For The Record: Quick News On Ashlee Simpson, Lil’ Kim, Dr. Dre, Game, Tori Amos, Hoobastank, Erasure & More

Though Ashlee Simpson had originally planned for the title track from Autobiography to be her next single, the singer has changed her mind. She is now opting to have “La La” be the third offering from her album, according to her Web site. … Meanwhile, Chris Fox, Ashlee’s drummer, posted a message on Simpson’s site, taking blame for her infamous “Saturday Night Live” performance. “I am in charge of starting the songs and cueing their backing tracks, [which are] miscellaneous percussion, random sound effects, etc.,” he wrote. “Plain and simple, I cued the wrong song.” …

Lil’ Kim has been called a lot of names, but “literary figure” was likely not one of them — until now. On Wednesday, the rapper will head to Syracuse University to address an upper-division undergraduate English class that focuses on the cultural significance of her lyrics. “Introduction to Race and Discourse: Hip-Hop Eshu: Queen B@#$H 101″ centers on hip-hop and “black life in Africa’s Diaspora” as well as gender and sexuality issues, with a focus on Lil’ Kim, according to the university’s Web description. During her visit, Kim will also hold a press conference and meet with faculty and students of the African-American Students Union. “I am honored and quite proud that a class is being taught on my sensationalist lyrics, unique style and fashion and leadership role within the hip-hop community,” Kim said in a statement. … LL Cool J and Tyra Banks will serve as hosts for the second annual Vibe Awards. During the show, slated to air November 16 on UPN, Dr. Dre will be honored with the Vibe Legend Award for his lifetime contributions to the world of hip-hop music. As part of the tribute, Game will perform. …

Wyclef Jean is doing his part to give Haiti a chance at peace. During a trip to his home country, Jean made a surprise visit to Bel Air on Sunday where he met with leaders of the community and of groups who remain loyal to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, according to Reuters. He also met with two leaders of the rebels who helped oust Aristide in February, and plans to meet with other gangs before departing in an effort to encourage dialogue and promote peace in the country, which has been wracked by uprisings and violent outbreaks since Aristide was removed. Wyclef was also in Haiti to work on plans for his December 5 benefit concert there. … Hoobastank are releasing tracks at Sbarro via Lidrock, CD-ROMs encased in the lids of soft drinks sold at the restaurant chain. Hoobastank’s Lidrock will include three songs (“Remember Me,” “Same Directions,” “Let It Out”), a video for “Out of Control,” mobile ring tones, and previews of Konami video games “Dance Dance Revolution” and “Karaoke Revolution.” …

Tori Amos is currently putting the finishing touches on her new album, The Beekeeper, which she’s recording and self-producing in her U.K. studio, incorporating vintage organs, Afro-Cuban drums and gospel choirs in the process. Song titles include “Sweet the Sting,” “Sleeps With Butterflies” and “Ribbons Undone.” The album will hit shelves February 22 to coincide with the release of her first book, “Tori Amos: Piece by Piece.” … Sarah McLachlan is releasing a live CD/DVD, Afterglow Live, which chronicles the singer’s summer tour (her first outing since the 1999 Lilith Fair) in which she played her greatest hits as well as music from her 2003 album, Afterglow. The set, due out November 23, also includes behind-the-scenes footage of the tour and her family life, as well as her stark but touching video for “World on Fire,” which juxtaposes the standard cost of making a video with what that money could do for those who are less fortunate. …

Isaac Hayes will be inducted into Hollywood’s Rockwalk on Sunset Boulevard. Thursday at noon. The singer’s handprints and signature will reside alongside those of other music legends such as the Ramones, Lou Reed, Brian Wilson, Carole King and Johnny Cash. … San Francisco Bay Area rapper Mac Dre (born Andre Hicks) died on Monday morning when he was gunned down during a freeway shooting in Kansas City, Missouri, according to The Associated Press. Hicks, 34, recorded more than a dozen albums in his lifetime, many with politically charged lyrics. …

Erasure have just finished their new studio album, Nightbird, the first single from which will be a song called “Breathe.” Other track titles include “No Doubt,” “Here I Got Impossible Again” and “All This Time Still Falling Out of Love.” “The last couple of albums were a bit moody and down,” singer Andy Bell said in a statement. “I’m so much happier with everything now, and so is [keyboardist] Vince [Clarke]. You can hear it in the music.” Nightbird is due out January 25, and Erasure plan to tour North America in April. … Mark Sandman, the late frontman of Morphine, never released much of his solo music, but a posthumous retrospective will do that for him. Sandbox: Mark Sandman Original Music, out November 16, collects rarities, unreleased tracks and previously unseen footage in a two-CD/DVD box set. …

11.01.04

Lindsay Lohan got back to work after her hospital stay right away. She shot a revised guest spot on “That ’70s Show” on Thursday, which is slated to air on November 10. …

Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz have an acting gig lined up — as themselves. They’re scheduled to tape an episode of the UPN show “All of Us” on Thursday, which will air November 23 at 8 p.m. … “Why can’t we be friends?” It was hip-hop hooray Friday night in Philadelphia. During a concert staged by local radio station Power 99, Jadakiss brought out his onetime rival Beanie Sigel onstage with him to perform. …

In Gwen Stefani‘s current single, “What You Waiting For,” Stefani pays a brief tribute to the girls of Harajuku, telling them they’ve got “wicked style.” It seems out of place, like a throwaway line, but it’s actually the set-up for another song on the album, called — what else — “Harajuku Girls,” where the same lyrics become the basis of a chorus of sorts. In the song, Stefani sings, “Harajuku girls, you’ve got the wicked style/ I like the way that you are/ I’m your biggest fan.” Other lyrics include “Your accessories are dead-on” and “Did you see your inspiration in my latest collection?” … In between parties for the Radio Music Awards last week, Paris Hilton chatted with Salt Lake City radio station 94.9 ZHT, and dropped the news that she’s planning to release her debut album in February. The album has no official title or release date yet, according to Hilton’s label rep. …

Los Angeles public radio station KCRW has postponed its annual benefit concert, A Sounds Eclectic Evening, which was billed as Coldplay‘s only U.S. show this year. Due to “scheduling and logistical conflicts,” the sold-out concert will now be held in early 2005. … Stevie Wonder stars in a new TV ad that encourages African-Americans to get their ballots in despite reports of voter fraud and intimidation. In the PSA, Wonder plays “America the Beautiful” on harmonica and says, “Many fought for the right. Many died for the right. You can’t just talk about how you want this country to be. On November 2, vote with all your might.” The non-partisan campaign also urges those who experience or witness voter intimidation to call 866-OUR-VOTE and document the incident at http://voterfraud.nationalvoice.org/. …

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said that Michael Jackson prosecutor Tom Sneddon should stay on the case. In a response to the singer’s defense team’s effort to force the Santa Barbara DA to step down and be replaced with another prosecutor, Lockyer said in a court filing that Jackson had “not come close” to proving any misconduct on Sneddon’s part. As for Jackson’s argument that Sneddon held a grudge against him, Lockyer said that Sneddon’s zeal in prosecuting the singer is more likely attributed to the DA’s belief in the “strong evidence supporting [Jackson]‘s guilt.” … Pink, Danny Masterson and Sum 41‘s Cone McCaslin all checked out Courtney Love‘s performance at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre Saturday night. In the spirit of Halloween she wore a costume — a pink ballerina outfit complete with slippers. By the end of the set, the slippers and the sleeves of her outfit were torn off and the ill-fitting corset top gave fans an unintentional peep show. Love was quick to comment on her recent legal woes as she cracked open a can of soda and said, “It’s a Diet Coke. Everyone in the band is drunk but me.” She also lamented, “I’ve been in the news a lot lately …there’s no stage diving tonight,” as her security guard seemed to have to physically hold her back from jumping into the pit of fans. …

Like heavy metal? Got some spare change burning a hole in your pocket? Maybe you should check out the massive Heavy Metal at the Hard Rock auction occurring live from New York’s Hard Rock Cafe (and over the Internet at JulienEntertainment.com) on Saturday. Items up for bid include handwritten lyrics by late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, guitars smashed by Anthrax axeman Scott Ian and platinum album awards from Ozzy Osbourne. … Shadows Fall singer Brian Fair has been diagnosed with strep throat and laryngitis, but is refusing to cancel any performances on the band’s current tour. “I have never canceled a show due to poor health and don’t plan on it now,” Fair said in a statement. …

Michelle Branch helped launch the new Estee Lauder cosmetics brand Flirt! last week at a Brooklyn, New York, Kohl’s store. The singer, who’s a guest creator for the line, introduced a collection which includes shades meant to be playful and whimsical that also happen to be named after songs from her album Hotel Paper.Give ‘Em the Boot IV, a 26-track compilation set for release November 9 by Hellcat Records, features unreleased tracks from the late Clash singer/guitarist Joe Strummer and Rancid, among others. Strummer’s contribution, a cover of the Delta blues tune “Junco Partner,” was recorded with his band the Mescaleros in London. He formerly covered the song on the Clash’s 1980 LP Sandinista!

Bon Jovi will be honored at the November 14 American Music Awards ceremony with the 31st Award of Merit. Legendary artists like Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Prince, Elvis Presley and Paul McCartney have also won the award, which honors a member of the music community who has made “outstanding contributions to the musical entertainment of the American public.” Tribute will be paid to Bon Jovi during the show, and they will also take the stage for a special performance. … The reissue of Howie Day‘s latest album, Stop All the World Now, due November 16, features four bonus tracks, including an acoustic version of the album’s latest single, “Collide.” The original version of Day’s second album was released October 7, 2003. …

Rooney have recorded more than 14 songs with producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Supergrass) for their second album, the follow-up to last year’s self-titled debut, which they hope to release in the spring. … Omaha, Nebraska, rockers Cursive are going the vinyl route for the release of their next single. According to a post on the band’s Web site, they’ll be releasing “The Recluse”— from last year’s album The Ugly Organ — on a 10-inch picture disc via independent label Robotic Empire. The flip side of the disc features the Organ song “Art Is Hard.” The post went on to say that the band is also busy compiling its early singles and B-sides for an album to be released on Saddle Creek Records in early 2005. …

The Postal Service‘s breakthrough debut, Give Up, will be re-released as a deluxe double LP on November 9. The set will contain covers of songs by the Flaming Lips, remixes by John Tejada and Postal Service songs reinterpreted by the Shins and Iron & Wine. … CMJ buzz band the Arcade Fire are set to show the rest of the country if they’re worth the hype. The Montreal collective’s 27-date North American tour kicks off November 11 in New York and wraps up December 13 in Vancouver, British Columbia. …