - Can I Say (Dischord) reissue of this 1986 punk classic featuring six bonus tracks
Dead Sheriff - Rockapocalyptica (Dionysus) from Norway
Depeche Mode - One Night in Paris (Hip-O) live two-DVD set filmed during the group's 2001 Exciter tour with 13 cameras and a 5.1-channel mix
Hellride - Troublemaker (Scooch Pooch) eight-track CD EP
High on Fire - Surrounded by Thieves (Relapse)
Eric Lichter - Palm Wine Sunday Blue (Hidden Agenda) solo debut from this Green Pajamas keyboardist and songwriter
Mastodan - Remission (Relapse) ultra heavy nu-metal featuring former members of Today Is the Day
MC5 - Human Being Lawn Mower: Baddest & Maddest of the MC5 (Total Energy) re-mastered and expanded reissue compiled by Wayne Kramer and John Sinclair
Midnight Thunder Express - Midnight Thunder Express (Empty) debut formed from the breakup of the Valentine Killers
Peter Murphy - Dust (Metropolis) all new from the Bauhaus vocalist and Mercan Dede
Jill Olson - My Best Yesterday (125/Innerstate) new solo album from the Red Meat founder
Snowglobe - Our Land Brains (Bardot Records)
The Somatics - El Toppo (Beggars Banquet)
Steroid Maximus - Ectopia (Ipacac Recordings) new from JG Thirlwell and company