Gabba Gabba Yay! A monument to another kind of hero in New York City is born. They may have written "53rd and Third," but the Ramones were downtown boys all the way, and now, the late, great Joey might get to be a part of the East Village forever—and not just in spirit. An N.Y.C. street corner a few yards from legendary punk club CBGB is slated to become Joey Ramone Place, if 20-year-old Staten Island resident and Joey-adorer Maureen Wojciechowski gets her way. The odds look pretty good: Last Wednesday, the Public Safety and Transportation Committee of Manhattan's Community Board 3 unanimously approved her proposition. The only hurdle standing in the way is a Nov. 15 meeting, during which the 50-member community board must approve the proposal. Committee members sound confident, however, that the job is as good as done. . . . Monday's tragic crash of an American Airlines Airbus flight in Queens managed to infiltrate even the music world, in a most random way. Peter Buck, R.E.M. guitarist and husband of Crocodile Cafe owner Stephanie Dorgan, had his trial for air rage postponed in London immediately following the crash; the jury was already sworn in when an adjournment was called. As of press time, it's not clear whether or not the trial—in which Buck will stand on five charges, including assault—will resume immediately. . . . Meanwhile, also in London, and in more upbeat R.E.M.-related news, Mike Mills—a man happily free of criminal charges—made a surprise appearance at a Ken Stringfellow gig held there last week. With already-billed guest stars Robyn Hitchcock and Scott McCaughey, Mills hopped onstage, to the general delight of the audience, for two R.E.M. numbers, "Electrolite" and "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville." . . . R.E.M. Part III: The band recently recorded the track "All the Right Friends"-written somewhere around 1979-1980 and dropped from the final lineup of debut EP Chronic
Town in 1982—at Seattle's own Studio X (formerly Bad Animals). The song is slated to go on the soundtrack for Cameron Crowe's upcoming Tom Cruise thriller, Vanilla Sky (yes, the one where Cruise and Cruz got all up in it), along with a new title track by Paul McCartney and previously released songs from Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Red House Painters, Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley, and more. Crowe, a former writer for Rolling Stone—a past he semifictionalized in last year's Almost Famous—is, of course, Mr. Soundtrack, so this one just may make another hit out of an ages-old tune, ࠬa Famous' "Tiny Dancer" frenzy. . . . In other soundtrack news, Badly Drawn Boy's Damon Gough is down for the whole dilly-yo on About a Boy, the latest film adaptation of a Nick (High Fidelity) Hornby novel. . . . Chicago label Touch and Go is becoming quite the Ms. Pac-Man of indie manufacturer/distributors. Having gathered Atavistic, Drag City, Estrus, Merge, Thrill Jockey, Emperor Jones, and several others into its warm bosom, the Chi-town stalwarts are now drawing Olympia's own Kill Rock Stars into the fold. KRS, currently running from the arms of Mordam Records, was once upon a time solely distributed by K Records. As they say, movin' on up. . . . Hooray for art! No, not the dull-ish Annie Leibowitz exhibit at SAM. This is a music column, friends, so we're here to push music stuff. Specifically, Mr. Jeff Kleinsmith—co-owner of New Rage Records, co-founder of BLT Screenprinting, Sub Pop art director, and all-around poster wizard—will show off 75 screen prints reflecting some of his best and brightest poster work for bands "famous and infamous, still extant and extinct," as well as 12 fine-art prints. It all happens at the Roq La Rue gallery in
Belltown, and if visuals aren't enough, the opening-night party on Nov. 16 will also feature the party anthems of DJ Cherry Canoe, and there's bound to be a keg or two somewhere in there. . . . That Mark Linkous, he sure stays busy. When not writing semicrappy fiction for Jane magazine—see November's special music issue—and touring to support his new and entirely crap-free It's a Wonderful Life, Sparklehorse's front (and only) man is down in Virginia working with the lovely Mary Timony on her latest, which may or may not be a Helium release. That's all we know for now. . . . Overheard in a select few clubs: an unholy remix of Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious" (which already features the guitar hook from Stevie Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen") and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Unfortunately, this is all secondhand info, but Brit music rag NME describes it as "like having wild, abandoned sex with multiple unsuitable partners in Beelzebub's own disco," which is plenty enough endorsement for us. . . . Any Ride fans in the house? The crown princes of early-'90s shoe gazing are scheduled to re-form briefly to do some "incidental music" for an upcoming BBC special on Sonic Youth. . . . He fought the law, and the law won: Musician, poet, and activist Gil Scott-Heron has been sentenced to three years in prison by a judge who said he had failed to use several opportunities to kick a destructive drug habit. Scott-Heron was set free following a cocaine possession arrest last July in order to tour in Europe with his band, on the condition that he promised to enter rehab upon his return. His failure to do so has led, unfortunately, straight to the big house. . . . OK, Spiritualized was, if a little on the wanky side, quite the show last week. A more dense aural experience has likely not been had since the last time Mogwai came to town—and took eight Quaaludes
apiece. The presence of Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell and the Stereo MC's added a little celebrity excitement to the night, but for pure dramatic glory, the band's appearance the night before on The Tonight Show took the cake. We tuned in just in time to see Jason Pierce & Co. perform one fully orchestrated number, then shake Leno's proffered hand as if it were a maggoty piece of mutton. Before thanking the night's other guests, Sarah Michelle Gellar and the now mullet-free Arizona Diamondbacks-via-the-Mariners pitcher Randy Johnson, the host extended "a very special thanks to the band far too cool to come out and say good night." Ouch. Though we respect the right of all artists to maintain their integrity and mock the tenants of the evil Establishment, we say Pierce was being, as they say in the home country, a complete arse. Either do it or don't do it, but don't pout, you big baby. That said, the Seattle show was, as we mentioned, just great.
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