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Hear & Now

This week on the music beat

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— SPIDEY HO Good news for music-loving Marvel Comics fans: Unlike the X-Men movie, Sony Pictures’ upcoming Spider-Man will be accompanied by a song-driven soundtrack album, slated for an April 30 release. Among the confirmed artists are Alien Ant Farm, who recorded a new track, ”Bug Bites”; Sum 41, who will contribute a Rick Rubin-produced tune, ”It’s What We’re All About”; a ”supergroup” with Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, Saliva’s Josey Scott, and Alice in Chains’ ex-guitarist Jerry Cantrell, who’ve recorded a song called ”Hero”; and Macy Gray, whose previously released ”My Nutmeg Phantasy” is slated for inclusion. A Sony Pictures exec reports that Gray ”will also have a role in the film” but refused to confirm a rumor that strands of Gray’s ‘fro will be used to provide Spidey’s superstrength webbing. — Tom Sinclair

— HOG HEAVEN Suddenly, the prospect of hell freezing over doesn’t seem so far-fetched, thanks to a bizarre new compilation called When Pigs Fly. Subtitled Songs You Never Thought You’d Hear, the May 7 disc has Ani DiFranco dueting with Jackie Chan on a faithful version of Nat King Cole’s ”Unforgettable,” Don Ho keenly interpreting Peter Gabriel’s ”Shock the Monkey,” and the Oak Ridge Boys lending spot-on harmonies to Kansas’ ”Carry On Wayward Son.” Xemu Records’ Cevin Soling, who conceived and exec-produced, first met with Ho to select a song. ”He really liked [Prodigy’s] ‘Firestarter’ but he had trouble with the line ‘I’m the bitch you hated, filth infatuated.”’ Devo had less trouble relating to the lyrics of ”Ohio,” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s song about the 1970 Kent State shootings. ”That day was a major contributor to Devo’s creation,” says frontman Mark Mothersbaugh, who was a Kent State student at the time. Other ideas, like Anne Murray covering King Missile’s ”Detachable Penis,” never materialized. ”I couldn’t get past her manager,” says Soling. ”She said, ‘I’m not telling Anne Murray that. In fact, I’m pretending this conversation never took place.”’