Free Ian!

Lovable, huggable Monkey boy IAN BROWN gets released from the pokey this week on good behavior, after serving half of his sentence in Strangeways Prison for his infamous airborne antics earlier this year on a trans-European flight. Brown has cancelled all pending tour plans to instead begin work on his second solo album. In the meantime, we can look forward to a one-off single with Brown and U.N.K.L.E., due out in the UK in February.

SFA Ink a US Deal

It's certainly a bit overdue, but the SUPER FURRY ANIMALS have secured a new US record deal with the rising American indie label Flydaddy (home to the Olivia Tremor Control, among others.) The second SFA album, "Radiator," (released in the UK in 1997,) will finally see a stateside release this March. There are plans to package a limited number of the release with "Outspaced," the SFA b-sides/rarities album recently out in Europe.

Placebo Suck! Placebo Suck! (no, they don't)

PLACEBO got involved into a bit of a backstage row with Limp Bizkit while appearing at New York station K-ROCK's annual Low Dough Show. Apparantly, Placebo followed right after Kid Rock, whose stage show included strippers and midgets and the like. Placebo frontman Brian Molko took to the stage apologizing for their lack of "strippers and ponies." This apparantly was not the right thing to say in front of Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, who was emcee-ing the affair.


Embrace And Gene May Lose US Record Deal

Here's another one off the rumour mill: we've been hearing insider whispers that the next UK bands shortlisted to lose their record deals in the States are EMBRACE (who were planning a US tour in '99,) and GENE (who are readying their next album now.) Again, these are just rumours, but you might want to secure those importer connections now.

Love & Rockets Interview

It's the day after Love and Rockets' penultimate show on their mini-tour about the U.S. to promote their latest record, Lift. Over 1,000 people (not all wearing Bauhaus t-shirts) turned out for free show in Anaheim, California, that more than exceeded their expectations. The band threw themselves into selections from Lift (RIP 20 C, Delicious Ocean, Holy Fool) and included some surprises -- a classic (Mirror People) and a wholly unexpected cover of T-Rex's 20th Century Boy (most recently covered by Placebo for the film "Velvet Goldmine"). Daniel Ash, David J, and Kevin Haskins had just finished a photo shoot in the offices of Red Ant Records in West Hollywood. They were extremely positive about sitting down for an interview, not minding at all that they were inside while outside the cloudless, 85-degree December day passed them by.

Interview by Lisa Y. Garibay


Bjork Rejects Rumors

NME is reporting that BJORK has rejected a number of recent rumors about her career that have been circulating in the press. According to the NME report, Bjork denies that she is thinking about retiring from releasing music as a result of her repeated run-ins with stalkers. She is also denying reports that she will release a side-project album during 1999 consisting entirely of love songs.

Manics Sign US Deal.

The MANIC STREET PREACHERS have a new U.S. home on Virgin America. Their current album, "This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours," released several months ago in the U.K. will get an overdue U.S. release on March 23, 1999. The band may also be touring the U.S. in support of the album.


On the final night of their fourth and final U.S. tour of 1998, I spoke with Ross, Will, and Wojciech from Symposium. The band were in a good spirits, having just come offstage, and knowing that they would by flying back to London the next morning. The previous time they had been through the Metro, James Iha was in the house, and Ross had seemed a little bit starstruck at the sight of one of Chicago's best known pop stars milling about. He probably expected Michael Jordan to waltz by next. So I began by asking them who else they've gotten a chance to meet while touring....

Interview by Stuart Forrest Reid


Bluetones Online Chat

Mark Morriss of THE BLUETONES will be answering questions on the Message Board at the Official Bluetones site around 3pm UK time tomorrow, 12/4/98. Go there by clicking here.

Catatonia Return to the US

CATATONIA are set to return to the U.S. in February for a promotional jaunt, and may play a few shows while they are here. Excellent Online will let you know the details as soon as they are available.