Arlo brawls; Black Heart rocks; and we bid a sad farewell to Michael Jackson's mug.

Who says you need platinum records, Penthouse Pets waiting in the hot tub, and a massive substance-abuse problem to earn your own Behind the Music? Not Arlo! The L.A.-based Sub Pop indie poppers know all it takes to make a really good BtM episode is one spectacular onstage blowout. And blow out spectacularly they did: Somewhere around Texas parts, the band's tour with Rilo Kiley—and very possibly their entire career—was cut short by a knockdown, drag-out fight right in the middle of a show that led guitarist and vocalist Nate and bass player Shmedley to head back home in a huff to Los Angeles, while drummer Tom and guitarist and co-vocalist Sean attempted to finish the tour as a twosome. Sub Pop employees do admit there was "a very heated exchange" and can't predict the future of the band for sure, but they do say it will be a sad day for Japanese fans if this is indeed the end; turns out Arlo's music sells like crab-flavored hotcakes in the Land of the Rising Sun. . . . Meanwhile, back at the ranch (i.e., the Showbox), Black Heart Procession (with support from the Magic Magicians, Carissa's Wierd, and Pleaseeasaur) put on a spectacular performance last Wednesday. Those who don't own the very recently released Amore Del Tropico, the band's fourth record, may have felt a little out of the loop as BHP stuck mighty close to the album for the majority of their set. Still, a mixed over- and underage crowd drank it in to the last gorgeously grim drop, and then some. . . . If you loved James Lavelle's U.N.K.L.E. project, with its seminal 1998 release Pysence Fiction (and if you didn't, may we recommend some Q-Tips?) featuring the likes of Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft, and Mike D on guests vocals, you'll be happy to hear Lavelle is finally at work on a follow-up, and has already enlisted the talents of Queens of the Stone Age vocalist Josh Homme. No word on other participants yet, but call us, James, if you want some suggestions. . .

. Meanwhile, the Queens are trying to get PJ Harvey in the studio for their Desert Sessions compilation, due next year. They've already lured Mark Lanegan and members of Ween and Soundgarden out to their little cactus-land; apparently PJ—currently at work on her follow-up to the Mercury Prize-winning Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea—is a huge QOTSA fan and regular show attendee, so it isn't so freaky as it sounds. But this sort of is: A few weeks ago we mentioned that Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, was getting ready to release her first album since 2000's Covers Record; now it turns out she'll be getting help from both Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl on vocals and drums, respectively. It isn't such a leap, seeing as how Pearl Jam producer Adam Kasper is also behind the boards on this outing, but still, we can already imagine Grohl's thunderous percussion and Eddie's growly yowl completely overwhelming scaredy-Cat Chan's quavery vocals and sending her into a fetal position on the studio floor. Poor little kitty. . . . This week's ultimate freaky-bedfellow goes to . . .Third Eye Blind and Andrew W.K.! The Beast in White Jeans (who once again wowed a rabid Graceland crowd last Friday) will make a guest appearance on the apparently-not-retired 3EB's third album, titled Crystal Baller (haw!), which also will feature a guest shot from Moldy Peaches member Kimya Dawson. . . . It's a nice day for a not-so-white- wedding: It seems middle Hanson brother Taylor (a.k.a. The Hot One) was MMM-bopping his 18-year-old bride-to-be straight into the maternity ward; the 19-year-old newlywed and his lady are, five months after their June marriage, the proud parents of one Jordan Ezra Hanson, born on Halloween but announced to the press just this week. Much as we would love to unleash our Planned Parenthood "babies having babies" lecture, we will instead merely wish the Oklahoma boys luck on their next record, due in the spring. . . . We've

already seen Lisa Marie Presley and Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson testify before Congress, but this makes much more sense: Fugazi's Ian McKaye, Patti Smith, and They Might Be Giants' John Flansberg will all speak at the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., Jan. 5-7. It's slated to include "discuss[ion] and debate of issues surrounding digital technology, artists' rights, and the current state of the music industry," which sounds like a real kick in the pants, but we can still hope that Patti and Ian will bust out a little "People Have the Power," can't we? . . . Local boys make good: You can sit in front of MTV2 like a glazed-eyed little monkey for 89 hours, or you can just click onto www.mtv.com/bands/indie to see the Catheters' new video for the song "Nothing." . . . Our favorite Wu-Tang boys, Redman and Method Man, have reportedly optioned the rights to John Hughes' classic geek-fulfillment fantasy Weird Science. So who's your pick for the 2003 stand-in for Kelly "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful" LeBrock? . . . Considering all that Run DMC did for Adidas, it's nice that the shoemakers are returning the favor. The brand is working on a Jam Master Jay memorial sneaker, to feature a picture of the late DJ on the tongue, with all proceeds going to a charity chosen by Jay's surviving family members. Start saving your allowance, kiddos. . . . And in the place where obituaries usually go, we would like to officially mourn the death of Michael Jackson's features. The photo above, taken from a court appearance last week, shows once and for all that nothing remains of the once-gorgeous, proudly Nubian MJ we knew and loved circa Off the Wall—or even Thriller. We nearly cried when we saw this, and Michael probably would have joined us, if only his tear and snot ducts still functioned.

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