News on Fuji Rock, Big Star, OK Go
Morrissey has dropped off the bill for this weekend's Fuji Rock Festival in Japan due to a "miscommunication," according to the event's official Web site. The artist was originally confirmed to close the festival on Sunday (Aug. 1); the headliner slot appears to be unfilled at deadline, with the White Stripes now the final act scheduled for that night.
The star-studded Fuji Rock lineup features the Pixies, Lou Reed, PJ Harvey, Chemical Brothers, Franz Ferdinand, Primus, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Basement Jaxx, Snow Patrol and the Black Keys, among others.
-- Jason MacNeil, Toronto
The Alex Chilton-led Big Star has been added to the lineup for Little Steven's International Underground Garage Festival, to be held Aug. 14 at New York's Randall's Island. The New York Dolls will honor plans to appear, despite the recent death of bassist Arthur Kane (a replacement has not been announced). Other newly confirmed acts include the Dictators, Nancy Sinatra, the D4 and the Pete Best Band.
The fest will feature previously announced appearances by the Strokes, Bo Diddley, Iggy and the Stooges, the Raveonettes and the Mooney Suzuki, among many others.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Taking its commitment to political activism to another level, Chicago-based rock act OK Go has assembled a guide for left-leaning artists who want to make a difference in this election year. Written by singer/guitarist Damian Kulash, the manifesto/how-to "How Your Band Can Fire Bush" is available from the band's official Web site.
In addition, the site lists a number of things its fans can do as individuals, chiefly registering to vote and following through in November. The site also details the band's commitments to the process, which includes playing fundraising events for presumptive Democratic candidate John Kerry and contributing a cut to the forthcoming "Future Soundtrack of America" compilation that will raise funds for MoveOn.org and other organizations.
"Our music isn't overtly political," Kulash writes in a letter on the site. "As with most folks, my views tend to be an uneven jumble of disenchantment, vehemence and confusion, so I'm usually not comfortable slogging through them publicly. However, I'm making an exception for the coming presidential election. The political situation in our country is too delicate and too divided for me to feel responsible watching from a safe distance."
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.