It's hard to believe that The Beatles have yet to authorize an official Web site, but in conjunction with the release this week of the 27-track number-one-hits collection, the much-anticipated site (http://www.thebeatles.com) will be launched November 13. Rumors say the site will feature links from specific songs that will take the viewer to short films and other media adventures. Fans have been inundated with plenty of Beatles-related material lately - have you thumbed through the massive Anthology tome? It's definitely on my Christmas wish list! More snuggled-under-the-blankets reading can be found in the next issue of Britain's Mojo Magazine, due toward the end of this month. The 164-page glossy magnificence of rock journalism will be a John Lennon special issue, featuring a track-by-track guide to the making of every solo Lennon song, with the magazine's stunning standard for photography and design. And if you're near the "North Coast" from now through the summer 2001, I've heard great things about the recently opened Lennon exhibit at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The three-floor display is perfectly timed with the 60th anniversary of his birth (October 9) and 20th anniversary of his murder (December 8). And set those VCRs to record ABC-TV's two-hour special The Beatles Revolution, airing Friday, November 17, and featuring artists discussing the band's influence on their own careers and popular culture. ... Guitar phenomenon Steve Vai has just released his latest album, The Seventh Song Enchanting Guitar Archives, Volume 1, on the Epic label, compiling selections from his catalog and three new songs. The number 7 might just be the lucky number for the 777 buyers who find their CD booklets signed. ... My pick of the week goes to the ill harmonics, the trading-flow duo of Blake Knight and Playdough whose An Octave Above the Original set on the Uprok label is full of slick beats and positive, pensive mental imagery - with a cool Christian-proud philosophy. (No kidding.) You might remember them as one of the 10 finalists on last year's MTV The Cut new-artist exposure program. Playfully slipping into the old school style of dual MCs, these white Zorros tap boastful chests while "putting cricks in necks doing mad mic checks," building Third Bass-esque beats on top of acoustic guitars, xylophones, and other instruments. Their fantastic cover of - dig this - Edie Brickell and the Bohemians' "What I Am" is pure heaven, plucking out a funky roll à la G Love & Special Sauce. Highly recommended. ... With many homes stepping into the DVD experience via Junior's new Playstation 2 unit, the recording industry is poised to open up the floodgates of releases to take home entertainment into the digital world of possibility. I predict that in the not-so-distant future DVD's 5.1-channel sound and unlimited features will be the standard for many artists to release their new "albums." This week sees the DVD issue of Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Year of the Horse, in which director Jim Jarmusch mixed live and backstage footage recorded from 1976 and 1986 in raw 16-millimeter and Super 8 glory. Rhino Records' limited edition web-only Handmade imprint has just released its DVD box set of 1967's Wonderwall project. This early Apple Records fantasy-film project is one of those Holy Grails of rock history; its long-out-of-print soundtrack by George Harrison and Eric Clapton is worth big dollars on the original LP. Handmade's labor of love box set features a 120-page book, poster, seven-inch single, compact disc EP, 66-page screenplay, and sheet of stickers. You can find out more about it at (http://www.rhinohandmade.com). Other music-oriented DVDs out this coming week include Atlantic Records' release of Tori Amos' Complete Video Collection: 1991 - 1998, Sugar Ray's live No Cerveza, No Trabojo set, and The Coors' Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
Not much action this week on the tube, but Ricky Martin steps up to sell the sizzle with the steak on Saturday Night Live this weekend, and on The Late Show with David Letterman next Wednesday.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, November 14:
and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change. ...
Babyface - Save a Night for Love (Epic)
Kevin Coyne - Room Full of Fools (Ruf) the 40th album release from the enigmatic artist/singer/songwriter who was asked to replace Jim Morrison as lead singer of The Doors after his untimely death
Disciple - Heaven & Hell (Triple Crown)
The Eagles - Box Set (Elektra) 4-CDs
Elysian Fields - Queen of the Meadow (Jetset)
Charles Feelgood - Can You Feel It? (Moonshine) funky house king of the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., rave scene
Jim Greer - The Big Thieves Jail the Little Thieves (Fortune)
Geddy Lee - My Favorite Headache (Atlantic) new solo album from the Rush bassist
Madness - Ultimate Collection (Hip-O) 19-track collection culled from the band's ska-pop chart-busting history on the Two Tone, Geffen, and Sire labels
Marilyn Manson - Holy Wood: In the Shadow of the Valley of Death (Nothing/Interscope) recorded in Harry Houdini's former home
Ricky Martin - Sound Loaded (Columbia)
Mondo Generator - Cocaine Rodeo (Southern Lords) new CD and white-vinyl-LP side project from Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stoneage
Chante Moore - Exposed (MCA)
Mr. Dibbs - Live In Memphis (Nu Gruv/Stereo Type) new from the Cincinnati-based monster turntable scientist and founder of the 1200 Hobos crew
Musiq - Aijuswanaseing (Def Jam) Philly bred funk R&B
Offspring - Conspiracy of One (Columbia)
Oneida - Come on Everybody Let's Rock (Jagjaguwar)
Pizzicato Five - The Fifth Release (Matador) now available domestically with three songs not found on the import version
Prodigy of Mobb Deep - Head Nigga in Charge (Loud) with guests Noreaga, Havoc, and BG of the Cash Money Millionaires
Sade - Lovers Rock (Epic) long-awaited comeback since her last album in 1992
Silver Scooter - "Goodbye" (Peek-A-Boo) four-track CD EP featuring a cover of New Order's "Run"
Songs: Ohia - Ghost Tropic (Secretly Canadian)
Keith Sweat - Didn't See Me Coming (Elektra) with guests Dave Hollister, Busta Rhymes, Rah Digga, Lil' Mo, T-Boz, and Lil' Wayne
Techno Animal Vs. Dalek - "Megaton" (Matador) new in the label's hip-hop 12-inch-single series featuring Justin Broadrick of Godflesh
various artists - Stoned Immaculate: A Tribute To the Doors (Elektra) with cover contributions from tone Temple Pilots, Creed, the Cult, Bo Diddley, Days of the New, Smash Mouth, and more
Yo La Tengo - "Danelectro" (Matador) new 12-inch and CD single with remixes by MC Q-Unique of the Arsonists