The Clash Triubte
BY JAMIE PIETRAS
Van's Warped Tour
he Clash were the sem-
inal punk band of
the late '70s/
early '80s, so
the number of high-profile
rockers that turn up on
this tribute album should
come as no surprise.
The Urge and Rancid churn out a
pair of straight-up punk covers of
"This is Radio Clash" and
etter than you'd imagine. But the hig
point on the album has to be
Mighty, Mighty Bosstones fren
take on "Rudy Can't Fail," thc
the Afghan Whigs mellow ren
of "Lost In the Supermarket"
Moby and Heather Nova's
real collaboration on "Straig
Hell" aren't too far beh
Unfortunately, like all other trib
albums, this one has its duds. Thi
ye Blind's as annoying as ever on "Trai
Vain," and "London's Burning" just
esn't sound quite the same coming
om Silverchair. But, if you can pro-
am your CD player to skip a few
oice tracks, then you've got
worthy tribute to the
unding fathers of
litically charged ~
Get the groove on
r- " U.'s music page:
N C M
Ben Folds Five
The Unauthorized Biography
of Rekold Messner
Sure, liking Ben Folds Five might not be the most
macho thing in the world, but give these guys credit for
wailing out some gutsy little numbers. From the meticu-
lously orchestrated opener "Narcolepsy" to the "Lullaby"
that gives the album closure, singer, songwriter and
pianist Ben Folds strikes a chord with clever tunes about
gh everything from sitting in a hospital bed to joining a rock
he band. And who can deny the guy's sense of humor?
etic "Choose from any number of magazines, who do you
iugh want to be, Billie Idol or Kool Moe Dee? ... there
make 100 ways to cover your redneck past," he sings.
and dig the new Piano Man.
nto Tom Waits
ute Mule variations
Tom Waits can do no wrong
It's been six years since the heralded songwriter last put his
gravelly voice on record, and he hasn't missed a beat. He'.
back with Mule Variations, a dark and bizarre yet poignant
lection of blues-inflected folk tales. Over low, acoustic strums,
Waits conjures vivid imagery of America off the beaten path.
"I run my race with burnt face Jake, gave him a Manzanita cross.
I lived on nothing but dreams and train smoke." he growls on
"Pony." On the album's opener, "Big In Japan," he gets a little
help from Primus' Les Claypool, one of several musicians and a
turntablist who all chime in at times to create Waits' eerie, exper-
imental musical backdrops.
I really enjoy it." So grab the sunscreen and
a beer (or two) and put on your dancing
shoes. Look for these boys of summer head-
ing to a campus near you.
out the sum- " Sugar Ray - those fly guys who are
nd with their really stretching out their 15 minutes of
rns and high fame with their latest CD 14:59 - are play-
ust the band ing on campuses now through May 7 as part
favorites are of the MTV Campus invasion tour. Hottie
to tour the Mark McGrath and company are teaming up
Ibum, Libido. with Orgy for the tour which is currently
e can hardly rocking schools in the Northeast. To find
rd to getting out if your school is one of the lucky ones,
who I am and go to www.campusinvasion.mtv.com.
Who needs guitar lessons to
make it In the music biz? When
Aram Sarkissian, guitarist/vocal-
ist for Stunt Monkey, told his gui-
tar teacher he wanted to play
punk, he got the boot. And
Michael Rossi, the bassist for
the San Jose, Calif., trio suffered
a similar fate. His guitar teacher
"strongly recommended" that he
stop taking lessons.
But this story has a happy end-
ing - kind of like a Stunt
Monkey song. After Jamming
with different bands in high
school and taking a short break-
to attend college, the two start-
ed playing together. They picked
up drummer John Velcamp, record-
ed their debut album For the Ear
(Tastes Like Chicken Records) and
grew up to be shiny, happy rock
stars. Or at least they're well on
"Right now, we're on fire,"
Sarkisslan says. "We're totally
into it. It totally makes us
Three months after sending out
a lo-fl demo CD, the band Is
already playing San Francisco
and L.A.-area clubs, and have had
two singles on ive 105, the Bay
Area's alternative rock station.
Stunt Monkey combines clever,
catchy and happy lyrics with a
unique pop sound - and a little
but of old-school punk thrown in.
There's no tormented or mean
punk attitude here. Even
"Suicide" sounds happy when
Stunt Monkey sings it.
- Jessica Lyons
To buy For the Ear, check out
"Cheat," respectively, while the ch
Indigo Girls chip in a folky, a
acoustic rendition of fo
"Clampdown" that pc
works a lot pu
Bury the Hatchet
Don't expect any surprises here, just anoth-
er solid record from America's favorite Irish
import. Sticking with tried and true Cranberries
formula, frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan revs it
up for some hard-edged rockers like "Promises"
and tones it down again on ballads like "You and
Me" and "Dying in the Sun." We've got to say
though, O'Riordan isn't the most intimidating
lassie when she tries to lash out against
poseurs on "Copycat." She's just too darn cute
to get mad.
This trio has made quite a
name for themselves in the
United Kingdom for their ability
to cold rock a party. Fortunately,
they've packaged up their killer
dance floor skills into something vocal d
we Yankees can enjoy, too. Their breakbe
latest full-length CD is an elec- mind col
tronic head-trip, meshing spacy beaucou
" What better way to start
mer than sun, sand and ska? A
upbeat, fun lyrics, blaring ho
energy tunes, Buck-O-Nine is j
to do It. San Diego's ska/punk
hitting the road this summer
U.S. and promote their new a
Guitarist Jonas Kleiner says h
wait. "I'm really looking forwa
back on the road. It's a part of'
The Lucy Nation
Ever since those Cardigans
hit the music scene, Sweden
seems to be pumping out more
and more great singers who look
good, too. And Anna Nystrom,
vocalist for The Lucy Nation, is no
exception. Her sexy voice, cou-
pled with the musical talent of
Andy Cousin makes for one of the
most infectious collections we've
heard in a while. One thing's for
sure - we love Lucy.
What do you do when life
gives you a good, swift kick in
the ass? No, you don't mope
around feeling sorry for yourself.
You pull yourself together and
then you write a brilliant, heart-
wrenching song about it. At least
that's the theory these New York
City indie-rockers live by. And it's
made for a pretty sweet debut.
Kick back, rock out and think
istortion and furious
ats into a truly out-of-
lage. We guarantee it's
14 e April/May 1999