Billboard Bits: Shyne, Midnight Oil, and more

News on Shyne, Sean Combs, Midnight Oil, INXS, Men At Work, Built To Spill, Phil Ek, Echo & the Bunnymen, Ian McCulloch, Ian Broudie, Lightning Seeds

Sentencing for rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, a co-defendant in Sean Combs' recent nightclub shooting trial, has been postponed until June 1. Barrow, who was found guilty last month of assault, gun possession, and reckless endangerment, was scheduled to be sentenced today (April 16) in New York, but the hearing was postponed at the request of his lawyer. Barrow remains in jail and faces up to 25 years in prison.

This summer's planned Great Australian Bite tour -- featuring Midnight Oil, INXS (fronted by Jon Stevens), and Men At Work -- has bit the dust. Originally planned to kick off May 28 in Atlanta and wrap June 27 in Las Vegas, the trek's cancellation comes at the hands of Midnight Oil, which claims "unforeseen circumstances" have forced the band to withdraw.

"We are planning to return for a global tour including U.S.A. and Europe and South America in October and November with different guests," Midnight Oil writes on its official Web site. On Saturday, the group played the East Coast Blues and Roots Music Festival in Byron Bay, Australia, and performed in Coolangatta on the continent's Gold Coast yesterday (April 15).

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Boise, Idaho-based rock trio Built To Spill has set a July 17 release date for "Ancient Melodies of the Future," its third studio album for Warner Bros. As previously reported, the new set was produced by Phil Ek, who has helmed all of the band's Warner Bros. releases. It's the follow-up to 1999's "Keep It Like a Secret," which debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. A 25-date tour kicks off Friday (April 20) in Austin, Texas, with East Coast dates set for late summer.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

As tipped here last month, Echo & the Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch will in June begin recording a solo album for U.K. indie label Jeepster. The first batch of songs will be produced by Lightning Seeds principal Ian Broudie, who previously worked with McCulloch in the early 1980s as producer on Echo and the Bunnymen's "Crocodiles" and "Porcupine" albums.

The new set, slated for release in January 2002, will be McCulloch's third solo album, and his first since
1992's "Mysterio" (Sire). Meanwhile, Echo & the Bunnymen will release their new album, "Flowers," on May 22 via spinART in North America and Cooking Vinyl in the U.K.

-- Jason Reynolds, L.A.>