Billboard Bits: Refused, Kenny Rogers, American Film Institute

News on Refused, Kenny Rogers, American Film Institute

Influential Swedish rock act Refused will be celebrated with the DVD "Refused Are F***ing Dead," due April 25 via Burning Heart/Epitaph. The release features every song from the group's landmark 1997 swansong "The Shape of Punk to Come" performed live at various venues as well as rare early performance footage, interviews and video clips for "New Noise" and "Rather Be Dead."

Although it was released to limited fanfare, "The Shape of Punk to Come" has come to be viewed as one of the best hardcore albums of the last decade. Shortly after its release, Refused splintered for good, with frontman Dennis Lyxzen going on to form the (International) Noise Conspiracy.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

The Kenny Rogers television mini-series "The Gambler" will be released in a three-volume DVD boxed set May 2 via Time Life. Based on Rogers' hit song of the same name, "The Gambler" and the two follow-up movies "The Adventure Continues" and "The Legend Continues" will be aired on Fox and a number of cable television stations around street date.

All three films star Rogers as Brady Hawkes, who in addition to raking in big bucks playing cards, also finds time to reconnect with a long-lost son and assist the Sioux Indian nation in fending off greedy businessmen. The DVD set also features limited-edition "Gambler" playing cards.

The Don Schlitz-penned title song earned Rogers a best country song Grammy and topped the Country Singles chart in 1978. Rogers' new album, "Water and Bridges," arrives tomorrow (March 21) via Capitol.

-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.

The American Film Institute will hold its fifth music documentary series in Los Angeles starting April 5. Held for six consecutive Wednesdays, this year's festival kicks off with "Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out," Police drummer Stewart Copeland's first-person account of his years in one of the world's biggest bands.

It will be followed by "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey" (April 12); "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" (April 19); "loudQuietloud: A Film About the Pixies" (April 26); "George Michael -- A Different Story" (May 3); and "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man" (May 10).

-- Melinda Newman, L.A.