This week on the music beat

June 01, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

FRESH EYRE FUND Most people are willing to drop $80 on their favorite Broadway show, but Alanis Morissette recently spent $150,000 on the musical adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. The singer’s gift temporarily revived the show, which had been set to close May 20. It turns out Morissette is a close friend of Eyre composer Paul Gordon (the two wrote songs together before Jagged Little Pill made her a superstar). ”We talk every day,” says Gordon. ”The day ”Jane” was nominated for five Tony awards she was incredibly excited. Then a week later I left her a message saying, ‘Well…that was that. It looks like the show is closing and we’re really bummed out.’ ” Alanis called back with an offer to buy $150,000 worth of tickets to be donated to charity groups CityKids and Early Stages, allowing underprivileged kids to attend the show. Meanwhile, Morissette has been in L.A. working on her next album, tentatively due by the end of the year, and will play several new songs on a European tour that kicks off June 1. And no, Good Charlotte are not the opening act.

SOUL OF A NEW MACHINE In the ever-changing world of Rage Against the Machine, things are finally a little less superunknown. The band — whose future seemed foggy after frontman Zack de la Rocha quit last year to go solo — have confirmed they’re forming a new group with ex-Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell. The quartet has already written 21 songs and will soon enter the studio to record an album with producer Rick Rubin. ”When these guys got together, it really sparked musically,” says Cornell’s manager, Jim Guerinot. ”There was something both creatively and personally that was magic.” Even more magical is the fact that the artists’ labels, Epic and Interscope, will allow the project to go forward. ”[Both labels] have met and have agreed to figure it out.” says Guerinot. ”They’ve assured us there won’t be any holdup on their part.” The album could be in stores as soon as this fall, although Cornell and Co. are still working on lyrics and arrangements and have yet to decide on a band moniker. How about Never Named?

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