For The Record: Quick News On Jay-Z, Joaquin Phoenix, Radiohead, Every Time I Die, Nickelback & More

Jay-Z no Scrooge; Radiohead name new producer; Nickelback add dates.

Ho, ho, Hova! Jay-Z is proving he’s no Scrooge this holiday season. With millions of New Yorkers finding it so difficult to maneuver through the city due to the transit strike — which has now come to an end — the Jigga sent out several limousines to pick up pedestrians around the city who were trying to make it to work over the past three days. Then on Christmas, Jay will hold his annual toy drive in Brooklyn, New York’s Marcy Projects, where kids will receive $10,000 worth of toys. …

Parts of the Golden Globe-nominated Johnny Cash biopic, “Walk the Line,” will look familiar to the inmates at California’s Folsom Prison when they get a special screening of the flick on January 3. That’s because the movie opens and closes with scenes of Joaquin Phoenix as Cash playing his famous shows at the prison nearly 40 years ago that became the basis for the classic Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison album. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Phoenix will be on hand for the screening. … On Tuesday, the third state law signed this year to ban the sale of explicit video games to minors became the third to hit a legal bump in the road. A federal judge put a temporary hold on a California law that would have gone into effect on the first of the year, saying game-industry lawyers had raised sufficient doubt about the state’s ability to prove that ultra-violent games can cause psychological harm to children — the state’s impetus for the law. In recent weeks, a similar temporary hold was put on a Michigan law, while a bill in Illinois was struck down pending appeal. …

Though there’s still no title or release date for the album they’ve been working on since August, Radiohead have announced who’ll be producing the record — and it’s not who you’d think. For the first time since their 1993 debut, Pablo Honey, the band will be working with someone other than Nigel Godrich: Mark “Spike” Stent, who’s worked with Madonna and Björk, will helm the sessions for the new album, set to resume in February. Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien made the announcement on BBC Radio Wednesday night, adding that while the band remains good friends with Godrich, it was looking to break the “comfort zone” it had built over the decade-plus partnership. “You’ve got to do stuff that you’re scared of doing,” O’Brien said. “With Nigel, we’ve been working together for 10 years, and we all love one another too much.” … Every Time I Die have been added to the Warped Tour‘s 2006 lineup, which also features Motion City Soundtrack, Thursday, From First to Last, NOFX, Anti-Flag, Underoath, Rise Against and Against Me. …

Nickelback have added two more stops to their upcoming North American tour with support act Trapt: February 7 in St. Louis and February 9 in Wichita, Kansas. … The Flaming Lips are aiming for an early April release date for their new album, At War With the Mystics, according to their label, Warner Bros. The first single off the record, “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song,” is due to hit radio in March. Mystics is the Lips’ first album of new material since 2002′s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

The Velvet Underground‘s “Live MCMXCIII” will hit stores on January 24 on DVD. “Live MCMXCIII,” which has been available on VHS for years, features live footage shot back in 1993 in Paris during the band’s brief reunion trek. … Irish rock legends the Pogues have booked a nine-date East Coast tour. The group will kick things off in Washington, D.C., with a pair of shows on March 9 and 10. Then it’s off to Atlantic City, New Jersey, on March 11, followed by two dates in Boston on March 14 and 15. The run ends in New York with four concerts scheduled for March 16-19. …

12.21.2005

A Notorious B.I.G. duets album-release party advertised as being hosted by Diddy was marred by violence on Wednesday morning (December 21). At 3:10 a.m., police responded to a call of shots fired outside of New York’s Club Exit, where the
party was being held. Police found one person shot in the leg. A few minutes later, police responded to a fight inside the club, where two people were cut on the face and one man was stabbed in the stomach. At press time, the names of the victims had not been given out. Police have no suspects as of yet. …

On Thursday, Lil’ Kim‘s charity organization Lil’ Kim Cares — in partnership with the Fight for Life Foundation, Mitchell & Ness clothing and boxing champion Zab Judah‘s charity — will donate toys to underprivileged children in the Philadelphia area. Kim is serving a 366-day sentence in a Philly prison, following her conviction in March on federal perjury charges. Kids 13 and younger can swing by the Francis J. Myers Recreation Center between 4 and 6 p.m. to pick up a present. In addition, Kim has sent a handwritten letter to her fans from jail. “I thank all of you for your heartfelt, overwhelming, tremendous love and support,” the letter, which is now posted on her Web site, reads. “It has been your wonderful letters that has helped my time pass.” … U2 were the most in-demand ticket of the year, according to Ticketmaster, which has just tallied the country’s most-requested events and concerts for 2005. U2 topped both the events and concerts lists, with the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, the Eagles, Elton John and Nine Inch Nails rounding out the concerts list. …

While Michael Jackson‘s lawyers continue to try to sort out his overdue $270 million loan with Fortress Investment Group, which could cost him his Neverland Ranch as well as his stake in the Beatles catalog, the singer’s troubles seem to be mounting. First, his ex-wife Debbie Rowe is accusing Jackson of abducting their children, by taking Paris and Prince to live in Bahrain during the custody battle. In a hearing on Monday, Rowe filed a motion asking a judge to order Jackson to return the children to the U.S., claiming that the singer lied about having sole custody in order to get the children passports. Judge Stephen Lachs has yet to rule on the matter. Meanwhile, despite reports to the contrary, Jackson has not defaulted on a second, smaller loan of $2.2 million, for which he put up his parents’ $7 million house in Encino, California, as collateral. A Jackson family lawyer said that the Encino home is not in jeopardy, and that even if it were, Janet Jackson recently bought a house in Las Vegas that family members could use. That’s probably good news to those worried about Neverland being a back-up plan, since a second lien could be placed on that property. Former Jackson associate Marc Schaffel, who’s suing the singer for non-payment, has filed a motion for a writ of attachment on Neverland, so that in the event he wins his $3 million lawsuit, he will still be able to collect. A judge is scheduled to hear the matter on January 19. …

The Strokes, the Darkness and the Super Furry Animals are the first bands announced for the One Earth benefit concert scheduled for January 28 at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The concert, which will be broadcast around the world in an effort to raise awareness about the problem of global warming, is being organized by the environmental group Climate Change Now. In an attempt to help cut down on the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the organization is hoping to convert 1 million European homes so that they can make use of clean, renewable energy sources. … Tommy Lee joined hair-metal cover band Metal Skool onstage Monday at the Key Club in West Hollywood, where the band has a weekly residency. Lee drummed on “Girls Girls Girls” while ex-wife Pamela Anderson, in a sexy Santa outfit, danced around the stripper pole and doused herself with water. …

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor‘s side project Stone Sour will begin recording the follow-up to the band’s self-titled 2002 debut on January 25, and have enlisted the talents of producer Nick Rasculinecz (Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver) for the effort. More than 30 demos were written for the LP, which is due in June. … During a recent visit to Nairobi, Kenya, Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello performed as his alter-ego the Nightwatchman in Cork, a local nightclub. Morello stopped into the club with no intention of playing, but was recognized by the house band and the members talked him into taking the stage. Morello borrowed an acoustic guitar and performed a bunch of his politically-tinged folk songs, including “House Gone Up in Flames” and “Flesh Shapes the Day.” …

Starting this month, Vice Records will issue an unreleased track every two weeks from an artist on the label (which includes Bloc Party, Death From Above 1979 and the Streets) on its official blog. The first offering is a remix of Bloc Party’s “Two More Years” by MSTRKRFT. … Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg, a father of three, is planning to make good use of his experience. He’s just signed a book deal with Collins to write a post-punk fatherhood guide called “Punk Rock Dad.” …