For The Record: Quick News On Eminem And Moby, Justin Timberlake, Lil' Flip, Fantasia, Le Tigre, NIN & More

It seems that desperate times really do call for desperate measures. Moby, the one-time critic (and verbal punching bag) of Eminem, has changed his tune, heaping praise on the rapper for his controversial anti-Bush video for the song "Mosh." Writing on his Web site, Moby explains, "You know that Eminem and I have had our differences in the past. But this video ... is the best thing that I've seen all year. It's an amazing song and an even more amazing video." ...

The first photos of Justin Timberlake on the set of "Alpha Dog" are now surfacing, showing the shirtless singer sporting temporary tattoos of the Virgin Mary on his bicep, stars on his arm and Chinese writing on his side to help him look more like the gang member he's playing in the film. Also emblazoned on Timberlake's chest is the writing "Est. 1976." Based on the life of real-life drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood, "Alpha Dog" has fictionalized the thug's tale, renaming him Johnny Truelove. Timberlake plays Truelove's best friend. ... New music from Lil' Flip and members of the Wu-Tang Clan can be found on the forthcoming "Blade: Trinity" soundtrack, due in stores November 23 in two editions. The deluxe edition includes a manga comic piece and a bonus DVD that features anime and a behind-the-scenes documentary. In addition to Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and ODB working on two songs, five tracks are produced by the Rza, who co-composed the film's score. "Working with the Rza was a great experience," director David Goyer said in a statement. "He pulls in so many different, wide-ranging elements for his sounds and constantly surprises you. You'll never know where he'll find inspiration." ...

Voletta Wallace, the mother of Notorious B.I.G., has dropped a wrongful-death lawsuit against Amir Muhammad (a.k.a. Harry Billups), the man she has long accused of killing her son, according to the Los Angeles Times. The decision was made after a pretrial deposition during which Muhammad denied a connection to Biggie's death and offered to take a lie-detector test, unidentified sources told the Times. Wallace's 2002 lawsuit still names the city of Los Angeles and former corrupt LAPD officer David Mack (Muhammad's former college roommate), although her conspiracy theory is weakened without targeting a specific shooter. Muhammad was never questioned by police, but the FBI began investigating his link to Mack (who also denies involvement) last year. ...

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which is near the hometowns of both Clay Aiken and Fantasia Barrino, is adding a class in January called "Examining 'American Idol' Through Musical Critique." Class members will be required to critique the contestants of the show, and for the final, write a paper about who deserves to win. ... In other "Idol" news, George Huff's My Christmas EP is due November 9. The album, produced by Cedric and Victor Caldwell (Whitney Houston), includes "Silent Night," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Go, Tell It on the Mountain" and a medley of "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." ...

Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, Eve and Patti LaBelle are among those currently in discussions to be cast in an upcoming indie film called "Ladies Night," according to the film's producers. The movie — which would be made by the team behind "Monster's Ball" — is about a group of women who spend a sort of "Sex and the City" night on the town in Philadelphia, in which no topics are off limits. ... Meanwhile, LaBelle encouraged people with diabetes to keep managing their condition so they can live life to the fullest by hosting the first-ever Diabetes Freedom Day in Philadelphia on Thursday. LaBelle, who has type 2 diabetes, said in a statement that "diabetes freedom is all about attitude. My positive, take-charge approach has allowed me to successfully manage my diabetes. It's the first step toward leading a healthier life." ...

According to a post by Trent Reznor on his Web site, the long-delayed new album from Nine Inch Nails has a new title. After months of going under the handle Bleedthrough, the LP will now be called With Teeth. Reznor goes on to write that "the mixing of the new record has begun with Alan Moulder. The final track listing is being discussed and determined. The live band is becoming real. Things are in forward motion." ... Ryan Adams, James Iha and members of the Strokes will be the guest DJs this weekend in New York at Misshapes, an event held every Saturday at Luke & Leroy's in the West Village. ...

Damon Dash and Roc-A-Fella Records will celebrate 10 years of hitmaking with Roc-A-Fella Records' 10th Anniversary Kick-Off. To be held Wednesday at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, the event will include an interview with Dash as well as a discussion with key members of the Roc team. The celebration will also feature a performance from Roc-A-Fella artist Nicole Wray. ... The recording industry hit a slight stumbling block after a Pennsylvania judge ruled that Internet service providers in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania must notify their customers of their rights before turning over their names to the RIAA. According to Judge Cynthia Rufe's October 12 order, customers who don't live in the district but whose ISPs are based there may challenge the court's jurisdiction. Meanwhile, the RIAA filed another 750 anonymous, John Doe lawsuits based on alleged infringers' computer IP addresses, and an additional 213 against defendants identified by their ISPs who refused to settle their cases with the record companies. ...

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem will be the special guest at Le Tigre's show Friday in Philadelphia. Steinem, who is on her own tour of swing states, will introduce the band and discuss how the personal becomes political. More info on Steinem's tour can be found on ProgressiveVoters.com. ... Despite objections from lawyers for civil-rights pioneer Rosa Parks that their client already has people making decisions on her behalf, a federal judge has refused to reconsider his appointment of former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer as a guardian for the 91-year-old, according to The Associated Press. Archer was appointed by U.S. District Judge George Steeh to protect the ailing Parks' interests in two civil lawsuits she filed against Outkast's record label. The first suit, filed in 1999, claims the group used Parks' name without permission as the title of one of their songs, while the second, filed in August, is seeking more than $5 billion in damages from Outkast's record companies as well as two booksellers. ...

Having just wrapped up a European tour two weeks ago, Sparta aren't going to relax. On Tuesday in El Paso, Texas, they'll kick off another North American jaunt in support of their new album, Porcelain. Florida emo-punks Further Seems Forever will open for the group. ... The Backstreet Boys have chosen their new single — it's a song called "Poster Girl," according to A.J. McLean's mother, Denise, who's been providing updates about the group on her Web site. "The boys are now in Stockholm recording with Max Martin," she wrote on Wednesday, "and will be back to their respective homes at the end of this month. As far as my son tells me, the first single is still due out at the end of the November." ...

10.28.2004

Jessica Simpson's Christmas album — currently available at 7-Eleven stores — is being expanded for its November 23 release into other outlets. Named after her grandmother, ReJoyce - The Christmas Album features four extra songs, with the acoustic version of Simpson's cover of Robbie Williams' "Angels" the only track not to reappear on this re-release. Also out on November 23 will be Simpson's concert DVD, "Reality Tour Live," which was shot at the Los Angeles stop on her summer tour. ... Ashlee Simpson — who sings a duet with big sis Jessica ("Little Drummer Boy") on the Christmas album — is heading out on tour in January, according to a missive she posted Tuesday on her Web site, thanking her fans for supporting her after the "SNL" snafu. "I know my real fans know that music and performing is my true passion," she wrote. "I encourage my fans to do what I do and not read what people are saying on the Internet. ... It's the love that my fans have shown me that makes me want to go back out there and continue to prove all the negative press wrong!" ...

The only way to hear Snoop Dogg's remix of the Doors' "Riders on the Storm" is by putting the pedal to the metal in "Need for Speed Underground 2," due November 15. The in-game soundtrack also features Chingy, Mudvayne, Terror Squad and Queens of the Stone Age. ... The music of Good Charlotte, Chevelle, Lostprophets and Slipknot, as well as a new song by funk legend Bootsy Collins, can be heard in the in-game soundtrack while players get down and dirty in the bog in "ATV Offroad Fury 3." The racing video game will drop November 2. ...

The ride-pimper himself, Xzibit, will host the MTV Europe Music Awards, to be held November 18 in Rome. ... Scott Weiland celebrated his 37th birthday in a much more healthy fashion than last year (when he was arrested in the early morning hours for driving under the influence). The Velvet Revolver singer threw a party Wednesday night at the Little Door in Hollywood, where he was joined by Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, No Doubt's Tony Kanal, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, DJ Paul Oakenfold, producer Daniel Lanois, the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones, and bandmates Duff McKagan and Dave Kushner. ...

Krayzie Bone is shooting a video this week for the Lil Jon-produced "Getchu Twisted," the first single from the rapper's Gemini: Good Vs. Evil, due in February. Krayzie is also making a video for the remix, which features his Bone Thugs-N-Harmony family. ... Afroman will bring his special brand of hip-hop to the holidays on November 30 with the release of Jobe Bells. Produced by Po Boy and Zigg Zaggs, the 12-song set will feature the rapper's takes on holiday classics like "Deck the Halls" ("Deck My Balls"), "Silent Night" ("Violent Night") and "O Christmas Tree" ("O Chronic Tree"), among others. ...

Tom Petty has just signed a deal for his authorized biography, which will be published by Omnibus Press. The book will be called "Conversations With Tom Petty" and will be written by Paul Zollo, who most recently worked on "Songwriters on Songwriting," for which he interviewed Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Frank Zappa and more. He plans to reprint his discussions with Petty with little or no editorial comment. The book is expected in November 2005. ... Meanwhile, Tori Amos' upcoming book, "Tori Amos: Piece by Piece," co-written with music journalist Ann Powers, has just been finished. The tome offers a rare look inside the singer's mind, her personal history, her muses and her artistic process. The book's release in February will coincide with Amos' eighth album, The Beekeeper. ...

Marc Almond, who was injured in a motorcycle crash last month, has been moved out of intensive care at the Royal London Hospital, where he's been recovering. The Soft Cell singer was a passenger on a bike that collided with a car. ... Polyphonic Spree's Tim DeLaughter has written and recorded the score for the upcoming offbeat comedy "Thumbsucker" (featuring Vince Vaughn, Keanu Reeves and Benjamin Bratt) and may perform it at the movie's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Meanwhile, the Spree have set a December 18 date for their fifth annual holiday show in Dallas to benefit Toys for Tots. ...

Newly minted copies of Funeral for a Friend's debut LP, Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation, will be released with a limited-edition DVD on November 2, to coincide with the band's tour with Taking Back Sunday and Atreyu. ... Boulder, Colorado, roots-rock veterans the Samples are releasing their first greatest-hits collection on November 16. A bonus DVD featuring rare videos and the 1994 tour documentary "Ten Wheels" will be included. ... German industrial metal band Rammstein are broadening their horizons with their fourth album, Reise, Reise, which translates into "Voyage, Voyage." The album, which follows 2001's Mutter and is due out November 16, will be fronted by the bilingual single "Amerika." Its European counterpart, "Mein Teil," can also be found on the soundtrack to "Resident Evil: Apocalypse." ...