For The Record: Quick News On Britney, Justin, R. Kelly, Layne Staley, The Strokes, Duran Duran & More

Britney Spears is planning a media blitz for her upcoming album, and in case anyone was about to accuse the pop-princess-cum-sex-kitten of abandoning her Disney roots, she's making sure the parent company's ABC channel isn't neglected. She just taped a show this week at New York's Gotham Hall for an hour-long concert special, "Britney Spears: In the Zone," to air November 17 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Filmed in the round, the show features a range of stage settings and looks inspired from "Alice in Wonderland" and "Cabaret," as well as behind-the-scenes peeks from producers who have been shadowing the singer since August. Spears also sits down with Diane Sawyer for an episode of "Primetime Thursday," to air November 13 at 10 p.m. ...

Not to be outdone by Britney, Justin Timberlake also has a concert special coming up, but for NBC. His will have more of a documentary feel, revealing what it was like for him to grow up in his hometown of Memphis. "You'll probably watch this special and be like, 'Damn! He came a long way,' " Timberlake joked of his upcoming special during a recent MTV visit. "Just getting off the plane was a big culture shock." ... R. Kelly is taking his "Soldier's Heart" to the troops. The embattled R&B singer is playing a free show Friday at the Bell County Exposition Center in Belton, Texas, for an expected crowd of 10,000 soldiers stationed at the nearby Fort Hood. A live video feed of the concert will be available via satellite for U.S. troops in Iraq. Kelly is due back in court December 1. ...

Sharon Osbourne's breasts are on the block. Hand-painted molds of the metal matriarch's mammaries are being auctioned off for the charity Boarding for Breast Cancer, and the pair will be displayed on Thursday's episode of her syndicated "Sharon Osbourne Show." ... The Strokes will play a residency on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," appearing as the musical guests every Tuesday night throughout November. The White Stripes played a similar stint in April, but instead of performing once a week, they appeared every night for one week. ...

Veteran soul band Earth Wind & Fire are back in the studio recording a new album with members of the younger musical generation they helped influence. Musiq, Raphael Saadiq and D'Angelo are some of the artists who are writing new material with the band's founding member, Maurice White, for a record that is due to be released in 2004. ... The "Duran Duran The Greatest" DVD, due November 4, will have several hidden extras that can be unlocked via videogame-like "cheat codes." Uncut and uncensored versions of videos, remixed songs and interviews with the band can be accessed by pressing a series of keystrokes on your DVD remote, but you'll have to visit your favorite Duran Duran fan site to find out what they are. ...

"4/20/02," the song Eddie Vedder wrote about Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley on the day of Staley's death, will be included as a hidden track on Pearl Jam's double-disc rarities album, Lost Dogs, due November 11. In other Pearl Jam news, Apple's iTunes Music Store will now offer downloads of the band's music directly from Pearl Jam's Web site through new software called iTunes Link Maker. ... Avril Lavigne and Linkin Park are following in the footsteps of Coldplay and Rush by screening their new DVDs in movie theaters one day before they arrive in stores. Avril's "My World" DVD, recorded May 18 in Buffalo, New York, will play in 24 cities. Linkin Park's "Live in Texas," taken from Summer Sanitarium shows in Houston and Irving, Texas, last August, will play in 40 theaters. Avril will attend the New York screening of her DVD. Linkin Park are currently in Japan and will then hit Europe, but plan to tour the U.S. again in early 2004.

English MC the Streets, a finalist for this year's Shortlist Music Prize, is releasing an album of previously unreleased B-sides and remixes titled All Got Our Runnings. There's just one catch: It's only available online through retail downloading services. ... Fans of Primus will not only be able to see original members Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Tim "Herb" Alexander share the stage for the first time in seven years, but they can also download soundboard recordings of every performance from the band's six-week Tour De Fromage through their new Web site beginning November 7. ...

The Recording Industry Association of America says it has detained 2.5 million counterfeit or pirated CDs within the first six months of 2003 — a total that is up nearly 20 percent from its 2002 piracy seizures. The RIAA is aiding local and federal law-enforcement officials in stamping out both online and brick-and-mortar vendors, as well as educating police departments across the country on how to identify and eradicate counterfeit goods through the organization's anti-piracy unit. ... Joe Strummer's posthumous recording career may not end with Tuesday's release of Streetcore. Homemade recordings by the former Clash singer/guitarist have been discovered and are being archived by a family friend. ...

Monica has re-recorded three songs from her recent After the Storm, including the single "So Gone," with Tennessee Titans star running back Eddie George contributing raps. Footage of the sessions will air Monday during halftime of "Monday Night Football" as part of a competition called "Monday Night at the Mic." Jason

Mraz, Carlos Santana and 3 Doors Down have paired with NFL players for past installments. ... The All Tomorrow's Parties festival scheduled for November 8 and 9 in Los Angeles and curated by Matt Groening will now be held on the Queen Mary Ship in Long Beach. Sonic Youth, Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Spoon and the Shins are among Saturday's performers, while the Stooges, the Mars Volta, Cat Power, Har Mar Superstar and Mission of Burma are Sunday's headliners. ...

Daz Dillinger will celebrate his first album on Jermaine Dupri's So So Def label by titling the release So So Gangsta. The album is due next spring and will likely feature guest appearances from Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and Warren G. ...


Destiny's Child have been hit with a $200 million lawsuit by a

Miami producer who claims his music was stolen for their single

"Survivor." In the suit, which was filed on October 14 in U.S. District

Court, producer Terrence "T-Robb" Robinson claims that in 2000

he gave a copy of his song "Glorious" to the group's manager, Mathew

Knowles, and that portions of the tune were used in the hit track.


Two victims' families are suing the makers of "Grand Theft Auto: III," Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc., as well as Wal-Mart for selling two teens the video game they say inspired a killing spree. In June, two teens took a rifle and shot at cars telling authorities they were doing so just like they saw in the game. One woman was killed and another was seriously injured in the shooting. The families filed suit on Monday, seeking $46 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages. ... Kim Mathers' legal problems are mounting. Eminem's

ex-wife was issued a bench warrant Tuesday in Macomb County, Michigan,

after she failed to appear in court two days in a row to be arraigned

on charges of cocaine possession. Her attorney reportedly told a judge

that Mathers was ill, but her presence was requested anyway. Meanwhile,

police in nearby Warren told the Detroit Free Press they planned

to arrest Mathers by the end of the week for allegedly hosting a hotel

party September 29 where drugs were used. ...

Blu Cantrell is still reeling from the violent attack on her good friend Tony Dinero on October 16 in Paris. The two were coming from a party to celebrate her LP Bittersweet when two assailants repeatedly stabbed Dinero in the eye and head. Cantrell, who says she is shocked by the incident, released a statement on Wednesday (October 22) saying, "I cannot believe that anything like this can happen, especially in a city like this. A place that I love so much and the home to so many warm and peaceful people." ... Casting is under way for a Jennifer Lopez-produced talk show loosely designed as a young woman's version of "The View." Lopez's

sister Lynda Lopez, a TV and radio personality in New York, will

be one of the four hosts on the as-yet-untitled syndicated show, which

will likely premiere next September. J. Lo herself will appear

occasionally. ...

Sentenced to life in prison, C-Murder will take his victories where he can get them. On Tuesday the Louisiana State Supreme Court nullified an indictment against C-Murder, whose real name is Corey Miller, for possession of a cellular phone while he was in jail awaiting trial for murder. On September 30, Miller was convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting of a 16-year-old boy inside a Louisiana club. The ruling on Tuesday was unrelated to the murder conviction. ... Eagles of Death Metal, one of the side projects of Queens of the Stone Age singer and guitarist Josh Homme, will play 11 North American dates with Placebo this winter before Queens

head into the studio to record the follow-up album to Songs for the

Deaf. Homme, who plays drums in Eagles of Death Metal, will release

the group's debut album early next year on his own label, Rekords

Rekords. The band's tour starts November 20 in Vancouver and runs

through December 6 in New Orleans. ...

Perhaps in an effort to expand his demographic, former Metallica

bassist Jason Newsted made an appearance on Tuesday at San

Francisco's Spring Valley Elementary school, where he talked to kids

about how he expresses himself through music. The session was

coordinated by Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization whose

Honorary Board of Directors includes Les Paul and Paul

Simon. ... A DVD chronicling Van Halen's rise from anonymity to stardom

will be released November 25. "The Van Halen Story: The Early Years"

follows the band from its formation to its first world tour and

includes interviews with original frontman David Lee Roth and

original bassist Mark Stone. ...

New York natives Fun Lovin' Criminals will return to the

States to support the release of their latest album, Welcome to

Poppy's. The hip-hop act, who relocated to Dublin, Ireland, in

1999, will start a 12-date tour on November 25 in Atlanta. ... Punk trio Le Tigre will take a quick break from recording their

third, as-yet-untitled record for a brief East Coast trek that starts

November 4 at Irving Plaza in New York and wraps up on November 23 at

Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club. Their upcoming disc, produced in part by

Ric Ocasek, is expected in late April. ...

U.K. dance label Wall of Sound will celebrate its 10th anniversary on

November 4 with Off the Wall: Ten Years of Wall of Sound. The

two-disc retrospective will include more than 30 tracks and remixes,

including songs by Propellerheads, Röyksopp, Les

Rythmes Digitales, Bees and Medicine. ... Default have wasted no time in following up 2001's The

Fallout. Elocation, due November 25, will be preceded by the

single "(Taking My) Life Away." ...

Actress Minnie Driver makes her recording debut on Trampoline

Records Greatest Hits Vol. II, the second compilation from the

label co-owned by Pete Yorn, the Wallflowers' Rami

Jaffee and guitarist Marc Dauer. Previously unreleased

material from Liz Phair, Yorn, Dan Wilson of

Semisonic and Chris Stills, along with a Wallflowers

cover of Julian Lennon's "Too Late for Goodbyes," are also

featured on the album, available at Barnes & Noble stores and through

the label's Web site. Dauer produced and Jaffe played piano on Driver's

"Everything in My Pocket," which she wrote. ... The Essential Bruce Springsteen, due November 11, will

feature two CDs of greatest hits, including live versions of "American

Skin (41 Shots)" and "Land of Hope and Dreams," plus a third disc of

rarities. A week later, the Boss will release Live in Barcelona,

a double-disc DVD. ...

Elton John has followed in the footsteps of Celine Dion

and committed to a long-running Las Vegas show. John's three-year,

75-show run, which will be held at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace when

Dion is not performing, begins February 13. ... P.O.D. protégés Blindside are nearly finished

with their second major-label release, About a Burning Fire, due

early next year. Guitarist Simon Grenehed recently flew from

Sweden to Chicago to record Billy Corgan playing guitar on one

of the tracks, "Hooray, It's L.A." ...

BT, the electronic music mastermind and part-time pop producer,

is in a Los Angeles studio putting the finishing touches on his score

for "Monster," a biopic starring Charlize Theron as Aileen

Carol Wuornos, a prostitute who was executed for killing seven men

in Florida. "I'm recording it, not just mixing it, in 5.1 surround

sound, which I believe is the first time it's ever been done," BT said.

"The movie is so intense." ... Joanie Laurer, the former professional wrestler known as

Chyna, will release her debut album, 2X Centrix, on

October 28. Laurer raps, sings and plays drums on the album, a

collaboration with Indian artist Reggie Benjamin. Highlights

include the single "Ride" and "The Chyna Dolls," a remake of David

Bowie's "China Girl." ...

Photographer and video director David LaChapelle (Christina

Aguilera, Blink-182) is finishing a longer version of a

dancing documentary he did for Channel 4 in London that he plans to

debut Stateside at film festivals next year. "It's about these kids in

South Central that do a cool new dance that no one's ever seen called

krumping," LaChapelle said. "It's like vertical breakdancing. It's

insane. It was a labor of love." …