Billboard Bits: Tenacious D, Gretchen Wilson, MerleFest
In a first-of-its-kind promotion, Tenacious D is making a short film, "Time Fixers," available in two portions via the iTunes Music Store.In a first-of-its-kind promotion, Tenacious D is making a short film, "Time Fixers," available in two portions via the iTunes Music Store. The first half of the film is available as a free download via the service, while the second half can be accessed after pre-ordering the group's new album, "The Pick of Destiny."
Pre-orders have been so numerous that "The Pick of Destiny" is now the No. 1 album on the iTunes Album chart. In the clip, Tenacious D principals Jack Black and Kyle Gass take a break from rocking the masses to interfere with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and also wind up millions of years in the past while battling their arch-enemy, the Time Goblin.
"Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny" is due Nov. 22 in U.S. theaters, while the album arrives Nov. 14. A North American tour begins Nov. 17 in Los Angeles.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
World-class figure skaters will perform to the live music of Gretchen Wilson on Nov. 8 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. The one-off Country On Ice will feature a 12-song performance by the country star while popular skaters like Kurt Browning, Todd Eldredge and Irina Slutskya take to the rink. The event will air on NBC on Dec. 23.
Meanwhile, "Redneck Woman: Stories from My Life," Wilson's biography co-written by Allen Rucker, is due next month via Warner Books.
-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.
Artists like Bela Fleck, Elvis Costello and Sam Bush have been tapped for the 20th Annual MerleFest. The Americana music festival will be held April 26-29 at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C. Tickets are on sale beginning Nov. 14 through the MerleFest Web site or by calling 800-343-7857.
In addition to performances by Doc Watson and his grandson Richard (son of the late Merle Watson, the festival's namesake), Blue Highway, Cherryholmes, John Cowan Band, Donna the Buffalo, Jerry Douglas, the Duhks, the Del McCoury Band, Pam Tillis and many other artists are also on the bill.
-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.