For The Record: Quick News On Kanye West, R. Kelly, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Spoon, Elvis Costello & More

'Gold Digger' remixed with Bush criticism; embattled R&B singer's wife makes nice; pop momma's 'Fantasy' continues.

Kanye West criticized President Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina during a live telethon, not in a song, but two Houston rappers have taken his remarks and matched them with his song “Gold Digger,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Damien Randle and Micah Nickerson of the Legendary K.O. also altered the lyrics, commenting on the disaster’s aftermath from the evacuees’ point of view: “Screwed ’cause they say they’re coming back for us too/ But that was three days ago and I don’t see no rescue.” A spokesperson for West told the Times the rapper had no comment on the remix. …

After filing for an emergency restraining order against her husband, R. Kelly, earlier this month, Andrea Kelly went to a Chicago court Friday on (September 23) not to ask the judge to extend the protective order, but to get it dismissed. The singer’s wife had submitted in a petition on September 2 that she was at risk of physical abuse, harassment, stalking and interference with her personal liberty at her husband’s hands, and had scrawled on the petition that she didn’t want any contact with him, “at all, by any means.” She’s apparently changed her mind. … Britney Spears‘ “Fantasy” doesn’t end with perfume. The singer plans on expanding her beauty line next month to include makeup, with eye shadow (in colors called Midnight, Pixie, Enchanted Forest and Flicker), shimmer (called Fairy Dust), and lip gloss. … Mariah Carey wants to take you to dinner — if you buy her new remix. The singer is offering an opportunity for fans to win a chance to wine and dine her, if they download the remix to “Shake It Off” at iTunes. Details are listed on her Web site, www.MariahCarey.com. …

Austin, Texas, anti-heroes Spoon — they of the snarling interview and snarky lyric — will be bringing the acrimony to a town near you starting in late October. They’ve just announced dates for a late fall/ early winter U.S. tour in support of Gimme Fiction beginning October 27 in Louisville, Kentucky. Former Helium singer Mary Timony will serve as the opening act on several dates. The tour is scheduled to run until November 18. For a list of dates, check out SpoonTheBand.com. … Fans of Elvis Costello can soon enjoy a vast collection of the British rocker’s best music videos. “The Right Spectacle: The Very Best of Elvis Costello” DVD will feature 27 of the celebrated songwriter’s clips, including “Armed Forces,” “Get Happy” and “Veronica.” The disc, due Tuesday, will come with special features such as audio commentary by Costello recorded for each video, rare TV performances, production notes and hidden surprises. …

Vanessa Carlton‘s going to play charades for charity, along with actors Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mariska Hargitay, Kyra Sedgwick, Bebe Neuwirth and designer Cynthia Rowley, among others. Celebrity Charades will take place at New York’s St. Patrick’s Youth Center on Monday and will benefit the LAByrinth Theater Company. … Taking Back Sunday have entered a Los Angeles recording studio to start work on their third opus, which hasn’t yet been named but is being produced by Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Third Eye Blind); the band’s eyeing a mid-2006 release through Warner Bros. …

Record producer Phil Spector — who’s about to go to trial on first-degree murder charges — has sued his agent for allegedly embezzling nearly half a million dollars from his personal bank accounts. Spector claims in his lawsuit, filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, that Michelle Blaine admitted she and her son spent the money but promised to pay it back. Spector claims he found out from his accountants this week that Blaine had actually transferred $425,000 from his pension plan to two companies she co-operates, BT Productions and 3:15 Productions. Spector is seeking a court order barring Blaine from using his funds and compelling her to return the money. He also wants unspecified compensatory damages. …

Ex-Red House Painters singer Mark Kozelek is fond of covering other artists’ work. After releasing acoustic interpretations of AC/DC, John Denver and Neil Diamond, Kozlek is reprising the concept with Tiny Cities, an album of acoustic Modest Mouse tracks, under his Sun Kill Moon moniker. Due November 1, the album features drastically different takes on songs like “Neverending Math Equation” and “Jesus Christ Was an Only Child.” … Meanwhile, Modest Mouse are re-releasing Good News for People Who Love Bad News as a DualDisc on October 11. The CD will feature the album along with the bonus track “I’ve Got It All (Most),” while the DVD will feature an interview with singer Isaac Brock and videos for “Float On” and “Ocean Breathes Salty” as well as a new clip called “Stiff Animal Fantasy” set to the song “World at Large.” …

09.22.2005

R. Kelly isn’t due back in court for his child-pornography case until October 7, but he’s got a new legal matter on his hands. His wife, Andrea, got an emergency order of protection against him earlier this month. She asked the court in a petition filed on September 2 to prohibit him from alleged physical abuse, harassment, stalking and interfering with her personal liberty, and she also asked the court to prevent him from removing their three children from their home or disposing of their personal property. Since the emergency restraining order expires Friday, she’s due in court that morning to ask the judge to extend it. …

The trailer for Usher‘s first movie in four years, “In the Mix,” premieres Thursday (September 22) at 8 p.m. PT on MTV’s Overdrive broadband channel. The romantic comedy, formerly titled “Dying for Dolly,” also stars Emmanuelle Chriqui (“On the Line”) and Chazz Palminteri (“Poolhall Junkies”) and features Usher as a bodyguard who falls in love with his boss’ daughter. “In the Mix” opens November 23. … The Gorillaz have announced plans for a revolutionary world tour in 2007. According to management, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett — the masterminds behind the band — are working with the animation house known as Passion Pictures to produce a holographic version of the band, which they intend to take around the world. In the meantime, Albarn and Hewlett are also planning a five-night stand at the International Festival in Manchester, England, in November. The shows will feature all the human collaborators on the Gorillaz’s hit album Demon Days, including the Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder and U.K. emcee Roots Manuva.


Check out the trailer premiere for Usher’s romantic-comedy-thriller, “In the Mix,” along with previews of “Brokeback Mountain,” “Pride & Prejudice” and lots more.

Designer clothes worn by Beyoncé, Nicole Richie, Wyclef Jean, Kelly Osbourne, Amerie and others at last week’s Naomi Campbell-organized Fashion for Relief runway show in New York are being auctioned beginning Thursday at FashionForRelief.Yahoo.com. Proceeds from the auction, which ends September 29, are going to AmeriCares’ Hurricane Katrina relief fund. … Osbourne, Courtney Love and Nancy Sinatra are donating signed items (including a pair of Sinatra’s boots made for walkin’) for a raffle to benefit the American Red Cross and New Orleans’ Musician’s Hurricane Relief Fund. The Scissor Sisters and Lady Miss Kier will DJ at the event, to be held September 28 at New York’s Luke and Leroy’s. …

Foxy Brown told reporters Thursday that she’s going on a performance hiatus to undergo surgery for a hearing defect. Brown would not elaborate on the problem, speaking outside the Manhattan Criminal Court, where a judge set a December 5 trial date for the rapper. Brown has been charged with misdemeanor assault, attempted assault and harassment in an incident with two Manhattan nail-salon workers in August 2004. Brown was offered a plea bargain to serve 10 days of community service but refused. … St. Louis production duo TrakStarz (best known for discovering Chingy) have joined forces with Timbaland and Lil Jon for the aptly titled track “Producers’ Anthem.” The song will be featured on TrakStarz’s debut album, Star Studded, due in November and also featuring Chingy, David Banner, Twista, Nate Dogg, Juvenile and Bun B. …

Kanye West has already started work on his next album, but he doesn’t want to give up too much about it yet. While he has three songs finished already for his third LP, which he’s going to call Graduation, West told MTV Europe that if he talks about what he’s planning to do, there will be eight songs out just like that before he gets the chance. He compares the in-the-works Graduation to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint, not for its sound, but for the influence it will have. He’s hoping to have 12 songs on the album and put it out by the end of next year. … Alicia Keys is going to serve up a tasty treat — she’s one of the contributors to Morgan Freeman‘s upcoming cookbook, “Caribbean Cooking for a Cause,” which will feature an exotic blend of island recipes from the actor’s many celebrity friends, including Hilary Swank, Tom Hanks and Michael Douglas, as well as tips from well-known chefs and restaurant owners throughout the Caribbean. The book, which will be published next fall, will benefit the Grenada Relief Fund, an organization spearheaded by Freeman after the small island was devastated by Hurricane Ivan last year. …

Ever since admitting she felt the biological clock ticking, Gwen Stefani says everyone is on baby watch. She told Allure magazine (she’s on its October cover) that in one paparazzi photo taken as she was grocery shopping with husband Gavin Rossdale in 2003, the caption asked if she was already expecting. “What, do I look fat or something?” she told the mag. “I get asked when I’m having a baby in every interview. Like today, I talked to these morning-show announcers, [imitating a DJ voice] ‘Gwen! So when are you going to have a baby?!’ When I get pregnant, I will tell everybody, trust me. And I want a big friggin’ shower, OK?” … Cameron Diaz is also feeling the tabloid glare, especially when it pertains to her relationship with singer Justin Timberlake. The actress told GQ (she’s on the October cover) that stories written about the couple aren’t even accurate, they’re just chapters of fictitious “romance novels.” “I’m getting married or breaking up; Justin and I are moving in together, or I want to get married. None of it’s true. Not any of it!” she told the mag. “The idea that people are together just to get married and have children — not every relationship ends up that way.” Besides, she’s committed to keeping her private life private, at least until she catches reality show bug. “Maybe I’ll start carrying around a video recorder to document me and Justin’s tongue wrestling,” she joked. “Or I’ll invite the entire staff of Us Weekly to my annual pap smear. We could spin it off into a new reality series: E!’s ‘Celebrity Gyno-Challenge.’ I’m probably the only one who is laughing at that, right?” …

U2 will release the DVD “U2//Vertigo//2005: Live From Chicago” on November 15. Directed by Hamish Hamilton, who also helmed the recent “Elevation: Live From Boston” and “U2 Go Home: Live From Slane Castle, Ireland,” the DVD was shot during four shows in May. … In a posting on his Web site, Korn frontman Jonathan Davis confirmed the band’s forthcoming record will be called See You on the Other Side and that it would surface on December 6. The outing is the group’s first for Virgin Records and is expected to contain more than a dozen tracks, including “Liar,” “Politix,” “Last Legal Drug Le Petit Mort,” “It’s Me Again,” “Coming Undone,” “I’ve Seen It All” and “Souvenir of Sadness.” … Former Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo and his wife, Kristen, welcomed a new son, Duke Vincent, on August 7. According to the band’s Web site, the infant “came in weighing 7 pounds and sporting a full head of black hair.” …

Remember Michael Jackson‘s charter jet flight with his attorney from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara, California, to surrender himself to authorities on child-molestation charges almost two years ago? That flight — and their privileged conversation — was taped without the singer’s knowledge and permission, and now, two men have been indicted on federal charges for that secret recording: the owner of the charter jet company, Jeffrey Borer, and Arvel Jett Reeves, the owner of the jet’s maintenance company, Executive Aviation Logistics. They’re charged with conspiracy, endeavoring to intercept oral communication and witness tampering. … Pink is returning to the stage for a benefit for breast cancer research, a cause which has long associated itself with her color namesake. The singer’s free show at New York’s South Street Seaport on September 30 will be opened by DJ Laurent and Butch Walker, one of the producers on her new album. “If fame is good for one thing, it’s that it gets people’s attention,” Pink said. “And when what you are talking about is as serious as the fight to cure breast cancer, I can’t think of a better way to express myself.” Concertgoers can raise funds for the cause by buying pink-themed products, including bracelets, baseball caps and compilation CDs (available online at Target.com/breastcancer), with profits benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. …

The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America reported to Congress on Wednesday that 670,000 of the nation’s 17 million college and university students now have access to legal music downloading services, with the number of schools offering those services tripling to nearly 70 in the past year. It’s unclear how many students are actually using the legitimate services versus swapping songs illegally on file-sharing networks, but the report said solid progress is being made, sometimes through schools instituting a “three strikes” rule that in some instances ends with expulsion. Among the problems that still need to be worked on, according to the report, are illegal student-run file-sharing groups on school-hosted local area networks and illegal hacks of iTunes and other legitimate services. … Former Cars singer Ric Ocasek will make rare live appearances September 29 at a New York fundraiser for CBGB and October 10 in his home city of Boston at Harper’s Ferry. Ocasek, who will be backed by the Hong Kong, the first band he signed to his Sanctuary Records imprint, Inverse, is releasing a solo album, Nexterday, on September 27. …