Janelle Monae at SXSW 2009 / By Tony Nelson

Janelle Monae at SXSW 2009 / By Tony Nelson

She's not yet that well-known of a name, which is exactly why we made a big deal of Janelle Monae in our big summer concert preview package that's running in Sunday's Variety A+E section (and which already went to the printers). Well, word just came from Taste staff that the spacey R&B starlet-to-be had to bow out of her July 2 engagement on Harriett Island due to a "conflicting European promotion." That's a modest blow to the new Taste organizers' efforts to start this year's fest with a hip, bold lineup -- but they'll still make a strong impression on Current listeners once word gets out on who their headliners will be that night (expect an announcement early next week), plus they already have Minus the Bear, Dawes and Justin Townes Earle confirmed for July 2.

Speaking of summer bummers, there's still no update on U2's postponed tour aside from what we already reported about the June 27 TCF Bank Stadium gig -- likely not happening until the summer of 2011 (hang onto your tickets in the meantime). I did hear from Live Nation's top dog in Chicago, Mark Campana, who oversees Minnesota concerts and reassured that "every show" will be made up on the tour. In the meantime, I've aso heard from quite a few fans miffed at the idea that Bono and Co. will be hanging onto the $5 million or so in local ticket sales for a year. As if these ticketholders who spent $55-$250 on tickets are missing out on a lot of other great investment opportunities right now. Bono might have to use the money to keep Greece from becoming another third-world country.

 

Amazingly, the most questionable concert of the summer is still on: Bret Michaels reportedly still plans to make it out to his gig at the Medina Entertainment Center next weekend, June 4, even though he recently suffered a brain hemorrhage and an appearance on Orpah. Medina sales manager Alice Sizer says she is in constant contact with Michaels' management, and even after more medical procedures last week the show has not been put off. His first show back is scheduled for tonight at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, Miss.