For The Record: Quick News On Dimebag Darrell, Michael Moore, Scarface, Incubus, Diana Ross, Sum 41 & More

Dimebag photo causes uproar, Michael Moore has drug companies on alert, Diana Ross a diva even in the big house

The weekly Dallas Observer alternative newspaper has an editor's note this week apologizing for running a cover image for its previous issue that appeared to be a photo of slain Damageplan/ Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott in a casket. Managing Editor Patrick Williams explained that the paper got complaints from Abbott's friends and manager about the grim picture, which was a photo illustration based on file images of Abbott. While apologizing, Williams defiantly wrote that he would not have done things differently given another chance, as the paper's intent was to humanize the loss and "help the mass of Dallas Observer readers feel something of their loss and grief." ...

If his scathing portrayals of gun enthusiasts and President Bush are any indication of what Michael Moore is capable of, pharmaceutical companies have good reason to be telling employees to watch their backs. According to the Los Angeles Times, at least six drug companies have distributed internal memos to their employees warning them of Moore's potential presence outside their buildings as he does research for his new project, tentatively titled "Sicko." "We ran a story in our online newspaper saying Michael Moore is embarking on a documentary — and if you see a scruffy guy in a baseball cap, you'll know who it is," Pfizer spokesperson Stephen Lederer told the newspaper. The film, tentatively scheduled for release in the first half of 2006, will be an investigation into the health-care industry. ... Every red-blooded heterosexual American male has dreamed of partying at the Playboy Mansion at one time or another. And for a few lucky artists, that dream is about to come true. On January 11, Koch Records will release Playboy: The Mansion, a 12-track companion to the video game of the same name. The disc features contributions from Armand Van Helden and Felix Da Housecat, while the video game — which allows players to build their own Playboy Mansion — is packed with songs (and in-game appearances) by artists like Sum 41's Deryck Whibley and Elefant's Diego Garcia. ...

Miri Ben-Ari, who played violin on albums by Kanye West, Twista, Trick Daddy, Janet Jackson and Wyclef Jean, will release her next solo album on March 22. David Banner, Anthony Hamilton and Scarface are featured in the video for the first single, "Sunshine to the Rain." ... Just because she was serving time for drunk driving doesn't mean Diana Ross shouldn't be treated like the diva she is. At least that's what Police Chief James Walters thought when he allowed the former Supremes singer to have a cell phone and food delivery in her jail cell, and let her go home in the middle of her two-day sentence in Greenwich, Connecticut, according to a report given to the Greenwich Time. The singer had been arrested on December 30, 2002, in Arizona and pleaded no contest in February of this year. Walters reportedly admitted to making several "poor decisions" while handling Ross' incarceration. ...

Incubus bassist Ben Kenney is keeping busy while his band is between touring and recording a new album. He's just completed a solo record titled 26, which is available through his Web site (www.BenKenney.com), and he's lined up a few live shows with his side project, the Division Group, which features Incubus turntablist DJ Kilmore. The Division Group will play the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles on January 5, the Independent in San Francisco on January 7 and the Knitting Factory in New York on January 16. ... Icelandic avant-rockers Sigur Ros are putting the finishing touches on their fourth studio album. According to a post on the band's Web site, "the foundations for all the album's songs have now been recorded and the boys are adding layers to the songs." Like its previous records, the as-yet-untitled album is being recorded at the band's converted swimming pool/recording studio, and features contributions from all-girl Icelandic string quartet Amina. The record is tentatively scheduled for a May release. ...

12.23.2004

Looks like 50 Cent is at it again. The G-Unit honcho was on Funkmaster Flex's radio show in New York on Wednesday night, taking aim at Ja Rule, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Nas and Kelis. 50 said he has a track titled "Piggyback" that addresses his beefs with all of the aforementioned artists, adding that he took particular offense to Fat Joe and Jadakiss' support of Ja Rule on the hit single "New York." "They co-signed that one," said 50. "Even people who were on the outskirts, like, 'Nah, I don't want no part of it' and 'Y'all need to just chill' — they have cameos [in the video,] saying, 'I'm from New York!' " He also accused Nas of making anti-G-Unit statements at his free show in New York's Central Park this summer. There's no word on whether the song will be on his forthcoming St. Valentine's Day Massacre, due March 8. ...

Meanwhile, reports are surfacing that 50 gave a deposition in September with regard to a $21 million suit filed in November 2003 against the rapper, Interscope Records and Shady/Aftermath Records by a New York Post photographer who claims the rapper's bodyguards assaulted him. James Alcorn says the men accompanying 50 assaulted him outside a store in Manhattan, causing "severe and serious injuries." According to Alcorn's attorney, the case is close to being put on the court calendar and should be given a trial date for early 2005. ... Q-Tip, D12's Kon Artis and Rockwilder are among the hip-hop producers who have created original 30-second ringtones for BlingTones, which is calling itself the first wireless record label. Salaam Remi (Nas) and Hi-Tek (Talib Kweli) are also signed on with BlingTones, and the company is talking with comedians about creating humorous ringtones. ...

Mudvayne have announced a U.S. club tour in support of their upcoming album, Lost and Found. The trek will kick off in Sacramento, California, on January 29 and continue through cities including Detroit, Cleveland, Boston and Philadelphia before concluding on February 17 when they play New York's legendary CBGB's. ... Three years after they released Discovery, French electronic duo Daft Punk will return with Human After All. The group's third album is due March 21 internationally, with a domestic due date expected later. ... New York rockers Ivy will release their next album, the 10-track In the Clear, on March 1. Collaborators on the album include A Perfect Circle/ former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha and Girls Against Boys' Scott McCloud. The album was mixed by Steve Osborne, who has worked previously with New Order and Happy Mondays. ...