Billboard Bits: Bob Dylan, MTV VMAs, Thrill Jockey

News on Bob Dylan, MTV VMAs, Thrill Jockey

DylanBob Dylan has penned an original song, "Crossing Over the Green Mountain," for the soundtrack to the upcoming Warner Bros. film "Gods and Generals." The Civil War-themed drama, starring Robert Duvall and Mira Sorvino, is due in March 2003 in U.S. theaters; the soundtrack is due in late December via Sony.

"In this song, Dylan has in a sense returned to his roots as a folk-country balladeer -- the same roots that nourished the mountain men of western Virginia, the home of [General Stonewall] Jackson, and countless others who fought for both the Blue and the Gray," director Ron Maxwell said in a statement.

Dylan is also expected to perform his music in the film "Masked & Anonymous," in which he will also star. A soundtrack featuring Dylan songs is expected to accompany the film, though it is not yet known whether the artist will write original material or use existing tracks. Dylan is touring in support of his Columbia album "Love and Theft" and plays Moncton, New Brunswick, tonight (Aug. 8).

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Rapper Nas and R&B/pop singer Ashanti are the latest additions to the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) performance lineup. They join previously announced acts Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Eminem, P. Diddy, Pink, and Shakira on the Aug. 29 bill for the 19th annual event. Avril Lavigne, Enrique Iglesias, Kylie Minogue, and Johnny Knoxville have been confirmed as presenters, joining Britney Spears, Nelly, B2K, and Bow Wow. In addition, "American Idol" judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson and the show's final two contestants will also be on hand to present trophies. Hosted by "Saturday Night Live" cast member Jimmy Fallon, the MTV VMAs will be broadcast live from New York's Radio City Music Hall beginning at 8 p.m. ET. As previously reported , Eminem, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, and P.O.D. lead the field with six nominations each.

In addition to a previously announced three-night 10th anniversary birthday bash in New York, Chicago label Thrill Jockey has confirmed a Sept. 15 celebration at London's Ocean club. The show will feature label stalwarts such as the Sea & Cake, Tortoise, Trans Am, Brokeback, Eleventh Dream Day, and Radian, as well as pop misfit Bobby Conn performing karaoke. Most of the above acts will perform at some point during Sept. 5-7 shows at New York's Irving Plaza and Bowery Ballroom.