Scans: Ani DiFranco, Pearl Jam, Bill Berry, Smashing Pumpkins, Kyuss

The name of Ani DiFranco's upcoming album has been confirmed as Little Plastic Castles (Feb. 17). The 12-track release, recorded in Austin, Texas and produced by DiFranco, features songs DiFranco previewed on her summer tour, including "Two Little Girls," Glass House" and "Independence Day," as well as "Gravel," a version of which appeared on DiFranco's live album, Living in Clip. Also included are the title song, "Fuel," "As Is," "Deep Dish," "Loom," "Pixie," "Swan Dive" and the 14-minute spoken-word/instrumental "Pulse" ...

Former R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry will make his first public performance since announcing he was leaving the band last month on Dec. 13 at the Morton Theater in Athens, Ga. The concert is a benefit for the Georgia chapter of the Tourette's Syndrome Association and will feature Berry playing with Randall Bramblett (Randall Bramblett Band), Buren Fowler (formerly of Drivin'N'Cryin), Danny Esposito (formerly of Jonny Van Zandt Band) and others, along with five local bands. All proceeds from the $10 tickets will go to aid the TSA of Georgia, which aids persons stricken by Tourette's Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable physical and verbal spasms ...

A new album by defunct modern-prog rockers Kyuss entitled Queens of the Stone Age compiles hard-to-find tracks from a previous 10-inch and the out-of-print Gamma Ray 7-inch. The album, released on reknowned rock poster artist Frank Kozik's Man's Ruin label (Kozik provides graphics for the Addicted To Noise website) features the songs "Into the Void," "Fatso Forgotso," "Fatso Forgotso Phase II," "If Only Everything," the previously unreleased "Born to Hula" and "Spiders & Vinegaroons" ...

Blues legend B.B. King will follow in the recent footsteps of folk-rock legend Bob Dylan when he plays for Pope John Paul II on Dec. 19. The guitarist's performance will be part of the Vatican's annual Christmas

concert and will raise funds for the construction of a new Roman Catholic church ... Rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins suffered a minor stroke last week, his second since Nov. 20. His son, Stan, told the Associated Press that Perkins is currently in therapy and expected to make a full recovery. Last June, the songwriter of such classics as "Blue Suede Shoes" and

"Matchbox" underwent surgery to clear a blocked artery ... Maui, Hawaii,

just may turn itself into an offshore Seattle next Feb. 20, seeing as how Pearl Jam have invited grunge-trailblazers and fellow Seattlelites Mudhoney to open their show at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center ...

London's Metropolitan Police Force has opened a probe into the death of

Epic Soundtracks, the solo artist and drummer for the influential

band Swell Maps, who was found dead in his apartment on Nov. 22.

Steve Sherwood, a spokesman for Scotland Yard, said results from the

inquiry may not be available until late December or early 1998. "What

happens typically is they open an inquest then adjourn it until two weeks

later," he said ... Former Pogues singer Shane MacGowan was arrested Sunday after allegedly throwing a microphone stand into a crowd of 700, according to the British Press Association. The singer was released on bail following the performance at Liverpool University in England ...

Previously unreleased recordings by the late John Lennon have been released on a CD accompanying a new edition of Lennon's 1965 book Spaniard in the Works, according to the Associated Press, which got the information from the Swedish news agency TT. The songs were recorded about a year before Lennon was shot dead outside his New York City apartment, TT reported. The songs -- "My Life," "Dear John," "Lord Take This Makeup Off Me" and "Make Love, Not War" -- were released by the Lund-based

company Bakhaal with the permission of Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono...

Richard Hawley of the Longpigs has laid down some guitar on the All Saints' cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' hit "Under the Bridge." The cover will appear on the All Saints' upcoming Island records debut, produced by Nellee Hooper (U2, Bjork). Hawley has been especially busy since Treble Charger dropped off the triple-bill with the Longpigs and the Dandy Warhols due to singer Greig Nori's throat problems. Since that band's recent departure, Hawley, Longpigs keyboardist/bassist Simon Stafford and Warhols singer Courtney Taylor have been opening the shows with a short set of what one wag described as "mid-'60s Eno-style shit" ...

Finally, the Tampa Tribune reports that shock-rocker Marilyn Manson and guitarist Twiggy Ramirez joined the Smashing Pumpkins on stage when they opened, along with Third Eye Blind and the Dave Matthews Band for the Rolling Stones on Nov. 5 at Miami's Orange Bowl. The gruesome twosome joined the band for "Eye" and "X.Y.U." The Tribune also reported that the Pumpkins debuted a new song entitled "Eva Adore."

(ATN's Senior Writer Gil Kaufman, Staff Writer Chris Nelson and Randy Reiss compiled this report.) [Wed., Dec. 10, 1997, 9 a.m. PST]