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Rock: Music news

A grim reminder

In a week that saw the passing of Tammy Wynette, Cozy Powell and Wendy O. Williams, there were also the deaths of two less lauded figures to add to the sense of loss in the pop world. The former Christian Death singer, Rozz Williams, who fought a long battle against heroin addiction, committed suicide, while Rob Pliatus, one half of Milli Vanilli, the infamous 80s duo exposed for not actually singing on their records, was found dead from a concoction of alcohol and pills.

Excuses, excuses

Cornershop cancelled their Bristol Fleece & Firkin gig last Sunday after they were caught up and caught out trashing their hotel room. Someone gave their behaviour a scathing reaction with a handwritten note on the door of the gig reading "Tonight's gig is cancelled due to Cornershop being unable to act like adults". Another artiste who seems to want the performing life to be like a five-star hotel is Bjork, who said she couldn't do her planned co-headline gig with Radiohead because there wasn't enough time to set up her stage.

Goodbye to all that

Vivian Trimble has left the Beastie Boys' Grand Label band, Luscious Jackson, citing "other interests". Also on the way out, though not by their own choice, are Violent Femmes, mercenarily axed by Interscope Records one month before their seventh album was due to be released. And who knows what lies behind the departure of guitarist Dave Navarro from the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Surely All Saints's cover of "Under The Bridge" isn't that bad?

This week's music awards

Soundtrack Self-Indulgence - to the forthcoming Godzilla movie. Forget cries of Godzilla to a 200bpm dance track; why are bands like The Wallflowers, Puff Daddy, Jamiroquai, Rage Against the Machine et al so keen to attach themselves to a blatantly misplaced marketing drive at selling a green- finned monster?

Festivals Casualty - Lollapalooza, once America's biggest summer happening, has found that there is not the smallest of spaces for it this year in musicians' festival diaries.

Internet Idiocy - to 24 artists, including country stars Reba McEntire and Lee Roy Parnell, for suing a businessman who linked their names to an Internet porn site.

Don't believe the hype - to Radiohead for shunning the temptations of making money from unavailable imports by releasing a mini-album in America containing CD singles previously being traded as expensive rarities.

God-like status - to Alanis Morissette who is to play The Creator him/herself in Kevin Smith's new picture, Dogma.


Aretha Franklin is all set to blossom once again with the release of her first studio album in seven years, A Rose is a Rose ...

Beware claiming big beat as `new'. Jesus Jones, with an imminent album release, were doing the rock- techno mix back in the late '80s with hits like "Info Freako" and "Real Real Real" ...

Although Gary Numan's endorsement of Maggie Thatcher excludes him from Brit Pop cool, he was always embraced in America, where he is about to tour, promoting his suitably titled new album, Exile ...