Billboard Bits: Beastie Boys, Steve Martin, Ludacris

Beastie Boys' 'Hot Sauce' Due Sept. 15

Beastie Boys' 'Hot Sauce' Due Sept. 15

The Beastie Boys, Sheryl Crow, Citizen Cope and Justin Jones will play an inaugural concert dubbed "Hey, America Feels Kinda Cool Again" on Jan. 19 at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Jan. 10); net proceeds will benefit Rock the Vote.

The Beasties and Crow previously teamed for a series of get out the vote shows last fall in support of President-elect Barack Obama.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Comedy icon Steve Martin is also an accomplished banjo player, and his skills will be on full display on "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo."

Due Jan. 27, the 15-track album is exclusive to for three months. It features vocal contributions from Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Mary Black and Tim O'Brien, as well as instrumental work from Earl Scruggs, Pete Wernick and Tony Trischka. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's John McEuen produced.

"I have loved the banjo my whole life," Martin says. "The songs on this record represent the influence of a dozen players and a thousand tunes, and I thank them all. But it's the banjo itself I thank most for generating nostalgia for experiences I never had, joy I was yet to experience and melancholy that was yet to come."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

In celebration of Black History Month, rapper/actor Ludacris is set to headline Hip-Hop 101. The Feb. 21 concert is being staged at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Among other acts slated are Common, Keri Hilson, Mix Master Mike and Janelle Monae.

Hip-Hop 101 will feature additional attractions including a dance-off between three of L.A.'s top dance schools (Debbie Allen, Millennium and the Edge); live graffiti art and an elaborate light and laser show.

The show is being produced by Derek Patterson of the financial company Champ Funds Inc. and executive produced by Ken Andrews of Andrews Entertainment Group.

-- Gail Mitchell, L.A.


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