News on Michael Jackson, Springsteen, & More

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson will make his first-ever instore appearance at 3 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 7) at the Virgin Megastore in New York's Times Square. The event will also be broadcast live on MTV's "Total Request Live." Jackson will be celebrating tomorrow's North American release of his new Epic album "Invincible," which is tipped to debut at No. 1 on next week's Billboard 200 album chart.

Fans can also view the appearance on Jackson's official Web site, which is hosting a Real Audio stream of the artist's Oct. 30 Web chat.

On the heels of Epic's recent re-release of Jackson's "Off the Wall," "Thriller," "Bad," and "Dangerous" albums, the label will on Nov. 13 release two DVDs of the artist's home videos. "Video Greatest Hits HIStory - Special DVD Edition" sports a previously unreleased 18-minute version of "Bad" directed by Martin Scorsese, while "Dangerous -- The Short Films" is bolstered with extra footage from the "Black or White" video.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen surprised even his friend Joe Grushecky when he leaped on stage Saturday during the encores at the second annual Light of Day Concert at the Tradewinds nightclub in Sea Bright, N.J. The shore club played host to the benefit for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation organized by Grushecky's manager Bob Benjamin, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1996.

Gruschecky led his band, No Spring Chickens, and Springsteen through his own "Talking to the King," then shared the mic with Springsteen on his songs "Fire" and "Ramrod."

Approximately $35,000 was raised through the event, which featured two stages filled with New Jersey talent, including E Street Band drummer/"Late Night" bandleader Max Weinberg, La Bamba & the Hubcaps, Bruce Tunkel, Joe D'Urso & Stone Caravan, and Highway 9.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







JayhawksThe Jayhawks have announced that they will return to their roots rock formula when they enter the recording studio in January with producer/American Recordings label boss Rick Rubin. Following 2000's "Smile," the band's ill-fated, Bob Ezrin-produced melodic pop album, the group -- like all of Rubin's American roster -- shifted distributorship from Sony to the Island Def Jam Music Group.

Currently in Spain for a weeklong string of dates, the Jayhawks touch down in the U.K. for a one-off London performance as part of the Beyond Nashville Festival on Nov. 12. The Gary Louris-steered group also plans to reconvene for a pair of Midwest club dates on Dec. 20 in Chicago and Dec. 21 in Minneapolis.

In related news, Koch has re-released the three studio albums from ex-Jayhawk Mark Olson's Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers project. The sets -- "Pacific Coast Rambler," "Zula and the Tulip Tree," and "My Own Jo Ellen" -- were originally available only via mail order.


-- John D. Luerssen, N.Y.







With the possibility that Congress may stay in session into December for the first time in recent memory, sources tell Billboard Bulletin it is still possible that the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will hold a hearing this session on music distribution on the Web. Two tentative hearing dates were postponed because of Congress' response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

If there is a hearing, lawmakers will focus on whether planned online sites allow for nondiscriminatory licensing by competitors, an issue now being investigated by the Justice Department. They will also debate changes in the law proposed in the Music Online Copyright Act (MOCA), co-sponsored by Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), and Chris Cannon (R-Utah). That bill, opposed by all segments of the music industry, would amend copyright law to require record companies and other content providers to offer their products to all Internet-delivery companies on the same "nondiscriminatory" terms. It would also exempt Internet services from paying royalties to music publishers for ephemeral copies and archival "back-up copies."


-- Bill Holland, Washington, D.C.