Billboard Bits: Farm Aid, Janet, Pras, and more
News on Farm Aid, Janet, Pras, and moreCo-founders Neil Young and Willie Nelson, and a solo Dave Matthews are confirmed to perform alongside John Mellencamp at this year's Farm Aid benefit concert, set for Sept. 29 at the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Ind., just north of Indianapolis. Mellencamp, Nelson, and Young established Farm Aid in 1985 and have since raised nearly $16 million for the organization.
Tickets for this year's concert go on sale Saturday (Aug. 11). Last year's event, featuring Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Barenaked Ladies, and Alan Jackson, was held in Bristow, Va.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
For the third time in a month, Janet Jackson has had to cancel a concert as part of her All for You tour. The 35-year-old singer called off last night's (Aug. 5) show at Cleveland's Gund Arena because of the flu, her promoters said. A statement from tour manager David Russell said the singer apologizes to her fans. Tickets will be honored at a show rescheduled for Sept. 5.
Jackson put off a July 18 concert in Milwaukee because she had to undergo emergency dental surgery, while the opening date of the tour's North American leg in Vancouver, British Columbia, scheduled for July 5, was postponed because a piece of stage equipment didn't arrive in time.
Disney has purchased a film tentatively titled "Indiana Jackson," to be starred in and be co-produced by Pras, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The musician/actor will receive a sum in the high six-figures for his dual role in the comedy in which he'll star as the high-living title character reluctantly searching for a priceless antiquity in Ethiopia.
A founding member of the multiplatinum hip-hop group the Fugees, Pras has appeared in "Mystery Men" for Universal and "Turn It Up" for New Line. He has also signed a deal to produce and star in the action comedy "The Last Ride" for New Regency. Pras will co-produce "Jackson" with his manager and partner Darryl Taja.
Vehemently anti-capitalist Swedish punk group the (International) Noise Conspiracy will on Oct. 23 release its sophomore effort, "A New Morning, Changing Weather," via Epitaph. A U.S. headlining tour will follow the release of the 11-song set, tentatively scheduled for Nov. 7 through Dec. 9, according to a spokesperson. The group, led by former Refused singer Dennis Lyxzen, toured earlier this year with veteran San Diego punk act Rocket from the Crypt.
"A New Morning, Changing Weather," sees the politically minded band further exploring its garage, blues and soul influences with inventive, piano- and horn-inflicted arrangements. "Capitalism Stole My Virginity" will be the album's first single, and a video is due to be shot soon.
-- Todd Martens, L.A.
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