More Fun With Stupid Press Releases

Photo by Zach FischelFirst the Who, then Paul Rodgers—LowBallAssChatter doesn't mean to make fun of all these resurrected Jurassic rock acts lately, but damn if they don't make our jobs fun! The latest juicy bit of hyped hilarity to creep into our mailbox is a Rhino Records PR sheet touting a Foreigner anthology that's set for an August release. "URGENT! URGENT!" shrieks the sheet. "45-Song, Two-Volume Set of Hits, Album Cuts and Rare Tracks May Cause Double Vision and Head Games." Foreigner, you oldsters may recall, is the band whose guitar player is named Mick Jones—not the good, ex-Clash member Mick Jones, though, but the bad one. Funnier still is the list of summer tour dates included with the release, which reveals that while the band may be playing shows at the spiffy Sun Theatre in Anaheim on Aug. 2, other stops include such illustrious gigs as the Ventura County Fair on Aug. 5; the Clark County Fair in Ridgefield, Washington, on Aug. 10; the Horseshoe Casino in Robinsonville, Mississippi, on Sept. 14; the Steamboat Days Festival in Burlington, Iowa, on June 15; and Country Jam USA (huh?) in Grand Junction, Colorado, on June 24—walk, don't run, to your nearest ticket outlet. Then there was the pack we got dropping word on the new Kansas album—Kansas!—apparently worthy of ink because it's "their first album recorded entirely in Kansas," as their publicist said on our voice mail. In the release, guitarist Kerry Livgren burbles, "We thought that 'Kansas' back in Kansas could only help us to recapture our original fire and vision" (translation: "We suck now, we know it, but we don't know how to do anything else"). And for bonus humor points, singer Steve Walsh is described not as a singer but as a "vocal dramatist." How did that song of theirs go? "Carry on, my wayward projectile vomit"?

WELCOME TO OREGON, NOW GO HOME Nerd-pop icons Steely Dan play Friday night at the Amphitheatre-Formerly-Known-as-Irvine-Meadows. LowBallAssChatter spies were in the house at a Portland Dan show a few weeks back, which revealed that Oregon may be one state Cali Danheads might want to stay out of (and not because of the bad Blazers/Lakers blood, either): when the band got to the "California tumbles into the sea" line during "My Old School," the whole audience let out a huge, deafening cheer—nasty! Ahhh, but who's in the finals, suckas?

WHAT'S YOUR GLAM NAME? On the heels of the WuName Generator (see "It's a Wu World After All," Feb. 18-24) , a website where you type your name in—or anybody else's—and find out the moniker you'd have if you hooked up with hip-hop's Wu-Tang Clan (example: Disney overlord Michael Eisner is "Well-Liked Assman"), comes the Glam Name Generator. Click to qix.lm.com/cgi-bin/fun/glamname.pl, enter your name, and be re-christened with a tag undoubtedly more fabulous than what your unimaginative parents graced you with at birth—what you're hereby branded with if you ever join a glam-rock band. LowBallAssChatter test-drove it around the block a few times and discovered that in this glittery, parallel universe, Mark McGrath becomes "Icy Silverplume," Dexter Holland is "Hologram Shiny'lude" and Gwen Stefani is "Glossy Sugarponce." Then we entered LowBallAssChatter, only to find a message telling us ours was "a freaky enough name as it is! Get a grip!"

BREAKIN' THE LAW (MAYBE)! The Long Beach Dub Allstars have been banned from their hometown! Um, actually, just banished from Saturday's Beach Fest. Uhhh . . . well, not really that, either. But maybe. Or was that really the Ziggens? Depends on who you ask. Anyway, reps from Cornerstone R.A.S./Skunk.com, the Dub Allstars' management firm/indie label, e-mailed the LowBallAssChatter desk last month with the tip that the Long Beach Police Department wouldn't let the Dubs play Beach Fest because "there might be a riot." Sounds like serious stuff. We jumped on the LowBallAssChatter Hot Line to Cornerstone R.A.S./Skunk.com to find out what was up, only to be met with people who seemed a tad vague on such annoying things as specific, factual, first-person accounts. The topic turned to those other favorite LBC sons, the Ziggens (also handled by Cornerstone R.A.S./ Skunk.com), who, we were told, have definitely been banned from Beach Fest, based on their 1998 fest set getting shut down by the cops (the crowd had apparently been getting too rowdy). Not so, says Beach Fest booker Todd Wallin. "We would have loved to have had the Ziggens play this year, but they couldn't because they had another gig." Not so right back, says Cornerstone R.A.S./Skunk.com publicist Hector Martinez, who told us that the next Ziggens show isn't until June 23, a week later (though he admits the band may have had a since-canceled tentative date that conflicted). As for the Dub Allstars, Wallin says that "never once did the city or the police say that the Dub Allstars couldn't play. We would have loved to have had them, but they charged too much. If we had the money to pay them, we could have had them. [The city] did say that certain types of bands would be more appreciated, though. They challenged us to book bands that were as positive in nature as possible." Translation: no mosh-inciting, F-word-spewing punk bands, please, at what's promoted as a mostly family-oriented event. If punk bands were booked, Wallin says, "cops would have to increase security so much [and Beach Fest would have to spring for the added presence] that the charities Beach Fest supports would suffer. They really wanted to make the event more accommodating to families." Hmmm . . .so punk rock isn't "family" enough, but somehow the Hooter Girls, who'll make an appearance Saturday, are? Whatever. So what's the truth? A combination of both, most likely. All we know is we'd rather be at Beach Fest than the KROQ Testosterone-palooza that'll be taking place at Edison Field the same afternoon.

—Rich Kane
 
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