Okay, so FIrst it was weird enough that Linda Perry-she of that drill-a-screw-through-my-ear-so-I-forget-it-please song, "What's Up"-went from being a member of one-hit wonders 4 Non Blondes to hit-a-week producer for such pop divas as Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Pink, and Courtney Love. In the amorphous world of mainstream music, though, shit quite often becomes shinola. But when Kill Rock Stars sends out a press release announcing it's releasing Perry's "long lost" 1995 record In Flight-as they did last week-it's a move so bizarre media outlets like Pitchfork have to ask if it's all a practical joke. Looks like the deal's happening for reals, as In Flight will officially be for sale through the KRS roster September 13. It remains to be seen whether this new relationship means Perry-produced chart toppers will start popping up for the Gossip and the Decemberists. (In less jarring news, KRS will also release Seattle art punks Shoplifting's newest EP soon).
In other indie-meets-commercial-culture reports: Seattle School are currently trying their hardest to hawk their brilliant comedy cabaret/interactive drinking contest Iron Composer to a higher power. That loftier entity is, of course, the TV corporation in the sky. Seattle School recently joined with Mint Hill Entertainment to pitch their test of songwriting skills and sense of humor to "every network known to man," according to SS's Korby Sears. Their June 17 Iron Composer challenge (a battle between punk geezers Jello Biafra and the MC5's Wayne Kramer) will be the group's first showcase for the bigwigs, so, like, cheer real loudly if you go-and no disparaging Fox.
Speaking of loyal fans, for those who would like to continue reveling in the abbreviated life and musical output of Andrew Wood-who I mentioned last week is the focus of the SIFF documentary Malfunkshun-there's a Malfunkshun afterparty for the deceased singer Thursday, June 9, at the Mirabeau Room. Rumors of who will attend this soiree are flying around, but official guests include Shawn Smith, Brian and Kevin Wood, Joe Abrams, and more. (And in another, separate blast from the past, Portland's early-'90s music scene will land on repeat this fall as Hazel, Pond, Crackerbash, and Sprinkler play the Crystal Ballroom for P-town's Musicfest Northwest on September 10. I'm having flashbacks already of that great Mayor's Ball showcase back in the day... if only there were a way to tack on appearances from Heatmiser (with Elliott Smith), Dharma Bums, and Sone.)
Back to the future: I recently checked out Viceroy's newest monthly, Wrecked Again, and got a good dose of rare non-rock gems. The first-Thursday monthly folds ska, dub, rocksteady, rare groove, and the occasional mashup into one tasty set from DJ Nasir and crew. Now if I can just find a night where those same tracks inspire crowds to actually hit the dance floor...
And back to the rock, two new punk demos have fallen across my desk in the past couple weeks. The first is from New Fangs, featuring Dave Bessenhoffer (Tractor Sex Fatality, the Blow Up). The 12 songs veer like a getaway car with broken steering, melodies careening into walls of noise as Bessenhoffer urgently keeps the pit crew in emotional overdrive. If the Fall fell for Drive Like Jehu, the offspring might make a racket something like this... highly recommended, although you've gotta grab one from the band, as they're still searching for a label. (Their next show is Tuesday, June 21, at the Funhouse).
And then there are the Trashies, whose Let It Be Trashed demo sounds-as you'd expect from the name-like it was recorded in a dungeon below a basement party. With songs like "Ricky Got Trashed" and "Thunderbird Blackout," these snotty new-wave freakouts ain't rocket science, but then again the band aren't aiming for NASA heights-more like the opportunity to play your next house party for beer. On Friday, June 10, they open for the Mentors, whose shock tactics will probably make the Trashies' drunken celebration lyrics look like party kindergarten.
Finally, I'm out next week, so Live Wire returns Thursday, June 23. In the meantime, I know you have a couple ideas of your own about the local music scene, right? Think there's stuff we're not covering, that we've covered well, or that we're just plain wrong about? Saw a show you'd like to review? You've got the chance to talk back in The Stranger's forums, available free to the public at forums.thestranger.com.