For The Record: Quick News On N.E.R.D., Radiohead, Ramones, Buckcherry, Widespread Panic & More

Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes and N.E.R.D. has added PETA to his roster by recording a downloadable outgoing voicemail message that implores listeners to be kind to animals. The message can be heard now on peta2.com and soon on the answering machines of PETA supporters. … Radiohead have pegged Friends of the Earth to act as their representatives at next month’s Earth Summit in South Africa and are encouraging fans to submit to the organization’s audio petition for more accountability for industrial pollution. Singer Thom Yorke posted a message online saying, “It is not good enough to preach about the trickledown effect of economic growth if your house is being washed away, your child has skin cancer, you can’t get clean water and the weather is changing beyond recognition, forever.” …

Following a round of choice Ramones reissues last year, Rhino Records is bringing back four more gems on August 20: the Phil Spector-produced End of the Century (1980), Pleasant Dreams (1981), Subterranean Jungle (1983) and Too Tough to Die (1984). The reissues will also include rare demos, radio spots and a cover of the Rolling Stones‘ “Street Fighting Man.” … Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, America’s home to post-rock bands such as Tortoise, the Sea and Cake and Mouse on Mars, is celebrating 10 years of making electronic blips for the kids by throwing a three-day birthday bash in New York City from September 5-7 at Irving Plaza and the Bowery Ballroom, with Tortoise headlining the first two nights and the Sea and Cake headlining the third. Thrill Jockey chose to celebrate in NYC instead of their hometown of Chicago because “the bands play here a lot.” …

Widespread Panic guitarist Michael Houser has a terminal form of cancer, he told fans on Tuesday in a letter posted on his band’s Web site. The group has replaced Houser on their current tour, and the guitarist said he hopes to get back to playing sometime in the future. … Guy/ Blackstreet honcho/superproducer Teddy Riley now has the less glamorous job of filing for protection from creditors in bankruptcy court. According to the Associated Press, Riley filed to reorganize his finances under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law, as he did not have enough money to cover his increasingly high income-tax liabilities. … Ben Folds will release a live album recorded during his spring solo tour on October 8. The track list for Ben Folds Live, which has not been finalized, will feature hits from his solo debut and his group’s previous albums, along with B-sides such as “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis.” …

The Crystal Method will release their first mix album, Community Service, July 23 on Ultra Records. The collection will include remixes by the duo of their own favorites and hits by P.O.D. and Garbage, along with tracks by Orbital and the Plump DJs. … Trance DJ Sasha (of Sasha & Digweed fame) will tour the States this fall in support of his first studio album, Airdrawndagger, due August 6 on Kinetic Records. The first single is titled “Wavy Gravy.” … Speaking of Sashas, Kittie collaborated with Sasha Konietzko of KMFDM on a remix of “Safe,” from their latest album, Oracle, which will be released this fall. Konietzko has remixed tracks for Korn, Metallica and White Zombie, among others. …

Buckcherry have split because “[frontman Josh Todd] was no longer having fun being in Buckcherry, and the process of making the new record had become quite disappointing to him,” according to a written statement. “He thought it best to move on at this time.” … Queensrÿche belter Geoff Tate sang the blues last week after his saxophone was stolen from the Birch Hill Nite Club in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Anyone with information is encouraged to e-mail president@queensryche.com, and while there’s no cash reward, a Queensrÿche Empire platinum album signed by the singer will be gifted to whoever helps to recover the beloved instrument. …

07.16.02

The Strokes have dropped off their first three dates of the Weezer/Dashboard Confessional tour (July 15-17) because of “a band member sustaining an injury,” according to their Web site. The group hopes to rejoin the tour July 29 for the last two shows with Weezer before beginning a mini-tour with the White Stripes. … Blink-182‘s Tom DeLonge and his wife, Jen, welcomed Ava Elizabeth DeLonge into the world on Monday morning. The couple’s daughter weighed in at just over 7 pounds. … Former Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton recently told the East Bay Express that he was invited to sing for INXS in 1997, following the death of frontman Michael Hutchence. The current Fantômas and Tomahawk singer told the paper that he laughed at the request and made the band rather upset. …

Although you can’t sell your soul to the devil, you can rent it out to the highest bidder — Local H will auction off a private concert on eBay starting July 17. The minimum bid is $500 to cover travel expenses, and the auction closes on July 26. … Following their August club tour to promote A Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay will return to the States for a September trek of larger venues. The second outing begins September 4 in Seattle, a week after the album is due. … A free Fatboy Slim concert on England’s Brighton Beach on July 13 erupted in chaos when 250,000 people showed up to party in a location that was equipped for about 60,000. A 26-year-old woman who fell over a railing and onto the lower esplanade is still in critical condition. … Travis drummer Neil Primrose, who hurt his back July 7 in a fall in Belfort, France, is recovering following a July 10 operation. Doctors successfully treated Primrose for multiple fractures to his upper vertebrae, and the drummer is currently walking around. …

The Young And The Hopeless, the second album from Baltimore pop-punk act Good Charlotte, is due October 1. Meanwhile, the group has written the theme song for MTV’s new animated series, “The Undergrads.” … The Apples in Stereo are busy this year, releasing their fourth full-length album, Velocity of Sound, on October 8 through SpinART Records and touring with Clinic from September through the middle of October. The band also plans to produce a video for the lead track off the record, “Please.” … Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker married Camille Bidault-Waddington on July 13 in a private ceremony in Northern France. Pulp’s We Love Life, which came out in the U.K. last October, will be released in America on August 20. …

With a take of $52.8 million, Paul McCartney has grossed the most of any tour so far this year, according to industry mag Pollstar. He was followed by the Billy Joel/ Elton John package, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, ‘NSYNC, Dave Matthews Band, the Eagles, Green Day with Blink-182, Britney Spears, Jimmy Buffett and Barry Manilow. … Speak of the devil — the bass-playing former Beatle will return to the road for his Back in the U.S. Tour starting September 21 in Milwaukee and winding up October 29 in Phoenix. McCartney will bring his 36-song set to cities he missed last time around on the first leg of his Driving U.S.A. Tour. …

Former the Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft will release Human Conditions, the follow-up to his solo debut Alone With Everybody, in October. Guests include Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson, Talvin Singh and DJ Shadow. … Soul Asylum frontman Dave Pirner will kick off a 13-date tour July 27 in Columbus, Ohio, to promote his debut solo album, Faces & Names. The album is due July 30. … Canadian metallic emocore outfit Grade have called it quits, according to the band’s management. They’ll play three more shows before going their separate ways.