BOARD TOURS: The Warped Tour dashes in and out of town this week, but the extreme-sports/punk-rock season is just getting started. The silliest idea weíve heard recently comes courtesy of the Molson Canadian Snow Jam 2002, which plops down at the Bayside Expo Center on Friday and Saturday September 27 and 28. Thatís well within New Englandís warm-weather season, so theyíre trucking in a couple of tons of snow, a bunch of pro snowboarders, and two daysí worth of bands headed up by Warped vets the Mighty Mighty Bosstones ó who for the first time will share a stage with former Bosstone Nate Albertís new band the Kickovers. Also look for performances by Face to Face, Lost City Angels, Unwritten Law, and Bif Naked. Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m.; call (617) 931-2000. Meanwhile, an ad hoc package of package tours has been compiled into a three-day Skatefest at the Palladium in Worcester. It kicks off on Friday September 13 with the local stop of the Sub City labelís annual "Plea for Peace" charity tour, which features Thursday, Swedenís the (International) Noise Conspiracy, Snapcase, Coheed and Cambria, and more. On Saturday, the Palladium opens two stages for the principals from the indie hip-hop powerhouse label Def Jux ó El-P, Mr. Lif, RJD2, and others ó alongside rock acts including Hot Rod Circuit, Taking Back Sunday, OKGO, Mest, and the aforementioned Lost City Angels. The mayhem closes on Sunday with a wild bill including neo-pop-metal monstrosity Andrew W.K., the Juliana Theory, Waltham, Damone, From Autumn to Ashes, Scissorfight, Injected, and the Unseen. Tickets are $18 for the Friday show and $25 each for Saturday and Sunday, or get a three-day pass for $60. Call (800) 477-6849.
YOUTH BRIGADE: After completing a tour behind the groupís new Murray Street (Geffen), Sonic Youthís Thurston Moore will take a sharp left turn next month and reconnect with the group-improv setting thatís been his sideline for the past decade ó this time reteaming with saxophonist Wally Shoup (with whom he performed in Boston a few years back on a rain-soaked night as Hurricane Floyd battered the Northeast) plus percussionist Chris Corsano and saxophonist Paul Flaherty. Theyíll convene at the First Unitarian Church, 3 Church Street in Harvard Square, on September 12 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and available at Twisted Village Records, 12B Eliot Street in Harvard Square. Call (617) 354-6898, or visit www.sublingual.com.
Kid Rock is about to head out with Aerosmith and Run-DMC on the ultimate rap-metal good-will tour. Itíll hit the Tweeter Center in Mansfield for a three-night stand next weekend. But at the moment, the white-trash messiah is in LA, working on a movie called Biker Boyz with Laurence Fishburne and Lisa Bonet. And from the sound of things, he canít wait to hit the road. "I think Fishburne said it best the other day: ĎI get paid to sit around. The actingís for free.í Itís the only job you could have where youíre sitting around all day going, ĎMan, Iíd like to work.í "
Not that the movie isnít up his alley. "Itís a black urban biker movie about the crotch-rocket scene in Northern California with black motorcycle gangs, which I donít know anything about. You know, Iím an outlaw ó I know choppers and Harleys. Me and Fishburne are, like, the baddest dudes in the movie, and Iím the white kid thatís cool enough to hang out in the íhood and roll choppers and race crotch rockets and knock motherfuckers out."
Kid Rock knows as well as anyone that his current album, the Southern-rock-flavored Cocky (Atlantic), isnít knocking out much of anything at retail. But he isnít making excuses, and he says that if heíd had his way, the disc would have been even more of a stylistic departure. "Thereís a lot of stuff that didnít make it to that record that I really wanted to include. When I did ĎPictureí with Sheryl Crow, I went, ĎOh, this is the best song Iíve ever written.í We even cut a few other things together that are just amazing ó we could do an album together. The people at the record company fought and said, ĎWe canít release that. Itíll ruin you.í And you just canít have this argument with these people, you know? Itís like, you spent how much money on P.O.D. and you didnít spend a dime on me, and we both sold two million records. I donít know what to tell you."
Heís got a point: the gorgeous Fleetwood MacĖstyle ballad "Picture" (which did make it into Cocky) speaks for itself, and the album as a whole is a welcome progression from the juvenilia of the diamond-selling Devil Without a Cause (also Atlantic). "I got people like Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney saying, ĎMan, weíll walk this into country radio for you.í I actually have some country stations now, because we tested ourselves in markets just to see. It went number one in five different markets in one week. The people at the record company are trying to preserve the Kid Rock they want to preserve by not giving me the means to do what I want to do, and Iíve still made more money this year than Iíve ever made from touring, because Iíve built a fan base. I think itís good that I took that step. Sometimes you gotta take the long road, and Iíve done that my whole life."
Since he became a star, Kid Rock has made a point of collaborating with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Hank Williams Jr. One of his biggest coups was getting Aerosmith to stop by his Michigan studio for a late-night jam session, a scene he hopes to re-create on stage this summer. "Itís amazing to see them at that age still be interested like that. We jammed till five in the morning, playing ĎHonky Tonk Women,í all these cool Zeppelin covers. Just standing right there next to the guys, you learn so much."
Aerosmith, Kid Rock, and Run-DMC perform next Thursday, Saturday, and Monday ó August 22, 24, and 26 ó at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield. Call (617) 228-6000.