For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Paris Hilton, R. Kelly, 50 Cent, Beastie Boys & More

Britney Spears is in the throes of boot-camp-like rehearsals in Los Angeles for her upcoming tour, but she's also keeping an eye on future movie projects. Besides recently signing on to star in and produce "Door to Door," the singer initiated a meeting last week with the producer of the James Bond film franchise, Barbara Broccoli, about the possibility of appearing as a Bond girl in the next installment. A rep for MGM described the meeting as "very cursory" since there is yet no treatment, no script and, consequently, no roles set for Bond 21, production for which is scheduled to start in London in January 2005. ...

Following her breast-baring performance at Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show, Janet Jackson will not be attending this weekend's Grammy Awards. Janet had been scheduled to present a special Grammy to Luther Vandross, who has been recuperating from a stroke for the past 10 months. ... R. Kelly got a breather in the case against him in Polk County, Florida, as a judge on Thursday (February 5) granted a continuance to address the defense's request to throw out digital pictures of a nude underage girl found at his Florida residence in his child-pornography trial in that state (he's also facing trial in Illinois on the same charge). The new court date to deal with the suppression of evidence is March 11. ...

P. Diddy, Nelly, Sean Paul, Nick Cannon, Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton and Nick Carter are among the stars slated for the NBA's All-Star Celebrity Game, set for February 13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Viewers at home hoping to catch the action, or at least see what Hilton will be wearing while serving as an assistant coach, can watch the game live on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET. ... The Roots will celebrate their Grammy nomination (for Best Rap Album) this weekend in Los Angeles with a secret jam-session show that's expected to attract a host of other musicians, including Norah Jones, John Mayer and Outkast's Andre 3000. ...

Scott Weiland got a start date of February 18 for his DUI trial at a hearing Thursday (February 5) in Los Angeles. His attorney and doctor, meanwhile, released statements that the singer had not changed rehab facilities in the last month in defiance of the court order, but rather at the suggestion of his recovery counselors. "We were under the impression that Scott's move was not against the court's wishes," his attorney Michael Nasatir said. Weiland's primary recovery specialist, Dr. Drew Pinsky, said that the rehab move to a non-lockdown facility was made after detox to help Weiland "get back to the basics of sobriety while he pursued other treatment, which is a long treatment ... but that does not require a hospital." The joint statements also claimed that Weiland was addressing mental-health issues that "have an organic neuropsychological basis and are pharmacologically treatable." Weiland's rep could not elaborate on what the singer's mental-health issues are. ...

Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor is in Los Angeles writing songs for his next record, the follow-up to his 1999 double album, The Fragile. Veteran producer Rick Rubin will likely work with Reznor on the record. No release date has been scheduled. ... Authorities in California have put the kibosh on Beck's plans to give his pet rabbit, Rocket, to the lucky winner of an essay contest. Turns out awarding certain animals to contest winners is a violation of a state penal code. So the iconoclastic artist has decided to put Rocket up for adoption at an animal shelter run by the Pasadena Humane Society. That probably means an end to the rodent's acting career — his last role was as a rabbit in Beck's Sea Change DVD. ... Ryan Adams is home recovering from surgery to repair his left wrist, which he broke in Liverpool, England, after falling off the stage during a show. Doctors have placed his arm in a cast and expect it to take between six weeks and two months for the bones to heal. Even then, it's likely that Adams will only gain 80 percent of the mobility in his wrist. It is unknown how the injury will affect his guitar-playing in the future. ...

A 32-year-old club promoter was forced to listen to two and a half hours of opera music last week in Florida as punishment for playing 50 Cent's music too loud. Michael Carreras was ticketed for violating Miami Beach's noise-ordinance law and was given an option by the police officer: Pay a $500 fine or listen to opera. He chose the latter and visited Judge Jeffrey Swartz's chambers to serve out his punishment. The selection? "La Traviata." ... The Beastie Boys are nearly finished with their first album in six years. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 1998's Hello Nasty is in the mixing stage and is expected to drop this summer. ...

Jeff Tweedy is set to publish his first book, "Adult Head." The lyricist for Uncle Tupelo and Wilco has collected a series of poems for Zoo Press' first run of its Nightingale Editions series, due out in March. A sample, from "Singing Combat": "I believe your sorrow was sunshine/ Murdered for longing, your broken package/ A crushed open can of a pure bug's beauty/ Crawling up lip and lash on your face/ Before afternoon smiled for climbed stairs/ All because your laugh suggested combat." ... Ben Kweller's third solo album, On My Way, will hit shelves April 6. The LP, which was produced by Ethan Johns, will feature the songs "I Need You Back," "The Rules" and "Here Me Out." Kweller will tour with Death Cab for Cutie starting March 24 in Omaha, Nebraska. Dates are scheduled through May 15 in Anaheim, California. ...

Master P appeared in federal court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Thursday to plead guilty to failing to file a corporate tax return seven years ago for his company Bout It Incorporated, the Associated Press reports. P, born Percy Miller, could receive a combination of probation and fines at his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been set. On Thursday morning a man unsuccessfully attempted to serve the rapper with papers relating to another matter, going so far as trying to block him from passing through the courthouse's metal detector. ...

Recording just one album would be too easy for Robert Pollard. The Guided by Voices frontman has tracked 15 songs for his band's next album, the follow-up to last year's Earthquake Glue, while also working on his next solo album, Fiction Man. Matador is expected to release the GBV LP this summer, while the solo effort is in line for Pollard's Fading Captain series, due next month. Meanwhile, seven shows that were recently postponed after Pollard hurt his back have been rescheduled to begin March 5. ... Stereolab have announced a batch of U.S. tour dates in support of their new album, Margerine Eclipse. It will be the band's first Stateside visit since the death of keyboardist Mary Hansen. The trek will kick off March 28 in Costa Mesa, California, and wind down April 20 in Washington, D.C. ...

Swedish garage rockers the Division of Laura Lee will follow their 2002 debut, Black City, with Das Not Compute on May 11. The LP, recorded in their native country with Kalle Gustafsson and Don Alstherberg, includes the songs "Sneaking Up on Mr. Prez," "We Are Numbers" and "There Is a Last Time for Everything." ... A series of underground pop and garage music compilations along the lines of the much-touted Nuggets collections will be released through Rhinohandmade.com. The first pair of releases, Come to the Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets From the WEA Vaults and Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults, came out Tuesday, and editions devoted to folk rock and garage rock will be released later this year. There are only 7,500 copies of each edition available. ...

2.4.2004

Singer Faith Evans and her husband, music producer Todd Russaw, agreed Wednesday (February 4) at a hearing in Fulton County, Georgia, to enter a 13-week, pretrial drug-abuse intervention program. Last week, the two were arrested on drug-possession charges. If they complete the program and are not arrested again on similar charges, their case will not go to trial. ...

Beck, Jack Black, Madonna and Evanescence's Amy Lee are among a new crop of presenters for the 46th annual Grammy Awards, taking place Sunday in Los Angeles. The newly announced additions will introduce performances by Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Outkast and Justin Timberlake. ... Though his condition has improved since he suffered a stroke last April, Luther Vandross is still not well enough to attend the Grammy Awards. The 52-year-old singer, who is still confined to a wheelchair, is up for five awards, including Song of the Year — the first time in his career he's been nominated in any of the major Grammy categories. ...

Eminem is back for more dirty puppet tricks on the second season of "Crank Yankers." The rapper appears on the first episode of the new season, along with Sarah Silverman, David Allen Grier and others, making crank calls in a puppet guise. The second season premieres on Comedy Central on Tuesday. ... On February 24, Janet Jackson will release a DVD of an old concert recorded at Madison Square Garden in New York. "Janet Jackson - The Velvet Rope" features a live performance originally broadcast on HBO in 1998. ...

Guitarist William Tell has left Something Corporate, citing a desire to work on his own music. Tell appears on all of the band's albums, including its latest, North. Bobby "Raw" Anderson, formerly of River City High, will step in for a handful of dates in February, as well as for their co-headlining tour with Yellowcard in March. ... Scratch, who filled Rahzel's spot as resident human beat box for the Roots, is no longer a part of the group, drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson wrote on the Roots' Web site Tuesday. Saying that the vocal gymnast's last appearance with the group was at last year's Bonnaroo festival, Thompson cryptically explained Scratch wasn't fired but didn't quit either. ...

Grandmaster Flash will host a DJ Summit this weekend in Seattle for popular DJs around the world. Microsoft is sponsoring the event. ... Cornelius Bumpus, a former member of the Doobie Brothers and a performer with Steely Dan for more than a decade, died on Tuesday from a heart attack at age 58. Bumpus was on an airplane from New York to California to perform at the Columbia College Jazz Concert Series, when he suffered cardiac arrest and died before the plane could make an emergency landing. ...

Justin Guarini has signed on with a new manager, Benny Medina, who has guided Jennifer Lopez's career, among others. The "American Idol" runner-up recently told "On-Air With Ryan Seacrest" he was auditioning for television pilots and recording another album, after getting dropped from RCA "without even a phone call." ... Along with possibly duetting with her sister Hilary, Haylie Duff is hoping to collaborate with some other ladies on her own debut album. "I'd love to work with Nikka Costa or Norah Jones, who's an inspiration for me," Duff said recently. ... And speaking of Costa, her manager, "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson, is readying two new acts for 2004, a soul singer named Van Hunt, whose album is due in February, and a woman named Tamara. "She's kinda R&B, in a Mary J. Blige kinda R&B way," he said. "Dope, though. Hot." ...

Dicky Barrett gets to showcase his collection of suits on a nightly basis, as the frontman for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones has been tapped for the gig of announcer on the late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Barrett started working for the ABC show in an unofficial capacity this summer, while his band remains on hiatus. Barrett also has a cameo role as a homophobic cop in the upcoming indie film "Home of Phobia." ... Sevendust have added a string of dates to their winter tour. The first new date is February 18 in Pensacola, Florida, and the tour now wraps up February 28 in Columbia, South Carolina. On March 24 the band will head to Australia, but will return for more Stateside shows this spring. ...

Indie New York band the Walkmen will launch a North American tour on February 10 in Victoria, British Columbia. Dates run through March 24 in Carrboro, North Carolina. The band will be touring to support its second album, Bows and Arrows, which came out February 3. ... Sigur Rós have released three pieces of music composed for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company's Split Sides performances last December in Paris and October in Brooklyn, New York. The music is available at iTunes now, with a CD and vinyl release to follow in mid-March. The Icelandic group has also tracked the foundations for six songs for its follow-up to 2002's ( ), which it hopes will drop in the fall. Unlike their traditional MO, this time out Sigur Rós are writing songs while in the studio. ...

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from both sides of the peer-to-peer file-sharing debate in Pasadena, California, Tuesday. The recording and motion-picture industries are hoping to overturn a judge's ruling in April that declared file-sharing networks Grokster and Morpheus legal. That decision was based on a precedent set in the 20-year-old Sony Betamax case, which decided that that technology couldn't be held responsible for copyright infringement just because some people chose to use it in that way. If the case is overturned, it may mean the end of p2ps. If it's upheld, the RIAA and MPAA must continue with lawsuits as the only means to prevent piracy. The decision may not come for months. ...