Billboard Bits: MusicFest, New Pornographers & More

News on Rochester MusicFest, New Pornographers & More

JohnA host of top R&B/hip-hop acts have signed on for the 2005 Rochester (N.Y.) MusicFest, to be held July 16-17 at Genessee Valley Park. The first day will feature performances by John Legend, Ciara, Boyz II Men, Jagged Edge and Nina Sky, while Common, Faith Evans, Brian McKnight, Fatty Koo and Raheem DeVaughn will take the stage on day two.

MusicFest will also offer stage time to two "battle of the bands" winners via contests sponsored by local radio stations WDKX and WBLK. Two-day passes for the event are $49 and are available via Ticketmaster.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

NewCanadian indie rock outfit New Pornographers will return this summer with a new studio album, "Twin Cinema." Due Aug. 23 via Matador, the 14-track set features a guest spot from group member Carl Newman's teenage niece Kathryn Calder, who will soon join the touring incarnation of the group. The title cut can be sampled on the New Pornographers'
official Web site.

"Twin Cinema" is the follow-up to 2003's "Electric Version," which debuted at No. 9 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and has sold 76,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

New Pornographers have begun confirming summer shows, including a previously announced June 25 date as part of the Celebrate Brooklyn festival in the borough's Prospect Park.

Here are the New Pornographers' tour dates:

June 23: Hoboken, N.J. (Maxwell's)
June 24: Lancaster, Pa. (Chameleon Club)
June 25: Brooklyn, N.Y. (Prospect Park)
June 26: Northampton, Mass. (Pearl Street)

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

BenBen Folds has drafted singer/songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Ben Lee for a string of late summer performance dates. The trio's Odd Men Out tour will set off Aug. 3 in Vienna, Va., and close Aug. 26 in Woodinville, Wash. Full dates can be found on Folds'
official Web site.

Folds' current club/theater tour touches down in Durham, N.C., tonight (May 9). He's out behind "Songs for Silverman" (Epic), which last week gave him a career-best debut on The Billboard 200 at No. 13.

Wainwright is in the midst of a European tour in support of his latest, "Want Two" (DreamWorks), which bowed in December at No. 103 on The Billboard 200. Lee released his New West Records debut, "Awake is the New Sleep," in March, and will play a handful of dates in native Australia this month before returning to the U.S. to open a slate of late spring Aimee Mann shows.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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