Rock News: Music's high and low notes

PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International


Fans of No Doubt have one less week to wait for the band's new album, "Rock Steady" (on Interscope Records).


The CD --- No Doubt's fifth album, recorded in Los Angeles, Jamaica and London -- is now scheduled to arrive in stores Dec. 11, seven days earlier than first planned. The release date was pushed up in response to the overwhelming response that's greeted the new single "Hey Baby."

No Doubt -- Gwen Stefani, Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal, Adrian Young -- have been touring the United States with U2, which has given the band the opportunity to perform music from "Rock Steady" live for the first time. "It's been a great chance to try out some of our new songs. The U2 crowds have been really great to us every night," said Kanal.

No Doubt will be the musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" on Dec. 15. The band will also perform at the My VH1 Music Awards in Los Angeles on Dec. 2 and at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Dec. 4.

The new album is named for one of the last songs to be included. "'Rock Steady' is where we are as a band right now," said Stefani. "Stay the course, keep focused. Like the song says, 'A real love survives, a rock steady vibe.' It could just as well be describing No Doubt, our band, after all these years."



Rocker/actor Chris Isaak, rocker Tommy Lee and soul legend Isaac Hayes will be among the presenters at the "My VH1 Music Awards '01," which will air live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles next Sunday (at 9 p.m. ET).

"Will & Grace" star Eric McCormack will host the show, which will include performances by Mick Jagger, Creed, Sting, Nelly Furtado, Lenny Kravitz, No Doubt, Jewel and Mary J. Blige (who will also perform a duet with Sting).

U2 and Dave Matthews Bands are tied for the lead with six nominations each, followed by Gwen Stefani with five. Staind and Alicia Keys have four nominations, followed by Bon Jovi, Moby, Train, and the Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink collaboration for "Lady Marmelade," who all received three nominations each.

Categories include "My Favorite Group," "Best Actor in a Video" and "Must Have Album," as well as "Damn I Wish I Wrote That (Song of the Year)," "Navel Academy," "Is It Hot in Here, Or Is It Just My Video?" and "Big in Japan (International Award)," among others. Fans from around the world suggested the categories, picked the finalists in each category, and are now voting for the winners online (at up until the awards are presented.



They've been dubbed the "U2 of Pakistan." The Pakistani rock band Junoon is the subject of a new VH1 news special.

"VH1 News Special: Islamabad Rock City" examines the group's unprecedented impact in Pakistan -- where they've transcended political, religious, and cultural barriers to become the most popular rock band in South Asia. The half-hour show airs this Thursday (at 10 p.m. ET/PT).

It includes concert and news footage, videos, TV shows and interviews with Junoon, fellow rockers Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Sting, Bono, Steve Tyler, Mick Jagger, Peter Gabriel and Gene Simmons, as well as with author Salman Rushdie, actor-director Tim Robbins and President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan.

Junoon's core members are Lahore natives Salman Ahmad (guitar, songwriter) and Ali Azmat (vocals) -- Muslims who follow the Sufi teachings of Islam -- and New Yorker Brian O'Connell (bass), a devout Christian. Their album "Azadi" was the biggest-selling album on the subcontinent in 1998 and '99.

Junoon is the first rock band to perform in the U.N. General Assembly. The concert for peace was held Oct. 24 in celebration of the 56th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.



He's been dead for two decades, but John Wayne has a new CD in stores Tuesday.

"John Wayne: America, Why I Love Her" features 10 different salutes to America and its people, narrated by the Duke with various musical accompaniment by conductor/arranger Billy Liebert, a former member of the renowned traditional country vocal and instrumental group The Sons of the Pioneers. Based on a series of writings by actor/poet John Mitchum (Robert's brother) on a variety of patriotic and American themes, the album was released originally in 1973.

Regarding the decision to reissue the work, Michael Wayne --- one of the Duke's sons -- said: "At the time of its original release, the country was torn apart by a horrible war. My father thought the project had a uniting, healing message and he did it to try and bring people together. Now, because of the tragic events of Sept. 11, we as a nation seem ready to embrace once again these patriotic messages."

The album will be available in stores, by mail order and via the Internet ($14.98 CD, $9.98 cassette). It's being distributed by MPI Media of Chicago.



U.S. Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., the widow of congressman and pop culture icon Sonny Bono, married a Wyoming businessman last weekend. Bono, who represents Palm Springs, Calif., in the U.S. House of Representatives, married Glenn Baxley at Our Savior's Community Church.

(From UPI Capital Comment)

Latest Headlines