Latin Conference & Awards

Billboard Bits: Albarn, Adams, 'Rock Through Time'

News on Damon Albarn, Bryan Adams, 'Rock Through Time'

AlbarnBlur lead singer Damon Albarn has two side projects in development. A second album from his "cartoon band" Gorillaz is due this fall on Parlophone/EMI. But for now Albarn is in Lagos, Nigeria, recording an album with several West African musicians. Among them is Tony Allen, former drummer for Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.

"It's shaping up to be the most exciting thing I've ever been involved in," Albarn says. The album will appear on his own EMI-distributed Honest Jon's label. No release date is set.

As previously reported, Albarn can also be heard on the track "Put It Back Together" from Fatboy Slim's next album, "Palookaville." That set will be released Oct. 5 via Astralwerks.

-- Nigel Williamson, London

AdamsBryan Adams will release his new studio album, "Room Service," internationally the week of Sept. 20, although an official American release isn't penciled in until early next year. According to the Canadian singer/songwriter's
official Web site, the new studio effort will be followed up by a 14-track acoustic album, "Stripped," which will also include acoustic demos of songs that appear on "Room Service."

Both albums were recorded in hotels and backstage at concert venues while Adams was on tour in Europe last year. Adams was in Toronto yesterday (July 29) filming a video for first single, "Open Road."

"Room Service" will be Adams' first studio release since 1998's "On a Day Like Today." That A&M set debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's Top Canadian Albums chart and No. 103 on The Billboard 200.

-- Jason MacNeil, Toronto

AliceThe lineup for Miller Brewing Company's "Rock Through Time" concert celebrating rock'n'roll's 50th anniversary has been revised, with Alice Cooper and Melissa Auf Der Maur having been added joining the bill and the Darkness dropping off due to European commitments.

As previously reported, the event will be held Sept. 17-18 at New York's Roseland Ballroom. Previously confirmed acts include the Strokes, Velvet Revolver, Lenny Kravitz, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Cheap Trick, Slash, Ben Folds, Wyclef Jean and the Doors Of The 21st Century.

No tickets will be sold to the general public for the event, with the audience expected to be dominated by contest winners. Miller itself is giving away 1,000 tickets in addition to a sweepstakes for a trip to New York to see the concert.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.