* Censorship Update
The good news: 13 state legislatures have dropped plans for record-labeling bills. The bad news: They’re doing it because the Recording Industry Assn. of America, which represents 57 record companies, will institute a standardized ”Explicit Lyrics — Parental Advisory” warning sticker for its members. RIAA spokeswoman Patricia Heimers says that ”each company will make its own individual decision” on which records get the sticker. Ironically, many of the labeling bills (in states such as Arizona, Maryland, West Virginia, and Tennessee) had been either voted down or tabled during spring sessions. Labeling bills are still alive in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Delaware, and Florida; legislators from those states plan to meet with the RIAA this month to try to iron out remaining differences.
* Out From Down Under
Australia’s INXS are about to begin recording their seventh album in Sydney. Producing will be Chris Thomas, who also did the honors for the band’s 1987 release, Kick.
* Catch a New New Wave
Maybe you weren’t in New York City in the late ’70s when CBGB was the center of the New Wave rock scene. Well, now you have another chance to experience those heady days. This summer four acts that trace their roots to that dingy little club go on tour together: the Ramones, Deborah Harry (of Blondie fame), Tom Tom Club, and Jerry Harrison (the last two are spin-offs of Talking Heads).
* He’s So Heavy, He’s My Brother
Guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and his brother Jimmie, of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, have been working on their first album together in Memphis.
* Let the Good Times Air
The 21st annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will be broad-cast on public radio stations around the country on May 6. The six-hour, live program, organized by WGBH Radio in Boston, will showcase the diverse music, crafts, and food at the event’s final day. This year’s edition of the festival includes the Neville Brothers and Dr. John.