Superstars in our midst? NME is reporting this week that TIM BURGESS of the Charlatans has been popping up incognito on Internet chat rooms and websites, aimlessly talking to fans without revealing his true identity. Makes ya wonder if there are other mega-stars roaming around on our usual hangouts... maybe they're right here on our website... maybe they're members of our mailing list... maybe we'll actually find Richey James... maybe I'm Thom Yorke... the mind boggles.

More Bad News

It seems that all that we've been reporting on lately is sad news. Unfortunately, we're not done: the UK music world has lost two important figures over the weekend.

JEAN EAVIS, the wife of Michael, passed away from cancer over the weekend. The Eavis' are the founders and organizers of the Glastonbury Festival, whose 1999 date looms less than a month away. The Eavis' had previously stated that they would turn over control of the festival in the New Millenium -- there is no word yet whether the loss of Jean Eavis will alter this year's agenda.


SFA's Gruff's Father Passes Away

On a bit of sad news, we also need to report on the death of Welsh Councillor and noted poet Ioan Bowen Rees, who passed away last Wednesday. Rees is likely better known to many Excellentians as the father of SUPER FURRY ANIMALS frontman Gruff.

Elektra Drops Luna

A bit of bad news for fans of Dean Wareham: LUNA have been dropped from Elektra Records, on the eve of the scheduled release of their next album. The band, which formed from the ashes of GALAXIE 500, are currently shopping around to secure a new deal. Advance promo copies of the new album HAVE been released, so grab them up while you can.

Love and Rockets Split

Another day, another break-up... this time it's LOVE AND ROCKETS, who announced today that their current string of concerts will be their last ever. After splitting duties for the past year between the much-touted Bauhaus reunion and their own album, "Lift," the band are now hanging it up entirely in order to concentrate fully on side projects. Check the TOURS page for news and details on the FINAL shows EVER from Love and Rockets.

The Verve Split

THE VERVE have split. It's essentially been in the cards ever since Nick McCabe walked out of the band's tour for "Urban Hymns," but now it's official. Richard Ashcroft is in studio currently working on a new record, with Verve drummer Pete Salisbury in tow. The rest of the band are all currently involved with differing projects, though Simon Jones has told the NME not to rule out further collaborations in the future.

Donna Leaves Elastica

Well, its official -- DONNA MATTHEWS has left ELASTICA. Rumours have been long circulating about a massive rift between Matthews and Justine Frischmann being the cause of the nearly half decade wait for Elastica's sophomore release.


Elvis Costello US Dates

Still more good news on the touring front! ELVIS COSTELLO has announced a new string of North American dates this spring, to coincide with the annual Guinness Fleadh Festival. Besides the 4 dates of Fleadh, Costello will also be playing upscale theaters throughout late May and early June. The Fleadh Festival, which features ex-Pogue Shane MacGowan as well as Costello, makes 4 stops this year (San Fran, Chicago, Boston, & New York.) Check the tours page for the full itinerary.


Studio Check

There's a bevy of studio activity afoot right now. Here's a look at some of the bands in the creative process as we speak:

MANSUN have begun work on their third album, the follow-up to "Six," which was just released in the U.S. this week. Initial reports indicate the band's heading for a more straight-forward approach with this one.

THE CHARLATANS have completed construction of their new personal studio, and are hard at work on their first album to be recorded since the untimely death of keyboardist Rob Collins. Expect an August release, we're told.


Pet Shop Boys Finish Up Album

Dotmusic is reporting that the new PET SHOP BOYS album is nearly finished, and features vocal contributions from KYLIE MINOGUE.