A couple days ago the Mercury's Chas Bowie broke the news (via a Blog Town, PDX post) that former Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss had joined Steve Malkmus' band, the Jicks. Says Weiss, "I've been intrigued with the possibility of playing with the Jicks ever since John Moen left to be a Decemberist fulltime. My schedule hadn't really allowed it though, until recently, when I became much more available. Joanna Bolme joined Quasi on our last round of tours, so I knew for a fact that our rhythm section could stir up some magic. And what self-respecting musician wouldn't jump at the chance to play with one of the [most] staggering guitarists of our generation?! I'm excited to be in a situation where folks like to improvise, to push the envelope." Weiss continues, "So far, it's been really great... and challenging. Steve's got a bunch of ballsy new songs. I'm enjoying getting inside a new and very different brain, trying to find the drum parts that suit his creativity. I appreciate how far out and wild he gets with his playing, and look forward to forging into some new territory."

One thing that's not fun is being the target of gossip and, love her or hate her, that's exactly where Storm Large has been lately. Says the New York Daily News, "Dave Navarro must not read the gossip columns, or he'd know he was supposed to be dating a young lady by the name of Susan Howard. A host of the recently completed Rock Star: Supernova, Navarro has been hanging out with one of the show's sexy contestants, the elaborately named Storm Susan Large. They were looking very cozy at the Stuff Style Awards party in LA last week, where, bizarrely, Howard herself was being trailed by a camera crew for her own (you guessed it) reality show, It Girls. Howard did not look very happy when Navarro blatantly avoided her and hid out in the LG VIP area with [Large],' says a spywitness. 'Dave was rubbing Storm's back, and they snuggled before leaving together.'" Storm tells the Mercury that's all bullshit: "The Daily News thing... it's total grasping at straws gossip. I absolutely love Dave, he is my friend, beyond that it's strictly musical. He laid some heavy guitars on the new rock version of 'Ladylike' and it sounds KILLER. The new version is set to be released on October 17."

Talk: adam@portlandmercury.com