Last Call
The 'burbs were like a ghost town last Friday, as alternateens of all stripes flocked to the Shoreline for the annual Lollapalooza festival. The final show of a particularly fractious and beleaguered tour, the vibe approximated the last days of Pompeii: lots of boozin', lots of brawlin', a hickey on every neck. And that was just the crowd. Cypress Hill smashed their instruments and set (respectfully, the giant inflatable Buddha and 5-foot-tall bong were spared); not to be outdone, Courtney Love led the crowd in a “Happy Birthday” to newly 3-year-old Frances Bean, then later physically attacked some seated “industry fucks” who apparently didn't radiate enough interest in her tireless harangues. Best moment: a snippet of Joy Division's “She's Lost Control.” La Chingona, where were you?

Fighting Fire With Fire
The fallout from the recent Empower America-led attack on rap and other “controversial” music continues as heads still roll at Time Warner. But now partly TW-owned Interscope Records is mounting an offense: The label is suing gangsta-rap critic C. Delores Tucker, chairperson of the National Political Congress of Black Women, for her alleged interference with its distribution deal with Death Row Records. According to the Wall Street Journal, the suit claims that Tucker told Death Row execs that TW would negotiate and fund a new deal with the L.A. imprint if she could oversee the lyrics of future releases. Tucker says she only offered to negotiate a new deal on Death Row's behalf if it would agree to redirect toward positive lyrics. The suit is an obvious attempt to shut her up, of course. You may appreciate the sentiment, but isn't fighting censorship with censorship self-defeating at best?

Bon Voyage
After two years of gigging around town, Big Soul is saying goodbye. Once a Parisian DJ got ahold of the trio's demo CD, the band became officially “big in France.” A dance remix of “Hippy Hippy Shake” is currently a club hit, the Frenchies le freaking to Big Soul's “thrash, hip hop, and '60s rock” sound. “They like Jerry Lewis, and they like us,” says bassist Caroline Wampole. That led to a licensing contract with Sony Music Europe and a chance to tour the continent. Meanwhile, Big Soul recorded a new CD, Thank You San Francisco, on its own Wampagroove label. Celebrate its release (and say farewell) at a party Friday, Aug. 25, at the Paradise Lounge in S.F. Samples congratulates Big Soul on its success, but we'll all miss longtime SF Weekly employee, friend, and Big Soul guitarist Kelleth Chinn.

By Sia Michel

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