It doesn't get more appropriate than this: The PR build-up to the release of Scott Stapp's new solo album is underway. According to a recent press release, this "long-awaited solo album" from "one of the most recognizable voices in music" hits the streets Nov. 22. It's called The Great Divide and the big "integrated marketing and image campaign" is being undertaken with NASCAR. Part of that campaign will find Stapp singing the national anthem at the Ford 400 race Nov. 20. Um, wow. Perhaps by "great divide," Stapp was referring to the yawning chasm that, on one side, has people with intelligence, taste and ideas about patriotism and spirituality that don't fit on a bumper sticker. While, on the other side ... well, that's the side on which his new target audience resides.
In other Scott-Stapp-is-a-tool news, I actually felt sorry for the guy recently. That pity came on after a fit of doubled-over laughter induced by this comment in an MTV interview: "I'm still a rock artist, man, and I still love to rock, so there's the crossover stuff I have a tendency to write, and the heavy stuff too. But there's a whole lot of the sexy stuff in between. And that's where I think I've grown, in the in between. I call it sexy rock and roll." Hate to say it, but aren't "Scott Stapp" and "sexy" completely opposite terms? Truly sad that money can't buy a clue.
Speaking of Creed, the new band that features all the members who weren't egomaniacal assholes Alter Bridge isn't tearing up the charts. Sure, everyone knew Creed had outstayed their welcome, so it wasn't likely that any post-Creed projects could be considered anything less than radioactive. But these guys consciously tried to distance themselves from their previous ridiculous bombast and return to being a regular rock band, albeit one with a lot of money behind it. Unfortunately for them, that appears to be exactly what's happened: They're now just another bunch of anonymous rockers vying for the attention of a music world that's left that sound behind. Sure, their debut has been certified gold, but when your band is the runt-end of a triple bill that includes Shinedown and Three Doors Down (the tour kicked off Oct. 1), things aren't looking too promising for the future. Nonetheless, it's worth pointing out that before they headed off on that jaunt, the boys put on a show in Fort Walton Beach (Sept. 29) to raise money for hurricane victims. Nice to know they can put their limited fame to good use. And I'm not being sarcastic.
Speaking of hurricane benefits, they're popping up all over the place. There have been quite a few in Orlando and there appears to be no end in sight. Which is great, considering that our federal government seems completely incompetent when it comes to helping people. (And maybe hurricane benefits will keep battles of the bands at bay for a while.) But I can't help but be nagged by a twinge of skepticism; after all, what better way to get people to come see your band/visit your restaurant/drink your brand-name booze than to call an event a "hurricane relief fund-raiser." I'm a jerk for saying it, but I know I'm not the only person who thinks it. At the same time, I know how helpless people can feel, and sometimes, the only way to feel like you're doing something is to … well, do something. Sure, there's got to be some bit of selfishness to these events, but that speck is overwhelmed by the overall sense of giving that they're wrapped up in. That said, here's some info on another benefit: Next Saturday (Oct. 15), a bunch of jam bands The Tony Hume Collaboration, SEAD, Freudian Slip and others will gather at Ryan's Portside Grill in Port Canaveral to noodle away for charity. The show kicks off at noon and runs until 2 a.m. I imagine drinks will be flowing. Entrance is only 10 bucks and heck, it's for a good cause, right?
Mariza, one of my favorite fado singers, will perform in Miami Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Gusman Theater and I cannot recommend this show enough. Mariza's voice is one of the most amazingly heartbreaking things I've ever heard. … The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra has named a new music director: His name is Christopher Wilkins and he was music director of the San Antonio Symphony and the Colorado Springs Symphony. He starts at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season. Anyone want to bet on next year's season being all-Stockhausen? Or even Boulez? Maybe a Stravinsky piece or two? Yeah, me neither.
This week's make-your-own podcast:
Cocteau Twins: "The Spangle Maker"
State of Bengal: "Flight IC408"
Gary Burton Quartet: "I'm Your Pal"
Little Richard: "Ooh! My Soul"
Junior Murvin: "Roots Train"
Henry Cow: "Day by Day: Look Back"
The Kinks: "Two Sisters"
Edith Frost: "Dreamers"
Parliament: "My Automobile"
Rafael Riqueni: "Al Niño Miguel"
Skip James: "I'm So Glad"
Stereolab: "Heavy Denim"
Gas Huffer: "Hotcakes"
Rapeman: "Kim Gordon's Panties"