Rock Beat: Clive Davis, Kiss, Hootie & the Blowfish ...

Legendary music executive establishes new label.

Legendary music executive Clive Davis, who was forced from his position as president and chief executive officer of Arista Records earlier this year, has founded a new record label with Arista's parent company, BMG Entertainment. The new venture, to be known as J Records, will be an "instant major label," according to a statement released Thursday (Aug. 24) by BMG. Davis and BMG have not yet announced which artists will be part of J Records' roster. Davis, who signed such artists as Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith during his nearly 40-year career, most recently spearheaded Santana's comeback, with the blockbuster album Supernatural. Š

Kiss have added 13 dates to their farewell tour, a representative said. The newly announced shows begin with a Sept. 20 engagement in Quebec City, Quebec, and continue through Oct. 7 in Charleston, S.C. ...

The Fleadh Festival, which in its four-year history has included performers such as Elvis Costello, Van Morrison and the Chieftains, has officially been canceled, according to organizers. The planned six-city spring tour was postponed when its major sponsor, Guinness Ltd., abruptly withdrew from its involvement. ... Hootie & the Blowfish are allowing fans to vote for five of the 15 songs on an upcoming rarities collection, Scattered, Smothered and Covered (Oct. 24), according to Atlantic Records. The band has chosen 10 songs, including covers of songs by R.E.M. and Tom Waits, and has placed clips from eight additional tracks on the Budweiser Web site (www.budweiser.com), where fans can vote for five more songs. ...

Swing-rock-jazz ensemble Squirrel Nut Zippers are planning to release their fifth album, Bedlam Ballroom, Oct. 17, according to Mammoth Records. The new LP, the band's first since it released two in 1998, will feature 13 songs. ... A new track by Stevie J. featuring rapper Eve, titled "Out for the Count," has been added to the soundtrack to the upcoming film "Girlfight." The album, which also will feature new cuts by Santana, Fat Joe and newcomer Cole, hits stores Sept. 26. ...

MTV will produce the halftime show for CBS' Jan. 28 broadcast of Super Bowl XXXV, CBS and the National Football League said in a statement. (Sonicnet.com's parent company, Viacom, also owns MTV and CBS.) ... BMG Entertainment, whose labels are home to such artists as Santana, *NSync and Britney Spears, will begin selling a small portion of its catalog as digital downloads in September, according to a Reuters report. BMG had previously announced that it would begin selling music online in June. ...

"Eye of the Tiger" rockers Survivor filed a complaint Monday (Aug. 21) against TVT Records, which plans to release a soundtrack to the "Survivor" television series, according to a clerk at Chicago's Northern District Court. The band, which is touring the United States, claims the album infringes on their copyrighted name. ... Former Minutemen and fIREHOSE bassist Mike Watt will kick off a fall tour Sept. 11 in San Francisco, according to Columbia Records. The 49-show tour follows an extended time in the hospital for Watt, who was suffering from an internal abscess. ...

The sixth stop of John Mellencamp's impromptu acoustic tour attracted a lunchtime crowd of about 15,000 people in Chicago's Daley Plaza on Monday (Aug. 21), the Chicago Tribune reported. The singer/guitarist played a 40-minute set that included his hits "Small Town" and "Pink Houses" as well as covers of songs by Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart. ...

Thursday's birthdays (Aug. 24): David Freiberg (Jefferson Airplane), 62; Ernest Wright Jr. (Little Anthony & the Imperials), 59; Joe Chambers (Chambers Bros.), 58; Jim Capaldi (Traffic), 56; Malcolm "Molly" Duncan (Average White Band), 55; Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep), 55; Mike Derosier (Heart), 49; Jimmy Farrar (Molly Hatchett), 49; Mark Bedford (Madness), 39; John Bush (Anthrax), 37; and John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service), 1943–1989.

— sonicnet.com staff report