News on Neil Finn, Eddie Vedder, Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien and drummer Phil Selway, ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, Lisa Germano, ex-Soul Coughing bassist Sebastian Steinberg, AC/DC, Creed, Scot

Former Crowded House/Split Enz principal Neil Finn's star-studded concert tomorrow night (April 6) in Auckland will be Web cast on NME.com, Nilfun.net, and ChannelV.com.au. As previously reported, Finn's backing band for the shows consists of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien and drummer Phil Selway, ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, Lisa Germano, ex-Soul Coughing bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and Neil's brother Tim.

Tomorrow's gig is the finale in a series of five dates at Auckland's historic St. James Theatre. According to reports on Pearl Jam fan site Five Horizons, the shows have included ensemble renditions of Finn favorites such as "I Got You," "World Where You Live," and "History Never Repeats," as well as Pearl Jam originals "I Got Shit," "Not For You," and "Around The Bend."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.


The With Arms Wide Open Foundation, founded by Creed lead singer Scott Stapp, will sponsor nine one parent/one child scholarships and transportation to the U.S. Space Camp this July. The foundation, which "works to strengthen the bonds between parents and their children," sees attendance at the Titusville, Fla., camp as an opportunity for a parent "to spend more quality time" with a child. More information on the program can be found at the foundation's official Web site.

In another foundation effort, a limited-edition T-shirt and pin featuring the band's logo and Stapp's signature are being sold at Hard Rock Cafe locations and via the chain's Web site. All proceeds will benefit the foundation, as will a select number of autographed shirts that will be auctioned through the site. The Hard Rock Cafe has in the past sold shirts benefiting the charities favored by Santana, Elton John, Don Henley, Sting, and others.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.



Bluegrass and heavy metal are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, but a group of Appalachian musicians, collectively known as Hayseed Dixie, are looking to change that. The group's "A Hillbilly Tribute To AC/DC" will bow April 17 as the inaugural release on the DTR label, a division of the Dualtone Music Group.

In his home country's national newspaper, The Australian, AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson described the group's offbeat covers -- including such classics as "Highway To Hell," "You Shook Me All Night Long," and "Back In Black" -- as "hilarious."

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Hayseed Dixie member Barley Scotch says of the album, "We hope big-time superstardom doesn't spoil us and that we maintain our self-defecating sense of humor."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.