Billboard Bits: James/Oberst/Ward, Lambchop, ARIA Hall of Fame
My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, Bright Eyes leader Conor Oberst and singer/songwriter M. Ward are planning to release a collaborative album.My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, Bright Eyes leader Conor Oberst and singer/songwriter M. Ward are planning to release a collaborative album. The project is in its very earliest stages and does not have a release date yet.
The three artists have performed live and recorded together numerous times in the recent past, but never quite to this degree. All are presently busy with their own main outlets; My Morning Jacket is in the midst of a European tour in support of the new "Evil Urges," which has already sold 84,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Oberst has a solo album coming out Aug. 5 under his own name via Merge, while Ward is starts a tour in late July with actress/singer Zooey Deschanel as part of their band She & Him.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
The Kurt Wagner-led Lambchop will release its next album, "OH (ohio)," Oct. 7 via Merge. The 11-track set includes such songs as "Popeye," "National Talk Like a Pirate Day" and "Slipped Dissolved and Loosed." It was co-produced by longtime collaborator Mark Nevers and Roger Moutenot.
Of late Wagner has pared Lambchop down from an 11-piece into a core band featuring Tony Crow (piano), William Tyler (guitar), Matt Swanson (bass), Alex McManus (guitar) and Ryan Norris (keyboards, guitar). "Lambchop more and more has become a vehicle for my songs and myself as an artist," he says. "I've fought against that interpretation for twenty years, but now I've just given up trying to fight it anymore."
Wagner will tour solo this fall, with dates to be announced.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Alt-rockers the Triffids and veteran performer Rolf Harris were among six acts inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame on Tuesday night.
During the ceremony, Harris was joined onstage by the Seekers -- another '60s act which moved to England and found international fame. Tim Freedman, of multi-platinum alt-rock band the Whitlams, performed a piano ballad version of "Two Little Boys."
Another ARIA honoree was New Zealand's alternative rock group Dragon, whose bassist Todd Hunter noted that this month marked the 10th anniversary of the passing of his brother and Dragon frontman singer Marc Hunter, who died from throat cancer.
-- Christie Eliezer, Melbourne