For The Record: Quick News On Talan Torriero, Madonna, Ashanti, Scott Stapp, Angus Young, John Mayer & More

Torriero wraps first film; Stapp to sing at NASCAR race; Young named greatest short dude.

"Laguna Beach" star Talan Torriero's just wrapped his first movie role, for an indie film called "Driftwood," about an attitude-adjustment correctional facility for teens that's haunted by the ghost of a kid murdered there. Torriero plays Yates, a security guard who beats on the kids. Meanwhile, he's also nearly completed his debut album, and anticipates that "by the end of the week, it'll be done." ...

In two weeks, Madonna's 1998 album, Ray of Light, will be rather hard to come by if you live in Belgium. That's because a Belgian judge has ordered the disc pulled from store shelves in the country, as part of a ruling he handed down Friday morning (November 18). Back in May, Salvatore Acquaviva, a Belgian songwriter, sued the Material Mom, claiming she bit the melody for the track "Frozen" from his 1993 song "Ma Vie Fout L'camp (My Life's Getting Nowhere)." According to Reuters, Acquaviva's attorney's claiming victory against Madonna, and said the ruling further barred the airing of the song or video on radio and television in the nation. It's unknown whether Acquaviva was awarded monetary damages. ... Ashanti will be on hand at a dance workshop in Hollywood, Florida, on Sunday to help raise money for the Hurricane Bank Relief Fund. The hip-hop dance workshop is being taught by the singer's choreographer Brice Vick, "You Got Served" choreographer Shane Sparks and Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers Tour choreographer Shotyme. You can register for the class at popstarzinc.com. ...

Scott Stapp will sing the national anthem at NASCAR's Ford 400 race, the final race of the Nextel Cup Series, which takes place at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. The race will be broadcast on NBC at 3 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, Stapp's first solo album, The Great Divide, will hit stores Tuesday. ... AC/DC's Angus Young has gotten his fair share of accolades, but he's probably never received an honor quite like this. The manic guitarist, who stands at 5 foot 2, tops Maxim's list of the "25 Greatest Short Dudes of All Time." For its December issue, the magazine is fighting back against women's "shallowness" when choosing a partner, boosting a host of praiseworthy shorties into the limelight. "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, director Martin Scorsese, NBA player Spud Webb, Prince and Kurt Cobain also claimed spots on the list, as did "Star Wars" Jedi master Yoda and "Lord of the Rings" hobbits Elijah Wood and Sean Astin. ...

Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme is getting busy with foul-mouthed electro-clash star Peaches. He's contributed a song to her new album, due this spring, and she's returning the favor by joining him at his Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshua Tree, California, for his next round of Desert Sessions, for which Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins is also supposed to tag along. Meanwhile, in addition to Homme, Peaches has snagged Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes, Joan Jett, and Imperial Teen's Will Schwartz for her third album, which she's working on in Los Angeles. ... Nine Inch Nails will close out their current North American tour with Queens of the Stone Age this weekend, and will then head to South America for a quick visit. After that, the group plans to return for three newly announced West Coast gigs: Santa Cruz, California, on December 6; San Luis Obispo, California, on December 7; and Reno, Nevada, December 8. ...

Tommy Boy Records is celebrating its 25th anniversary in style. The label is releasing a 12-CD retrospective called Hip-Hop Essentials 1979-1991, with the first four volumes in stores now, to be followed by the next four on January 24 and the final four on March 7. Among the artists on the set are the Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Ice-T, Grandmaster Flash, N.W.A, Salt-N-Pepa and Eric B. & Rakim. ... Can't make the John Mayer Trio show on Wednesday at the Bowery Ballroom in New York? Don't worry, you'll be able to hear it via Network LIVE, which is simulcasting the show on XM Satellite Radio and AOL at 9 p.m. ET. Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert, which was recorded throughout various venues during a six-week tour, is out Tuesday, featuring new songs and covers of Jimi Hendrix and Ray Charles classics. On the day of release, the band will play an in-store at New York's Tower Records in the East Village. ...

Gary Glitter, the '70s British rocker behind the ubiquitous sports anthem "Rock and Roll Part 2," is on the run from Vietnamese authorities. The Associated Press reports that police are searching for the 61-year-old singer to talk about his relationship with a 15-year-old Vietnamese girl they found staying in his home in the Southeast Asian country. If charged with sexual abuse, Glitter could face punishment as severe as the death penalty. In 1999, Glitter served a four-month prison sentence after thousands of pornographic photos of children were found on his personal computer. He still remains on Britain's sex-offender registry. ... The Cure plan on hitting the studio in January to begin work on a new album, according to a post written (in all CAPS) by frontman Robert Smith on the band's Web site. In the post, he writes that a host of Cure-related projects, including reissues of older albums like 1984's The Top and '87's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, has delayed work on the new album. "We will now not be in the studio 'for real' until January 2006, but we are still on course for a summer release, as it's all in the preparation," he wrote. ...

Motorola has plans to roll out two new versions of its iTunes-enabled Rokr cell phone next year. After the somewhat chilly reception the first phone received thanks to its limited music capacity and clunky design, the second generation of the phone will be sleeker and should allow users to tap download services besides iTunes. A more stylish phone is expected in the first quarter, followed by another one mid-year that will be able to download songs wirelessly, according to a Reuters report. ...

11.17.2005

For her next single, Ashlee Simpson's ditching her "Boyfriend" to hang with the girls in her hitting-the-clubs anthem "L.O.V.E.," in which she sings, "Don't need a man in this room." A video is in the works, too — Simpson's shooting it on Sunday in Los Angeles with director Diane Martel. ...

Rod Stewart's daughter Kimberly Stewart may not have been able to hook up with her friend Paris Hilton for a new season of "The Simple Life," but she's got someone else to spend some quality time with now — Talan Torriero of "Laguna Beach," since the two are now engaged, according to his rep. Although they've only been dating a short time, they announced the engagement this week to friends Paris and Nicky Hilton. ... Madonna's media blitz ain't over yet — she's got a few more "Confessions" to make, starting with "Primetime Live," which gave her a camera to document the routine of her daily life. Madonna, daughter Lourdes and an assistant all take a turn, capturing good-morning kisses, the first cup of coffee, private workout sessions, the editing session for the "Hung Up" video, and getting ready for a night out on the town. She also sits down for an interview about motherhood, her riding accident and living in a material world. The episode airs Thursday (November 17) at 9 p.m. on ABC...

 Mariah feels a Vibe, Gwen and Pharrell hook up and Hogwart hormones rage. See all this and more in The Week in Pictures.
Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, Jesse McCartney, the Goo Goo Dolls, Toni Braxton and Yolanda Adams are among the artists slated to perform during the seventh annual "A Home for the Holidays" TV special, according to a CBS spokesperson. The show, aimed at raising awareness about adoption, will air December 21. ... After Mary J. Blige complained about Vibe magazine's new cover photo of her during Saturday's Vibe Awards ceremony, editor in chief Mimi Valdes posted a letter on the mag's Web site defending her staff's decision and saying that she was insulted by the R&B singer's hurtful comments. "I'm sorry you find your most recent cover insulting. It was definitely not our intention," Valdes wrote. She added that Blige's accusations that her hairline had been changed were untrue. "I'd be lying not to admit how hurt we were by the negativity you brought to our celebration, especially since you were being honored," Valdes said. "In any case, you felt compelled to speak your [piece], and at the end of the day, isn't this truly why we all love Mary in the first place?" ...

Chris Brown, Slash, India.Arie and Dean and Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots fame are among the acts slated to jam with Stevie Wonder at a special Recording Academy-sponsored event December 10 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Anthony Hamilton, Josh Groban, Raphael Saadiq, Angie Stone, Herbie Hancock, Hootie & the Blowfish and Randy Jackson are also participating. ... Green Day, R. Kelly and Carrie Underwood are the performers scheduled for the 2005 Billboard Music Awards, airing live on FOX on December 6. Kanye West will receive the 2005 Artist Achievement Award at the Las Vegas event. ...

Politically charged Oakland, California, rappers the Coup suffered a tragic loss Tuesday when one of their hypemen was gunned down during a robbery attempt. Tarus Jackson, 36, who joined the group a year ago, was slain after he was confronted by a pair of robbers outside his Northern California home. "He was definitely the target. They had reason to believe he had a sizeable amount of money inside," homicide Sergeant Phil Green told Bay Area newspaper Tri-Valley Herald. According to Green, the robbers shot Jackson as he was lying facedown on the ground before they fled the scene. A $13,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to the arrest of Jackson's killers. ...

Belle & Sebastian are calling their forthcoming album The Life Pursuit, which they plan to release February 5. The first single will be "Funny Little Frog," which will be out January 16. But before The Life Pursuit, there will actually be another B&S album (of sorts) released, in three weeks. Details on that and a planned U.S. tour remain to be announced. ... Fans of the Flaming Lips can get a taste of the band's new album, At War With the Mystics, at music-video site Them5.com. They've just got to sit through a video of a robot to do it. The clip accompanies the new Lips track, "You've Got to Hold On," which is the first song out there from the Mystics sessions. The album is due in stores sometime next year. ... Matchbox Twenty will play two New Year's shows at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, marking their first gigs together in two years. "We all thought it would be a blast to get together and celebrate the New Year," frontman Rob Thomas said in a statement. ...