Oh dear. We start this week's otherwise fun-filled column with a topic that's been unavoidable of late: the dark specter of death. In a very Behind the Music twist, it turns out that John Entwistle may not have gone to the Big Trading Musician in the Sky all by his lonesome. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the legendary bassist was keeping company on the night of his death with what polite folks like to call a lady of the evening. As of today, the identity of the adult entertainer in question remains a mystery, but no doubt she'll be splashed all over the news very soon, especially if the autopsy reveals any funny business—i.e., the immediate ill effects of sex, drugs, and/or rock 'n' roll. As it stands, Entwistle's girlfriend, Lisa Pritchard- Johnson, revealed that her deceased love's doctors warned him against embarking on the Who's elaborate three-month U.S. tour due to several existing health factors, including dangerously high blood pressure. . . . D'oh! Faced with the challenge of finding someone cool and indie enough to follow up Sonic Youth as curators for the so-hep-it-hurts All Tomorrow's Parties festival—last year's lineup featured everyone from Cat Power to Peaches, and sold like the proverbial hotcakes—organizers have settled on Simpsons creator (and Evergreen State College alumnus) Matt Groening for next year's U.S. date. Clever, spare beatmongers Autechre will curate the U.K. edition, which will likely be more techy and hip-hoppish than the choices made by Groening—a big Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa fan—which are reported to be fairly "classic and guitar-oriented." We are waiting with bated breath (whatever that means) for its mid-June 2003 appearance in Los Angeles. . . . And the festival news just keeps coming: Ladyfest, launched in 2000 in Olympia, has spread like Ebola (except
good) across the nation and even hopped the Atlantic to Europe. The original event held two years ago—which drew a crowd of roughly 2,000 and raised over $30,000 for a rape crisis fund—might look like small potatoes as an additional 12 fests are planned for 2002-2003. Says original organizer, musician, and Evergreen professor Sarah Dougher, Ladyfest is, unlike the dreaded Lilith Fair, "not only about music. It is also distinctly about not regurgitating culture for consumption. It is the energy of feminist cultural politics—feminists involved in every aspect of making culture, and doing so explicitly." That may sound like so much 1993 Oly shinola to you more jaded types, but whether or not you want to involve yourself directly in the grrrlier aspects, the lineup for July 24-28's Bay Area Ladyfest speaks pretty well for itself: Erase Errata, Mirah, Bratmobile, the Gossip, All Girl Summer Fun Band, the Donnas, and the Bangs, among others, are all on the roster. Plus artsy exhibits, workshops on everything from "How to Be an Ethical Slut" to knitting, and one bona fide roller-skate jam. For more info, check www.ladyfestbayarea.org/ or call 510-535-1041. . . . In the meantime, we plan to enjoy our own minifest right here in Seattle this weekend. We're speaking, of course, of the Capitol Hill Block Party (see the features starting on page 18 and more in the calendar on p. 50), but more specifically of Mudhoney, who will not only be headlining Saturday night's main stage and possibly making a surprise appearance or two at after parties about town, but are also gearing up to release their first studio album in four years. Since We've Become Translucent is due on Sub Pop Aug. 20 and will feature a guest appearance on the title track by MC5 legend Wayne Kramer. When asked what else we could expect from Translucent, coy SP publicist Steve
Manning had only this to say: "It has horns. Crazy-sounding horns. And they are also playing on the 29th at the Showbox." . . . Although Seattle's not a town lacking for solid rock-and-what-have-you DJs—Cherry Canoe, El Toro, and Dann Gallucci all come to mind—joining the local ranks is one DJ Boss Royal, a.k.a. Damien Jurado. The singer/songwriter will be doing his duties Wednesdays at the small-but-endearing Cafe Venus on Eastlake, supposedly spinning records in the ska rock-steady Northern-style vein. . . . In a recent interview, the Flaming Lips' Steve Drozd mentioned that Beck had asked the Lips to act as his backing band for "some shows or a tour." Can one stage handle that much oddball- iosity? Remains to be seen. . . . We're not quite sure why they're doing it (though buckets full of cold hard currency may be a minor factor), but the Sex Pistols—minus, of course, the long-departed Sid Vicious—are indeed reuniting July 27 at the National Sports Centre in London. In addition, the Pistols have decided to inject a little fresh blood and spittle into the act with opening bands the Dropkick Murphys, and . . . And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. . . . Keep your celebrity-hungry eyeballs peeled for Mr. Stephen Malkmus, who's in town recording a follow-up to his self-titled 2001 solo debut at our own Bear Creek Studios. The indie prince reports the his outing will follow the traditional second-album trajectory, in which artists "grow their hair longer and do weird shit and get dropped and take drugs or something." While five of the 12 songs so far are, according to him, much like his last record—i.e. "melodic, standard tuning, slightly traditional"—the others are weirder, more progressive and even "acid rock." But unless you corner him in the frozen-tofu-pups aisle at the PCC, you'll probably have to wait till next year to know for sure. .
. . In the meantime, may the sun shine on you and yours, being as it is now the middle of freakin JULY and god knows we deserve it.
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