Talk about lousy timing! The Gnome opens his mail last week to find that the good folks at Priority Records and Fox Sports have sent


Ice Cube does Griffey; Sick Bees sting.

Talk about lousy timing! The Gnome opens his mail last week to find that the good folks at Priority Records and Fox Sports have sent him a CD filled with rousing sports anthems like Ice Cube's "In The Zone (Ken Griffey Jr. Theme)," and then the Mariners announce that they're yielding to Junior's demand for a trade. Sheesh. Meanwhile, this song's gotten stuck in the Gnome's gnarly noggin, and it's got me yelping along with the Cube: "Major League Baseball might change the rules/for this young brother in the Northwest/with an 'S' on his hat and his chest." Alas, we won't be hearing lines like that blaring out of the Safeco speakers next season.

So, like, it's been 10 long-ass months since the music industry megamerger between two of the six major labels, Universal and Polygram, and things are still shaking out. The young Brit-pop approximators in Marigold played Saturday after receiving news that their Unigram-related label, Outpost, would soon be dust. The Oregonians' almost-in-the-can disc will probably be shelved as the corporate parent decides whether Marigold and others in the stable, including the Crystal Method, Hayden, DJ Spooky, and Whiskeytown, will wind up in a different sort of outpost. Meanwhile, it's still unclear what effect the Universal-Polygram mating has had locally. The main imprint among the combined companies is now Interscope, which lists a roster on its supposedly up-to-date Web site that includes the already dropped Supersuckers; MxPx is said to remain on A&M, while Sweet 75 apparently remains on Geffen. If this monolithic company is so confused now, the Gnome can't wait to see what havoc Y2K will wreak.

The much smaller but more turmoil-ridden KCMU got another dose of bad news last week when Jason Hughes announced that he'll leave as host of the Saturday night local music program Audio Oasis. Hughes has done double-duty for about a year, spinning local discs on KCMU and then on The End on Sunday nights. He's decided to focus on the latter gig. His replacement at the listener-supported 90.3 FM will probably be host of the Morning Show (and new Weekly columnist) John Richards. Still, Hughes will be missed; his KCMU slots featured stellar mixes that showcased the region's best (primarily rock) talent.

One band that could often be heard on Hughes' show was Sick Bees, which turned up in a rare opening set for Imperial Teen at the Crocodile Saturday. The headliner's Will Schwarz requested that the Seattle duo kick off the bill, and Sick Bees delivered. The band's chaotic tunes made the Gnome's wooden knees go wobbly, and singer Starla snarled through a lesbionic lampoon of Jane Fonda's workout videos: "C'mon girls, lick those thighs!" You betcha!

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