The Week In Rock

White Stripes fans in Japan are in for a big let down, as the shows in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya that were scheduled for the next few days have been cancelled. A post on the pop combo’s website revealed that, "Jack White is suffering from an acute vocal cord problem." I guess truth really doesn’t make a noise now, eh Jack? To help aid his recovery, doctors have forbidden him to sing or even speak for the next two weeks, which ought to give him a nice break from shrieking and yowling to work on that Coca- Cola jingle he’s doing. In related news, Meg White has jumped on the bandwagon too, with her new role as the face of designer Marc Jacobs’ newest campaign. So what gives? I thought this band was supposed to be anti-corporate and anti-The Man. But anyways, the band has expressed its desire to make up the missed tour dates as soon as possible. In case you’re going to be in the southern hemisphere, the band will continue their scheduled Big Day Out Festival beginning on the 20th of this month in New Zealand. If not, you can just satisfy yourself with the Coke ads and fashion spreads. As for me, well, in the words of Jack White himself, “I’m lonely, but I ain’t that lonely yet.”

Another pop combo has been shaking things up lately, but this one is a little closer to home. It should be mentioned that they’re a lot better, but hey, that’s just one person’s opinion. Portland’s own Quasi is working on a new record, due out on the Touch and Go label on March 21. Entitled When the Going Gets Dark, the record will feature a more sonically branched out Quasi than we’re used to. "I suppose it’s not going to be earth-shattering," Sam Coomes told Pitchfork Media.

"Originally I was calling it ‘neoclassicism’ – not like Mozart classicism, but classic rock, or even jazz or reggae – all the records that are sort of band-oriented, you know, drums and bass and guitar and piano … before all kinds of fancy production and electronics and shit like that started kind of dictating the sounds of records. We didn’t stick entirely to that in the end, but it’s more like that – just sort of guitar, drums, bass, singin’ – simple instrumentation." After a seemingly long period of side projects, Janet Weiss being busy with Sleater Kinney and barely any Portland shows, it sure is nice to hear from everyone’s favorite twosome. I was beginning to worry that it was over. At least now there’s hope that this year’s record releases won’t be as lousy as last year. Keep your fingers crossed.

XM Satellite Radio users, get ready! Bob Dylan is coming to host his very own weekly show, with his own personal playlist, guest interviews and unintelligible, marble-mouthed commentary. Now my stepdad, the only person I have ever met who actually has satellite radio, can listen to an hour of Dylan, who he hates anyway! He came here to see some folk music, not a pop band! I can feel the excitement already. In all seriousness, however, the Dylan-hosted program, debuting in March, promises to give listeners insight into the musical taste and, indeed, even the mind of the legend.

"Songs and music have always inspired me," Dylan said in a press release. "A lot of my own songs have been played on the radio, but this is the first time I’ve ever been on the other side of the mic. It’ll be as exciting for me as it is for XM." Sure, Bob. Enjoy your new day job.

Good news for Nirvana fans is just around the corner, and I don’t mean Courtney Love’s house getting repossessed, either. If you felt like Hype! spent too much time talking about The Fastbacks and Tad (shame on you!) a new Nirvana documentary is in the works, and will feature extensive interviews with Kurt Cobain, culled from tapes recorded by journalist Michael Azerrad. These tapes were later used to write the authoritative Nirvana biography “Come As You Are.”

"I worked with Michael to cull an approximately 95-minute audio track from these interviews,” the film’s director, AJ Schnack, told NME. “While I’m not sure that ‘narrated’ is exactly the right word, you will be listening in on conversations between Kurt and Michael, with Kurt telling his life story for that book. There are no additional interviews with other figures from Kurt’s life, just Kurt speaking, with an occasional question or comment from Michael." After last year’s mostly Kurt Cobain-based (and mostly boring, by the way) Gus Van Sant movie, Last Days, an actual Nirvana documentary should be a breath of fresh air.