For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, ‘NSYNC, Kelly Clarkson, Madonna, Tom Morello, Louis XIV & More

Britney and 'NSYNC read Pope John Paul II's poems; Madonna wishes Kylie well; Morello remixes Indigo Girls.

Britney Spears might be more of a practicing Baptist or sometime Kabbalist, but she also gives props to the pope in a new video tribute. She joins ‘NSYNC, Monica, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry in reading inspirational prayers, stories and poems from the late Pope John Paul II in a clip available for download at popejpII.navio.com. …

Kelly Clarkson will perform in New York’s Central Park on Saturday afternoon. The concert is part of Allure magazine’s Beauty Live event, which will include a beauty village filled with free makeovers, product samples, expert skincare advice and more, with proceeds benefiting the Skin Cancer Foundation. … You might associate Mötley Crüe with strip clubs and hard liquor, but frontman Vince Neil is actually more of a fine-wine guy — so much so that he’s making his own. Vince Vineyards will release its first two wines this spring — a 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2003 Sonoma Chardonnay — which will be available in Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tennessee; and New York (national distribution will follow). “I have enjoyed great wine for most of my life and wanted to create something other wine lovers could experience and appreciate,” Neil said. “Our first two releases are both amazing wines and I can’t imagine enjoying fresh seafood or grilled steak with anything else.” …

Add Madonna to the list of well-wishers hoping for a speedy recovery for Kylie Minogue, who is undergoing breast-cancer surgery this week. “I was saddened to learn about Kylie’s diagnosis,” Madonna posted on her Web site. “I’m so grateful that they found it early. Aside from being tremendously talented, Kylie’s a fighter and I know this is a battle she will win.” Madonna also called the news “yet another reminder for all women to have annual mammograms.” … Meanwhile, a judge in Mons, Belgium, has frozen royalties for “Frozen” in that country — until a plagiarism lawsuit against Madonna is resumed next month. Composer Salvatore Acquaviva is suing the Material Mom, accusing her of lifting the melody of her 1998 hit from his 1993 song “Ma Vie Fout L’camp” (“My Life’s Getting Nowhere”). Madonna’s lawyer Fabienne Brison denied the charge, telling Belgian television station RTL, “Just because there are similarities between two songs, it doesn’t mean it has been plagiarized.” …

Cut Chemist has ripped it up for Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli, and now the DJ is getting busy on a solo LP. The album, The Audiences’ Listening, is due this fall, and he describes it as a mix of Brazilian samba, rock and hip-hop beats, electro and samples — lots of samples. “The album is hip-hop in the sense that it’s cut-and-paste, and there’s a lot of turntablist stuff on there,” he said. “You really get a feel of me going through records to put this together.” … The Offspring have one new song called “Can’t Repeat” slated for their upcoming greatest-hits collection, due June 21. The Offspring’s Greatest Hits will also include “Come Out and Play (Keep ‘Em Separated),” “Self Esteem,” “All I Want,” “Gone Away,” “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” and “Defy You.” The DualDisc version will include an acoustic performance of “Dirty Magic.” The group is also releasing a music-video collection, due out July 5, which will include the band-produced rarities “Da Hui” and “Cool to Hate” as well as live television performances. …

The String Cheese Incident will headline the Big Summer Classic 2005 tour, which launches July 2 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver and wraps up later in the month. Keller Williams, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Yonder Mountain String Band, Umphrey’s McGee and New Monsoon are also on the bill. … Street Drum Corps, a street-drum exhibition that No Doubt‘s Adrian Young and Bad Religion‘s Brooks Wackerman have previously participated in, will perform at the California and Arizona dates of this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, from June 29 to July 7. SDC will perform a 15-minute set five times a day on its own stage. Each performance will feature a special guest joining the group. …

Louis XIV shot a video for “God Killed the Queen” Thursday night in Los Angeles, where fans were invited to be in the crowd for the live-performance scenes, if they “dressed to impress.” The clip was directed by the collective Made by Robots, and it’s supposed to have a “Sid & Nancy,” rock-and-roll-mayhem-at-the-Chelsea-Hotel feel to reflect the band’s glam-punk vibe. Meanwhile, the group’s tour with the Killers, which was to start Monday in St. Louis, is now slated to kick off Wednesday in Chicago. The Monday St. Louis and Tuesday Louisville, Kentucky, dates were postponed by the Killers for “personal reasons,” according to Louis XIV’s Web site. … A remix of “Shed Your Skin” by Tom Morello, a live performance of “Ramblin’ Round” with Ani DiFranco and a collaboration with Michael Stipe on “I’ll Give You My Skin” are among the tracks featured on the Indigo Girls‘ new Rarities collection, due June 14. Covers of “Clampdown” from 1999′s Burning London – The Clash Tribute, and “Uncle John’s Band” from 1991′s Deadicated: A Tribute to the Grateful Dead are also included. …

5.19.2005

Jennifer Lopez‘s pilot for “South Beach” was picked up by UPN, the network announced Thursday (May 19). The singer/actress is one of the producers of the hour-long drama, which will star Vanessa Williams and follow three young adults trying to get ahead in Miami. The show’s planned as a mid-season replacement and has no airdate yet. … Mandy Moore is wrapping up her work on the new season of “Entourage,” for which she’ll guest star on five episodes after the series starts up again on June 5 at 9 p.m. on HBO. “My episodes don’t air until late July,” the singer/actress posted on her Web site Wednesday. “The cast and crew have been so welcoming to me. I’m sad that tomorrow is my last day.” …

Irv Gotti got his wish in court Thursday (May 19), when a Brooklyn, New York, federal judge tentatively granted the Murder Inc. music mogul’s request to separate his and his brother’s money-laundering case from that of Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff and other defendants charged with more severe crimes, such as murder. Logistically, there are several ways the case may proceed, according to the U.S. attorney’s office, from trying all the defendants together but with two juries to holding two or three separate trials. Gerald Shargel, who filed the separation motion for Irv and Chris Gotti, said he was pleased with the decision and hopes to get a separate trial for his clients. Gotti is scheduled to go to trial October 17. …

Audioslave closed down a block of Hollywood Boulevard on Wednesday to perform a free show for fans in the band’s hometown. After performing “Your Time Has Come” and “Be Yourself” for “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the band returned for an eight-song set that included “Set It Off,” “Your Time Has Come” again (which was recorded for a video), “Doesn’t Remind Me,” “Like a Stone” and “Show Me How to Live,” among others. After taking on Soundgarden‘s “Spoonman,” singer Chris Cornell told the tens of thousands of fans that packed the street, “That was for all the Audioslave fans who came to see us last time and heard nothing but new songs.” After the crowd broke through a barricade during “Killing in the Name,” some men came onstage and appeared to ask the band to end the show, but guitarist Tom Morello asked for one more, “Cochise.” …

Dido is releasing a live CD/DVD on June 7. Dido: Live, recorded in August over three nights at London’s Brixton Academy, was shot by David Barnard, who has done DVDs for Björk and Travis. … Michelle Branch just shot a video for Santana‘s “I’m Feeling You” in San Francisco, she posted on her Web site. “That was fun! No word on when you will be able to hear/see it, though,” she wrote. “Rumor has it his album has been pushed back to September.” In the meantime, the debut album from Branch’s new band the Wreckers might be delayed as well. “Maverick wants more time to set it up, so it might come out as late as January or February 2006,” she wrote. “There goes my romantic idea of not working next year.” That romantic idea is due to the fact that she’s due — in about 12 weeks. …

British electronic pop duo Goldfrapp have set a September 20 Stateside release date for their third album, Supernature. The first single, “Ooh La La,” will be released in August. … Morningwood, the New York buzz band featuring former members of the Wallflowers, Cibo Matto and Spacehog, will release their self-titled debut August 2. Gil Norton, best known for his work with the Pixies and Foo Fighters, produced the album. … Tiffany‘s trying for a comeback, thanks to a show named after a song by another teen queen. “Hit Me Baby One More Time” will be a one-hour battle of the bands competition program this summer featuring veteran hit-makers such as Wang Chung, Flock of Seagulls, Tommy Tutone, the Knack and the Motels each performing their greatest hit and then covering a contemporary song, while the audience votes on its favorite. The show, which will last three episodes, starts airing June 2 at 9 p.m. on NBC. …

Bassist Jay Russell has quit Connecticut proto-emo troupe Hot Rod Circuit, according to the band’s Web site. Russell reportedly wanted to focus his attention on his other band, Diamond Jay and the Rough. As a result, Hot Rod Circuit have been forced to cancel their current tour with the Get Up Kids. HRC will still show up for this summer’s Warped Tour, with Rob Fitzgerald of New Jersey’s Hero Pattern filling in. … Reignition Records will release The Killer in You: A Tribute to the Smashing Pumpkins on September 20. The disc will feature 11 tracks, including Poison the Well doing “Soma,” Hopesfall taking on “Eye,” Vaux‘s rendition of “1979,” A Static Lullaby‘s “The Everlasting Gaze” and Eighteen Visions‘ cover of “Quiet.” …