Billboard Bits: 50 Cent, Pixies, Miller/Keen
News on 50 Cent, Pixies, Miller/Keen50 Cent will be among the guest voices heard in the forthcoming 16th season of the animated Fox series "The Simpsons." The G-Unit rapper will reportedly be featured in an episode dubbed "Pranksta Rap." No airdate has been set for the episode.
Providing fodder for a special broadcast is the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, which found Janet Jackson's breast exposed thanks to fellow performer Justin Timberlake and a "wardrobe malfunction."
In an episode set to air Feb. 6, immediately following Super Bowl XXXIX, family patriarch Homer Simpson and do-gooder neighbor Ned Flanders will draw the ire of America for their halftime show's "blatant display of decency," according to Fox. Football player Warren Sapp, skater Michelle Kwan and basketball players Yao Ming and LeBron James will guest star in the episode.
Other guest voices to be heard in the new season include actors Ray Romano, Kim Catrall and James Caan, architect Frank Gehry and author Thomas Pynchon.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
The Pixies will play their first New York shows in more than 13 years on Dec. 12-13 at the city's Hammerstein Ballroom. Tickets are $42 and go on sale Friday (Aug. 13) via Ticketmaster; the Datsuns and Reid Paley will support on Dec. 12, with support to be announced for the 13th. The reunited alternative rock outfit's last performance in New York was Nov. 23, 1991, at the now-defunct Ritz.
The group's fall North American tour begins Sept. 4 in Bend, Ore., and is expected to run through Christmas. Additional shows are expected to be added, specifically in the Boston area. Beforehand, the Pixies will play the U.K.'s V Festival on Aug. 21-22 and an Aug. 20 warm-up at the London Forum.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
The Steve Miller Band and Robert Earl Keen will perform Friday (Aug. 13) at an Austin, Texas, celebration for six-time Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong. The free event will be held in front of the State Capitol building; EPSN broadcaster Chris Fowler will host.
"Lance Armstrong has accomplished a tremendous feat and continues to be a symbol of courage, hope and pride for people across the nation," says Charlie Jones of Capital Sports & Entertainment, which is organizing the event. "What better way to welcome him home than to gather fans from across the country, rock legends and dignitaries, and to host one of the largest celebrations these streets have ever seen."
The festivities will get underway with a parade starting at the Congress Bridge at 7 p.m. CT. Fans can visit Armstrong's official Web site for more details.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.