For The Record: Quick News On Elliott Smith, P. Diddy, Pink, Johnny Cash, Beyonce, Less Than Jake & More

Less than 24 hours after tickets went on sale, an Elliott Smith tribute concert in Los Angeles has already sold out. The show, double billed as a memorial and benefit for the Elliott Smith Foundation for Abused Children, will take place Monday at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles and will feature Beck, Bright EyesConor Oberst, Beth Orton, Grandaddy and others performing some of Smith’s most beloved tunes. A screening of the experimental short film “Strange Parallel,” featuring Smith, will precede the show. …

P. Diddy‘s clothing company Sean John has been under investigation by the National Labor Committee for allegedly using overseas sweatshop labor to create its garments. The committee issued a report on Tuesday (October 28) that claims workers at the Southern Textiles factory in Choloma, Honduras, have been subjected to daily body searches, 11-to-12-hour shifts and contaminated drinking water. In addition, they are only paid for their productivity, not their time — 24 cents for each $50 sweat shirt they sew. Puffy may not be the only rap mogul under fire from the committee. While 80 percent of the labor at Southeast Textiles is for Sean John, the remaining 20 percent is for Roc-A-Wear, the clothing company founded by Jay-Z and Damon Dash. … Reports in the U.K. press last week that Roc-A-Fella Records boss Damon Dash was suing Victoria Beckham‘s U.K. record label to be reimbursed for helming her hip-hop album are untrue, according to a spokesperson for Dash. It was reported that Beckham’s label, Telstar, wasn’t happy with the idea of the former Posh Spice doing an urban-oriented album, and would refuse to release such a project. But reps for both Telstar and Dash deny any serious conflict, and Dash’s people maintain that he’s still producing her album, expected in 2004. …

With Try This just around the corner, Pink has already chosen her follow-up to first single “Trouble”: the dance floor burner “God Is a DJ,” produced by Billy Mann. She’s currently deciding between directors and locations for the video shoot. … New York radio station Z-100 should think about renaming their Jingle Ball holiday festival the “Gigli” Ball, since Jennifer Lopez will host the annual event. Set for December 11 at Madison Square Garden, the show will also feature performers Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Michelle Branch, Sean Paul, 3 Doors Down, Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff, among others. …

Actor/director Tim Robbins will serve as master of ceremonies at the Johnny Cash Memorial Tribute concert in Nashville November 10. Tickets to the event, which will feature Sheryl Crow, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson and others, are being distributed by lottery. Unlucky Cash fans who miss that concert are still in for a windfall, however: new music from the man himself.  Johnny Cash: Unearthed is a five-CD box set that will feature 79 tracks all recorded with producer Rick Rubin between 1994 and 2002, including collaborations with Tom Petty, Fiona Apple, Willie Nelson, Nick Cave and Joe Strummer. Sixty-four of the 79 tracks are previously unreleased and include acoustic covers of Neil Young‘s “Heart of Gold,” Roy Orbison‘s “Down the Line” and Bob Marley‘s “Redemption Song” (with Strummer).  Rubin began assembling the box set this August and will release it in the spring. …

Rocker Joan Jett has a soft side. Along with some family and friends, she appears on the next episode of “Crossing Over With John Edward” to get a reading in hopes of reconnecting with some departed loved ones. Since Edward ultimately fails to get her a psychic link to those she’s seeking, she “serves as the conduit” for her friends to hear from a recently deceased daughter, according to a rep for the show. Jett’s episode airs on UPN at 2 p.m. Wednesday. … Annie Lennox has contributed two songs to the final chapter of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Return of the King.” Her song “Into the West” will be used in the actual film, while a second track was recorded for the DVD. The soundtrack is due out November 25. …

Less Than Jake are hitting the road once again in support of their latest album, Anthem, and they’re bringing along a little something extra for their fans. On the tour, which runs from November 4 in St. Louis through mid-December, a six-song EP featuring two exclusive LTJ tracks and cuts from openers Yellowcard, Rufio, Fall Out Boy and Punchline will be on sale. … Andrew W.K., Hoobastank and Die Trying will tour together for a month starting November 1 in Springfield, Missouri. The 21-date jaunt ends December 3 in Clifton Park, New York. Hoobastank’s last date on the Nokia Unwired Tour, which also features All-American Rejects, Diffuser and Ozomatli, is Tuesday night in Seattle. Hoobastank’s second album, The Reason, will be released December 9. …
 
Oddball alternative band Ween will record three upcoming Chicago shows for a live DVD, guitarist Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo wrote on the band’s Web site. The gigs being taped are November 7, 8 and 9 at the Vic Theatre. Ween have seven other shows with which to warm up, starting Tuesday night in Northampton, Massachusetts, and running through November 5 in Detroit. …

10.27.2003

Britney Spears is gearing up for her upcoming tour. In August, she began auditioning dancers, and they’re planning to start rehearsals in February in Los Angeles for a trek that will launch in March. There’s already been a switch in choreographers — Jennifer Lopez‘s ex Cris Judd was first slated to shape Britney’s dance moves, then Jamie King of “Dance Fever” stepped in. But now, according to a source close to the pop princess, King is out and Kevin Tanchareon (who co-choreographed the “Me Against the Music” video) will be keeping Spears in step. There’s no name for the tour just yet, and dates have yet to be announced. …

Guns N’ RosesGreatest Hits album was expected to rain down on record stores November 25, but the LP has been pushed back indefinitely by Geffen Records. … Former Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha has emerged from hiding to weigh in on the band’s upcoming CD and DVD, Live at the Olympic Grand Auditorium. “After watching both the Olympic Grand Auditorium and the Democratic National Convention concert footage, I can think of no other moments in all of our 10 years as a band that captured the intensity and the intent of Rage Against the Machine. These moments belong to our fans as much as they belong to history.” The concert CD will come out November 25 and the DVD will follow December 9. De la Rocha plans to release his first solo album in 2004. …

She’s the daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, so obviously music runs in her blood. On November 18, Bobbi Kristina Brown makes her singing debut alongside her famous mom on One Wish – The Holiday Album. The LP is Whitney Houston’s first Christmas LP and will feature such standards as “The First Noel,” “The Christmas Song” and “The Little Drummer Boy,” the track on which Bobbi Kristina is featured. Houston will include several new tunes on the set as well. … If a shapely woman dressed like Shakira rings your doorbell on Halloween and rattles a cardboard box filled with coins, take note. It might actually be Shakira. The Colombian superstar has been appointed a global goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, a major charity for children. “UNICEF has done tremendous work in my home nation of Colombia and I have seen first-hand the difference UNICEF makes,” she said in a statement. As part of her new duties, Shakira will travel to Third World nations to witness the struggle of children living in those countries. …

Cee-Lo, Hatebreed, Pennywise, Body Count and M.O.P. are among the new additions to the lineup for Cypress Hill‘s sixth annual Smoke Out festival, which Linkin Park, DMX, Obie Trice, Papa Roach and Superjoint Ritual will headline November 15 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California. Boo Yaa Tribe and DJs Christopher Lawrence, Doc Martin, DJ Dan, Miguel Migs and Roy Davis Jr. are also performing, along with a surprise special guest at 4:20 p.m. … At an acoustic benefit concert in Seattle last week, Pearl Jam debuted “Man of the Hour,” a song written for the upcoming Tim Burton film “Big Fish.” Starring Ewan McGregor, the movie opens December 10 in select cities and January 23 nationwide. … Live versions of Tori Amos‘ “Cornflake Girl” and Macy Gray‘s cover of the Beatles‘ “Come Together,” recorded during the Oxygen Custom Concerts series, will be included on Oh! From the Girls, a benefit LP for Oxygen Media’s Build Your Own Business program. Due January 13, the album will also include favorites from Avril Lavigne, Stacie Orrico and Dido. …

Bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake have been stricken from the records and they’re not coming back. The musicians had appeared on the original versions of Ozzy Osbourne‘s albums Blizzard of Ozz (1980) and Diary of a Madman (1981), but their parts were removed and re-recorded by others when the albums were reissued. Since Daisley and Kerslake had both sued Ozzy for unpaid royalties, Sharon Osbourne thought she would teach them a lesson by erasing them from Ozzy’s recorded legacy, ensuring they would receive no future royalties. To add salt to the wound, Daisley and Kerslake’s lawsuit was dismissed last year by a district court judge, whose opinion was upheld last week by a U.S. Court of Appeals judge. Daisley and Kerslake are currently playing in a band called The Meek with Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse, ex-Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord and one-time Ozzy keyboardist Don Airey. The band’s debut, Relentless, is due in February. …

Varg Vikernes, the former frontman for Norwegian death metal band Burzum who has been imprisoned for the past eight years for murdering Mayhem frontman Oystein Aarseth (a.k.a. Euronymous), is back in prison after an attempted jailbreak. Vikernes was released from jail on a short leave and failed to return to authorities on Saturday, once his reprieve was up. Instead, he hijacked a car and drove off. Less than 24 hours later, the vehicle was spotted by an unmarked police car north of Oslo, and a chase ensued, which ended when two police cars sandwiched Virkernes’ vehicle, forcing him to halt. The singer surrendered without further incident. …