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Last Update: Apr 20, 2008 13:54:59

Apr 20, 2008

Eric Avery to reunite with Jane's Addiction for NME Awards

from the Where are they now? dept.

(from Press Release)

After much speculation in the previous week, ERIC AVERY has agreed to join former band mates Jane's Addiction for a one-night-only performance at the first-ever U.S. NME Awards. The iconic foursome will be crowned with the Godlike Genius Award during the ceremony and performance, to take place at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, April 23. Jane's Addiction is joining the likes of The Clash, New Order, Primal Scream and Manic Street Preachers, who are among the acts to have picked up the Godlike Genius prize at the UK awards.

Avery has continually declined offers to reunite with the band and instead focused on his musical endeavors, most recently, a debut solo LP, "Help Wanted," released last week on Dangerbird Records. "I've chosen to reject the prospects of reuniting in the past for personal and philosophical reasons. I have always considered reunions to be a way to make a quick buck, and it sells short my own experience of it the first time around," Eric Avery attests. He adds, "The reason I started to even consider this is because it's honoring the past instead of trying to recreate it."

NME will bestow this award upon Jane's Addiction because, as they state, "[they've] done more than any other band to introduce American alternative music to the mainstream, founding the touring Lollapalooza Festival and giving what frontman Perry Farrell refers to as the 'alternative nation' a real cultural focus and voice."

posted by tearaway at 01:54:59 PM | More Band News »

Sep 16, 2007

Anthrax's Scott Ian on L.A. INK

from the AC/DC Tribute dept.

This Tuesday, September 18, the High Voltage Tattoo Parlor will open its doors to Scott Ian , main axe-man for the legendary thrash metal band Anthrax! The heavy metal veteran will be appearing on the next episode of TLC’s “L.A. Ink,” which airs at 10PM EST, and will no doubt rock Kat Von D and her crew harder than ever before. More info on “L.A. Ink” is available at http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/la-ink/la- ink.html.

 

In the ultimate heavy metal tribute, Ian will be inked up with a tattoo of another hard rock hero, AC/DC’s Angus Young.

 

Ian commented on his appearance on the show, saying: “Kat Von D is the best and her shop is called High Voltage, so who and where better to get a tattoo of Angus Young?!?!

posted by tearaway at 03:52:14 PM | More Band News »

Marilyn Manson Sells Out

from the If you can't sell tickets... dept.

GENEVA (AFP) - The rustic Swiss village of Kallnach is not the sort of place you would automatically associate with controversial American rocker Marilyn Manson -- but its local speciality has sparked an unlikely collaboration.

The singer's interest has been piqued by one of the village's best known products, the fabled and highly potent liquor absinthe, which has been beloved of artists and writers since the days of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Arthur Rimbaud.

The family-run distillery Matter-Luginbuehl is now collaborating with Manson to produce thousands of bottles of his own brand of absinthe -- "Mansinthe" -- and is finding a worldwide audience.

"Production started in the beginning of August and we have made 6,000 bottles in one month," distillery head Oliver Matter told AFP on Thursday.

Manson, real name Brian Hugh Warner, has created the artwork for the label -- adorned with Gothic script and featuring a green-hued cadaverous-looking man poised to sip from his goblet.

Matter said the end result is a "classic absinthe with a fresh taste," made with various herbs and the all-important wormwood, but without any sugar or colourings.

The 38-year-old star has not yet visited the distillery in person, but was sent samples of different absinthes by its export partner Markus Lion, who has been Manson's supplier for many years, before deciding to which brand he would lend his name.

The collaboration first arose when Lion asked Manson if he would design a label for one of his absinthe bottles, following a concert by the star in the Swiss city of Basel some two years ago.

One bottle of the 66.6 percent proof drink costs 49 Swiss francs (41 dollars, 30 euros) at the distillery's online shop, though Matter said that some 90 percent of production was for export, including Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Greece and Italy.

Ironically, Mansinthe is not yet available in the United States because absinthe is still officially prohibited there, though Matter said he was hopeful this could change by the end of the year.

Absinthe has only been legally produced in Switzerland since 2004, following a ban imposed in 1908 after fears that drinking too much could send you mad or blind.

The drink's "outlaw" status and alleged hallucinogenic properties have long made it sought-after in artistic circles.

Manson told US music magazine Rolling Stone earlier this year that he first really got a taste for the drink during a party with Hollywood actor Johnny Depp in the south of France on Millennium Eve.

"We were ready for the apocalypse, and when it didn't come, we were disappointed, so we drank more absinthe and set off fireworks."

"Since then, I don't drink booze, I drink absinthe," he said.

posted by al at 03:50:30 PM | More Band News »

The Music of Coal

from the Music dept.

This couldn't be more timely considering the recent tragedy. Finally... a collection of Coal Mining songs featuring many well known - The Carter Family, Natalie Merchant, Merle Travis, Darrell Scott, Dock Boggs, Jean Ritchie - and many lesser known chroniclers of life in the coalfields. Many of these songs were done by folks who actually dug the black gold. The collection includes 48 songs total and the sale benefits the Lonesome Pine Council on Youth.

An official launch concert featuring Darrell Scott is scheduled for September 23rd at the legendary Carter Fold in Hiltons, Virginia and this collection will be featured on the Labor Day edition of NPR's All Things Considered.

posted by hillbillynation at 03:48:11 PM | More Music News »

British dwarf's penis gets stuck to hoover

from the What not to do dept.

EDINBURGH (AFP) - A dwarf performer at the Edinburgh fringe festival had to be rushed to hospital after his penis got stuck to a vacuum cleaner during an act that went horribly awry.

Daniel Blackner, or "Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf", was due to perform at the Circus of Horrors at the festival known for its oddball, offbeat performances.

The main part of his act saw him appear on stage with a vacuum cleaner attached to his member through a special attachment.

The attachment broke before the performance and Blackner tried to fix it using extra-strong glue, but unfortunately only let it dry for 20 seconds instead of the 20 minutes required.

He then joined it directly to his organ. The end result? A solid attachment, laughter, mortification and ... hospitalisation.

"It was the most embarrassing moment of my life when I got wheeled into a packed AE with a vacuum attached to me," Blackner said.

"I just wished the ground could swallow me up. Luckily, they saw me quickly so the embarrassment was short-lived."

posted by al at 03:47:45 PM | More Print News »

I broke my arm, but boy am I happy!

from the Fun and Games dept.

Lose a game of chess to a computer, and you could bruise your ego. Lose an arm-wrestling match to a Japanese arcade machine, and you could break your arm.

Distributor Atlus Co. said Tuesday it will remove all 150 "Arm Spirit" arm wrestling machines from Japanese arcades after three players broke their arms grappling with the machine's mechanized appendage.

"The machine isn't that strong, much less so than a muscular man. Even women should be able to beat it," said Atlus spokeswoman Ayano Sakiyama, calling the recall "a precaution."

"We think that maybe some players get overexcited and twist their arms in an unnatural way," she said. The company was investigating the incidents and checking the machines for any signs of malfunction.

Players of "Arm Spirit" advance through 10 levels, battling a French maid, drunken martial arts master and a Chihuahua before reaching the final showdown with a professional wrestler.

The arcade machine is not distributed overseas.

posted by al at 03:46:03 PM | More Print News »

An unusual employment opportunity

from the Tibet dept.

BEIJING (AFP) - Tibetan living Buddhas are no longer allowed to be reincarnated without permission from the atheist Chinese government, state media reported Friday.

The new rules are "an important move to institutionalise the management of reincarnation of living Buddhas," the Xinhua news agency said.

According to the regulations, which take effect on September 1, all reincarnation applications must be submitted to religious affairs officials for approval, Xinhua said.

China is ruled by the Communist Party, which, despite being officially atheist, maintains strict controls over Tibetan Buddhism and all other religions.

Living Buddhas are an important element in Tibetan Buddhism, forming a clergy of influential religious figures who are believed to be continuously reincarnated to take up their positions anew.

Often there is more than one candidate competing to be recognised as the actual reincarnation, and the authority to decide who is the true claimant carries significant power.

This is especially true in the case of the Panchen Lama, the second-most influential figure in Tibetan Buddhism behind the Dalai Lama.

Chinese authorities detained the Dalai Lama's choice as the Panchen Lama in 1995 when the boy was six years old, and he has not been seen in public since.

The Chinese government's choice as the Panchen Lama has meanwhile been paraded around the country in recent years to promote China's rule over his homeland.

China sent troops in to "liberate" Tibet in 1951. The Dalai Lama later fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising and established a government-in-exile in Dharamsala.

posted by al at 03:44:58 PM | More Print News »

Aug 12, 2007

Done promoting Smog, Smog Veil now promotes Green

from the Unveiled Edifices dept.

Chicago, IL, August 7, 2007 ­ Smog Veil Records announces the completion of the Wis Tavern Building (named after the bar that operated on the premises for nearly 40 year). After 14 months of construction the building is an architectural showpiece which illustrates how a historical preservation effort can successfully be wed to a 21st Century sense of aesthetics and functionality.

Originally built in the late 1880s, the edifice is now the first and only single-family residence in the United States that generates its own electrical energy through the use of rooftop wind turbines and solar panels in combination with geothermal heating and cooling, and is certified by the Leadership in Energy And Environmental Design (LEED). LEED certification is a rigorous test used to determine if the building was constructed using green and sustainable practices. The sustainable energy systems incorporated into the structure will generate an estimated 10,000 kilowatts of electricity per year ­ at least half of the building№s energy needs. The system also sports net metering, so that owners, Lisa and Frank Mauceri, can monitor how much electricity is being generated and used. If the system is producing more power than is needed, the meter indicates how much they№re sending back into the City of Chicago energy grid.

In order to realize their dream, the Mauceris teamed up with Wilkinson Blender Architecture. They worked closely with principal architect Michael Wilkinson and Greg Gibson who served as the project№s manager, as well as with renewable energy specialist Bil Becker of the local Aerotecture International firm and Green Project administrator Erik Olsen. Olsen was instrumental in making the Wis Tavern Building one of the case studies in Chicago's Green Permit Program.

The team was also able to successfully advocate a change to Chicago№s notoriously restrictive zoning code that allowed the wind turbines to be placed on the roof and won a grant from the city which helped finance the insulating roof garden. The green roof will minimize water runoff during the winter and block sunlight during the summer.

Eighty percent of materials torn out of the building when it was initially stripped to its walls, were recycled or reused. The original roof jousts were used to build interior staircases and landings. Drywall comprised of 99% recycled material was selected. Insulated glass with a low-e coating was installed, as well as energy-efficient appliances. The terrazzo flooring on the ground level is a composite of recycled glass and pulverized vinyl records from the label's old inventory.

The Chicago Tribune recently ran a feature on the building. "If one of the bands on our label decided to do an impromptu session in our office,І Frank Mauceri told the reporter "they could plug in and do it powered off wind and sunshine. That's pretty crazy to think about."

Preliminary estimates indicate the system will recoup its cost in 10 years or less, depending on energy price increases. For additional technical specifications, illustrations and photographs of the building please visit Smog Veil Records online at SmogVeil.com.

Smog Veil Records was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1991. Artists on the label include Unknown Instructors (with Mike Watt, George Hurley), Pere Ubu, Peter Laughner, Thor and Rocket From The Tombs. Label owners Frank and Lisa Mauceri are spearheading the initiative to Њgreen№ the music industry. Their manifesto is comprised of five precepts: 1) Green and Sustainable Live And Workspace; 2) Move Label Toward Digipaks And The Digital Future; 3) Increase Recycling Efforts; 4) Reduce The Amount Of Paper Used In Promotional And Marketing Campaigns; and 5) Involve The Industry, Artists and Fans.

posted by tearaway at 04:54:16 PM | More Label News »

If only those French would keep to their places

from the Unauthorized authoring dept.

PARIS (Reuters) - Police have arrested a high school student suspected of posting his own translation of the latest Harry Potter book on the Internet weeks ahead of the official French release date, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The 16-year old from the Aix-en-Provence region in southern France was taken into custody after a translation of the book's first three chapters appeared on the Web just days after the English-language release in late July, Le Parisien reported.

"The anti-counterfeiting police discovered the affair and contacted Ms. Rowling's lawyer," said a spokeswoman for publisher Gallimard, which handles the French editions of the Harry Potter novels.

Police were not immediately available for comment.

The official French language version of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is scheduled for release on October 26. The translator is still working on the text, the spokeswoman said.

The seventh chapter of the Harry Potter saga is the fastest selling book in history, publishers say, with some 11 million English-language copies sold in the first 24 hours.

Many French book stores are selling the English-language version ahead of the French language release.

posted by al at 04:51:25 PM | More Know Your Rights »

An unusual employment opportunity

from the Tibet dept.

BEIJING (AFP) - Tibetan living Buddhas are no longer allowed to be reincarnated without permission from the atheist Chinese government, state media reported Friday.

The new rules are "an important move to institutionalise the management of reincarnation of living Buddhas," the Xinhua news agency said.

According to the regulations, which take effect on September 1, all reincarnation applications must be submitted to religious affairs officials for approval, Xinhua said.

China is ruled by the Communist Party, which, despite being officially atheist, maintains strict controls over Tibetan Buddhism and all other religions.

Living Buddhas are an important element in Tibetan Buddhism, forming a clergy of influential religious figures who are believed to be continuously reincarnated to take up their positions anew.

Often there is more than one candidate competing to be recognised as the actual reincarnation, and the authority to decide who is the true claimant carries significant power.

This is especially true in the case of the Panchen Lama, the second-most influential figure in Tibetan Buddhism behind the Dalai Lama.

Chinese authorities detained the Dalai Lama's choice as the Panchen Lama in 1995 when the boy was six years old, and he has not been seen in public since.

The Chinese government's choice as the Panchen Lama has meanwhile been paraded around the country in recent years to promote China's rule over his homeland.

China sent troops in to "liberate" Tibet in 1951. The Dalai Lama later fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising and established a government-in-exile in Dharamsala.

posted by al at 04:50:22 PM | More Print News »

Elton John against Internet

from the Those wacky Brits dept.

Elton John wants the internet shut down because it is destroying music.

The 'Candle in the Wind' singer believes cyberspace is stifling creativity and lowering the standards of popular music.

He told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other from creating stuff.

"Instead people sit at home and make their own records, which doesn't bode well for long-term artistic vision.

"Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet. It would be great to see the internet shut down for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span. I'm sure, as far as music goes, it would be much more interesting than it is today."

Despite describing himself as a "technophobe", Elton has previously used the internet to his own advantage.

His 60th birthday concert at New York's Madison Square Garden in March this year was streamed live over the web.

Elton has also made his entire back catalogue available for digital download.

However, he remains convinced the internet is responsible for slipping standards in the music world.

He said: "In the early 70s there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic. Now you're lucky to find ten albums a year of that quality."

posted by al at 04:49:07 PM | More Music News »

Frankzappastrasse, DE

from the eternal fame dept.

Berlin has named a street honoring Frank Zappa.

Zappa's brother, Bobby Zappa, said the Grammy-winning rocker, who died in 1993, would have been pleased, in a letter of thanks.

Frank-Zappa-Strasse or Frank Zappa Street — formerly Street 13 — lies on the eastern outskirts of Berlin amid empty industrial buildings in what was communist East Germany.

The street is home to Orwo Haus, a former Communist-era film factory that now provides practice studios for more than 160 bands.

Musicians at Orwo Haus campaigned for two years to have the street's name changed. Eighteen bands, including the Frank Zappa cover band Sheik Yerbouti, celebrated the renaming this weekend with an all-night concert for more than 2,800 people.

The Orwo Haus association said it wanted Zappa's name for its street because "he was without taboo, musically versatile, provocative, and didn't allow himself to be captured by capitalistic enterprises."

"I am absolutely certain that he would be very proud to have his name as an address for so many musicians," Bobby Zappa wrote.

posted by al at 04:48:13 PM | More Band News »

Weekly World News Folds, 500 Aliens layed off!

from the End of an era dept.

Publisher American Media Inc. said on Tuesday it will stop printing the Weekly World News, which for 28 years gleefully chronicled the exploits of alien babies, animal-human hybrids and dead celebrities.

The company said in a brief statement it would end the print version of the tabloid newspaper next month but would maintain the online version (www.weeklyworldnews.com).

"Due to the challenges in the retail and wholesale magazine marketplace that have impacted the newsstand, American Media, Inc. today announced it will close the print version of the Weekly World News, effective with the August 27 issue. Weekly World News was AMI's smallest weekly publication," the company said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.

Spokesman Richard Valvo declined further comment.

American Media is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, and is best known as the publisher of the National Enquirer. The company announced last month it was exploring the sale of five of its 16 magazines as part of a strategy to focus on celebrity weeklies and lifestyle magazines.

The Weekly World News, which boasted it was "The World's Only Reliable Newspaper," reveled in shocking and almost always exclusive reports about extra-terrestrials, ghosts, scoundrels and scientific discoveries, such as the cure for lovesickness found on the walls of an ancient Mexican monument.

Bat Boy, the half-bat, half-human child found in a cave, was a regular feature. After the September 11 attacks, the tabloid reported he had been enlisted in the hunt for Osama bin Laden because of his special cave-dwelling skills.

The current online version reports that Mother Nature has endorsed Al Gore for president and other recent headlines include: "Man bothered by alien telemarketers" and "Dentist uses UFO metal in patient's tooth"

AMI reported a $160 million net loss for 2006 and is struggling with $1 billion of debt and plummeting circulation. It said in an SEC filing in March that sales of the Weekly World News dropped to 83,000 in 2006 from 153,000 in 2004, while circulation of the National Enquirer fell to 802,000 in 2006 from 1.2 million in 2004.

The company has no publicly traded stock but its bonds are publicly traded.

posted by al at 04:47:14 PM | More Print News »

Jul 24, 2007

Checkers is now even less interesting than when Grandpa let you

from the draughts = checkers dept.

After 18 years of practice, computers have finally conquered the game of draughts.

The result, described as a "truly significant advance in artificial intelligence", is a draughts programme which cannot be beaten.

Draughts, known as checkers in America, is a popular board game with a history that dates back 5,000 years. Disc-shaped counters move diagonally on a chequered board one square at a time and jump over an opponent's pieces to capture them. Counters that reach an opponent's end of the board are crowned "kings" and can then move backwards as well as forwards.

The game is essentially simple, but working out responses to every possible move meant sifting through 500 billion-billion (five followed by 20 zeroes) different play positions.

An average of 50 computers were run together every day for years at a time to complete the programme, known as Chinook. At peak periods, more than 200 computers were in use.

Scientists led by Dr Jonathan Schaeffer, from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, sought the help of top-level draughts players to programme the computers.

Chinook now contains all the information needed to predict the best move to play in every situation of a game. Even making no mistakes, the best an opponent taking on the programme could achieve would be a draw.

Dr Schaeffer, whose team describe the programme in the journal Science, said: "I think we've raised the bar - and raised it quite a bit - in terms of what can be achieved in computer technology and artificial intelligence. With Chinook, we've pushed the envelope about one million times more than anything that's been done before."

Dr Schaeffer, who chairs the University of Alberta's Department of Computing Science, started the Chinook project in 1989, with a view to winning the human world checkers championship.

Chinook lost the championship match in 1992, but won two years later, becoming the first computer programme to win a human world championship in any game - a feat recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records.

posted by al at 09:22:38 PM | More Print News »

Wasn't something like this in a Ramones movie?

from the Uriah Heep dept.

HELSINKI (Reuters) - A Finnish researcher is to study fish in an aquarium while a rock group performs nearby, to see if the sound causes any ill-effects or distress.

Bands including aging rockers Uriah Heep will perform on Friday night to about 3,000 fans in a tent just a couple of dozen metres away from the aquarium.

"I will be looking for any abnormal behavior or activity," said researcher Mikko Erkinaro.

The 500,000-liter tank is home to salmon, trout, pike and perch and other species common in Finland's brackish coastal waters.

"It could be quite nasty to arrange such an aquarium and a performance venue (so close)," Erkinaro said, "especially when the (band) is a bit old-fashioned.

posted by al at 09:22:01 PM | More Tour News »

Jul 19, 2007

Two, Two vices in ONE product!

from the Sex and chaw dept.

A condom flavoured with the popular mixture of betel nut and tobacco known as paan is to go on sale in India, newspapers said Tuesday. State-owned company Hindustan Latex has already tested the pungent and bitter mixture on their main market, sex workers, who preferred it to other flavours such as banana and chocolate, the Hindustan Times reported "The community loved it as most of the sex workers chew paan," Sanjeev Gaikwad, a director at advocacy group Family Health International who helped launch the new condom. The condoms will be sold to the public later this year, but sex workers will be given supplies immediately.

posted by al at 05:36:53 PM | More Print News »

Jul 10, 2007

Unsigned Band on the Wal-Mart shelves

from the Lucky Dogs dept.

Five Times August is set to re-release a remixed/remastered and retitled version of its first album, “The Independent” (originally called “ Fry Street ”) on July 24, 2007.  In addition to the remixing and remastering, the album will officially see national brick-and-mortar distribution with the re-release via Wal-Mart.  The difference between this album and other CD’s in the rack beside it? No record label of any kind has anything to do with it.

posted by tearaway at 10:49:47 PM | More Band News »

Bono AND Bob Geldorf CAN'T Be Wrong

from the Why pop stars will never save the earth. dept.

LONDON (Reuters) - More famous for Learjets and limousines than green living, pop stars performing at Saturday's Live Earth environmental concerts face widespread cynicism from fans, commentators and campaigners alike. Built on the model of the Live Aid famine relief gigs of 1985 and Live 8 anti-poverty concerts in 2005, Live Earth aims to raise awareness about climate change and encourage people to live greener lives. There is little doubt that the shows, starting in Sydney and ending in Rio de Janeiro, will be the focus of the world's media, and millions of people, on the day.

posted by al at 10:44:27 PM | More Print News »

Jul 6, 2007

Obituary Exclusive I-Tunes Promotion

from the Digital Death dept.

Candlelight Records together with I-Tunes will premiere the first song from Obituary's upcoming new album Xecutioner's Return via an advance single. "Evil Ways" will be available for purchase starting July 31 and for fans will be the first and only advance listen of the album set to hit North American stores on August 28.

posted by kittydeathstar at 12:16:53 PM | More Music News »