For The Record: Quick News On Christina Aguilera, Lionel Richie, Lil Jon, Switchfoot, Twista, Dead Milkmen & More

Christina Aguilera, in jeans and with her hair slicked back, made a surprise appearance Wednesday night at the premiere of “Dawn of the Dead.” Disturbed’s David Draiman and members of the Murderdolls also joined stars Mekhi Phifer, Ving Rhames and Sarah Polley at the Beverly Center Mall in Beverly Hills, California, for the event. …

Former Crazy Town guitarist Rust Epique died Tuesday morning of a heart attack in Las Vegas. He was 35. After parting ways with the rap-rock band, best known for their 2000 hit “Butterfly,” Epique founded the trio Pre)thing, who were on the verge of releasing their debut, 22nd Century Lifestyle, in April. “Faded Love,” the album’s first single, had just surfaced at radio at the time of Epique’s death. … Dave Blood, bassist for ’80s punk band the Dead Milkmen, committed suicide on Wednesday. In January, Blood’s mother died, and in a post on the band’s message board, the bassist’s sister wrote, “Inner peace seemed to elude him for the last many years. Maybe David just had had enough.” Blood was a founding member of the band, which formed in 1983 and made a name for itself with novelty hits like “Bitchin’ Camaro” and “Punk Rock Girl.” The Dead Milkmen broke up in 1995. …  

Lionel Richie has recorded three songs with Lenny Kravitz, two of which will appear on his next album, Just for You, due May 4. The third, “Destiny,” will appear on Kravitz’s next release. Richie also collaborated on the album with 7 Aurelius (Ashanti, Mariah Carey), Paul Barry and Mark Taylor (the duo behind Cher’s smash “Believe”) and Daniel Bedingfield, who produced and co-wrote a song called “Do Ya.” … Metallica have announced a new batch of tour dates that start in the late summer after the band returns from Europe. The first date is August 16 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and there are dates confirmed straight through September 1 in Wichita, Kansas, and then intermittently through October 10 in Buffalo, New York. …

Guitarists Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) and Billy Duffy (the Cult) will join forces with members of Puddle of Mudd and other musician friends for a cover band that will headline a concert series benefiting the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The series, taking place April 5, 12 and 19 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California, will also feature the reunited American Music Club, Michelle Shocked, Paula Cole, Grant Lee Phillips, Michael Penn, Glen Phillips, an acoustic set from Concrete Blonde, and Norah Jones songwriter Jesse Harris. … Coachella may be grabbing all the headlines, but Atlanta’s Music Midtown 2004 is shaping up to be a cool festival, too. The 11th annual concert will feature performances by Foo Fighters, Twista, Parliament/ Funkadelic, Lil Jon, Cee-Lo, Fountains of Wayne, Journey and three dozen other artists. The three-day festival kicks off April 30. …

The original lineup of Duran Duran, currently prepping their first studio album together since 1983’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger, continue to prime the pump for their comeback with reminders of their glory days as well-coiffed, Capezio-wearing pop heartthrobs. In the wake of a club tour, song on the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” soundtrack and DVD of their classic videos, the group is now planning to release two concert films on DVD this spring. “Arena,” which captures a 1984 performance by the band in Oakland, California, and “Sing Blue Silver,” a behind-the-scenes documentary filmed throughout the three-month Arena tour, will both hit shelves May 4. … Actress Juliette Lewis and her band have recorded a demo with producer Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera, Pink) and are preparing to join the Warped Tour this summer. “I think we are going to put some tunes on iTunes and Napster,” Lewis said. “We are just going to play more and if [the major-label offers] come they come, otherwise I am just going to record stuff myself and put it out.” …

During a March 1 Switchfoot video shoot in Los Angeles for “Dare You to Move,” a friend of the band was hit by a truck, bassist Tim Foreman revealed in a post on the band’s Web site. Despite the “horrible accident,” the woman “was immediately coherent, talking and able to move all extremities. This seemed to all who witnessed the accident to be miraculous,” the Christian rocker wrote. At a hospital doctors determined that she suffered two fractured ribs and a lacerated liver. … A judge in Tucson, Arizona, has ordered singer Diana Ross to go back to jail for two days. Ross, who last month pleaded no contest to DUI charges in the city, was sentenced to 48 hours behind bars. She served her time in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she now lives. Or so she thought. After asking for a full account of her whereabouts during her term, City Court Magistrate T. Jay Cranshaw determined that Ross had spent only 47 hours in jail over three days. Arizona law requires DUI offenders to spend at least 24 hours in a row behind bars. In a written statement, a crabby Cranshaw said, “To avoid questions of impropriety, the defendant is ordered to return to Tucson to serve 48 consecutive hours in the Pima County Jail.” A hearing will take place April 1 to determine when she will serve the time. …

On Tuesday night, Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul, both longtime Van Halen fans, got to jam onstage with ex-VH singer Sammy Hagar at the Las Vegas nightclub Rain inside the Palms Casino. They didn’t rip through “Why Can’t This Be Love?” or “When It’s Love,” instead pounding into versions of the Troggs’ “Wild Thing” and the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” (which Van Halen covered on their 1978 self-titled debut, with David Lee Roth on vocals). Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith also joined Hagar, for a take on Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” … North Carolina hip-hop group Little Brother will open up for Kanye West and Dilated Peoples on the first five dates of their spring tour, which begins March 16 on the campus of Virginia Tech. Little Brother features the production talents of 9th Wonder, who produced a track for Jay-Z’s The Black Album. … Disco-garage metal band Electric Six will play 14 U.S. shows this spring, starting in Chicago on April 21 and running through May 22 in Northfield, Minnesota. On May 1, the band will perform at Coachella. …

03.10.2004

Alicia Keys and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds will host the 18th Annual Soul Train Music Awards, which will air live March 20 from the International Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Outkast, R. Kelly, Nelly, Murphy Lee, Jermaine Dupri, Usher, Ruben Studdard, Anthony Hamilton, Erykah Badu, Ron Isley and Michelle Williams are scheduled to perform. …

Evanescence will release “Everybody’s Fool” as the fourth single from Fallen. The band is currently writing the follow-up album. … All those boy-band fans out there lying in wait for the next Backstreet Boys album have a new reason to live: The shape-shifting cute-boy troupe Menudo, which launched the career of Ricky Martin, is being resurrected. The international search for boys ages 10-14 interested in joining the outfit, touted as having “a contemporary hip urban/Latin crossover sound in both English and Spanish,” begins in New York this summer. …

The Army’s 4th Infantry Division didn’t give Saddam Hussein three steps toward the door of the rat hole in which they found him in December, and for that they might be treated to “Gimme Three Steps,” “Gimme Back My Bullets” “On the Hunt,” “That Smell” and other Lynyrd Skynyrd hits when the band performs especially for the Saddam-routing troops. The Tribute to Heroes event is scheduled for April 22 at Fort Hood, Texas. … The recording industry’s crusade against illegal file-sharers hit a stumbling block Friday when a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that 203 individuals could not be lumped into one collective lawsuit. Instead, in order to gain the identity of the so-called “John Doe” defendants, the RIAA must offer evidence against each alleged song-swapper individually, at a cost of $150 in court fees each. More than 800 lawsuits, in Atlanta; Orlando, Florida; New York; Washington, D.C.; and Trenton, New Jersey, remain outstanding. The RIAA was forced to employ John Doe suits after a federal court prevented it from obtaining the identities of alleged pirates from their ISPs without a judge’s signature. …

The Crystal Method were the big winners at Tuesday’s Dancestar USA Awards, taking home trophies for Best Act, Best Album (Legion of Boom) and Best Single (“Born Too Slow”). The Chemical Brothers, Madonna and Paris Hilton (Best Celebrity DJ) were also awarded at the ceremony, the climax of the annual Winter Music Conference in Miami. Moby was honored for his Outstanding Contribution to Dance Music and won Best Music DVD. … Calling all axemen: Jagged Edge are looking for players to get down with them on a new album they’re mapping out called Ghetto Guitar. The group says it wants to incorporate guitar into all the tracks on the album. Prince and Slash are two guitarists on the ATL singers’ wish list. … Prince’s concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on March 29 will be broadcast in 32 Regal Cinemas movie theaters around the country. The show is the kickoff of his upcoming Musicology Tour. …

Original Kiss drummer Peter Criss is again out of the band. In a post on his Web site, Criss said that his contract with the group has expired and neither he nor his attorney has been contacted about an extension for future touring. Kiss are expected to rehire Eric Singer for their upcoming tour of Japan, which starts May 27 in Tokyo. … Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has applied for a marriage license thorough the Pierce County Auditor’s office, the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Novoselic’s fiancée is 41-year-old artist Darbury Ayn Stenderu. …

Goths rarely rejoice, but they might crack a smile when they hear that Siouxsie and the Banshees frontwoman Siouxsie Sioux will play 14 shows starting May 19 in Seattle and running through June 9 in New York. The show, billed as “An Evening With Siouxsie: The Creatures & The Banshees,” will feature two hours of material from her 25-year career. … John McGeoch, a punk guitarist who has worked with Siouxsie and the Banshees, Magazine and Public Image Ltd., died in his sleep on Thursday at the age of 48. No further details on his death are available. In 1995, McGeoch gave up touring and got a degree in nursing, however he continued to write music. In a post on his Web site, Banshees bassist Steve Severin said, “He was always in my heart and often in my thoughts. Without a doubt, he was the most inventive guitarist of our generation and my favorite Banshee.” …

Truth Hurts and Raphael Saadiq have finished up work on her next LP. Set for released through Saadiq’s Pookie Entertainment Label on May 11, Truth has titled her sophomore album Ready Now. The first single is the title track and comes out March 30. … In an underground hip-hop union of the minds, Long Island, New York, rapper MF Doom and Los Angeles producer/MC Madlib will become Madvillain in their first full-length collaboration. The album, Madvillainy, will see release on March 23. …

Pioneering German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten will play 15 shows in North America, starting April 23 in Washington, D.C., and running through May 16 in Asheville, North Carolina. The band is touring to support its new album, Perpetuum Mobile, which came out last month. … Thuggish metal-rap band 3rd Strike have broken up. The band has posted a message on its Web site that reads in part, “Sorry people, it’s true. Thanks to all our loyal fans.” The group’s debut album, Lost Angel, was released in 2002. … The High Times stoner-metal compilation The Stoner Rock Collection has been delayed a few weeks from its previously announced date of May 4. The disc will feature songs by Corrosion of Conformity, Unida, the Hidden Hand, Clutch and others. …