Holy statutory, Batmanthe rock-star molester strikes again! Your disbelieving eyes do not deceive you, dear readers; that is indeed Winona "I was planning on paying for that, Officer" Ryder smooching on just-out-of-short-pants Conor Oberst in this week's People magazine. Even though the publication quotes Oberst"an artist also known as Bright Eyes"as previously stating he thought Winona was "kind of old" and would prefer Natalie Portman, by the look of the super-cozy photos, Queen Amadala just lost her shot. Congratulations, Conor; you are neither a true rock star, nor a man, until you've ridden the Ryde. . . . Speaking of large corporate magazines, local institutions Sub Pop and Pine Street both get shout-outs this week and month, respectively, from two such lovely publications. The April 21 issue of Newsweek features a story on the 15th anniversary of everyone's favorite label, now celebrating, according to their slogan, "10 years of great records" (get it?). Beneath pictures of Kurt Cobain and Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, reporter Bret Begun describes the new "kinder, gentler sound" of acts like the Shins and I&W, and quotes founder Jon (geez, we still call him Jonathan) Poneman at length. Capitol Hill, meanwhile, is the target of some kind of 15 Best Rock Towns in America thing in Blender, which gives love to Double Trouble, the Cha Cha, the corner of Denny and Olive, and KEXP, among others. If you're looking, it's the new one with the White Stripes cover, in which Meg looks pretty foxy and Jack appears to be wearing more makeup than Cher. . . . Also, if it still counts as local, former Seattle residents/current N.Y.C. superstars the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players are in Paper's current Beautiful People issue (and on a rerun of Conan last week, too). . . . We will end the magazine
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bonanza and move on to other things, but not before mentioning that legendary '60s music rag Creem is on the comeback trail. What started awesomely in 1969 Detroit with stories about the then-brand-new-and-amazing MC5 and Stooges had wound down to sad irrelevancy and shut its doors by 1988. The fact that they retained none of their original writersCameron Crowe, Greil Marcus, Lester Bangs, etc.does not bode particularly well, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now. . . . As for shows, well, dunk our butts in holy water and color us convertedwe had such a good time at the Polyphonic Spree on Friday at Graceland, we came back again the next night (and saw a lot of the same faces, too, so we weren't the only ones). Even with its weird Branch Davidian overtones and leader Tim DeLaughter's Scott Stapp-ish messiah complex, our heathen hearts still soared at the sweet harmonies, clap-happy tunes, and general joyful noise of the Spree, whose bare feet and shaggy hairdos kept us from confusing them completely with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. That, and the presence of several very hot girls in the background choral, occasionally enjoying a beer and a cigarette between songs. Anyway, we've never seen that many jaded, pale-faced scenesters actually jump with glee to lines like "Hey, it's the sun, and it makes me shine," and completely forget to retain their poker face. . . . As for this week's upcoming shows, Thursday the 24th at Chop Suey still has Winifred E. Eye and Amy Blaschke on the bill, but the Vells are bailing due to all the Jeremiah Green/Modest Mouse drama, so bartender/Magic Magician/all-around Hero of the 764 John Atkins will step in with a never-before-seen solo set featuring eight new songs of his own. . . . A get well soon, bambino, to Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino, who was rushed to a hospital in Bologna, Italy,
when he began to lose feeling in one arm early in a set and left the stage shaking. It turns out he has a stressed nerve, combined with a bad case of the flu, and will need to rest for a few days. . . . Getting Iggy with it: Canadian electro-hussy Peaches has grabbed the legendary Mr. Pop to guest star on a track called "Kick It" for her upcoming second album. . . . While not undressing in public for shits and giggles (she once again stripped down to her panties in a London club last week), Courtney Love is actually making progress on her next solo record (remember she's, like, a musician?), to be titled America's Sweetheart. According to NME, the album, which is due by late summer, will feature songs like "All the Drugs in the World" and "Pills" (hmmm, we sense a theme), and is produced by ex-4 Non Blondes singer Linda Perry, also of Pink and Christina Aguilera production fame. . . . We recall telling you not too long ago about that covers album of Beck songs done all jazzy style; now it looks like Radiohead are getting the treatment from respected classical pianist Christopher O'Reilly, who will put his own renditions of tracks like "Fake Plastic Trees," "Karma Police," and "Knives Out" on the upcoming album True Love Waits, coming soon to a dentist's waiting room near you. . . . Rejoice! The Projecta.k.a., the band that is Guns 'N Roses, minus Axlhave narrowed their choice for a new lead singer to Sebastian Bach (who recently put a major crimp in his theater career by being fired from the lead of Jesus Christ, Superstar due to "diva-like behavior") and beleaguered ex-Stone Temple Pilot Scott Weiland. Members Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum are reportedly leaning toward the perpetually-addicted Weiland, "provided," according to a spokesperson, "he can do it when he gets out of rehab." . . . Finally, we were excited enough
when Sonic Boom brought a branch to 15th Avenue a few months ago, complete with lots of in-stores. Now Belltown mainstay Wall of Sound is heading up the hill, forsaking their dozen-plus years at Second and Bell for a spot right near Bauhaus at 315 E. Pine. And when we say records, we mean recordsas in big ole black vinyl, not shiny little silver CDs. Look for them to open their doors in early May, along with Confounded Books and Hypno Video, which should make for quite the little alt-media circus maximus at which to fritter away your lunch money.
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