Billboard Bits: Phoenix, Songwriters Hall, Waters

News on Phoenix, Songwriters Hall, John Waters

PhoenixFrench rock act Phoenix will embark on its maiden North American tour Nov. 29 in Philadelphia. The group will play nine shows through Dec. 13 in San Diego in support of its latest Astralwerks album, "Alphabetical." Core members vocalist Thomas Mars, bassist Deck D'Arcy, guitarist Christian Mazzalai and guitarist Laurent Brancowitz will be augmented on stage by drummer Lawrence Clais and keyboardist Christophe Chassol.

In addition, Astralwerks will digitally release the 10-track live album "Thirty Days Ago" on Nov. 30, chronicling two fall shows in Scandinavia. Before touching down in North America, Phoenix will play six European shows, beginning Nov. 13 in Zurich.

Here are Phoenix's North American tour dates:

Nov. 29: Philadelphia (World Cafe)
Nov. 30: Boston (Axis)
Dec. 2: New York (Bowery Ballroom)
Dec. 4: Milwaukee (Onopa Brewing Co.)
Dec. 5: Chicago (Double Door)
Dec. 7: Seattle (Chop Suey)
Dec. 9: San Francisco (Popscene)
Dec. 12: Los Angeles (Troubadour)
Dec. 13: San Diego (Cane's)

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

JoeGuy Clark, Freddie Hart, Dennis Morgan and Billy Joe Shaver became the newest members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame during a ceremony yesterday (Nov. 7) in Nashville. The event was hosted by the Nashville Songwriters Foundation.

A nominating committee of Hall of Fame songwriters and music historians determined the final ballot of potential inductees, who were then selected by the Nashville Songwriters Foundation board, the Nashville Songwriters Assn. International (NSAI) board, NSAI professional songwriter members and members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In conjunction with the event, NSAI also bestowed a series of songwriter achievement awards. "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman was named song of the year. Scotty Emerick was named songwriter of the year. He is the co-writer -- with Toby Keith -- of Keith's recent hits "Beer for My Horses" and "I Love This Bar."

-- Phyllis Stark, Nashville

AlvinEccentric director John Waters has compiled his favorite holiday selections for the album "A John Waters Christmas," due tomorrow (Nov. 9) via New Line Records. The 12-track set boasts songs by Alvin and the Chipmunks, the late Tiny Tim, the Coctails, Big Dee Irwin and Little Eva, Roger Christian and Little Cindy, among others.

"Just when you think you can't stand to hear another Christmas carol, here I come with a holiday treat that will make you actually appreciate the insanity of the Yuletide season," Waters says of the album. "Wrap this CD as a gift to yourself, pretend you forgot what it is and act surprised when you open it. Close your eyes and imagine you're with me at my house Christmas morning listening to favorite carols."

Here is the track list for "A John Waters Christmas":

"Fat Daddy (Is Santa Claus)," Fat Daddy
"Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," Tiny Tim
"Christmas Time Is Coming (A Street Carol)," Stormy Weather
"Happy Birthday Jesus (A Child's Prayer)," Little Cindy
"Here Comes Fatty Claus," Rudolph and Gang
"Little Mary Christmas," Roger Christian
"I Wish You A Marry Christmas," Big Dee Irwin and Little Eva
"Santa! Don't Pass Me By," Jimmy Donley
"Sleigh Ride," Alvin and the Chipmunks
"Sleigh Bells, Reindeer and Snow," Rita Faye Wilson
"First Snowfall," the Coctails
"Santa Claus Is a Black Man," AKIM & the Teddy Vann Production Company

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.