For The Record: Quick News On Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Kurupt, Michael Jackson, The Raveonettes & More

'American Idol' and Paris Hilton most wanted, Kurupt and Wyclef sign on for Western, Black Sabbath drummer adopts a turkey.

Music ruled on Yahoo! this year. “American Idol” was the most popular online search term in 2004, followed by “Paris Hilton,” “Jessica Simpson” and “Britney Spears,” according to the year-end numbers from the search engine. “Usher” came in at #7 on the list, two spots under “Harry Potter.” …

The oft-underappreciated “urban Western” genre will soon get a boost from Wyclef Jean and Kurupt when they star alongside “Kill Bill” star David Carradine and “Coach Carter” actor Antwon Tanner in the upcoming film “Click.” Helmed by independent filmmaker Jean Claude LaMarre, the flick is set at the end of the Civil War and concerns a group of outlaws who band together to rob the town bank. Some filming will take place in Los Angeles and select pieces in the wardrobe will be provided by trucker-hat masters Von Dutch. The soundtrack to the film will include original tracks by Kurupt and Wyclef. … While fellow Black Sabbath member Ozzy Osbourne has long been known as the guy who once bit off the head of a live dove, drummer Bill Ward is getting press for being the bird-friendly musician in the group. Ward posted a photograph of “Abraham,” a turkey he recently adopted, on his Web site on Monday. …

Along with some percussion work from the Velvet Underground‘s Maureen Tucker, the new, as-yet-untitled second Raveonettes album features contributions by Martin Rev of early ’80s New York band Suicide and Ronnie Spector of 1960s girl group the Ronettes. The follow-up to 2003′s Chain Gang of Love is expected to drop early next year. … For Michael Jackson‘s child-molestation trial, expected to begin January 31, California’s Santa Barbara County will introduce a new jury-selection system. The “one-step” system eliminates the preliminary mailer generally sent to potential jurors, according to The Associated Press. If jurors did not fill out the mailer, their names would have been removed from the jury lists. Under the new system, 4,000 people will receive jury summons letters for the trial, which will instruct them to appear for jury selection. If the jurors do not respond or appear, they could face a potential fine of $1,500. …

When you’re a multiplatinum singer/songwriter, sometimes you don’t need a reason to tour. That seems to be the logic behind Sarah McLachlan‘s 2005 schedule, which all of a sudden is loaded with tour dates. The Canadian chanteuse will hit the road starting on April 12 in Victoria, British Columbia, and has dates scheduled all the way through June 1 in Halifax, Nova Scotia (she’s playing plenty of Stateside gigs in between). McLachlan’s last studio album, Afterglow, was released in November of 2003. …

12.27.2004

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. …