Billboard Bits: Tim McGraw, Ween, 'Songs Of Protest'

News on Tim McGraw, Ween, 'Songs Of Protest'

NellyCountry music star Tim McGraw's planned NBC concert special has been slated for Nov. 27, the night before Thanksgiving. Dubbed "Sing Me Home," the one-hour show will feature footage of McGraw's Sept. 7 homecoming concert at the C.W. Earle Cotton Gin in Start, La.

"I had a vision of a working at the Cotton Gin across the street from where I grew up," McGraw said in a statement. "I'm proud of my roots and honored that NBC let me go home to Louisiana for my first TV special."

The special will air just one day after the release of McGraw's new album, "Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors." Due Nov. 26 via Curb, the set will issued the same day as Simon & Schuster's companion book titled "Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors: This Is Ours." As previously reported, first single "Red Rag Top" has proved to be too controversial for some U.S. country radio stations. Nonetheless, the track is No. 18 on Billboard's Top Country Singles & Tracks chart.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

NellyWeen is "deep in the recording" of its next studio album and hopes to release the set on an as-yet-undetermined label next spring. "We've chosen about 20 tunes for the new album from a batch of songs at least twice that big," Mickey "Dean Ween" Melchiondo writes on the band's official Web site. "As far as the music is concerned, it's a very 'cerebral' record for lack of a better word. Basically it's all f***ed up ... nothing like any Ween record before it as far as I can tell. You drug addicts should love it."

Tonight (Oct. 7) and tomorrow, Ween is in New York for two shows raising funds to aid drummer Claude Coleman, who was seriously injured in a recent motorcycle accident. The only other shows on the group's schedule are a Halloween "masquerade ball" in Winston Salem, N.C., and a Nov. 1 engagement in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Melchiondo can be heard ripping it up on guitar on "III" (Ipecac), the third album from his Moistboyz project with vocalist Dickie Moist. As previously reported, he also takes the mic on a rendition of Black Flag's "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie" from the "Rise Above" compilation, due tomorrow from Sanctuary.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

NellyBarbara Dane will lead a host of 1960s-era protest singers and younger musicians through a pair of New York performances of "Songs of Protest: The Vietnam Songbook." Based around the now out-of-print "Songbook," which was compiled by Dane and Irwin Silber, the Feb. 15 shows at Joe's Pub will feature the likes of Bev Grant and the Fugs' Tuli Kupferberg, as well as Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Jim O'Rourke, Ben Lee, and Jenni Muldaur, among others.

Organized and produced by New York-based musicians Don Fleming and Kim Rancourt, the shows are being staged in an effort to remind "the American public of the power of song to express dissent against particular national and international government policy and outrage over atrocities and injustice."

"As far as I am concerned, the reason for doing this is directly tied to the imminent threat of a brand new war which promises to be far more devastating even than Vietnam," Dane said in a statement. "We need to seize this moment to call attention to the madness of American aggression anywhere on the globe."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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