Billboard Bits: Tenacious D/Dio, Strokes, Tre Hardson

News on Tenacious D/Dio, Strokes, Tre Hardson

ShakiraJack Black and Kyle Gass of comedy/rock duo Tenacious D will appear in the video for veteran metal act Dio's latest single, "Push." The clip will feature the D performing its own version of the Ronnie James Dio-sung Black Sabbath song "Heaven and Hell," only to be pushed from scene to scene by the bandleader as the new track is performed.

The pairing of Tenacious D with Dio is a natural one, considering the inclusion of the track "Dio" on the pair's recently released self-titled Epic album. Tenacious D currently has a trio of tour dates on its schedule, including appearances Sunday (June 9) at WBCN Boston's RiverRave event at CMGI Field in Foxboro, Mass., and June 22 at KNDD Seattle's Endfest concert at the Gorge in George, Wash. The group will cross the pond to perform July 5 at the Garage in London.

"Push" comes from Dio's latest album, "Killing the Dragon" (Spitfire Records), which debuted last week at No. 199 on The Billboard 200. The band is currently on a U.S. tour with Deep Purple and the Scorpions that will touches down tonight in Tucson, Ariz., and wrap Aug. 4 in Los Angeles.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

StrokesAs tipped here last week, the Strokes will join Weezer's summer North American tour for five dates: July 15 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; July 17 in Noblesville, Ind.; July 18 in Columbus, Ohio; July 29 in Atlanta; and July 30 in Antioch, Tenn. Afterward, the group will play three U.K. festival dates in late August. A North American swing is being lined up for October and November.

The Strokes are touring behind their RCA debut, "Is This It," which is No. 137 in its 33rd week on The Billboard 200 and has sold 561,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to Nielsen Soundscan. Latest single "Hard To Explain" is No. 31 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart this week. Look for the group performing June 13 on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

TrePharcyde founding member Tre Hardson will release his solo debut, "Liberation," Sept. 10 on the iMUSIC label, which will also releasing upcoming sets by X's John Doe and Arrested Development's Speech. The rapper, known as SlimKid Tre to Pharcyde fans, co-produced and recorded the 17-track album in Los Angeles.

"Liberation" boasts guest appearances by Saul Williams, Jurassic 5 rapper Chali 2na, MC Lyte, and former Brand New Heavies' vocalist N'Dea Davenport. Hardson began working on the album three years ago, when he was still in the Pharcyde, but he has since parted ways with the group, following in the footsteps of Derrick "Fatlip" Stewart, who released his solo debut single "What's Up Fatlip" on V2 in 2000.

Pharcyde debuted with the 1993 album "Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde" (Atlantic) and had its biggest chart success with 1995's "Labcabincalifornia" (Capitol), which debuted at No. 27 on The Billboard 200. The group's latest set, 2000's "Plain Rap" (Edeltone/Delicious Vinyl) peaked at No. 9 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.


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