Manchester Explosion

Billboard Bits: Rogue Wave, Brad Mehldau, MTV VMAs

News on Rogue Wave, Brad Mehldau, MTV VMAs

WaveRogue Wave looks to expand on the indie success of its 2004 album "Out of the Shadow" with "Descended Like Vultures," due Oct. 25 via Sub Pop. The 11-track set finds group leader Zach Rogue backed by his touring band of multi-instrumentalists Evan Farrell and Gram LeBron as well as drummer Pat Spurgeon.

And while "Out of the Shadow" was a largely Rogue-only affair, the new album benefits greatly from a full band feel on such standouts as the driving "Publish My Love" and the multi-faceted, slow-building "Are You on My Side" and "You." The frenzied, keyboard-addled "10:1" is the lead track of an EP released earlier this week by Sub Pop along with three non-album cuts.

Rogue Wave will be on the road in support of "Vultures" beginning Sept. 7 in Salt Lake City, with Sub Pop labelmates Fruit Bats and Chad Van Gaalen in tow. A Sept. 12 show in Bloomington, Ind., will be a homecoming of sorts for Farrell, who was a principal member of Bloomington band Japonize Elephants, and Spurgeon, who formerly played with Antenna and Old Pike.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

BradOn the heels of a live solo disc last year, pianist Brad Mehldau returns to a group setting on "Day Is Done," due Sept. 27 via Nonesuch. The 10-track set finds the artist backed by bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard and features interpretations of Radiohead's "Knives Out," Nick Drake's "Day Is Done" and the Beatles chestnuts "She's Leaving Home" and "Martha My Dear."

Rounding out the album is the Nat King Cole-popularized "No Moon at All," a cover of Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" and the Mehldau originals "Turtle Town" and "Artis."

"Day Is Done" follows the pianist's Nonesuch debut, "Live in Tokyo," which debuted at No. 11 on Billboard's Top Jazz Albums chart. Look for the trio on tour this fall, highlighted by a Nov. 22-27 stand at New York's Village Vanguard.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Tropical storm Katrina's approach of south Florida is already affecting music events taking place in the state, including some of MTV's Video Music Awards activities and Bad Boy's new label launch party.

The storm, which may become a hurricane before tomorrow (Aug. 26), has caused MTV to suspend activities today at Hotel MTV. Based out of Miami Beach, Hotel MTV is Miami's official celebrity and party headquarters for the VMAs. For now, the awards are scheduled to take place as planned Sunday at American Airlines Arena.

Tonight's planned kick-off party for Bad Boy Latino, the label launched by Sean "Diddy" Combs and producer Emilio Estefan, has been cancelled. Additionally, a Friday concert by singer/songwriter Donato Poveda has also been rescheduled until September.

-- Leila Cobo, Miami