For The Record: Quick News On Michael Jackson, Scott Stapp And P.O.D., The Strokes, Wyclef Jean, Slayer & More

P.O.D. Writing For G-O-D ... And Mel Gibson

The tables were turned on prosecutor Tom Sneddon in the Michael Jackson case on Friday (July 9), when he was ordered to testify at an upcoming hearing about how much he knew about the singer’s private investigator before searching his office and taking evidence. Sneddon offered to testify immediately, but Jackson’s attorneys asked for a delay to study materials handed over to them. The defense is arguing that law-enforcement officers went beyond the scope of their warrant and took evidence that was privileged. Though Sneddon has a planned vacation during the time of the next hearing, scheduled for July 27, the judge suggested that the defense accommodate the prosecutor by allowing him to videotape his deposition or appear at a later hearing. The defense also requested a delay with the issues that were to be argued on Friday, which was granted, despite Sneddon’s objections that he had brought witnesses from Los Angeles and wanted to proceed. In addition to the July 27 hearing, a hearing is scheduled for August 16 as well (where suppression of evidence is to be argued). The judge also ruled that Jackson violated a court gag order when he commented on a leak of information about the 1993 case, but he was willing to overlook it — this time. …

P.O.D. are writing for G-O-D … and Mel Gibson. The spiritual rockers will contribute a track to the album of tunes inspired by the film “The Passion of the Christ,” due August 31. Former Creed frontman Scott Stapp‘s solo offering, “Relearn Love,” will serve as the album’s first single. … Having wrapped up their North American tour in support of Room on Fire, the Strokes are taking the first steps toward its follow-up by starting pre-production with longtime producer Gordon Raphael. The band’s third album is expected to drop in mid-2005. …

Wyclef Jean has gone from The Preacher’s Son to “Fortunate Son.” The rapper will lend his cover of the classic Creedence Clearwater Revival cut to the soundtrack of “The Manchurian Candidate,” which will also feature tracks by Fountains of Wayne, the Walkmen, A Tribe Called Quest, Dead Kennedys and others. Wyclef’s tune will open the film. … The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network has announced the date for a Boston Hip-Hop Summit — July 26, the first day of the Democratic National Convention, also being held in Boston. The summit will take place at Roxbury Community College and will bring together community leaders and rap celebrities in a drive to register new voters. …

At their Sunday show in Augusta, Maine, with Slipknot and Hatebreed, Slayer will perform their classic 1986 album, Reign in Blood, in its entirety for a new DVD.  The 75-minute “Reign in Blood: Still Reigning” will be released on September 28. … A reissue of the Clash‘s historic 1979 album, London Calling, will be released on September 21 along with a disc of demos from the sessions and a DVD of previously unreleased live footage. … “Last Summer,” a 2-CD single from the Lostprophets, will include B-side cover versions of the Strokes’ “Reptilia” and Phil Collins‘ “In the Air Tonight.” The 7-inch vinyl version includes a cover of the Cure‘s “Boys Don’t Cry.” Both formats will be available as imports on August 23. …

Let’s hope AZ isn’t going the route of fellow Brooklynite Jay-Z and thinking about calling it quits from the rap game. The former member of the Firm has announced the title of his next LP, The Final Call. Due on September 21, AZ’s album features guest appearances from Aaliyah, C.L. Smooth and Ron G. Singer Tony Sunshine is featured on the album’s first single, “Talkin’ Gangsta.” … Proof that any time is Miller time, the beer company is holding a contest that will allow winners to attend a special concert, called Rock Through Time, on September 17-18 at New York’s Roseland. Performers include the Strokes, Velvet Revolver, the Darkness, Lenny Kravitz, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Cheap Trick, Slash, Ben Folds, Wyclef Jean and the Doors of the 21st Century. …

07.08.04

A show on D12‘s current tour, scheduled for July 13 in Boynton Beach, Florida, has been canceled in the wake of a melee at the host club last weekend. Two patrons were stabbed and three others injured after several fights broke out at Club Ovation. The promoter has denied that the incident is the reason for the cancellation, citing a D12 “scheduling conflict” instead. …

Axl Rose has been unable to obtain a preliminary injunction against Cleopatra Records to prevent the release of the album Hollywood Rose – The Roots of Guns N’ Roses. On Tuesday, a United States District Court judge decided that no trademark infringement, violation of rights in name and likeness or unfair competition had taken place. Hollywood Rose features five 1984 songs from the band Rose and Izzy Stradlin formed with Chris Weber and Johnny Kreis before Guns N’ Roses. … The “Got Milk?” magazine ads featuring milk-mustached Mark-Kate and Ashley Olsen are being retracted, out of “sensitivity to their current situation,” i.e. Mary-Kate’s treatment for an eating disorder. The ads were supposed to run through the end of the month and could still run in the future, according to the director of the Milk Processor Education Program. …

So you think Britney Spears is pregnant? Care to make a wager on that? Online sports betting site WagerOnSports.com has announced odds on the sex of Britney’s firstborn, and odds on when Spears and Kevin Federline will get married. The odds that the pop star will have either a boy or girl are set at 10-11. All bets are off, however, and your money will be refunded if Spears is not pregnant by April 1, 2005. If you’d rather bet on the pop singer’s wedding date, the odds that she’ll say “I do” after October 31 are set at 1-6, while the odds that she’ll tie the knot before Halloween are 4-1. … Following in the footsteps of Drew Barrymore, Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton is a now a Guess girl. The hottie hotel heiress can be seen in a series of ads for the Guess subsidiary Marciano. …

Everyone’s favorite talking aardvark is getting some star power. The voices of Clay Aiken, Kelly Ripa and Kevin Bacon can be heard on “Arthur Celebrity Audiobook,” available on Amazon.com. Most of the proceeds from the sale of the audiobook for children will benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. … Singer Syreeta Wright, ex-wife of Stevie Wonder, died Monday after a long struggle with breast cancer. Wright and Wonder were married in 1970 and split up two years later but remained close friends and collaborators. Among the many songs she co-wrote with Wonder was his 1970 hit “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” …

With more free time this summer than they’d expected due to the cancellation of Lollapalooza, the Flaming Lips have recorded two new songs, tentatively titled “Mr. Ambulance Driver” and “Space Bible,” as well as a contribution to the upcoming soundtrack for “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.” … Problems continue to plague the Vines. After having to cancel their North American tour with Incubus due to exhaustion, the Australian band is unable to participate in the U.K. Reading and Leeds festivals, August 28-29, because the last few months have been too physically and mentally demanding. …

3LW have delayed their first album on Jermaine Dupri‘s So So Def Records until the fall. “We want it to be perfect,” explained Kiely Williams, who said almost every recorded song so far has been considered as a single. “The problem is, when we fall in love with a song we’re so obsessive that we’ll listen to that song straight for a month and then hate it after that.” … Sevendust and Nonpoint will launch a summer tour Thursday night (July 8) in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dates run through July 30 in Weedsport, New York. …

Cake will release their fifth album, Pressure Chief, on October 5. The band made the record in a rented house in its hometown of Sacramento, California. … Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders gave Procter & Gamble employees an early morning earful this week, when they found a message from the rock icon in their voicemail. The animal-rights activist asked for their help via an automated dialing service in getting P&G subsidiary Iams to stop conducting tests on dogs and cats that she considers to be cruel. “Don’t think these tests are necessary or required by law. They aren’t,” she said in the message. “Other companies test in other ways. So, please, urge your employer to end laboratory tests and, instead, adopt in-home testing and humane studies in cooperation with veterinarians whose patients already have diseases Iams is interested in.” …

Madonna‘s third children’s book, “Yakov and the Seven Thieves,” debuts at #7 on The New York Times best-seller list, just three weeks after its release. This is the singer’s third book in a row to hit the list in the children’s picture book category. Her fourth book, “The Adventures of Abdi,” is due out November 8. … Hip-hop journalist Ronin Ro just sold his latest book, “Raising Hell: Run-DMC, Jam Master Jay and the Birth of the Hip-Hop Industry,” to Amistad/Harper. Ro’s book will detail how Run-DMC’s commercial and artistic success forever transformed the expression of American pop culture, creating a multibillion-dollar industry and foretelling the evolution of hip-hop. Ro’s editor said the book should be out by next fall. …

Irish indie rock group the Thrills will release their sophomore album, Let’s Bottle Bohemia, on September 14. The follow-up to the band’s debut, So Much for the City, features an appearance by R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck. “Not for All the Love in the World” will be the first single. … Free said she has put her album on hold until former Elektra head Sylvia Rhone has a new home for her to jump to. In the meantime, she’s preparing to launch a makeup line in December. …