Favorites return with
By Jason C. Consolacion
The summer of 2001 wasn't the greatest
season for music. After suffering through a rough 2000, the music industry
took caution in both promoting and distributing its products in
the 21st century.
Unfortunately, listeners were left to deal
with a handful of subpar releases and limited opportunities to see live
music, while being forced to succumb to an overkill of artists that
seem to be making commercials for everyone
from Burger King to Target.
This summer did see the return of alternative
band Weezer to both the stage and record shelves.
After taking a lengthy hiatus while lead
singer Rivers Cuomo attended classes at Harvard, Weezer came back as the
summer began with a brand-new self-titled album (known
as the "green album") and a brand-new
world tour. The album's first single, "Hash Pipe," became an instant hit;
the second single, "Island in the Sun," is slowly climbing the
Pop-punk hybrid Blink-182 released its
sixth album, Take Off Your Pants & Jacket, early last summer as well.
Riding the wave of popularity that was
so kindly given to them by MTV and Total Request Live, Blink continues
to gain fans with various videos and movie soundtrack
appearances, as well as their own tour.
As of recently, Blink has been touring
with Canadian imports Sum 41, whose second album, All Killer No Filler,
was fueled by their hit single "Fat Lip." I mention Sum 41
because — and remember, you heard it here
first — they will become the next Green Day. Their songs are more melodic
than the other punk acts, and All Killer No Filler is
about three songs away from being as classic
as Green Day's Dookie and Weezer's "blue album."
Hip-hop mogul P. Diddy (formerly known
as Puff Daddy) released his third solo album, The Saga Continues, this
After a tough (and very public) breakup
with singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, the man legally known as Sean Combs
has produced an album that is reminiscent of his first Bad
Boy release, No Way Out. The CD features
all the up-and-comers of the Bad Boy universe, as well as classic Bad Boy
Sugar Ray, Jessica Simpson, Eminem's new
group D12, Alicia Keys (without a doubt, this summer's biggest surprise)
and Destiny's Child also released big albums this year, but
none could compare to the highly anticipated
release of 'NSync's third album, Celebrity.
Celebrity features such notable contributors
as Brian McKnight, The Neptunes and Stevie Wonder. 'NSync has definitely
set itself apart as the premiere boy group (I refuse to
call them boy "bands" because they don't
play instruments) in music today.
It should be noted that the group co-wrote
many tracks on the album.
After being dominated by punk and pop,
record shelves will get a touch of old-school next week when the following
albums are released Tuesday:
First up is r&b crooner Brian McKnight
and his sixth studio album, Superhero. Also on the r&b tip, Mary J.
Blige's No More Drama on the MCA label is scheduled for release on
Between classes at Harvard
University, lead singer Rivers Cuomo and his band, Weezer, found time to
release their second self-titled album.
Wu-Tang alumnus RZA will release Digital
Bullet on Tuesday as well. Alice in Chains will release a greatest hits
CD and Bjork's latest, Vespertine, will also be available next
week. Slipknot and the return of the Butthole
Surfers round up the rock releases.
Country favorite Toby Keith will release
Pull My Chain on Tuesday.
For jazz enthusiasts, a handful of re-issues
will be available next week. A live John Coltrane box set (In Europe) will
be released, along with re-issues from such legends as
Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Duke
Jazz bassists Ray Brown, John Clayton Jr.
and Christian McBride collaborate on a bass-powered CD called SuperBass2.
Blues great Muddy Waters will release Anthology
1947-72 next week.
As for the remainder of 2001, look for
releases from such artists as Mariah Carey, Diana Krall, Bob Dylan, Tori
Amos, Maxwell, Christina Aguilera, Babyface and Elvis Costello.
Also, there will be greatest hits collections,
box sets and anthologies from such classic artists as Miles Davis, Elvis
Presley, Neil Diamond, America, Aaron Neville, Simon and
Garfunkel, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Barenaked
On the concert scene, Houston welcomed
such acts as the Dave Matthews Band, Destiny's Child, Blink 182, Eric Clapton
and Tim McGraw this summer.
Tonight, a postponed tour featuring Journey,
Peter Frampton and John Waite will be making up its missed date at the
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The original concert was
postponed due to Tropical Storm Allison.
On Friday, classic singer-songwriter James
Taylor will be in The Woodlands, and at Cezanne's, there will be a Duke
Ellington tribute. Rollins Band will be at Numbers on
Saturday while the Mucky Duck will feature
country artist Kelly Willis.
On Wednesday, the Backstreet Boys (who
are about five minutes away from a Behind the Music episode thanks to group
member A.J.'s problems with depression and alcohol)
will invade Houston's Compaq Center.
From pop to rock, Boston's gift to rock
'n' roll, Aerosmith, will be in The Woodlands on Aug. 30. The multi-music
festival Watcha Tour 2001 will grace the Aerial Theater stage on
Aug. 30 as well.
Lyle Lovett will make his return to Houston
on Sept. 1, also at the Pavilion. If we're lucky, he'll bring Julia Roberts
Singer-songwriter David Garza will be at
the Continental Club on Sept. 2 while classic rockers Crosby, Stills and
Nash make their triumphant return to Houston at the Pavilion
on Sept. 5.
The Woodlands will have some ear candy
on back-to-back nights; country favorite Clay Walker will be there Sept.
7 and rockers matchbox twenty will follow on Sept. 8. Indie
rockers Pushmonkey will be at the Engine
Room on Sept. 15.
On Sept. 18, every guy at a party will
want to be at Compaq Center as Janet Jackson brings her All for You tour
Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot — yes, the guy who
likes big butts and cannot lie — will make a rare appearance at Fitzgerald's
on Sept. 22, while metal greats Judas Priest will be at the
Aerial Theater on Sept. 23. Ani DiFranco
is scheduled to make her Houston appearance Oct. 6 at the Aerial Theater.
Also, Latin music great Julio Iglesias
will appear at the Aerial on Oct. 11. Blues great Ray Charles will be on
hand at Jones Hall on Oct. 11 and rockers Travis will be at the
Aerial on Oct. 16.