Depeche Mode will release a new album in May. Andrew Zweck of Sensible Music is booking a tour of North America and Europe for the band starting in autumn this year. It will be the first album for the band in four years and its first tour since 1998.


Burt Bacharach has been announced as the winner of a 2001 Polar Music Prize, the music industry’s equivalent of a Nobel. “This is indeed a great honour,” Bacharach said after being picked for the £72,000 prize that will be presented to him in Stockholm on May 14 by Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf.

The jury also recognized classical composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and Robert Moog, father of the synthesizer, for their contribution to changing the face of modern music. The awards were announced at Midem.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the prize, founded by the late Stig Anderson, the manager of ABBA and one of the prime movers behind the huge international success of the Swedish group.

Bacharach, speaking to the award ceremony audience via a recorded video message, said he was particularly thrilled to follow in the footsteps of two of his great heroes – Stevie Wonder and Dizzy Gillespie.

The prize’s roll call of honour down the last decade has certainly been varied, ranging from Paul McCartney and Elton John to Mstislav Rostropovich and Ravi Shankar.


The Big Day Out festival tour got off to a rollicking start in New Zealand. Happy Mondays’ plane was delayed in Bahrain due to a broken window, so it didn’t make it to play the opening show in Auckland. Neither did Will I Am of Black Eyed Peas, who was busted at customs with two joints, and deported to Australia.

There was also a question about Queens of The Stone Age, which were playing Rock in Rio and had already announced they would not play Auckland or the Gold Coast. Bassist Nick Oliveri got collared by the law when he appeared onstage nude in Rio. An arrest could have caused problems getting him into Australia. But Oliveri wisely turned on the charm for the Brazilian police, apologised and was released.

A crowd of 46,000 attended Parklands Showgrounds on the Gold Coast. Temperatures soared into the mid-30s but the fans gave as much encouragement to rockers like P.J. Harvey and The Go-Betweens as to rock monsters 28 Days, Frenzal Rhomb, Killing Heidi, and Rammstein, whose singer came onstage after setting himself on fire.

The dance area Boiler Room was also crowded, especially during Friendly’s set, which included Prodigy drummer Kieron Pepper in the band. Organisers turned on the fire hydrants in the mosh pit to cool the crowd down and 60,000 bottles of water were sold by nightfall.

Big Day Out organisers Ken West and Vivian Lees revealed that after Pearl Jam bailed on headlining following June’s Roskilde tragedy, they flipped a coin over Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine. If Rage had won, they’d have canceled this year’s BDO as Rage slowly imploded some weeks after that. It also seems that plans to take the festival to South Africa will happen in 2002.


Nelly Furtado flew like a bird past Barenaked Ladies in terms of nominee counts for the 30th annual Juno Awards. The stunning newcomer, who recently appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” leads with five nods at the Canadian equivalent to the Grammys. The nominations were announced in Toronto last week.

Taking place March 4 in Hamilton, Ontario, an hour outside Toronto at Copps Coliseum, Furtado will also perform on the live television broadcast.

While the less-public Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette were shut out of the nominations this year, perennial honourees Shania Twain and Bryan Adams were nominated for one apiece for best country female and best songwriter, respectively. The night will really be one for the new generation of Canadian musicians.

Furtado is up for best single, new solo artist, songwriter, pop album and producer (with Gerald Eaton and Brian West).

Barenaked Ladies follow closely behind with five nominations: best single, album, group, pop album, and Steven Page and Ed Robertson for best songwriter. Triple nominees include Soul Decision (best single, album, group), Jesse Cook (best male artist, instrumental album, global album), Isabelle Boulay (best female and two nominations for best-selling francophone album), Snow (best male artist, songwriter and pop album), and Matthew Good Band (best album and two nominations for video with director William Morrison).

Two-time mentions go to Sarah Harmer, Jacksoul, Treble Charger, Terri Clark, Adam Gregory, and Kardinal Offishall, among others. Also, singer-songwriter/activist Bruce Cockburn, who has collected 20 gold and platinum awards to date, will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Slated to perform at the awards are The Guess Who, Soul Decision, The Moffatts, and Treble Charger. There will also be an urban music tribute to honour the 15th year of the Juno’s urban categories.


Bob Dylan and his son Jakob will miss each other by mere days in February when both come to Japan to tour, Jakob for the first time and Bob for … who’s counting?

The Wallflowers will kick off their tour of medium-size auditoriums with two dates at Tokyo’s hallowed Shibuya Kokaido on February 10 and 11 followed by shows in Fukuoka (13), Osaka (14) and Nagoya (15).

Dad, on the other hand, and in line with the spirit of his so-called Neverending Tour, will be all over the place playing mostly arenas. He’ll start off in Omiya, about 20 minutes north of Tokyo, on February 25, travel further north to Sendai (27) and Akita (28), before returning to civilization for shows in Yokohama (March 2), Osaka (6 and 7), Fukuoka (9), Hiroshima (10), Nagoya (12), Hamamatsu (13) and finally Tokyo’s Budokan (14).

Though the elder Dylan is already booked for three Tokyo-area shows (Omiya, Yokohama, Budokan), the response has been so great that the promoter, Udo Artists, just announced that tickets for two additional shows, March 3 and 4 at the huge Tokyo International Forum, were to go on sale January 27.

Sony Music Entertainment plans to release a best-live collection in Japan on February 28 to commemorate his tour.