For The Record: Quick News On President Bush, Danger Mouse And Cee-Lo, Death Cab, Lil Jon, P. Diddy & More

W. likes John Fogerty, Death Cab nearly done with Plans, Mötley Crüe have border trouble.

It’s true — there is such thing as a “first iPod.” On Monday (April 11), President Bush‘s iPod playlist surfaced in The New York Times, and it turns out W. is a fan of the likes of Van Morrison, Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Fogerty. The president received the gadget as a gift from his twin daughters and uses his tunes to help him power through his 18-mile Texas bike trail. …

The Grey Album mastermind and Gorillaz member Danger Mouse and former Goodie Mob crooner Cee-Lo announced on Friday that they are putting the finishing touches on their collaborative effort, The Gnarls Barkley. The pair began work on the album last year. … Death Cab for Cutie are working at a fervent pace. The “ultimate Bait shop band” (so says “The O.C.” creator Josh Schwartz) has nearly finished Plans, the follow-up to 2003′s breakthrough disc Transatlanticism, according to a rep for the group. Recorded in rural Massachusetts and due in September, Plans will be Death Cab’s fifth LP. Guitarist Chris Walla will again assume production duties. Possible tracks for inclusion on the record include “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” “Brothers on a Hotel Bed,” “Someday You Will Be Loved,” “Your Heart Is an Empty Room,” “Marching Bands of Manhattan” and potential single “Soul Meets Body.” …

The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Weezer are both tried-and-true L.A. bands, but they’re going to party Las Vegas-style for Sin City’s 100th anniversary. On July 2, the rock groups are headlining Vegas’ centennial concert, to be held outdoors for free. “We can’t wait to get there, feel the energy of the crowd and rock the house,” RHCP bassist Flea said in a statement. Fifty thousand tickets will be available at www.vegasrocks100.com/ beginning April 18. … Currently screening on TheTransplants.com: a preview of the band’s upcoming album. In the promotional spot, we see frontman Rob Aston smoking, Travis Barker walking around shirtless and guitarist Tim Armstrong striking many punk poses. The trio also eat lunch at a diner. At the end of the spot, we are told that the new Transplants album will hit stores May 15 via LaSalle Records. …

Mötley Crüe had a little trouble at the Canadian border when Mighty Mike, the band’s resident “little person,” MC and fire-breather, was detained by authorities, since he lacked a green card. The Crüe were trying to cross the border for Friday’s show in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and were forced to enter the U.S. without Mike, who was transferred to Edmonton. He’s expected to remain there for seven days before being allowed to return to the tour. “This could set U.S.-Canadian relations back a couple of weeks,” singer Vince Neil said in a statement. “It’s no ‘big’ deal,” said drummer Tommy Lee. “Hopefully Mighty Mike will grow from this experience.” … The members of Alter Bridge inadvertently got mixed up in a high-speed police chase on Friday during a Kansas City, Missouri, tour stop, according to a band spokesperson. The band’s crew was unloading equipment from Alter Bridge’s tour bus when a man on the run from police pulled up and was blocked from passing. The driver veered into a nearby parking lot, hit a van, and dragged an officer across the street before finally crashing into the group’s bus. Several of the crew members aided in the arrest of the driver, who is now awaiting charges. …

Lil Jon wants to crunk up your cell phone — he’s just signed a deal with BlingTones to create exclusive music and shouts for ring tones, voice-ringers and ringbacks. Starting in June, fans can download his master tones and ring tones by visiting BlingTones on their carriers’ download page or at www.theblingtones.com. … Performing for the first time in the U.S. in 10 years, Digable Planets hit the stage at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre with the classic “It’s Good to Be Here” at the stroke of midnight Sunday night. Ladybug, Butterfly and Doodlebug then ran through their two albums and promised new Digable Planets material in the future. Ladybug also debuted a couple of tracks from her upcoming solo album, Trip the Light Fantastic, due out June 12. The trio are planning to hit the road this summer with a 25-city U.S. tour, set to begin in June. …

So P. Diddy is a baller for real now. At least he will be on Monday night, when he’ll display his prowess on the court at BasketBall City at Pier 63 in New York. An honoree at the eighth annual Net Gain tournament, the hip-hop mogul will receive the 2005 H.O.O.P.S. (Helping Out Our Public Schools) Award. Run by Youth I.N.C., the Net Gain tournament gets NBA players, kids and corporate sponsors together to raise money to fund court time for 32 New York City high school teams. … Alchemist and Mobb Deep‘s Prodigy performed for New York University students at the school’s Music for Tomorrow fundraiser on Friday at Big Apple club Avalon. The student-run organization is looking to raise $10,000 to “adopt” a Lower East Side New York public school and assist in the creation of after-school programs and student-assisted teaching programs there. Members of the legendary Sugarhill Gang were among those in attendance at the event. …

Il Divo, a group of four singers put together by “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, will release their debut album in the U.S. on April 19. The group, which combines pop and opera elements, topped the U.K. charts last year. … Fredwreck, Snoop Dogg‘s DJ and a producer for Lindsay Lohan, Snoop and others, is releasing a collection of his tracks called Fredwreck: Greatest Hits Episode 1 on June 15. Fredwreck will also be a part of “Kings of Bling,” a new show where Tony Hawk and Pharrell Williams build skate parks and recording studios in different community centers throughout the country, and “Minding the Store,” a reality show with Pauly Shore. …

Blackmail and robbery charges against former Libertines singer Pete Doherty have been dropped, the BBC reports. Doherty was arrested in early February for allegedly assaulting a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker at the Rookery Hotel in central London. Doherty served four nights in jail and was released on bail. The charges were dropped, according to officials, because of “insufficient evidence for a realistic chance of prosecution.” … According to a posting on Scottish indie rockers the Delgados‘ Web site, the band has decided to call it quits after more than a decade together. The group, which released five records during its career, thanked everyone who supported it, “especially all of our fans.” The split was characterized as amicable. … ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), which hosts a concert series at the Sundance Film Festival, will for the first time bring its Music Lounge to the Tribeca Film Festival. Damien Rice, Ben Jelen and Nic Armstrong and the Thieves are among the acts slated to perform at the Knitting Factory in New York from April 27 to 29. …

04.08.2005

50 Cent and the Game will team up Thursday to donate $200,000 to the Compton Unified School District’s Education Foundation, to bring back music- and arts-education programs. 50′s share comes from his G-Unity Foundation, while the Game procured his donation through Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records and his own Black Wall Street organization. “This is what Black Wall Street is all about,” Game said in a statement. “Building an empowerment within our community. I’ve seen firsthand what music can do, so I’m hoping this can make a difference in people’s lives.” 50 seconded the thought, and noted, “G-Unity’s goal is to lend a hand to the people who need it most. This donation is just the beginning of what we’re hoping to do.” …

Ashanti is not only acting in “The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz,” she’s singing in it, too. The Inc. princess recorded three songs for the soundtrack, which comes out May 17: two solo songs, “Gotta Get Out of Kansas” and “It’s a Good Life”; and a collaboration with Kermit the Frog, Gonzo and Fozzie called “When I’m With You.” The movie airs May 20 on ABC. … Shakira is putting out not one, but two albums to follow up her first English-language album, Laundry Service — one in Spanish, one in English. The Spanish-language album Fijación Oral 1 is due June 7, setting up its sequel, the English-language Oral Fixation 2, in November. The first single (in Spanish) is called “La Tortura,” and features Alejandro Sanz. “I did not set out to make two albums,” Shakira said in a statement, “but suddenly I realized I had written 60 songs, some in English and some in Spanish. Many times I let the melody suggest which language the song should be.” Both albums were executive-produced by Rick Rubin. …

Kelly Clarkson fans thirsting for that special keepsake from her April 2 concert in Omaha, Nebraska, may want to check out the water bottle that one eBay seller is hawking online. The seller claims the first-season “American Idol” champ drank out of the plastic “Dasani” bottle; a front-row ticket stub from that evening is also included for those who require convincing. Bidding will end on Sunday, and as of press time, the price was already up to $36.50. … Paris Hilton is going high-tech to promote her new flick, “House of Wax.” Starting on April 29, you’ll be able to eavesdrop on the heiress as she “shops, parties, poses and publicizes” the movie via podcast in advance of its May 6 opening. “The Paris Hilton Podcast – Countdown to ‘House of Wax’ ” works on any portable media player and can be downloaded at http://houseofwaxpodcast.com/rss.xml. If you don’t already have podcasting software, you can download a custom version at http://houseofwaxmovie.warnerbros.com/. …

Talib Kweli spent his Friday morning at the Gibson Studios in New York collaborating with about 100 elementary school students from P.S. 34 and P.S. 188. The Brooklyn-born MC was there to launch the eighth season of “Harman: How to Listen,” a music-education program designed to expose children to a variety of musical genres. One bunch of kids even re-did the chorus to “Get By” and performed it for Kweli, according to a rep for the event. Roots affiliate Martin Luther also made an appearance and performed his new single, “Daily Bread,” for the kids before letting them onstage to give his computerized drum pad a try. The program will ultimately reach 21 schools in five cities: New York, Detroit, Phoenix, Miami and Baltimore. … ?uestlove from the Roots is joining the lineup for the Jammys — along with Buddy Guy, Travis Tritt and the Disco Biscuits. Ryan Adams, Les Claypool, Bruce Hornsby, Burning Spear and Medeski, Martin and Wood are already on the bill for the fifth annual awards ceremony, which will take place April 26 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. …

Pennywise will rev it up in Cali at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday. “We always love playing extreme sporting events, and as long as Sylvester Stallone isn’t driving this year, this should be pretty extreme,” guitarist Fletcher Dragge said in a statement. “We’re also big racing fans so it will be an awesome weekend.” The SoCal punk band is currently in the studio in Redondo Beach, California, working on its eighth album, The Fuse, due out in July. The group has demoed more than 30 new songs, and is focusing on the 16-18 strongest tracks to record, including “Lies,” “Disconnect,” “Closer” and “Eighteen Soldiers.” … P. Diddy‘s ex-girlfriend — and mother of his 11-year-old son, Justin — won a child-support award of $21,782 a month in court on Thursday. Misa Hylton-Brim was originally awarded $35,000 a month, as well as $398,451 in back support and $60,000 for legal expenses, but an appellate court on Thursday slashed two of those numbers, but kept the ruling that the music mogul has to pay her legal expenses. …

Following weeks of breakup rumors, Portland, Maine, rockers 6Gig have made it official: They’re done. In a posting on its Web site, the band simply stated, “It was time to do some other things,” adding that the split was amicable. While the members of the band are said to already have new projects lined up, they haven’t ruled out “getting together again in the future.” … The Queers have booted bassist J.J. Nobody from the band, for what was characterized as “gross negligence.” They have already filled that hole in their lineup with Phillip Hall, most recently of Even in Blackouts. …