What started as an annual birthday celebration for Frank Zappa, has matured into the most popular Zappa tribute act in the world. Founder, Andre Cholomondeley, has spearheaded his zealous interest and enthusiasm for his inspirational figure into a well-oiled music machine assembling parts consisting of original members from prior Zappa recordings and tours.
Is one stage big enough for both Kiss and Aerosmith? Probably not, but they will attempt to combine their sixty years of combined musical history on one stage with a joint summer tour in ampitheaters across the U.S. beginning August 2 in Hartford, CT and wrapping up Oct. 18 in California. Special guest Saliva, will open the shows. For a full list of dates, visit Pollstar.com
In other Aerosmith news, the band is about to head in the studio to record their next album that will consist mainly of blues songs. About two thirds of the material are covers songs, while the rest will be original blues tunes. Blind Willie McTell’s “Broke Down Engine,” Little Walter’s “Temperature,” and “I’m Ready,” famously recorded by both Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters, are among the songs being worked up by the band. The yet untitled record is scheduled to hit stores in September.
In case you missed out or got sold out of the recent Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds acoustic tour, an extra show has been announced for May 5th at the Mullins Center in Amherst, MA. This is a benefit for The Tiger Kloof School in South Africa. Tickets go on sale to the general public on April 26th, while you can also obtain tickets through the band
Instead of congregating at conventions, book fairs and on the Internet, science fiction fans will get their own shrine dedicated to the art, literature and film of science entertainment, courtesy of billionaire Paul Allen. Tentatively named the Science Fiction Experience, the exhibit is slated to open in the summer of 2004 within the confines of Allen’s Experience Music Project (EMP) in the shadow of Seattle’s Space Needle. “Science fiction shows us that change is constant and exhilarating,” said Microsoft Corp. co-founder Allen, who is funding the project. Flanked by science fiction props such as Captain Kirk’s original command chair from the “Star Trek” television series, classic science fiction books and movie banners, Allen said the $20 million non-profit endeavor would provide “entertaining and thought-provoking exhibits” for visitors. Allen, a philanthropist who has invested in everything from cable television to professional sports teams since leaving Microsoft in 1983, has funded several cultural projects in his hometown of Seattle, including the EMP, a Jimi Hendrix-inspired music museum and the Cinerama, a restored 1960s-era movie theater with a giant, curved viewing screen. Allen said he expects the Science Fiction Experience, which will be built in a newly vacated space within the EMP, to pull in 150,000 to 200,000 more visitors to the building every year. Science fiction author Greg Bear of Seattle will chair an advisory board to the museum and said that respect for the genre has been long overdue. “Science fiction is one of the greatest untold stories of science and art today,” said Bear, winner of two Hugo awards for novels such as “Eon” and “Queen of Angels”. Among the items on display will be a complete set of autographed first editions of the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov, a collection of “Astounding Science Fiction” magazines and artwork depicting the future.