Billboard Bits: Grammys, moe., Ray Charles

News on Grammys, moe., Ray Charles

The 46th annual Grammy Awards ceremony has been scheduled for Feb. 8 at Los Angeles' Staples Center. The event will be broadcast live on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. ET (tape delayed on the West Coast). Nominees will be announced Dec. 4.

The scheduling brings the event back to L.A., which hosted the awards for four years before returning to New York in 2003. Although normally held near the end of February, an earlier Grammy presentation accommodates the move of the film industry's Academy Awards from its usual late March scheduling to late February in the midst of the busy awards season.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

moeIn celebration of Halloween, jam band moe. will stage the Headbangers' Left Ball: An Evening of Heavy moe.tal. Set for Oct. 31 at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom, the show will feature the San Francisco-based all-girl AC/DC cover band AC/Dshe opening. A more traditional moe. show will follow the next night at the venue.

The event follows in the band's tradition of themed concerts in celebration of All Hallows Eve, including "Willy Wonka" and Moe's Tavern from "The Simpsons." The winner of this year's costume contest will receive a pair of tickets to the band's fifth annual moe.down festival, planned for the 2004 U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend.

The band has dates scattered through the end of the year including a Nov. 28-29 stand at New York's Beacon Theatre. For moe.'s full schedule, visit the band's
official Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

RayRay Charles, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, former Pink Floyd guitarist/vocalist Roger Waters and singer/songwriter Alicia Keys will judge the Sir Charles Blues Lab Songwriting Contest. Open to individuals 13-19 years old, the contest will award five lyric writers trips to Los Angeles to record with Charles producing.

Songs will be judged for originality, adherence to the blues form, subject matter and lack of profanity and appropriateness. Runners-up can win a guitar autographed by Britney Spears or a bass lesson from Flea. In addition, 10 schools or community centers submitting more than 20 entries (one per student) will be randomly picked to receive equipment for their music programs. For more information, visit the Blues Lab's
Web site.

Charles, who was forced to cancel tour plans due to a hip ailment, celebrated his 73rd birthday yesterday (Sept. 23) at his L.A. studio. Willie Nelson and Quincy Jones were on hand for the party, where Charles announced the contest.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.