If De La Soul has learned anything in its 12 years in the music business, it's that nothing is certain. So when the Long Island, N.Y.-based trio (Dave, Posdnous, and Maseo) set out last year to craft its "Art Official Intelligence" (AOI) series on Tommy Boy Records -- with the intention of releasing three albums in the span of 18 months -- the threesome should have assumed it would be an arduous task.
Bruce Springsteen will once again host a series of holiday benefit shows at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, N.J. The five concerts, set for Dec. 3-4 and 6-8, will feature the Max Weinberg 7 from "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and will benefit local charities. Tickets to the shows go on sale Tuesday (Nov. 27) at 9 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster phone sales only, priced at $50 and $100.
"More than the coming and going of boy bands, my knees are the sign of my age," Barenaked Ladies singer/guitarist Steven Page reflects to Billboard.com about the band's recent decade milestone, which is celebrated on their best-of compilation, "Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits (1991-2001)" (Reprise). The set hit North American retail outlets Nov. 13.
Wearing his traditional white Panama hat and smoking a cigar, the popular Cuban musician known as Compay Segundo celebrated his 94th birthday with hundreds of friends, fans, and family members Sunday night. "You have to take good care of yourself," said Segundo, whose real name is Francisco Repilado, during the celebration in the garden of the Hotel Nacional. "I'm happy."
Phish bassist Mike Gordon, former God Street Wine guitarist/vocalist Lo Faber, keyboardist John Medeski, and avant-garde turntablist DJ Logic were among the musicians that gathered Sunday night at New York's B.B. King's Blues Club for the Jammin' for Salmon: A Celebration of Life and Music benefit. Pulled together in less than a week, the event, an East Coast equivalent to several recent Colorado-based shows, was conceived to raise money for Leftover Salmon banjoist and founding member Mark Vann, who was recently diagnosed with melanoma and began chemotherapy last month.
Backed by an acoustic band and a string quartet, Jay-Z had fans in a frenzy as he performed his hits for a taping of MTV2's "Unplugged" series Sunday night (Nov. 18). "Welcome to Jay-Z's poetry hour," the 31-year-old rapper joked. "Hark, who goes there?"
Ja Rule's Murder Inc. set "Pain Is Love," Usher's Arista album "8701," and Luther Vandross' self-titled J Records debut lead the list of albums newly certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Released in October, August, and June, respectively, each has been certified for U.S. sales of 1 million copies. The Ja Rule and Usher albums were also each certified gold (500,000 copies) in their first accounting by the RIAA since their release.
Icelandic experimental rock outfit Sigur Ros took home the inaugural Virgin Megastore Shortlist Prize for Artistic Achievement in Music and its accompanying $10,000 cash prize last night (Nov. 19) at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles. The group was one of four nominated finalists who also performed at the awards ceremony.
Detroit garage rock duo the White Stripes have a signed a two-album deal with New York-based V2 Records, home to Moby, the Black Crowes, and Mercury Rev. The agreement, essentially a licensing deal that allows the White Stripes to maintain ownership of its masters, gives V2 the option to distribute any artist that White Stripes vocalist Jack White signs to his Third Man Records imprint.
Irish modern rock act the Cranberries will head to the U.S. for seven radio-station sponsored holiday concerts, beginning Dec. 3 at the WBMX-FM show at Boston's Fleet Center. The group had planned a series of dates in North America in October, but postponed them in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A full-scale world tour is due to begin in February.