Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Ian Brown

The Michael Jackson of indie-rock

More than a decade after his band the Stone Roses released their groundbreaking self-titled debut, and several months after an appearance at Fuji Rock, singer Ian Brown—new album in hand—is due in for four nights at Shibuya’s intimate Club Quattro and Shinjuku' venerable Liquid Room.

The visit will give fans in Japan the chance to assess the singer's second solo album, Music Of The Spheres (see CD reviews) and find out whether Brown, leader of a band that despite releasing only two records was one of the most influential of the '90s, still has what it takes.

Although hamstrung by legal disputes with their record company and a litany of personal and drug problems, the Stone Roses exerted a massive influence on '90s music with a British blues-based, psychedelic indie-rock sound that also borrowed heavily from the burgeoning acid house culture. This signature approach put them at the forefront of Britain's "Madchester" scene, a movement whose other big success story was the Happy Mondays, now reborn as Black Grape.

Brown's deliciously sweet, yet somehow malevolent voice was an essential ingredient in the Stone Rose's heady brew. Who can forget his soaring vocals on songs like "I Wanna Be Adored," and "I Am the Resurrection"? Unfortunately, it seems that at times Brown's arrogance, a quality that stood him in good stead in a musical context, has gotten in the way of his career. Inflated egos and squabbling broke the Stone Roses apart, and has also led to incidents such as a case in which Brown was sentenced to jail for air rage in 1999.

In 1998 Brown launched his post-Stone Roses career with a solo LP, Unfinished Monkey Business, which also enlisted the talents of ex-Stone Roses drummer Reni and bassist Mani (now with Primal Scream). Since his release from prison Christmas Eve 1999 he has also been working with techno acts 808 State and UNKLE.

While Brown denies the threatening behavior for which he was jailed, he certainly won't be arriving on a British Airways flight, as the singer has been banned for life from that airline. 

Ian Brown plays Club Quattro on Nov 30 - Dec 1 and Liquid Room Dec 3/4. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
403: Sloan
402: Jamiriquoi


401: Park Tower Blues Festival
400: Mercury Rev
399: Bjork
398: The Isley Brothers
397: Janet Jackson


396: Ian Brown
395: Tortoise Orchestra
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana