• Coming on November 30th is the 50th anniversary of Big Brother & The Holding Company's major label debut and the double-disc release of Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills -- featuring the material that introduced the world to Janis Joplin. The new set is being issued under its original title, which was nixed by Columbia Records for being too controversial. Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills "restores the band's vision and intent in an essential new collection of 30 rare performances including 29 studio outtakes -- 25 previously unreleased -- from the mythic 1968 sessions that generated Big Brother & The Holding Company's Cheap Thrills. Highlights on the set include such Joplin & Big Brother classics as "Piece Of My Heart," "Ball And Chain," and "Summertime," among others.
    • The collection features liner notes by Jefferson Airplane front-woman Grace Slick and Big Brother & The Holding Company drummer David Getz. Slick writes in her essay: "Then I heard that voice. Good Lord -- spontaneous explosions of every emotion -- no holds barred. Janis had no trouble sliding from the apron clad fifties into the no bra-'60s. We all took every advantage of the new freedoms, and it was reflected in the music." (Press release)

  • Although Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell is busy as one of the newest members of Fleetwood Mac -- he's not saying the Heartbreakers are a dead and buried issue. He spoke to Rolling Stone and talked about his feelings towards keeping the band together after Tom Petty's death: "I just couldn’t think about doing that. I thought it would just be too sad since we’d be missing our other brother. Of course we’ll play again someday. We love each other too much not to do that." He touched upon the fact that a tour behind the long-rumored Wildflowers box set might be the perfect opportunity: "It would be a great tribute to Tom to just do that album. We’d probably have four or five different guest singers with us. We don’t know who they might be though or when this might happen. . . We’ll never go out with Paul Rodgers (who performed with Queen for five years) or someone else. Nobody can fill those shoes. I can’t fill them and I don’t know anybody else that I would want to fill them."
    • Campbell touched upon the notion of the Heartbreakers backing another singer-songwriter: "In the stretch of my imagination, if there’s somebody that we really respect that would want to do an album with a band, we could maybe do that. And if we made an album together and that felt really good and we wanted to go on the road as a whole, doing different songs, maybe there’d be a place for that in the future. But that’s just pie-in-the-sky talk. But it definitely would have to be all new material. It wouldn’t be going out and doing Heartbreakers songs without Tom. That would just be like . . .ugh." (Rolling Stone)

  • October 19th sees the release of Kiss' latest vinyl box set, Kiss: The Solo Albums - 40th Anniversary Collection, a limited-edition 180-gram four-LP box set. Pre-orders are being taken for the limited run of 2,500 vinyl box sets, available exclusively through the band's webstore (https://www.shopkissonline.com) and The Sound of Vinyl (https://SOV.lnk.to/KISSSoloAlbumsText). According to the press release: "Each heavyweight 180-gram LP features a unique color to match its associated cover art; Gene Simmons appears in red vinyl, Paul Stanley sports purple vinyl, Ace Frehley contains blue vinyl, and Peter Criss is in green vinyl. All four albums are housed together in a deluxe black-matte slipcase that features glossy black images of the four artists’ faces surrounding a silver-foil print of the infamous Kiss logo."
    • Also included are four 12-by-12-inch posters of each album cover, plus an exclusive turntable slipmat that shows all four of artist Eraldo Carugati’s iconic, painted album-cover face images all connected together. (Press release)

  • The original lineup of early-'90s alt-pop Canadian rockers Crash Test Dummies, best known for 1993's "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm," are set for a string of Midwest and East Coast dates. The shows will feature the band performing its 1993 breakthrough album, God Shuffled His Feet, in its entirety along with other favorites including "Superman’s Song" and "The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead." Frontman Brad Roberts said in a statement, "After a huge hit in Canada with our folksier debut album, our next effort was dubbed 'too new a sound' by our Canadian compatriots. In America however, it managed to pique the interest of a new and frankly much larger group of listeners and soon 'Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm' became a bonafide hit south of our border, and eventually all over the world. It was a wild ride for us that year. Now we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary reuniting with our original line-up and dusting off our old set lists. We’re very excited about it." (Rolling Stone)
    • JUST ANNOUNCED: Crash Test Dummies tour dates (subject to change):
      November 23 - St. Paul, MN - Fitzgerald Theater
      November 24 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk
      November 25 - Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom
      November 27 - Kent, OH - Kent Stage
      November 29 - West Collingswood, NJ - Scottish Rite
      November 30 - Washington, DC - The Hamilton
      December 2 - Charleston, WV - Mountain Stage
      December 4 - Boston, MA - Wilbur Theatre
      December 5 - Ridgefield, CT - Ridgefield Playhouse
      December 7 - Fall River, MA - Narrow Center for the Arts
      December 8 - New York, NY - The Concert Hall