For The Record: Quick News On Nas And Spike Lee, Ludacris, Pixies, Otep, Blackalicious, Great White & More

At the height of his beef with Jay-Z, Nas came out against the Roots for their decision to back Jay for his MTV “Unplugged” performance. But that’s apparently all water under the bridge now, as Nas and the Roots’ ?uestlove are pairing up to record a new song for an ad for MSN Direct’s new Smart Watches. The clip was directed by — and stars — Spike Lee. …

Ludacris and Kanye West aren’t headlining stadiums yet, but they’ll both be playing Chicago’s Soldier Field soon. It’s for the Boost Mobile Pro of Snowboarding competition, to be held March 26-27, featuring 45 of the nation’s top male and female snowboarders. … DJ Shadow, Blackalicious and their Quannum crew will trek across the country for a monthlong tour. It starts April 4 in Portland, Oregon, heads to the East Coast and then wraps up May 1 in the artists’ hometown of San Francisco. …

Velvet Revolver were all set to shoot their first video, “Slither,” on Sunday in Los Angeles with Kevin Kerslake slated to direct. But during Scott Weiland‘s probation progress report hearing on Friday (March 5), a Pasadena judge denied the singer’s request to join his bandmates for the shoot, which has since been postponed. Weiland is due back in court March 23 for another progress report. He’s also due back in court March 15 to face charges of driving under the influence of drugs. …

The Pixies will release their latest best-of compilation, Wave of Mutilation, and self-titled DVD on May 4 through 4AD records. The releases coincide with the end of their 11-city North American reunion tour. … Joe Berlinger, the co-creator of the Metallica documentary “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,” can’t get enough of the boys in black. In November, he’ll release the book “Metallica: This Monster Lives,” which will chronicle the three years he spent making the movie and will address many issues that were impossible to explore in a two-and-a-half-hour film. …

Artsy nü-metal band Otep have been added to the second stage of this year’s Ozzfest. The band will have a new album out this summer. … Great White have scheduled 17 more benefit shows for the Station Family Fund. The first gig is Friday night (March 5) in Hidalgo, Texas, and the concerts run through August 15 in Bellingham, Washington. Great White were playing in a Rhode Island club last year when their stage pyro ignited the walls and ceiling, causing a blaze that killed 100, including the band’s guitarist Ty Longley. …

The Cure‘s Robert Smith and the SmithsJohnny Marr make special appearances on 2 a.m. Wakeup Call, the second LP by former Nine Inch Nails drummer/producer Chris Vrenna‘s Tweaker persona. The follow-up to 2001′s The Attraction to All Things Uncertain is due April 20. …

03.04.2004

Britney Spears has added 17 shows to her North American tour, which kicked off Tuesday. The new dates begin June 22 in Hartford, Connecticut, and run through August 3 in Selma, Texas. Britney’s March 28 concert in Miami will be broadcast live by Showtime. …

After weeks of studio jam sessions that mimicked their nascent days playing on the streets of South Philly, the Roots have wrapped up work on their sixth studio album, The Tipping Point. The LP is due June 29
through the group’s new label, Interscope. … On Sunday night, federal agents arrested the attorney of rapper Turk, who is currently being held on charges of attempted murder near Memphis, Tennessee. Turk’s attorney, Scott Crawford, was charged with obstruction of justice, bribery, attempted bribery, possession of crack cocaine and possession of an illegal handgun, according to a spokesperson for the rapper. It is unclear yet if Turk will have to find new legal counsel. …

A Perfect Circle have added a batch of spring dates to support their second album, Thirteenth Step, which came out in September. The new shows start April 27 in Camden, New Jersey, and run through May 15 in Duluth, Georgia. … Sonic Youth have finished their latest album, titled Sonic Youth Nurse. The band’s 14th full-length studio LP, due in June, is the follow-up to 2002′s Murray Street.

Longtime Anthrax bassist Frank Bello, who’s played with the group since 1985, has quit the band because of “internal reasons.” Armored Saint bass player Joey Vera will take his place for Anthrax’s tour of Japan and Australia, which begins April 12 in Sapporo, Japan. Bello’s last recording with the band will be the live DVD “Music of Mass Destruction,” which comes out April 6. The show was recorded in Chicago in December. … Elvis Costello, Tom Waits and salsa legend Rubén Blades are among the guests on Los Lobos‘ new album, The Ride, due May 4. Mavis Staples, Bobby Womack, Richard Thompson, Dave Alvin and Café Tacuba also collaborated with the iconic Latin rock band for the project. …

On Wednesday night, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood premiered his new composition “Smear World” with the London Sinfonietta in Leeds, England. The experimental piece was part of the festival FuseLeeds04, and featured soloists Valerie Hartmann-Claverie and Bruno Perrault on ondes martenots, an instrument similar to the theremin. … Three well-known bassists from Manchester, England, have united to form a side project that will likely be called Freebase. The group consists of New Order‘s Peter Hook, the Stone RosesMani and the SmithsAndy Rourke. Hook is also writing new material for the next New Order album. …