Out with the oldies

Industry rumors that Tina & the B-Sides have been dropped from Sire Records are "utterly false," according to label publicists. Which makes sense, since steel-piped Tina Schlieske is enjoying a higher profile than ever this winter. Her live presence is one of the few things recommending Steven Greenberg's muddled new documentary, Funkytown, and the B-Sides will soon hit the road to support Jonny Lang on a Southern tour. This Sunday night and the next, however, Tina will sneak an intimate holiday gig into Lee's Liquor Lounge under the alias "Lola & the Red Hots."

Joel Stitzel, who co-hosts that '70s Radio K show, Cosmic Slop (Sundays at 2 p.m. on 770 AM), has complained long and hard on the air about these very gigs. According to Stitzel, Lee's replaced his long-running Cosmic Slop house gig with the Tina dates on somewhat short notice. He and co-host Chuck Tomlinson have parted ways with Lee's, but fans should tune in to their new Sunday night soft-rock show on KLBB (8 p.m., 1400 and 1470 AM). Have You Never Been Mellow brims with the sort of easy-listening obscurities that should please hip-hop sample hunters and my dad, if absolutely no one else.

Also making a move is local music booster of note Mark Wheat, who started work as Radio K's new Program Coach this week. The U.K.-born Wheat says he's "over the moon," (that's Brit slang for "really, really pleased"), and he has left his DJing job at Zone 105 for the relative freedom of the best college station in the Upper Midwest. Wheat hosted the Brit-friendly music show Across the Pond at the Zone, and Radio K has offered to let him continue it at his new frequency. At press time, he hasn't decided whether to quit co-hosting KFAI's Friday evening local music show, Local Sound Department (90.3 FM), where the high-strung DJ is the perfect yin to serene co-host the Dan One's yang. As always, stay tuned.

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