Billboard Bits: White Stripes/Strokes, Gordon Gano, Wire
News on White Stripes/Strokes, Gordon Gano, WireUp-and-coming rock outfits the White Stripes and the Strokes are teaming for a spate of shows in their respective hometowns, Detroit and New York. An Aug. 9 show at Detroit's Chene Park will see the White Stripes headline, while an Aug. 15 date at New York's prestigious Radio City Music Hall will give headlining honors to the hometown Strokes. Tickets for both go on sale to the general public Saturday (June 15), although Ticketmaster will be conducting an Internet pre-sale Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
The concerts will pair two of the past year's hottest groups, as the New York-bred Strokes are still feeling the success of their acclaimed RCA debut, "Is This It," which has spent 34 weeks on The Billboard 200 and sold 561,000 copies to date in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. Detroit-based duo the White Stripes' third Sympathy For The Record Industry disc, "White Blood Cells," is now at No. 86 on The Billboard 200 in its 13th week.
The White Stripes play next on June 22 in Toronto before resuming a summer tour July 9 in Indianapolis. The Strokes are performing tomorrow night (June 13) on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" before heading out next month to join Weezer's summer Enlightement tour.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
Late this summer, Violent Femmes leader Gordon Gano will release his debut solo album, "Hitting the Ground," via Instinct. The set is a compilation of sorts and recorded over the last several years with a variety of singers, including Polly Jean Harvey, Lou Reed, Frank Black, and They Might Be Giants, among others.
Gano wrote and perform on all 10 songs on the set. He sings "Make It Happen" and the closing version of the title track, a Harvey-sung version of which opens the disc. Other guest vocalists who appear include Mary Lou Lord, John Cale, Linda Perry (ex-4 Non-Blondes), Cynthia Gayneau (Gano's sister), and Martha Wainwright (daughter of Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, younger sister of Rufus). According a spokesperson, Gano hopes to stage a few performances with some of the album's guests following the set's release, the date for which is not yet finalized.
As previously reported, the Violent Femmes' 1983 self-titled debut will be celebrated with Tuesday's (June 18) deluxe reissue via Rhino. The remastered version of the original 10-track album will swell to 37 tracks to incorporate rare cuts, and demo and live recordings.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Recently reformed U.K. post-punk act Wire has begun lining up dates for a fall tour of the U.S., according to the group's official Web site. Thus far, eight performances have been announced, mirroring the band's eight-city U.S. tour two years ago. But on this go around, Wire will be touring behind its first newly recorded studio material in more than a decade. On June 25, the group will release the six-song EP "Read & Burn 1" via its own Pink Flag Records, named after the group's genre-busting 1977 debut.
Already available in the U.K., "Read & Burn" takes its cue from Wire's beginnings, playing up its hardcore tendencies rather than its latter-day new wave and electronic experimentation. The album and tour will feature Wire's original lineup of Colin Newman, Bruce Gilbert, Graham Lewis and Robert Gotobed, still together after reuniting for a string of career retrospective concerts in 2000. A July 20 date at London's ICA is also planned.
Here are Wire's U.S. tour dates:
Sept. 7: San Diego (Casbah)
Sept. 8: Los Angeles (El Rey Theatre)
Sept. 10: Seattle (Showbox)
Sept. 13: Minneapolis (First Avenue)
Sept. 14: Chicago (Metro)
Sept. 17: Cambridge, Mass. (Middle East)
Sept. 18: New York (Irving Plaza)
Sept. 21: Atlanta (Echo Lounge)
-- Todd Martens, L.A.