Billboard Bits: Save The Rhinos, Tortoise, Foxworthy

News on Save The Rhinos, Tortoise, Foxworthy

Common, Rakim, Lupe Fiasco, DJ Z-Trip and Rhymefest have signed to perform at the June 8 benefit concert Marc Ecko Presents...Save the Rhinos. The second annual show will be held at Central Park Summerstage in New York, with proceeds to benefit the International Rhino Foundation.

The organization is working to double the populations of three types of rhinos that are among the most endangered species on earth. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

expected this spring, the Tortoise boxed set "A Lazarus Taxon" will now arrive Aug. 22 via Thrill Jockey. The three-disc collection rounds up 33 hard-to-find remixes, limited-edition releases and compilation appearances, plus the previously unreleased Mike Watt remix of "Cornpone Brunch." A fourth disc will be comprised of a DVD with videos and live clips, details of which are still coming together.

While it continues work on its next studio album (due sometime next year), Tortoise will head to London for a July 25 show as part of All Tomorrow's Parties' Don't Look Back Series. The group will stage a complete performance of its landmark 1996 album "Millions Now Living Will Never Die," most songs from which have been absent from its live sets for years.

Bassist Doug McCombs told Billboard in 2001 that the absence of "Millions" guitarist David Pajo in the current lineup of Tortoise has made it difficult to reproduce its tracks, particularly the guitar-driven "Glass Museum."

"We went through it a couple of times in rehearsal, and it's a case of [Pajo]'s guitar part being very idiosyncratic, and also very integral to the song," he said. "So in most instances we're not precious about that kind of stuff at all -- we'd just figure out a different way to do it, or have a part that mimics a certain part. But for whatever reason, it doesn't ever seem to gel without Dave."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

CMT has signed Jeff Foxworthy to star in a 12-episode series, "Foxworthy's Big Night Out." The half-hour shows will feature the comedian performing stand-up and sketch comedy, and will also include live musical appearances by country stars performing their latest hits. The show will premiere in September.

Taped in front of a live studio audience in Atlanta's Alliance Theater, "Foxworthy's Big Night Out" will begin production in June. Foxworthy will serve as the show's host, executive producer and writer. Foxworthy has a prior relationship with CMT as host of the "CMT Music Awards" this year and last.

-- Phyllis Stark, Nashville