September 29, 2005

U-Melt 8/23/2005: Joyous Lake, Woodstock, NY

U-Melt hit the stage in front of a sadly sparse audience (Woodstock on a Thursday night is not what it used to be), but lived up to their name by liquefying those who were there with a molten hot evening of music.

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Beastie Boys To Release Greatest Hits Set

On the occasion of the Beastie Boys’ 24th birthday, Capitol will on Nov. 8 release the compilation “Solid Gold Hits.” The 15-track set will also be available as a limited-edition CD/DVD featuring as-yet-unspecified music videos.

The Beasties were previously anthologized on the 1999 double-disc set “The Sounds of Science,” which included all but five tracks here. “Triple Trouble,” “Ch-Check It Out” and “An Open Letter to NYC” are drawn from last year’s album “To the 5 Boroughs,” while Fatboy Slim has remixed “Body Movin.'”

The lone oldie left off “Science” that has been revived for “Solid Gold Hits” is “No Sleep ‘Till Brooklyn” from 1986’s “License To Ill.”

Due to the fact that the Beasties have been off the radar since completing the tour in support of “To the 5 Boroughs” and that no new or rare material is featured on “Solid Gold Hits,” there is renewed fan debate over the trio’s future.

Asked last year if “To the 5 Boroughs” might be the Beasties’ final album, Mike D told Billboard, “You know, to be honest, we really never know. One of the things we’ve talked about is actually not waiting so long until we record the next record, because we did a lot more songs for [“Boroughs”] than we wound up using. Of course, give it a year. We’d like to get the next record out in less time than we’ve ever had between records.”

Here is the track list for “Solid Gold Hits”:

“So What’cha Want”
“Brass Monkey”
“Ch-Check It Out”
“No Sleep ‘Till Brooklyn”
“Hey Ladies”
“Pass the Mic”
“An Open Letter to NYC”
“Root Down”
“Shake Your Rump”
“Sure Shot”
“Body Movin'” (Fatboy Slim remix)
“Triple Trouble”
“Fight for Your Right”


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Genesis Plans Online Bootleg Series

Genesis sold 21.5 million albums in America during a thirty-year career, before quietly calling it quits in 1998, not long after frontman Phil Collins’ departure. With the release of their first compilation album, The Platinum Collection, Genesis attempt to trace their extensive musical history, moving backwards through time to their early days as an art-rock outfit.

“Originally, it went from beginning to end,” says guitarist Mike Rutherford. “But, especially the first album’s sound quality, it’s a little tough for the listener. So we start with the better-sounding stuff [off 1991’s We Can’t Dance] and end with the earlier stuff.” Rutherford adds that the band plans to dust off some early live recordings for release as a bootleg series, possibly through its Web site. “These are raw recordings. I like that, if someone makes a mistake or messes up, it’s just part of the evening.”

During his stint with Genesis, Collins racked up two Number One solo albums. (Founding frontman Peter Gabriel, who split in 1975, embarked on a similarly successful solo career.) Rutherford also launched a simultaneous solo project, Mike and the Mechanics, whose sophomore effort landed in the Top Twenty. But with Collins’ departure, the future of Genesis became uncertain, with former Stiltskin singer Ray Wilson as their new singer. The final incarnation of the group did not exactly set fire to the charts, or the box office.

While the Collins-helmed lineup has not toured in thirteen years, they have played together — in more intimate settings. “We played Peter’s wedding and his fiftieth birthday party, and Phil’s wedding,” Rutherford says with a laugh. “We did a very bad version of that ‘Tequila’ song.”

Rutherford remains optimistic that Genesis may one day follow Cream and the Pixies, as a long-dormant band that suddenly comes bursting back to life. “We talk about it,” he says. (In 2000, Collins said of Genesis in an interview, “I would definitely see us doing something together again.”) But Collins, currently on break from his First Final Farewell Tour, is now busy adapting his soundtrack to Disney’s animated film Tarzan into a Broadway play.

“Phil’s committed through May,” says Rutherford. “We haven’t made any plans. But never say never.”


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Johnny Cash Comes To Broadway

Just as the life of Johnny Cash is about to hit the big screen courtesy of the Hollywood biopic Walk the Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix, comes the announcement that Ring of Fire, a Broadway musical based on the country legend’s classic songs, will premiere at New York’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre next February.
Created by Richard Maltby Jr. and William Meade, Ring of Fire will feature thirty-eight songs from Cash’s five-decade career, including “Country Boy,” “Five Feet High and Rising,” “I Walk the Line” and the title song.

Meade conceived of the show six years ago, before the singer-songwriter’s death from diabetes-related complications in September of 2003. “Many people had approached Johnny, but only Bill’s idea convinced him,” Maltby writes in the program notes. “And after about five years, just before he died, Johnny gave Bill the stage rights to this material.” Maltby — who was behind such Broadway hits as Ain’t Misbehavin’, Fosse and Miss Saigon — will direct the production.

While Walk the Line explicitly charts an early period of the Man in Black’s career and personal life, Ring of Fire allows the songs to tell a broader story, bringing to mind the hit Billy Joel/Twyla Tharp collaboration Movin’ Out. “To me, Johnny Cash’s biography wasn’t the most important story available to tell,” Maltby continues. “It seemed to me that there is another story here. It’s an almost mythic American tale — of growing up in simple, dirt-poor surroundings in the heartland of America, leaving home, traveling on wings of music, finding love, misadventure, success, faith, redemption, and the love of a good woman — and eventually returning home . . . I refer to this as a story, but you won’t find a plot, or dramatized scenes.”

Ring of Fire is currently up for a limited run at Buffalo’s Studio Arena Theatre, in upstate New York, through October 9th.


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Magic Numbers & Feist To Open For Bright Eyes

The tour dates are adding up for singin’ siblings The Magic Numbers.

The Mercury Prize-nominated rockers have been making their way around Europe and are about to kick off a three-week tour of the U.K., where the band’s self-titled debut is already platinum.

The British run concludes October 23 at Manchester Academy. A week later, they’ll start their U.S. tour with an appearance at Las Vegas’ inaugural Vegoose Music Festival.

They’ll headline a couple weeks’ worth of club dates through the first half of November, playing The Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif., Seattle’s Crocodile Caf

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Ray LaMontagne Big Winner At Best of Boston Music Awards

The mission of the Boston Music Awards is to celebrate the wonderful music that is produced by artists with strong ties to the Boston-area. The event encompasses most genres of music, highlighting the diversity and the quality of the music from the area. A Board of Advisors consisting of community and music industry leaders assist in the creative direction of the event.

Last night’s event offered many surprises, with unassuming singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne earning both song of the year and album of the year for his RCA debut, “Trouble,” as well as singer-songwriter of the year. Other notable winners included:

Act of the year: Dropkick Murphys
Independent album of the year: “Black Dialogue” by the Perceptionists
Male vocalist: Howie Day
Female vocalist: Aimee Mann
Live act: Dresden Dolls
Funk or jam band: Addison Groove Project
Jazz act: Pat Metheny Group
Blues act: Susan Tedeschi

For a full listing of winners see:

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Merlefest First Festival To Announce 06 Lineup

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Nickel Creek, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris and Pete Seeger are among the dozens of acts confirmed for the 2006 edition of the Americana-dominated Merlefest, which will be held April 27-30 in Wilkesboro, N.C.

Other artists confirmed for Merlefest are the Waybacks featuring Bob Weir, Sam Bush Band, the Jerry Douglas Band, Guy Clark, the Tony Rice Unit, Hot Tuna, the Ditty Bops, Thad Cockrell and Caitlin Cary and the Grascals.

Source: billboard

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