For The Record: Quick News On Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez, Mos Def, System Of A Down, Portishead, D'Angelo & More

Ja Rule gets 'Caught Up,' Jennifer Lopez plans her first fashion show, Portishead are not dead.

Ja Rule recently revealed that "Caught Up" will be his next single. He's shooting the video this week in Miami. ... R&B singer D'Angelo's arraignment on charges of drunk driving and drug possession has been pushed back to February 11. The charges stem from a January 9 incident in which the singer was stopped for a traffic violation near his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. A subsequent search of his vehicle turned up substances believed to be cocaine and marijuana. ...

Jennifer Lopez is providing a glimpse at her first-ever fashion show, which will debut her fall clothing line, in an hour-long special set to air on MTV. "Jennifer Lopez: Beyond the Runway" will document the singer/actress running her clothing company while juggling her other career duties as her show at Olympus Fashion Week approaches. "I've had a passion for fashion for so long," Lopez said in a statement. "I am that girl who comes from the street, who comes from the Bronx, but has traveled the world and can bring all of those glamorous qualities, so it's like a sexy street glamour." The special airs February 24 at 10 p.m. ET. ... Mos Def, Macy Gray and Robert Bradley are not just in "Lackawanna Blues," an HBO film premiering February 12, they also each contributed new music for the soundtrack, due February 8. Mos plays a charismatic club band leader and Bradley portrays a blues singer in the flick. ...

Dave Matthews Band bus driver Stefan Wohl was charged in Chicago on Wednesday with reckless conduct and pollution for allegedly dumping waste onto passengers aboard a boat on the Chicago River as his bus crossed a bridge over the waterway in August, according to newswire reports. Wohl, 42, turned himself in and was released; a hearing is scheduled for March. The charges each carry a penalty of up to a year behind bars. ... System of a Down, Beastie Boys and Korn are among the artists who have donated items to a Waxploitation Records-sponsored auction (www.ebay.com/sudanrelief) to raise money for the victims of genocide in Sudan. Good Charlotte, Limp Bizkit, the Donnas, Tom Morello and Rob Zombie are also participating. ... Raphael Saadiq, Jon B. and Tank are among the R&B stars set to perform at a tsunami benefit Thursday at the Derby in Los Angeles. Calvin Richardson and former "American Idol" finalist Corey Clark are also performing, and the Youngbloodz and Truth Hurts are expected to be in attendance. ...

Juliette Lewis is heading back into the studio later this month with her band to record a full album, which they'll produce themselves and release May 31. Juliette and the Licks previously released a five-song EP called Like a Bolt of Lightning, which was only available online but will now hit stores on January 25. Meanwhile, the actress has collaborated with Southern California footwear company DVS Shoe to create the "Juliette" shoe for the summer/fall line (hitting stores in June). ... Tom Petty gets lucky during his upcoming guest stint on "King of the Hill," in which he'll provide the voice of Luanne's new love interest, named, well, Lucky. The rocker will appear in three episodes starting February 13 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX. ...

An all-star metal band featuring members of Disturbed, Iron Maiden, Ministry, the Misfits, Murderdolls, Type O Negative, AC/DC, Orgy, Danzig, Fear Factory and others will unite Thursday at the Hard Rock Cafe in Beverly Hills, California, for a benefit for the Raven's Heart Foundation. Prong, Ours, Uncle Dad (featuring former members of Guns N' Roses and Quiet Riot) and a Thin Lizzy tribute band are also performing. ... Jill Scott's Blues Babe Foundation will hold a fund-raiser on Sunday at Philadelphia's Saks Fifth Avenue. Event patrons will be able to take part in a silent auction featuring items from Scott, Destiny's Child, Patti LaBelle and Teddy Pendergrass, among others. The Blues Babe Foundation, launched in 2002 and named after Scott's grandmother, was established as a means to nurture the artistic and academic pursuits of lower-income, college-bound students of color. ...

Contrary to speculation due to their longtime inactivity, Portishead are still very much alive. It's been eight years since the trip-hoppers' self-titled sophomore record, but the Bristol, England, group has nearly completed its third album. Portishead will play a rare live show with Massive Attack at the Bristol Academy on February 19 to support tsunami-relief efforts. ... The Slits' classic 1979 album, Cut, will be re-released Tuesday via Koch Records. Formed in 1976 and led by then 14-year-old Ari Up, the pioneering female punk rockers cemented their place in history by joining the Clash's 1977 White Riot Tour. Two bonus tracks appear on the record: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Liebe and Romanze." ...

For every kid who can recite song lyrics word-for-word but can't commit school-related information to memory, Kaplan Test Prep and Defined Mind have created a CD of vocabulary-filled rock, hip-hop and R&B tracks as an SAT study aid. A slew of up-and-coming independent artists were asked to pen songs that featured at least 20 SAT-level vocabulary words for inclusion on the Vocabulary Accelerator disc. The result? Lyrics like "At this proximity you are deleterious to my tranquility" and "I am resplendent in the day/ Scoff at all that is in my way." Students can check out www.kaptest.com for more information. ... While he's recorded four previous albums on his own, Graham Coxon's first post-Blur solo LP, Happiness in Magazines, is set for a Tuesday release. The 13-track album, produced by longtime Blur producer Stephen Street, will feature the single "Freakin' Out." Despite rumors, Coxon says he has absolutely no plans to rejoin Blur. "There would be no need to go back. I'm in a new phase now," he said. ...

01.18.2005

Ashlee Simpson has bought her first home, in Studio City, California, which she's sharing with two of the girls who appeared as her friends in her video for "La La." "It's so much fun," she recently told MTV Europe. "We've been decorating it and everything, it's kinda got like a retro vibe. Hopefully when I'm home next month, I'll be able to do some work around the house. I am the messiest in the house, by far. My girlfriends are messy, too, but I win. I take the cake!" ...

Meanwhile, sister Jessica has autographed a sky-blue sweatshirt for an auction to benefit the Skin Cancer Foundation. The clothing, which can be seen at www.yogaforce.com, will be auctioned off in May, which is also Skin Cancer Awareness month, at www.auctiondrop.com. ... Jessica's husband, Nick Lachey, has signed to Jive Records, and will document the process of working with the label, recording songs and promoting the album on his upcoming still-untitled solo reality show, which is set to premiere on MTV in April. "Viewers will see a different side of me than in 'Newlyweds,' " he said in a statement, "and be able to understand exactly what goes into the making of an album. I look forward to sharing this experience with my fans." ...

Pharrell Williams and Reebok have decided to end their brief licensing relationship. Pharrell signed with Reebok in December 2003 to launch his Ice Cream footwear and Billionaire Boys Club clothing lines. As a result of the separation, Reebok will continue to sell Ice Cream sneakers through June 30. Pharrell sued Reebok International for more than $4 million last month, claiming the sportswear giant didn't produce clothing meeting BBC's standards and failed to distribute the clothing line to stores by an agreed-upon deadline. Pharrell will announce future plans for both lines shortly. ... It's been years since we've heard from Xscape, the quartet that Jermaine Dupri discovered and helped bring to platinum fame, but now they're in the studio working on a new album called Unchained for Warner Bros., minus member Kandi Burruss. Sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott have once again joined forces with Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, and they've added a new member, Keisha Miles. Besides their album, the ladies are also shopping a reality show called "Unchained," which would document their realignment. ...

Eddie Vedder, Rob Zombie, Vincent Gallo, Nicolas Cage, Rick Rubin and other celebs joined several hundred black-T-shirted fans to memorialize Johnny Ramone with a larger-than-life statue of the punk rock pioneer at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Friday (click to see exclusive photos from the event). Zombie took credit for the statue (which he designed), Vedder called Ramone a "father figure" and Gallo wondered why Ramone had so many good friends while being such a tough guy. ... After four years of declining global music sales due to, among other factors, the abundance of illegal file-sharing, online music stores may now have a hand in increasing sales in 2005. According to Reuters, the market expects to see a 1 percent increase in 2005 with the help of online music sales and music DVDs. That may seem like a minor increase, but it could return the industry's sales levels to $39 billion (from the $32.1 billion in 2004) over the next six years, a number not seen since before the advent of file-swapping services and inexpensive CD burners. ...

With keynote speaker Robert Plant already on board, the lineup for the annual South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas (March 16-20) is coming together. Among the hundreds of roots, rock, hip-hop, pop and dance acts on the bill are Elvis Costello, Bloc Party, Death From Above 1979, Ditty Bops, Dogs Die in Hot Cars, the Donnas, Doves, Fatboy Slim, the Futureheads, Hot Hot Heat, Billy Idol, the Kills, Aimee Mann, the Raveonettes, Sleater-Kinney and the Soundtrack of Our Lives. ... British indie-rockers the Futureheads are crossing the pond for a series of North American tour dates. Their trek kicks off on February 21 in Washington, D.C., and makes stops in cities including New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Los Angeles before winding up in Dallas on March 19. ...

Interpol might earn the title of indie road warriors at this rate. Still supporting their sophomore album, Antics, the gloomy New York rockers are taking to the road yet again on a 16-date North American trek with Blonde Redhead. The tour commences February 7 in Cincinnati and ends February 28 in Philadelphia. ... After supporting Interpol on their fall tour, the Secret Machines are ready to hit the road on their own in support of their major-label debut, Now Here Is Nowhere. The Dallas trio's first full-blown North American tour will comprise 27 dates starting in Toronto on February 2 and then wrapping up a month later in New York on March 5. ...

Ted Nugent did his part to make sure one high school band could rock out for President Bush in his inaugural parade. The Motor City Madman played a benefit concert on Saturday at the Crawford High School gym in Texas' McLennan County, where he now lives, to help the school's band — the only Texas high school band invited to participate — raise enough money to travel to Washington, D.C., to perform in the parade. The show raised about $19,000, according to the town's newspaper, the Waco Tribune-Herald, which covered the cost of the trip and will allow the band to get new uniforms and a new sound system for its school gym. ... Afro'd prog-rockers the Mars Volta will release their second disc, Frances the Mute, on March 1. The follow-up to De-loused in the Comatorium will feature 77 minutes of music spanning across five songs, three of which will be broken up by movements and passages, much like an orchestral suite. The first single will be "The Window." ...