Billboard Bits: Bowling For Soup, Robert Pollard, Monk Jazz Competition

Bowling For Soup will release its next album, "The Great Burrito Extortion Case," Nov. 7 via Jive.

Bowling For Soup will release its next album, "The Great Burrito Extortion Case," Nov. 7 via Jive. First single "High School Never Ends" will hit U.S. radio outlets on Sept. 25. It's the follow-up to 2004's "A Hangover You Don't Deserve," which has sold 550,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

"Certain bands can reinvent themselves and do it well, and I think that's great," frontman Jaret Reddick told Billboard.com last November. "With Bowling For Soup, people expect us to brighten their day and they expect to hear a bunch of songs about my ex-girlfriend. And that's exactly what they're going to get. It's going to be a very happy album."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






As tipped here in July, Robert Pollard will hit the road this fall in support of his second Merge album of the year, "Normal Happiness." The outing begins Nov. 9 in Bloomington, Ind., and will wrap Nov. 18 in Northampton, Mass. Support acts include Portatastic, Starling Electric and former Guided By Voices member Mitch Mitchell's Terrifying Experience.

Fans who purchase "Normal Happiness" (due Oct. 10) via U.S. independent retailers will receive a free bonus live disc, taped June 24 in Cincinnati when Pollard and his band opened for Pearl Jam.

Here are Robert Pollard's tour dates:

Nov. 9: Bloomington, Ind. (Bluebird)
Nov. 10: Chicago (Abbey Pub)
Nov. 11: Dayton, Ohio (Foundry)
Nov. 13: New York (Bowery Ballroom)
Nov. 14: Philadelphia (World Cafe)
Nov. 15: Baltimore (Sonar)
Nov. 17: Boston (Paradise)
Nov. 18: Northampton, Mass. (Pearl Street)

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






Twelve young finalists will compete for a $20,000 scholarship to attend the Thelonious Monk Institue of Jazz at the 2006 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. The event will be held Sept. 16-17 in Washington, D.C., as part of the Institue's 20th anniversary celebration. Second and third place performers will be awarded $10,000 and $5,000 scholarships, respectively, and a $10,000 Composers Award will also be given to one aspiring piano composer.

Quincy Jones is slated to be one of the competition's hosts, while jazz artists like Patti Austin, Terenece Blanchard and T.S. Monk are slated to perform throughout the event.

Past competitions have spotlighted a variety of other instruments, including trumpet, guitar and vocals, and have yielded renowned musicians like Jane Monheit, Marcus Roberts and Joshua Barron.

-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.