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Friday, February 27, 1998

SMASHING PUMPKINS ALBUM DETAILS, LEGAL PROBLEMS

In the same week that the title of the new Smashing Pumpkins album was released to the public, it has also been discovered that the band's record company is suing them for breach of contract! OK, OK, one thing at a time, right?

The new Pumpkins album is to be called Adore, and was recorded at Sound City in Van Nuys, California (the same studio where Nirvana laid down Nevermind. The album was produced by head Pumpkin Billy Corgan, except for one track ("Let Me Give The World To You") which was handled by Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers). There will be 14 songs on the album, which is trimmed down from the 30 songs the band recorded. Several drummers were used during the sessions incuding former Soundgarden skin-pounder Matt Cameron and Joey Waronker from Beck's band. Rumours of an electronic direction for the album can be confirmed insofar as a drum machine and synths have been employed by the band on certain tracks. Corgan commented "we're literally back to where we started which was me, James, D'Arcy and a drum machine." No concrete touring plans are in place yet, but Corgan has made it known he would prefer not to be on the road with this record as much as they were on the Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness tour, which lasted 14 months. Stay tuned for more about the album and tour!

Now, while all this is going on, Virgin Records America Inc. has filed suit against the Smashing Pumpkins for alleged breach of contract and non-delivery of albums. This suit stems from the fact that the band have only delivered three albums to their label since 1991, although the contract specifies that seven were due by now. The Pumpkins have countered citing California State law, which limits personal service contracts to seven years (much like Toni Braxton did recently on the heels of problems with her label). It seems the band informed Virgin in January that they would not be delivering any more albums under the contract. Virgin countered, claiming that under the same section of California law (Labour Code Section 2855), they were entitled to recover damages (and also plan to seek interest and reimbursement of legal costs) for each album the group failed to deliver. Could this be the Smashing Pumpkins looking for a sweeter contract? Any new developments will be covered right here in D.A.M.N.

DODGY GREATEST HITS ALBUM; INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS ANNOUNCED

Members of Dodgy have been speaking to New Musical Express to clarify the band's status and their plans for the next year. Drummer Mathew Priest and singer Nigel Clark have both made statements about a planned greatest hits album to be released this summer, as well as a new single in May, and that the band will be taking a one-year 'hiatus' and hope to resume working together in January 1999. According to NME, "the decision to take a break comes after the trio had a crunch meeting two weeks ago following arguments about the recording of the follow-up to Free Peace Sweet". Priest gave details of a lawsuit in which Dodgy successfully sued PolyGram for restraint of trade, in relation to a contract that promised Dodgy's material would be released in America, but never was. Tensions arising from the legal proceedings, as well as other projects Clark wished to be involved in (including an album of Tibetan music that serves as the soundtrack to a film his production company is releasing), combined with the decision to scrap the album they were working on has led to the hiatus. Let's hope that when Dodgy get back together in the studio, Clark, Priest and guitarist Andy Miller can make some music they all like. Clark says "I'm going to do another Dodgy album, yes, but I'm not going to do it if it's not going to be good! We're just going to mess around next year and see what happens." Meanwhile, Miller and Priest plan to work together, as reported in D.A.M.N. at the end of January. Expect two new tracks on the forthcoming greatest hits record, which SHOULD be their first release in the U.S.

AGE OF ELECTRIC AT CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK (SORT OF!)

Todd and John Kerns of Chart faves Age Of Electric will be signing autographs at the Blockbuster stage in the Ballroom of the Westin Harbour Conference Centre at 1:20pm on Saturday March 7. This signing will be the only official AOE appearance during Canadian Music Week. The lads are up for Best New Group award at the Junos this year, which is kinda strange considering they're nine years and five albums into their career, but hey, at least they've been recognized, right?

SNEAK PREVIEW OF NEW WATCHMEN ALBUM

Winnipeg band The Watchmen will be unveiling their new album Silent Radar one piece at a time over the internet...literally! Starting Thursday, March 5, a piece of the artwork from their new album will be posted on a special Watchmen web-site, along with a snippet of one song from the album. Between March 5 and March 27, a new piece and a new song will be posted every other day until the puzzle is descrambled, and fans will have seen and heard bits of the whole tracklisting. The first song to be put up on the site will be the first single "Stereo", and the snippets will only be up for a two-day period before it's replaced by the next song, so you will need to keep checking back to preview all the songs. You can also go through The Watchmen's regular web-site to witness this sneak preview: head to www.the-watchmen.com. Silent Radar will be in stores across Canada March 31.

LISA GERMANO, LUNA, OFFSPRING, SNEAKER PIMPS, HEPCAT ONLINE

Tonight at 8:00pm on JamTV, a live show from Lisa Germano starts things off. Backstage interviews with Offspring and Luna will be aired at 8:45pm, and then a concert from Luna concludes the evening's programming at 9:45pm. Saturday night, a live webcast with Hepcat is on at 8:30pm. All times are EST.

SOUL TRAIN AWARDS, CRYSTAL METHOD, TINA TURNER, BOB DYLAN, BABYFACE, GARTH BROOKS, U2 ON THE TUBE

Tonight on MuchMusic, Electric Circus welcomes the Crystal Method for a live performance at 9:30pm. The Soul Train Awards are on at 8:00pm (check listings), and ABC's In Concert series features Tina Turner and Bob Dylan (12:35am). Satruday, Much repeats the Babyface Unplugged special (9:00pm), and Garth Brooks is musical guest on Saturday Night Live (11:30pm, NBC). Sunday, Much reruns their Egos & Icons special on U2 at 8:00pm. All times are EST. For the ultimate guide to music on television, check out RockOnTV.

D.A.M.N. is compiled by Mike McCann.





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Mike McCann is a music fanatic and DJ who climbed the ladder from college radio to a major label weasel and now has come to rest happily at Chart. He loves The Wonder Stuff, Monty Python, calamari, and accepts all charitable donations. Well, maybe that last one's a stretch!