So who caught Stone Gossard on the front page of The Seattle Times' Scene section? Writer Tom Scanlon calls the Green River/Pearl Jam/Brad and now Bayleaf member "a mellow Midas, this musician with the golden (or is it platinum?) touch." We can't top that. But we can tell you that the Gossard-fronted band includes Pete Droge and drummers Matt Chamberlin and Mike Stone, as well as Ty Wilman pulling lead vocals on several tracks. The self-titled debut will hit stores Sept. 11, and Stone junkies can get their fix at his three-night Breakroom stand with Brad this weekend, or wait until Oct. 22, when Bayleaf debut alongside R.E.M. and Alanis Morissette at the Groundwork World Hunger Benefit we mentioned a couple weeks ago. . . . Also in our column a few weeks back, we told you about the unholy advertising union between Marc Jacobs and Stephen Malkmus. Flipping through the new Bjork cover Interview, we came across a multipage Levi's-sponsored insert of generally unknown bands strutting their stuff in 501s and Engineered jeans, and were thrilled to find Oly's own The Gossip. Lead singer Beth in denim mini and high-heeled mules extols the joys of being "fat and queer" and singing about sex. We thought she looked scrumptious. In that same issue, we came across perhaps the most frightening photo this side of Palestine: Courtney Love on the party circuit, complete with vividly splotchy skin condition, ragged makeup, glassy eyes, and gaped mouth. Whatever happened to sleek Hollywood Courtney? Suddenly, it's 1994 all over again. . . . Watch out, sound pirates: The AP reported last week that five major record labels have quietly begun selling CDs outfitted with technology that renders them copy-proof onto both hard drives and blank discs. So far, most of these thief-retardant records are being sold in
Europe, but since all labels are refusing to reveal which artists have been "digitally padlocked," there's no external way to check. Unlike those department store tags, the so-called stealth CDs don't squirt squid ink all over your criminal self, but they will make reproducing any or all of the encoded music virtually impossible. . . . New York college rock darlings Ivy are scoring the new Farrelly Brothers comedy Shallow Hal, which features (hot diggity!) Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat suit. They'll also hit the Croc on Sept. 29. . . . You knew this was coming: VH1 is working on an hour-long "Grunge" documentary, to air Sept. 13 at 10 p.m. We spoke to the very nice Tim in New York, who said the channel's production team conducted interviews with, among others, Sub Pop big cheese Jonathan Poneman, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron, Mark Arm, Steve Turner, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, photographer Charles Peterson, Tad, Buzz from the Melvins, Screaming Trees' Van Connor, Eddie Spaghetti, and Kelly Canary of Dickless, plus, of course, plenty of archived Cobain moments. Tim also mentioned that since their time in Seattle was uncinematically sunny, the crew was forced to call cranky local news stations to ask for gray and overcast stock footage of our fair city. Must-see TV, indeed. . . . Non-rock celebrity sighting! Claire Danes at boyfriend Ben Lee's Croc show this past Sunday night. In a land of rock-star/actress pairings that don't last past the next People cover, those two just keep going and going. Must be true love. . . . From our investigative reporter Andrew Bonazelli, a weekend of shows: "Pleasure Forever whipped up a sizzling slab of tight, bluesy workingman rock for a respectable Friday night Breakroom crowd. Beanpole frontman Andrew
Rothbard tickled ivory until it peed, and—most importantly—kept the action hot and heavy by eschewing inane between-song banter. Which is not to say the chatty frontman thing isn't effective in measured doses. Love as Laughter kept a lawnful of lounging freeloaders grinning through their splendid, gag-laden Sunday afternoon set at Seattle Center's Flag Pavilion. Despite prompting said layabouts to peel their asses off the grass for 40 minutes, Promise Ring followed LAL with no rock whatsoever. The exception to a sneak preview of self-described (and accurately, at that) 'sucky new songs' was a bona fide future hit called 'Stop Playing Guitar.' A nice, honest breakthrough for a band too steeped in their own formula." Adding his two bits, Kurt B. Reighley says headliners Superchunk were on it. "I almost didn't go, but was damn glad I did—and not just cuz the weather was so nice. They opened with the first two songs from the new record, but they also did 'Cool' and 'Watery Hands' (not 'Water-Wings,' as Mac almost announced), and closed with a blistering version of 'Slack Motherfucker.'" . . . And finally, we're seriously bummed out to hear about the death of singer/actress Aaliyah in a small plane crash in the Bahamas this past Saturday night (see Slanguistics, p. 36, for more). The 22-year-old R&B star was, as her record said, One in a Million in a field too full of second-rate talent and sorry bump 'n' grind xeroxes. She basically put ber-producer Timbaland on the map with some of the most innovative and progressive beats in the business, and her brand-new self-titled release had already garnered major critical acclaim before the inevitable vulturelike swoop of posthumous record-buying shot her sales way up. Fans can still see her star in the film adaptation of Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned, but she will now be unable to fulfill her role in the Matrix sequel that surely would have made
her major in the movie world as well. The acting was no big thing, but she will truly be missed in music, and our condolences go out the family and friends of all aboard.
Send sightings, news flashes, and bitchy bits to email@example.com.