Music

Hear & Now

This week on the music beat

BIG 'SKY' Things are looking up for ''Mr. Blue Sky.'' The 1977 ELO hit had faded from view over the years, overshadowed by more enduring Jeff Lynne standards like ''Don't Bring Me Down.'' But that all changed when the song showed up in recent TV commercials for the new Volkswagen Beetle convertible (for which Lynne completely rerecorded the tune) and for the film ''Adaptation.'' And now Scottish indie band the Delgados have cooked up a killer cover of the track as a B side on their latest single. Perhaps the once-reviled ELO are headed for a critical reevaluation. ''We like to find songs that people really loved when they were younger, before they got too focused on what's cool or not cool,'' says Arnold Advertising's Alan Pafenbach, who oversaw the VW spot. ''I think this is one of those songs. It really is a great piece of music. Sometimes it's better not to be so cool.'' But why is ''Sky'' suddenly everywhere all at once? Mere coincidence, apparently. Asked about the VW ad, Delgados singer Emma Pollock pleads ignorance: ''Oh, are they doing that over there? That's great. I hope they [air the ''Mr. Blue Sky'' commercial] in Britain. Maybe we can get them to use our version.'' -- Rob Brunner

'THROTTLE' ROCKET Pink is in hog heaven these days. She's currently recording the self-penned title track to ''Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle,'' the easy-riding sequel to the 2000 hit movie. And she's nabbed a cameo in the June release, playing a mysterious black-clad motorcycle mama who runs an underground bike race and crosses paths with Cameron Diaz. ''Pink embodies the strength and beauty of an Angel,'' says di-rector McG, who also helmed the first installment. ''We loved her ass-kicking approach.'' Just don't expect to see the spunky singer wheelin' her power. Although she owns a motorcycle, she leaves the riding to the pros (including her beau, motocross daredevil Carey Hart, who's also in the film). Once she's wrapped the soundtrack single, Pink begins work on the follow-up to last year's 11-million-selling ''M!zzundastood,'' tentatively due out this October. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Originally posted Feb 21, 2003 Published in issue #696-697 Feb 21, 2003 Order article reprints