All the Hype

THIS JUST IN: The new Jayhawks record will be called Sound of Lies, it's due in April on American Recordings, and the band has decided not to change its name following the departure of Mark Olson. Speaking of the 'Hawks, a band called Broken Hippie staged a barely-announced concert at the 400 Bar last Friday. It turned out to be the Golden Smog gang minus Jeff Tweedy (the only non-local in the lot). Meanwhile, Jayhawks drummer Tim O'Reagan and keyboardist Karen Grotberg team up for one of their lovely duo performances tonight (Wednesday), also at the 400 (where bassist Mark Perlman can occasionally be glimpsed behind the bar). Who knows--we might even hear a preview or two from the new album tonight, along with choice covers and some fine harmonies. Chris Mills opens. Call for price. 9 p.m. 400 Bar, 400 Cedar Ave. S.; 332-2903.

I'm also pleased and proud to confirm the rumor that 12 Rods got inked last week. The lucky suitor is London-based upstart V2, a financially powerful international indie label founded by former Virgin Records head Richard Branson. Combined with future big-label releases like the 'Hawks, Polara, Flipp, The Honeydogs, Shatterproof, and Rachael Olson's Anna, it should be a high-profile year for Minnesota music. (By the way, 12 Rods play two shows at the Entry this Friday with Lifter Puller and Oxpecker; call 338-8388.)

Willie Wisely's star has also been on the rise. Wisely's solo band was among the one percent of 6,000 applicants chosen to participate in the 1997 Grammy Showcase competition. At the January 31 showdown in Chicago, Wisely beat out four other Midwest bands and advanced to the Los Angeles regional semifinal last Saturday. Given the classic-pop charisma and technical virtue in Wisely's new band, we're not surprised. At press time, we hadn't heard whether Wisely became eligible for the three-band final show during the Grammies in New York, along with $5000 of studio time. But Wisely already had something to brag about.

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