Billboard Bits: Lance Bass, Adams/Plant, Brownies
News on Lance Bass, Adams/Plant, Brownies'N Sync's Lance Bass is negotiating with the Russian Space Agency at its cosmonaut training center as part of his bid to become the next space tourist, officials said today (July 9). Bass arrived at Russia's Star City, north of Moscow, last week to participate in some preliminary training, and Russian space doctors have cleared the singer for a flight, but officials said negotiations are still ongoing and a contract had not been signed.
Bass is hoping to secure a place on the Soyuz rocket that is to be launched this October to the International Space Station. The singer, a Mississippi native, has said that it was his childhood dream to travel to space.
The world's second space tourist, South African Mark Shuttleworth, returned to Earth in May after a weeklong trip that cost him $20 million -- the same sum the world's first space tourist, Dennis Tito, paid last year.
Canadian rock artist Bryan Adams took a commercial turn behind the camera recently to photograph former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant for an upcoming Cadillac ad (see photo at left). The ad will extend Cadillac's image makeover, which began earlier this year with the use of Zeppelin's classic "Rock and Roll" as the soundtrack to television spots featuring various models of the General Motors brand's cars.
For his part, Adams is an accomplished photographer who has published two books of his work, proceeds of which support breast cancer support organizations. The first, "Made in Canada," featured pictures of Canadian women -- some famous (Alanis Morissette, k.d. lang, Joni Mitchell), some just friends. "Haven" featured photos of British women, including Elizabeth Hurley and Kate Moss. The books benefited the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the U.K.'s Haven Trust, respectively, and are available through Adams' official Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Long-running New York rock club Brownies will close its doors next month and re-open in September under a new name without live music. Co-owners Laura McCarthy and Mike Stuto will continue to run the new business and are negotiating to open a new venue with the Brownies name in the future.
In a statement, Stuto chalked up the decision to the physical limitations of the 200-capacity club and "the grind of four bands per night, seven nights a week. You have to walk, sleep, and breathe rock bands. You have to do it regardless of the obstacles, like it's your 'calling.' Like you couldn't imagine doing anything else. And we've done that proudly for quite a while. Eventually, the fruits of your labor should be that you grow into a more appropriate facility."
The club, which opened in 1989 on Avenue A between 10th and 11th streets on Manhattan's lower East side, will celebrate its final night in early August with a performance lineup yet to be determined. In its 13 years of existence, Brownies played host to the New York debuts of such acts as Creed, Elliott Smith, Son Volt, Supergrass, Veruca Salt, and Sugar Ray.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
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