Billboard Bits: Fatboy Slim, Suede, Keb' Mo'
News on Fatboy Slim, Christopher Walken, Spike Jonze, Timo Maas, Suede, Neil Codling, Keb' Mo',The video for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon Of Choice" is airing every hour on the hour today (March 23) on MTV2, and has already been slotted into heavy rotation on MTV and Much Music. Why all the fuss? Thank actor Christopher Walken, who spends most of the video dancing through an empty hotel lobby. The video was directed by Spike Jonze, who also lensed the memorable clip for Fatboy Slim's "Praise You."
Although the sight of Walken dancing might surprise some, it's not that much of a stretch. The actor got his start in musical theater and played a ballroom dancer in the 1977 movie ''Roseland'' before winning a best supporting actor Oscar for ''The Deer Hunter.''
The video for "Weapon Of Choice" will be included on the commercial CD for "Star 69 (What The F**k," which is No. 10 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart this week. Remixes from Timo Maas, DJ Delite, X-Press 2, and DJ Godfather will also be featured on the single, due May 8 via Astralwerks.
London Suede keyboardist Neil Codling has left the famed U.K. rock act due to an ongoing battle with chronic fatigue syndrome. Codling was healthy enough to perform live with Suede last year, but his condition worsened as the group prepared to begin work on a new studio album. He will be replaced in the lineup by Alex Lee, who filled in for Codling onstage and during writing sessions last year.
Lee has already co-written two new songs that may appear on Suede's new album, recording of which will commence in May with producer Tony Hoffer. Although no release date has been set, expect a single to drop in the fall. The album will be the follow-up to 1999's "Headmusic" (Nude/Columbia), which debuted at No. 25 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Those bluesy riffs you hear in Victoria Secret's "Body By Victoria" commercial will sound familiar if you happen to be a fan of Keb' Mo'. The Epic recording artist's reach into the world of fashion doesn't end there, as the stylish modern bluesman will be spotted in the July British/Italian issue of men's fashion magazine GQ.
Keb' Mo' will be seen quite a bit in the U.S., too, as his appearance on "Austin City Limits" will air April 28, and his second visit to CBS' "Touched By An Angel" will air in May.
A tour in support of his latest album, "The Door," will kick off May 19 in Annapolis, Md., following a pair of appearances in New Orleans: May 4 at the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the following night at the Big Easy's Municipal Auditorium. The artist's first family project, "Big Wide Grin," will be released June 5 by the Sony Wonder label.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
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