Billboard Bits: Pulp, American Music Awards, Alice Cooper

News on Pulp, American Music Awards, Alice Cooper

PulpAlthough famed U.K. rock act Pulp is on an extended hiatus, group members Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley have re-emerged in the new band Relaxed Muscle. The project has released a three-song EP, "The Heavy," through Rough Trade internationally. A full-length album will arrive later this year, preceded June 23 by the double-A side single "Billy Jack"/"Sexualized."

Cocker has renamed himself Darren Spooner for the band, while Hawley is being billed as Wayne Marsden. "All the stuff was done in Jarv's basement," Hawley wrote on his official Web site. "We just arsed around after Pulp rehearsals to keep us out of the pub. We did a gig supporting Lee Hazlewood at [London's] Royal Festival Hall which I really enjoyed." Further Relaxed Muscle gigs are in the offing.

As for Pulp, the group's last album, "We Love Life," was released in 2001 internationally and the following summer in North America. A retrospective CD/DVD package, "Pulp Hits," was issued in December.

-- Jason MacNeil, Toronto; Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

KimmelComedian/talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has been tapped to host the 31st annual American Music Awards. Slated for Nov. 16 in Los Angeles, the event will be broadcast live on ABC. Nominations will be announced in September.

"I am thrilled to be hosting the 'American Music Awards,'" Kimmel says in a statement. "As it stood, I didn't have any plans for that night."

ABC is also the home to the latest late-night talk show entry, "Jimmy Kimmel Live," which airs weeknights at midnight ET. The show has the unique feature of guest co-hosts, beginning with rapper Snoop Dogg in the show's premiere week. Others have included former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, and this week, Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

AliceAlice Cooper will eschew his elaborate, highly theatrical stage show for his Bare Bones tour, kicking off July 12 at the Moondance Jam in Walker, Minn. Dates are scheduled through an Aug. 9 appearance at the Rockin' the Rivers festival in Three Forks, Mon.

Prior to the tour, Cooper will put the finishing touches on a new album. The as-yet-untitled set is due in the fall via Spitfire Records. He'll also play five shows in Europe, beginning July 3 in Wolverhampton, England. For full details, visit Cooper's
official Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.