Leah Greenblatt reports on Thom Yorke's solo album, a No Doubt project (without Gwen), a new OutKast song, and more

By Leah Greenblatt
December 27, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST
Thom Yorke: sarahphotogirl/WireImage.com

News on Thom Yorke’s solo album

· Because the blogosphere nearly pooped its digital pants with the exciting news this past weekend, you’ve probably already heard: Yes, Virginia, there is a solo Thom Yorke record. The Eraser will be out July 11 on XL, the heretofore fairly quiet home to acts like Badly Drawn Boy, Devendra Banhart, and, most recently, Tapes N’ Tapes. Yorke himself dismisses the word solo, and wrote in an open letter to fans, ”as you know the band are now touring and writing new stuff and getting to a good space so i want no crap about me being a traitor or whatever splitting up blah blah… this was all done with their blessing.” XL’s head of A&R, Kris Chen (he also brought Franz Ferdinand to the U.S., via Domino), says it’s unlikely Eraser get any solo stage time, ”though not completely ruled out by his management. What I do know,” he adds, ”is that this record is intensely beautiful, and Thom still has the most heartbreaking voice I’ve ever heard.”

· Pulling a sort of reverse-solo: the members of No Doubt who are not Gwen Stefani. Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young are currently at work in the studio, according to the band’s website, minus their heavily pregnant lead singer. ”We’re taking it very slowly,” bassist Kanal told MTV.com, ”kind of just going in and writing here and there.” They’ve got their own extracurriculars to focus on, anyhow; Kanal has started his own imprint label, Kingsbury Studios, and produced one of its first acts, the rock band Elan (their Together as One is due out June 13). Dumont, meanwhile, recently produced thoughtful singer-songwriter Matt Costa’s album Songs We Sing, and is taking time out for a very personal production: baby Ace Dumont, born April 6.

· Thought EW was a little too eager back in ye olde 2004 to champion a little-known Aussie outfit called Wolfmother? Au contraire : The self-titled debut full-length by these gloriously Zeppelin-esque rockers bowed last week at No. 22 on the Billboard albums chart — sandwiched between the Goo Goo Dolls and Daniel ”Bad Day” Powter, no less. The video for the band’s lead single, ”Woman,” plus ”Mind’s Eye” and ”Dimension,” are available at AOL Music, and you can find the slightly more obscure concert vid for ”White Unicorn” here.

· Finally, a new Outkast track is streaming online. Tired rehash, hot like lava, or somewhere in between? You tell us, dear readers.