samedi, mars 25, 2006

Smoking Section

From Sean Lennon to Gn'R

Sean Lennon Photo

Not conventional

Photo by Barry Brecheisen

At long last, Sean Lennon is putting the final touches on the follow-up to his stellar 1998 debut, Into the Sun. "I'm just finishing the cover design," he tells the Smoking Section of the upcoming Friendly Fire. "Then it's up to the label [Capitol] as to when it comes out." In the meantime, Lennon has two more projects in the works. The first is a movie adaptation of a Japanese best seller, Coin Locker Babies. Lennon co-wrote the script and appears with Val Kilmer, Vincent Gallo and Asia Argento. Project two: a series of shorts Lennon shot to accompany the tunes on his album. "They're not conventional music videos, in that they look like a movie," he says, "and have a narrative thread throughout." Lennon is not sure in what form they will be released, but he's stoked about the results. "The notable cameos are from Money Mark, Bijou Phillips, Jordana Brewster, Lindsay Lohan, Harper Simon, Carrie Fisher and Devon Aoki," Lennon says, adding that one animated short is being produced by Jim Henson's daughter, Heather. "We had a lot of fun making them, and they're gonna be fun to watch."

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Are ya hungry? Let the Smoking Section recommend the lobster spring roll. "It's not like one you get where you need a magnifying glass and some tweezers to find the lobster in it," says Audioslave singer Chris Cornell, who, along with pal Pink, just celebrated the opening of Black Calavados, his first restaurant, in his new hometown of Paris. Back in the day, before Soundgarden struck it big, Cornell made ends meet working in Seattle restaurants -- like the delicious Ray's Boathouse -- or hustling seafood around town. "I started as a dishwasher," he says. "Then a saute cook, then a broiler cook, then a lead cook. I had enough money to have a guitar and amp and pay rent, and I loved it." And what's up with Audioslave? "We finished a record a week and a half ago," he tells us. "It's done, done" -- in just six weeks at an L.A. studio working with producer Brendan O'Brien. Audioslave have moved in a soul/R&B direction on cuts like "Moth" and "Revelations" (the latter is the likely first single and the album's title track). "My favorite singers are not in rock bands," says Cornell. "They're Otis Redding, Aretha and Mavis Staples. Our first two records were sorta polarized, with heavy rock jams and softer melodic songs living together. This record is not polarized -- we've found our identity."

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The rumor floating around at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony? Guns n' Roses will tour this summer with Slash and Duff McKagan back in the band. We're not saying who's spreading this around, but if you happened to be getting hammered at 3 a.m. in Room 39A of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York with Kid Rock and Lars Ulrich, you may have overheard the same gossip. Sources indicate it's not true, but only Axl Rose can say for sure, and he's not talking.

AUSTIN SCAGGS @ Rolling Stone