Sometimes it's nice to be wrong. Case in point? Though they said it like they meant it, Carissa's Wierd are not, in fact, calling in quits, as reported here last week. Au contraire—as soon as they replace all those instruments they smashed onstage at Graceland, the band who makes gloom (and poor spelling) feel good will be back on the job with a new drummer and even plan to tour the West Coast in early February. Word is they also turned in a single to Sub Pop on Monday, so there. . . . One local label's loss is another's gain; although Kill Rock Stars will no longer be working with Mordam Records, Seattle's Dirtnap (the Epoxies, the Briefs, Scared of Chaka) has been picked up for distribution by the California company as of March 2002. The first releases will be the Epoxies' full-length and a Selby Tigers 7-inch. Meanwhile, Barsuk Record's distributor, Valley, is filing for Chapter 11. Luckily, our sources tell us that the local indie pioneers over at the Central District world headquarters are in pretty good shape, considering the financial fiasco that bankruptcy entails—good thing that Death Cab record is still selling like hotcakes. . . . Usually, when we think "Lone Star State," we don't exactly light up, but all this horrendous weather has turned our minds to warmer climes, and, not coincidentally, as thoughts of Austin danced in our heads, we received an initial lineup for this year's South by Southwest. The conference, scheduled for mid-March, so far promises Clinic (the band Radiohead worships and we were dumb enough to miss at CMJ), Add (N) to X, Nashville Pussy, Black Sun Ensemble, Neil Finn, Girls Against Boys, Kim Richey, the Webb Brothers, Hanson (hot damn!), and, surely, at least a good half-dozen of our own dearly beloved locals. We'll be there with bells (and sunscreen!) on. . . .
Tribute, schmribute: Any rock star can release a special single or sign a check, but real men go to Sudan. Or so it goes for Jane's Addiction frontman/roaming DJ/Lollapalooza founder/all-around krazy kat Perry Farrell, who recently returned from a "death-defying" rescue mission to that war-torn nation. According to the New York Post, Farrell joined a weeklong operation organized by Swiss-based Christian Solidarity International to help free 2,300 women and children enslaved by the nation's Taliban-like regime. Farrell reportedly led "emancipation dances" at various liberation sites, singing along to his own boom box and shaking his money maker until the crowds joined him. According to Charles Jacobson, head of the American Anti-Slavery Group, "[It was] a death-defying trip. It's illegal to go to Sudan and do what he did, and if the government had known, they would have shot his plane out of the sky. . . . He was a witness to the exchange of cash to buy back the slaves. They camped out, they walked for miles through the bush, and they were there when the Arabs brought the slaves back." Perry, we still think you're nuttier than a pecan pie, but we salute you. . . . Speaking of Jane's Addiction, we at DOON are always happy to provide our readers with new ways to misuse their workplaces' vast online resources, so we recommend that all music lovers, and JA fans in particular, check out www.one-percent.com/audio.php for some truly great live MP3s. The Jane's downloads available right now date back to a 1989 concert in Philadelphia, at which Perry and company are in particularly fine form. Don't miss the stage patter. . . . As we reported last week, David Bowie recently parted ways with Virgin Records, but now there's more: The eternal iconoclast has decided to form his very own London- and Manhattan-based imprint. Bowie's people recently sent a letter to the label declining any new contract renegotiations, as the
artist's own ISO will soon be releasing his latest full-length, recorded with longtime collaborator Tony Visconti. In addition to his own work, Bowie has already signed two other acts, though he won't reveal their names. . . . Courtney Love: the gift that keeps on giving—that is, if you're a gossip columnist. The Nirvana turf wars continued as Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic filed a countersuit against She Who Dare Not Miss a Litigation Opportunity. The new claim is in response to the suit Love filed in September against the surviving bandmates and Universal Music Group (UMG) seeking to void the company's contract with Nirvana, and revert to her all rights pertaining to the band. According to Billboard, the countersuit says Love " [exploited] the cachet surrounding Cobain's death" by performing "You Know You're Right" on MTV. "Despite her husband's having completed a recording of the song with Novoselic and Grohl," it states, "the only version of the song that Love has allowed the public to hear is her own." Love is (surprise!) embroiled in an additional suit against UMG over her recording contract. Grohl and Novoselic say she has "thwarted negotiations" with Geffen over the release of a Nirvana hits set because she is "attempting to force Geffen and UMG into modifying her personal recording agreement," and adds that "in her professional dealings, Love is irrational, mercurial, self-centered, unmanageable, inconsistent, and unpredictable." Love's attorney disputes Grohl and Novoselic's "perception that they were full partners in Nirvana," which he says "seems to be the thrust of their counterclaim." And adds, "[Love] has a career that I am confident has been significantly more successful than that of either Mr. Grohl or Mr. Novoselic." Tell us how you really feel, kids! . . . To end the column on a completely depressing note, we have not one but three obituaries
this week: First, the death of pretty goddamn decent label: As of last week, London/Sire has been shuttered for good, sending acts like Aphex Twin, English Beat, Morcheeba, and the Avalanaches either back to the imprint's parent company, Warner Bros., or out into the ether. In more immediately tragic news, Bianca Halstead, lead singer and bassist of the Los Angeles-based Betty Blowtorch (deemed Best Punk/ Hardcore Band of 2000 by L.A. Weekly) was killed in an alcohol-related car accident early Saturday morning, and Stuart Adamson, lead singer of the prolific '80s band Big Country was found dead in his Hawaii hotel room. He had been missing from his Tennessee home for three weeks, and though cause of death was unknown at press time, the 43-year-old had long struggled with alcoholism. So happy holidays everyone; please go easy on the eggnog. And if you don't, for god' s sake call a cab.
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