Gossip on Semisonic, Guster, Local H, Fig Dish

Nov 2, 1998, 12:00 am PT

While most Los Angelenos rocked out to Kiss and Smashing Pumpkins at Dodger Stadium on Halloween, a select few were treated to an intimate poolside acoustic show from Semisonic and Guster in the trendy hills of Los Feliz, Calif. Semisonic kicked off the seven-song set with covers of Prince and the Revolution's "Take Me With U," Steely Dan's "Dirty Work," Split Enz' "I Got You," and Dobie Gray's "Drift Away." The members of Guster, along with Semisonic bassist John Munson and drummer Jacob Slichter, then tackled Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Breakdown" and James' "Laid" before Semisonic vocalist Dan Wilson rejoined the soiree for the Hollies' "Air That I Breathe." During one particular funny moment, Guster lead singer Ryan Miller burst into Semisonic's "Closing Time" much to the puzzlement of Munson. "Don't act like you don't know that song!" said Miller... Local H and Fig Dish used the Halloween weekend as an excuse to emulate their favorite pop stars. At a special show at Double Door in Chicago, Local H dressed up as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and jammed through such classics as "Bad Reputation" and "I Love Rock and Roll," among others. Fig Dish chose Duran Duran as their '80s band of choice, dressing the part and putting "Girls on Film," "Rio," The Reflex," and "Hungry Like the Wolf" (along with the requisite "Is anybody hunnnngggry?" courtesy of Fig Dish guitarist Rick Ness beforehand), through the ringer. Both bands joined forces on AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll)." Several other local Chicago area bands were on hand as well, dressing up and covering Ted Nugent, Def Leppard, Elton John, and the Who...Following in the footsteps of 2 Live Jews, recent Sire/Warner Bros. signees M.O.T. kicked off the release of their debut album, 19.99, at famous Jew haven Canter's Deli in L.A.'s Fairfax district on Thursday (Oct. 29). The duo, consisting of Dr. Dreidle and Ice Berg, could be seen noshin', schvitzin,' and schlepping around the famous deli, all the while busting kosher rhymes on the befuddled crowd of record industry peeps. But don't worry if you are confused, if you're not a Member Of the Tribe, you probably won't get it ... Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen report: There are plans for Jesus Christ Superstar to tour amphitheaters next summer with sources saying that George Michael will play Jesus Christ, Natalie Merchant as Mary Magdalene, and retro rocker Lenny Kravitz in a starring role. However, the information hasn't been confirmed by the artists' managers or publicists, and Kravitz' publicist says there's no truth to it at all. Even so, a source says that the SFX Entertainment production is being routed this week...Before working on their sophomore album for Capitol Records, Phoenix- based Jimmy Eat World will have an EP out on Fueled By Ramen on Nov. 24, which is the Florida- based label run by Less Than Jake drummer Vinnie...According to our tour industry sleuths, Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen, the following tours are expected (though not all are confirmed yet): Echo & The Bunnymen (November), Luther Vandross (November), Meat Loaf (November- December), 'NSync with Britney Spears (November- December), Black Sabbath (starts Dec. 31), Gregg Allman (November- January), Green Day (winter), Sammy Hagar (January), Billy Idol (January), Love & Rockets (January- February), Mr. Bungle (early 1999), the Tragically Hip (mid-January- February), Sheryl Crow (February), the Cardigans (February- March), Marianne Faithfull (April), Beastie Boys (April), Dead Can Dance (May), New Order (Summer 1999), and Journey (returning next summer in amphitheaters)...Monday (Nov. 2) marks the season premiere of the new Ted Danson series on CBS called Becker, which features Alex Desert, one of the two lead singers in Hepcat, who are touring with Rancid as we type, in the recurring role of a wise-cracking blind man who works at the local diner/ newsstand. This certainly isn't Desert's first acting role; he was the black guy with the hat in the scenes in Swingers where they caravan to the bar and the party. Meanwile, the other members of Hepcat are currently starring in the Royal Crown Revue video for "Zip Gun Bop."... So apparently PJ Harvey and her gang didn't have time to see Courtney Love and her Hole crew, who apparently tried for an audience after Harvey's staggering show at Los Angeles' Wiltern last Saturday (Oct. 24) night. Just a guess: Could Harvey be less than eager to hang with La Love in the wake of Ms. Hole's recent dismissive, condescending comments regarding Harvey in the British press? To wit (less): "Fuck all this gender difficulty. Fuck all this female experience rage shit. That's Polly Harvey's job."...Ken Stringfellow (Posies) and Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5) wil be co-producing the demos for young cutie pies Marigold, a new band from Eugene, Ore. If the demoing goes well, the pair might produce the group's debut album (and possibly perform on it) for Outpost Recordings. The label hopes to have an album out in the summer of 1999...

-- Miss Truth