Billboard Bits: Flipsyde, Townes Van Zandt, Hayseed Dixie
Have scientists found Mozart's skull? Researchers say they'll reveal the results of DNA tests in a documentary airing Sunday (Jan. 8) on Austrian television as part of a year of celebratory events marBurgeoning hip-hop band Flipsyde will garner substantial exposure via NBC’s promotional crusade for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, to be held Feb. 10-26 in Torino, Italy.
A music video for the group's "Someday" features several of the athletes vying for a spot on the United States Olympic team, including ice skaters Michelle Kwan and Apolo Anton Ohno. The video was produced with the NBC-Universal's in-house NBC Agency and is being aired on NBC and affiliated cable networks, as well as online.
"Someday" is the lead single from Flipsyde's debut album, "We the People" (Cherrytree/Interscope Records). Released in July, the set has sold 7,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The group, which recently toured Europe with Snoop Dogg and the Black Eyed Peas, will perform the song Thursday (Jan. 5) on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
-- Clover Hope, N.Y.
The Townes Van Zandt documentary "Be Here To Love Me" will be released March 14 on DVD via Palm Pictures. Directed by Margaret Brown, the film has been playing in limited North American theatrical release since early December.
The film includes interviews with the late singer/songwriter's family, as well as such artists as Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle and Guy Clark, combined with footage of the artist onstage and at home.
In addition to the film, the DVD includes rare Van Zandt performances, bonus interviews and scenes deleted from the theatrical cut. The disc also includes a commentary track by Brown. Tomato Records has released a companion two-disc
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Bluegrass cover band Hayseed Dixie is readying its fourth album, "Hot Piece of Grass," for a Jan. 24 release via Cooking Vinyl. Unlike its acclaimed full album tributes to Kiss and AC/DC, the new set is more like 2002's "A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love" with a mix of banjo-driven covers of rock tracks and original songs.
Given the Appalachian twang this time out of such well known numbers as Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" and "Whole Lotta Love," Black Sabbath's "War Pigs," Motorhead's "Ace of Spades," AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie," Van Halen's "Runnin' With the Devil" and Green Day's "Holiday."
The band is led by Barley Scotch, who under his given name, John Wheeler, produced and recorded the set at his Nashville studio. He also penned four of the album's five original tracks. One was contributed by bandmember Don Wayne Reno, who along with his brother Dale, complete the group. They are the sons of bluegrass legend Don Reno, best known for co-writing "Dueling Banjos," also covered on the new disc.
The group will support "Hot Piece of Grass" with a slate of tour dates set to begin Feb. 3 in Nashville, according to its official Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.