Singer/songwriter Liz Phair will embark on her first tour in several years with a string of acoustic performances opening for the Flaming Lips. The seven-date trek begins May 23 in Portland, Ore., and wraps June 3 in Denver. As previously reported, Phair will also be on hand June 7 for the inaugural Field Day Festival in Calverton, Long Island, N.Y.
In conjunction with Tuesday's (April 22) A&M/Universal release of "Retrospective: The Best of Suzanne Vega," the veteran singer/songwriter will hit the road next week in the U.S. The run will kick off in Annapolis, Md., the day after the compilation is issued, and last through a May 31 show in Philadelphia.
Aerosmith will likely enter the studio sometime in the next two or three weeks to begin recording its much-discussed blues album for Columbia, guitarist Joe Perry tells Billboard.com. Blind Willie McTell's "Broke Down Engine," Little Walter's "Temperature," and "I'm Ready," famously recorded by both Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters, are among the songs being worked up by the band, which he says is now rehearsing and doing a bit of recording in Perry's home studio in Boston.
Grammy-winner Luther Vandross is recovering from a stroke, but it wasn't clear whether the R&B singer's motor skills have been impaired, his spokesperson said. Vandross, who turns 52 on Sunday (April 20), suffered the stroke Wednesday, according to a statement from his business manager, Carmen Romano. "Family and friends are hopeful for a speedy recovery," the statement said. No further details about his condition were included.
Superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold will take the stage as scheduled tonight (April 18) in Shanghai and tomorrow in Beijing, despite the threat of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that has forced the cancellation of every other major musical event in China and Hong Kong since late March.