For The Record: Quick News On Outkast, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Lamb Of God, Lil’ Kim, Jack Johnson & More

Missy Elliott, Outkast and Mary J. Blige were big winners at MTV Japan’s Video Music Awards over the weekend. Missy won Video of the Year for her theatrical clip “Pass That Dutch,” Outkast won Album of the Year for Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below, and Blige took home an award for Most Impressive Performance. Other winners included Asian favorites Kick the Can Crew, Japanese pop singer Ayumi Hamasaki and Janet Jackson, who nabbed the Inspiration Award. …

Paula Abdul, who penned “Spinning Around” for Kylie Minogue in 2000, plans to continue writing for other artists while she works to get her comeback record off the ground. “I might as well do that if I can’t get out and perform,” she said backstage at the “American Idol” finale. “Idol” is still the singer’s first priority, however, as she enjoys nurturing the contestants during and after the season. “I’d probably breast feed all of them if I could,” she joked. … After years of keeping it real, Lil’ Kim might be sporting something that isn’t quite genuine. The rapper’s signature line of Queen B Royalty Watches, which are expected to be in stores at summer’s end, features a face framed by faux diamonds. …

When the Ozzfest tour isn’t causing terror, destruction and mayhem, second-stage bands Lamb of God, Atreyu, Unearth and Every Time I Die will attempt to approximate that effect with a series of dates known as the “Off-fest.” Their trek begins in Richmond, Virginia, on July 7, three days before the actual Ozzfest begins, and includes 13 dates before wrapping up August 3 in Tallahassee, Florida. … Fountains of Wayne will release “Hey Julie” as the third single from their breakthrough third album, Welcome Interstate Managers. The band is touring through mid-July, after which Adam Schlesinger will focus on writing music for a Broadway musical based on the 1990 John Waters movie “Cry-Baby.” …

Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson and G. Love & Special Sauce are among the artists scheduled for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass festival September 3-6. Lucinda Williams, Steve Miller Band, David Byrne featuring Tosca Strings, Lyle Lovett and Donavon Frankenreiter are also performing at the event, at Colorado’s Elk Mountain Range. … British experimental pop band Blur have started working on their eighth studio album, which they’re basing on singer Damon Albarn‘s limited self-released Democrazy. Blur have spent a week recording in the studio and plan to return for another two weeks of recording in September. No release date is set. …

Flamboyant English rock band Manic Street Preachers have finished recording four tracks for their seventh studio album with producer Tony Visconti, and they’re working on the remainder of the disc with Goldfrapp mixer Tom Elmhirst. Tentative track titles include “A Song for Departure,” “1985,” “The Love of Richard Nixon” and “To Repel Ghosts.” The band hopes to have the album out by the end of the year. … Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez will release his debut solo disc, A Manual Dexterity – Soundtrack Volume 1, on August 16. The Mars Volta are currently working on the follow-up to their 2003 album, De-Loused in the Comatorium.Danzig have bumped the release date of their new album, Circle of Snakes, to the last week of August. The track “1000 Devils Reign” will be serviced to radio in June. Other tracks include “Skincarver,” “Netherbound,” “Hellmask” and “When We Were Dead.” …

06.01.2004

When asked backstage at last week’s “American Idol” finale who he would most like to work with in the future, Ruben Studdard appropriately answered, “Fantasia Barrino!” Only time will tell, but in the meantime, Studdard has just logged studio time with Kanye West for a remix of “What If.” The season-two winner, who’s still deciding on the third single from his debut, has also started recording a Christmas album. The project will once again pit him against Clay Aiken, who also has a holiday record in the works. … In other “Idol” news, Randy Jackson has a full schedule for the off-season. He and songwriter Diane Warren are launching a record label (with Kimberly Caldwell as the first release), and he’s producing both Mariah Carey and his fellow judge Paula Abdul. Jackson also manages Nikka Costa, whose next album is due September 28. …

ESPN2 is preparing to show the world several celebrity hook-ups, but it has nothing to do with dating. As part of the station’s new Tuesday night two-hour block of programming called “The Block Party,” the network will air “The Hook-Up,” where we’ll see athletes switching places with entertainers for a day. Notable pairings include Snoop Dogg switching up with Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss, and Master P trading places with NBA all-star Baron Davis. Other shows on “The Block Party” include the Jermaine Dupri-hosted “Cuttin’ Up” and “Street Ball: The AND 1 Mixtape Tour.” … Despite concerns over potential violence, Luther Campbell‘s annual Memorial Day hip-hop festival, held in Miami Beach, was declared a relative success by the city. Police made 61 arrests, the majority of which were for disorderly conduct. One man was shot and killed in an incident that occurred as three carloads of people were driving to the festival. …

Versions of Coldplay‘s “Politik,” U2‘s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and R.E.M.‘s “Pretty Persuasion” recorded live at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, will be released on Carved in Stone Volume 2, a benefit album for the Preserve the Rocks fund, which restores the famous venue. The Roots, Tori Amos and Ben Harper are also on the album, due June 15. … Ex-Enuff Z’Nuff guitarist Derek Frigo died on Friday in Los Angeles at the age of 36. The cause of his death is not yet known. Frigo, the son of professional violinist Johnny Frigo, joined the band in 1988 and played with Enuff Z’Nuff until 1992. Last year, Derek reunited with frontman Donnie Vie and drummer Vik Fox to play a handful of Los Angeles-area shows, and last month, he worked with Vie in his home studio tracking new material for the next Enuff Z’Nuff album. …

Apparently the Gary Cherone years don’t count as The Very Best of Van Halen. The band’s two-disc retrospective, due July 20, features only tunes sung by original frontman David Lee Roth and his replacement, Sammy Hagar. … Four sons of late reggae legend Bob Marley will stage the traveling Roots Rock Reggae Festival this summer, starting in Portsmouth, Virginia, on August 7. Ziggy, Stephen, Julian and Damian “Junior Gong” Marley will perform on the trek, as will Toots and the Maytals, Slightly Stoopid and Looner. Dates run through August 29 in Berkeley, California. …

Canadian rapper K-Os, voted Best International Hip-Hop Artist at The Source Awards, will follow up his debut album with Joyful Rebellion, due September 21. The LP is said to showcase his reggae, jazz and rock influences. … Jurassic 5‘s DJ Nu-Mark will release Blend Crafters, an instrumental hip-hop side project produced in collaboration with Los Angeles-based newcomer Pomo. The 11-song album is due out July 27. …