Billboard Bits: Bono, Lars Ulrich, Siren Fest, and more

News on Bono, Lars Ulrich, Siren Fest, Victoria Williams, Mark Olson

BonoTwo of rock's biggest stars have welcomed baby boys into their respective families. U2 lead singer Bono and his wife Ali are celebrating the birth of a son, born today (May 21) at a Dublin hospital, while Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich confirmed that he and his wife Skylar welcomed their son, born May 6 in San Francisco.

Bono, 41, took time off from U2's Elevation tour to be with his wife and family. The couple have three other children: daughters Jordan (11) and Eve (8), and a son, Elijah, who is nearly two. U2's tour resumes Thursday (May 24) with the first of two shows at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

For Ulrich and his wife, the new arrival joins son Myles, who will turn 3 in August. Metallica recently began work on its 11th studio album, the group's first since the departure of bassist Jason Newsted last year.

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Guided By VoicesGuided By Voices, Superchunk, Quasi, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and Rainer Maria are among the independent rock favorites confirmed to perform at New York's inaugural Siren Music Festival. The free event, set for July 21 at Coney Island, will be presented by local alternative newsweekly the Village Voice.

Other acts are yet to be confirmed, but organizers promise "DJs, carnival gaming, odd-ball circus troupes, fire performers, and cabaret acts" will be on hand. Coney Island's famed boardwalk will be transformed into an "Artwalk," featuring multi-media installations by local artists. A portion of the event's proceeds will benefit the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce and the non-profit arts organization Coney Island USA.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Victoria WilliamsAcclaimed roots-rocker Victoria Williams is heading for the U.K. with husband/former Jayhawks member Mark Olson and the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers. The two acts will play six U.K. dates starting May 29 in Nottingham, and will on June 16 take part in London's annual Fleadh festival with Neil Young, Billy Bragg, and many others.

Williams plans to play material from all five of her solo albums, including last summer's "Water to Drink," which she co-produced with J.C. Hopkins.

Here are Victoria Williams/Mark Olson's tour dates:
May 29: Nottingham, England (the Maze)
May 30: Bristol, England (Fiddlers)
May 31: Manchester, England (Manchester University)
June 2: Glasgow (Tron Theatre)
June 16: London (Fleadh Festival)
June 17: Sheffield, England (Boardwalk)

-- Paul Sexton, London

Copyright 2001 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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