Jose Fritz would like to report that Hell has officially frozen over. Not only is Neil Diamond not dead, his new album, Home Before Dark, topped the charts this week with 145,840 copies sold. Even Rick Rubin was surprised.
Howard Stern pissed off Dolly Parton this week big time. With a little patience and a few minutes with Cool Edit Pro, the radio host edited together enough Dolly samples to render her into a racist bigoted hick. Previous victims of the Stern audiobook treatment are Oprah and William Shatner. Parton is quoted as saying she has "never been so shocked, hurt and humiliated. I love Jews and Negros.” Parton is now rumored to be suing Stern.
Fans of 1940s pop are celebrating today because even though postage rates have gone up again, Frank Sinatra will appear on new postage. Of the 50,000 suggestions per year only 20 are selected by the U.S. post office to grace our postage. Jose expects that probably cost the Giancana family a few grand. Just kidding Frank.
80-year-old Larry Levine died this week. You probably have never heard his name, but Larry was the recording engineer who created Phil Spector’s patented Wall of Sound. Larry won a Grammy in 1965 for his work with Herb Alpert. His family lived in disgrace for the next 40 years.
Paramount Styles has announced we will be hearing their debut album, Failure American Style, via Touch And Go records July 8th. The band features former GVSB vocalist Scott McCloud. I promise it’s better than Neil Diamond.
Noise rockers Health has released a remix album titled Health/Disco. A slew of names and no-names reinterpreted their abrasive anthems into oonce-oonce. Lovepump United will be releasing the abominable results this summer.
Camper Van Beethoven is finally releasing a greatest hits album. It’s titled Popular Songs, scheduled for a June 24 drop through Cooking Vinyl. Virgin was unwilling to part with their portion of the catalog and certain cuts had to be re-recorded. The cuts in question are from the albums Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie. If you were counting you might have noticed this is all timed for their 25th anniversary. If this doesn’t work out, their Cracker reunion won’t be far behind.
Our New York readers should be reminded that this May 19th is the eighth-annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash at Irving Plaza. Had Joey not died of Lymphoma he’d be 57 this year. Since his death, New York’s punk community has commemorated his passing with a big-ass rock concert.
Earache records will be re-releasing the Carcass album Heartwork on June 24th with a companion DVD. Back when death metal was cool for six months in 1988, this album was considered wildly progressive and influential. This coincides with the bands reunion tour which began earlier this year minus original drummer Ken Owen. Ken had a brain hemorrhage in 1999 and has been unwilling to wear face paint since.