Updating a story first posted yesterday (May 29), rising underground rock outfit Thursday has signed a new deal with Island Def Jam and taken to its official Web site to decry what it says is unfair treatment from Victory Records, to which it was previously signed.
Recognizing the music industry's move away from retail-available singles, Billboard has introduced Hot Rap Tracks, a 25-position chart based on radio airplay information supplied by Nielsen BDS. The new chart, which debuts today on Billboard.com, replaces the sales-based Hot Rap Singles list.
Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson has overseen the track selection of a new Beach Boys hits compilation, which EMI will release July 2 in North America. The disc will be highlighted by a new recording of "California Feelin'" -- a "lost" Beach Boys track dating from the '70s that has never been officially released.
The Blind Boys of Alabama, now in their 63rd year of performing, will release the 12-track "Higher Ground" Sept. 3 via Peter Gabriel's Real World Records. Following the formula of last year's "Spirit of the Century," "Higher Ground" sees the band churning out gospel renditions of songs from well-known artists, including Prince, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, and Jimmy Cliff.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and U2 frontman Bono today (May 30) visited an Ethiopian hospice and orphanage run by missionaries, one of the last stops of their African tour. Dozens of patients quietly lined walkways and alleyways. O'Neill said he was deeply moved and touched.
A series of 22 Rolling Stones reissues to be released Aug. 20 from ABKCO Records will mark the first albums by a major act in the new dual-layer hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) format, Billboard Bulletin reports. Hybrid SACDs can be played on an SACD player, allowing delivery of the format's high-resolution audio, or on any standard CD player. The series, "The Rolling Stones Remastered," was announced today (May 30) at the Home Entertainment Expo in New York.
Mellow doesn't mind being compared to Air. After all, both French groups share a similar love of vintage synthesizers, swinging lounge, intergalactic swirls, and digitized flourishes. Mellow would, however, like the comparisons to stop, but the band knows some recent career choices will render that impossible.
Southern California alt-metal band Alien Ant Farm has canceled all its scheduled performances in the wake of last week's tour bush crash which left a driver dead and band members with a variety of injuries.
Eminem bolts to the top of The Billboard 200 with his third album, "The Eminem Show" (Aftermath/Interscope), on sales of 285,000 units in just one weekend, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The rapper blows by the competition, sending last week's No. 1, P. Diddy's Bad Boy/Arista compilation "We Invented the Remix," to No. 2 after a 44% slide to sales of 144,000 units. Eminem also debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hop-Hop Albums tally.
The Russian space agency said today (May 29) that it had no plans to give 'N Sync's Lance Bass a ride to space, and that no other space tourist has secured a seat on a Russian rocket set to blast off to the international space station in October. "The Russian Aerospace Agency has had no contacts whatsoever with Mr. Bass," agency spokesman Konstantin Kreidenko said. "We have received no requests from either him or his representatives, not to speak about signing any contracts."
Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson has lined up five dates for his maiden North American solo tour, beginning June 19 in New York. The artist wraps a brief European trek tonight (May 29) in Paris. Robinson will be playing acoustic guitar at the gigs, accompanied only by another musician on slide guitar.