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This week on the music beat

Hanson and Tool made news the week of October 3, 1997

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HANSON FOR THE HOLIDAYS A riddle for 14-year-old girls: What’s the next best thing to cornering Taylor Hanson underneath a sprig of mistletoe? Why, a Hanson Christmas album, of course. Snowed In, which the teen trio is now hurriedly recording outside London, is tentatively slated for a Nov. 18 release. Wait, there’s more: Around the same time, fans can buy Tulsa, Tokyo, and the Middle of Nowhere, a feature-length documentary video of the ”MMMBop” boys romping, clowning, and performing on their recent world tour. Says Tulsa director David Silver: ”Despite their busy schedule, Hanson found time to participate in the editing process. Their analysis of the footage was absolutely right on.” Good to know; if the pop star thing doesn’t work out, they can always find work as film consultants.

TOOL DUEL Lollapalooza headliners Tool might want to consider writing a song called ”Litigious Synchronicity.” On Sept. 12 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the band filed a lawsuit against its label, Volcano Entertainment, contending that the company had failed to exercise its option to renew Tool’s contract and that the band was therefore a free agent; that same day, 3,000 miles away, Volcano responded by filing a countersuit against Tool in New York State Supreme Court. Volcano founder Kevin Czinger says Tool’s contract is still ”legal and binding.” Responds Tool singer Maynard Keenan sarcastically: ”Of course they’re right, because a record company would never lie, would they?”

TUNES FOR TUBEHEADS Get ready for the latest pernicious trend from the industry that brought you tribute, benefit, and Christmas albums: CDs of music from late-night TV talk shows. Kick-starting things on Oct. 7 will be Live From 6A: Great Musical Performances From Late Night With Conan O’Brien, featuring, among others, Elvis Costello, Ani DiFranco, and David Bowie. Says the album’s producer, Jim Pitt: ”When I started calling people about this, everybody said, ‘Wow! What a great idea. Why hasn’t someone else thought of this?”’ Someone has: Live on Letterman: Music From the Late Show will hit the racks Nov. 18. Though there are no plans for a similar compilation from Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, we may soon see a collection from Vibe. Said a spokesperson for the show: ”Wow! What a great idea.”