Miscellaneous Debris

Hey, We'd Call It The MusicWire, but We're Pretty Sure That's Taken

click to enlarge FROM ONE MANY: Creed has broken up and is - starting to subdivide. - DANNY CLINCH
FROM ONE MANY: Creed has broken up and is starting to subdivide.

On The National Front

Britney Spears has cancelled her American tour, including a scheduled July 28 date at Tampa's so-new-it's-not-even-done-yet Ford Amphitheatre. Spears reportedly suffered a fall while filming a new video, injuring one of her knees. In a less refined publication, this is where you put the tacky joke about this being the first time Britney might actually harm her career by falling to her knees.

Road-tripping fest-fans, be advised: Despite boasting quite possibly the best lineup ever put together, this year's installment of the recently reanimated Lollapalooza Tour has been scrapped. The tour, which was conceived by Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, originally celebrated alt-rock's early-'90s mainstream breakthrough by becoming the biggest thing to hit the road since the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. Lollapalooza eventually fell into metal/hip-hop mediocrity and was discontinued after 1997, only to be resuscitated last year with a decent (though somewhat mall-punk-heavy) bill.

This year's amazing two-day slate — headlined by such hipster luminaries as The Polyphonic Spree, Modest Mouse, Sonic Youth, The Flaming Lips, and reunited alt-godparents The Pixies — was cancelled just a couple of weeks prior to its scheduled July 14 kickoff in Auburn, Wa. (The closest date to the Bay area was to take place in Atlanta on August 21-22.)

Promoters are blaming the potentially disastrous losses telegraphed by dismal advance ticket sales. (Rumors that Britney Spears actually hurt her knee badly enough to necessitate the cancellation of a good tour remain unconfirmed.) At press time, Farrell issued a statement saying he's hoping the show can go on in some less ambitious format; possibly, he just meant the separate tours all the bands involved are now scrambling to put together. That a show with this much promise couldn't even sell enough tickets to keep itself afloat bodes ill for everyone, kids.

Creed has broken up. Singer Scott Stapp will be pursuing acting as well as a solo musical career, while guitarist Mark Tremonti, drummer Scott Phillips and original bassist Brian Marshall have started a new band (with former Mayfield Four vocalist Miles Kennedy) called Alter Bridge. The good news? Why, Creed broke up, of course. The bad news? Now there are two Creedlings running amok.

On The Local Front

Lately, there have been several entities, companies or loose organizations springing up to announce that they're here to "save our scene," or whatever. Perhaps what "the scene" needs is not to be saved, but rather celebrated.

This Sat., July 3, there's gonna be a party at what this critic thinks is the best small venue in Hillsborough County, Ybor City's New World Brewery, and you're all invited. It's not about musicians who are motivated to network (though that will certainly happen), or promoters looking for new local talent (though there will certainly be some), or any of that proactive/synergistic/ paradigm-shifting/outside-the-box-thinking shit. It's just another opportunity for local bands, and local fans of local bands, to hang out, drink some beer, eat some BBQ and slurringly tell each other that they love each other, man.

There will be live music at this, the Musician's Ball — Unrequited Loves, D'Visitors, Tribal Style, The Nuevos, Steeve, Knowing Stu, and Annie on Distortion are slated to play — but more than anything it's just a chance for the community to get together in a distinctly un-businesslike atmosphere.

What a novel idea.

Between The Pages

The last three bits of news concern the Planet itself, and our coverage of local music.

First, it's Best of the Bay time again; you may have already noticed the ballots that have run in the paper for the last couple of weeks, or perhaps received e-mails from a local band or 10 subtly suggesting that you vote for them. Please do — we're certainly glad local musicians are urging readers to avail themselves of this particularly community-centric example of the democratic process.

I would, however, like to say something to the bands themselves, with regard to ballot-stuffing: Don't.

Every year, we receive bunches of printed ballots (you can also vote online at www.weeklyplanet.com) crammed into the same envelope, with the same local act's name filled in for every musical category, which, in such cases, are usually the only categories voted on. Now, there's nothing wrong with a band collecting individual ballots filled out by individual fans, at shows or whatever, and mailing them all in at once. But we're not blind, people, and skimpily completed ballots that bear suspiciously similar handwriting and names like "Tim's Dad" will be disqualified. So please, local bands, encourage your friends and fans to vote, but don't resort to hinky hi-jinks. More than one group will; more than one group does every year. Don't be that group.

Oh, and lest you think going the electronic route will enable you to circumvent the integrity of the process, we have ways to ferret out ballot stuffing on the website, too.

Secondly, due to both reader response and the sheer volume of submissions, I'll be upping the frequency of my local-CD review column from quarterly to every other month. Sarasota Planet critic Mark Sanders and I probably still won't be able to cover absolutely everything that crosses our desks, but this should allow us to address a lot more stuff in a timely manner, so keep those discs coming in.

And lastly, several local musicians have pointed out that our issue for the week of June 16-22 featured a distressingly anemic version of our "Soundboard" club-listings section. I agree wholeheartedly, and apologize to those club owners and bands that got their schedules in on time, only to find them omitted from the paper. (To those that are still sending stuff in over the weekend or on Monday, I've got nothing to say; the deadline has always been Friday at 3 p.m., and while I try to wedge late entries into the listings for the sake of comprehensiveness, it got old a long time ago.) Suffice to say that there were some last-minute space problems, and Soundboard was one of the places that felt the bite. We're currently making some changes — such as pulling karaoke listings, which will only be available online — to ensure that the live-music schedule won't suffer in the future.

Contact Music Critic Scott Harrell at 813-739-4856, or by e-mail at [email protected].

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