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May 08, 2003|Kevin Bronson, with Craig Rosen

It was not he, says E

Despite published reports to the contrary, Eels frontman Mark Everett insists that MC Honky's recently released "I Am the Messiah" is not Everett's solo album. Everett, who simply goes by E, says he only guested on and produced several cuts on the album, a mix of kitschy samples and live instrumentation that sounds like DJ Shadow meets Esquivel. Honky, according to his record label bio, is an L.A. native in his mid-50s and a former janitor at Capitol Records. Everett supposedly discovered the sound collagist after Honky's teenage daughter slipped him a tape at a 1999 Eels show. Now Everett claims that he and the Honkster are on the outs, due to reports that E is the mastermind. "NME in England printed a thing that said it was secretly E from the Eels' solo album, which is wrong on so many levels," he quips. "I don't need to break up with myself to do a solo album. That's what an Eels album is." MC Honky was unavailable for comment. Eels' next album, "Shootenanny," is due June 3.

Feeling Georgia

All it took to polish one of Los Angeles' gems was six months in Athens, Ga. That's how long Jack Burnside and his bandmates in the Few took up residence to make their debut album with production guru Andy LeMaster (Bright Eyes, Azure Ray). "We did it in chunks, whenever he was available," says Burnside. "Living there, and playing in the clubs, it raises your game." The result, an explosive, hooky collection that echoes Burnside's love of the Replacements and fascination with the Cure, is startling from a 22-year-old who took up guitar only three years ago. The Few's lineup includes Burnside's Buckley High buddy Jamie Zwick and drummer Pauline Mu, as well as recently added guitarist Jonathan Zeitlin. And if anybody at Friday night's show at the Knitting Factory detects a vocal similarity to Bright Eyes prodigy Conor Oberst, Burnside says it's coincidental: "I never envisioned myself as a singer. Things started to click when I quit trying to sound like anyone else."

Fast forward

With a Meat Puppets DVD on the way, Curt Kirkwood has a date May 17 at Di Piazza's Lounge in Long Beach. ... Les Sans Culottes, in town from New York City to record the group's next album, performs Friday at the Derby. ... Raining Jane, at work on the follow-up to its 2001 debut album, performs May 15 at UCLA's Schoenberg Quad as part of Take Back the Night, an annual event to raise awareness of sexual and domestic violence.

-- Kevin Bronson, with Craig Rosen

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