Billboard Bits: J. Lo, Silver Jews, Murder City Devils
Stories on Jennifer Lopez, Silver Jews, and the Murder City DevilsJennifer Lopez will perform two full shows -- her first ever -- Thursday (Sept. 20) and Friday at the 10,000-seat Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The shows will be taped by NBC and will air in November as a special in 65 countries. Lopez has invited Spanish dancer Joaquin Cortes as a guest artist; it is rumored that Marc Anthony will also make an appearance. Tickets, priced at $45-$90, were still available for Friday's show at deadline.
Lopez's "I'm Real" featuring Ja Rule is in its third week at No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100, while the "J. Lo" album from which it is drawn jumps 16-11 on The Billboard 200 in its 33rd week.
-- Randy Luna and Leila Cobo, Miami
Underground Americana outfit Silver Jews will on Nov. 20 release its fourth Drag City album, "Bright Flight." Frontman David "D.C." Berman recorded the set in Nashville with drummer Tim Barnes and bassist Mike Fellows -- both of whom worked on the sessions for 1998's "American Water" -- as well as assorted local session musicians. Also due on Nov. 20 is a four-song EP featuring album cut "Tennessee" and three non-album tracks.
Former Pavement members Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich, who helped form the Silver Jews' first incarnation with Berman in 1989 at the Unversity of Virginia, do not appear on "Bright Flight."
Since the release of "American Water," Berman has also indulged his literary tendencies, releasing a book of poetry entitled "Actual Air" through Open City Press in 1999.
Sub Pop punk/pop act Murder City Devils is facing a time of change in the wake of keyboardist Leslie Hardy's recent exit from the band, and the pending exit of bassist Derek Fudesco. The group plans to complete its October U.S. tour as planned, with Nick DeWitt on keyboards, after which Fudesco will exit to concentrate on his new band, Pretty Girls Make Graves, of which DeWitt is the drummer.
Left with the feeling that the group cannot continue to perform the songs that Hardy helped write and perform, remaining members Nate Manny, Coady Willis, Dann Gallucci, Spencer Moody, and Gabe the Roadie will to continue on together under an as-yet-undecided name.
Formed five years ago in Seattle, the Murder City Devils released three albums in its short career, beginning with a 1997 self-titled set on its own Die Young Stay label. The band toured with Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse, and At The Drive-In, among others.
The Murder City Devils' final tour comes in support of its latest release, the EP "Thelema," released Sept. 4 by Sub Pop. Prior to the U.S. tour's kick-off Oct. 1 in Pomona, Calif., the group is slated to play the Serie B Festival Sept. 28 in La Rioja, Spain, which will also feature a performance by fellow Seattle act Mudhoney. For more info, visit the band's official Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.