For The Record: Quick News On Michael Jackson, Ciara, Sean Paul, Shakira, A Perfect Circle, Mandy Moore & More

Jackson begins work on charity single; Shakira readies next album; Sean Paul among AMA presenters.

Remember when Michael Jackson announced his plan last month to record an all-star charity single to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina? He started sessions for the song “From the Bottom of My Heart” this past weekend at London’s Metropolis Studios with his latest financial backer, Prince Abdullah Hamad Alkhalifa of Bahrain. But none of the artists Jackson said would be taking part in this project — among them, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and R. Kelly — were on hand. Only one of the announced collaborators — Ciara — has publicly confirmed her involvement. …

Ludacris, John Mayer and Jesse McCartney are among the first celebrities confirmed to present at the 2005 American Music Awards. Nick Lachey, Sean Paul, Ryan Cabrera, Nicole Richie, Toni Braxton, Chingy, Gretchen Wilson, Sugarland, LeAnn Rimes, Delta Goodrem, Ryan Seacrest, Lance Armstrong, Emmy Rossum, John Stamos, Stuart Townsend and Gabrielle Union will also hand out trophies during the show, airing live from Los Angeles November 22 on ABC. … Shakira is readying the release of her second installment of Oral Fixation — the English version. Two songs from the Spanish version, Fijación Oral, Vol. 1, will be translated on Vol. 2, but it’s mostly a batch of new songs, including one called “Illegal” that features Carlos Santana. Her first single from Vol. 2, “Don’t Bother,” hits radio this week, and the video (directed by visual artist Jaume) will premiere on “Making the Video” on October 27. The new album is due November 29. …

Outkast‘s Big Boi, no stranger to accolades for his work, has snagged another, this time from his hometown of Savannah, Georgia. On Saturday, the rapper received the Fine Arts Award from the King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation, which works to preserve black history and culture in the Southern city, in recognition for his contributions to the arts. “It feels great. It’s been a long time coming. After 13 years, I appreciate it,” Big told The Associated Press. … Go to Choir Academy Charter School in Chicago? Make sure you get sent to the principal’s office on October 27 — that’s the day when Twista will be heading up the school. As part of the Principal for a Day program, the rapper will share his insight from his experiences in the music industry, since it’s a performing-arts-based school. “I think it’s important for artists to come back to their communities and help inspire the youth,” Twista said. “When you’re young, sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on your dreams, especially in music. Hopefully, I can inspire these young students to stay focused and never give up.” …

Mos Def and Talib Kweli are reuniting for a road trip this month. Though it’s not quite a Black Star tour, the two will co-headline what’s being called the Breed Love Odyssey Tour, which kicks off October 28 in Sacramento, California, and continues through November 14 in Houston. More dates are expected to be announced. Kweli’s new album, Right About Now, is due November 22. … Mandy Moore is continuing to plug away on her forthcoming album. “About 15 songs written and recorded with a few more to go,” she wrote on her Web site. She’s collaborated so far with Counting CrowsAdam Duritz, Michelle Branch, Lori McKenna, Chantal Kreviazuk, Rachael Yamagata and James Renald. “I am getting so psyched to put this record out and hit the road for the first time in a LONG time,” she wrote. …

Naughty Dog, the video game firm behind the forthcoming “Jak X: Combat Racing,” recruited A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel to craft new music for the game’s soundtrack — but Howerdel, himself, enlisted some famous friends to help him with his mission. A Perfect Circle drummer Josh Freese, guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen and ex-bassist Paz Lenchantin appear in some of Howerdel’s tracks, according to Naughty Dog. Others summoned for the effort include Ex-Rocket From the Crypt drummer Adam “Atom” Willard, Queens of the Stone Age‘s Joey Castillo, Limp Bizkit‘s Wes Borland, former Nine Inch Nails member Danny Lohner and onetime Faith No More member Dean Menta. Queens of the Stone Age have the honor of opening the game, with their track “You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire.” …

American Mule Entertainment will issue a politically charged comic book featuring Public Enemy‘s Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff and the S1Ws. The action-packed book, which will be called “Public Enemy,” will follow the socially conscious rappers around the globe as they do what they do: rock international crowds’ butts off. Each member of the fold, however, doubles as an agent in a “secret organization called the Underground Railroad, which is a global network that helps people whenever they’re in need, or when governments are oppressing them,” said the book’s writer/inker Adam Wallenta. “They won’t have super powers. Chuck D won’t shoot laser beams from his eyes, but he has a powerful mind and an ability to reach people.” Each comic will include a CD featuring new cuts from Public Enemy as well as some of the artists Chuck works with through his Slam Jamz label. The first four books will be released as part of the “Welcome to the Terrordome” series. … On December 6, EMI will release “Pulse,” a two-DVD set featuring footage captured at Pink Floyd‘s 1994 Division Bell tour stop at London’s Earls Court. The first DVD will include live renditions of classic Floyd tracks like “Learning to Fly,” “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2″ and “One of These Days,” while the second features The Dark Side of the Moon performed in its entirety. The discs will also boast backstage footage, previously unseen extras and a photo gallery teeming with shots of the band snapped during its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. …

10.10.2005

If you were hoping to score Britney Spears‘ jewel-encrusted bra on eBay, you’re outta luck. The pop princess, who donated several personal items to be auctioned off to raise dough for hurricane relief, pulled the bra off the block because she was worried it was being represented as something it was not. The singer says she did wear the bra (bids for which had reached up to $47,000) for an HBO promotion, but it was not the same one she wore onstage during the concert special that aired on the channel in November 2001. “I feel the correct thing to do is remove this item from the auction because I don’t want any of you to feel misled,” Spears said on her Web site. …

Just in case the return of NHL hockey post-lockout and the debut of phenom Sidney Crosby weren’t enough of a draw, Christina Aguilera sang the national anthem for her hometown hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, on Saturday before they played their home opener against the Boston Bruins. (Click for photos of Christina singing for her home team. ) … Ashlee Simpson had a meta moment on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, when she went on to attempt a do-over of her disastrous appearance from last fall — and sang her new song about that disastrous appearance. “Catch Me When I Fall” is one of two songs on her upcoming album, I Am Me, that deals with the “SNL” crisis, the other being “Beautifully Broken.” Simpson also sang her latest single, “Boyfriend,” with the aid of a backup vocalist as her second performance. During closing credits, she danced a bit of her now-infamous jig. …

Kate Bosworth, Orlando Bloom, Gina Gershon, Michael Stipe and U2 members Bono and The Edge feted famed rock photog Anton Corbijn in New York on Sunday night at a celebration of the opening of Corbin’s photo exhibit “U2 & I” at the Stellan Holm Gallery. (Click here for photos. ) … Madonna‘s got religious leaders up in arms again, this time over a kabbalah-themed track called “Isaac” on her forthcoming album, Confessions on a Dancefloor. “Isaac” is said to be about the 16th century Jewish mystic Yitzhak Luria, and kabbalist rabbis in Israel are angered that his name would be used for profit, which goes against Jewish law. Rabbis Rafael Cohen and Israel Deri, who have yet to hear the song, told the Israeli newspaper Maariv that Madonna singing a song about Luria is “unacceptable” and a “great sin.” They’re asking that she be thrown out of the kabbalah community. … In the early hours of Saturday morning at New York club Exit, Beanie Sigel concluded his 30-minute set with a performance of the “Kiss Your Ass Goodbye” remix — with help from none other than the LOX and Fabolous, who jumped onstage with the Broad Street Bully. …

Former R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry reunited with his old bandmates over the weekend for an impromptu performance at a friend’s wedding reception in Athens, Georgia. Berry, Peter Buck, Michael Stipe and Mike Mills played a seven-song set for the crowd of 300 in a tiny arcade room at the bowling alley where the reception was held, including their tracks “Sitting Still,” “The One I Love” and “Radio Free Europe.” It was the first time the original group has played together since a concert in Raleigh, North Carolina, during its 2003 In Time Tour. “It was awesome to look behind me and see Bill on drums,” Mills said on the band’s Web site. Berry announced he was leaving the band in October 1997 to retire to his farm. … Camera crews will capture all of the onstage action as it unfolds during Dinosaur Jr.‘s December 2-3 shows at New York’s Irving Plaza, for what will become the band’s first full-length DVD. The group’s publicist promises the DVD will feature “unfettered access to the famously elusive band,” as well as one-on-one interviews, behind-the-scenes “goings-on” and a full set of performances from the Dino. The DVD should surface before spring. The recently reunited band also has a gig booked for Chicago’s Metro on November 29. …

Mash-up act Beatallica will launch a nine-date tour in late November. Beatallica, famous for forging the tunes of the Beatles and Metallica, perform under the aliases “Jamz Lennfield,” “Kirk Hammettson,” “Kliff McBurtney” and “Ringo Larz.” The Milwaukee outfit’s trek kicks off on November 28 in Columbus, Ohio, and wraps up on December 10 in Chicago. … During Megadeth‘s gig Sunday night in Buenos Aires, Argentina, frontman Dave Mustaine revealed to the audience that — despite speculation his band’s 2004 album, The System Has Failed, would be its last and that he’d soon be touring no more — he has no plans to throw in the towel yet. In audio captured during the concert, Mustaine told the crowd that Megadeth will continue to record new material and will tour. He’s said in recent interviews that he wanted to pursue solo endeavors and leave the Megadeth name behind him. …

Hawthorne Heights are holed up in a Hoboken, New Jersey, studio, hard at work on the follow-up to their 2004 debut, The Silence in Black and White, and they’re getting a little help from their friends. Last week, they put out a call to their fans, asking them to make the trek to Hoboken to lend their voices to Hawthorne’s second album, which is tentatively titled If Only You Were Lonely. The session happened Monday (October 10), with 25 fans singing backup on two new Hawthorne tracks. Lonely is due in stores early next year. … Scottish popsters Belle & Sebastian have finished work on their new album, the first since 2003′s Dear Catastrophe Waitress.Working with Beck producer Tony Hoffer in Los Angeles, the band pounded out the still-untitled album’s 18 songs in less than three months. Song titles include “Song for Sunshine,” “Funny Little Frog” and “Sukie in the Graveyard.” …