Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Wilco, Billboard Music Awards and Dannii Minogue.
KICKING TV'S WITH WILCO
I hear there is a new live album from Wilco coming soon. Do you know anything more about it and when it will be released?
Indeed, Wilco's first live album is on the way. "Kicking Television - Live in Chicago" will be released Nov. 1 via Nonesuch Records. As previously reported on Billboard.com, the two-CD set features performances captured during four May 2005 shows recorded at Chicago's Vic Theatre.
Wilco's last album, 2003's "A Ghost Is Born," has sold 322,000 in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
THE BMAs ARE COMING! THE BMAs ARE COMING!
When is the Billboard Music Awards happening this year? Has the date been announced yet?
Just last week it was announced that the 2005 Billboard Music Awards will be held Dec. 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The show will be broadcast live on Fox (tape delayed for the Pacific time zone).
Hosts, performers and presenters will be announced soon. Awards finalists will be determined after the close of the chart year in late November.
Performers at the 2004 show included Gwen Stefani, Usher, Alicia Keys, Nelly, Stevie Wonder, Green Day, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Mary J. Blige and Evanescence.
What is going on with Dannii Minogue? I loved her last album "Neon Nights," but I haven't heard a thing from her since it came out almost two years ago.
Did that album sell well? Have any of her other albums been released in the United States? And is she putting another record out here soon?
Dannii Minogue will release her new single, "Perfection," Oct. 17 in the U.K. on the All Around the World label. Her still-untitled forthcoming album may hit stores in the U.K. before the end of the year. There are no confirmed plans for her to release the single in the United States.
"Perfection" is based on a previously established instrumental club hit by the Soul Seekerz titled "Turn Me Upside Down," which sampled Vicki Sue Robinson's classic disco hit "Turn the Beat Around." Minogue provided new vocals for her take on the song.
Her last album, the very fun "Neon Nights," contained four top 10 U.K. singles: "Who Do You Love Now" (No. 3), "Put the Needle On It" (No. 7), "I Begin To Wonder" (No. 2) and "Don't Wanna Lose This Feeling" (No. 5).
The set was released in America in October 2003 through Ultra Records, where it spawned two hits on Billboard's Hot Dance Radio Airplay chart: "I Begin To Wonder" (No. 2) and "Don't Wanna Lose This Feeling" (No. 8). The album has sold 20,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
That may sound like a small figure but one has to keep things in perspective. Pop/dance artists of Dannii Minogue's nature are far and few between in the United States. Most rarely sell large quantities of albums (if they even get an album released), and many are only known for their club singles.
Also, many well-known pure pop/dance acts overseas either never get signed to an album deal in America, or if they do, their albums and singles either flop entirely or are shelved permanently. It's very difficult for pure pop/dance acts to gain any Stateside momentum without support from mainstream radio stations and video networks.
Take the Sugababes for example. The pop trio is hugely successful in the U.K., but they've never been able to break America. While their debut set, "One Touch," was released on London Records in the United States back in 2001, it only sold 1,000 units. Later, other labels -- like Universal and Interscope -- tried their hand at promoting the Sugababes to U.S. radio, but nothing ever got off the ground. Thus, "One Touch" remains their only American album -- and it is no longer in print.
Here are some other examples of pure pop/dance acts with success in the U.K. and Europe, but either have yet to be signed in America, or failed to set the charts on fire here: Sophie Ellis Bextor, Rachel Stevens, Liberty X, Emma Bunton, Blue and Girls Aloud.
Whew, I'll get off our soap box now. I just find it occasionally frustrating how a lot of enjoyable pop music produced outside of the U.S. either never gets released in America, or if it does, struggles to find a wide audience.