Guns and Replacements

Welcome to the jungle

Ex-Replacements bassist and current Perfect front man Tommy Stinson has joined Axl Rose's all new Guns N' Roses lineup, along with former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck and Vandals drummer Josh Freese. A source close to the band says Rose considered enlisting techno maestro Moby, of all people, to produce the band's imminent recording sessions. But Mr. Brownstone apparently thought twice, choosing instead to take a crash course in the necessary computer technology that will ground G'N'R's new techno sound.

As your imagination reels, let's review what we've learned: The leader of what might have been the best glam-metal band ever (KISS fans, hold those letters) has recruited the bass player of perhaps the greatest punk band ever (easy, Lifter Puller fans) to do an album of, well (and I do apologize Metallica fans), metalica. Does Rose's madness have a method? "He's actually smarter than a lot of people give him credit for," says my source. "I think he purposely sat out the grunge years." The new Guns have yet to perform in public, perhaps because Rose has reportedly gained enough weight to earn the nickname "Triple Axl."

Here comes a regular: Tommy Stinson (pictured, front, with Perfect) joins Axl Rose in a new rocktronica project
Here comes a regular: Tommy Stinson (pictured, front, with Perfect) joins Axl Rose in a new rocktronica project

Local stasis

For about a year, Zone 105's Local Motion segment spotlighted one song by a local artist every weeknight at 9 p.m., a tradition that, along with Mary Lucia's live broadcasts from Bryant-Lake Bowl (7 p.m. on Sundays), made good on the station's highly publicized commitment to local music. But programming director John Lassman says listeners weren't responding to the nightly spins around town, and he's moved the feature into the wee hours. Zone DJ Mark Wheat, of KFAI's Local Sound Department fame, will continue to broadcast the segments at 2 a.m. on Thursday and Friday mornings.

"We're just trying out new things," insists Lassman, who seems taken aback by the e-mail and phone-call furor over the time-slot change. "The segment may come back. It's interesting, though: While it was on, nobody really seemed to care."

In the spirit of trying new things, I suggest the Zone try rotating several radio-friendly cuts by locals and semilocals into the regular playlist during those dead evening hours: Tranquility Bass's remix of Low's "Over the Ocean"; 12 Rods' "I Wish You Were a Girl"; Dylan Hicks's "Waterbed"; or Esthero's "That Girl." All of these tunes would sound just fine next to Shirley Manson, which is another way of saying they've managed the electro-rock balance Guns N' Roses might be hoping to achieve.

E is exculpatory evidence

My friend Lewie and more than 1,000 other young ravers had a great time at the Origin party, held outdoors over the weekend of July 24-26. Two weeks ago, I interviewed Lewie and plugged the party in these pages to demonstrate how raving was going legit by moving from illegal venues into sanctioned ones ("E is for Econ," 7/22).

But as it turns out, Origin wasn't entirely legal. Though co-organizer Matt Krawczyk acquired the full permission of property owners, he neglected to notify the local sheriff's department in Douglas County, where the rave was held near the town of Kensington. Now the county is threatening to file charges against Krawczyk and property owners for failure to procure various local permits.

The local newspaper, The Echo Press, ran a story under the alarmist banner "Party near K-town spins out of control." Soon after, news channels in the Twin Cities picked up the lead, adopting the same hysterical tone. But a close reading of the Echo revealed that Origin was a peaceful gathering with few incidents. "As it turned out, the party was somewhat contained by the people who put it on," admitted Sheriff Bill Ingebrigtsen. The worst damage was suffered by Origin's organizers, who say they are still trying to account for the thousands of dollars currently missing from the gate. Consequently, the upstart promoters will need to make up the shortfall, exceeding $10,000. Kind of makes rap promotion look risk-free, doesn't it?

McLean leaves Compass

In 1974, Sue McLean began her career in the music business booking high school prom gigs for the Suicide Commandos. Twenty years later, she joined Triad, the local promotions giant, where she was made a partner. But when that company became Compass Entertainment last fall, the corporate shuffle left McLean demoted to employee status, and she began to consider striking out on her own.

On July 15, that's exactly what she did. McLean started her own promotions company, McLean & Associates, which will retain several of her longtime clients, including the Guthrie Theater. "I work best as an independent," she says. "I wanted to retain the integrity of the product I was representing, and I didn't have the authority to do that anymore at Compass."

McLean was less than enchanted with what she saw as the company's increasing emphasis on private business parties. "They're looking to do corporate tours," she says, "like providing entertainment for Target sales meetings." Compass talent buyer Rich Best admits such functions are on the company's agenda, but he maintains that developing artists is still the Big C's top priority. The two former partners say they're still friends, and plan to continue working together through the ongoing Minnesota Zoo music series, which features singer-songwriter Marc Cohn this Thursday and blues rocker G.B. Leighton on Friday. Call 989-5151 (Ticketmaster) for information.

 
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