For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, ‘American Idol,’ String Cheese Incident, Wilco, Nikka Costa & More

The estimated 15,000 singers who auditioned for “American Idol” in Cleveland this week was the largest group the show has seen in its four years, topping the 13,000 who tried out in New York a year ago. Cleveland was the first stop on an audition tour that will head to Orlando, Florida; St. Louis; Washington, D.C.; New Orleans; Anchorage, Alaska; San Francisco and Las Vegas. …

According to Britney Spears‘ mom, the singer is shooting a TV spot this week to promote her upcoming Elizabeth Arden fragrance, called Curious. Lynne Spears posted on Britney’s Web site that her daughter had also “been lying in the sun and doing some shopping,” as “wedding plans are going along smoothly. Britney and I both are getting very excited!” The singer posted a note herself to fans, thanking them for the well wishes she received during her knee recovery and for the congratulations on her impending nuptials. “This is the happiest time for me,” she wrote. … Jam giants the String Cheese Incident will stretch their current tour through the end of the year. A 19-show fall stretch begins September 11 in San Francisco and includes a New Year’s Eve gig at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. …

The Sean McGrath Hold Onto Your Friends cancer benefit concert has been postponed due to unforeseeable circumstances. Originally scheduled for August 14 in New York, the show was set to raise money for the final medical expenses of the late McGrath, who played bass with Saves the Day, Mouthpiece, Hands Tied and the Alps. Organizers say the event is tentatively rescheduled for November or December. … Soulful songstress Nikka Costa always names her records at the 11th hour, and she’s finally come up with a title for her long-overdue follow-up to 2001′s Everybody Got Their Something. The more rockin’ Can’t Never Did Nothin’ is due October 5; the first single is called “I Don’t Think We’ve Met.” …

Wilco have added a slew of dates to their current tour, scheduled in the wake of Lollapalooza’s cancellation. Starting August 6 in Portland, Maine, the band will travel across the country with stops at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island on Sunday and the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Texas September 19, ending in Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 10. Joining Wilco for seven dates will be the Fiery Furnaces, who are also headlining their own tour in support of their second album, Blueberry Boat, starting September 8 in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and ending October 31 in Hoboken, New Jersey. … For the first time, video footage from the Warped Tour stage is available for purchase. Concertgoers can now purchase, download and burn videos from Altnet Network Web sites and peer-to-peer affiliates including Kazaa. “We want to give artists as many ways as possible to connect with their fans,” Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman said in a statement. “If you can’t make it to a show, check out Altnet’s feed on our site, and even if you did, check it out to catch stuff you missed, or remember your favorite performances.” …

You won’t find Death Cab for Cutie‘s new EP, Studio X Sessions, in stores. This four-song, piano-driven EP, recorded at the end of their spring tour, is available exclusively through iTunes’ music store in MP3 format. Death Cab will also take part in four late summer festival dates, including Bumbershoot in Seattle, before joining Pearl Jam on the Vote for Change Tour in October. … Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, his Three Fish collaborator Richard Stuverud and King’s X singer Doug Pinnick have recorded an album tentatively titled Montana. Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready also contributed to the group, which does not yet have a name. …

Sheryl Crow is giving back to her hometown — by giving them a new swimming pool. The singer pledged last fall to get a new community pool for the town of Kennett, Missouri, and while details of her financial involvement were not disclosed, the local chamber of commerce kicked in a $250,000 grant to go toward building the Sheryl Crow Community Aquatic Center, which is scheduled to open around Memorial Day next year. … Moby‘s tea, TeaNY, was launched this week in New York, where the bald-headed musician DJed at a cocktail/tea party at A60 in SoHo (the only time he’s DJing in New York this year). Moby’s cookbook/autobiography that ties into the tea line is now set to come out in April. … Glam-pop group Scissor Sisters are bringing their traveling act to more familiar terrain. The band will embark on its first U.S. tour starting September 7 in Washington, D.C.; the monthlong trek wraps September 29 in Hollywood. …

08.05.2004

New Found Glory‘s set Wednesday at the Bristow, Virginia, stop on the Vans Warped Tour was cut short by a microburst, a meteorological phenomenon in which a violent wind suddenly descends over a small area. The heavy wind caused a giant weather balloon to hit a fence, which then collided with some concertgoers. One boy was seriously injured and needed to be medivac-ed from the scene after having convulsions. He was kept overnight at a local hospital and was recovering at press time. …

The 47th annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 13, 2005, it was announced Thursday (August 5). This marks the second straight year the event will be held at the venue. … Destiny’s Child want you — if you’re hot and male and can dance, that is. The trio are looking for dancers for performances on tour, TV appearances and music videos. Auditions will be held in New York (Sunday at the City Center, Studio 4, at 2 p.m.), Atlanta (August 12 at Pop City Studios at 5 p.m.), Los Angeles (August 14 at Screenland Studios at 3 p.m.), Chicago (August 15, time/place TBD) and Houston (August 16, time/place TBD) with choreographer Frank Gatson. “It is my — and Destiny’s Child’s — belief that great dancers are everywhere,” Gatson said in a statement. “Dancers have a destiny. … If they are really talented, we will find them.” …

R. Kelly‘s upcoming double album, Happy People/ U Saved Me, due August 24, will have 21 tracks total. The next single from the release is a song called “If,” shipping to radio on Friday. Other songs on the double LP include “Red Carpet (Pause, Flash),” “Ladies’ Night (Treat Her Like Heaven),” “If I Could Make the World Dance,” “Prayer Changes,” “I Surrender,” “The Diary of Me” and “3-Way Phone Call,” featuring Kelly Price, Kim Burrell and Maurice Mahon. … Pink Floyd‘s The Wall is coming to Broadway. Harvey Weinstein and Tommy Mottola will develop and produce a Broadway musical based on the band’s 1979 double album, The Wall, the third-best-selling album of all time, with Floyd co-founder Roger Waters writing the show’s book and arranging and orchestrating the music. “Now I can write in some laughs,” Waters said, “notable by their absence in the movie.” …

Poor Justin Hawkins. The ailing Darkness frontman has been battling what he calls “a tummy upset,” and his band had to pull out of the Summer Sonic Festival in Osaka and Tokyo. The singer has actually been diagnosed with gastroenteritis, and his consultant recommended he take at least one week off from performing to recuperate before starting the tour up again. The band is scheduled to pick up the tour in Austria on Sunday and will still headline the U.K.’s Reading and Leeds festivals August 27-28. … To add to his misery, on Wednesday Hawkins discovered his jet-black Jaguar XK8 up on bricks outside his London apartment. Seems someone had stolen all four wheels from the car. Hawkins is offering a reward for any information leading to the return of the wheels. …

Duran Duran have started shooting a video for their upcoming comeback album, Astronaut. The clip for the first single, “Sunrise,” is being directed by Mark and Michael Polish (“Twin Falls Idaho”) with each bandmember’s part shot separately. Bassist John Taylor‘s scenes are in the California desert, frontman Simon LeBon races his motorbike through Spain’s countryside, drummer Roger Taylor cruises the U.K. in a car, guitarist Andy Taylor hits the clubs of Ibiza, and keyboardist Nick Rhodes hovers in a spaceship above London. … Former Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes is launching a national tour to support his first solo album, Gibby Haynes and His Problem, due August 24. The trek kicks off at Emo’s in his hometown of Austin, Texas, on September 4 and ends at the same venue on October 9. …

Cincinnati’s city council unanimously voted to lift a ban on concert general-admission seating that had been in place for almost 25 years, according to The Cincinnati Post. The ban was imposed after 11 fans were crushed to death at a performance by the Who on December 3, 1979. The decision to lift the ban came on Wednesday, accompanied by a set of regulations including a limit on the number of tickets for the festival seating area of shows and a requirement that promoters have a written evacuation plan. … Shawn Colvin is sharing her experience with depression through a national education campaign, sponsored by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. “Beyond the Music: Shawn Colvin Speaks Out About Depression” is designed to raise awareness of the symptoms of depression and to motivate those who may be suffering to seek medical help. …