The 89th Academy Awards

Billboard Bits: Prince Paul, Sonic Youth, Howie Day

News on Prince Paul, Sonic Youth, Howie Day

Prince PaulAlthough details are still being finalized, acclaimed hip-hop producer Prince Paul will release his next solo album, "Politics of the Business," May 6 via Razor & Tie. The album is said to be a commentary on the state of the music business, and will feature Prince Paul's usual blend of high-profile guest artists and comedic skit interludes.

Among the confirmed participants are Biz Markie, DJ Jazzy Jeff, the Beatnuts, DJ Premier and Guru from Gang Starr, Erick Sermon, Chuck D, Ice-T, and comedians Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. Paul was a prominent contributor to Rock's 1999 DreamWorks album "Bigger and Blacker."

Prince Paul rose to fame thanks to his production on such seminal De La Soul albums as "3 Feet High and Rising" and "De La Soul Is Dead." In recent years, he has collaborated with Dan "The Automator" Nakamura as Handsome Boy Modeling School and produced two albums for MC Paul Barman. Nakamura told last year that he hopes to make a second Handsome Boy Modeling School record with Prince Paul when their schedules allow for it.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

YouthSonic Youth has confirmed a series of upcoming live appearances, beginning with an April 12 benefit concert at the Anthology Film Archives in New York. Proceeds from the gig will be donated to the family of filmmaker Stan Brakhage, who died March 9. The Sonic Youth Web site reveals that the concert "will be an intimate, predominantly instrumental 'chamber concert,' with an assortment of Brakhage films screened during the performance."

Beyond previously announced appearances at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., and the second Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, N.H., the group will also appear at the Primavera Festival on May 24 in Barcelona and the Three Rivers Arts Festival on June 15 in Pittsburgh. And although the full schedule for the series has yet to be announced, Sonic Youth is set to join Wilco for a June 26 concert as part of the annual Central Park Summer Stage event in New York.

Finally, DGC's expanded edition of the group's 1992 album "Dirty" has been pushed back from its original March 25 release to April 8.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

HowieEpic Records is preparing for the April 29 release of singer/songwriter Howie Day's five-song "Madrigals" EP, bundled with a bonus DVD featuring more than 30 minutes of live performance footage. The audio disc will feature demo versions of the title track and "You & a Promise," a remix of the single "Ghost," and live versions of "Bunnies" and latest single "Sorry So Sorry," captured in December in New York. "Ghost" and "Sorry So Sorry" originally appeared on Day's debut album, "Australia."

Footage of live performances of four songs makes up the DVD portion of the package, also captured at the same New York show, which took place at the city's 500-capacity Bowery Ballroom. Selections featured are "Bunnies," "Sorry So Sorry," "Ghost," and "Madrigals." The set carries a $9.98 suggested retail price.

Day has a handful of April live performances slated, including an appearance on NBC's "Last Call With Carson Daly" to be taped on April 17. Following those dates, the artist will head to London to record a new album with producer Youth (Dido, the Verve). For more information, visit Day's official Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.