This week on the music beat
BABES IN THE WOODS
What do you get when you cross Lilith Fair with an explosion down at the sequin factory? That’d be Stormy Weather ’98, an all-femme benefit that had modern pop divas puttin’ on the glitz and bravely tackling Gershwin-era standards in front of a full orchestra. No less an admirer of all things distaff than Don Henley gathered the glammed-up likes of Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani, Paula Cole, Shawn Colvin (preggers), Sandra Bernhard (ditto), Natalie Cole, and Trisha Yearwood to the stage of Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre on April 16, raising roughly $1 million for the sometime Eagle’s Walden Woods Project. These latent torch singers all proved — to a woman — surprisingly jazz proficient, but the happiest surprise was an odd-couple duet of ”What Is This Thing Called Love” between Björk and Joni Mitchell — a matchup engineered by musical director Larry Klein (Mitchell’s ex), who confirms that the video-cam-banning show was captured on audiotape for a possible album release.
At the exclusive after-show dinner at Chasen’s (where the partygoers included Tiger Woods, Ted Danson, Stefani paramour Gavin Rossdale, and Sting), the evening’s dames-only format was ditched just in time to give Jerry Seinfeld his first gig since Seinfeld wrapped one week earlier. Henley admitted it had taken some serious arm-twisting to get the country’s favorite once-and-future stand-up to perform, though Jerry made it sound like it was…nothing. ”As soon as I hear there’s a pond in trouble of any sort, I’ll be there,” quipped Seinfeld, riffing on Henley’s crusade to preserve the site Thoreau immortalized. ”If it’s a problem with silt, or some kind of dock that’s come loose…some fish that aren’t getting along, whatever it is, it’s my job to be there. To hell with the $5 million [a week].”