News on Kid Rock, Dashboard Confessional, Creamfields
Microhits Music Corp. has filed a copyright-infringement suit against Kid Rock (real name Robert Ritchie), his songwriting partners, publishers, Lava Records, and Atlantic Records over Rock's 1998 song "Cowboy." The suit -- filed April 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California -- claims that Rock lifted "substantial portions" of the late-'80s club hit "I Wanna Be a Cowboy" by Boys Don't Cry, a track whose rights are owned by Microhits. The suit alleges that Rock played the Boys Don't Cry song a number of times as a DJ and copied "almost exactly the title-hook line."
"Cowboy" appears on Rock's Lava/Atlantic album "Devil Without a Cause," which has sold 7.5 million units in the U.S., according to SoundScan. The song hit No. 5 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. Microhits is seeking damages to be determined at trial. A spokesman for Atlantic parent Warner Bros. says the company has not seen the suit and does not comment on pending litigation.
Kid Rock's current U.S. tour hits Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday (April 26) and wraps May 26 in Omaha, Neb.
-- Todd Martens, L.A.
Acoustic punk darling Dashboard Confessional (aka Chris Carrabba) will tape an episode of MTV's reactivated "Unplugged" series this week at the network's studios in New York's Times Square. The episode will air later this summer on MTV2.
The group would seem to be a perfect fit for an unplugged format, as its recent Vagrant album, "The Places You Have Come To Fear the Most" is entirely acoustic. The act is best known for its live shows, where fans sing back every word, acting as an impromptu chorus. "Places" is No. 8 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart this week and has sold 141,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan.
"Dashboard Confessional and Chris Carrabba have such a powerful live sound and passionate following that we felt an 'Unplugged' performance was definitely warranted," MTV2 General Manager David Cohn said in a statement. The group just wrapped a sold-out eight-week U.S. tour on its home turf of South Florida last week and begins a busy summer with its first Canadian show May 3 in Toronto.
-- David Thomas, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Paul Oakenfold, DJ Shadow, and Paul Van Dyk have signed on to perform at the U.K.'s Creamfields festival, set for Aug. 24 at Old Liverpool Airfield. Underworld, Faithless, Kosheen, Mis-Teeq, Danny Rampling, Futureshock, Mutiny, Harry Choo Choo Romero, and Jo Mills will also be on the bill for the event, which made a failed attempt to break into the North American market last year.
As previously reported, Oakenfold's first solo album, "Bunkka," is due June 18 on Perfecto/Maverick. DJ Shadow's long-awaited new MCA album, "The Private Press," arrives June 4; he is expected to play a handful of dates in major North American markets following its release.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.