January 28 promises an entertainment spectacle to live up to our new 21st Century mega-hype, with a superstar smackdown of the boy bands versus the snarling Boston rat mongrels. Super Bowl XXXV is serving up pre-game and halftime entertainment fireworks from 'N Sync, Sting, Bon Jovi, Styx, Ray Charles, and - dig this - recent Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductees Aerosmith.
The singing of the national anthem falls upon the Backstreet Boys - a Happy Meal anyone? I get a guilty-pleasure fantasy vibe in my head about how much I'd love to see the mature, reformed hedonists take these kids to the stadium's field for a little Pete Townshend-esque Fender-swinging rhythm practice and put an end to the salad days of yon Chippen-teens. Oh yeah, man - I'd watch that! ... Earth Crisis has just put the finishing touches on its "covers 'n' rarities" set, Last of the Sane, due later this month on the Victory label. As the band celebrates its 10th year as sage king of the hard-rock renaissance, this 10-track collection features early demos and covers of these intriguing selections: the Rolling Stone's "Paint It Black," the Dead Kennedy's "Holiday in Cambodia," Led Zeppelin's "The Wanton Song," and the Misfits' "Earth A.D." ... Another Victory Records release due in February has a cover collector's interest - Electric Frankenstein's new Annie's Grave CD, produced by Phil Caivano of Monster Magnet and featuring an ear-bleeding cover of the Dead Boys' "Third Generation Nation." As Ben Grimm would say, "Nuff said!" ... Also celebrating a milestone anniversary of champagne and cakes are The Stranglers, formed 25 years ago. They've recently signed a new record deal with German label SPV, and a new album is due in the United Kingdom at the end of this month. The Stranglers should also see the introduction of their music to a new audience via the original motion picture soundtrack to Snatch, in stores this coming Tuesday. The TVT Records set from the top-shelf British crime romp features the band's lovely "Golden Brown," taking an old new-waver like me back to the glorious days of 1981's The Men in Black and 1979's The Raven albums. Other artists on the Snatch soundtrack include Oasis, The Specials, Massive Attack, and Klint. ... A handful of the many labels that fall under the Universal Music Enterprises umbrella are debuting a new standard in the "specially enhanced" re-issue market. The Deluxe Edition imprint debuts this Tuesday with Polydor's re-issue of 1969's self-titled Blind Faith album. Newly remastered and expanded to two CDs, with more than 90 minutes of previously unreleased material from these sessions, rarities, and alternative mixes. The nifty plastic slipcase also holds rare photos and essays among the expanded liner notes. The A&M label also upgrades 1976's "if you see a stack of albums over a foot tall, there's bound to be a copy of this" award-winner: Peter Frampton's Frampton Comes Alive. Now newly complete in its 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, it features four previously unreleased tracks. Other upcoming Deluxe Edition releases include Marvin Gaye's What's Going On (due next month) as an anniversary salute in honor of the 30 years since its release. ... Fans anticipating the solo debut from former Pavement founder Stephen Malkus are mulling over the possibility of a recent BBC report that Elastica singer-songwriter Justine Frischmann might be joining his upcoming 30-city North American tour in late February. His new album, Swedish Reggae, is due next month on the Matador label, as well as a new teaser 12-inch and CD single "Discretion Grove," due January 16.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Collective Soul on Thursday, Everlast on Friday, and Van Morrison on Monday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Everlast on Wednesday; The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn puts the spotlight on John Hiatt tonight, Lifehouse on Thursday overnight, and Vitamin C & Collective Soul on Friday overnight; and Saturday Night Live's musical guest this weekend is the Wallflowers.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, January 9:
and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change ... .
Bahamadia - BB Queen (Goodvibes/Barak) with guests Jay Dee, Planet Asia, and Dwele
Count Zero - Robots Anonymous (Sine Apple Sap)
Theryl "Houseman" de'Cloute - The Houseman Cometh! (Bullseye) solo debut from the dynamic lead singer of Galactic
Groove Collective - It's All in Your Mind (Shanachie)
Oz - original television soundtrack (Avatar) with Master P, Method Man, Three 6 Mafia, Cypress Hill, and Trick Daddy
Eddi Reader - Simple Soul (Compass)
Kurt Rosenwinkle - The Next Step (Verve) hot young jazz guitarist with liner notes by Joshua Redman
Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye - Diana & Marvin (Motown) re-issue from 1973 with three bonus tracks
Gill Scott-Heron - It's Your World (TVT) re-issue
Gill Scott-Heron - The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron (TVT) re-issue
Slum Village - Fantastic, Volume 2 (Barak/Jcor) with D'Angelo, Q-Tip, Common, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Pete Rock
Jimmy Smith - Dot Com Blues (Blue Thumb) new from the legendary Hammond B3 organist with guests Dr. John, Keb Mo, B.B. King, Etta James, and Taj Mahal
Michael Sweet - Truth (Restless) new solo album from the Stryper frontman
Traffic - original motion picture score (TVT) by the collaboration of Herbie Hancock, Flea (from the Red hot Chili Peppers), and Cliff Martinez