Billboard Bits: Love, Music Midtown, Shins

Stories on Courtney Love, Atlanta's Music Midtown festival and the Shins.

Courtney LoveAn advance listen of a track on Courtney Love's upcoming solo album is now streaming on her official Web site. The song "Mono" will be featured on Love's forthcoming Virgin debut, "America's Sweetheart." As previously reported, the album was originally due Oct. 28, but was rescheduled for a Feb. 10 release.

Love has made headlines recently stemming from an incident at a former boyfriend's home. In November, the widow of Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain pleaded not guilty to drug-possession charges that were filed after she was arrested for breaking windows of a house in Beverly Hills, Calif. Hours after she was released on bail, she was taken to a hospital for what police termed as a "medical emergency." Love lost custody of her 11-year-old daughter Frances Bean Cobain after her arrest.

Last week, a hearing on the charges was postponed until Jan. 27.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

EveAtlanta's 11th annual Music Midtown festival has been scheduled for April 30-May 2. As has become the custom, the festival will feature dozens of bands across several stages located in the heart of the city. Three-day passes priced at $45 will go on sale in March around the time the initial performers lineup is announced.

This year's event featured a wide range of acts that included Aimee Mann, Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, Buddy Guy, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Def Leppard, Eve, Fat Joe, Godsmack, Gomez, India.Arie, LL Cool J, Ratdog, Shaggy, Sheryl Crow and Tony Bennett.

For more information, visit the Music Midtown Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

The ShinsIndie-pop darlings the Shins have set a short U.S. tour for February in support of the group's most recent album, "Chutes Too Narrow" (Sub Pop). The dates will follow a three-show London stand in late January, where the band will play the Arts Cafe, Garage/Scala and Monarch Barfly venues on consecutive nights.

The Portland, Ore.- and Alberquerque, N.M.-based band is also booked for two late-night TV appearances in the U.S. in the new year -- a Jan. 13 engagement on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" and a Feb. 17 booking for NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." The group also plans to play NBC's "Last Call With Carson Daly" later in February, but the date has not yet been set.

"Chutes Too Narrow" debuted in November at No. 86 on The Billboard 200 and No. 6 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart. The set has sold 63,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Here are the Shins' tour dates:

Jan. 13: New York (Late Show With David Letterman)
Jan. 20: London (Arts Cafe)
Jan. 21: London (Garage/ Scala)
Jan. 22: London (Monarch Barfly)
Jan. 31-Feb. 1: Seattle (Showbox)
Feb. 2: Portland, Ore. (Roseland Theater)
Feb. 4: San Francisco (Fillmore)
Feb. 5-6: Los Angeles (Henry Fonda Theater)
Feb. 8: Mission Beach, Calif. (Canes Ballroom)
Feb. 10-11: Washington, D.C. (Black Cat)
Feb. 13: Boston (the Roxy)
Feb. 14-15: New York (Irving Plaza)
Feb. 17: New York (Late Night With Conan O'Brien)

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.