This ain’t Sputnik! |

This ain’t Sputnik!

Stewart Oksenhorn

The Winter X Games, featuring such alternative sports as skiing superpipe, snowmobile snocross and skier X, will have a most appropriate musical backdrop in Aspen later this month. Perry Farrell, one of the icons of alternative rock, will unveil his latest project, Satellite Party, for an Après X concert in downtown Aspen’s Wagner Park.

Satellite Party is set to make its live debut Friday, Jan. 26. Rapper Common, whose soul-influenced, spiritual music offers an alternate take on hip-hop, will close out the Après X concert series with a performance Saturday, Jan. 27, also in Wagner Park. Both concerts are free and open to the public.Farrell was the frontman for Jane’s Addiction, whose albums “Nothing’s Shocking” and “Ritual de lo Habitual” helped usher in a rock revival in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Farrell also founded Lollapalooza, an eclectic traveling festival whose early lineups emphasized hard rock, in the form of such acts as Nine Inch Nails, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Tool and Soundgarden. Farrell was also the lead singer of mid-’90s band Porno for Pyros; in a 2002 appearance at Aspen’s Double Diamond, he spun records as DJ Peretz.

Farrell first appeared under the Satellite Party name with a Los Angeles gig in mid-2005, and the group also was billed among the headliners for Lollapalooza 2005, in Chicago’s Grant Park. The Aspen date, however, will be the first to feature the band’s touring lineup, which includes guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, from the band Extreme, as well as drummer Kevin Figueiredo, singer Etty Lau Farrell and bassist Carl Restivo. “Ultra Payloaded,” the debut CD from Satellite Party, is set for release in May. The concept album, based on Farrell’s belief that people can change the world for the better, features guest musicians Flea and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, singer Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, and a 30-piece orchestra. The album also will unveil an unreleased vocal track by the late Jim Morrison, titled “Woman in the Window.” At the core “Ultra Payloaded,” Farrell’s first post-Jane’s Addiction recording, is a collaborative brain trust, the Solutionists, “who seek to redesign and come up with solutions for the world,” according to a press release.Common broke through with the 1994 CD “Resurrection.” That album featured the song “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” a criticism of hip-hop’s creative decline. The rapper laid out his own concept for the music in 2000’s “Like Water for Chocolate,” a soul- and funk-inspired album that featured such like-minded hip-hop artists as D’Angelo and Mos Def, African singer Femi Kuti, R&B singer Jill Scott, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and the Roots’ Black Thought, and Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, who produced the album.

Common’s 2002 album “Electric Circus” broke into rock ‘n’ roll. Common earned a Grammy Award for the song “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop),” performed with Erykah Badu, in 2003. His most recent CD, 2005’s “Be,” produced by Kanye West, earned four Grammy nominations, including ones for best rap album and best rap song. His next album, “Finding Forever,” is due for release later this year.Artists appearing in past Après X concerts include Damian Marley, Ozomatli and John Legend.

Winter X Games 11 is set for Jan. 25-28 at Buttermilk Mountain. For more information, go to Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is


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