May 1, 2004

What makes a single climb the charts? Welsh rockers the Alarm wanted to find out. The group—which achieved quite a bit of notoriety as young lads in the early-’80s, but has since been operating mostly in the underground—released its latest single, “45 RPM” under the moniker, the Poppyfields. Posing as a younger band, with teenaged rockers the Wayriders standing in for the band in the video, “45 RPM” hit number 28 on the British music charts in February, marking the group’s first entrance into the Top 40 since 1990. As lead singer Mike Peters told the BBC News, “The Alarm as an entity have been going for 20-odd years and history can go against you. We wanted to break the barrier down.” Thanks to Peters’ successful “trick,” can we expect other aging rockers to hire young, cute, “front” players for their promo videos? Is an Archies reunion in our future? Stay tuned. . . .U2’s The Edge will perform the theme song to the newest incarnation of the animated Batman series, due out this fall. This is not the first time U2 has provided the soundtrack for the Caped Crusader—the 1995 single “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” which accompanied Batman Forever, was a huge success. . . . Love your free music downloads? Hate the RIAA? Wyatt Wasicek is there for you. He has created a program called AnonX that hides the Internet address of folks who use file-sharing services. The software enables you to hide your address from everyone except Wasicek and the good people at AnonX. He swears he won’t divulge this info to anyone, and won’t be forced to do so since the actual owner of AnonX lives on one of those unregulated Pacific islands. Though the downloads are still free, AnonX will cost you $5.95 per month. Says Wasicek, “I’m doing this to protect the family with the 13-year-old, not the 25-year-old with 25 movies he’s sharing with his buddies.”. . . There are many things you could say about the Dead—that is, the Grateful Dead sans Jerry Garcia—but they certainly have fine taste in guitarists. Warren Haynes has joined the group for several dates in 2004, beginning with their annual Winter Jam at the Warfield in San Francisco this past February. Following that show, Haynes headed back out on the road with Gov’t Mule and will join the Dead again for their summer tour.

—Emily Fasten

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