Billboard Bits: Roskilde, Outkast/Ludacris & More
News on Roskilde, Outkast/Ludacris & MoreRed Hot Chili Peppers and Garbage are the first acts confirmed for the 2002 Roskilde Festival, set for June 27-30 outside Copenhagen. The future of the event was uncertain following the deaths of nine fans during Pearl Jam's set at Roskilde 2000. But with the advent of new security and crowd control measures, last year's edition -- which featured Bob Dylan, Tool, and Neil Young, among others -- went off without incident.
"Roskilde Festival '01 proved that the organizers and the audience could, through increased awareness, create the framework and substance to ensure full care and safety," organizers said in a newsletter on the Roskilde official Web site. "Henceforth the public will demand the new levels of safety and service from every music and sports event organizer, and will be able to go through them thoroughly for themselves on the Web sites. At Roskilde, applying new thinking and creativity to these areas has an extremely high priority, in order to enhance both the quality and enjoyment of the festival."
In honor of the fans who died, a memorial featuring nine birch trees planted in a circle was erected on the festival grounds. Last year's official festival T-shirts carried the sentence: "How fragile we are . . . Take care."
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Atlanta-based rap duo Outkast and rapper Ludacris were on hand Saturday night to congratulate their hometown's first female mayor-elect, Shirley Franklin. The acts performed for a crowd of nearly 8,000 people, along with violinist Ken Ford and 3rd Faze, a pop trio that was introduced by actor/comedian Chris Tucker, who lives in Atlanta.
The victory party held in the Georgia World Congress Center was part of a four-day, $500,000 celebration. Franklin was sworn in to office today (Jan. 7).
A former city administrator, Franklin won the Nov. 6 election with a 191-vote majority to avoid a runoff with City Council President Robb Pitts. She replaces Mayor Bill Campbell.
California-based alternative pop quartet Imperial Teen will resurface April 9 with the album "On," it's third overall and first for Merge Records. The 12-song follow-up to 1999's "What Is Not To Love" was produced and mixed by the husband-and-wife production team of Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) and Anna Waronker (That Dog).
"The feel of the album is up, bright sort of new wave," bassist Jone Stebbins tells Billboard.com. "There are loads of harmonies -- we all sing a lot." Alongside Stebbins, Imperial Teen is comprised of one-time Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum, drummer Lynn Perko, and singer/guitarist Will Schwartz.
"There are more keyboards too," Jone adds. "It's hard to describe the sound [of the record] as every song is so different, but we love it and hope you will too."
-- John D. Luerssen, N.Y.
Celebrated bluegrass banjo player Alison Brown will see some of her best known songs released in two drastically different collections in the coming weeks. Tomorrow (Jan. 8), a newly recorded set of fan favorites titled "Replay" will be issued on her own Nashville-based Compass Records label. The album documents the way songs such as "Chicken Road," "Red Balloon," and "The Promise of Spring" have evolved over the years of being played solo and with the Alison Brown Quartet.
Feb. 5 will bring "Vanguard Sessions Series: Alison Brown, Best of the Vanguard Years." The compilation samples tracks from four albums Brown recorded for the label, "Simple Pleasures" (1990), "Twilight Motel" (1992), "Look Left" (1994), and "Alison Brown Quartet" (1996).
Last year, Brown shared the best country instrumental Grammy award with duet partner Bela Fleck for the track "Leaving Cottondale," from her 2000 Compass album "Fair Weather." The artist will kick off a slate of U.S. tour dates Feb. 15 in Pequot Lakes, Minn., due to last through four days of late April performances in Wilkesboro, N.C., as part of the annual Merle Watson Festival.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
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