Billboard Bits: 'Step Up' Benefits, The Polyphonic Spree, The Strokes

News on 'Step Up,' Polyphonic Spree, Strokes

CrowSheryl Crow, Macy Gray and Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath are among those who will perform at a pair of Vanity Fair In Concert events benefiting the Step Up Women's Network. As previously reported, Crow, Mya and Blondie's Debbie Harry and Chris Stein will play the Oct. 6 event at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. Actress Chloe Sevigny will host that show, which will also include appearances by DJ Mark Ronson and DJ Sky.

The Nov. 15 Los Angeles event at the Avalon Theatre will feature McGrath, Gray and the all-star band Camp Freddy. The latter is led by Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and features Billy Morrison (the Cult), Matt Sorum (Guns N'Roses), Scott Ford (Twilight Singers) and Donovan Leitch. Fashion house DKNY is presenting both events.

The non-profit Step Up Women's Network is dedicated to strengthening community resources for women and girls. For more information on the events, visit the organization's Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

SpreeThe Polyphonic Spree's "Light & Day" will be the title track of a new EP, due Tuesday (Sept. 30) via Hollywood. The limited-edition disc will feature a re-recorded version of the song, which is prominently featured in a joint Volkswagen/iPod television commercial. Available at select U.S. independent record stores and the group's shows, the EP will be rounded out by the previously unreleased song "The March" and a Stereolab remix of "Soldier Girl" from the debut album, "The Beginning Stages Of... The Polyphonic Spree."

As previously reported, the 20-plus member group is currently on tour in the U.S., and will play Birmingham, Ala., tonight. An appearance on NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" that was scotched due to the massive Aug. 15 blackout will be made up Nov. 5.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

StrokesThe Strokes have bumped the release of their highly anticipated sophomore RCA album back a week. "
Room on Fire" was originally due Oct. 21 but will now come out Oct. 28 "due to some unforeseen packaging problems," according to the group's official Web site.

The group's fall tour begins Oct. 9 in Philadelphia, with a 10-date European trek set to kick off Dec. 1 in Glasgow. The new album's first single, "12:51," is No. 27 in its second week on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.