Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Music News & Notes

Barenaked Singer To Go Solo

Singer-guitarist Steven Page has left the quirky Canadian band the Barenaked Ladies.

This news comes several months after drug charges against Page were dropped in the U.S. His arrest came after the band, known for its clean-cut image and whimsical lyrics, released an album of children's songs titled, "Snacktime."

The band's Web site said Wednesday that Page will pursue solo projects, including theatrical opportunities.

Page, his girlfriend and her roommate were charged with drug possession in July after police found cocaine at an apartment in New York state. In late October, all three secured a deal to have charges dropped if they stayed out of trouble for six months.

Page wished the band the best.

"These guys are my brothers," he said in the online statement. "We've grown up together over the past 20 years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future."

The band was formed in Toronto and released 12 albums, producing hits such as "If I Had $1,000,000," "Brian Wilson" and "Too Little, Too Late."

The band will continue on without Page, entering the studio in April 2009 to record a new album.


Faith No More Reunites, European Dates Planned

Faith No More has announced its first live performances since the band split up in 1998. The band is scheduled to play a series of European festival dates this summer, according to a statement from frontman Mike Patton's publicist.

No North American Faith No More dates are scheduled at this time. Patton and frequent collaborator Rahzel will perform at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in April, despite speculation about a Faith No More appearance.

Faith No More's biggest single, "Epic," reached #9 on the Hot 100 in 1990. "Midlife Crisis" earned the band the top spot on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1992.


Pumpkins, Hanson, Cheap Trick, Fountains Of Wayne Supergroup Talks Release

Newly-formed power pop supergroup "Tinted Windows" have set an April 21 release date for their debut self-titled album (onS-Curve). The band members are: singer Taylor Hanson of Hanson, guitarist James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins, bassist Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne and drummer Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick.

"Even though it seems really sudden to everybody else, we've been working on making this happen for a while," Schlesinger told "Taylor and I have been friends forever and started talking about it seriously about it three years ago. Two years ago, James was in on it."

The three were already writing material as they pondered who to add as a drummer.

"We kept trying to brainstorm who could play like Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick," Schlesinger continues. "But then it just seemed obvious we should at least try Bun E. Carlos."

They sent the veteran drummer some demo tracks and, to their surprise, "he was into it. Fountains of Wayne had opened for Cheap Trick a couple of times, but this was the first time any of us had really worked with him."

The biggest struggle for the band was trying to make time where everybody could be together in the same room to record. Hanson lives in Tulsa, Schlesinger and Iha in New York and Carlos outside of Chicago. Between touring, recording and writing with all their other groups, Tinted Windows were able to secure out a month total of recording time early last year at Stratosphere Sound Studios in New York, which Iha and Schlesinger co-own with Ivy's Andy Chase.

The result is an album combination of mostly '70s rock and power-pop, with Hanson's vocals leading the way on cuts like "Kind of a Girl" and "Messing with My Head." Schlesinger wrote the bulk of the 11-track "Tinted Windows," while he and Iha produced the majority of it.


CODE: 'Resplendent Grotesque' Cover Artwork Unveiled

The cover artwork for "Resplendent Grotesque", the second album from CODE — the British/Norwegian black metal project featuring bassist/backing vocalist Viper (a.k.a. Vicotnik from DHG), guitarist/songwriter Aort, drummer Adrian Erlandsson (AT THE GATES, CRADLE OF FILTH) and vocalist Kvohst (DØDHEIMSGARD) — can be viewed below.

Commented the band: "[The artwork was] created, painted and lovingly slaved over by the enigmatic, brilliant and cult artist Stephen Kasner. We are eternally grateful and blessed for his vivid and inspired portrayal of our music. As the man himself remarked, 'I feel very successful in channeling the emotions and ideas, in my own way, as they were described to me. And of course, your music was more than enough to evoke the demons. They have made themselves clearly known in these works, I am certain.'

"We hope you admire it as much as we do."

"Resplendent Grotesque" will be released in Norway on April 6 via Tabu Recordings. The rest of Europe will receive the CD on May 4. A U.S. release date has not yet been announced.

According to the band, the follow-up to 2005's "Nouveau Gloaming" will contain "songs of necrospiritual dust and desertion, crafted by bony hands in blackbird gloves." Aort previously stated about the CD, "Adrian completely devastated the drums for this recording and Vicotnik has manageed to really outdo himself with his most inspired bass work yet. I think we have all raised the bar with this recording and we are itching to get these morbid hymns out to you."

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