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Billboard Bits: Siouxie, Hank Jr., Moby, Tragically Hip
Stories on a Siouxie & The Banshees mini reunion tour, Hank Williams Jr. returning to the Grand Ole Opry, Moby's new MTV series, and the Tragically Hip's Special Olympics Benefit concert.Modern rock veterans Siouxie & The Banshees will regroup for an April 27 appearance at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. En route to the festival, vocalist Siouxie Sioux, bassist Steve Severin, and drummer Budgie will perform a trio of warm-up shows April 19 in New York, April 21 in Chicago, and April 25 in San Francisco, according to thecreatures.com, the official Web site of Sioux and Budgie's offshoot band the Creatures.
"Nobody's more surprised than us, but there you go," Budgie writes in his online diary on the site. "We're just thrilled to be doing it 'coz we just fancy doing it and not because we have an album to promote -- maybe that'll come later... who knows... never say never!"
The Creatures have been writing material for a new album, tentatively due out sometime this year. The U.K. band's last stateside release was 2000's "U.S. Retrace" (Instinct), which bundled the band's 1998 "Eraser Cut" EP and a quartet of single remixes. A limited-edition recording of the band's 1999 appearance at the Glastonbury festival was self-released by the Creatures last year.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Hank Williams Jr. has made peace with the Grand Ole Opry. "I can tell you one thing: If there were any old wounds between the Williams family and this place, they got healed Saturday," Williams told The Tennessean in a story published yesterday (Feb. 19).
Williams performed Saturday on the venerable radio show for the first time in two decades. He was there to honor his friend Waylon Jennings, who died last week. He performed alongside Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt in tribute to Jennings, one of his mentors. "That was a big night in my life," Williams said.
Williams said he avoided the Opry, which has been broadcast on WSM-AM for 76 years, because he got a less-than-welcoming reception from Opry stalwart Roy Acuff the last time he appeared. Also, the show fired his father, Hank Williams Sr., in the 1950s.
MTV has tapped Moby to host a new video series, "Senor Moby's House of Music," Billboard Bulletin reports. The show, which will premiere Saturday (Feb. 23) at midnight ET (and repeat late night Monday and Tuesday), will feature Moby's favorite music-video picks and will air regularly throughout the spring.
"The nice people at MTV/MTV2 have given me my own simple 30-minute show wherein I get to play music videos of my choosing. Which is great, right?" Moby said in describing the show. "I'll be playing new and old videos and having access to MTV's archives is pretty remarkable. The show is called 'Senor Moby's House of Music,' which should convince everyone that I should never be allowed to name things."
The inaugural episode will include videos from Goldfrapp ("Pilots"), Gorillaz "19-2000") Liquid, Liquid ("Cavern"), and U.N.K.L.E. ("Rabbit in Your Headlights").
As previously reported, Moby's next album has been dubbed "18" and is due in May via V2 in North America and Mute internationally.
-- Carla Hay, N.Y.
Canadian modern rock act the Tragically Hip will stage a benefit show for the Special Olympics tonight (Feb. 20) at the 500-capacity Toronto nightclub Lee's Palace. The band, which is donating 100% of the proceeds from the $25 tickets to the organization, is planning wrap its set a few minutes before tonight's Olympic hockey game between Canada and Finland, which is scheduled for a 10 p.m. ET start.
The Special Olympics, which is committed to empowering individuals with mental retardation to become physically fit, productive, and respected members of society through sports training and competition, will hold its next World Summer Games next year in Dublin. The next World Winter Games -- which, like the summer competition, occurs every four years -- is set for 2005 in Nagano, Japan. For more information, visit the organization's official Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
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