Billboard Bits: NJMHOF, Sasha, Grand National

News on NJMHOF, Sasha, Grand National

BruceThe Garden State plans to honor and preserve its rich musical heritage -- which includes the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Bon Jovi, Dionne Warwick, the Fugees, the Rascals, the 1910 Fruitgum Company, Leslie Gore and Whitney Houston -- with the establishment of the New Jersey Music Hall of Fame (NJMHOF) museum in the struggling shoreline city of Asbury Park.

"Fans of Bruce Springsteen have been coming to Asbury Park for decades," says NJMHOF president Gary Wien, who is also the publisher of Upstage magazine. "With the addition of artists like Frank Sinatra and Count Basie and inventions like the phonograph and electric guitar, the drawing power and prestige of this museum is enhanced dramatically."

The NJMHOF board -- which also includes Light of Day Foundation founder and former Billboard researcher Bob Benjamin among its ranks -- hopes to open the doors of a physical museum in summer 2006 on a site yet to be determined.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

SashaSasha will release a new mix collection, "FUNDACIONnyc," on June 21 via Global Underground. The set is his first to be assembled using Ableton Live software, which allows for a greater degree of live mixing and editing than ever before. Tracks include the Superpitcher remix of M83's "Don't Save Us From the Flames," the DJ-Kicks Electroca$h mix of Playgroup's "Behind the Wheel" and Richard Davies' mix of Swayzak's "Another Way."

Sasha will feature the material on his upcoming North American tour, which begins May 28 in Los Angeles. "It has completely re-energized me again," the artist says of the new album. "I'm jumping up and down in the DJ booth. And people can feel that on the dancefloor."

Here are Sasha's tour dates:

May 28: Los Angeles (Avalon)
May 29: Denver (Vinyl)
June 2: Philadelphia (Emerald City)
June 3: New York (Crobar)
June 4: Washington, D.C. (Fur)
June 6: Miami (Crobar)
June 9: Atlanta (Eleven 50)
June 10: Chicago (Sound Bar)
June 11: Montreal (Aria)
June 16: Boston (Axis)
June 17: Charlotte, N.C. (Menage)
June 18: Toronto (Guvernment)

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

GrandU.K. rock act Grand National will make its North American debut June 11 at New York's Knitting Factory. The group will play the Los Angeles branch of that venue on June 15 following a June 13 show at New York's Mercury Lounge.

The group remains in negotiation with U.S. labels for the release of its 2004 debut, "
Kicking the National Habit," released internationally by BBC DJ Rob Da Bank's Sunday Best label.

Beforehand, Grand National has London shows lined up for May 22 at Bush Hall and May 27 at the Spitz. The group will also play June 24 at the U.K.'s annual Glastonbury Festival and Aug. 13 at Cardiff's Summer Festival.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.