Billboard Bits: Moog/Apple, Wilco, Atomic Kitten

News on Moog/Apple, Wilco, Atomic Kitten

Robert MoogSynthesizer pioneer Robert Moog and Apple Computer, Inc., will receive the 2002 Technical Grammy Award, the Recording Academy announced today (Jan. 31). The awards honor individuals or companies that have made significant contributions to the technical side of the recording field. They will be presented as part of the 44th annual Grammy Awards, set for Feb. 27 on CBS.

Moog is revered for the synthesizers which bear his name, the first of which was introduced in 1965. The instruments have appeared on countless recordings ever since, and were even utilized for a pair of "tribute albums" in the mid '90s by the duo Moog Cookbook, who recast such rock hits as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Green Day's "Basket Case" as retro synthesizer pieces.

Apple is being recognized for two decades worth of recording advancements, which have revolutionized the possibilities for creating music without the use of conventional instruments. "With the Macintosh's powerful new processors and new, Apple-driven applications -- such as DVD Studio Pro -- Apple continues to build on its historic role in moving studio technology forward," the Recording Academy said in a statement.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

WilcoChicago rock outfit Wilco, whose fourth album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," is due April 23 from Nonesuch Records, has set five West coast tour dates for March in advance of the long-delayed set's release. The group will hit San Diego; Anaheim, Calif.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; and Boulder, Colo., on the brief jaunt, which will serve as a warm-up for a full-scale tour in support of the album.

The Los Angeles appearance will be as part of the U.S. edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, curated by Sonic Youth and also featuring performances by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Television, Stereolab, Cat Power, Sleater-Kinney, Aphex Twin, and ex-Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus.

In other Wilco news, frontman Jeff Tweedy will perform Feb. 17 at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music with Mekons principal Jon Langford and former Red Red Meat member Tim Rutili. To be held at noon and 3 p.m. CT, the shows -- part of the School's "Wiggleworm Dads" series -- are meant for children from six months to three years old and their parents.

Here are Wilco's March tour dates:

March 12: San Diego (4th &B)
March 13: Anaheim, Calif. (House of Blues)
March 14: Las Vegas (House of Blues)
March 16: Los Angeles (UCLA / All Tomorrow's Parties festival)
March 19: Boulder, Colo. (Mackey Auditorium)

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

AtomicBritish girl band Atomic Kitten has signed a deal to promote Avon cosmetics. The trio will receive an undisclosed sum to endorse products from the "Color Trend" range, according to a spokesperson for New York-based Avon Products Inc., the world's leading direct seller of beauty products. News reports said the sum ran to six figures.

The band members will appear on packaging and feature in Avon catalogs, the spokesperson said. The $5.7 billion company, which has built its business on direct sales, recently moved into retail with BeComing, a new, pricier cosmetics range.

Atomic Kitten is up for best British newcomer and best British single ("Whole Again") at the 2002 Brit Awards, to be presented Feb. 20 at London's Earls Court.

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Copyright 2002 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.


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