News on Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Allman Bros., Dimitri From Paris
Gritty New York rock outfit Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has set an April 9 release date for "Plastic Fang," its first Matador album since 1998's "Acme," which debuted at No. 8 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. The set is described as "the huge straightforward rock record everyone's wished for since [1994's] 'Orange.'"
"Plastic Fang" was produced by Steve Jordan (who has drummed on albums by everyone from Steely Dan to Keith Richards and B.B. King) and recorded and mixed by Don Smith (U2, Rolling Stones). Among the guest artists are singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, Parliament/Funkadelic principal Bernie Worrell, and New Orleans keyboardist Dr. John. Jordan also plays on the album, which will be available in two different limited-edition packages in addition to its regular retail version.
Look for Blues Explosion to tour North American in late April and May.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
The Allman Brothers Band has set March 14-16, 18-19, and 22-23 for its annual extended stand at New York's Beacon Theatre. Clips from the 2000 edition of the shows were later compiled on the album "Peakin' at the Beacon," released that year by Sony/550. The Allmans will not be joined by guitarist Dickey Betts, who was dismissed in spring 2000 and replaced by Warren Haynes. The latter will be touring with his band Gov't Mule prior to the Beacon Theatre dates.
As previously reported, the Allman Brothers' upcoming studio album will be their first since parting company with Sony. Drummer Butch Trucks told Billboard.com that concert staples such as "Desdemona," "High Cost of Low Living," and "Rocking Horse" will likely be included on the new set. Haynes and Michael Barbiero (Blues Traveler, Gov't Mule) are co-producing.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
For his new beat-mixed compilation, the two-disc "After the Playboy Mansion" (Astralwerks) -- which follows in the footsteps of the 2-year-old "A Night at the Playboy Mansion" -- Paris-based DJ/producer Dimitri From Paris says he wanted to mix in a way that makes the old sound new again.
"Just because a song is old doesn't mean it's dated," Dimitri says. "I just bring together songs that are plain good. Strong songs plus good melodies equal a long life, which is why I don't like using only hits of the day for my compilations: After three months, the disc will be dated."
Nestled among disco memories (Rinder & Lewis' "Lust," Best Friends Around's "So Good to Know," Grace Jones' "Feel Up") and recent house fare (Jon Cutler Featuring E-Man's "It's Yours," Boris Dlugosch Featuring Roisin Murphy's "Never Enough") are exclusive "Dim re-edits" of Imagination's "So Good, So Right," Tata Vega's "Get It Up for Love," and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' "Don't Leave Me This Way."
One track Dimitri wanted for the album but couldn't license was Barry White's "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me." According to Dimitri, "Barry didn't want one of his tracks to be associated with Playboy."
-- Michael Paoletta, N.Y.