I gotta get out more. I gotta spend more time in the office. I need little but I want more.
Still more rumors swirling around Marilyn Manson. Stop it. Spreading rumors is my job. Some weeks ago we told you that the group's deal with Nothing/Interscope was not off, that the postponement of the release (originally skedded March 15) for their big-label debut, Portrait of an American Family, was because they had to reshoot the liner art because they brought in a new bassist. Truth. However -- yes, it is true that Interscope has now declined to distribute the record. I know what those of you who know MM (and I'm sure that's all y'all) are thinking: Industry cowards terrified of any controversy took a listen to, say, "Cake & Sodomy" (or even just its psychotic intro) and said, "Censor this now!" Well, yeah, I suppose so. On the other hand, maybe it's a serial killer thing. But Mr. Manson himself told me last week: "The record is finished. It will not be changed. For any reason." I've heard an advance cassette of the album and -- no, it should not be changed. No reason to. It should be distributed so y'all can hear it, too.
So the album's done, and the deal with Nothing Records is fully intact. A source says that there never was a distribution deal with Interscope. "Nothing with Interscope and this record was ever set in stone." The company has every right to decline to distribute any record for any reason. I mean, there is no law requiring record-company executives to actually have balls (or brains). Let the other distributors begin their bidding war (if they're smart). If they hear what I hear, the album should be on record-store shelves in about two months, which is how long it takes to press and ship. I'll update ya as soon as I can persuade some more sources to go on the record.
On Tuesday Tuen brings something worthwhile (live rock) to the Spot.
Look for a renaissance at Tropics. They're fixing the club up big time (one source calls it "a major facelift"), and they're now staging Thursday night jams and some major-league bands for March and April weekends A Magic City Funk Factory, Raw B. Jae and Liquid Funk, the Wilde Bunch, Reasons, and, of course, more.
The Elysian plays tonight at Musicians Exchange, with Kniption Fit, and at Churchill's on March 12.
"While other girls were playing with their toys/And boys were playing with bugs and guns/I cut my nails and played my scales/And practiced with the faith of a nun" sings Dania Morris on "I Just Want to Be Beethoven," from the cassette Beethoven's Boots. I guess so -- the whole album features clever songwriting, pleasant singing, and dazzling instrumentation, particularly the keyboard sections, which are among the best you'll hear anywhere this year. The energetic, drum-pound heavy remake of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" is worth the price of admission, though that's just a tease for the ten potent originals. A brilliant debut, as the critics would say. Morris celebrates the release with a show and party Saturday at Squeeze.
Pop that cherry, baby, pop, pop that...anyway, this is a first, they say, Jack Off Jill live at the Otherside (2283 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors, 565-5538) tonight (Thursday). Something about "one night only for alternative people with alternative lifestyles." Cuh-ool. After that, the Jackers head to Atlanta to play Midtown Music Hall with Hammerhead.
The mighty Johnny Tonite rocks the Zoo tomorrow (Friday). Their next CD, Time of Arson, is due out soon.
So last week I whined about how horrible it is to try to see Nil Lara at Stephen Talkhouse. Okay. So on March 11, FtN (says here they changed their Forget the Name to just FtN) and Meester Lara (with an acoustic set by Arlan Feiles to open) perform in concert at the Colony Theater. Should be enough room for me there.
Talisman returns to "the only rock club in Kendall" -- Shortstop's -- on Saturday.
Guitar virtuoso and teacher Alex Gomez blows into town from Orlando to tape the last twelve episodes of his blues slide-guitar workshop, which will air this summer across the nation (here in Miami on WLRN-TV). Tory Voodoo (from Jacksonville), Jeff Howell (from Orlando), Ben Andrews (from D.C.), studio cat Bryan LeMar, Lynne Noble Band, and Iko-Iko (no idea where those last two are from) will take part at the closed sessions in the Talkhouse. (I tried to find out more about a Tory Voodoo concert performance but there wasn't time. Check around.) Gomez says his show has gone from a Wayne's World-type thing to a PBS- type thing. I've seen it, it rules.
Tomorrow (Friday) Colors of Illusion play at the Cellblock (what used to be Rock Solid). Call 568-3414.
Last night (after this paper was printed) they debuted, and they play the Talkhouse on March 12, and they don't have a tape, but without hesitation I can tell you, without hearing 'em play a note, that this is a great band. Jodie and the Rodeo it's called, and it's essentially an all-star group fronted by Jodi Horovitz (she outlived her base, the late-great Cactus Cantina). Joel Perry (of F.O.C. fame) plays bass, Dan Warner on guitar, Ben Stivers on keys, and John Yarling drumming. And another guy, on guitar, who was kind enough to phone me up and let me know he's back -- Ben Peeler. Wow. They're working on a CD. More to come.
Jazz hand drummer Bobby Thomas, Jr., heads a drum clinic Saturday afternoon at the Center for the Fine Arts. Dial in at 672-7519.
I hear the Screw thing at Dark Room now happens on Saturdays as well as Tuesdays, which is a fine sign, more power to 'em. Meanwhile, the hottest Tuesday in town has become Bacala at Blue Steel. At least a dozen people, maybe more, recommended it to me just this past week. Organizer Zac says Bacala is not an open mike, but when hotshot local players visit, he will often put them into the jam. This coming Tuesday the event spotlights Sloppy Joe, a brilliant guitarist-singer-songwriter who can also play supreme b-ball when he's not injured or at a screening. The following Tuesday, March 15 that is, the headliner is Diane Ward.
I normally wouldn't mention this because Neil Rogers is such an asshole, but WIOD-AM (610) has just signed the mid-day "talk show" host to a new, five-year contract. According to a press release, "The contract makes Rogers the highest paid terminal, douche-bag, agent provocateur in the history of radio broadcasting." Rogers himself says the deal proves that WIOD and its owner, Cox Broadcasting, "don't have a clue." If you've never heard Uncle Neil, I'll tell ya that he spends four hours every day jabbering about hockey (ice sports are so big in South Florida) and his flatulence problems. He's also a huge fan of the UM football team, and he loves it when you call him up and tell a street joke, like, say, "Tonya Harding and Lorena Bobbitt have formed a security company -- it's called Wack-'n'-Cut." Another of his favorite topics is animal rights. Call him and talk to him about animal abuse or tell him a joke. Do it today.
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Butthorn of the week: Metromover. They're expanding the thing and they can't even run it right now. I know the Metro Transit folks have no problem slacking thanks to their government-mandated monopoly (remember jitneys, which actually got you where you were going in a reasonable amount of time?). But this Metromover -- for you tourists, they're elevated trains that loop downtown -- is ridiculous. On the night of the Stink-Melissa Etheridge concert at the Arena, I went to the train, inserted my quarter, and walked into the turnstile. Not through it, but into it -- it didn't move. The injury wasn't serious enough for a lawsuit, but it hurt nonetheless. Got upstairs and waited for the Outer Loop. And waited and waited. My wife and her friend were on their way up to go to the show. I called Metromover Central and asked if the Outer Loop had shut down or something (I had ridden the Outer just an hour or two earlier). "The whole thing's shut down. You just missed the last Inner Loop train." My wife and her friend missed Melissa's set and had to pay a bunch of money to park over at the Arena. If you can't run the trains in a reasonable way, in a way those of us who paid for Metromover and own it expect, don't expand it. Shut the goddamn thing down.
The media circus: A new publication covering South Florida's original-music scene, Spotlight, should be available at a better record store near you. Vandal appears on the cover of the February issue. It's free. Check it out.
Media circus bonus item: A headline in this past Thursday's Miami Herald read: "Legislature may make kids on bikes wear helmets." Oh, yeah? The legislature and what army?
Pet corner: This Saturday at noon everyone with a conscience is highly encouraged to head up to the Boca Raton Hotel and Club (501 E. Camino Real) to protest the convention of the Cosmetics, Toiletries, and Fragrances Association. Many animal-rights groups will be on hand to point out the way companies such as Gillette blind, burn, poison, and torture various animals. I haven't used a Gillette product in years. I'm sorry I can't do more.