Billboard Bits: Neko Case, Clash Compilation, mtvU

Neko Case is gearing up to hit the road later in March for a headlining solo tour. The singer/songwriter will kick off with a trio of dates at Park West in Chicago beginning March 28 and will tour thr

Neko Case is gearing up to hit the road later in March for a headlining solo tour. The singer/songwriter will kick off with a trio of dates at Park West in Chicago beginning March 28 and will tour through April 15 in Albuquerque.

Jon Rauhouse will open for the majority of the dates, although Sonny Smith and Matt Pond PA will support in Chicago.

Case will also share the stage with country legend Emmylou Harris, Sufjan Stevens and Michigan rockers Anathallo at the two-day Festival of Faith & Music at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., March 30-31. The festival is open to the public and will feature keynote speakers and other live performers sponsored by the Christian college.


-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.






Three dozen artists, from Camper Van Beethoven to Steve Wynn to the Smithereens, are contributing Clash covers to the double-disc compilation "The Sandinista! Project." Due May 1 on 00:02:59 Records, the project re-creates the 36 tracks from its namesake, the Clash's own 1980 effort "Sandinista!"

Proceeds from the set will be donated to a pair of charities, including the Clash's late frontman Joe Strummer's Memorial Forest organization. All-new contributions are made by Jon Langford & Sally Timms, Amy Rigby, Coal Porters, Stew, the Sex Clark Five and Chicago Clash cover band London Calling. Willie Nile and Matthew Ryan also leant their previously released covers "Somebody Got Murdered" and "Police on My Back," respectively, to the set.

-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.






Mary J. Blige, Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, Nelly Furtado and Say Anything's Max Bemis will be revealing their personal struggles in an upcoming mtvU program on mental health.

The "Half of Us" special series will premiere April 2 on MTV and mtvU’s
Web site, first with Blige, who will discuss her own experience with child abuse and struggle with self-esteem. Another episode features Wentz, who tackles depression and anxiety, disorders that he has challenged himself to overcome.

The series is a part of the Half of Us campaign, a non-profit organization geared toward college students who suffer from similar issues, offering advice to seek help and reduce student suicide rates.

-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.