Billboard Bits: Third Eye Blind, Phish, Steve Earle

News on Third Eye Blind, Phish, Steve Earle

3ebModern rock act Third Eye Blind has dubbed its third Elektra album "Crystal Baller" and plans to release it in mid-summer. It's the follow-up to 1999's "Blue," which debuted at No. 40 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 1.2 million copies in the U.S. to date, according to SoundScan. That album's single "Never Let You Go" reached No. 14 on the Hot 100 and No. 4 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Frontman Stephan Jenkins is producing "Crystal Baller," with assistance from bassist Arion Salazar and engineer Jason Carmer. Up-and-coming rocker Andrew W.K. guests on the track "F***ed Up Kid," while the Moldy Peaches' Kimya Dawson adds vocals to "Self Righteous." In what is to say the least an unusual pairing of influences, Jenkins describes the sound of "Crystal Baller" as "our continuing fascination with Lou Reed and club rhythms."

The group has two live shows lined up in the coming weeks, beginning with a previously announced April 13 appearance the Beyond 2002 Festival in Miami. Third Eye Blind will also play a May 4 hometown show in San Francisco at the Palace of Legion of Honor.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

PhishAs tipped here in January, veteran Vermont jam band Phish will guest on Fox's animated series "The Simpsons" this Sunday (April 7). In the episode, family patriarch Homer Simpson encounters Phish performing at a legalization rally for medical marijuana, which he was using to dull the pain of injuries suffered in a crow attack. Although Phish is on a hiatus of undetermined length, its members happily reassembled last fall to record their dialogue for the show.

"I already had more respect for 'The Simpsons' team than I had for anyone else I know in show business," Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio tells "And now, having seen how they do it, my respect is even higher."

As previously reported, the second batch of authorized live Phish releases hits stores April 16. Anastasio's self-titled solo debut follows on April 30.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

earleSteve Earle describes his new compilation, "Sidetracks," as a collection of "unreleased or underexposed" songs. Due Tuesday (April 9) via E-Squared/Artemis, the 13-track album features the single "Some Dreams," which is also featured on the just released Hollywood Records soundtrack to "The Rookie."

"Sidetracks" also features a version of the Chambers Brothers' "Time Has Come Today" recorded by Earle and Sheryl Crow. The song was recorded for Artemis' soundtrack to the 2000 Abbie Hoffman biopic "Steal This Movie," and sports dialogue by the late counterculture figure, whose estate rarely approves the use of his voice or image, according to the label.

Other highlights of "Sidetracks" include Earle's cover of Nirvana's "Breed," originally recorded as a bonus track for the Japanese pressing of his 2000 album "Transcendental Blues," and his take on Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages." Also featured are a handful of tracks Earle has contributed to various soundtracks, including "Ellis Unit One" from 1996's "Dead Man Walking," "Me and the Eagle" from 1998's "The Horse Whisperer," and "Open Your Window," two-thirds of which appears in the 2000 film "Pay It Forward."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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