The "Big Pink," the famous house in Saugerties, N.Y., that lent its name to folk-
rock group The Band's first album, has been sold to a new owner who
plans to turn the structure into a recording studio for non-commercial musicians,
according to the Los Angeles Times. Purchaser Linda Mesch called the
$149,000 price "a bargain" for the Catskills abode where many of Bob Dylan and The Band's legendary "Basement Tapes" sessions took place in the late '60s (and from which the songs that are on The Basement Tapes album were drawn) ...
Dinosaur Jr announced Wednesday that they are calling it quits. Leader J Mascis is expected
to focus on his solo work...
Bassman Mike Watt will hunker down for a gig with Sonic
Youth guitarist Thurston Moore on Dec. 22 at the Alligator Lounge
in Santa Monica, Calif. The pair will play with Moore's improvisational noise
outfit that also includes Nels Cline (guitar), Tom Surgal
(drums) and William Winant (percussion) ... Washington state punk-
experimentalists Unwound will usher in the new year with their sixth
album, Challenge for a Civilized Society. The collection includes nine
tracks of inventive clamor, including the intriguingly titled "Sonata for
Loudspeakers" and "Side Effects of Being Tired" ...
Australian avant-rock instrumentalists Dirty Three will release a new
album, Ocean Songs on Feb. 10 ... The Mekons will release
their first proper album of new material in more than five years in early April,
entitled Me ... On a related note, post-punk, erotic novelist Kathy
Acker, 53, who collaborated with the Mekons on the 1996 novel and CD
Pussy, King of the Pirates ["see related column"], died Sunday in Tijuana, Mexico, after an 18-
month battle with breast cancer. Acker, who fancied herself a modern, pierced
and tattooed version of a previous generations' Beat poets, was launched onto
the literary scene in 1984 with Blood and Guts in High School, one of her
many novels that shattered staid literary traditions through her liberal use of
frank language, sexuality and violence, often all at once ... Duran
Duran leader Simon LeBon's media company, Syn Studios, co-
owned by composer Nick Wood, has been commissioned to compose
the score for the upcoming Mario Van Peebles flick Love Kills. LeBon will
be writing a few new songs for the film ...
R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe threw a Thanksgiving soiree for
his pals in U2 following the group's Nov. 26 show at the Georgia
Dome. Stipe rented out the Mumbo Jumbo restaurant in Atlanta for the evening
and was joined by bassist Mike Mills (guitarist Peter Buck was
busy working on the new Tuatara album and recently departed
drummer Bill Berry was a no-show), the Irish rockers, members of
Pylon, Olivia Tremor Control and actor Lukas Haas
(Witness). The party chowed-down on vegetarian sushi until 4 a.m. in
what one attendee described as an "Irish wake" for the late INXS
singer, Michael Hutchence, whose body was found hanging from a
leather belt in a Sydney, Australia hotel room on Nov. 22 ...
Struttin' Our Stuff, the new album by former Rolling Stones
bass player Bill Wyman features guitar cameos by blues rocker
Eric Clapton, Albert Lee and '70s success-story Peter
Frampton. The album is set for release on Feb. 24 ... Former
Sepultura singer and guitarist Max Cavalera has finished
recording his first solo album. The as-yet-untitled collection received production
and mixing help from Ross Robinson (Korn), Andy
Wallace (Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine) and
Mario Caldato (Beastie Boys) ... British drum 'n' bass artist
Adam F. will release his full-length debut, Colours, on March 10.
F's previous single, "Metropolis," appeared on the first Metalheadz
collection. Among the guests on Colours are Everything But the
Girl vocalist Tracy Thorn on the single "The Tree Knows
Everything," and MC Conrad (LTJ Bukem) on "F-Jam." The
U.S. version of the album will feature a remix of "Circles" by Roni Size
... Meanwhile, Oasis' song-wizard, Noel Gallagher, recently
admitted to Britain's Q Magazine that he has knowingly copped riffs from
David Bowie's "All the Young Dudes" for both "Don't Look Back In
Anger" and "Stand By Me," expressing amazement that the Thin White Duke
hasn't sued him yet ...
River Red, the indie film in which Cracker's David
Lowery makes a cameo appearance, was one of 18 movies accepted for
the dramatic exhibition at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. The film, which
was chosen out of a possible 800 entries, features a new Cracker song,
"Lullabye," the old Cracker nugget, "Take Me Down To the Infirmary," and a
score by Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman ... Although the deal is not
yet sealed, The Jesus and Mary Chain are close to signing with
SubPop Records for a new album to be released in early summer of 1998 ...
Also, '80s flash-in-the-pan band Bow Wow Wow are set to climb
aboard the reunion train, ending a decade's long respite, when they tour the
U.S. beginning on Dec. 16 in Kansas City, Mo. Back for more are original
singer Annabella Lwin and bassist Leigh Gorman, joined by a
new drummer and guitarist as they re-hash their tribal-drum hits "I Want Candy"
and "Go Wild in the Country" ...
Detroit grungers Sponge are about to enter a New York studio to
record their third CD. With 17 songs picked from the 40 demos recorded over
the past few months, including the (tentatively titled) tracks "Planet Girls,"
"Assume The Position," "Come In From The Rain," "Lackluster" and
"Chameleon," the band will be produced by Kevin Shirley (Silverchair,
Aerosmith). Expect a spring of 1998 release ...
Finally, a DJ on San Francisco's Live 105 recently reacted with an on-air shrug
to news that Bjork would not be making it to the station's Dec. 7 "Green
Christmas" show due to what the Icelandic engima's camp said was a fever
resulting from a routine kidney infection. It seems Bjork has canceled
appearances at the holiday event three years-running now. Then, not willing to leave the poor girl alone, another of the station's DJ's made on-air calls to Iceland in a supposed attempt to verify the illness, although embarrassing Bjork appeared to be the real agenda.
(ATN's Senior Writer Gil Kaufman and Staff Writer Chris Nelson compiled
[Thur., Dec. 4, 1997, 9 a.m. PDT]