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Hear And Now

This week on the music beat

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TWO MUCH? Back in the day, bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones often released two, even three albums a year; now, it’s more like one every two or three years. Recently, a number of rappers — Nas, DMX, Ice Cube — have gone old school, putting out two records within 365 days. And the trend is spreading to rock: In 1999, Ani DiFranco unleashed three separate CDs, and in 2000, Everclear will drop two new discs. ”The label [Capitol] was totally into it,” says Everclear singer-guitarist Art Alexakis. ”It’s a long shot, but if it works from a financial point of view, everyone’s happy.” Uh, are two albums a year really twice as nice from a label perspective? ”There are artists whose fans are so dedicated, they’ll buy almost anything by them,” says Tom Corson, marketing VP at Arista. ”But I don’t think many labels would want to support it across the board.” How come? ”Because the average fan wants good music.”

PARK CITY ROCKERS You don’t have to wait until summer to feast on a Lollapalooza-style smorgasbord of bands — just light out for Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival, where the ratio of musicians to filmmakers can feel like 1:1. In past years, Joan Osborne, Blondie, and Slash have shown up, and you never know who’ll be jamming at the countless parties. This year’s shindig (Jan. 20-30) features John Popper, Third Eye Blind, Matthew Sweet, the Verve Pipe, and Air, among others. ASCAP and BMG are organizing showcases (no doubt to facilitate partnerships between filmmakers and musicians who dabble in scores and soundtracks). ”If it can further the work that directors and composers do together,” says Sundance codirector Nicole Guillemet, ”so much the better.” And who’s the edgiest musician on tap? ”Johnny Rotten will be there for the premiere of the Sex Pistols doc, The Filth and the Fury,” says Sundance’s R.J. Millard, ”but we don’t know whether he’ll be playing or not.” Oh, bollocks.