Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette and R.E.M. all on the same bill? Yep, and it's not a mid-'90s flashback the three acts will perform October 22 at Seattle's Key Arena in a concert culminating a week of shows in the city to raise awareness and money to combat world hunger.
Other concerts include an October 17 show at the Experience Music Project's Sky Church featuring the Wallflowers, blues-rocker Chris Whitley, and former Clash frontman Joe Strummer with the Mescaleros,
An October 14 event at Paramount Theatre will feature Dave Matthews in a solo performance as well as singer/songwriter Emmylou Harris, producer/artist Daniel Lanois and gospel legends Blind Boys of Alabama. October 19 finds Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson at the EMP, while Michael Franti & Spearhead join Joe Henry and Chocolate Genius there on October 20.
Planned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and produced by the EMP, the Groundwork 2001 concert series will support U.N. efforts to provide the hungry with seeds, livestock and tools to help them become self-sufficient.
"The first casualty of hunger is hope," said Madonna, honorary Groundwork 2001 chair, in a statement. "The most subversive act you can perform is on behalf of someone's sense of hope."
The organization intends to release a CD called Groundwork featuring album tracks and B-sides by the likes of Madonna ("Cyber-Raga"), Moby ("Whispering Wind"), David Gray ("My Oh My") and Sheryl Crow, who contributes an unreleased live version of "Everyday Is a Winding Road." The disc will be available in October at Hear Music and Starbucks as well as online.
Groundwork aims to televise some of the Seattle concerts in October or around Thanksgiving, according to a spokesperson; further details have yet to be worked out.
Click for a feature interview with R.E.M.