Stories on System Of A Down, Swampstock, O-Town, and Paul Oakenfold.

System Of A DownHard rock act System Of A Down will donate its proceeds from its Oct. 31 appearance at New Jersey's Continental Airlines Arena to the American Red Cross Liberty Fund. The group's performance at the venue comes in the midst of its co-headlining stint on the ongoing Pledge of Allegiance tour with Slipknot, Rammstein, No One, and American Head Charge.

"All of us in the band were very shaken by the events of Sept. 11, " lead vocalist Serj Tankian said in a statement. "We know that there are so many victims of this tragedy who need help, and we felt that since we were going to be performing in the New York area, it was a perfect opportunity for us to do something that would make a difference. The donation is from our hearts."

Originally scheduled to end with the Halloween show, the Pledge of Allegiance tour has recently grown by two dates. The tour will now touch down Nov. 2 at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa., and is now slated to close Nov. 4 at Wendler Arena in Saginaw, Mich. The tour's next stop comes tomorrow night (Oct. 23) at Detroit's Cobo Arena.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







Merle HaggardThe 2001 edition of Swampstock, Tim McGraw's annuyal charity softball game and concert, has added country music legend Merle Haggard and his band the Stranglers to its lineup. Taking place Sunday (Oct. 28) in McGraw's hometown of Rayville, La., the show will feature performances by Martina McBride, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, and the Warren Brothers, as well as McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill.

Proceeds from the affair will benefit Rayville's Dixie League Baseball, the Steve Colvin Scholarship Fund, and the New York Police & Fire Widows' &
Childrens' Benefit Fund. In addition, an on site and online silent auction at timmcgraw.com -- featuring items autographed by Hill and McBride, as well as Brooks & Dunn, the Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Clint Black, Kenny Rogers, Trisha Yearwood, and others -- will also benefit the charities. Winning bidders will have the option of which charity to support.

Tickets to the event, which will kick off at 12:30 p.m. with a celebrity softball game, are available for $15 in advance via Ticketmaster, or $25 at the gate.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







O-TownHot on the heels of its successful, self-titled debut album, O-Town will on Nov. 27 release a live home video/DVD. "O-Town... Live From New York," taped Oct. 10 at the city's Hammerstein Ballroom on the final night of the group's U.S. tour, features a dozen songs, including the hits "All or Nothing" and "Liquid Dreams," which peaked at No. 3 and No. 10, respectively, on The Billboard Hot 100. The videotape release will retail for $14.84, while the DVD version will fetch $19.98.

"O-Town" debuted at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 upon its release a year ago, and has sold more than 1.2 million copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan. Fans can see the group performing during this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as on stage supporting Britney Spears' ongoing fall tour.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







Paul OakenfoldInternational DJ star Paul Oakenfold has signed to Maverick Records, which will release his debut album as an electronic solo artist in 2002. "Paul Oakenfold's instinct and talent is undeniable," label founder Madonna said in a statement. "I couldn't be happier having him join the Maverick family. He's a perfect fit."

Oakenfold, has remixed tracks for the Rolling Stones and the Smashing Pumpkins, currently has a DJ mix album, "Ibiza" (Mushroom/Perfecto), at No. 14 on Billboard's Top Electronic albums chart. The two-disc set, which peaked at No. 7 on the tally, features tracks by Elektronauts, Timo Maas, U2, and his new Maverick labelmate the Prodigy.

"I knew Maverick understood where I was coming from and jived with the kind of audience I'm trying to reach," Oakenfold added. "Having Madonna as the owner and a band like Prodigy on the label pretty much says it all."


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.