Billboard Bits: McCartney, Los Lobos, Mason Jennings

News on Paul McCartney, Los Lobos, Mason Jennings

Paul McCartney and Fidelity Investments are extending their marketing partnership with the launch of the Music Lives Foundation, a new public charity aimed at raising awareness and funds for music education programs in schools.

The new project coincides with Sir Paul's 11-week sold-out tour in support of his new MPL/Capitol album, "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard," which Fidelty is co-sponsoring with a major print/TV ad campaign.

The foundation will achieve its goals by working with and supporting several music education platforms, primarily in the United States and Great Britain. These include direct support of public elementary school music programs, existing charities, scholarships for students in need and grants to arts organizations that support careers in music and the performing arts.

Fidelity is seeding the foundation with nearly $1 million, encompassing contributions through a sponsorship agreement and the production of a limited edition Music Lives pewter bracelet. Those contributing at least $40 to the foundation will receive the commemorative bracelet. The Music Lives Foundation will also raise funds through its Web site and at McCartney's U.S. shows.

-- Michael Paoletta, N.Y.

Los Lobos will perform its adventurous 1992 album "Kiko," its entirety at the band's annual holiday shows. The run includes performances Dec. 16-17 in San Francisco, Dec. 27 in Los Angeles, Dec. 29 in Anaheim, Calif., and Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.

"We knew it would be hard work, but the fans have always said 'Kiko' was special, so we're doing it in part as a present to them," Los Lobos' Louie Perez says of the upcoming shows.

Meanwhile, the band will begin working on a new studio album next month. Perez and playwright Luis Torres have also been commissioned to adapt "Kiko" for a theatrical production slated for a spring 2008 debut.

-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.

Singer/songwriter Mason Jennings is the first artist to be signed to Modest Mouse leader Isaac Brock's Glacial Pace imprint through Epic. The Minneapolis-based artist, who has issued four prior albums via his own Architect Records label, will release his as-yet-untitled label debut early next year.

Jennings is working on the set with producer Noah Georgeson, who produced Devendra Banhart's latest XL album, "Cripple Crow." The sessions have featured bassist Chris Morrissey and the Bad Plus drummer Dave King.

I just heard some of the new songs Mason is recording in Minnesota ... and am thinking that even if this was the only thing that Glacial Pace released, how I am just so goddamned proud to play a part in the release of this record," Brock says. "I hope that every time a record comes out on Glacial Pace I feel this good about it."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.