Billboard Bits: Vandals, Little Steven, Loose Fur
News on the Vandals, Little Steven, Loose FurPunk rock act the Vandals has been tapped to headline the 2002 Kung Fu Records tour, which will also boast labelmates Tsunami Bomb and Audio Karate. The West Coast leg of the U.S. tour will kick off Nov. 1 in Salt Lake City and run through Nov. 15 in Anaheim, Calif. The tour's second leg is slated to get underway in either late February or early March. For full dates, visit the Kung Fu Records Web site.
In between tour legs, the Vandals will head to Australia to take part in several festival shows. The band is touring in support of its latest album, "Internet Dating Super-Studs." Released last month, the set was produced by guitarist/songwriter Warren Fitzgerald with Ryan Williams (Quarashi). Last month Kung Fu also released Tsunami Bomb's "The Ultimate Escape," and in May issued Audio Karate's "Space Camp."
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Along with the success he's found on tour with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band and in his role on the hit HBO series "The Sopranos," Little Steven Van Zandt can celebrate the success of his weekly syndicated radio show. On the air for just three months, "Hard Rock Cafe Presents Little Steven's Underground Garage" has scored excellent ratings in several markets in the latest Arbitron survey.
In New York, affiliate WAXQ (Q104.3) saw its average quarter hour share -- the percentage of people who are tuned in to "Underground Garage" out of all those whose radios are on during the same time slot -- among 25-54 year old men jump from 1.6 to 5.1 in the Sunday night time slot where Van Zandt's show airs. Among the 18-34 crowd, the program drew a 4.2 share of the audience to Q104.3's airwaves, up from a 0.7 share prior to the launch of "Underground Garage."
Similarly, Miami's WBGG's audience share jumped from 2.5 to 9.6 among men 25-54, while WHJY Providence, R.I., saw a 3.9 to 6.4 leap among the same audience. The latter station's 18-34 audience also soared from a 7.1 share to 19.8. "Underground Garage" is also finding a sizable audience in Philadelphia, Houston, San Diego, Phoenix, and Albany, N.Y., among other cities. For a full roster of the stations and information about the show, visit Little Steven's official Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Loose Fur, the collaboration between Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Glen Kotche and Sonic Youth multi-instrumentalist Jim O'Rourke, will make its live debut Dec. 6-7 at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y. As previously reported, the trio's self-titled debut album is due in January via Drag City. It is not yet known if additional shows are in the offing.
"Jeff and I are huge folk-rock fans," O'Rourke told Billboard.com of the project. "It's not studio-oriented like [Wilco's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"], which he mixed. "We wrote the songs, played them live, and we limited ourselves to one overdub on each song, and then the singing. It's fairly dense considering it's only five instruments at most."
Wilco's tour in support of "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" hits Washington, D.C., tonight (Oct. 15). The group will stream the show from its official Web site.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.