Billboard Bits: Bee Gees, Music Midtown, Ween, and more
The Bee Gees will continue celebrating their 35th anniversary on Friday (April 27) with an appearance on cable network A&E's intimate concert series "Live By Request." The show will be broadcast live from New York's Hammerstein Ballroom beginning at 9 p.m ET/6 p.m. PT. Fans can make requests via the series' official Web site.
The show will be cybercast via the group's newly redesigned Web site, beegeesonline.com, and will be broadcast by select U.S. radio stations. Check the "Live By Request" site for the list of participating stations.
Hailed as a return to their musical roots, the Bee Gees' latest studio album, "This is Where I Came In," was released yesterday in North America by Universal.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
The Turner South TV network will broadcast a special live concert event from Atlanta's Music Midtown festival May 5 from 8-10 p.m. CST. The concert will feature the Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Hootie & the Blowfish's Darius Rucker, and Heart's Ann Wilson, all performing simultaneously on the stage of the Atlanta Civic Center, located on the festival grounds. Along with acoustic performances, the artists relate stories behind their songs for the broadcast. The show is free to ticket-holding festival-goers.
Music Midtown is an annual three-day music festival that traditionally draws around 300,000 fans and 150 artists from various genres to Atlanta's downtown area. This year's version, scheduled for May 4-6, is the eighth incarnation of the festival, and will feature such acts as Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, Patti Smith, Steve Earle, the Cult, Train, Erykah Badu, Lucinda Williams, Blues Traveler, and the Black Crowes.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
Cult favorite rock duo Ween has dropped plans for a June tour and is on the lookout for a new touring keyboardist. In a post on Ween's official web site, Mickey "Dean Ween" Melchiondo announced that keyboardist Glenn McClelland will no longer be touring with the band, which performed in March and April as a quartet. Melchiondo explains that while McClelland will still be working with Ween in the recording studio, the duo is soliciting musicians to find a replacement for the touring group.
"We figure might as well officially give everyone a fair shot," Melchiondo says. "If you really believe in your heart that you're the perfect person for the gig, we're gonna give you an opportunity to prove yourself." He entreats interested parties to send a tape of their own rendition of the song "Pandy Fackler," from the band's last Elektra album, "White Pepper," to Pandy, c/o Ween, P.O. Box 470, Ringoes, NJ 08551
"You don't necessarily have to be loyal to the version on 'White Pepper,' just give us a taste of what you gots [sic]," Melchiondo says. The group is currently at work on its next studio album.
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.
Madonna has tapped Les Rythmes Digitales' Jacques Lu Cont (real name: Stuart Price) to play bass and keyboards in her touring band this summer. The band is in the midst of intense rehearsal sessions in Los Angeles in preparation for the trek, which kicks off June 5 in Cologne, Germany. Les Rythmes Digitales' most recent album, "Darkdancer," was released in 1999 by Astralwerks.