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June 5 - 12, 1998


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by Brian Goslow

If all goes as planned, Nick DiBiasio will air an interview with Chris Difford from Squeeze this Saturday between 8 p.m. and midnight on Against the Grain on WICN (90.5 FM). The interview is intended to promote appearances by the legendary British pop group ("Cool for Cats," and "Tempted") on June 7 at Pearl Street, in Northampton, and on June 11 at the Avalon, in Boston. The band are playing a small number of East Coast shows to supplement their appearances with the Guinness Fleadh Tour, which visits Randall's Island, in New York City, on June 13 and 14. The festival's line-up, billed as the biggest Irish music showcase in the world, will also include Sinead O'Connor, the Chieftains, Richard Thompson, Wilco, and Billy Bragg. "I tried to get Difford to come to the studios, but he suggested I send him a tape of the questions," explains DiBiasio, eagerly awaiting a response. "The bad thing is, I won't have the chance to ask any follow-up questions."

Bragg and Wilco, who recently collaborated on an album of material created from unpublished Woody Gutherie lyrics (to which they composed the music), release the result of their loving efforts, Mermaid Avenue (Electra), on June 22. Expect to hear plenty of this one on both the Friday and Saturday airings of Against the Grain. And mark down this date: June 27. That's when Bragg and Wilco appear on the Late Show with David Letterman. Who says there's no strength left in the power of a union?

The June 6 Against the Grain will also feature a preview of the upcoming "Hear in Rhode Island Festival," which takes place on June 13 and 14 at Indian Point Park, in Providence. A resident of "Little Rhody" himself, DiBiasio will interview "the Queen of Caffeine," Kerri Powers (a Taunton resident who released her Three Houses six-song CD earlier this year) and Mary Anne Rossoni, who'll play tracks from her Half Slips & Garters CD (Size Eleven Music). On June 13, Erin McKeown (who you may remember her from the rave reviews she received early in the year from WCUW's Rich Fox) will visit the WICN studios. "She's an excellent guitar player who's originally from Virginia but is going to Brown University," DiBiasio says. All three will perform as part of the festival's Sunday line-up.

WITH THE ANNUAL Jazz at Sunset series opening next weekend, upcoming airings of Toni Ballard's Studio 3 will feature highlights from the previous season. The Joe Parillo Ensemble are in the spotlight the week of June 8 while Ed Saindon is joined by Herb Pomeroy and Dick Johnson the week of June 15. Latin jazz enthusiasts should catch Heart and Fire, who are featured the week of June 22. Studio 3 airs every Monday at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., and Thursday at 9:30 p.m. on WGMC-TV 3. And if you're reading this on Thursday (June 4), check out Ballard with the Bevan Manson Trio and special guest Tony D'Aveni, tonight at 9:30 p.m.

DMZ TOPPED THE LITTER BOX'S Top-50-bands-of-the-past-30-years countdown which aired on WCUW last month. The rest of the timeless 10 were the Cramps, Flamin' Groovies, Lyres, Real Kids, Fleshtones, Stooges, Flat Duo Jets, and Dictators. The special shows were the final broadcasts of John O'Neill's seven-year run at the community broadcaster. O'Neill is also a columnist for the Worcester Phoenix. For the time being, John McKeag is slated to expand his free-form experimental showcase, Glimpses, into the station's 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday-night slot.

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