Um, I guess we are gonna take it— Dee Snider's voice, that is. The former Twisted Sister frontman is now (no joke) the official promo man for cable news network MSNBC. He joins an exclusive voice-over guy fraternity, which includes James Earl Jones (CNN) and Penn of Penn & Teller (Comedy Central). Alas, actual face time isn't in the contract. . . . The end of an era: After 21 years in the business, it looks like Tommy Boy Records is down for the count. The legendarily street-smart label brought names like De La Soul, 808 State, Afrika Bambaataa, Queen Latifah, and more into the mainstream American consciousness, breaking some of the biggest hip-hop and dance artists at a time when the majors thought both genres were a bad bet. Remaining acts will be absorbed by Warner Bros., with nearly all 80 current employees turned out into the street. . . . Remember last week's cross-generational musical lovefest featuring the teaming of Queen's Brian May with the Foo Fighters? The trend continues this week with news of Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood contributing to former Roxy Music star Bryan Ferry's upcoming release, his first collection of mostly originals in eight years. Also on the studio sign-in sheet: Brian Eno, who supplies backing vocals and keyboards on one track. Another oldie, Bob Dylan, makes an appearance, if not exactly in person; his "Don't Think Twice (It's All Right)" and "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" both get the cover treatment. . . . As clubs all over town change hands, faces, and philosophies, it was nice to see that the new digs are working just fine for Pho Bang—at its first night at the newly revamped Re-Bar, folks were lined up outside waiting to get in like it was Studio 54 in 1979 or some shit. The only complaint heard among the crowd was that it was too damn difficult to get a drink. Let's hope
those bartenders work the kinks out—and soon. . . . Meanwhile, on Saturday night out in Ballard, a very well-attended party suggested that you don't need to have a hotshot booker or even a liquor license to pull off one of the best shows of the month. Featuring ex-members of Scared of Chaka, Arcadia, Calif.'s the Let Down started off a party that went on to be soundtracked by the Unnatural Helpers (members of Catahoula Hounds, the A-Frames, and Double Fudge) and the Popular Shapes, proving that sometimes all you need for a good time is a basement and a keg. . . . This week's Kurt update, straight from the usually reliable New York Post: Cobain's diaries, which widow Courtney gave Heavier Than Heaven biographer and former Rocket editor Charles R. Cross full access to for his research, are currently making the rounds of N.Y.C. publishing houses and may show up on your local Barnes & Noble "What's New?" table as soon as late 2002. Love has also intimated that a nonmusical exhibition of her late husband's work may soon be mounted in London—including his poetry, cartoons, paintings, and even sculptures, as well as bits and pieces of the aforementioned diaries. "He was very prolific and a good, if not sometimes great, evocative writer," says Love. . . . When's the last time you did something for the kids? The University District Youth Center, a multiservice agency for homeless youth, is asking very nicely for any and all donations of functional music equipment for its new band room, from the amp gathering dust in your basement to the drums your angry neighbor has threatened to physically install in your butt if you don't quit. Call Randy at 526-2992, ext.12. It's all, of course, tax deductible. . . . While we're on an all-ages roll, check out the best Northwest M.C.s have to offer at this week's Brainstorm Emcee Battle 2002. Preliminaries kick off Feb. 22
at I-Spy, with finals at UW the following night, and showcase to take place at Sit & Spin on Sunday. Go to www.ticketweb.com/user/?region= wa&query=detail&event=311629 for more details. . . . The rumors are true: Mudhoney are putting out a new record on Sub Pop, due for release this fall. As one SP employee puts it, "You can go home again." . . . Currently making the rounds amongst local bookers: an e-mail offering the chance to host none other than "BMG recording artist V-Ice" (yep, that's V for Vanilla). If you're down with the Vee-ster, by all means let the employees at your favorite local venues know. They're there to serve, after all. . . . The Seattle Art Museum continues to hep up its Thursday After Hours lineup. This week, it's Ziggy-riffic rock stars the Turn-Ons headlining SAM's program. Seven dollars gets you in the door for the show as well as full run of all the exhibits—and yes, drunkie, there's a bar. . . . So, you've been waiting for the follow-up since 1993; well, your wait ain't exactly over, but My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields has decided to throw fans a bone with a track (instrumental, no less) on the upcoming compilation You Don't Need Darkness to Do What You Think Is Right (Geographic). Other hermit-y guest stars include Jim and William Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain, under the name Sister Vanilla. . . . Speaking of oldies, Jane's Addiction is set to return to the studio more than 10 years after 1990's Ritual De Lo Habitual. . . . R.I.P. country music outlaw Waylon Jennings, who will live on forever through Dukes of Hazzard reruns—even if classics like "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line" and "Lonesome, On'ry, and Mean" don't get the airplay they used to.
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