BIG MAC ATTACK: Fleetwood Mac fans, rejoice! The Reprise label has issued The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac, a big fat package of hits including a neat-o booklet of the band's history with liner notes by David Wild, host of cable channel Bravo's Musicians. The two-disc collection includes tracks from as far back as 1975, the Rumours monster hits, the wimpy-but-catchy stuff from the mid 1980s (Seven Wonders, Little Lies. Er, thanks Christine McVie!) Most crucial, it's got a bunch of the Stevie Nicks witchy-poo tunes and odes to spirits, such as Rhiannon, Sisters of the Moon and I Share My Lace With Casper. (Okay, I made up that last one.)
THOU SHALT COVER "LANDSLIDE': Was some commandment issued to everybody in the music industry to cover the Mac hit Landslide, penned by Nicks? The Smashing Pumpkins tackled it in the late 1990s with shaved-head, heavily mascaraed Billy Corgan warbling, "I've been afraid of ch-a-a-a-nging," looking like a sad Uncle Fester. This year the Dixie Chicks made it their own with a faithful twangy version that's perking up radio. Recently in Melbourne, eccentric pop chanteuse Tori Amos performed the song in concert. I bet Nicks and Amos could gab for hours about witches and warlocks and fairy dust, huh?
Hey! Know of any other Landslide covers? E-mail me.
BOOKS: Just in time for the holidays, books of interest to music freaks are hitting the stands, including This Is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk and Disco (Sterling, $29.95). It's a thick tome by British music critic Garry Mulholland (Mojo, Time Out) jammed full of glossy pictures of 45's and CD singles. Mulholland's irreverent, completely subjective essays detail the greatest songs he knows by bands as diverse as the Sex Pistols, Kraftwerk, ZZ Top and the Spice Girls, taking us from 1976 to 2001.
Yes Yes Y'All: the Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip Hop's First Decade (DeCapo, $25) by the egghead music scribes at the Seattle museum features the first comprehensive oral history of a genre that got its start on the lean, mean streets of New York City. Yes Yes Y'all talks to the stars _ and everyone else _ who had a hand in hip-hop, recalling the pioneers, the obscure fellas and the morphing of rap music from fun-loving B-boy braggadocio rhymes a la Run-D.M.C. to gangsta thuggery via Biggie and Tupac to a dominating world force.
NOT ROCKING CHAIR, JUST PLAIN ROCKING: Could recent Team Pop Trivia winner Violet Milne McIntyre rock any more than she already does? The Dunedin resident, whose 79th birthday is today, correctly answered a question about Tori Amos recording in the home studio of Nine Inch Nails spooky man Trent Reznor. McIntyre tells Team Pop she very much impressed her 17-year-old granddaughter in Niagara Falls, N.Y., a NIN fan. Team Pop tried to get McIntyre to sit still for a second when we called her with congratulations.
"I'm just on my way out the door, " McIntyre said. "Line dancing classes." Rock on, Violet!
TOP SECRET WEB SITE: My fellow pop music critic peeps may lay into me for divulging this, but we have our own secret Web site. Yes, like a little clubhouse or tree fort where we meet to gab about pop music and pop critics and _ well, it's all snarky and self-indulgent, but here it is: www.rockcritics.com. (Shhh, don't say I sent you.) All the big name critics hang there: Robert Christgau, Tom Moon, Jon Pareles, Jim DeRogatis, Greg Kot. It even has archived essays by Lester Bangs and Richard Meltzer. Not enough chicks represented, as usual.
THIS WEEKEND: Head over to the Cuban Club in Ybor City from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to peruse WMNF-FM 88.5's Book and Record Sale. The station is selling books, CDs, audio equipment, even vinyl records _ some of its own, some donated by listeners. WMNF DJs will be spinning music.
Also, Tampa Tribune pop music critic Curtis Ross and I will be Flee's guests on WMNF's Saturday program Moods for Moderns from 2 to 4 p.m. We'll play some of our favorite tunes and chat about music.
MUSIC ON TV: Fans of the Breeders and sisters Kelley and Kim Deal know the band has recently been covering the theme to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in concert. Buffy producers so dug the Breeders' version of the tune, they invited the band to be on the show this season. The Breeders' Buffy theme is available as a bonus track on a British CD single of Son of Three from the band's Title TK album.
To contact Gina Vivinetto, e-mail ginasptimes.com.