Music World Happenings

This term is rapidly drawing to a close, which points toward good times in the future. And everybody knows that nothing makes good times like good music, of which there is plenty going on. Aside from the slew of excellent concerts occurring around town, there is a lot happening on a larger scale as well, no matter what kind of music you’re into. So, from hip-hop to ’60s pop, there’s something to sate the cravings of any music lover.

Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys are planning on releasing a new album this summer. After being involved in a sampling lawsuit back in ’02, they’d been laying low, with no releases since their 1999 greatest hits comp, The Sounds of Science. Now, maybe there’s hope for us to be delivered from Eminem and his unchallenged hold on mainstream rapping by white dudes. The Beastie Boys may not have the unit-shifting muscle of Mathers, but their finesse and skill is unquestionable, as anyone who remembers further back than four years knows.

Beach Boys

Some more “boys” are planning on releasing an album this year. The Beach Boys’ unreleased masterpiece Smile is slated to come out this fall, 37 years after it was created by reclusive genius Brian Wilson.

Wilson expected his work, recorded with session musicians while the other Beach Boys were on tour, to surpass Pet Sounds and upstage the then-rulers of the pop music world, the Beatles. Despite Brian’s lush composition, avant-garde lyrics, studio wizardry and instrumental exploration, the project was shelved due to Wilson’s mental instabilities and drug problems.

Now, he has returned to the studio to reassemble and mix the voluminous masters, and plans to tour with his backing band and perform the album in its entirety.

A fansite, the Smile Shop, reports the track listings thus: “Our Prayer,” “Gee,” (aka “How I Love My Girl”), “Heroes and Villains,” “Barnyard,” (suite incorporating “Do You Like Worms,” “Bicycle Rider,” “Heroes and Villains” and “Barnyard”), “The Old Master Painter,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “Cabinessence,” “Wonderful,” “Look,” “Child Is The Father Of The Man,” “Surf’s Up,” “I’m In Great Shape,” “Workshop,” (incorporating “I Wanna Be Around” and “Friday Night”), “Vegetables,” “Holiday,” “Windchimes,” “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow,” “I Love To Say Da-Da” and “Good Vibrations.”

Sadly, there are no tour dates for the U.S. as yet, but the release of the album (which I have to strain to listen to in crappy MP3 format) should be enough to make Beach Boys fans cream themselves with excitement.

Queens of the Stone Age

Latest developments in the Queens of the Stone Age drama department: Nick Oliveri, bassist and close friend of lead singer and guitarist Josh Homme, stated that he was in fact forced out of the group.

“Queens of the Stone Age, as we all know it, is no more,” said an obviously disappointed Oliveri in an official statement on his Mondo Generator Website. “The concept was simple: A ROCK BAND, selfless, mindless, ego-free, unprotected, about danger, sex and no-bullshit rock ‘n’ roll. You know what happens when a pure and original rock band gets polluted, poisoned by hunger for power, and by control issues? Things get really out of control. I’m noticing that people start fighting for control, especially when they realize they have no control. And what ever happened to loyalty?”

Despite this expression of desire to remain in the group, Homme continues to stick to the “number of incidents occurring over the last 18 months” story that he originally issued. He and Oliveri had been musically involved since their youths, adding to my suspicions that Josh Homme is a jerk, which was previously based solely on the fact that he looked like one.

David Crosby

David Crosby (of Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash fame), was arrested last weekend when an employee of the Manhattan hotel in which he was staying allegedly came across a loaded gun, knives and pot in Crosby’s suitcase. He was ordered to pay a $3,500 fine and return to court. This makes me nervous about going to hotels. Why were people looking through his bag? Shouldn’t the contents be private, even if they are weaponry and drugs?

Beyonc퀌�’s Band

Although pop diva Beyonc퀌� may suck individually, her backing band is a different story. On March 2, guitarist Shaun Carrington, bassist Kern Brantley and drummer Nisan Stewart came upon a 91-year old man being carjacked at knifepoint. The elderly man was able to resist the thief’s efforts to steal his wallet, buying enough time for the band to arrive and dramatically swerve their van in front of the fleeing, stolen vehicle. At this point, an employee from a nearby drugstore entered the fracas and physically detained the criminal until authorities arrived. (Beyonc퀌�’s label undoubtedly plans on basing a three-part film trilogy on the event, in which the backing band joins up with the elderly gentleman to form an unstoppable crime-fighting foursome set in a post-apocalyptic retro-future.)

Sonic Youth

New Sonic Youth is coming! The alt-rock gods’ follow-up to 2002’s Murray Street, Nurse is due out June 7. Although some were known to loudly proclaim the faults of this last masterpiece, many more found it an excellent example of the mastery of this legendary group, and praised it widely. The new long-player has ten tracks and will be released, naturally, on Geffen.

Sum 41

Sum 41’s immature antics, while previously harmless, managed to run afoul of a very uptight square in the form of Michael Sudore. Sudore is suing the pop-punkers for damages of $6 million over an incident involving a hot dog that the group launched at the man at a baseball game. That’s not where the problem lies, however; Sum 41 taped the incident and it found its way onto their 2002 “Does This Look Infected?” DVD.

Sudore claims that he has experienced trauma from the incident and his reputation has been tarnished by the sale of every DVD since, with his home improvement business suffering as a result of his less-than-flattering portrayal on the disc. These outlandish claims have drawn no comment from Sum 41 or its label.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne has admitted his fear that he may never be able to perform on stage again. After his quad bike accident a short time ago, he was hospitalized with eight broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a punctured lung, crushed neck vertebrae and a severe concussion. He left the hospital with a metal plate in his shoulder and an addiction to painkillers prescribed to him after the accident.

“I’m really frightened because music is the love of my life,” Ozzy said. If this is the way Ozzy’s musical life ends, then I’m sorely disappointed. How lame can one get? A quad bike accident? That’s a pretty weak way for the Prince of Darkness to bow out of the music world. Still, in his shape, it’s lucky that he’s alive at all.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash’s relatives are blocking a plan for “Ring of Fire” to be used in a hemorrhoid commercial. The song’s co-writer, Merle Kilgore, gave permission for the track to be used by advertisers, but Cash’s family had different ideas.

“He [Kilgore] started talking about this moronic tie-in without talking to any of us,” Roseanne, Cash’s daughter, explained. “The song is about the transformative power of love and that’s what it has always meant to me and that’s what it will always mean to the Cash children.” Kilgore maintains that Cash joked about the song’s relation to hemorrhoids when it was written. I’m sure he did, Merle. I’m sure that’s EXACTLY what he had in mind.

Smashing Pumpkins

Billy Corgan released a statement on his Web site that placed the blame for the Smashing Pumpkins’ breakup on virtuoso guitarist James Iha’s shoulders.

“The truth of the matter is James Iha broke up the Smashing Pumpkins, not me,” the washed-up singer blubbered. Previously, the blame was assumed by the considerably larger shoulders of Corgan’s ego.