For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Nas, Kurt Cobain, Suge Knight, Bjork, The Ramones, Busta Rhymes & More

And you thought Ashton Kutcher was merciless. For her brother Bryan’s birthday on Monday, Britney Spears had him “arrested” by undercover cops and FBI agents in Beverly Hills, California. Bryan, who works with his sister’s management company, was handcuffed and taken into custody, while Britney acted shocked and horrified. But the phony police actually took him to his own birthday party, where all was revealed. …

The 16-year-old who carjacked Eminem’s mom early this year has been sentenced to at least four years and three months behind bars. The incident occurred January 22 when James Antonio Knott dragged Debbie Nelson from her car on Detroit’s 8 Mile and stole her vehicle. Nelson suffered bruises and a broken foot. Knott, who didn’t realize he was assaulting Eminem’s mother, was also fined $3,473. … Nas’ trial on a second-degree assault charge has been set for April 30. The charge stems from an incident at a nightclub in New York’s West Village in December 2003, in which Nas allegedly struck a man with a bottle. …

An electric guitar owned by Kurt Cobain from 1990-92 sold for $117,500 at an auction held in Dallas last weekend. The guitar was the first of the Nirvana frontman’s instruments to go on sale since his death a decade ago. … The recording industry unceremoniously canceled its “Clean Slate” amnesty program for illegal file-sharers earlier this month. On Friday, lawyers for the RIAA asked a judge to dismiss a complaint filed by a California man claiming fraudulent business practices, because the Clean Slate program, which stipulated that file-sharers who admitted their guilt in writing and deleted the infringing files would be protected from the costly copyright-infringement lawsuits, was no longer in effect. Critics of the program had argued since its inception in September that a trade organization could not legally offer protection from lawsuits filed by the copyright-holding record labels. …

Suge Knight is working with various rappers and record labels to put together a hip-hop compilation benefiting the financially troubled families of U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq. “I’m not taking any kind of political stance on the war, however, with so many soldiers now in Iraq for more than a year, I’m concerned about the families they’ve left behind,” Knight said in a statement. The album will be released before Christmas, he added. Meanwhile, the mogul’s next project, Kurupt’s Against the Grain, is due June 29. … Sevendust had to cancel a show in McAllen, Texas, on Sunday after their tour bus caught fire on the way. A store clerk helped extinguish the flames and no one was injured. The Atlanta rockers are touring in support of the CD/DVD package Southside Double-Wide Acoustic Live, which drops May 4. The set was recorded in Athens, Georgia, in September. …

The Foo FightersDave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins checked out the Darkness’ brand of spandex-clad rock Sunday in Los Angeles, along with the EaglesTimothy B. Schmit. The next day, the U.K. phenoms made perhaps the shortest appearance ever on the syndicated radio show “Loveline,” when they abandoned ship after roughly 20 minutes. Apparently the callers’ questions about STDs, masturbation and other sexual topics made the band “uncomfortable.” Now in England, the Darkness are writing for the follow-up to Permission to Land before taking on the European festival circuit in July. … Japanese beatboxer Dokaka has lent her percussive vocal talents to Björk’s untitled next album. The LP, expected to drop later this year, follows 2001’s Vespertine.

Members of the Ramones, Dictators, Television and Dead Boys will play Ramones songs to celebrate the band’s late frontman, Joey Ramone, who died of lymphatic cancer in 2001. The fourth annual Life’s a Gas – The Annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash will take place May 19 in New York. Ramone would have been 53 on May 19. Also on the bill that night are Alkaline Trio, the Dickies, Supersuckers and Bebe Buell. … Danger Mouse has teamed up with indie rapper Murs to record a remix of the song “To a Black Boy,” from the ’60s group the Free Design. The track is dedicated to Marcus Dixon, an 18-year-old black scholar and high school athlete who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Georgia for having sex with his 15-year-old high school girlfriend, who is white. The song will appear on the compilation Free Designed Redesigned Volume 2, which also features remixes by Belle & Sebastian and Madlib. …

Busta Rhymes will release a DVD titled “Everything Remains Raw” on May 18. The DVD features live footage from several performances over the last year. … Three months after reducing its suggested retail price for CDs from $18.98 to $12.98, the Universal Music Group has bumped the cost to $13.98. Attempting to stimulate a business that had been down for three years, Universal expected merchants would pass the discounts on to consumers and other labels would follow suit. Neither has happened, according to the conglomerate. … Broken Sounds, the label founded by New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert and Ian Grushka, dropped its maiden releases Tuesday: Memories of Better Days, from melodic punk rockers Breakdance Vietnam, and Only Time Will Tell, from hardcore quintet Suffocate Faster. Both bands will play select dates on this summer’s Vans Warped Tour. …

04.19.2004

After submitting a book proposal to New York publishers earlier this year, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey have now fielded at least one offer — reportedly in the $1 million range — for their proposed how-to, “Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s Secrets for a Happy (and Sexy!) Marriage.” “Nick and I would love to do a book about ’Newlyweds,’ about surviving it and what goes into it, what to expect,” Simpson said. “I think people expect marriage to be perfection, and that’s not what it is. You see that on the ’Newlyweds’ — we fight all the time. That’s what makes a marriage healthy. We are no scholars on relationships, but I think we’re definitely in a groove.” However, the couple’s literary agent said that they’re going to pass on the current offer on the table. …

Lil’ Kim was in federal court Monday (April 19) in New York for a pretrial hearing. Kimberly Jones stands accused of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to investigators about her involvement in a February 2001 shooting. Judge Gerard E. Lynch set a schedule for discovery. A trial date has been set for November 15. … Jay-Z and Damon Dash showed up to the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia on Monday to lend support to Beanie Sigel in his trial on attempted murder charges. Beanie’s trial is scheduled to wrap up Tuesday. … Sigel is almost done making his third LP, The B-Coming, now slated for July. The first single, “Wanted,” features Cam’ron and samples Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” …

Lucky Nites, a potent potable made possible by Lil’ Flip, will be available May 1. According to Flip, the pineapple-flavored alcoholic beverage tastes like an amaretto sour, but “way stronger.” … Puddle of Mudd have been tacked onto the Nickelback/ 3 Doors Down tour, beginning June 30 in Milwaukee. The 18-city trek concludes July 30 in the Woodlands, Texas. … Something Corporate were forced to tone down their show Saturday in Waltham, Massachusetts, much to the dismay of their fans, because some members of the audience were passing out from the heat. As authorities unplugged the band’s equipment, the group nevertheless played on, ending its set with “If You C Jordan” accompanied only by singer Andrew McMahon’s piano and Brian Ireland’s drums. …

Vince Neil has been hit with a lawsuit from the Nevada prostitute whom he pleaded no contest to assaulting. Filed last week, the suit from Andrea “TrixXxie Blue” Terry claims that the Mötley Crüe singer attacked her after she and another prostitute refused to have sex with him until they were first paid. Her suit also accuses her former boss, brothel owner Dennis Hof, of being negligent because the panic button in her room wasn’t working. She’s asking for at least $20,000 in lost wages and other costs stemming from the incident, which happened last July. … Courtney Love has gotten a breather in her round of court dates. Though the singer had two back-to-back dates last week in Los Angeles on separate drug charges, a hearing originally scheduled for Monday to address her New York charges of third-degree assault and reckless endangerment, stemming from a club gig where she allegedly threw her mic stand into the crowd, hitting a fan in the head, has been postponed. Her new hearing is scheduled for May 13. …

Don King and company partied hard over the weekend in New York. On Friday, King and sports management/entertainment company CMX held a reception at the St. Regis hotel, where Ray J, Heavy D and Drew’s mom Jaid Barrymore were among the guests. On Saturday, King and CMX held an afterparty for the Chris Byrd vs. Andrew Golota heavyweight title fight at the 40/40 Club. The club’s owner, Jay-Z was on hand, welcoming guests like New Jersey Net Kenyon Martin and telling everyone to “enjoy.” … Instead of “Must See TV,” fans of the Polyphonic Spree are calling Tuesday “Must Spree TV.” The 29-member robed choir will appear on NBC’s “Scrubs,” with one of the 29 playing a key role in the episode. Later in the evening, the out-there ensemble will perform on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” The televised face time, along with a stint opening for David Bowie and on the Lollapalooza tour, is in support of the band’s second album, Together We’re Heavy, due July 13. …

After two albums and more than a decade together, Boy Hits Car have put it in park, permanently. The Los Angeles quartet could not continue after guitarist Louis announced that he was leaving to pursue other interests. The band’s final show will be Saturday at the Whisky in Hollywood. … Systematic, the first group signed to Lars Ulrich’s imprint Music Company, have broken up following an April 9 show in Livermore, California. The band’s second album, Pleasure to Burn, was released last year. … Warren Zevon’s ex-wife Crystal has sold a proposal to write a book about her late singer/songwriter husband. To be called “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Life and Times of Warren Zevon,” the memoir will be published by Harper Collins imprint Ecco Press. …