DEVO ACKNOWLEDGE DEBT TO STONES31 Jul 2007

Performancecrop The next issue of MOJO magazine (out tomorrow) is a Rolling Stones spectacular, featuring a Keith Richards exclusive and a panel of stars selecting the 50 Greatest Stones Songs, while online, we’ll be providing you with some of the star encomia that arrived too late for inclusion. Today, enjoy Jerry Casale from Devo’s appreciation of Memo From Turner, Jagger’s solo nugget from the Performance soundtrack, featuring mean slide licks by Ry Cooder.

Click MORE for Jerry Casale on Memo From Turner

Jerry Casale (Devo): “I’d gone to see Performance in 1970 because I wanted to see what Mick Jagger would do in a movie. It was mind-blowing when Memo From Turner came on. I was a student at Kent State University, playing blues in a group called The Numbers Band, I’d just met Mark [Mothersbaugh] and had just starting hatching ideas about what Devo would be.

“Performance and Memo From Turner were inspirational because from the beginning Devo was an audio-visual hybrid where we saw these things not as afterthought but as basically the substance intertwined. Memo From Turner was like the first music video and its expressionism informed the film’s narrative. Musically, it’s like Jagger doing post-modern blues lyrics (‘Weren’t you at the Coke Convention back in 1965?’); I love this kind of free association he does. And it’s always coming from this kind of satiric, accusatory, disgusted point of view, like a wild animal that’s not gonna let you off the hook!

“It was fashionable to not like the Stones during New Wave but we thought that Satisfaction was the greatest rock’n’roll song ever written. That’s why we deconstructed it and mutated it and had to get permission from Mick Jagger because we’d twisted it up so much. When we played it to him, he danced around to it. There’s Mick Jagger being Mick Jagger in an office in front of a fireplace dancing to a boom box with an audio-cassette of Devo’s Satisfaction.”

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KEITH: DID HE REALLY SNORT HIS DAD?30 Jul 2007

Keithcrop Keith Richards – currently the subject of a $7.3m bid for his memoirs – reveals all in the new issue of MOJO magazine, out on Wednesday. Among startling revelations regarding the “hazing” of Brian Jones, his initial lack of enthusiasm for (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, and his problems getting clean of heroin in the ’70s and ’80s, Keith delivers the truth behind the recent ashes-inhaling controversy.

Click MORE for more tantalising Keef-orientated tidbits…

Harper Collins and Little, Brown editors will be scouring the new MOJO for pointers as to what their millions of publishing dollars are going to get them. So let’s do them a favour and flag up the highlights.

On the fact that he was on Mark Chapman’s infamous “list”: “Other people’s shopping doesn’t interest me, hahaha!”

On Brian Jones: “He just became a pain in the fucking arse.”

On combining sport and smack: “Wouldn’t dream of going skiing without a good shot!”

On the snorting of the paternal remains: “I opened his box up and said, ‘Jesus, I’ve got to do something with Dad.’”

Find out if he inhaled in the new MOJO – on sale Wednesday August 1.

Meanwhile, discover what Keith gets up to when Mick’s not looking on these elegantly wasted outtakes from 1977…

Posted by Danny Eccleston at 05:38PM | Leave a Comment (0)
IS THIS THE WORST RECORD COVER OF THE YEAR?26 Jul 2007

Pumpkinscrop_2

We’re still reeling from the excrescence that is the new Smashing Pumpkins album cover. With its impressive combination of bland execution and pretentious “concept”, it takes the biscuit – although it could be argued that it represents the Pumpkins’ hectoring, supercilious but ultimately rather tedious frontman, Billy Corgan, rather well. It prompted the MOJO office to wonder, Has there been a worse album cover this year?

Click MORE for our Top 5 of the year so far, and for a chance to volunteer your own.

Vancover
1) Department Of Can’t Be Arsed #1: Van Morrison – The Best Of, Volume 3
Matches the overall willthisdo?ness of the project with cut and paste artwork and various photos of Van saying, “Fuck off, don’t buy this record.”

Chiefsalbum

2) Department Of No Oil Paintings: Kaiser Chiefs – Yours Truly, Angry Mob
Number one: take those scary men away! Number two: is he winking, or does he have an eye infection? Number three: Nick “Peanut” Baines! Arrrgh!

Wolfalbum

3) Department of Can You Handle This? Can You? Eh?: Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position

A grown man in children's clothes poses on a miniature Merry Go Round! "Aren’t I daring?" wee Paddy appears to be saying. Go home, you silly man!

Findlayalbum_2

4) Department of Can’t Be Arsed #2: Findlay Brown – Separated By The Sea
Crappy, twee computer graphics not even hinting at the wonders within. You could say it’s indicative of the lack of money spent on album covers these days, but please... File with all album covers that feature the ubiquitous font that turns into flowers, birds, trees, ghetto-blasters etc.

Perryalbum

5) Department Of I'm So Cosmic: Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party - Ultra Payloaded
Previously rejected by George Clinton for being “too tacky and bonkers”.

Posted by Danny Eccleston at 04:37PM | Leave a Comment (3)
STEVE EARLE TO TELL ALL AT CAMBRIDGE

Earlecrop American roots rock’s most colourful figure, Steve Earle, is to submit to an “audience with”-style grilling at this weekend’s Cambridge Folk Festival. The MOJO interview, as it is billed, takes place tomorrow (Friday, October 1, 2007) at midday in the so-called “Club Tent”. Take your scribbled questions and pints of scrumpy and get settled in early.

Click MORE for more Steve Earle news, including a preview of his October album…

Earle – who recently revived his celebrity status in his role as “Waylon” in ace HBO cop show The Wire – will be talking to MOJO’s Phil Sutcliffe. Topics will include music (a protégé of Townes van Zandt, Earle took country-rock into the mainstream with ’80s albums Guitar Town and Copperhead Road), politics (Earle’s John Walker’s Blues, from 2002’s superb Jerusalem album, bravely spoke with the voice of the American-born Taliban suspect) and his up-and-down career.

Earle, married six times, struggled with heroin addiction throughout the ’80s and ’90s, and served a year for heroin possession in 1994-95. Since then, the quality of his output has been consistently high, with eclectic roots (El Corazón, 1997), pure bluegrass with the Del McCoury Band (The Mountain, 1999), genre-bending contemporary rock singer-songriting, (Jerusalem) and pure protest balladry (The Revolution Starts… Now, 2004) all on the menu.

Earle’s latest album, Washington Square Serenade (out in October) is the singer’s return to his first love – folk music – to deliver a bunch of songs in largely man-and-acoustic guitar mode, one of which is his theme tune for the fifth and final season of The Wire, a cover of Tom Waits’s Down In The Hole.

Posted by Danny Eccleston at 03:25PM | Leave a Comment (0)
Blanchett as Dylan! Footage surfaces25 Jul 2007

She’s proved her acting mettle playing Queen Elizabeth I, Katherine Hepburn and her own cousin (In Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee And Cigarettes) but finally a clip has surfaced revealing just how the great Cate Blanchett has decided to interpret 1965-era Dylan in Todd Haynes’ already controversial Bob biopic, I’m Not There. The film is out in the US on the 21 November and, as of yet, there is no UK release date but you can find the sneak preview of Blanchett’s performance below, along with a neat Allen Ginsberg turn from US comic/Arrested Development star David Cross.

Click the MORE button to find out who else Haynes has tasked with the job of ‘doing Dylan’.

<p>Labouring under the full title of I’m Not There: Suppositions On A Film Concerning Bob Dylan, Todd Haynes game-playing rock biopic also promises Zimmy-turns by such unlikely suspects as Christian Bale, as folkie Dylan, Heath Ledger, as the New Morning/Blood on the Tracks Bob, Ben Whishaw as 66 press-conference Dylan, African-American child actor Marcus Carl Franklin as Dylan as a kid and Richard Gere who apparently plays a fusion of Billy The Kid and post-motorcycle crash Dylan who hides out in a town where everyone is named after a Basement Tapes character. None of the characters are called Bob Dylan and Sara is played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. <br />Haynes, who also directed 2002 award-winning Douglas Sirk homage Far From Heaven and the opinion-splitting glam rock strangeness that was 1998’s Velvet Goldmine, has reportedly said that the film will employ non-linear narrative techniques in a manner similar to Dylan’s own poetic songwriting style while the film’s producer Christine Vachon has said that the film is inspired by Dylan’s “ability to re-create and re-imagine himself time and time again.” Artists confirmed so far for the soundtrack include Willie Nelson, Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo playing Dylan songs, as well as songs performed by Dylan himself. Yowzah!</p>

Posted by Ross_Bennett at 03:44PM | 
DON ARDEN DIES24 Jul 2007

Doncrop Once the most feared manager in rock’n’roll, Don Arden has died, aged 81 in an LA nursing home after a period battling Alzheimer’s Disease. Arden, who famously lost a client – Ozzy Osbourne – to his daughter Sharon and just as famously claimed to have dangled impresario Robert Stigwood from a 4th storey window, was perhaps the last of his breed: an old-school gangster-manager from rock’n’roll’s Wild West period.

Click for MORE crazy tales and Sharon Osbourne’s statement...

Arden was born Harry Levy in Manchester in 1926. His showbiz roots went back to the immediate post-war years, when he was a club singer, and he learned his trade at a time when the basic skill of a manager was to get the artist’s appearance fee out of the nightclub manager – usually no angel himself, and invariably “connected”.

Later he managed Gene Vincent and the Small Faces, with whom he gained a reputation for colourful threats and – always alleged but never proven – dodgy financial dealings. Interviewed by MOJO in 1999, he was unrepentant: “All the acts that were signed to me loved the shit that was said about me and wanted to witness it.”

When impresario Robert Stigwood attempted to steal the Small Faces away from him in 1966, he turned up at Stigwood’s office with a phalanx of heavies (or bit-part actors, depending on whom you believe), who proceeded to hang Stigwood out of a fourth floor window.

“He thought it was all over and everything that was inside him, left him,” Arden told MOJO. “I’ll never forget it. He had these big cowboy boots, I think to make him look younger than he was. And the shit squelched in his cowboy boots.”

Fleetwood Mac manager Clifford Davis also received the Arden treatment when he attempted to lure away Brummie beat bovver-boys, The Move.

Arden: “He sat there smoking this long cigar and I said, ‘I hear that you’ve been making threatening remarks about me. If you want the Move, you try and get them, I couldn’t care less. But don’t make threatening remarks.’ He said, ‘I know where your family lives.’ I took the cigar out of his hand and screwed it into his head.”

Arden, then Black Sabbath manager, became estranged from his daughter Sharon during the late-’70s, and she began managing the solo Ozzy Osbourne in 1979, whom she was soon to marry. Arden claims to have presented Ozzy’s management contract to Sharon as a wedding present and that he helped smooth the way to Osbourne’s subsequent CBS recording contract (first fruit: 1983’s Bark At The Moon album). For her part, Sharon tended to paint her father as a monster, mired in violence, and she was only reconciled to him in 2002 as it became clear that Alzheimer’s would eventually claim his life.

Today she released a disarming statement, saying: “He was a maverick, a pioneer, a visionary, a leader of men whose name will live forever in the chronicles of rock history. A husband. A father.”

It’s impossible to say that Arden will be universally missed. But he was the last of the old-school, rough-and-tumble growlers who ran rock before artist management became the slick playground of the corporate lawyer. Valuable colour has left the world of rock’n’roll with his passing.

“You’ve got to understand that everyone that comes into our business craves for what success will bring them,” he once said, with admirable frankness. “The glory, the strength, the power…”

Posted by Danny Eccleston at 04:46PM | Leave a Comment (1)
WIN AN IPOD WITH NEW RADIO 2 COVERS COMP!23 Jul 2007

Dermotlpcrop EMI and BBC Radio 2 are clubbing together to offer two MOJO readers the chance to win a Video iPod. Winners will also pocket a 2CD Saturday Sessions album, featuring live performances by top bands on Dermot O’Leary’s Saturday afternoon show. Half devoted to exclusive cover versions (Camera Obscura’s version of Super Trouper rules especially), the album offers an exclusive opportunity to see some bands let their hair down and pay tribute to their heroes (and Status Quo).

Click MORE button for a chance to win, and find out what Dermot O’Leary owes to the Britannia Music Club!

So, not to beat about the bush, here’s the question. Jamie T covers A New England on the Saturday Sessions album. Which of the following have never recorded versions?

a) Chas & Dave
b) Kirsty MacColl
c) Billy Bragg

Answers to Editor@mojo4music.com to go in the hat. Include your postal address and whatnot. See bottom for terms and conditions, and below for a tête à tête with the genial DJ.

MOJO: We’ve all grown up with the idea of radio sessions being important, listening to Peel and Radio 1 Evening Sessions over the years, hearing bands reinvent their music in the moment.
Dermot O’Leary: Absolutely. It’s why you might still want to listen to the radio. I only do a weekly show – and I’m no John Peel! But at the same time, if I can give a great band a break on a mainstream radio station, then it feels like the right thing to do.
    I know it’s very easy to be cynical about why a Radio presenter would want to put out a CD – it‘s like Myleene Klass’s Favourite Love Songs or whatever. And OK, obviously we’re keen to create awareness around what the show’s been up to for the last two-and-a-half years. But I think the covers do make it worthwhile – these recordings wouldn’t have existed without the show.

When did you start challenging artists to do a cover?
I used to do a show on BBC 3 called Re-Covered, where they do one of their own and then do a cover. You’ll get people who’d rather do two of their own songs, and with the state of the music business as it is, you can hardly begrudge them that. But a cover really shows a band stretching their legs. It can sometimes reveal more of themselves than one of their own songs.
    When we heard Camera Obscura’s [version of Abba’s] Super Trouper, that was the eureka moment. We suddenly had all our mates on the phone, desperate for a copy of it. That’s when we knew there was a appetite for this, the moment when we realised we should do a CD.

OK, time to test your music credentials with some classic All Back To My Place questions. What’s the first record you bought, and where?
[Venerable mail order firm] Britannia Music Club has shaped my life, and sometimes not in a good way. You had to make sure you ticked the right box every month; otherwise they’d send you The Best Of Simply Red. So for the first year of me having enough money to buy records, I seemed to acquire the entire back catalogue of Phil Collins, up to and including Hello, I Must Be Going, and all the Bruce Springsteen albums. So I guess the first album I bought was The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle, circa… erm… 1984, 85.

And what was the first record you walked into a record shop and walked out with?
Nu Shooz, Baby I Can’t Wait. From WHSmith’s in Colchester.

What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album…
If I Should Fall From Grace With God by The Pogues. Because there’s not a bad song on there. They were all at the top of their game and Shane’s songwriting was fantastic and his alcoholism hadn’t properly kicked in, and it was their strongest line-up. Growing up in Colchester with Irish parents, it was also the record that made me aware of my heritage, with songs like Thousands Are Sailing, which was about the potato famine, and South Australia. Then there’s Fiesta. The whole album is this perfect combination of hedonism and more thought-provoking stuff.

Favourite Saturday night record?
This is me getting ready to go out? Can I give you a recent one, rather than the ultimate? We found a band in Texas when we were down for SXSW called the White Rabbits – they’ve just been signed by Beggars over here. The lead track on their album [Fort Nightly] is called Kid On My Shoulder. Whether getting out of bed, or getting ready to go out, it gets me pumped. They’ve got two drum kits. Need I say more?

And for Sunday morning?
This will make me sound like a real wanker, but I used to love listening to Radio 3 on a Sunday when I was at University. I had Damon Albarn in when I was covering for Ken Bruce, and he did Tracks Of My Years, and he turned me onto Ralph Vaughn-Williams’s The Lark Ascending. It’s 15 minutes of pure beauty.

Dermot O’Leary’s The Saturday Session’ CD is out now. See here for tracklisting...

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Boring Terms & Conditions

• No prizes can be traded or exchanged for a cash alternative

• Closing date for this competition is August 6

• All entrants are responsible for including correct contact details

• The judges decision is final and no negotiation or debate will be entered into.

• All winners will be notified by email.

• This competition is open to all UK readers, except employees, associates and their families of Emap, EMI and the BBC.

Posted by Danny Eccleston at 02:55PM | Leave a Comment (0)
Ween go Euro House! Crazy Frog involved20 Jul 2007

Weencrop It’s been four dull years since we heard from Pennsylvania’s surreal kings of musical mutation Dean and Gene Ween. So how do they return? With The Friends EP, a taste-confounding Euro-house collaboration with Reinhard Raith, the man behind the Crazy Frog. With half of the MOJO office declaring Friends to be their track of the summer, and the other half threatening to resign if it’s played again, we decided to have a chat with Gene Ween (aka Aaron Freeman) to find out exactly what was the thinking behind this incendiary comeback gesture. You might be surprised by his answers.

Click the MORE button for the full interview.

Why did you decide to work with Reinhard Raith, the man behind Crazy Frog?
Well, I’ve been a fan of that kind of techno from being to Europe too many times, so I wrote the song as a piece of Euro techno but it was a little out of my realm of knowledge. I have an eight year-old daughter and she had the Crazy Frog record and I said, That’s what I’m looking for! We wrote to them and they were really into it. They’d heard of Ween and I guess they thought it was a neat opportunity for them to step outside of their Crazy Frog realm and try something new.

Are you being entirely serious?
Yes. I think that if we were really making fun of this music you’d probably hear it in the lyrics. I need a vessel for a lot of different songs and just happen to be more obvious than most bands in terms of where those vessels come from. There’s a real sadness to that music as well. When people say ‘You guys are just taking the piss out of something’ I’m like, Do you listen to the lyrics?! I got a lot of problems with depression [laughs]. I’m on a lot of medication. It hasn’t been easy at all. It’s been a big time of change the last couple of years so, yeah, that stuff is in there.

Was your depression the reason for the four-year gap since 2003’s Quebec.
Yeah. Quebec was sort of the end of an era [laughs]. I had to go away for a while and live by the coast, at the beach in New Jersey. I didn’t pick up a guitar for a year. But things are getting back on track. They’re happier now.

You also worked with King Jammy on the EP. What was it like meeting him?
We didn’t meet him. We didn’t meet Reinhard either. It was all done over the internet. We first did the Prince Jammy track with The Mad Professor and we unfortunately didn’t like what his concept was but we sent the demo to Prince Jammy, paid him, and that was it.

So, did the goals or ideals of Ween change during your hiatus?
I don’t think so. We have a sort of punk rock ethic. Whatever we do has to be sincere and real.

Are Ween misunderstood?
Less and less. If you’re still hanging with Ween and still into Ween, chances are you know what’s going on and you don’t think we’re some Frank Zappa bitter joke band. So I’m not too worried about that anymore. What I have to not do is read reviews by, like, Rolling Stone when this record comes out. I used to take those things to heart but I was also in a really vulnerable position so I was just looking for something to take me down further. And it did.
    It’s been said that if you’d taken an easier route you could have been, you know the next Flaming Lips… The problem with Ween is we would never be able to just get David Fridmann and make a whole record that sounded like a David Fridmann/ Lips record. It’s virtually impossible with the chemistry between Mikey and I, so we just keep doing what we’re doing and that’s it. It’s impossible for Ween to do anything else other than what Ween does. I think that our song-writing is getting better as we get older and I hope people will appreciate Ween as people appreciate Randy Newman or something. The Flaming Lips are great but already it’s like ‘Oh, The Flaming Lips, whatever! That’s so two years ago…’ What I love about our fans is that they’re really in to it and they feel like a family, that they’re in on something that the rest of the world isn’t on. I’m actually happier now to be in Ween than ever. The depression actually harkens back to what we were just talking about. I wanted to get recognised by the masses and I thought that our stuff was good enough for that. It was a mid-30s-I’m-an-adult-and-I’m-still-totally-fucked-up-get-your-shit-together thing. We all go through it but some of us handle it a little better than others. I had to go away for a little bit.

Is the EP an indicator of what the new album will sound like?
Well, there are different production values in the EP while the album is all [regular Ween producer] Andrew Weiss, but some of the musical themes will be carried over. I consider it a little intro to the album. It sounds different but there are definitely similarities.

So will this new-outlook Ween album make people incredibly happy or incredibly disturbed?
I think both. We’re songwriters. We just don’t limit ourselves.

Ween’s Friends EP is released on 6th August on Schnitzel Records.

Posted by Danny Eccleston at 04:50PM | Leave a Comment (13)
BAG A 2-CD PRINCE COMPILATION!19 Jul 2007

Princecrop Bored you may be of Prince’s Mail On Sunday shenanigans, but can you really fault the best of his output? Perhaps you're in need of a fonkay reminder, which is what Rhino are offering in the form of a two-disc best-of, Ultimate Prince. Perhaps like MOJO’s Consultant Editor, you've got it all on vinyl and never play it, hence the usefulness of a CD versh. Ten copies are up for grabs in this bijou competition; you're in with a chance if you correctly answer a small, empurpled question.

Click MORE for tracklist and a chance to win...

Ultimate Prince tracklist...

Disc 1
I Wanna Be Your Lover
Uptown
Controversy
1999
Delirious
When Doves Cry
I Would Die 4 U
Purple Rain
Sign ’O’ The Times
I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
Alphabet St.
Diamonds And Pearls
Gett Off
Money Don’t Matter 2 Night
Nothing Compares 2 U
My Name Is Prince

Disc 2
Let’s Go Crazy (Special Dance Mix)
Little Red Corvette (Dance Remix)
Let’s Work (Dance Remix)
Pop Life (Fresh Dance Mix)
She’s Always In My Hair (12" Version)
Raspberry Beret (12" Version)
U Got The Look (Long Look)
Kiss (Extended Version)
Hot Thing (Extended Remix)
Thieves In The Temple (Remix)
Cream (N.P.G. Mix)

Here’s the question...

What was Prince’s first UK Number 1 album? Was it...

1) Purple Rain
2) Parade
3) Lovesexy

Answers, please, to Editor@mojo4music.com. Include your name and contact address. Closing date is Monday, August 6.

Ultimate Prince is out on July 22. To coincide with Prince’s August shows, Rhino are also releasing 12 12" singles with original artwork, B-sides et cetera.

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Terms & Conditions (sorry, we have to do this...)

• No prizes can be traded or exchanged for a cash alternative

• All entrants are responsible for including correct contact details

• The judges’ decision is final and no negotiation or debate will be entered into.

• All winners will be notified by email.

• This competition is not open to employees, associates and their families of Emap.

• Transport and accommodation not included in any prizes.

Posted by Danny Eccleston at 05:19PM | Leave a Comment (0)
SLY STONE WOWS NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL18 Jul 2007

Music fans gearing up for Sly Stone’s headline performance at Saturday’s Lovebox Weekender instalment in London will be relieved to see the great man on such healthy form at last weekend’s North Sea Jazz Festival. YouTube footage of Sunday’s Rotterdam show features great versions of If You Want Me To Stay and Sing A Simple Song, with Stone mostly camped behind keyboards a la Brian Wilson, yet evincing an agreeably tumbledown take on his his formerly foremost funkiness.

Posted by Danny Eccleston at 01:11PM | Leave a Comment (3)