Billboard Bits: Kids' Day, Mudhoney, iTunes Japan
News on Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, Mudhoney, iTunes JapanJesse McCartney, the Click Five and Rihanna will perform later this month at the 2005 Arthur Ashe Kids' Day as part of the US Open tennis tournament. The event will be held Aug. 27 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., with highlights to be broadcast the following day on CBS.
Tennis stars Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and Lindsay Davenport will also be on hand for Kids' Day, which will play host to interactive games and free tennis clinics. TV personalities Summer Sanders and Quddus will host.
Past performers at the event include Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, Jessica Simpson, 98 Degrees, Vanessa Carlton and Hanson.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Veteran Seattle rock act Mudhoney is in the studio working on its first album since 2002's "Since We've Become Translucent." The as-yet-untitled set is expected to be released in early 2006 via Sub Pop.
"The stuff I've heard is amazing," Sub Pop co-founder/president Jonathan Poneman tells Billboard.com. "It's more political than they have been. It's not overtly political, like protest songs, but it is great Mudhoney."
The group will play three U.K. shows next month: Sept. 15 in Dublin and Sept. 16-17 in London.
-- Todd Martens, L.A.
As expected, Apple Computer today (Aug. 4) launched its iTunes Music Store in Japan, the world's second biggest recorded music market.
Initially, one million titles are available from 15 labels including Toshiba-EMI, Universal Music and Avex, the company said. Apple added that it is aggressively pursuing deals with other labels.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs told reporters today at the Tokyo International Forum that 90% of the songs would be available at a cost of ¥150 ($1.35), and the remaining titles would be priced at ¥200 ($1.80). This pricing structure undercuts local services, including Sony Corporation's Mora download service, which offers all content at ¥210 ($1.89) per track.
-- Peter Serafin, Tokyo