For The Record: Quick News On Beyonce, Justin Guarini, Ruben Studdard, Kevin Richardson, Elvis Costello & More

Beyoncé is eyeing “Baby Boy” as the second single from Dangerously in Love, and she’s just awaiting approval from guest Sean Paul’s people to make it official. In related news, Michelle Williams is hoping to release her second gospel album by October. … Justin Guarini has finally shot a video for his first single, “Sorry,” due early next month. His big-screen debut, From Justin to Kelly, is due on DVD August 26, just two months after the musical flopped in theaters. …

Ruben Studdard’s success can be measured by record sales as well as by inches — 15 of them to be exact. That’s how tall the Velvet Teddy Bear, a new stuffed animal created with the “American Idol” winner’s nickname in mind, stands. Due September 19 and priced at $20, the doll is clothed in a multicolored cap and jersey, both emblazoned with Studdard’s name. A more manageable seven-inch version costing $15 will also be available. … To warm up for his San Francisco and London runs of “Chicago,” Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson is reprising his role as tap-dancing lawyer Billy Flynn in the national touring production’s Pittsburgh stop. Taking over for Gregory Harrison, Richardson will do matinee and evening performances on Saturday and Sunday at Pittsburgh Symphony Heinz Hall before continuing to San Francisco for a three-week run starting August 4. The London production dates have not yet been announced. …

Rhino’s Elvis Costello reissue campaign charges forward with another three double-disc gems on September 9. Get Happy!! (1980), Trust (1981) and Punch the Clock (1983) will include bonus tracks, studio outtakes and demos. … Melancholic English rocker Travis will release their third album in September. The record was put on hold eight months ago when drummer Neil Primrose suffered a life-threatening neck injury while swimming. During Primrose’s recovery, frontman Fran Healy wrote the majority of the songs on the disc, which was recorded with Tchad Blake in Scotland. …

AC/DC singer Brian Johnson, who has been working on a musical in Sarasota, Florida, called “Helen of Troy,” has recruited Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan to help write songs. The two hooked up earlier this summer during a European tour featuring both bands and the Rolling Stones. … Misfits bassist Jerry Only has formed a new version of the band with onetime Black Flag singer/guitarist Dez Cadena and Ramones drummer Marky Ramone for Misfits Project 1950, a covers album featuring oldies like “Monster Mash,” “Runaway” and “Great Balls of Fire” with guest appearances by Ronnie Spector and Blondie’s Jimmy Destri. The Misfits will kick off a U.S. tour called Fiend Fest on July 23 in Tempe, Arizona, with the Damned, the Dickies, Agnostic Front and Balzac also on the bill. …

Da Band, the drama-bringing group from P. Diddy’s “Making the Band,” had a listening session for their debut LP Tuesday night at New York’s Daddy House studio. The first single from the album, due in September, isn’t done, but P.D. played several songs featuring all the members as well as solo joints from Sara and Chopper. … A former accountant of the London Suede will stand trial in April for allegedly robbing the band of more than $750,000. Fran Dixon was arrested three years ago after a probe into the band’s finances revealed irregularities. Dixon is also accused of stealing an additional $750,000 from Primal Scream and Echobelly. … Speed to Kill, a band signed to Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger’s 604 label, are recording their full-length debut, which follows a three-song EP. …

The fourth album from Wellwater Conspiracy, which features original Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain and Pearl Jam/Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, is due September 9. A tour is being assembled to coincide with the release. … Brooklyn’s Radio 4 have signed to Astralwerks, which will release the Electrify EP August 26. The EP features remixed tunes from last year’s Gotham! LP by the DFA and the Faint, among others. The groove rockers’ third album is expected next year. … The first robe created for psychedelic choir the Polyphonic Spree has been returned to leader Tim DeLaughter a week after it was stolen in the U.K. The robe, created by DeLaughter’s mother-in-law and considered invaluable, was given back freshly laundered. …

07.22.2003

A few details about the long-delayed Guns N’ Roses album, Chinese Democracy, surfaced in IGN Music’s interview with film composer Marco Beltrami, since he did some work-for-hire on the album, arranging orchestral sections for four tracks. “A couple of them I did more than orchestrating,” he told IGN. “I actually wrote some melodies and stuff. On one song, I actually wrote a guitar part.” Song titles, he said, included “Seven,” “Thyme,” “The General” and “Leave Me Alone.” …

New albums by Coldplay and Radiohead are the odds-on favorites to win the U.K.’s critically evaluated Mercury Music Prize. Other nominees include LPs by the Thrills, the Darkness, Athlete, Dizzee Rascall, Terri Walker, Lemon Jelly and Floetry. The winner will be announced September 9. … Wyclef Jean, Bone Crusher and Bounty Killer will appear in dancehall reggae newcomer Elephant Man’s debut video, “Pon De River,” which was shot recently at New York’s Club Float. Elephant Man’s album, Good 2 Go, is due September 23 and features cameos from Mariah Carey, Da Brat, Lil Jon and Juelz Santana. …

Murphy Lee of the St. Lunatics will be in New York on Tuesday (July 22) at Champs Sports to not only sign autographs and cop a few more fitted caps, but to debut his new video, “Wat Da Hook Gon Be.” The song is the first single from his September solo debut, Murphy’s Law.Blindside, best known for their rock hit “Pitiful,” have begun to work on their follow-up to Silence. The Swedish emo-metal band is teaming with producer Howard Benson for About a Burning Fire, according to a statement posted on Blindside’s official Web site. “We have learned so much over the past year,” the band wrote, “and we feel inspired … to make this record more than we can even imagine right now.” The group expects to release the album in late 2003. …

Grandaddy and Super Furry Animals are teaming for a fall tour, from September 18 in San Francisco to October 4 in New York. Grandaddy’s latest, Sumday, was released in May, while the Super Furry’s sixth album, Phantom Power, is due July 29. … Beginning with Ben Harper’s “Diamonds on the Inside,” Fox will premiere music videos during the first six episodes of the new Tuesday night drama “The O.C.” The clips will then be available exclusively on America Online for 48 hours. …

The first two albums by early New York punks Television, 1977’s Marquee Moon and 1978’s Adventure, will be remastered and reissued with bonus tracks on September 23. For a hint at just how influential Tom Verlaine and company were, look no further than the Strokes. Coinciding with the reissues will be a live album, Live at the Old Waldorf, recorded June 29, 1978. … Reality, David Bowie’s 26th studio album, is scheduled for a September 16 release. Three weeks later, the chameleon of rock will launch his A Reality Tour world trek in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 7. …

They Might Be Giants might have a tangential career as children’s entertainers. The duo’s “Clap Your Hands,” from last year’s children’s music LP No!, will be used in an upcoming TV spot for GapKids. … As he prepares to launch the Lottapianos Tour with Tori Amos on July 26, Ben Folds has scheduled a succession of EPs for release on his Web site, www.attackedbyplastic.com, as well as available on tour. The first, Speed Graphic, features a cover of the Cure’s “In Between Days” and is scheduled for a July 22 release. The second EP, Sunny 16, is slated to surface in September, and a third in November. A full-length LP is expected by early next year. …