And you thought we were all done with Dan the Automator after last week's reports of his near obsessive- compulsive urge to create. Well, he's not done with us. The frighteningly prolific producer is currently in the studio with none other than Beck to work on the artist's follow-up to 1999's Midnite Vultures. Last we heard, Dan wasn't a fellow Scientologist, but maybe the Beckster has put that behind him as well. . . . Something to do on Sunday-no-fun-day besides pick at your toenails and watch Alias: The charmingly eclectic singer-songwriter David (that's Dah-VEED, for the ethnically impaired) Garza makes a monthlong stand at the Showbox's Green Room with a different guest each week, starting this Sunday. Feb. 3 features winsome former Nevada Bachelors/ current Dear John Letters leader Robb Benson, with Graig Markel, Shawn Smith, and Ken Stringfellow, in that order, to follow. . . . Next Wednesday marks the end of Top of the Pops, everyone's favorite Britpop night, in its current incarnation at the Baltic Room. Fret not, though—Seattle's sexually ambiguous, Pulp-adoring PYTs will have their chance to slither and slink again soon, as the weekly is slated for resurrection at Chop Suey when it opens. In the meantime, the Baltic plans to fill Wednesday night's Charlatans-shaped hole with ROBO.trash, an '80s synth/electro/ techno/IDM focusing on live PAs and DJ sets from both national and local talents. . . . Former Hsker D-or-die man Bob Mould is on overdrive right now, with a fifth solo album, Modulate—nearly half of which is practically guitar-free—due on his Granary Music label in March; Long Playing Grooves, a full-fledged electronic album under the name LoudBomb, to follow in June; and a September release of Body of Song, an acoustic album in the vein of his 1989 debut Workbook, all
in the pike. Unfortunately, our friend Dan, who got himself a sneak peak at Modulate, says that, as a self-professed "huge fan," his timbers weren't exactly shivered by the results. "It really felt like someone trying too hard to do something they just shouldn't be doing." In about six weeks, you'll be able to make your own call on that one. . . . Also on the comeback trail are Echo and the Bunnymen, who will release two live albums and a reissue of their classic Ocean Rain LP in the very near future. The first, Live in Liverpool, has a Feb. 5 street date, and includes 17 career-spanning tracks, from 1980's Crocodiles to last year's Flowers. . . . A creepy 1984-type episode befell Grandaddy's Jason Lytle two weeks ago, when the gentle frontman was arrested for public drunkenness after he was captured by Modesto police committing the heinous crime of listening to music and napping in his truck outside of a friend's house. Somehow, the appearance of one squad car turned into a platoon, and in the end, Jason and friend Aaron of L.A. band Earlimart were thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and treated to a free night in ye olde county jail. For the full and somewhat bizarre story, log on to www.grandaddy-landscape.com-/newspage.htm. . . . Of course Kim and Thurston are a little longer in the tooth than they used to be, but we didn't realize the record company powers that be at Universal thought it was already time for a retrospective of sorts—a deluxe reissue of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation (1988), Goo (1990), and Dirty (1992), in double-disc format. The band claims they've done some real digging to bring SY fans stuff they haven't already bootlegged/downloaded/stolen from the Moore-Gordon mailbox, but in the meantime, they've also managed to turn out a whole record's worth of new material, which
will prominently feature indefatigable avant-garde scenester Jim O'Rourke. Those unsated by this Sonic boom can always hold out for the upcoming DVD editions of the band's video compilations and underground classic The Year That Punk Broke. After that, you're on your own, friends. . . . In rare happy label news, Rawkus, which we reported last week had shuttered its doors indefinitely as of Christmas, is reopening, with records from Talib Kweli, DJ Quick, and Mad Skills featuring Missy Elliot all on the updated roster. . . . Wondering what Oklahoma City's finest have been up to lately? The Flaming Lips are in fact holed up near Buffalo, N.Y., working themselves into a frenzy of creativity—word is, as many as 100 multitracks for each of the 12 songs so far in production —for their follow-up to 1999's much- acclaimed The Soft Bulletin. It's too early to talk of touring, but frontman Wayne Coyne says he wants to see the Lips' other current project, digital movie Xmas on March, shown at rock venues before it sees DVD release this Christmas. The film, about a Mars colony citizen (played by Lips drummer Steven Drozd) who combats his homesick- ness by staging a Christmas pageant, is slated to hit a club—if not an NBC affiliate—near you soon.
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