Fun Lovin' Criminals Keep Busy Despite Loss Of U.S. Deal

The Fun Lovin' Criminals will be making festival stops in Calgary and Kahuku, Hawaii this next week before settling down for a month in neighboring Maui to work on a new studio album which, according to the group's manager, will be released sometime next year on a new label yet to be determined.

The New York City-bred group is officially label-less in the U.S. following a recent falling-out with Virgin Records, though it remains on EMI/Chrysalis in the U.K., its strongest market. FLC had been inherited by the Virgin label when EMI America shut down back in 1997, but the two parties never quite hit it off.

The Criminals will also be wrapping up the last two tracks of a lounge-inspired album while in Hawaii. The CD, titled "Mimosa," will be comprised of a collection of two or three new tunes, b-sides, rarities, and "schmooze" versions of FLC hits, including "Bombin' The L (circa 1956)" and "Scooby Snacks."

Also on the record will be a number of covers, including Sinatra's

"Summer Wind" (featuring Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch), "I'm Not In Love" by 10cc, the Climax Blues Band's "Couldn't Get It Right," and possibly a rendition of a Blasters song, "I'm Shakin'." The disc will be made available through the band's official Web site (www.funlovincriminals.com) before the holidays.

The Criminals will be headlining the Urban Street Festival in Calgary on Saturday alongside Canadian artists Bif Naked, Econoline Crush, Rascalz, and Gob. Event organizers will be trucking in more than 100 tons of snow and building massive ramps to accommodate snowboarders, skiers, skateboarders, and the like for the occasion.

The festival in Kahuku takes place on September 18 also features The Offspring, The Vandals, The Flys, and Bad Religion. Following that, the group will head to the U.K. in mid-November for a mini-tour.