By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Question: Why do we have to pick on a band from around here that's actually doing good things? Answer: Because, obviously, it doesn't matter what we say. Not in Drowning Pool's case anyway. (The question, by the way, was posed by a publicist for the band's label, Wind-Up Records.) The quartet's debut for Wind-Up, Sinner, has already gone gold, less than two months after its release, and has even made its way into the Billboard Top 20. The first single from the album, which is already on MTV2 more than the station's logo, has also been chosen as the official theme song for the World Wrestling Federation's upcoming Summer Slam pay-per-view, meaning even more exposure for the group. (The song also appears on the brand-new Ozzfest 2001: The Second Millennium compilation, alongside Black Sabbath and Marilyn Manson and a bunch of bands with little to no grammar/spelling/punctuation skills.) And the exposure will only increase, thanks to planned tours with Disturbed (the duo is scheduled to hit the Bronco Bowl Theatre on September 28) and Sevendust. What does all this mean? Only this: Drowning Pool has figured out a way to put the "suck" back into "success." Sorry, did that sound like we were picking on them again? Hope so. Wouldn't want anyone to get confused.
But they are certainly living it up while they can. Consider this quote from singer Dave Williams' mini-interview with Rolling Stone in the mag's August 30 issue: "We're on the Ozzfest tour, and when the third show ended, we wanted to celebrate. So we all got a little loopy, and I woke up in the middle of the night--I guess I was sleepwalking--and proceeded to make a bathroom out of my tour manager's bunk. He woke me up and said, 'Dude, what're you doing?' I'm like, 'I don't know.' I didn't get it on him, but he was pissed." Get it? "He was pissed?" Williams also confided to Rolling Stone that he loves Sarah McLachlan's Surfacing, the Chicago Bears and green vegetables. "I can't eat a lot of vegetables," Williams says, "but when I do, it's mostly green, and broccoli's the top dog." Because, you know, nothing says rock like broccoli. But maybe it does; why else would Iggy Pop come storming onto the Late Show with David Letterman set recently, clad in nothing but jeans and a broccoli medallion? (Seriously.) Like we said, it doesn't matter what we say or think. Otherwise, we'd get far fewer "Zac Crain's a pussy" e-mails. Well, we'd still get the one from our parents every June on our birthday...
Old 97's front man Rhett Miller also makes an appearance in Rolling Stone's August 30 installment, leading off its tribute to the new generation of singer-songwriters. Unfortunately, that's pretty much all we have to say about it, since Miller declined to give any "grooviness is essential"-type quotes, though the accompanying picture seems to make that point for him. (No, we'll never let Miller live down his appearance in Seventeen magazine roughly a decade ago.) In other 97's news, the band has also reportedly re-upped with Elektra Records for two more albums, a surprising show of faith by the label; the band has yet to provide Elektra with a solid hit, though critics love Old 97's discs like family. (Village Voice scribe Robert Christgau, in particular, seems taken with Miller to the point where you'd almost be forced to mistake it for puppy love.) Good on ya, boys. Guess we lost our $5 in the when-will-Rhett-go-solo? pool. Don't count us out yet...
Chomsky releases Onward Quirky Soldiers, its follow-up to 1999's A Few Possible Selections for the Soundtrack of Your Life, with a pair of shows on August 18. (See Robert Wilonsky's review of OQS later in these pages.) The band will stop by Good Records at 4 p.m. and later that night will perform again at Trees, along with The Deathray Davies and Legendary Crystal Chandelier. Since "00:15:00," the first single released from the album, popped up on local sales charts (at one time, it was No. 13), a few labels have been sniffing around the group, and the song has been added into rotation at KDGE-FM (102.1). A few of them will get to check out the band in person when it plays an Idol Records showcase at the Knitting Factory in New York at the upcoming CMJ Music Marathon in September, along with Centro-matic, The Deathray Davies and Clumsy. Speaking of Centro-matic, if you buy a copy of the group's latest, Distance and Clime, at Good, you can also get a five-song live disc for free. Live in Tilburg: December 10 2000 includes "Saving a Free Seat," "Part of This Accident," "Blisters May Come," "Most Everyone Will Find" and "Rock and Roll Eyes," all recorded by Remko Schouton during the band's European tour last year. Indulge in a bit of one-stop shopping and pick up the Chomsky and Centro-matic records this weekend. You'll thank yourself. And then you should thank our landlord, John Holmes (no jokes), for the new A/C unit he installed in our house last week. How does that help you? Think we both know the answer to that...