News on MTV VMAs, David Pajo, Yip Harburg

MTVThe MTV Video Music Awards will be held for the second straight year in Miami. Participating artists have yet to be announced for the Aug. 28 event, which last year found stars arriving by yacht to American Airlines Arena and featured performances by Usher, Alicia Keys with Stevie Wonder and Lenny Kravitz, Terror Squad and OutKast.

"Miami radiates an energy that was clearly visible in last year's show -- the arrivals by yacht, the six different stages, the countless amazing performances, and much, much more," MTV president Van Toffler said in a statement.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







PajoFresh off a triumphant reunion tour with Slint, David Pajo will release a new solo album under the moniker Pajo on July 5 via Drag City. According to the label, the 10-track set was recorded with a software program that came with Pajo's laptop, into which he sang the vocals directly. It also features appearances by three unnamed contributors who Pajo has yet to meet in person.

A video for the Elliott Smith-ish album track "High Lonesome Moan" is available on the artist's official Web site. Pajo is expected to tour in support of the set later this year.

In addition, Touch & Go Records is eyeing a late 2005 release for an as-yet-untitled DVD chronicling Slint's recent reunion, although no specifics have yet been nailed down.

Here is the track list for "Pajo":

"Oh No No"
"High Lonesome Moan"
"Ten More Days"
"Manson Twins"
"War Is Dead"
"Baby Please Come Home"
"Icicles"
"Mary of the Wild Moor"
"Let Me Bleed"
"Francie"


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







YipE.Y. "Yip" Harburg -- writer of such well known songs as "Over the Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz" and (with Jay Gorney) "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" -- will be immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp. The stamp will be dedicated at an April 28 ceremony in New York and will be available throughout the country the next day.

"Yip Harburg was a witty and brilliant lyricist who allowed us to sing along," John F. Walsh, vice chairman of the U.S. Postal Service's board
of governors, says in a statement. "We will never forget his contribution to 20th century popular music because his songs continue to live on in our hearts."

In addition to writing with Gorney, Harburg wrote songs with Howard Arlen and Burton Lane. He was blacklisted in the 1950s for his liberal political views, which kept him from working in film, television and radio at the time, and instead concentrated on theater. After writing more than 600 songs, Harburg died of a heart attack in March 1981 at the age of 83.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.