Billboard Bits: Alanis, Big Head Todd, Run-D.M.C.

News on Alanis, Big Head Todd, Run-D.M.C.

AlanisAlanis Morissette will record an hour-long MTV Live performance Feb. 4 before a select audience of 1600 at the Propaganda in Milan. The performance will be broadcast exclusively across the MTV Europe Network, reaching more than 100 million homes. Morissette is expected to perform tracks from her upcoming Maverick album "Under Rug Swept," which is due Feb. 25 internationally and a day later in North America.

The performance comes as part of a six-date promotional showcase tour of Europe, which will hit the U.K., Italy, Germany, Sweden, France, and Portugal. A full European tour is tipped for later in the year.

The new album's first single, "Hands Clean," is already making noise at U.S. radio outlets. It's No. 16 in its second week on Billboard's Adult Top 40 Tracks chart and was the top debut at No. 65 on The Billboard Hot 100 last week.

-- Lars Brandle, London

Big HedAfter several years of silence, Big Head Todd and the Monsters will return March 26 with a new studio album, "Riviera." Released on the band's own Big Records label and distributed through Warner Bros., the album is the follow-up to the 1997 studio set "Beautiful World," and the following year's concert recording, "Live Monsters," both released on the now defunct Giant label.

As previously reported, BHTM self-produced and self-financed the recording of the 11-track album. "We've always made a lot of effort to ensure that the art side of our career is something we're proud of," says band leader/songwriter/guitarist Todd Park Mohr, "and we are really proud of this new material." The trio is rounded out by bassist Rob Squires and drummer Brian Nevin.

The set will be led by first single "Wishing Well" and will be supported with a U.S. tour in April. Prior to that, the group will play a pair of shows Feb. 23-24 in Salt Lake City. The group is also scheduled to play a May 11 River Reach Youth Initiative fundraiser in Denver.

Big Records previously released BHTM's 1989 debut album, "Another Mayberry," and its live 1991 follow-up, "Midnight Radio." In 1993, Giant released the band's breakthrough set, "Sister Sweetly," which was followed in 1994 by "Strategem."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

RunRun-D.M.C. will perform Feb. 8 at celebrity auction sponsored by Philadelphia's Inner-City Games chapter, as part of the NBA's annual All-Star weekend. The organization, which works to create recreational opportunities in underprivileged neighborhoods, will be auctioning off a new Hummer H2 sport utility vehicles as well as NBA memorabilia and Reebok footwear. Philadelphia 76ers stars Allen Iverson and Aaron McKie are expected to attend, while Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will serve as auctioneer.

As previously reported, the weekend will also feature concert series featuring such hometown R&B and hip-hop acts as Jill Scott, the Roots, and Musiq Soulchild. Britney Spears will also perform as part of the "NBA All-Star Read to Achieve Celebration" TV special, airing Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. ET on NBC, TNT, BET, Nickelodeon, and TV in the U.S., and MuchMusic in Canada.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.