For The Record: Quick News On Carrie Underwood, 50 Cent, Just Blaze, Saigon, Bloc Party, Nada Surf & More

Underwood feels like a nut, but sometimes she doesn't; 50 denied by judge; Bloc Party get remixed.

Carrie Underwood has inked a deal with the Hershey Company, according to The Associated Press. The “American Idol” champ will belt out some of the candy company’s classic jingles in a new TV ad campaign, including the famed “sometimes you feel like a nut … sometimes you don’t” for Mounds and Almond Joy; “give me a break” for Kit Kat, and of course, “Hershey’s is the great American chocolate bar.”…

A federal court in Los Angeles on Wednesday denied 50 Cent‘s motion for an injunction against further distribution of “The Infamous Times – Volume I: The Original 50 Cent” DVD. The court also refused the rapper’s request for the DVD’s sales data. 50 is alleging that the use of his name in the title infringes on his trademark. … Mixtape DJ Sickamore held a party Tuesday night at club T-NY in New York to celebrate the launch of his marketing and consulting company, I Can Make You Famous. Sick’s firm is designed to help up-and-coming artists break big in the music industry. Just Blaze DJed, and street MCs such as Bad Boy’s Ness, Tru Life, Saigon, Stack Bundles and the legendary Melle Mel were among the guests who came out. …

Fresh on the heels of their Mercury Music Prize nomination for their debut album, Silent Alarm, Bloc Party are releasing the dance-rock-friendly version, Silent Alarm Remixed, on September 13. Remixers include Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ladytron, Pretty Girls Make Graves, M83, Mogwai, Four Tet and Death From Above 1979. “It’s really tough,” Bloc Party drummer Matt Tong said of DFA79′s version of “Luno.” “It’s a really aggressive take on our music. It makes me want to punch people.” Initial pressings of Remixed will also include a limited-edition bonus disc with three B-sides previously unavailable in the U.S. and acoustic versions of “Plans” and “Storm and Stress.” … Pennywise, Death by Stereo, the Dead Kennedys, Bif Naked, the Wylde Bunch and DJ Z-Trip will perform at the X Games, taking place August 4-7 at the Staples Center and Home Depot Center in Los Angeles. …

Long thought dead, New York’s Nada Surf enjoyed a revival with 2003′s Let Go, which made its way onto a whole lot of music fans’ year-end lists. Now, with a new album, The Weight Is a Gift, due September 20, they’re looking to build on that momentum. They’re also launching a North American tour; the 16-date trek starts October 4 in Washington, D.C., and runs until October 23 in San Diego. Brooklyn, New York, art punks Say Hi to Your Mom will serve as the opening act on most of the dates. … Southern California rockers Smile Empty Soul will release their sophomore album, Anxiety, on September 27. The group worked, once again, with producer John Lewis Parker on the disc, which will feature 15 cuts, including “Holes,” “California’s Lonely” and the album’s first single, “Don’t Need You.” … David Gray‘s next album, Life in Slow Motion, is due September 13. Gray will preview the new material, including first single “The One I Love,” with a 10-date tour beginning August 1 in Toronto. …

07.20.2005

R. Kelly is one step closer to going to trial on child-pornography charges. His lawyers succeeded Wednesday (July 20) in getting prosecutors to narrow the time frame of when they say the alleged sex tape was made (though not as much as the defense wanted), so the singer can provide an alibi. Unlike many of Kelly’s previous court appearances during the pretrial process, which have usually amounted to the singer asking for continuances or permission to travel outside the jurisdiction, evidence was actually examined and witnesses were heard. The issue will be considered further next week, since Judge Vincent Gaughan has yet to make his ruling on just how much this time frame should be reduced — currently, it covers a span of two years, but the defense wants it to be narrowed to within a period of two days. Kelly is due back in court on July 27. …

Rapper Gucci Mane was arrested in Miami on Friday on an outstanding police warrant, The Associated Press reports. The aggravated-assault warrant was issued in Atlanta for an altercation earlier this month involving a promoter and folks at Mane’s record label, Big Cat Records. The promoter suffered injuries and later filed charges, but the rapper’s lawyer asserts his client was not involved in the fight. The attorney also told the AP on Wednesday that Mane was expected to be sent back to Atlanta, where he’s also facing a murder charge in a separate case, later this week. … There’s been some recent movement on the long-in-the-works Notorious B.I.G. biopic, now that the forthcoming film’s got a studio home (Fox Searchlight), and journalist Cheo Hodari Coker has been hired to pen the script; Coker was the last person to interview the slain rapper before his murder eight years ago. According to Reuters, Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “The Replacement Killers”) is in negotiations to direct the as-yet-untitled project, which Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, and former managers Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts will produce. …

Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough will host a live and silent auction at the Brulee: The Dessert Experience at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on July 28. The auction will serve as a fund-raiser for the Dorough Lupus Foundation, which the singer founded several years ago to memorialize his sister, who succumbed to Lupus. Howie will also meet with several of his fans who’re suffering from the disease, and escort them to a screening of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” … Performances by Franz Ferdinand, the Pixies and Dashboard Confessional highlight Austin City Limits, a collection of songs recorded during last year’s Austin City Limits music festival in Texas. The 16-track album is due August 30 on Rhino Records and also features performances from acts like the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Neville Brothers. This years’ Austin City Limits fest runs from September 23-25. …

It’s been 12 years since Primus made their Lollapalooza debut, and this weekend, the Les Claypool-led lot is set to perform during Chicago’s two-day Lolla revival. The classic Primus lineup — bassist Claypool, guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander — will be taking the stage, and even have plans to record a new album together, the band’s first since 1999. Primus will hit the studio later this year to start writing the new material. … Claypool and Michael Franti & Spearhead are among the artists added to Jam Cruise 4. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Digable Planets, Galactic, Umphrey’s McGee and four String Cheese Incident side projects will also perform on the Italian cruise ship MSC Lirica, which will leave port from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on January 7 and hit Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico, before returning six days later. …

Marking the 10th anniversary of the overdose death of singer Shannon Hoon, Blind Melon are releasing their first hits collection, Tones of Home: The Best of Blind Melon, on September 27. The CD/DVD will feature songs like “No Rain,” “Galaxie” and “Three Is the Magic Number” (from “Schoolhouse Rock”) along with videos and live performances. Also due September 27 is the concert DVD “Live at the Metro 9.27.95,” which features three bonus songs from an acoustic performance for Canada’s MuchMusic, as well as “Live at the Palace 10.11.95,” which will be available exclusively as a digital music release. …