For The Record: Quick News On Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, No Doubt, Trina, Pixies, Rick Rubin & More

Backstreet Boys name their new LP, Mariah Carey shutting down Times Square, Trina launching perfume.

The Backstreet Boys — who launched their comeback tour last week — have stressed that they never really broke up in the first place, just merely took a break. That point is also being made in the title for their forthcoming album, which they’ve just decided to call Never Gone, also the name of one of the songs on the LP, due in June. …

Mariah Carey will shut down the streets of New York’s Times Square on April 12 to celebrate the release of her new album, The Emancipation of Mimi. The singer will perform five songs for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” according to Reuters. Her set will include the singles “We Belong Together” and “It’s Like That.” … No Doubt are giving up their guitars — for a good cause. The band is donating two signed guitars for charity auctions, the first of which takes place Wednesday (March 30) in Venice Beach, California, at a benefit for the Surfers Healing Foundation. Sugar Ray are slated to play the event. The second chance to win a No Doubt guitar comes courtesy of Rock the Cure for breast-cancer research. That auction will take place by invitation only on May 3 at the Los Angeles Hard Rock, but online bidding open to the general public starts April 24 at www.juliensauctions.com. …

Master P and his brother Silkk the Shocker pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of carrying loaded, unregistered weapons, The Associated Press reports. The two were arrested January 27 at UCLA after being stopped by campus police for not having a license plate on their car. Police said they found two guns in the vehicle. Both are currently free on bail. … Russell Simmons, the Reverend Run, Nicole Wray, and Jim Jones and Juelz Santana of the Diplomats will visit Perth Amboy High School in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on Tuesday for the official launch of the state’s Be Powerful, Be Heard youth-voter initiative. The group will introduce a spoken-word contest about the importance of voting; the winner will be announced at the New Jersey Hip-Hop Summit in September. … Trina announced on Wednesday that she is launching a perfume called the Diamond Princess this summer, which is also when her long-delayed Glamorous Life LP should drop as well. …

Pixies leader Frank Black will release his first solo album in nearly a decade, Honeycomb, on July 19. The rootsy album was recorded in four days in April 2004, just days before Black hit the road with the Pixies for their reunion tour. Among the legendary session players on the disc are guitarists Steve Cropper (Booker T. and the M.G.s), Buddy Miller (Emmylou Harris) and Reggie Young (Elvis Presley), as well as drummer Anton Fig (Bob Dylan) and keyboardist Spooner Oldham (Aretha Franklin). Among the songs on the disc are “Atom in my Heart,” “Another Velvet Nightmare” and “Find Your Saint,” as well as a cover of the soul classic “Dark End of the Street.” … Meanwhile, the Pixies will return to the stage this summer, but only for a few weeks. The band is freeing up time for Kim Deal to make another Breeders album. …

Nine Inch NailsTrent Reznor recently sold the gothic New Orleans mansion he’s lived in for the past decade. According to The Associated Press, Reznor unloaded the 4,900-square-foot, four-bedroom home for $1.8 million. Reznor moved to Los Angeles last year, leaving behind the home, which has an outdoor pool with sound system and what’s been described as “gothic/Victorian decor” with a “medieval edge.” … Rick Rubin, the producer who revived Johnny Cash‘s career with the American Recordings series, is working with Neil Diamond on the singer’s first album in five years. Rubin worked with Cash on a cover of Diamond’s “Solitary Man.” …

Jermaine Dupri will be presented the Golden Note Award at the 22nd annual American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Pop Music Awards on May 16 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. P. Diddy, Elton John and Stevie Wonder are among the past recipients of the award. Neil Young is also being honored at the gala. … Irish singer and controversy magnet Sinéad O’Connor is in the studio working on her next project — a reggae album. And she’s even recording the new effort in the genre’s home of Kingston, Jamaica, for added authenticity. According to an Associated Press report, O’Connor’s album will be rife with covers of irie protest songs — Bob Marley‘s “War,” Peter Tosh‘s “Downpressor Man” and Burning Spear‘s “Marcus Garvey,” among others. …

03.29.2005

Attorney Johnnie Cochran, who rose to fame defending O.J. Simpson, died Tuesday (March 29) from a brain tumor, the Los Angeles Times reports. He was 67. Though he built his career fighting police misconduct, Cochran eventually became one of the most sought-after celebrity lawyers, helping P. Diddy fight charges stemming from a 1999 nightclub shooting, defending Snoop Dogg against murder charges in 1995 and representing Tupac Shakur in a 1993 sexual-assault case. …

Usher is keeping it on, er, in wax. Visitors to New York’s Madame Tussaud’s have already been able to audition for a virtually snarky Simon Cowell and hear Beyoncé‘s wax figure encouraging them to shake their jelly as her backup dancer. Now Usher fans will be singing “Yeah!” at an interactive exhibit focused on the abs-master, whose likeness — dressed in an immaculate white shirt, jacket, baseball cap and signature “U” chain — invites guests into the exhibit, which looks like a music studio. As visitors pass through the multi-colored light beams, the sound system reacts by triggering different clips from the singer’s songs. …

When erudite, experimental rockers Radiohead want to debut new material, they make sure to do it in the most erudite, experimental way possible. Witness the events that transpired at this weekend’s Ether festival at London’s Royal Festival Hall, where Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood performed brand new compositions with the experimental London Sinfonietta orchestra. According to London’s The Guardian, Yorke added vocals to the new tune “Arpeggi,” and the full orchestra also performed two songs written by Greenwood: “Smear” and “Piano for Children.” The Radiohead B-side “Where Bluebirds Fly” was also performed. … Believe it or not, there actually will be an HFStival this year, despite there not actually being a WHFS anymore. In January, the long-running Washington, D.C., rock station changed formats, leaving the future of the HFStival — a summertime tradition for more than a decade — up in the air. But less than a month later, WHFS’ sister station Live 105.7 began broadcasting WHFS on nights and weekends, and now it looks like it’ll also be presenting the festival this year, scheduled for May 14 at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium. Confirmed acts include Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Good Charlotte, Sum 41 and Interpol. Tickets go on sale Saturday through Ticketmaster. …

Courtney Love wrapped work in 2000 on the drama “Julie Johnson,” which was a hit at Sundance in 2001, but it took this long for the film to find a home — it’s now slated to premiere on June 1 on the gay network Here! (available via DIRECTV and DISH Network, and on cable in major markets). In the flick, Love plays Claire, who becomes more than friends with Lili Taylor. Taylor portrays the titular character, a desperate New Jersey housewife on a quest to revamp her life (“The OC” ‘s Mischa Barton plays Taylor’s daughter Lisa). (Click for “Julie Johnson” photos. ) Liz Phair contributed four songs to the soundtrack. … Bronson Pinchot, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth from “The Apprentice” and Pepa from rap duo Salt-N-Pepa are about to become roomies — they’re among the new castmembers for the next installment of VH1′s “The Surreal Life.” These housemates for the fifth season will share quarters in a Hollywood mansion with former supermodel and “America’s Next Top Model” judge Janice Dickinson, baseball slugger Jose Canseco, U.K. model Caprice and motocross madman (and sometime Pink boy toy) Carey Hart. The new season starts September 4. …

Former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus will be hitting six cities over 30 days starting June 5 in Philadelphia as part of what could barely be called a tour in support of his latest record, Face the Truth. Malkmus will hit New York on June 7, Cleveland on June 9, Detroit on June 10, Minneapolis on June 12, Los Angeles on June 14, and then take the next 20 days off before performing at New York’s Battery Park with Yo La Tengo on July 4. … Iconic British mope rockers the Smiths will serve as the subject of an academic symposium to be held at Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K. on April 8 and 9, according to the BBC. The seminar, called “Why Pamper Life’s Complexities,” will consider the band’s cultural, social, political and musical impact, as well as the influence of frontman Morrissey‘s lyrics on gender, sexuality, race, nationality and the imagination of class. …

New Order will be playing four U.S. gigs in late April and early May, just prior to returning to Europe for a string of festival appearances, according to the band’s Web site. On April 29, they’ll perform in Oakland, California, with the Chemical Brothers before taking the Coachella stage on May 1 in Indio, California. On May 3, the band stops in Chicago for a performance, then heads to New York for a show May 5. … Paul Westerberg is releasing his first solo-career retrospective, Besterberg: The Best of Paul Westerberg, out May 17. The former Replacements frontman is including 20 songs from his solo albums, tracks from movies, unreleased tunes, outtakes and B-sides. The liner notes will include a track-by-track commentary. …