Billboard Bits: Air, LeAnn Rimes, The Rutles

News on Air, Beck, Buffalo Daughter, Red Kross, LeAnn Rimes, Music In High Places, The Rutles, The Beatles

Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel, better known as the French duo Air, will release their new album, "10,000 Hz Legend," on May 29 via Astralwerks. The 11-track set features vocals by such artists as Beck and eclectic Japanese outfit Buffalo Daughter, and drumming from former Redd Kross member Brian Rietzell. A spring tour of North America is in the works.

Since Air's 1998 debut album "Moon Safari," the duo started its own independent label, Record Makers, and composed the soundtrack for the Sofia Coppola film "The Virgin Suicides," which debuted at No. 4 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart last March.

"It's positively futurist," says executive producer Marc Teissier du Cros of the new album. "This is an album in 3-D with real sonic depth. You're in space when you listen to it. It conjures up vivid images like Stanley Kubrick's film '2001: A Space Odyssey.' "

LeAnn Rimes made a trip to Yucatan, Mexico, for the sixth installment of "Music In High Places." Airing every weekend in March on satellite service DirecTV, the show follows Rimes and her band as they perform acoustically in the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, the medieval city of Valladolid, the pyramids of Izamal, the swamplands of the Yucatan jungle, and other exotic Mexican locales.

Performance footage and other corresponding information can be found on the show's Web site, where visitors can watch the past musical adventures of Alanis Morissette, Brian McKnight, Shawn Colvin, and Wynonna. The seventh episode in the series will feature Boyz II Men in South Korea.

A newly signed worldwide distribution agreement with Image Entertainment will bring "Music In High Places" to DVD and home video in the near future, and producers expect to launch the series on MTV later this year. A portion of the proceeds from the show benefits the education programs of the Grammy Foundation.

-- Todd Martens, L.A.

The Rutles, the Beatles parody group that was the brainchild of Monty Python principal Eric Idle, will be getting the DVD treatment when "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash" mockumentary is released on March 13. DVD extras will include a feature commentary by Idle, as well as 20 minutes of previously unseen footage, which contains extended interviews with Mick Jagger and Paul Simon. The Rutles began as a short on "Saturday Night Live," and were developed into a film with "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels. For the mockumentary, Idle recruited Neil Innes (Bonzo Dog Band) to write such Beatles satires as "Cheese And Onions," "Piggy In The Middle" and "Ouch!"

-- Todd Martens, L.A.>


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