SOUND BITES Parents who think Eminem’s music is dangerous to kids may be more right than they know. In his first concert appearance promoting his new disc, ”The Eminem Show,” the rapper’s performance at Washington, D.C.’s RFK stadium on Saturday night prompted a mosh-pit stampede at which some 30 people were crushed. The crowd ignored the rapper’s pleas to step back and ease the squeeze. Five people were hospitalized, one with a heart attack; the rest were treated at the scene for minor injuries. Eminem’s performance, part of a two-day festival sponsored by Maryland radio station WHFS-FM, had to be halted for 10 minutes, as emergency workers pulled the injured from the pit.
The concert came one day before the release of ”Eminem Show,” which the rapper pushed forward a second time at the last minute. He’d moved it once, advancing the release a week to May 28, announcing a week ago that he was putting the album out early to dilute the impact of bootlegs and Internet piracy that had already made the 20-track opus widely available. Then, on Friday, he announced that, since the record was already set to ship to stores for sale on Tuesday, he’d let stores start selling it on Sunday. (Whether the stores had their displays and other marketing tools ready by Sunday was another matter.) It’s all but unprecedented for a record to be released on a Sunday instead of a Tuesday, so it’ll be interesting to see if the two-day jump gives Slim Shady an advantage over the rest of the Billboard chart entries, not to mention the bootleggers, in drumming up sales for what is already the year’s most anticipated album….
After launching a nationwide search and open auditions to find a new guitarist to replace Wes Borland, Limp Bizkit seem to have narrowed the finalists down to two. One is the band’s own frontman, Fred Durst, who says on the band’s website that he’s been practicing his licks (”Scary!!”, he notes) and has commissioned a couple of custom-made guitars. The other is… Wes Borland. ”We are hoping Wes will come back and surprise us one day soon,” Durst writes. ”We miss him, but he’s doing his thing and he’s supposedly really happy. Email Wes and tell him to come back to his family.” No word on if Borland, who quit the band in October, is interested in rejoining, or if he’s happy to keep rollin’ on his own.