For The Record: Quick News On Jay-Z, Beyonce, Flavor Flav, Alanis Morissette, Justin Timberlake, Ani DiFranco & More

As a warm-up for Tuesday’s (November 25) Madison Square Garden headlining concert in New York, Jay-Z played the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts, on Sunday. Jay was backed by a live band, directed by the Roots?uestlove, for large portions of the set, which included a string of songs from his debut LP, Reasonable Doubt.

Beyoncé, Clay Aiken, Evanescence, Foo Fighters and Shania Twain will join No Doubt and Sting as performers at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards, taking place December 10. The show will air live from Las Vegas on FOX. … Justin Timberlake plans to share the love on his upcoming NBC special — by inviting the Black Eyed Peas to join him on a performance of their song “Where Is the Love?” The one-hour show, “Justin Timberlake: Down Home in Memphis,” will feature a personal tour of his hometown, highlighting Memphis’ musical legacy. The show airs Friday at 8 p.m. ET. …

With Bizzy Bone back in the fold, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are at full strength and hoping to drop their next album in the summer — once they’ve secured a record deal. In the meantime, Bizzy and Layzie are pressing on with a duo LP called Forever Young, which they plan to release in the spring. … Who wouldn’t want to wake to the soothing sounds of Public Enemy’s mouthpiece Flavor Flav shouting, “Yeahh boyee!,” “Get up and get, get down,” and “Rock that Sh–, homie!”? For $85, you can drift through dreamland under Flavor’s watchful eye with the Legends Flavor Flav Talking Alarm Clock. Only 500 limited-edition versions of the miniature rapper holding his trademark clock necklace are available at www.ecko.com and at selected retailers. …

Kate Pierson of the B-52’s has opened a hotel in the Catskills area in upstate New York called Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel. The eight-unit house features rooms and suites in “mind-blowing mid-century modern/space age/rocket-your-socks-off decor,” according to the motel’s Web site. … Alanis Morissette’s follow-up to 2002’s Under Rug Swept is expected to drop in February. Titled So Called Chaos, the LP promises to include everything from soft ballads to dance music to pure rock. Before then, the singer will do a quick turn in the off-Broadway play “The Exonerated,” from December 2-7 in New York. She’ll portray Sunny Jacobs, a woman freed from death row after her murder conviction is overturned. …

Feliz Navidad from Carlos Santana. On December 16, a collection of unreleased and remixed tracks from the Supernatural and Shaman recording sessions will be available on Ceremony – Remixes and Rarities. The disc, limited to 100,000 copies, will include the new songs “Curacion (Sunlight on Water),” “Truth Don Die” and “Manana.” … The members of Matchbox Twenty, who just released the EP titled EP, are taking off with other projects. Singer Rob Thomas, drummer Paul Doucette and rhythm guitarist Adam Gaynor have each been working on solo projects, while lead guitarist Kyle Cook is laboring away on an album with his band the New Left. The projects are expected to surface next year. …

The organizers behind the Milwaukee Metalfest are planning on taking their show on the road and migrating south. Jack Koshick and Rob Grohl are working on a Florida Metalfest, to be held in the St. Petersburg area, March 6 and 7. No bands have been confirmed as of yet. … Iron Maiden will play just eight shows in North America next year to support their latest album, Dance of Death. The group will perform two dates in Canada, starting January 20 in Montreal, before playing four gigs in New York (January 23-27), and finishing up with two shows in Los Angeles (January 30 and 31). …

“Jambands,” a new book written by Jambands.com founder Dean Budnick, is all the schooling you need to firmly grasp the musical inspirations of the noodle-dance, the closed-eye headshake, and the “I’m catching butterflies that aren’t really there” boogie. Due January 6, the book, packaged with an accompanying live album, documents the rise of the scene from the days of the Grateful Dead to their successors, including Moe, the Disco Biscuits and Robert Randolph & the Family Band. … On her new album, Educated Guess, Ani DiFranco ups the ante of her “do it yourself” aesthetic to “do everything yourself.” For the first time in her 14-year career, the folksy punk balladeer performed all the production duties — from recording and to the final mixes — herself. Educated Guess, the follow-up to Evolve, is due January 20. …

CNET Networks has purchased online music outlet MP3.com from Vivendi Universal for an undisclosed amount of money. On December 2, the site, which hosts music from over 250,000 largely unsigned acts, will shut down completely. It will be relaunched next year as a music-information site, and will no longer provide downloads. …

11.24.03

Like the ride Britney has in her video for “Me Against the Music”? The sports car — autographed on the hood and the steering wheel by the singer — is being auctioned off to benefit the Britney Spears Foundation. The auction, happening on ebay.com, starts December 1 and ends December 11. Also being auctioned is Brit’s sporty outfit from her NFL Kickoff concert. Her Reebok boots, black football pants, black NFL shorts and black-and-white referee halter top are to be auctioned off between now and Sunday to benefit the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. For more information, go to marybirdauction.com. …

50 Cent knows what’s up. With the high anticipation of his in-store releases, he’s already prophesizing that he will have to push up the release date of his next solo album. “Probably Fourth of July weekend,” he said about when he wants to put the LP out. “But it will probably come out in June due to the bootleggers.” … Whether it snows or not, White Stripes fans can expect a “White Christmas” from their favorite red-suited character. Stripes frontman Jack White has contributed two new songs, “Never Far Away” and “Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over,” as well as three covers to the soundtrack to his film debut, “Cold Mountain.” The soundtrack drops December 16, and the flick opens on Christmas Day. …

Beck, fidgeting with a keyboard and twiddling knobs on a drum machine, tugged on his sweater and said, “It’s getting hot in here,” at KCRW’s A Sounds Eclectic Evening concert Saturday in Universal City, California, before launching into Nelly’s song of the same name, different spelling. He later revisited the “Hot in Herre” chorus during “Where It’s At,” a highlight of the solo set that also included Mutations’ “Nobody’s Fault But My Own,” an oldie from One Foot in the Grave, a couple of tracks from Sea Change and a pair of songs by his late friend Elliott Smith. An acoustic set from Shelby Lynne was the surprise performance at the Universal Amphitheatre event, which also featured Liz Phair (also acoustic), Jurassic 5, Damien Rice, the Polyphonic Spree, Jem and Gary Jules. …

Kung Fu, the label operated by the VandalsJoe Escalante that launched the Ataris’ career, is tentatively eyeing a May release for a Warped Tour DVD that will include performances from the Ataris, Poison the Well, Tsunami Bomb, Simple Plan and other artists to be announced. … Defunct Swedish post-hardcore rockers Refused will see their legacy chronicled via the Refused Are F—ing Dead collection, which will be comprised of never-before-seen material and videos. Meanwhile, Refused’s landmark 1998 album, The Shape of Punk to Come, has been remixed and remastered in 5.1 surround DVD audio format, with the re-release (as well as remastered editions of Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent and The EP Compilation) set for early next year. …

Pioneering English punk band the Buzzcocks will perform a series of club shows before heading back to their homeland. Eight shows are scheduled from November 28 through December 6, including stops in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The trek promotes the band’s latest, self-titled album, which dropped in September. …