For The Record: Quick News On Aaliyah, Outkast, Madonna, Phish, Twista, Jin, Hives, Foghat, Nickelback & More

Big Boi will perform in New York on Thursday (June 3) for the launch of Calvin Klein‘s new fragrance, “Eternity Moment.” The scent may not be Klein’s only new offering — the Outkast rapper is in talks with Klein to release a fragrance of his own. … Andre 3000 is bringing his eccentric sartorial sense to the hip-hop masses. Or at least those with enough moxie to dress in plaids, suspenders and bow ties. The musician is floating the idea of launching a clothing line, Designs by Benjamin Andre, inspired by his own colorful look and the preppy style of Ralph Lauren. Andre says the line could be out next spring, although no plans have officially been announced yet. …

Almost three years after Aaliyah died, a New York judge has determined that her record label can sue the video producer who booked the private jet that crashed in the Bahamas, killing the pop star. Justice Carol Edmean of the New York State Supreme Court ruled that Blackground Entertainment, of which Aaliyah owned 10 percent, was entitled to sue because the singer and actress was the prime “asset” of the company, and not an “employee.” The production company, Instinct Productions, had tried to have a negligence lawsuit filed last November dismissed because Aaliyah was a company employee. The State Court of Appeals has previously ruled that an employer cannot recover damages when an employee is injured in an incident in which a third party is negligent. …

Michael Jackson‘s former rabbi advisor, Shmuley Boteach, has blasted Madonna for what he deems a hypocritical endorsement of Kabbalah’s Jewish mystic teachings. In an editorial for Something Jewish, Boteach writes that Madonna shouldn’t be Kabbalah’s most public figure, since she’s a “slut.” “Is the Kabbalah Center really so desperate that it is prepared to promote itself through a vulgarian whose main contribution to the culture is porn rock?” he wrote. Madonna’s spokesperson called Boteach’s comments “frightening for someone who professes to be a religious person.” … Three days after guitarist Trey Anastasio announced that Phish were breaking up, keyboardist Page McConnell assured fans that there were no hard feelings with an online post of his own. “As we wind down the Phish career, it is done with both great joy and great sadness,” McConnell wrote. “The joy comes from remembering the incredibly good times we’ve experienced, the successes we’ve enjoyed, and knowing that even in our closing we are honoring the band.” …

U2‘s Bono, Coldplay‘s Chris Martin and several British actors have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair requesting more aid money for the world’s poorest countries. Jude Law, Colin Firth and Minnie Driver are among the others who signed the letter. … Mandy Moore‘s line of vintage T-shirts featuring quotes from ’60s, ’70s and ’80s pop songs is now on its way to stores, including specialty boutiques Fred Segal, Kitson and Theodore’s. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. …

The Hives compilation that launched the band in the U.K. in 2001 will finally be released in the U.S. on July 13, a week before the Swedish band’s new album, Tyrannosaurus Hives, hits shelves. The compilation, Your New Favorite Band, features four tracks from both Veni Vidi Vicious and the Hives’ 1997 debut, Barely Legal, along with three songs from the A.K.A. I-D-I-O-T EP. The U.S. release will also include a bonus DVD with videos for “Hate to Say I Told You So,” “Die, All Right!” and “Main Offender.” … Nickelback, 3 Doors Down and Puddle of Mudd will hit the Wild Rose Ridge Amphitheatre in Bottineau, North Dakota, on July 3 for the third night of the seventh Rockin’ the Hills festival. Live, Styx, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, Firehouse, Tesla, Foghat, L.A. Guns, Warrant, Great White, Dokken and Jackyl are among the other bands performing from July 1-4. …

Suge Knight got off the hook, but his Death Row Records was ordered to pay more than $162,000 to a man who claimed Knight and his bodyguards attacked him at a recording studio in 2001. Knight testified he was not in the studio at the time. … Lil’ Wayne‘s upcoming album, Tha Carter, has been pushed back until June 29. When the LP does come out, it will be the second version of the album the young Cash Money Millionaires star recorded. An earlier version was scrapped last year. …

Twista is getting it all twisted. The speed-flow assassin has teamed up with Mobb Deep for a remix of Havoc and Prodigy‘s “Got It Twisted.” … Freestyle warrior Jin is finally set to drop his debut, The Rest Is History. Ruff Ryders has set August 24 as the release date for the young MC’s LP. …

If you want to live large like Jay-Z or Missy Elliott, you used to have to drop by Jacob the Jeweler’s shop on 47th Street in New York’s Diamond District. But now, out-of-towners can visit the king of bling’s Web site at www.jacobthejeweler.com to get their custom iced creations. … Perhaps the Jack White/ Loretta Lynn pairing served as inspiration? In the wake of his album with Neva Dinova and the launch of his own record label, Bright EyesConor Oberst is keeping busy working on a collaboration with country singer Emmylou Harris. …

Put a fork in the production of “What We Do Is Secret,” the flick about the life of Darby Crash and the Germs. “A Walk to Remember” star Shane West was cast as Crash, Bijou Phillips plays Lorna Doom, and Lukas Haas portrays Don Bolles. The fate of the film — and its distribution — remains in limbo. … Thursday and Funeral for a Friend have both covered Far, and now fans of the influential post hardcore/emo band can get the original version, along with new material. Far are re-releasing their 1998 album,
Water & Solutions, with a DVD on June 22. …

06.02.04

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.” …