Billboard Bits: MTV VMAs, Tom Petty, Johnny And The Moon

The MTV Video Music Awards will invade Las Vegas for the first time for this year's broadcast, which will air live on Sept. 9. According to the network, the show will be staged throughout the Palms Ca

The MTV Video Music Awards will invade Las Vegas for the first time for this year's broadcast, which will air live on Sept. 9. According to the network, the show will be staged throughout the Palms Casino Resort, from the new Pearl concert venue to hotel suites and the building's rooftop.

In addition, the show will not be repeated in its original form; encore airings will be "remixed" by viewers. Performers and nominees have yet to be announced.

Last year's VMAs were held at New York's Radio City Music Hall, where Panic At The Disco! took home the video of the year for "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






Tom Petty's 2006 release "Highway Companion" will be reissued in expanded form June 5 via American Recordings/Warner Bros. The set will feature demos of album tracks "This Old Town" and "Big Weekend," plus the unreleased cuts "Home" and "Around the Roses." The leatherette board packaging will also include two postcards.

"Highway Companion" debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 430,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Petty and his band the Heartbreakers will be the subject of a documentary by Peter Bogdonavich, which is expected to be released before the end of the year.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






Former Hot Hot Heat and current Wolf Parade guitarist Dante De Caro has joined forces with percussionist Lindy Gerrard to form Johnny And The Moon, which will release its self-titled debut on June 12 via micro-indie Kill Devil Hills.

The Canadian roots group convened to record the effort at a converted barn in Vanvouver Island, B.C., in between De Caro's stints with Wolf Parade. On May 22, another member of the Sub Pop rock outfit, Dan Boeckner, will release "Plague Park" with his side project Handsome Furs, formed with his wife Alexei Perry.

Meanwhile, Wolf Parade is in the midst of writing and recording its next album, with expected arrival in early 2008.

-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.