Billboard Bits: Amsterjam, Pearl Jam, Stereolab, Esquivel

News on Amsterjam, Pearl Jam, Stereolab, Esquivel

WyclefWyclef Jean, Hector El Bambino, Antibalas and Grandmaster Flash have been added to the lineup for the inaugural Amsterjam, which will be held Aug. 20 at New York's Randall's Island. They join previously announced performers Snoop Dogg, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, Garbage and Fat Joe.

Also newly added to the bill for the event, which will find main-stage artists performing their own sets as well as collaborating with one another, are Fishbone, the Brought Low, Gogol Bordello, the Giraffes, Vic Thrill and Yerba Buena.

Bootsy Collins will serve as Amsterjam's curator and master of ceremonies.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

JamPearl Jam will conclude its fall North American tour with an Oct. 3 show at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center. Tickets go on sale Aug. 6 via Ticketmaster.
As previously reported, the group will return to live activity with an Aug. 29 benefit in Missoula, Mont., for Montana Senate president Jon Tester's bid for the U.S. Senate.

The fall shows have been tipped off on Pearl Jam's Web site by music apropos to each impending location (Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" before Atlantic City, N.J., shows, the "Rocky" theme before the Philadelphia date).

The site is now playing "The Girl From Ipanema," leading to speculation Pearl Jam will make its first visit to South America later this year. Area fans have been clamoring for Pearl Jam to tour the region for years, having collected thousands of signatures on a petition that was sent to band's representatives. At deadline, a spokesperson could not confirm details of a possible South American trek.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

StereolabStereolab will unveil six new songs this fall on three separate seven-inch vinyl singles and as digital downloads. Due Sept. 13 via the veteran act's new partnership with Duophonic/Too Pure, the material comprises the tracks "Kyberneticka Babicka Pt.1," "Kyberneticka Babicka Pt.2," "Plastic Mile," "I Was a Sunny Rainphase," "Interlock" and "Visionary Road Maps."

Meanwhile, work is continuing on Stereolab's next studio album, which is being eyed for an early 2006 release. A North American tour will likely follow.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

EsquivelA host of previously unreleased recordings by late lounge music pioneer Juan Garcia Esquivel are due Sept. 6 via Bar/None. Recorded in 1975, the material on "The Sights and Sounds of Esquivel!" was originally intended for release as a promotional item for Chicago's La Margarita restaurant chain.

Recorded live in the studio with Esquivel's band -- with canned applause overdubbed later -- the set includes arrangements of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," the Ervin Drake/Dan Fisher/Irene Higginbotham standard "Good Morning Heartache" and the Tanya Tucker-popularized "Delta Dawn." The bandleader's widow, Yvonne Debourban Esquivel, contributes the disc's liner notes.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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