Billboard Bits: Franz Ferdinand, Seaweed, Rednex
Franz Ferdinand will play some small club shows in its hometown of Glasgow, as well as one in New York, in the coming weeks. Although no dates or venues have been confirmed, the shows mark the band'sFranz Ferdinand will play some small club shows in its hometown of Glasgow, as well as one in New York, in the coming weeks. Although no dates or venues have been confirmed, the shows mark the band's first of 2007. "We'll be trying out some new songs and inviting some other bands that we like to play with us," bassist Bob Hardy wrote on the band's Web site today (May 18).
A post on the band's MySpace.com site by frontman Alex Kapranos says the band is still writing material; two new song titles are "A New Thrill" and "English Goodbye." As previously reported, the band will also perform next month at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
-- Jason MacNeil, Toronto
Indie rock outfit Seaweed will reunite for a Sept. 2 performance at the EMP Sky Church in Seattle as part of the Bumbershoot festival. The group, which has been inactive since 1999, will perform with all its original members in addition to Polecat/Leuko drummer Jesse Fox.
In addition, a new Seaweed album, tentatively titled "Small Engine Repair," is in the works. "The band is shockingly thrilled to get back together and play in front of our friends and fans once again," writes guitarist Wade Neal on the band's MySpace.com site.
Seaweed rose to fame with three early '90s albums for Sub Pop, after which point the band signed to Hollywood for 1995's "Spanaway." A final album, 1999's "Actions & Indications," appeared on Merge.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Rednex is looking for a new owner. The producers behind the novelty Swedish dance-pop band have offered its assets to the highest bidder, through Internet auction giant eBay. The Stockholm group, best known for the international '90s hit "Cotton Eye Joe," which peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100, is listed with a starting bid price of $1.5 million.
Any buyer would receive 100% of the shares in the Swedish production company Rednex AB, owned by the band's founder/producers Janne Ericsson, Örjan "Öban" Öberg and Ranis Edenberg. In the auction description, the sellers state that Rednex AB owns "the trademark, all recordings, all contracts and negotiating rights and is in full power of the artistry."
But the band's founder and singer suggests the offer is misleading. Annika Ljungberg, who also owns production company ShowMix AB, says Rednex AB only owns catalog recordings from 1994 to 2004, adding: "I have total responsibility for the band, and also own the new material since 2004 in my own company."
Edenberg says Ljungberg has power of attorney over the band until 2008. "Should someone buy it now, they would be limited in what they can do to that point," he says. "They are not actually selling the band Rednex," Ljungberg says, "because I am live and kicking here. And I'm not for sale."
-- Lars Brandle, London