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A new tour package, Bowie's guests, and the return of the Sex Pistols


A newly conceptualized tour package looks to be the place to fly your freak-flag among the sunscreen this summer, if you're lucky enough for it to touch down near you. Dubbing itself the Unlimited Sunshine 2002 tour, this one sounds wonderfully weird and adventurous with headliners The Flaming Lips as the chief conductors on this indie spirited caravan. Other artists to fill the 5-hour day affair include Cake, De La Soul, Modest Mouse, Kinky and the acoustic bluegrass Hackensaw Boys. If you've witnessed any of The Flaming Lips' audio mischief -- from car tape deck symphonies to direct audio headset feeds that compliment a live performance -- then, whew! Welcome to the tingles of anticipation, my friend. The tour starts on July 31 in St. Louis and drifts over 17 dates to August 31 in St. Paul, MN. I'll see you there... With the pomp and ceremony of the Queen's Golden Jubilee this year, the Sex Pistols are once again thumbing their snotty noses, reissuing their 1977 anthem "God Save the Queen" next week as a U.K. single with bonus remixes, exactly 25 years since its explosive debut. The following week will see the issue of a new 3-CD box set titled Jubilee, collecting 61 tracks, CD-ROM videos and lots of rarities. Fellow Brit Billy Bragg is also poking his disgruntled head into the celebratory mood, as he's releasing his new "Tear Down the Union Jack" single next week on the Cooking Vinyl label... Chumbawamba, the culture-jamming U.K. anarchists, have released intriguing details about their forthcoming Readymade album due next month on the Republic imprint. The highbrow concept album is based on 20th century artist Marcel Duchamp, who once described "readymade" as a work of art without an artist to make it... World class DJ Paul Oakenfold has lined up a bevy of interesting guest vocalists for his new Bunkka set, due June 18 on the Maverick label. Now simply going by Oakenfold, he's joined by Ice Cube, Nelly Furtado, Tricky, Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction, Shifty Shellshock of Crazy Town, Grant Lee Philips of Grant Lee Buffalo, and -- dig this -- gonzo author Hunter S. Thompson on the track "Nixon's Spirit."... The guest list for the upcoming David Bowie album, Heathen, is also filling up fast. Due June 11 on the ISO/Columbia label, the set features guitarists Pete Townshend of The Who and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.

Television Alert:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Tommy Lee this evening, Jimmy Buffett on Thursday, Willie Nelson on Friday, and Ben Harper on Monday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien hosts the Promise Ring on Friday overnight; The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn features Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh & Friends this evening overnight, Marshall Crenshaw on Thursday overnight, Tommy Lee on Friday overnight, and Angelique Kidjo on Monday overnight; and Last Call with Carson Daly gets chatty with Rufus Wainwright on Monday overnight, and Pete Yorn on Tuesday overnight.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, May 28

(and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change...)

As Friends Rust -- A Young Trophy Band in the Parlance of Our Times (Equal Vision), 5-song EP

The Ataris -- Anywhere But Here (Kung Fu), CD reissue of their first album featuring bonus tracks and video extras

Black Widows -- Stops a Beating Heart (Initial), new hardcore from Louisville, KY, featuring former members of Endpoint and National Acrobat

Coldcut -- 70 Minutes of Madness (Journeys By DJ), domestic release of this smash U.K. mix CD blending tracks from Photek, Jello Biafra, DJ Food and more

Joanna Connor -- The Joanna Connor Band (M.C. Records), new from the blues slide guitarist, featuring covers of War's "Slipping Into Darkness" and -- dig this -- Grandmaster Flash's "White Lines"

Dag Nasty -- Can I Say (Dischord), reissue of this 1986 punk classic featuring 6 bonus tracks

Dead Sheriff -- Rockapocalyptica (Dionysus), from Norway

Depeche Mode -- One Night In Paris (Hip-O), live 2-DVD set filmed during their 2001 Exciter tour with 13 cameras and a 5.1 channel mix

Hellride -- "Troublemaker" (Scooch Pooch), 8-track CD EP

High On Fire -- Surrounded By Thieves (Relapse)

Eric Lichter -- Palm Wine Sunday Blue (Hidden Agenda), solo debut from this Green Pajamas keyboardist and songwriter

Mastodan -- Remission (Relapse), ultra heavy nu-metal featuring former members of Today Is the Day

MC5 -- Human Being Lawn Mower: Baddest and Maddest of the MC5 (Total Energy), remastered and expanded reissue compiled by Wayne Kramer and John Sinclair

Midnight Thunder Express -- Midnight Thunder Express (Empty), debut formed from the breakup of the Valentine Killers

Peter Murphy -- Dust (Metropolis), all new from the Bauhaus vocalist and Mercan Dede

Jill Olson -- My Best Yesterday (125/Innerstate), new solo album from the Red Meat founder

Snowglobe -- Our Land Brains (Bardot Records)

The Somatics -- El Toppo (Beggars Banquet)

Steroid Maximus -- Ectopia (Ipacac Recordings), new from JG Thirlwell and company

John James can be found via cyberspace at *

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