For The Record: Quick News On Madonna, Cam’ron, Good Charlotte, Fabolous, Kelly Rowland And Tom Petty & More

Karen of “Will & Grace” will have met her match when Madonna makes her small-screen debut as a guest star on an upcoming episode of the comedy, which she just shot in Los Angeles, according to an NBC spokesperson. Madonna’s character, Liz, rocks Karen’s world as her new roommate, who happily shares many of her eccentricities, including her taste in men. The high-maintenance Liz also shares many of Madonna’s attributes — including her love of music — as she works as a manager of a CD distribution center which specializes in “Hits of the ’80s”-type compilations. Madonna was joined on the set by her gal pal Sandra Bernhard. The episode, called “Dolls & Dolls,” airs April 24 at 9 p.m. …

In an attraction that has just been added to the WWE’s Wrestlemania XIX on Sunday, Brooklyn, New York’s Fabolous will square off against 240-pound Boston wrestler John Cena. Fab hasn’t gone totally crazy — he won’t be fighting in the ring. Instead, the platinum MC will be defending the honor of hip-hop. He accepted Cena’s open challenge for a rap-off. … Cam’ron and the Diplomats celebrated Big Willie style in their hometown of Harlem on Tuesday. Besides standing on parked cars and throwing out money to their fans on 125th Street, the trio signed autographs at the uptown HMV and held their album-release party at club Sessa. Keith Murray, Drag-On, Dame Dash, Noreaga and Cam’s “Paid in Full” co-star Wood Harris were among those in attendance. …  

Kelly Rowland and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are the latest artists to cancel their European tours for fear of traveling while war is being waged in the Middle East. Rowland’s spokesperson said the State Department suggested postponing her dates, while a statement on Petty’s Web site says the decision was made after consultation with European promoters. … Add Green Day‘s Billie Joe Armstrong to the list of musicians who have recorded anti-war songs. The acoustic “Life During Wartime,” which includes the lyric “A real war to fight against/ Instead of our petty disagreements/ How can I rationalize my life during wartime?,” is available on www.greenday.com. … Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore has launched www.protest-records.com, a site specifically designed to give away music protesting the U.S.-led military action in Iraq. To date, the site boasts tracks from the Beastie Boys and Cat Power, among others. …

Good Charlotte‘s Benji Madden appears on “Jump Around,” the first single from reggae punk band Morgan Heritage‘s Three in One, due April 29. Madden met the band, which features the five children of reggae singer Denroy Morgan, on last year’s Warped Tour. Morgan Heritage are promoting their sixth album, which was produced by Bobby Digital (Beenie Man, Bounty Killer), with a headlining tour kicking off April 10 in Philadelphia. … Pop newcomer Stacie Orrico will sing the Angels‘ 1963 #1 single “My Boyfriend’s Back” on an upcoming episode of the NBC drama “American Dreams.” Orrico’s latest self-titled album, which includes the “TRL” hit “Stuck,” was released Tuesday. …

Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society will support their new album, The Blessed Hellride, due April 22, with a two-week trek beginning Friday in Sacramento. … Oasis‘s Liam Gallagher, along with Paul Weller and Hope Sandoval, have contributed guest vocals to the third album from British electronic duo Death in Vegas. Titled Scorpio Rising, the album is due June 17 and features a cover of Gene Clark‘s “So You Say You Lost Your Baby.” … Third Eye Blind will launch a 20-date tour of small clubs April 7 in Toledo, Ohio. Shows will run through May 12 in State College, Pennsylvania. The band’s new album, Out of the Vein, comes out May 13. …

03.25.03

Billed as Sticks and Stones, New Found Glory performed a small club show in Anaheim, California, with their friends in the upstart outfit Breakdance Vietnam on Monday, playing a set that mostly avoided hit singles in favor of more fan-oriented material. … On a related note, the side project featuring New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert and members of New York hardcore staples Madball and H20 have changed their name from All Ages to Hazen Street. The band, which recently added former Cro-Mags/ Bad Brains/ Shelter drummer Mackie Jayson, will begin recording their debut album this weekend in Los Angeles. …

Conan must really like the White Stripes. The red-and-white rockers will grace the stage four nights in a row on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” from April 22-25, performing a different song each night. … What do Green Day, Blink-182, Third Eye Blind, 3 Doors Down, Alanis Morissette, Eric Clapton and Sheryl Crow have in common? They all play Fender brand guitars, and they all have tracks on The Players: Powered by Fender, which comes out April 22. Other Fender strummers included on the disc are Filter, Remy Zero, the Goo Goo Dolls, Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray. …

On August 2 and 3 at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine, Phish will host It, the band’s first concert festival since a millennium event three years ago in Florida. Phish will warm up for the shows with a 21-date tour kicking off July 7 in Phoenix. … While Blue Man Group have been recruiting stars galore for their album, one of those songs is going to get an added push from the big screen. The art collective teamed with Bush‘s Gavin Rossdale for a song called “The Current” that will be used in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” to be played while the credits roll. … R&B veteran Patti LaBelle will record a remake of the hit “Dancehall Queen” with dancehall DJ Beenie Man. In 1997, Beenie had major chart success when he recorded the song with Chevelle Franklyn. …

Perhaps only the most hardcore Duran Duran fans think the ’80s glamour boys deserve a whopping 13-CD box set. Perhaps those folks also work at Capitol Records. The group’s label throughout the 1980s will release Duran Duran: The Singles Box 81-85, a collection of all the band’s singles from “Planet Earth” to “A View to a Kill,” on June 10. Each disc features the hit, along with the b-sides that were included when the singles were originally issued. … That same format is also being applied to snarling new wavers the Stranglers. The Stranglers: Singles Boxset Volume 2, also due June 10, is a 12-disc set that spans 1979′s “Nuclear Device” to 1982′s “Strange Little Girl,” which eventually became the title track (using the pluralized “girls”) to Tori Amos‘ 2001 covers album. Rare Swedish and French singles are also included. …

Before Cracker‘s proper fifth album, Countrysides, is out in July, the band will release the “reinterpretations” collection Oh Cracker, Where Art Thou? on May 6 via Pitch-A-Tent Records, singer David Lowery‘s label. Lowery and Johnny Hickman recorded the album, which includes classic Cracker tracks like “Euro-Trash Girl,” live in a studio with Colorado’s Leftover Salmon serving as the backing band. … British art-punk band Wire will release their first studio album in 12 years, Send, on June 10. The disc follows the 2002 EPs Read & Burn 01 and Read & Burn 02.