Billboard Bits: 'The Simpsons,' Black Crowes, and more

News on The Simpsons, Shawn Colvin, 'N Sync, Black Crowes, T Bone Burnett, Reeves Gabrels

The Fox network's hit animated series "The Simpsons" is continuing its tradition of featuring musical guests in 2001. In the episode titled "New Kids On The Blecch," premiering Sunday (Feb. 26) in the U.S., the members of 'N Sync will add voices to their animated selves, offering advice to Bart, Milhouse, Nelson, and Ralph, who are attempting to capitalize on the boy band craze.

This spring, in "I'm Goin' To Praiseland," Shawn Colvin will reprise the role of Rachel Jordan, a character she voiced last year on the series. Jordan first appeared when she helped Simpsons neighbor Ned Flanders deal with the untimely loss of his wife in the February 2000 episode "Alone Again, Natura-Diddly."

Colvin -- who, as previously reported, will on March 27 release "Whole New You" (Columbia) -- will also guest on an episode of the new Showtime series "The Chris Isaak Show," and make a cameo appearance in the soon-to-be-released film "Breakers," starring Ray Liotta, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Sigourney Weaver.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

The Black Crowes have lined up a handful of shows in advance of their highly anticipated V2 debut "Lions," due May 15. Several of the gigs come as part of annual multi-artist festivals such as Austin, Texas' South By Southwest (March 16) and Memphis' Beale Street Music Festival (May 6).

As previously reported, "Lions" was produced by Don Was and recorded at a converted theater on New York's lower East side. The band unveiled four new tracks -- "Midnight From The Inside Out, "Lickin'," "Greasy Grass River," and "Young Man, Old Man" -- at a private live showcase last month in New York.

Here are the Black Crowes' tour dates:
March 16: Austin, Texas (Stubb's / South By Southwest festival)
April 28: Charlotte, N.C. (Center City Fest 2001)
April 29: Zephyr Hills, Fla. (Festival Park
May 3: West Palm Beach, Fla. (Florida Sunfest 2001)
May 4: Atlanta (Music Midtown Festival)
May 5: Nashville (River Stages)
May 6: Memphis (Beale Street Music Festival)

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Celebrated producer T Bone Burnett (Counting Crows, Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, Los Lobos, the Wallflowers) has finished work on two new albums of his own material, "The True False Identity" and "Sahib: Songs For The Tooth Of Crime." Burnett tells he hopes to have both released soon on Nonesuch. "Sahib: Songs For The Tooth Of Crime," is a collection of songs he wrote for a Sam Shepard play that debuted in the late 1990s.

-- Wes Orshoski, N.Y.

Guitarist Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, Tin Machine), will launch a U.S. tour this spring in support of his album "Ulysses," released last year by E-Magine. The brief tour kicks off March 10 with a gig at Seattle's Experience Music Project, and winds down April 17 at Schuba's in Chicago. Augmenting Gabrels guitar and vocal work on the tour will be Paul Ill (bass/synthesizer) and Brock Avery (drums/percussion), as well as promised surprise guests.

In other news, Gabrels has been in the studio with Ozzy Osborne, who is working on a new studio album as a precursor to this summer's Ozzfest tour. Gabrels -- who performed on and produced a track for "2000 Years Of Human Error," Godhead's first album for Marilyn Manson's Posthuman label -- also has plans to collaborate with the Cure's Robert Smith this summer on his planned solo project.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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