For The Record: Quick News On Pimp C, Pantera, Kevin Federline, Madonna, Meg White, Coheed And Cambria & More

Pimp C a free man; Vinnie Paul and Rex Brown reunite onstage; White models for Marc Jacobs.

Pimp C, one half of the influential Houston rap duo UGK, has been released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Terrell Unit, where he’d been serving an eight-year prison term since 2002 on an aggravated assault charge. According to The Associated Press, Pimp C (real name Chad Butler) served half the time, and became a free man on Friday. C’s partner in UGK, Bun B, told the wire service he’s anxious to hit the studio with his comrade. “The album is probably going to be one of the most anticipated projects in rap,” he said of the next UGK LP. …

Former Pantera/ Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul performed with his band Gasoline in Arlington, Texas, on New Year’s Eve, and was joined onstage by former Pantera bassist Rex Brown. The band, with Brown, performed two Pantera cuts: “Walk” and “Cowboys From Hell.” The gig marked the first time the two former bandmates had shared the same stage in five years. … White Stripes drummer Meg White will be the face of an upcoming ad campaign for fashion designer Marc Jacobs. The ads will be shot by famed photographer Juergen Teller. It’s not the first time Jacobs has dipped into the musical well to find models: Past campaigns have featured artists like Sonic Youth and Stephen Malkmus. …

Kevin Federline clearly isn’t going to be stopped by the universal disdain heaped on his first leaked song, “Ya’ll Ain’t Ready.” Britney Spears‘ husband has begun offering his first official single, the rump-shaker “PopoZao,” for download on music.yahoo.com. The song, built on a whining keyboard and spare drum-machine beats, has K-Fed rapping the song’s title repeatedly, followed by the verse “In Portuguese it means bring your ass/ On the floor and move real fast/ I want to see your kitty and a little bit of t—y/ Wanna know where I go when I’m in your city/ Girl, don’t you worry about all the dough.” Clearly those trips to the strip clubs were not in vain. … Madonna‘s not the only one saying “Sorry” — now the Pet Shop Boys are joining in on Madge’s second single from Confessions on a Dance Floor. Neil Tennant added some vocals to the track when the Pet Shop Boys had their way with it in December, remixing it for a maxi single due in February. The remix was premiered last week at Beige in Los Angeles. …

Patrick Cranshaw, the actor who portrayed elderly fraternity brother Joseph “Blue” Palasky in the 2003 comedy “Old School,” died of natural causes Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas, according to The Associated Press. He was 86. A veteran character actor, Cranshaw’s career spanned more than 50 years, though he is probably best known for his turn as Blue, the senior citizen who joins Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell‘s fraternity in “Old School” and eventually expires just as he’s about to wrestle a pair of topless coeds. … Coheed and Cambria singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez recently broke his hand while sparring with his brother, boxer Matthew Sanchez. The injury, known as a “boxer’s fracture,” involves the ring finger and pinky of the right hand. He’ll be sidelined for at least a month — three weeks in a cast, and one or two undergoing physical therapy. Unfortunately, the break has forced the band to postpone its upcoming European tour with Thrice for about a month. … The title track from Kittie‘s forthcoming EP, Never Again, has made its way online. A link to the song has been posted on the band’s MySpace page. The all-female Canadian metallers will release the EP digitally on February 7. …

Sony BMG has tentatively settled more than a dozen consumer class-action suits brought against the company over its use of copy-protection software on its CDs. The company is awaiting the approval of the settlement of the 15 suits, which is expected on Friday. “Sony BMG is pleased to have reached this agreement with the class-action plaintiffs and we look forward to the court approval process,” a spokesperson said in a statement. As part of the settlement, the company has offered to add an incentive of $7.50 cash and a free album download to consumers affected by the XCP software, or three free downloads in place of the cash. Sony BMG has also pledged to stop manufacturing CDs with the XCP and MediaMax software and agreed to clearly label any anti-piracy measures it uses in the future. The settlement does not cover a suit by the Texas attorney general alleging violations of that state’s anti-spyware law. … Motorola is planning to roll out a subscription music service this year called iRadio that could rival satellite radio providers XM and Sirius. The service is expected to first launch on the Rokr E2 phone and hold about 70 hours of music culled from iRadio’s 435 commercial-free radio channels, which have names like Angry Women, Feeling Punkish, One-Hit Wonders, Jerry’s Psychedelic Circus, When Grunge Was King and Rockin’ Cowboys. Users download the channels on their computer and transfer them to play on the phones or on their car or home stereos for about $7 a month. They will also have the ability to turn their own personal music collections into programmed radio stations. …

12.31.2005

Shady Records rapper Obie Trice was shot and wounded early Saturday morning while driving on a Detroit highway. He was taken to a hospital where he was treated for his wound and released, according to The Associated Press. State police in Michigan say Trice was driving with his girlfriend in Southfield when a shot was fired at them from another car. There are no suspects in the shooting at this time. …

Sure, she’s not one of the winningest coaches in college football history, but FedEx Orange Bowl organizers are still stoked that Ciara will be sharing the field with Joe Paterno‘s Penn State Nittany Lions and Bobby Bowden‘s Florida State Seminoles. The “1, 2 Step” singer has been confirmed to headline the Orange Bowl halftime festivities, which promise to be the biggest ever for a college sports event. To stage the performance Bowl bigwigs have recruited ACT Productions, which has organized a number of Miami-based events in the past, including Kanye West‘s 2005 VMA party. The game airs live on ABC on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. (Our money’s on Joe Pa.) …

Blink-182‘s Travis Barker and wife Shanna Moakler welcomed their second child, Alabama Luella, into the world at 12:22 p.m. on December 24. The Barkers have a 2-year-old son, Landon, together; Moakler also has a 6-year-old daughter, Atiana, with former fiance Oscar De La Hoya. “It’s been amazing,” Barker said. “I’ve been staying at the hospital and hanging out with her, and then coming back home and putting my son to sleep every night. It’s so crazy having a little girl — everything from the way she cries to the way she looks at you is so different.” The second season of the couple’s reality series, “Meet the Barkers,” premieres Tuesday on MTV and chronicles the nine months leading up to Alabama’s birth. … Hawthorne Heights, the All-American Rejects, Thursday, Every Time I Die, From First to Last, Say Anything, It Dies Today, the Bled, Circa Survive, Senses Fail, Mae, Armor for Sleep and Streetlight Manifesto have all been added to the lineup for Bamboozle 2006, which already included headliners Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday. The festival’s booked for May 6-7 at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. …

The man who stole Will Smith‘s identity and ran up fraudulent charges of more than $32,000 has been sent back to prison for two years for violating his probation. According to The Associated Press, Carlos Lomax, 45, who in 2002 was sentenced to 37 months in prison after pleading guilty to opening 14 bogus credit-card accounts in Smith’s name, was released from a halfway house in June, but failed to rehabilitate himself and make restitution to his victims. … William Orbit, best known for producing Madonna‘s Ray of Light album, has a new album of his own on the way. Hello Waveforms, due February 7, features guests Sugababes, Kenna and Finley Quaye. Song titles include “Humming Chorus,” “Who Owns the Octopus?,” “You Know Too Much About Flying Saucers,” “Bubble Universe,” “Spiral” and “Sea Green.” …

Michael Vale, the actor best known for the five-word phrase uttered by his character Fred the baker — “Time to make the donuts” — died on Saturday at age 83, according to The Associated Press. For 15 years, Vale put on his droopiest look for more than 100 Dunkin’ Donuts commercials in which he wearily mumbled the line. He retired from the role in 1997. … Mike Peters, 46, frontman for 1980s rockers the Alarm (“Sixty Eight Guns,” “Rain in the Summertime”), has posted a letter on the band’s Web site announcing that he’s begun chemotherapy treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He was diagnosed on December 8 and wrote, “The good news is that although my illness is not curable, it is treatable.” The singer said his doctor’s prediction was that “it is a disease I will probably die with, rather than of.” Peters was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma more than a decade ago. He quit the Alarm in 1991 and has toured with other side projects since and said he plans to keep touring during treatment. …

A CD chronicling the early years of grunge, Sleepless in Seattle: The Birth of Grunge, will hit stores on February 7. The 20-track compilation will feature seminal recordings from a number of the acts that helped birth the genre, including Green River, the Melvins, Malfunkshun, U-Men, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, Babes in Toyland, Tad, Skin Yard and more. … Muse plan on issuing the follow-up to 2003′s Absolution sometime this spring, the band revealed on its Web site. The group is also looking forward to touring in support of the as-yet-untitled LP. …

Who guitarist Pete Townshend has announced on his Web site that the group will tour in 2006. “I have said many times, repeated up until a few days ago, that I am reticent about committing to a tour without a completed new Who album under my belt,” Townshend wrote in a Christmas Eve diary entry entitled “I will go on tour.” He explained, “As things stand I am still pushing to produce some more songs. So the announcement may seem premature. It is not.” Townshend said the band’s manager has come up with a “great scheme” that would allow the band — whose only other original member is singer Roger Daltrey — to avoid releasing a full new CD before the tour, but did not elaborate on what that plan was. The guitarist also did not say when the tour would begin. Townshend has been working on songs for what would be the group’s first studio album since 1982′s It’s Hard. …

According to Sonic Youth‘s Web site, the avant-garde rockers are plugging away on new material, which should surface sometime in 2006. Precious few details have been revealed about the as-yet-untitled LP, beyond four tracks likely to make the final cut: “Pink Steam,” “Do You Believe in Rapture?,” “Or” and “Sleeping Around.” … Pennywise will ring in 2006 with a 14-date tour, and have tapped No Use for a Name to handle opening duties. The punks will get things started in Los Angeles with three shows set for January 11, 12 and 13 and will wrap things up January 29 in San Francisco. …

On February 28, Victory Records will release a live CD and DVD by recently reunited Chicago punk-pessimists the Smoking Popes. Just last month, the Popes thrilled fans with a set at Chicago rock club the Metro during the Flower 15 festival, and have recently announced plans to tour again. The still-untitled live album will be the first Smoking Popes release since they called it quits back in December 1998. … The Minus 5 will release a self-titled album on February 7 that will feature two tracks cut in Chicago with the members of Wilco and guest spots from John Wesley Harding, Kelly Hogan and members of the Decemberists. The group, which features R.E.M.‘s Peter Buck, will tour with Robyn Hitchcock beginning in February. …

Mest, fresh from performing on Social Distortion‘s fall run, will launch a 17-gig headlining tour of their own on January 31 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dates run through March 8 in Chicago. … G. Love and Special Sauce have lined up a 24-date tour that will kick off on January 12 in Memphis, Tennessee, and wind down March 11 in Jacksonville, Florida. The band’s also been working on material for its next studio LP, which will be the Sauce’s follow-up to 2004′s The Hustle.