This week on the music beat

By Tom Sinclair
Updated August 20, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

AUSTIN POWER Kris Kristofferson’s music has taken a backseat to his film career since he became an actor in the early ’70s. But the grizzled 63-year-old star, who was recently seen in John Sayles’ Limbo, says he’s itching to get back on the road to promote The Austin Sessions (due Aug. 24), his first album since 1995’s sunk-without-a-trace Moment of Forever. The disc features new versions of Kristofferson-penned classics like ”Me and Bobby McGee” and pairs the songwriter with such guests as Jackson Browne and Vince Gill. ”I’d forgotten just how much I missed hanging out with musicians,” says the onetime enfant terrible of Nashville songwriters. ”[Atlantic] wants me to make another [album], and I’ve got a bunch of new songs.” Still, Hollywood beckons: ”Marty Scorsese just called me up about a film he’s exec-producing called She Needed Me. I’d be playing a bad guy. Most times it’s more interesting than playing the other kind of guy.”

SHAKE, WRESTLE, AND ROLL Ex-rock critic Richard Meltzer once wrote that the greatest rock music was infused with ”the spirit of wrestling.” Nowadays, the ”sport” is increasingly spilling over into the worlds of rock and rap. This fall, the World Wrestling Federation will release a hip-hop album featuring Snoop Dogg and other rappers. Meanwhile, World Championship Wrestling’s Goldberg is in the new Megadeth video, ”Crush ‘Em.” ”Wrestling is more rock & roll than rock & roll is anymore,” says the group’s Dave Mustaine. ”It’s all bombs and fire and smoke and sex and muscles and long hair.” WCW is also chummy with rap-metal duo Insane Clown Posse, who are currently performing with gothic grappler Vampiro on WCW’s TV series Monday Nitro. A rumored deal between the Posse and the WWF came to naught. ”We like to do business with professionals, and we found them to be something other than that,” says WWF owner Vince McMahon. Ouch! Posse manager Alex Abbiss would say only that he finds McMahon’s comments ”surprising,” adding ”We had a couple of offers in front of us and we made the move that was better for us.”

(Additional reporting by Kristen Baldwin)