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Buzz Bands

May 29, 2003|Kevin Bronson, with Craig Rosen

Stinson's going it alone

Not many musicians can lay claim to being a member of two of the most influential bands of the '80s, but Tommy Stinson can. The Burbank resident who first gained fame as a teenage member of the great Minneapolis alt-rock group the Replacements, has been working with Axl Rose in the reconfigured Guns N' Roses since 1998. Between the demise of the band fans lovingly knew as the 'Mats and his recruitment in GNR, Stinson fronted Bash & Pop, and later Perfect. Now Stinson is launching a solo career. He's finishing an album at the home studio of former Pixies frontman Frank Black and also recently played sets in L.A. and New York opening for former D Generation frontman Jesse Malin. As he looks for a licensing deal for the album, Stinson is considering touring as a solo act this summer. His live set -- he plays June 12 at Largo -- consists of new material, as well as a couple of Bash & Pop and Perfect songs. And, he hasn't forgotten the 'Mats' trump card -- choice covers; in Stinson's case they include Loudon Wainwright's "One Man Guy," Big Star's "Nightime," and the Partridge Family's "Come On Get Happy." Says Stinson, "If you play all that sissy acoustic [stuff] and bum everyone out, you've got to throw something funny in there once in a while."

Garage recording

Death on Wednesday got a lot of mileage out of a garage. That's where the Orange County foursome recorded the new EP "Songs to ____ To." "Well, It was a nice garage studio but a garage nonetheless," guitarist Jeff Saenz says. Boosted by some nifty production, DOW emerged with six songs that represent a departure from the pop-punk that dominated the band's 2000 album, "Buying the Lie." "We've tried not to fall into any niche," Saenz says, "Hopefully the songwriting's a little more mature ... and you see a lot more diversity." As for the dry spell between releases, Saenz concedes the band "had a bit of a rough year" before Anaheim-based SideCho Records put out the EP. DOW performs at the House of Blues Anaheim on June 9.

Fast forward

Over-the-top power-pop group Tsar, in the process of mixing the follow-up to its self-titled debut in 2000, plays the Garage on Friday.... Glendale's all-female Go Betty Go is among four Latin rock acts on the bill Wednesday at the Verano Alternativo showcase at the Knitting Factory.... Silver Lake singer-songwriter Gus Black, whose sophomore album, "Uncivilized Love," was released last week, brings his civilized tunes to Largo on Tuesday.... Fans can toast the release of Automatic's second album, "Down," at the band's show Saturday at the Viper Room.

-- Kevin Bronson, with Craig Rosen

E-mail us at buzzbands@latimes.com.

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