Billboard Bits: INXS, Maroulis, Bigger Lovers
INXS, Gang Of Four and Dredg to open L.A. Virgin Megastore . . . ABC to develop a Constantine Maroulis sitcom . . . Splitting Bigger Lovers plan one more showWith "Rock Star: INXS" victor J.D. Fortune now in place, INXS will join reunited modern rock act Gang Of Four and up and coming rock group Dredg for an Oct. 17 performance at the grand opening of Los Angeles' new Virgin Megastore (Hollywood & Highland). As previously reported the group is working on its first album with Fortune, "Switch," which is due Nov. 29 via Epic.
Meanwhile, the original INXS lineup will be paid homage with "INXS: Live at the Barker Hangar" (Rhino), a 20-track concert album previously unreleased in America. Beginning tomorrow (Oct. 4), the show will be available exclusively for download at all digital retail outlets, with four, including iTunes and Yahoo!, offering additional bonus material.
Recorded May 8, 1993, at the Barker Hangar in Southern California’s Santa Monica Airport, the 90-minute concert before 4,000 fans shows INXS and late frontman Michael Hutchence previewing seven tracks from "Full Moon, Dirty Hearts" (Atlantic), which was released six months later.
-- Clover Hope, N.Y.
Former "American Idol" contestant Constantine Maroulis is ready to return to television, this time in a sitcom that's being developed for him by ABC and Kelsey Grammer's Grammnet Productions. The project is in the very early stages of development, with the details still being hammered out, said Grammnet president Steve Stark, who called Maroulis a "showman" with a "bigger-than-life personality."
"We saw something in him that was very unique, as did ABC," says Stark, who noted that Maroulis has a background in theater, having trained at the Boston Conservatory. "Collectively, we are trying to figure out the best way to showcase him in a half-hour series."
Maroulis' pact with ABC also gives the network the option of casting him in another project, comedy or drama.
-- Kimberly Speight, L.A.
Having made the decision to split, Philadelphia-based pop/rock act the Bigger Lovers will stage one final performance. Set for Nov. 5 at the city's Indre Studios. The show will include an opening set by New Radiant Storm King, while the $10 admission includes free beer.
"You know, we've been discussing this for a while, and we all agreed that the band has drawn to its logical conclusion and it's better to put this to bed while we can still remain friends, " says guitarist/singer Bret Tobias, who will be playing drums in another Philadelphia band, B.C. Camplight.
The Biggers Lovers on self-released album and two -- 2002's "Honey in the Hive" and last year's "This Affair Never Happened" -- for Yep Roc Records. Drummer (and sometime Billboard.com contributor) Patrick Berkery will continue with his other gig as drummer for the Pernice Brothers. Meanwhile, guitarist Ed Hogarty plans to reunite with Lefty's Deceiver and bassist Scott Jefferson intends to resurrect the Diane Linkletter Experience.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.