kMNR... March 25th, 2005

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In This Issue:

The Rocky Fortune To Release New CD

After being slimmed down to a trio and going through a trio of band names, The Rocky Fortune are finally ready to release their new CD, "Sway".  You'll be able to preview some of the new material this coming Wednesday, March 30, 2005 as they hold their CD Release Party at The Ship and Anchor here in Calgary.

The band has been working on the new album throughout the winter and has continued to play a number of shows around Calgary in February.  They even ventured as far as Regina, SK in mid-February for a live show.  Once Craig Florence (drums), Todd Gesshe (vocals/bass) and Tyler Toews (guitar) reveal the new album to Calgarians next week, they have two shows scheduled early next month in Calgary's arch-nemesis city, Edmonton (April 8th at Seedy's and April 9th at Queen Alexandra Hall).

Speaking with Gesshe this week, he explained that the new album contains ten songs and will be available for purchase at the show.  It contains mostly old songs, some of which were featured on an EP under their former name Sons of Daughters.  Since that EP has long since sold out and is near impossible to find, Gesshe and the band wanted to have this material more readily available.  Hopefully this will let the band garner up some attention, and Gesshe is intent on focusing on the next album of all new material.

www.therockyfortune.com     P.S.  Don't marry a stripper.

Little Room For Sleep On "Lullabies"

This week brought us the fourth full length release from Queens of the Stone Age.  Before I get into my review of this album, I'd like to point out that the album is named with a tie to the past, something that is not new for Josh Homme and company.  You see, "Lullabies To Paralyze" is a line from the closing track of it's predecessor, the very successful "Songs for the Deaf"; the song being "Mosquito Song".  Similar occurrences in the band's history include the naming of former bassist Nick Oliveri's band Mondo Generator, inheriting their name from a Kyuss tune of the same moniker.  Oliveri and Homme were both in Kyuss and QOTSA, that is until they parted ways before the recording of this newest release.

Now that I'm done with that 'Cliff Claven'-esque bit of useless information, let's get right down to business.  When I truly discovered QOTSA, it was about a year after the release of "R" (as in Rated R) which spawned the sleeper hit single "The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret".  I had no choice but to go back and discover everything about this band, from the impressive amount of B-sides and rare tracks, to their self-titled debut release and even going as far back as their pre-QOTSA-evolutionary days in Kyuss.  All of this discovery left me with a hefty impression of the band, and with "Songs for the Deaf" en-route, I was thoroughly excited (especially when Dave Grohl was revealed as the primary drummer on the release).  I don't know if I over-hyped the band within myself, building up far too much anticipation, but on my first listen to "Songs for the Deaf", I was not as blown away as I wanted to be (it's important to note that despite my initial thoughts on said release being less than favourable, the album grew on me quickly and before long it became the monster of rock that everyone knows it to be today).  I'm happy to report that with "Lullabies to Paralyze", that has not been repeated.

So, what is different this time around?  Well, the players are different.  Gone is one-time drummer Grohl, with Joey Castillo (formerly of Danzig) taking his seat.  We've already identified that Oliveri parted ways with the band (although there is talk abound that his departure MAY be short lived).  Stepping in for him is Alain JohannesMark Lanegan officially left the band, although he lent his vocal duties to a couple of tracks on the new disc.  Even though the roster has changed a fair deal, there is definitely a distinct QOTSA sound to many of the songs.  There are significant changes in the music, but make no mistake about it; this is definitely a Queens of the fucking Stone Age record.

The album launches with Lanegan singing "This Lullaby", a short soft song which is quickly shattered by "Medication".  I say shattered not because it is overwhelming, but because there is little transition from a soft lullaby to a straight up rock song.  That is definitely how this record differs from the last; many of the songs are straightforward rock songs. Short, sweet and to the point.  We are treated to longer, more experimental songs later in the disc, and all over the disc, you find Homme and/or Troy Van Leuwen playing around with some very cool guitar effects, especially in the first single "Little Sister" and at the end of both "Tangled Up In Plaid" and "In My Head".

The album also features some guest appearances, aside from Lanegan.  Billy F Gibbons of ZZ Top lends his lead guitar skills and vocals on "Burn The Witch" while both Shirley Manson of Garbage and Brody Dalle of The Distillers supply the 'sultry' vocals on "You Got A Killer Scene There, Man".  Sadly, you can barely hear the ladies.  Also helping out are Chris Goss and Jesse 'The Devil' Hughes on "Someone's In The Wolf".  Throw in The Main Street Horns on that song as well as on "I Never Came" and "Skin on Skin" and you have a well rounded cast of characters adding a twist to the whole album.

Things only slightly slow down when you reach "I Never Came", but that's short-lived as it's followed by the near seven-minute stompin' "Someone's In The Wolf".  From that point forward, the album returns to an abnormal composition that some may either dislike, or that will remind devout fans of past QOTSA songs which hold that fucked-up-musical formula. 

In previous records, Homme split the vocal duties between himself, Lanegan and Oliveri, which afforded them to contain a different and fresh sound at almost every other song.  With that almost completely gone this time around, we get to hear mostly Homme singing which doesn't get boring.  In fact, it allows the listener to really get a feel for his vocal range, especially his falsetto.

This disc is not without it's flaws, but show me an album that is.  Homme himself pointed out in an article with Billboard Magazine that many of the songs on the album were recorded in one or two takes.  "Those types of things are proud moments.  I hear us listening to each other.  No one makes a move alone.  Even "Little Sister" is one completed take.  You can hear it almost breaking apart at the end, where there are some cool mistakes."

If you pick up the special limited edition, the packaging is different, featuring a cool booklet and a bonus DVD containing footage of the making of the album, interviews and a couple of unreleased music videos including one for "Someone's In The Wolf".  If the bonus DVD From "Deaf" is an indication of what this one will be like, we are in for a huge treat.

Overall, I think the album is solid despite the seemingly poor reviews it's been getting this week.  Homme isn't concerned with whether or not this will be as huge a success as "Deaf" was, since he and the rest of the band are all satisfied with the outcome.  Well, I know I'm certainly satisfied with these "Lullabies".

www.qotsa.com

NIN Sell Out Club Tour In Support Of "With Teeth"

The man behind Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor, decided to go with a small club tour to launch his first album in almost six years because "...it's fun, I like playing those size shows.  But also we really weren't sure how big a venue we could play.  We were king of seeing how tickets went for this and if it warranted coming back."

Well Trent, apparently your fans are still as rabid as they used to be.  Tickets for the tour sold out in just a matter of minutes.  NIN will have The Dresden Dolls as openers and the tour features only two Canadian dates, both in Toronto on May 9th and 10th.  Once NIN finish this tour, they'll head to Europe for the summer, but since this club tour is such a success before it even starts, Reznor expects to be back in North America with a more "thought out", larger tour whose "production will be up several notches".

The new album, "With Teeth" will hit stores on May 3rd and the first single, "The Hand That Feeds" has already started getting radio play this week.  The UK single for the song will be released on April 18th, but it's already available for download here in Canada.

http://www.chartattack.com/damn/2005/03/2312.cfm

The White's Crank Out Another Quickie

Jack White likes to get down to business.  When he and Meg White recorded their hugely successful release "Elephant", they did so in ten days.  Jack then went on to help Loretta Lynn record "Van Lear Rose", taking only 12 days to do so.  When news broke that The White Stripes were going to record their new album this year, Jack made it clear that he wanted to continue that quick-recording trend.

Well, he and Meg holed up in his home studio earlier this month and finished recording on March 18th, taking all of two weeks to do so.  Reports state that they recorded a song a day with mixing and mastering still to come.  Although there is no release date as of yet (or a name), Jack would like to see it in our hands by the time the Glastonbury Festival comes around (which takes place June 24th-26th).  Fitting, since The White Stripes are confirmed as performers.  Others that are rumoured to be added to the bill are Coldplay and The Killers.

http://www.chartattack.com/damn/2005/03/2302.cfm

Sign #2512 The Apocalypse Is Upon Us or What The Fuck?

Now, I had no qualms about Brian 'Head' Welch leaving Korn because he found God.  In fact, I respect that.  It takes a lot of courage to leave a successful band to go on a pilgrimage to Isreal and discover one's faith.  But, referring to God in the media as 'The Big Guy' kinda makes you look a tad loopy.

Oh, but the lunacy doesn't end there.  He recently told MTV that he wrote a song for 50 Cent.  He told MTV, and I quote "The Big Guy speaks through me a lot when I write and I have a song for 50 cent I wrote in the Holy Land."  He also assures us that he's not afraid of 'Fiddy' coming after him because the song isn't chastising the star but is gently reprimanding him on behalf of God.

Welch's solo album is almost complete and will contain an instrumental guitar solo track titled "A Letter To Dimebag", in memory of the former Pantera and Damageplan guitarist who was killed by a mad-man while on stage late last year.

http://www.undercover.com.au/news/2005/mar05/20050318_50cent.html

Green Day Cures Coma

They've had huge success at the hands of their last album "American Idiot", which has spawned monster-hits "American Idiot", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and the latest "Holiday".  What more can a punk rock band from California ask for?  Well, I suppose although they would never ask for such a distinction, you may now be able to proclaim them as healers.

BBC News reported over a week ago that a nine-year-old boy from Wales named Corey George, who was in a coma for two weeks, emerged from said coma after his mother played him "American Idiot".  He fell into a coma after being hit by a car on his ninth birthday, but has since been moved from intensive care, is able to open his eyes and move his fingers, and doctors expect a full recovery.

The guys in Green Day were so pleased with the news that they sent the boy a get-well message, some CDs and t-shirts to help him along with his recovery.

http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/flog/0,,3195749,00.html

In The Works

Jonny Greenwood, guitarist for this band called Radiohead (have you heard of them?) has spoken for the first time about the band's new material, which they will play for the first time at the London Ether Festival next week.  Now, the material being played at the festival isn't exactly new Radiohead music, but it was penned by both Greenwood and singer Thom Yorke.  The events will feature "two evenings of experimentation, collaboration and cross-genre juxtaposition", including traditional Arabic songs and classical composers.

Greenwood spoke with NME.com about how said material and the upcoming shows will influence the band's next record.  "I'll be obsessed with a few composers, and know nothing about the rest. I get these enthusiasms which can drive the band crazy, but I just say: ‘Listen, French horns are amazing, we've got to find a way of using them.'"

http://www.nme.com/news/111787.htm

Coldplay's upcoming third release finally has a name.  "X&Y"

http://www.undercover.com.au/news/2005/mar05/20050313_coldplay.html

This one may not be "in the works" per-say, but there are apparently discussions taking place between Sum 41 and Ludacris to create a 'mash-up' album much like Linkin Park and Jay-Z recently did.  This appears to have spawned from the Ajax, ON boys backing Ludacris on his January 22nd performance of "Get Back" on Saturday Night Live.

Sum 41 will embark on their own headlining tour dubbed "Go Chuck Yourself" with Unwritten Law and Hawthorne Heights starting with two shows in Toronto on April 7th and 8th, before joining Motley Crue's "Carnival Of Sin" tour which begins on July 27th in Sacramento, CA.  Both tours will bring Sum 41 to several Canadian stops.

http://launch.yahoo.com/read/news/17844817

Singer Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessionals wasn't pleased with the album he wrote recently.  So, what did he do?  He went ahead and wrote and recorded a whole new album in four weeks (is there a contest on who can record the fastest in the music world right now?). 

"To be frank with you, I think the other songs probably would have sold a lot more records, but they didn't really register [with me], so I couldn't do it, so I moved on," said Carrabba.  "Now I've got another one and I like it a lot — I can talk about these stories truthfully for the next two years. I didn't think the last batch would mean something to me [over time]."

The album still requires a title and release date, although it is expected to arrive by late summer.

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1498333/20050321/dashboard_confessional.jhtml

Hoobastank may be joining Velvet Revolver on tour next month for about a month, but they have been busy recording and writing for their third studio album.  They expect to release it in December, although they aren't making any promises.  "We all want to be 100 percent happy with all the songs.  None of us want to rush or force anything." Says guitarist Dan Estrin.

http://launch.yahoo.com/read/news/17844813

In Stores Next Week

Hitting store shelves next week on Tuesday, March 29th, 2005 are Beck's "Guero", "Gasoline" from Theory of a Deadman, AC/DC's DVD titled "Family Jewels", "If We Could Only See Us Now", a CD/DVD combo from Thrice and American Hi-Fi's "Hearts On Parade".

This Week's Albums Reviewed

Someone appears to have pissed off the Chart Magazine staff this week.   Check out the harsh, biting and apparent "we don't have much good to say about these albums" reviews for Moby, Louis XIV, Billy Idol, Queens of the Stone Age, Stereophonics and Spitalfield.  Actually, they did have good things to say about the re-release of Dinosaur Jr.'s "You're Living All Over Me", Bloc Party's debut release, while keeping rather nonchalant when reviewing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and A Frames:

http://www.chartattack.com/DAMN/2005/03/2201.cfm

Upcoming Shows

Calgary

March 26, 2005 Veritas, Welkin, Pressure Kill Common Style The Night Gallery
March 26, 2005 Moyo Combo Karma Cafe
March 26, 2005 Serfas The Underground
March 26, 2005 The Martyr Index, The Dead Will Rise Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Centre
March 26, 2005 The Neckers, Hip City Blues Combo The HiFi Club
March 26, 2005 Danger Dames Burlesque Co. Brew Brothers
March 26, 2005 Uprise! A benefit for Haymarket Cafe feat. Nikola Tesla, Rum Runner, The Failure, Submission Hold, Ten Second Epic, The Incandescence, Racoon, & more (1:30pm start) Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Centre
March 26, 2005 Fake Cops, Two Mutes Two Not Broken City
March 28, 2005 Velvet Revolver, Three Days Grace Pengrowth Saddledome
March 29, 2005 Kyprios 12 The Gate (SAIT)
March 30, 2005 The Rocky Fortune (CD Release Party) with Ditchrider, The Intended Ship and Anchor
March 31, 2005 Reid Robinson hosts Open Jam King Henry VIII
March 31, 2005 The Summerland, AA Sound System, The Hitchers Liberty Lounge
March 31, 2005 As I Lay Dying, Throwdown, All That Remains MacEwan Ballroom
March 31, 2005 Choke, The Reason, Ghosts of Modern Man The Warehouse
March 31, 2005 Crystal Pistol The Gateway
March 31, 2005 Soul Of Man The HiFi Club
April 01, 2005 Motley Crue Pengrowth Saddledome
April 02, 2005 finger eleven, Social Code, Kiros COP
April 04-05, 2005 Blue Rodeo Eric Harvie Theatre (Banff, AB)
April 05, 2005 Chad Van Gaalen Broken City
April 06, 2005 The Lowest of the Low, Strada Liberty Lounge
April 06, 2005 Misery Signals, Strapping Young Lad The Warehouse
April 06, 2005 Blood Dungeon (CD Release Party) Ship and Anchor
April 07, 2005 Death From Above 1979, Controller.Controller The Warehouse
April 08, 2005 Stars, Apostles of Hustle, Montag MacEwan Ballroom
April 10, 2005 Bullmoose Brew Brothers
April 10, 2005 Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal MacEwan Hall
April 12, 2005 Thornley Cowboys
April 16, 2005 Colin Linden, Anders Osborne, David Gogo Knox United Church

~~ kMNR v2005.059 ~~

If you would like to hear about or if you have any information on a particular band or artist, please email chris_s_a@hotmail.com and I will do my best to cover them.