Stories on Weezer, Daft Punk, and Grand Puba.
Weezer has drafted comedy rock duo Tenacious D and modern rock outfit Jimmy Eat World as support acts for its upcoming Extended Midget tour. So far, only two shows are confirmed (Nov. 19 in San Jose, Calif., Nov. 20 in San Diego), both of which are make-up dates for shows canceled in September. A Nov. 15 date in Seattle is pending.
As previously reported, Weezer canceled a 16-date European tour earlier this month "due to the unsettling and tragic circumstances of the recent events in the U.S." The group has continued to play without bassist Mikey Welsh, who is on a leave of absence for undisclosed personal reasons.
According to Weezer's official Web site, the group is working on a host of new songs, including "Slave," "As the Day Goes By," and "Space Rock."
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
French electronic duo Daft Punk plans will release its first live album, "Alive 1997," Nov. 6 through Virgin. The 45-minute set is taken from a Birmingham, U.K. performance during Daft Punk's first European tour, and will be limited in the U.S. to a production run of only 50,000 copies.
According to a statement, "after listening to the recording, the duo decided that it was their best live performance ever and wanted to share it with Daft Punk fans worldwide." The tracklist features a 16-minute rendition of "Da Funk," extended versions of "Rollin' Scratchin'" and "WDPK (Part II)," as well as the title cut.
"Alive 1997" will be the group's second release of 2001, following its second studio album, "Discovery," which hit No. 44 on The Billboard 200. The single "One More Time" reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music: Club Play chart.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
Following two albums on Elektra, former Brand Nubians leader Grand Puba (real name: Maxwell Dixon) will release his third solo album, "Understand This," Nov. 6 via KELA/Koch. "It's got a lot of energy, something that will grab people's attention," the rapper says of the dance-floor leaning title track. "It's loud. I'm spitting a lot of flows and talking a little bit about me. It's a party thing that can get them amped up."
Produced by Puba, the album features guest appearances by his former Brand Nubian compatriots Sadat X and Lord Jamar on the tracks "What's Up Wit It" and "Keep It Movin," respectively. Other tracks include "How Many More," "Baby Mama Drama," "All Day," and the lighthearted "Issues."
Grand Puba debuted his solo skills with 1992's "Reel to Reel," which peaked at No. 14 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 28 on The Billboard 200. He followed it up in 1995 with "2000," which debuted at No. 5 on the R&B/Hip-Hop tally and No. 48 on The Billboard 200.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.