Canadian indie rock outfit the New Pornographers have christened their next album "Challengers" and set an Aug. 21 release date for the Matador project.

Canadian indie rock outfit the New Pornographers have christened their next album "Challengers" and set an Aug. 21 release date for the Matador project. Songs expected to appear on the follow-up to 2005's "Twin Cinema" include "Myriad Harbor," "Go Places" and "Salinger."

"With 'Twin Cinema,' we branched out to the point where we illustrated that all bets were off for this new album," group principal Carl Newman told Billboard.com last month. "We realized, we can do any kind of song we want on our albums. This record is an extension of that. It is maybe slightly more epic. It has our first song that passes the six-minute-long mark. In fact, it might have our first songs that pass the five-minute mark!


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and rising country stars Rodney Atkins and Miranda Lambert have joined the performance lineup for the 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. As previously reported, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, George Strait and Reba McEntire, with special guest Kelly Clarkson, are already on board.

The sold-out show, which is hosted by McEntire, takes place May 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and will air on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT.


-- Ken Tucker, Nashville







Bob Dylan has signed on for a second season of his show on XM Satellite Radio, "Theme Time Radio Hour," premiering in September. The first season of the show concludes today with a program devoted to the theme of "spring cleaning." XM will then air the complete first season beginning May 26 on its channel the Village.

Dylan is winding down a European tour that plays in Dusseldorf, Germany tomorrow (April 19).


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.