For The Record: Quick News On Usher, Gavin Rossdale, System Of A Down, U2, Reverend Run, Hot Snakes & More

R&B singer hosting gala affair to raise money for his summer camp.

Usher is hosting a black-tie fundraiser for his nonprofit New Look Foundation, which helps disadvantaged youth, Friday at New York's Capitale. The event will raise money for Camp New Look, to be held next week at Clark Atlanta University to give 150 children a chance to learn about the business side of the entertainment and sports industries. ...

Gavin Rossdale's new band, Institute, is hitting the road next month to support their upcoming debut, Distort Yourself, due September 13. The 13-date trek kicks off August 11 in San Diego and wraps August 30 in New York. The band's first single, "Bullet-Proof Skin," goes to radio August 2 and will be featured in the Jamie Foxx movie "Stealth." ... It's not quite their autobiography, but Maroon 5 are working on a book about their life on the road. The story, due from MTV Books in March, will be told mainly via never-before-seen photos, which will be fleshed out by text from the bandmembers about their experiences. ... System of a Down keep adding more dates to their upcoming North American trek with the Mars Volta. On August 27, the bands perform in Worcester, Massachusetts, followed by a string of seven new September dates that'll have the rockers visiting Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Minneapolis; Detroit; and Chicago. Three October dates have also been added: Denver on October 2, Seattle on October 5, and in Portland, Oregon, on the following night. ...

Rest easy, U2 fans: Bono's prized Stetson hat will be returned to its rightful owner in due time, the BBC reports. That's because the Irish rock stars were the victors in their legal battle with former stylist Lola Cashman, whom U2 collectively claimed stole several personal items she later attempted to sell at auction. Several of the items, including the aforementioned hat, some earrings and a pair of trousers, Bono wore during the band's Joshua Tree tour, and also appeared on the frontman in the film "Rattle and Hum." Cashman maintained the items were presented to her as gifts, but a Dublin, Ireland, judge believed Bono's side of the story instead. ... Run-DMC co-founder the Reverend Run will release his debut solo album, Distortion, on September 13. Run (born Joey Simmons), will debut his first single, "Mind on the Road," on the upcoming "Madden 2006" video game (August 9) and will star in his own MTV reality show, "Run's House," in the fall. The album will feature the songs "Boom Ditty," "I Use to Think I Was Run," "Break'em Til It's Broken," "Got a Way," "Home Sweet Home," "Distortion," "Changetime," "Beats to the Rhyme" and "High and Mighty Joe." ...

After three albums and six years, hard-charging indie-rockers the Hot Snakes have decided to throw in the towel. "It was a complete thrill to be a part of and satisfied my insatiable hunger for sinister, throbbing action," guitarist John Reis wrote on his Swami Records Web site. "Thank you to all that urged us along and leant (sic) an ear for us to abuse." Last year's Audit in Progress was the group's last, and the Snakes disband with the distinction of being the last group to record on the late John Peel's BBC show. Several farewell dates have been lined up. ... Broken Social Scene's Arts & Crafts Canadian label is branching out. The first non-Broken-related signing is Milton, Ontario, teen collective the Most Serene Republic, whose debut, Underwater Cinematographer is due July 12. Indie stalwarts the American Analog Set will release their sixth record, Set Free, on September 20, and Australian chanteuse New Buffalo will drop her North American debut August 23. Meanwhile, Broken Social Scene guitarist Jason Collett will release his sophomore disc, Idols of Exile, in early '06. ...

Celebrating its 25th year, the annual CMJ Music Marathon is getting ready to take over New York. The initial lineup for the September 14-17 event includes the Arcade Fire, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Blackalicious, Dungen, the Wrens, !!!, Mary Timony, Annie, Funeral for a Friend, Pony Up! and Mahjongg. Hundreds of others are expected to be announced. ... The Constantines will release their third disc, Tournament of Hearts, on October 11 for Sub Pop. Meanwhile, Sub Pop labelmates Wolf Parade will release their debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary, on September 27. Produced by Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock, the Montreal art-rockers' 12-song album will be preceded by a four-track EP and an appearance on McSweeney's Believer compilation. The collection will features indie-rockers covering indie-rockers. Wolf Parade will tackle Frog Eyes, Spoon will transform Yo La Tengo, and the Shins will put their stamp on the Postal Service. ...

Deep Dish's new album is called George Is On, but it might as well be called Stevie Is On. That's because the album, due July 12, features none other than Stevie Nicks on a remake of "Dreams." Deep Dish are currently doing DJ nights to support the release, hitting Austin's Sky on Wednesday, Boston's Axis on July 12, and Los Angeles' Avalon on July 15. ...

07.05.2005

First it was fresh fruit on the menu and a track suit for Ronald, but now McDonald's is looking to give its employees a makeover too. According to AdAge.com, the burger chain has been in preliminary talks with P. Diddy, Russell Simmons and Tommy Hilfiger about having their respective fashion houses spearhead an $80 million makeover aimed at turning the chain's bland uniforms into hip street gear young employees would be proud to wear. Other firms McDonald's is reportedly eyeing include Abercrombie & Fitch, FUBU and Rocawear. ...

Anger Management 3 just got a bit angrier. Pitbull has joined the roster of the 39-city tour, headlined by Eminem and 50 Cent and scheduled to kick off Thursday in Indianapolis. The dog's first major U.S. outing will find him performing alongside TVT labelmate Lil Jon as well as Ludacris, D12 and G-Unit. ... Gwen Stefani is making good on her promise to go back and work on a sequel to her solo album. The No Doubt singer was in the studio last week with bandmate Tony Kanal and wrote a new song with him, and she's due to work with Pharrell Williams this week, according to her label rep. ...

Funeral services for Luther Vandross will be held at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in New York on Wednesday and Thursday, with public viewings on both days from 4 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held Friday. ... Original Four Tops member Obie Benson, 69, died in Detroit on Friday of lung cancer. Best known for writing the Marvin Gaye song "What's Going On," bass singer Benson formed the group in high school in 1954 with pals Levi Stubbs, Abdul Fakir and Lawrence Payton. They performed together for 43 years, scoring such hits as "Baby, I Need Your Loving," "Standing in the Shadows of Love" and "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)." ...

The Backstreet Boys just want you to know that "Just Want You to Know" is their next single. A snippet of the song can be heard on the boy band's Web site. ... Don't Tread on Me, 311's forthcoming new disc, is now slated to drop on August 16; the album will feature a dozen fresh cuts, including "Frolic Room," "Thank Your Lucky Stars," "Whiskey and Wine" and "There's Always an Excuse." ... Disturbed, who'll be releasing their third disc, Ten Thousand Fists, on September 20, have lined up a 29-date North American tour, which kicks off August 3 in Ventura, California, and wraps up on September 17 in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. ...

Arthur magazine — a publication dedicated to "high quality writing and artwork by some of the nation's finest scribes, cartoonists and photographers" — has confirmed the lineup for "ArthurFest," a two-day festival featuring music by some of the nation's finest indie rockers (but sadly no scribes). Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney and Cat Power are amongst the acts lined up for the event, which will take place on September 4 and 5 at the Barnscale Art Park in Los Angeles. Two-day passes for the event are $70; for more information, visit ArthurMag.com. ...