Billboard Bits serves up the best bite-sized nuggets of music news and gossip every afternoon.
The Flaming Lips, Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem are among the recently announced headliners for the Bestival, the annual September gathering that marks the unofficial end of the summer festival season. The three day festival, curated by DJ Rob da Bank, takes place takes place on the Isle of Wight from Sept. 9-12 this year. Drowned in Sound has the full lineup.
Kurt Cobain's daughter is taking her tentative first step in following in her famous father's footsteps. The teenage Francis Bean, who recently got a court order to keep her mother, Courtney Love, out of her life, will make her recorded debut singing as part of a "gang" on a forthcoming album by Amanda Palmer. According to The Guardian, the young Cobain will appear on the debut by Evelyn Evelyn, a project by the Dresden Dolls frontwoman and her bandmate Jason Webley.
A secret gathering an L.A. recording studio last week brought together the unlikely group of Mary J. Blige, Steve Vai, Michael Jackson's "This Is It" guitarist Orianthi, Travis Barker, "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson and producer Ron Fair for an all-star reworking of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven.". The track's destination, according to the L.A. Times, is Blige's next album due later this year. "What people don't know about me is I've been a rock 'n' roll fan for years," Blige said.
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the masterful guitarist of art-rock band The Mars Volta, is making his directorial debut with "The Sentimental Engine Slayer," and indie film that premieres at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands. "I never intended to do anything with this film besides go through the process, learn from it and then move on to the next," Rodriguez-Lopez told Wired. "Now that I'm dealing with the reality that it is getting invited to these festivals, and that the film is no longer 'mine,' I am nervous as all hell!"
Aerosmith's Steven Tyler secretly auditioned as Robert Plant's Led Zeppelin replacement in 2008 but was rejected by Jimmy Page after a "shambolic" tryout jam session. "It's something I've never talked about before," Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry revealed in a recent radio interview. "It's a kind of window into how hard it's been to keep the partnership together. It's not the first time things like this have happened -- that's the downside of our relationship."
(Compiled by David J. Prince and Monica Herrera)