For The Record: Quick News On Nelly, The Clipse, Foo Fighters, Blink-182, Tool, Sting & More

The NBA’s All-Star weekend (February 6-9) always packs its share of ballers, and this year’s no different, with Nelly, Ja Rule, Jermaine Dupri, the Clipse, Nappy Roots, and B2K among the artists playing the Club NBA music stage. They join Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, who’ll perform at the televised “Read to Achieve” charity event on February 8, as artists heading to Atlanta for the gala weekend. …

As the Super Bowl approaches, even more performers are being added to an already-crowded entertainment lineup. Sting is the latest addition to the halftime-show bill, joining the previously announced No Doubt and Shania Twain. Other performers throughout the show include the Dixie Chicks, Bon Jovi, Santana, Michelle Branch, Beyoncé Knowles, Styx, Celine Dion and Bonnie Raitt. … Electronic music guru BT is producing a couple of tracks for Sting’s upcoming album. “They’re letting me do some very punk rock stuff that I didn’t know if they were going to go for,” BT said recently. “I’ve done some really crazy vocal treatments and stuff. It’s like, ‘Wow, Sting is now in a blender.’ [There are] chunky breaks with Detroit techno sounds and then like Latin guitar and percussion.” …

Foo Fighters and Transplants are teaming up for a couple of shows at Los Angeles’ Universal Amphitheater on April 17 and 18. The concert marks the Transplants’ first live show since releasing their self-titled debut in October. … Blink-182 are preparing to enter a rented house in San Diego to record their next album with longtime producer Jerry Finn (Green Day, Sum 41). A camera will record the action, and fans can watch on the band’s Web site. … Ani DiFranco, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ozomatli, Chuck D & the Fine Arts Militia, and poet Saul Williams will perform a sold-out concert January 31 Berkeley, California, to benefit the anti-war organization Not in Our Name. …

Marilyn Manson has finished mixing the final track for his upcoming album, The Golden Age of Grotesque, he wrote on his official Web site. He also revealed that the artwork for the disc is also complete, but he remains cryptic about everything else. “I have put the dirt back in my mouth and drank from the dead, regardless of what these powdered wig witch doctors prescribed,” he wrote. “We will not be censored.” … Ben Falgoust, vocalist for the New Orleans extreme metal bands Soilent Green and Goatwhore, has nearly fully recovered from serious injuries he and Soilent Green bassist Jon Modell sustained in a van accident while on tour with Gwar last year. Soilent Green are writing the follow-up to A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down, while Goatwhore, whose second album will be released next month, will tour throughout March, sharing stages with the likes of Hate Eternal, Dying Fetus and Anal Blast. …

Tool drummer Danny Carey won’t just spin on his drum stool while Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan finishes up work on the second record by his other band, A Perfect Circle. Instead, he’s formed a side project with King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew and ex-Primus bassist Les Claypool. The trio’s first recording session was January 19, but as yet there are no concrete album plans. …

01.22.03

50 Cent has launched a short tour to promote his major-label debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, due February 11. The dates begin January 25 in Las Vegas and wrap February 16 in Baltimore. …

Bobby Brown has been released from the hospital, according to his lawyer Xavier Dicks. While the nature of the singer’s illness was not known at the time of his admittance Tuesday (see “Bobby Brown Moved From Jail To Hospital” ), his lawyer said Brown had been experiencing chest pains. “They ran a few tests, and he’s out now,” Dicks said. “He looked okay to me.” …

Justin Timberlake, Brian McKnight, Jamie Foxx and others will face Nelly, Ice Cube, Mark McGrath, Tim McGraw and more in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game in Atlanta on February 7. The showdown will air live on TNT. … Angie Martinez is expecting her first child in a few months. The Hot 97 radio personality/ recording artist is five months along, and Nokio from Dru Hill is the daddy, according to Martinez’s label. While Angie talked on-air earlier this week about taking time off from hosting on the radio, she isn’t going to stop making music — her spokesperson said she is expected to head back to the studio next month and begin recording her third album, which is due in stores before the end of 2003. …

Lil’ Kim has set a March 4 release date for her third album, La Bella Mafia, which features a guest appearance by Missy Elliott and production from Scott Storch (Busta Rhymes), Kanye West (Jay-Z) and Swizz Beatz (DMX). The first single, “The Jump Off,” was produced by Timbaland and features Mr. Cheeks. … Maybe Swizz Beatz should change his first name to “Swift,” as he’ll need to concoct music soundscapes at an even more feverish pace than usual. Besides scoring such movies as “Biker Boyz” and the sequels to “Charlie’s Angels” and “Bad Boys,” he has a whole new set of artists to make tracks for. On Wednesday (January 22), a joint venture deal between Swizz’s Full Surface and Clive Davis‘ J Records was officially announced; among the acts the 24-year-old producer will be putting out are veterans Keith Sweat and Bounty Killer, newcomer Cassidy and multimedia personality Big Tigger. …  

Even before a winner is decided in Super Bowl XXXVII, one man will be crowned prince of the pigskin … the PlayStation2 pigskin, that is. The ninth annual Madden Bowl is set for Thursday in San Diego. At the tournament party, expected to be attended by members of ‘NSYNC and Carmen Electra, eight NFL players will compete in Madden NFL 2003 and attempt to take the title from two-time retiring champ Jacquez Green. …

Reel Big Fish, the Toasters and Voodoo Glow Skulls will headline the Ska Summit at the Desert Breeze Skate Park in Las Vegas on March 29. The Selector, Mustard Plug, Rx Bandits, Buck-O-Nine, Let’s Go Bowling, the Skeletones and the Specials are also on the bill. … A book on the life of punk forefather Joey Ramone, titled “I Slept With Joey Ramone,” will be written by Joey’s brother Mickey Leigh and Legs McNeil, author of the seminal punk tome “Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk.” A retrospective from birth to death told through memoirs and anecdotes, the book is expected to be in stores by Christmas. …

According to a post on the band’s official Web site, the Dismemberment Plan have decided to break up. They plan to continue playing the shows they’ve booked this winter, and may add a few additional dates as a last outing. “We certainly still love to rock the stage, so we have talked about continuing to play irregular shows in D.C. or doing benefits for things we think are important,” the band said. …

The Blue Man Group will release their second album, The Complex, in April. Unlike the Grammy-nominated debut, the instrumental Audio, the percussive troupe’s new one is a full-fledged rock effort, featuring collaborations with Dave Matthews, Tracy Bonham and producer extraordinaire Dan “The Automator” Nakamura. … Steely Dan will follow up their Grammy-winning Two Against Nature with Everything Must Go on May 6. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen‘s 2000 album upset Eminem, Radiohead and others for Album of the Year. …

01.21.03

Jay-Z was looking for love in all the right places over the weekend as he shot his video for “Excuse Me Miss.” Jay, who was backstage with R. Kelly on Thursday at the Power 105.1 Powerhouse concert in New Jersey, filmed scenes for his video in the Garden State and New York with director Little X. In addition to members of the Roc-A-Fella camp, who will turn up in the clip dressed in suits, Neptunes hitmaker Pharrell Williams makes an appearance. …

Madonna is slated to make her small-screen debut on an upcoming episode of “Will & Grace,” according to an NBC spokesperson. Details about her character are still being worked out. The episode, which will tape in March, will air during the sweeps month of May. … Hank Williams Jr.‘s “Are You Ready For Some Football?” may have sufficed being played before ordinary games broadcast on ABC, but for the big game on Sunday, ol’ Bocephus will get a little help from Kid Rock. The pair have recorded a new song, “Are You Ready for the Superbowl?,” which will premiere just prior to Super Bowl XXXVII on ABC. …

Lisa Marie Presley has set an April 8 release date for her debut album, To Whom It May Concern, on which Elvis‘ daughter wrote or co-wrote all of the material, with producers ranging from Glen Ballard to singer/songwriter Gus. “You’re going to see who I really am and not what the tabloids say or whatever anyone has to say about me,” Presley explained in a statement. … Aside from her judging duties on “American Idol,” Paula Abdul is writing songs for Kylie Minogue and other pop stars, and is recording her own comeback album. “My fans want to dance and that’s what I want to do,” she said. “It’s going to be funky, but I’m doing a lot of different things, keeping it fresh.” …

The Donnas, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Folk Implosion, Tortoise and a reunited Camper Van Beethoven are among the headliners scheduled for the 11th annual Noise Pop festival from February 25 to March 2 in San Francisco. A complete schedule, also featuring Cat Power, Hot Rod Circuitand No Knife, is available at www.noisepop.com. … Raise a glass and keep the frat boys at bay, because the second annual Jagermeister Music Tour is back for a second round. The six-week tour, sponsored by the get-loose juice preferred by four out of five frat houses, will feature headliners Saliva and (hed) Planet Earth, as well as Breaking Benjamin, Systematic and Stereomud. The tour opens March 6 in Philadelphia, with last call coming April 20 in Detroit. Last year, the tour featured Drowning Pool, Coal Chamber and Ill Nino. … Promoters have landed Thursday, Andrew W.K., the Used and Goldfinger, among others, for the third annual Skate and Surf Festival, set for April 25-27 at the Convention Center Complex in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The three-day concert will also feature a surf contest and skate and BMX exhibitions. …

Common will release the Jill Scott collaboration “I Am Music” as the second single from his recently released Electric Circus. After a cameo in last fall’s “Brown Sugar,” the Chicago rapper is also hoping to star in a film this year. “I’m working on my acting chops right now ’cause I don’t wanna be just a rapper trying to act,” he said at last week’s American Music Awards. … Nivea will shoot the video for “Laundromat,” the second single from her self-titled debut album, in Los Angeles this week with director Nzingha Stewart (Bilal, Common). “It was written and produced by R. Kelly, so that’s pretty interesting,” she said of the song at the AMAs. “It’s a beautiful song, incredibly written and produced and I think people will love it.” …

Zakk Wylde has drafted Ozzy Osbourne to record vocals on one track from the next Black Label Society album, The Blessed Hellride. Ozzy sings on the song “Stillborn.” … Pitchshifter have announced that their March U.K. tour will be the band’s last, and that the group will split up after the trek. Everyone involved has stressed that this decision isn’t due to any rift within the camp, but rather because Pitchshifter have reached a natural end. The band will release a live album to coincide with these farewell shows. … Cradle of Filth will release their new album, Damnation & a Day, through Epic on March 10. …

Mainstays of the SoCal punk scene, NOFX, have begun to record their next album, titled The War on Errorism, the follow-up to 2000′s Pump Up the Valuum. Prior to its release on May 6, the band will issue Regaining Unconsciousness on March 25. … On Friday, teen R&B singer Mario pulled a muscle in his back while rehearsing for the video shoot of his next single, “C’mon.” The injury forced him to cancel an appearance on an upcoming episode of “Showtime at the Apollo.” Mario is recovering at home, and will proceed with his Erik White-directed video shoot on January 28. …

Caricature artist Al Hirschfeld, whose good-natured pen-and-ink sketches of stars ranging from Madonna to Woody Allen to Aerosmith graced newspapers, magazines, Broadway playbills and album covers, passed away in his sleep on Monday at the age of 99. … “Bodysong,” the experimental film scored by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, will debut at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam on January 27. The movie tells the story of an archetypal human life using images taken from all around the world and the last 100 years of cinema. …