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Made of honor
Juliana’s rant, Karate’s last chop, Burma’s new album, and Dropkicks on the road

"I am a confused, sloppy, childish, conflicted mess," JULIANA HATFIELD writes on her Web site, in a rant attempting to explain the contradictions of her latest solo album, Made in China, which she describes as "faster and looser and louder" than her last one, and on which she’s backed by her boyfriend’s band the Unbusted as well as a few of the Gentlemen. "In Exile Deo, my last album, was a fairly clean, tailored, buttoned-up, adult affair," she continues, "influenced somewhat by the record company who wanted a product they could sell. But I could have told them I am not very marketable. I don’t fit in anywhere. I am a sensitive singer-songwriter, a hard-rocker, a pop diva, and a dadaist. I am none of these things." Made in China was made in Vermont and Cambridge and manufactured in America; due August 9, it’s the first disc on her own RED-distributed label Ye Olde Records, and it includes a photographic self-portrait of a (tastefully) nude Hatfield in the tub. Not that she’s unconflicted about showing some skin. "The most talented girl singers have turned themselves into strippers," she writes. " ’Cause sex sells . . . Mariah Carey has implants. Christina Aguilera has implants. Gwen Stefani has implants. Even her. She finally gave in. And Beyoncé is on her hands and knees evoking doggy-style sex in one of her videos . . . Why, Beyoncé, why?" Hatfield plays the Wellfleet Beachcomber on Friday, the Hot Tin Roof on Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday, and the Paradise on August 20.

I always thought of Geoff Farina and his band KARATE as the strong, quiet types — turning out good records (six in all) and chugging along at their own pace while maintaining a large following of librarian girls and dudes with English degrees. So maybe the biggest surprise about their break-up last month is that Farina killed Karate — a band who made clean tones, burnished distortion, and jazz structure fashionable — because they’d gotten too damn loud. "I could no longer continue with the band for a number of personal reasons, the most important of which is that I have developed hearing problems," he wrote on his Web site. "After seeing a hearing specialist . . . it quickly became clear that I can no longer play at the high stage volume that Karate requires." Karate’s last show was July 10 in Rome; Farina plans to form a new group "in the next year," but bassist Jeff Goddard already has a new gig: he’s playing with former Come guitarist Chris Brokaw’s new rock band, whose line-up also includes former Rodan drummer Kevin Coultas. That outfit makes its local debut Saturday at the Lizard Lounge.

MISSION OF BURMA are making another album; details are scant, but management has announced the band are heading into the studio in September to begin work on a follow-up to last year’s comeback disc OnOFFOn . . . DROPKICK MURPHYS kick off with the Warped Tour August 15 in Northampton, but they’ve already announced a rad headlining tour that will bring a bunch of home-town heroes to the West Coast in November. Their "Boston Invasion Tour" will include as openers local hardcore grandaddies GANG GREEN along with LOST CITY ANGELS and DARKBUSTER . . . Advances of A WILHELM SCREAM’s new Ruiner (Nitro, due August 16) are here, and yeah, the disc is outstanding. The New Bedford quintet are set for a monster season: after a Warped Tour stint and a visit to Hellfest, they have fall tours lined up with Catch 22, Pennywise, and Strung Out.

Chris Rucker is the host of New England Product, which airs Sunday from 9 to 10 p.m. on WFNX 101.7 FM.


Issue Date: August 5 - 11, 2005
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