Billboard Bits: Metallica, Tweedy, Shonen Knife

News on Metallica, Jeff Tweedy, Shonen Knife

Lars"Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" picked up the best documentary award at last weekend's Independent Spirit Awards. "Never could we have imagined the impact this film would have on our lives, and the lives of others," drummer Lars Ulrich said about the honor. "Along with all of the positive feedback that the film has generated from the critics and fans alike, winning this award is truly special."

Theatrically released last year, the acclaimed film is currently available on Paramount Home Video DVD.

"Garden State," which won a Grammy award for best compilation soundtrack (Epic/Sony Music Soundtrax/Fox Music), picked up the best first feature honor.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

JeffJeff Tweedy is stepping out on his own for a pair of Chicago shows and will take part in a New York discussion about culture in the wake of the Internet boom. The Wilco frontman's sold-out gig tomorrow (March 4) at the Windy City's
Vic Theatre with Riviera will raise funds for the Children's Memorial Foundation Kawasaki Research Fund. He'll also play the venue the next night with the Autumn Defense opening.

In between Wilco's slate of European dates and a spring U.S. tour, Tweedy will join Stanford University law professor Lawrence Lessig for "Who Owns Culture?" an April 7 discussion at the New York Public Library, moderated by Wired Magazine.

"A piece of art is not a loaf of bread," Tweedy says explaining Wilco's embrace of sharing music digitally. "When someone steals a loaf of bread from the store, that's it. The loaf of bread is gone. When someone downloads a piece of music, it's just data until the listener puts that music back together with their own ears, their mind, their subjective experience."

Tickets for the discussion are $10 ($7 for library members) and available beginning March 17 Smarttix.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

KnifeJapanese rock band Shonen Knife earlier this week kicked off its first North American tour since 2003. The group in the final stages of recording a new, self-produced album, "Genki Shock," due this fall. Several new tracks, including "Spam" and "Anime Phenomenon," are being road-tested on the current dates.

U.S.-based indie label Oglio Records recently reissued expanded editions of the band's first four albums.

Shonen Knife began its career in 1981 as a trio comprising sisters Naoko and Atsuko Yamano and their friend Michie Nakatani. The latter retired from the band in 1999, after which Atsuko moved from drums to bass and the band began using female "support" drummers.

Here are Shonen Knife's tour dates:

March 3: Rochester, N.Y. (Bug Jar)
March 4: Hoboken, N.J. (Maxwell's)
March 5: New York (Knitting Factory)
March 7: Washington, D.C. (Black Cat)
March 8: Philadelphia (North Star)
March 9: Boston (Middle East)
March 10: Montreal (Petite Campus)
March 11: Ottawa, Ontario (Babylon)
March 12: Toronto (Lee's Palace)
March 13: Hamilton, Ontario (Cork Town Tavern)
March 16: Ft. Worth, Texas (Wreck Room)
March 17: Dallas (Granada)
March 18: Austin, Texas (Elysium)
March 19: Oklahoma City (Green Door)
March 21: Albuquerque, N.M. (Launch Pad)
March 22: Tucson, Ariz. (Plush Club)
March 23: San Diego (Brick by Brick)
March 24: Santa Ana, Calif. (Galaxy Theatre)
March 25: Los Angeles (Spaceland)
March 26: San Francisco (Slim's)
March 27: San Jose, Calif. (Blank Club)
April 1: Vancouver (Brickyard)

-- Steve McClure, Tokyo