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Ben Folds finds creative way to combat album leak

Kristi Kates - September 8th, 2008
Ben Folds’ latest album, Way to Normal, is set to hit stores on September 30 - but, to no one’s surprise, tracks from the new, yet-to-be-released album leaked on the internet in July. At least, fans thought they found leaked tracks from the new album - what they really found were tracks leaked by Folds himself. In response to the usual round of borrowed rough tracks and other methods of setting songs loose before their time, Folds purposefully went into the studio in early July and recorded fake versions of a half-dozen songs in one quick late-night studio session, and then “let” the fake songs be “leaked” along with a few of the real songs slated for the upcoming album. Folds calls the experiment part of “remembering how to just have fun” recording music, and figures that those who get the joke will get it, and those who don’t simply won’t...
My Chemical Romance have decided to put their band on hold for a while as bandmates pursue other interests. But don’t worry yet, MCR fans - this doesn’t mean the band’s breaking up, it just means they have some other plans to get through before they begin penning their next set of album tracks. Guitarist Ray Toro is getting married, guitarist Frank Lero is working with a new band, drummer Bob Bryar is taking some time off in Chicago, and both Way brothers - singer Gerard and his brother Mike - are working on a couple of comic book series. Gerard Way says he already has ideas for the next album, though, which will reportedly be “quite different” from what MCR has recorded before...
In other limbo-band news, Velvet Revolver are still uncertain about who they’re going to tap to become the band’s new singer, replacing on-again, off-again frontman Scott Weiland. Former Spacehog singer Royston Langdon is one of the contenders auditioned with the band, but apparantly he’s yet to make the cut, although the band dubbed him “awesome” - no word yet on who else they’re considering. While they wait for their band to be complete, the other members are hard at work writing new songs, which they call “killer” - apparently they channeled the drama from the band into a little extra productivity...
And in retro-rock news, singer Tina Turner is set to make a comeback of sorts with an upcoming compilation disc, titled Tina! that will be released just in time for her fall 2008 tour. The album will be released on September 30 on Capitol Records, and will include 16 hits from throughout Turner’s long career, as well as two new songs, “It Would Be a Crime” and “I’m Ready.” The tour will kick off on October 1 in Kansas City, MO, with tour dates already booked through next spring in both the U.S. and Europe...

MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:
Billboard Magazine and The Hollywood Reporter have teamed up to honor prolific songwriter Diane Warren with the inaugural Film and TV Music Career Achievement Award. Why? Well, read back a sentence to the word “prolific” - although Warren can be blamed, er, sorry, “credited” for writing most of the cheesiest songs in music biz history (including songs recorded by Aerosmith, Cher, Celine Dion, and Michael Bolton, as well as the unfortunately-corny theme song for the cool Star Trek TV series Enterprise), she’s amassed a remarkably long list of songs, even if they’re often more quantity than quality. Check out the list and be baffled and amazed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Warren...

MINI BUZZ:
Bay Area roots-rockers Howlin’ Rain have been tapped to open for the Black Crowes Fall 2008 tour, which will include stops in Los Angeles (9/17), Richmond, VA (10/7), and Buffalo, NY (10/18)...
Orchestral-pop band The Dears have announced that they’ll release their fourth full-length album, Missiles, this October...
Singer-songwriter James Taylor is set to release a covers album featuring songs from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s; the disc, predictably titled Covers, will be available at both regular retail stores and Starbucks locations, and will include Taylor’s versions of songs from Junior Walker and the All-Stars and Leonard Cohen, among others...
The Pigeon Detectives have announced that they’ll embark on a UK tour, which will find the band landing for live shows in such locales as Newcastle (11/28), Glasgow (12/1), and Manchester (12/3)...
Five years after their last album, Send, art-punk band Wire are back with their latest studio album, Object 47...
Atlanta ambient-punk group Deerhunter are set to release Microcastle, their third album, on October 28 via Kranky. Recorded in Brooklyn over the course of a week, the album features a cameo from Cole Alexander...
And featuring cameos by, well, themselves, are this week’s new releases... ON CD: Brian Wilson’s That Lucky Old Sun... Wild Sweet Orange’s We Have Cause to Be Uneasy... Michael Jackson’s compilation disc King of Pop... Underoath’s Lost in the Sound of Separation... Queen and Paul Rodgers’ Queen and Paul Rodgers... and (ahem) New Kids on the Block’s as-yet-untitled new album. ON DVD: Andre Rieu Live in Vienna... Elvis Presley’s The Ed Sullivan Shows... Blue Man Group’s How to Be a Megastar Live (appropriately, on BluRay)... and Patsy Cline: A Documentary... and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.
Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column or your fave musicians? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com
 
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