For The Record: Quick News On Kanye West, Jessica Simpson, Jay-Z, The Inc., The Neptunes & More

Kanye checks out Jon Brion, Kenneth 'Supreme' McGriff in solitary, Steven Tyler and his wife separating.

Kanye West and a small entourage checked out “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” composer/songwriter Jon Brion‘s performance on Friday at Largo in Los Angeles. Apparently this wasn’t the first time the Grammy-winning rapper has stopped by to watch Brion play at his weekly residency, but if Kanye would have stuck around for the second set, he would have witnessed inventive bluegrass takes on Radiohead and Strokes songs. …

Jessica Simpson was treated for dehydration due to a stomach virus at a Chicago hospital on Monday while in town to shoot a segment for Friday’s “Oprah.” Simpson’s stay was brief, and she returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday. Her rep said the singer is “already feeling better.” …

Jay-Z announced Tuesday (February 22) that he’s opening an education center focusing on music, sports and fashion. The S. Carter Academy in New York will open in the spring, with enrollment starting in March, around the same time a commercial with Jay and New York Knicks star Jamal Crawford promoting the facility is scheduled to start airing. … Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, currently incarcerated while awaiting trial on charges of murder and racketeering in the Murder Inc. drug-money scandal, has been put in solitary confinement at the Manhattan Detention Center. According to his lawyer, prosecutors requested that McGriff be taken out of the general population because he is a “problem” inmate. The defense has since complained about the move, causing the judge in the case to look into the matter. McGriff is due back in court on March 18, the same day as Irv and Chris Gotti. …

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is going solo — in his personal life, anyway. The singer announced Sunday that he is separating from his wife of 17 years, Teresa, according to The Associated Press. He has two kids with Teresa: Chelsea, 16, and Taj, 13. In a statement released by his publicist, Tyler announced the split and said, “We’re just a family trying to work through a difficult time.” … Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry are among the musicians who have designed Gibson guitars to be auctioned off to benefit the Expedition Inspiration Fund for Breast Cancer Research. The auction will be held May 3 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Los Angeles and online at www.juliensauctions.com. …

Phil Lesh has been tapped to host the fifth annual Jammy Awards, to be held April 26 at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden. The awards, which honor the world’s best jam bands, will be given out in eight categories, including Live Performance of the Year, Archival Live Album of the Year and New Groove of the Year. … Erykah Badu has recently been in the studio with the Neptunes working on her next album. The follow-up to 2003′s Worldwide Underground is expected to be released later this year. …

After more than two decades playing together and a sold-out reunion concert on Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin, the Jayhawks have called it quits. Singer Gary Louris told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that “we haven’t completely closed the door, but … I’d say it’s dead.” The band released five major-label albums over the course of its career, with its last recorded work being 2003′s Rainy Day Music.Antonio Banderas and Carlos Santana will join Beyoncé and Josh Groban as performers at Sunday’s Academy Awards. The two will perform the Best Song from a Motion Picture nominee “Al Otro Lado Del Rio” from “The Motorcycle Diaries.” …

Henry Rollins is taking his talking show “Caught in the Zipper” to the Zipper Theater in New York for a slew of dates. The volatile singer/spoken-word artist will perform there March 22-27, March 29, and March 31-April 2. … Glenn Danzig will reunite with his old Misfits bandmate Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein at shows February 28 at the Roxy Theatre in Boston, March 1 at the Spirit Performance Center in New York, and March 2 at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. The duo, who performed together for the first time in 20 years at two surprise West Coast dates last year, will play a 30-minute set of Misfits favorites after Danzig’s regular set in support of his new album, Circle of Snakes. Danzig also recently completed Black Aria II, the follow-up to 1993′s classical album Black Aria, and is writing a movie adaptation of “Gerouge,” one of the comic-book titles distributed by his Verotik publishing company. …

02.18.2005

Nobody can accuse 50 Cent of being stingy. He invited a bevy of radio-contest winners and famous folk like Foxy Brown, Lil Scrappy, Funkmaster Flex, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh to his mansion in Connecticut for an album-release party Thursday night. The festivities took place at a club 50 actually has inside his house, and the whole G-Unit — with the exception of Game — performed. …

Eminem, Paul McCartney, Dave Matthews, Sting and a host of other artists have donated signed items to an auction benefiting the Station Family Fund, the organization founded to offer relief to people directly affected by the fire at Rhode Island’s Station nightclub in 2003. The auction is being run by the Mimi Fishman Foundation; more information can be found at www.stationfamilyfund.org. … Ozzy Osbourne has pulled out of Friday night’s (February 18) Music for Relief: Rebuilding South Asia concert at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California, due to a family emergency. Osbourne was supposed to join Los Angeles’ all-star rockers Camp Freddy (featuring Dave Navarro and Matt Sorum, among others) for a few songs. Linkin Park, Jay-Z and No Doubt are among the acts who will perform. …

Phil Spector‘s trial for the 2003 murder of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson will begin on September 16, a judge ruled on Thursday, according to Reuters. The legendary record producer is accused of shooting Clarkson at his home near Los Angeles. Spector has claimed that Clarkson committed suicide. … One of the alleged conspirators in the Murder Inc. drug-money scandal was sentenced to prison Thursday on separate charges of gun possession. Tyran “Ta Ta” Moore, who had refused to cooperate with the federal investigation of Murder Inc. and its connection to drug lord Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, was sentenced to prison for six years, with an additional three years of supervised release, a probation-like condition which requires him to continue treatment for substance abuse. As for McGriff, he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on charges of murder and racketeering on Thursday. He’s facing the death penalty if convicted. …

Will Smith has been tapped as master of ceremonies for the March 19 AIDS benefit concert in George, South Africa, which will feature 150 local and international stars who have agreed to perform for free, according to Reuters. The actor/rapper will introduce acts including Queen‘s Brian May and Roger Taylor, Annie Lennox and India.Arie at the 46664 concert, named for former South African president Nelson Mandela‘s prison number. … Prince will be honored with the NAACP Vanguard Award at the March 19 NAACP Image Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, according to Reuters. Prince is already up for two awards, while Usher leads the pack with five nominations. The show will air on March 25 on FOX. …

FOX’s “The O.C.” will release the fourth installment in the show’s mixtape series on April 5. The O.C. Mix 4 features “Scarecrow,” off Beck‘s upcoming album, Guero; “The View,” from Modest Mouse‘s 2004 album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News; and a cover of Oasis‘ “Champagne Supernova” by Matt Pond PA. Also included are tracks by the Futureheads, Pinback and Sufjan Stevens, among others. … Conor Oberst currently melts the hearts of indie girls everywhere as the dreamy frontman of Bright Eyes. But that wasn’t always the case. And now you can own the proof. Currently up for bid on eBay is the 1995 Creighton Preparatory High School yearbook, featuring the freshman picture of a bespectacled, baby-faced Oberst. Currently, the high bid tops $200. …

First Jessica and Ashlee Simpson traded barbs over Ice Breakers, and now another sister act is shilling for the mints. Hilary and Haylie Duff star in a commercial where they disagree supposedly for the first time ever. “We agree on absolutely everything,” Hilary said in a statement. “So when she thought that Ice Breakers Liquid Ice was liquid and I thought it was ice, well, I knew she had to be right, and she knew I had to be right!” The sisters are also offering an online sweepstakes to go on a Beverly Hills, California, shopping spree with the two of them. … Xzibit is embarking on a 10-city tour, starting March 18 in San Francisco. The rapper will hit Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Detroit before wrapping things up in Chicago on April 4. … Danger Mouse has completed production on the new Gorillaz album, Demon Days. The album is due out May 24. …

“Amerrrrrrricccca, have you heard?/ There’s a brand new dance called ‘The Bird.’ ” Well maybe not too new. “The Bird” has to be about 20 years old, but on Thursday night at the Apollo Theater in New York, Morris Day and the Time were flapping their wings just like they did in the Purple Rain days. Mo and co. performed, singing all their hits (except a much-called-for “Ice Cream Castles”). The Ohio Players opened up. … Richie Sambora taped a guest appearance last week for the CBS sitcom “Still Standing,” in which he plays a character named Reverend Roach. Though the Bon Jovi Web site lists the guitarist’s episode as airing February 28, a spokesperson for the show said that the episode will now air at a later date, “probably May.” …