Billboard Bits: KCRW, Steve Earle, Raven-Symone

News on KCRW, Steve Earle, Raven-Symone

ColdplayColdplay's Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland, Nellie McKay and Rilo Kiley have signed on for influential California radio station KCRW's fourth annual benefit concert, A Sounds Eclectic Evening. Additional artists will be added to the bill for the event, set for Nov. 20 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

KCRW's early support of Coldplay, which made its live U.S. radio debut on the station in December 2000, was instrumental in its mainstream breakthrough. Tickets for Sounds Eclectic will be available exclusively for KCRW members from Sept. 28-Oct. 9, with the general on-sale set for Oct. 11.

Martin and Buckland's appearance is expected to be the only Coldplay-related performance of 2004. According to a spokesperson, the group is nearly finished with its highly anticipated third studio album, which should be released in February or March via Capitol.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

EarleSteve Earle will debut a weekly radio show Aug. 22 on the Air America radio network. Carrying the same title as his forthcoming album, "The Revolution Starts ... Now," the hour-long program will find the outspoken artist playing music and talking to guests. The show will air at 10 p.m. ET on the fledgling left-leaning talk radio and will be streamed on its
Web site.

On the premiere show, Earle will welcome director John Sayles ("Eight Men Out," "Silver City") and Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation president Bobby Muller.

In other news, Earle will be the keynote speaker Aug. 20 at New York's Allen Ginsberg Poetry Fest, which is part of the 2nd Annual Howl! Festival. Two days later, he'll stage a reading of his play "Karla" -- a portrait of Karla Faye Tucker, a born-again Christian executed in 1998 for a double homicide -- at the city's 45 Below.

As previously reported, Earle's album will be released Aug. 24 via Artemis. The politically charged, 11-track set includes such songs as "F the CC," "Condi, Condi," "Rich Man's War" and "Warrior."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

RavenRaven-Symone will release "This Is My Time" Sept. 21 via Hollywood Records. The actor/singer's third album and first for the Disney-owned label follows appearances on the recent "Princess Diaries 2" and "The Cheetah Girls" soundtracks.

First single "Backflip" was written and produced by Scott Storch (co-writer of Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River," Beyoncé's "Baby Boy") and Kara DioGuardi (Hilary Duff's "Come Clean"). The artist co-wrote several songs on the set, which also features contributions from Tricky, Diane Warren, Walter Afansieff and Matthew Gerrard.

"It's a whole new sound for me," says Symone, the star of the Disney Channel's "That's So Raven." "I wanted to make an album that mixes new soul with alternative with hip-hop. I enjoy all different types of music, from Alanis Morissette to Janet and Jay-Z. I love the freedom to mix it all up, to create my own sound."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.