News bits: The Like, Pablove, Scott Ford


thelike09-cropThe Like have (finally) resurfaced. It’s been four years this week since the then-trio, not yet out of their teens, released “Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?” – a debut album that was a good start for a young band but probably out of its league on a major label. Now as a four-piece, the Like have scored a slot opening for Arctic Monkeys, starting tonight in San Diego and including Tuesday at the Palladium. Frontwoman Z Berg and drummer Tennessee Thomas remain from the original lineup; bassist Laena Geronimo has replaced Charlotte Froom, who departed to work on other projects; and Reni Lane joins to play keyboards. The Like’s new Mark Ronson-produced album will be released in early 2010.

Spokes men: Dangerbird Records co-founder Jeff Castelaz, along with friend and coach Rick Babington, will cycle across the U.S. in 30 days starting Oct. 10 to raise money for the Pablove Foundation, the pediatric cancer charity that carries on the legacy of Castelaz’s late son. Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz died in June at age 6 after a 13-month battle with cancer. Pablove Across America wills start in St. Augustine, Fla., and end at Pablo’s grave in the Hollywood Hills, with two benefit concerts for the foundation being staged along the way. None other than Lance Armstrong lent his support to the effort – here’s the video:

‣ Friends are rallying to the aid of Twilight Singers/Gutter Twins bassist (and radio blogger) Scott Ford, who is undergoing a series of surgeries for advanced periodontal disease. Of course, as a musician, Ford has no health benefits, so there’s a big night planned at the Roxy on Sept. 26. The benefit concert will feature the likes of Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses), Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), Scott Shriner (Weezer), Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver), Donovan Leitch, Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), Greg Dulli (Twilight Singers), Billy Morrison (the Cult), Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp), Wayne Kramer (MC5) and Steve O (Jackass), with an opening set from Jason Heath & the Greedy Souls. I’m ready to pony up a donation even before hearing Ford describe his procedures; I had periodontal surgery beneath two teeth in my jaw last year, and it’s no picnic. But the infections in Ford’s jaw were so severe that all his teeth had to be removed. Hang in there, dude.