For The Record: Quick News On Jennifer Lopez, Chris Penn, Weezer, Britney Spears, 50 Cent, Thursday & More

J. Lo making 'Reggaeton'; actor Penn dies at age 43; Britney reportedly aided by paparazzi.

Jennifer Lopez and her Nuyorican Productions are developing a movie called “Reggaeton” about a New York rapper who relocates to Puerto Rico and finds new inspiration and love. “This script is a perfect fit for us because not only is it a compelling story with great characters, but it also combines two elements that are very close to my heart — music and Puerto Rico,” Lopez said in a statement. …

Actor Chris Penn — brother to Sean — passed away in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday (January 24), according to The Associated Press, although the cause of his death was not immediately known. He was 43. Penn appeared in more than 50 movies, including “Reservoir Dogs,” “Starsky & Hutch” and “Rush Hour,” and had two films in post-production. …

With Weezer on hiatus as frontman Rivers Cuomo finishes his degree at Harvard, the other members of the band have a whole lot of free time on their hands, and some of them are using that time to join one of the most influential rock acts of all time: the Velvet Underground. Pat Wilson and Brian Bell have just filmed cameos in the upcoming film “Factory Girl,” playing, respectively, John Cale and Lou Reed of the Velvets, according to a post on Wilson’s Web site. The film, which tells the story of Edie Sedgwick, who rose to fame in the 1960s under the wing of artist Andy Warhol, stars Sienna Miller as Sedgwick and Guy Pearce as Warhol, and is currently filming in New York and Shreveport, Louisiana. While there is no release date set for the film, it was picked up for worldwide distribution by the Weinstein Company, the studio founded by former Miramax heads Bob and Harvey Weinstein. … Britney Spears has certainly had her share of ups and downs with the paparazzi, but who would have thought they’d be the ones helping her in a time of need? According to a report from “Access Hollywood,” a group of photographers, who had been trailing Spears and her brother, Bryan, on Sunday, stopped and helped move her stalled Ferrari off to the side of the road when it broke down on a California highway. (The paparazzi even waited for police to arrive before they went on their way.) Spears’ rep did not return calls for comment. …

50 Cent, no stranger to platinum status in the music industry, has now scored big in the gaming world. His video game “50 Cent: Bulletproof” has sold more than 1 million units in the U.K. and North America since its launch in November and continues to be a top seller for its distributor, VU Games. The title, currently only available for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, will expand to PSP systems later this year. … Sean Garrett is living up to the nickname given to him by Jay-Z: “The Pen.” The songwriter, whose credits include Usher‘s “Yeah!,” Ciara‘s “Goodies” and Destiny’s Child‘s “Lose My Breath,” currently has the top three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the second consecutive week: “Grillz” by Nelly featuring Paul Wall, Ali and Gipp; “Run It!” by Chris Brown; and “Check on It” by Beyoncé featuring Slim Thug. …

Thursday, who’re nearly done recording the as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2003′s War All the Time, will be heading out on a U.S. tour in March with Minus the Bear, the Number Twelve Looks Like You and We’re All Broken. The jaunt begins in Dallas on March 14 and dates run through April 1 in Seattle. … Nine Inch Nails have chosen Saul Williams to open for them on their upcoming tour, between February 27 in Amherst, Massachusetts, and April 1 in Las Vegas. The tour begins on February 11 in Milwaukee; no opener’s been named yet for the trek’s first 12 dates. …

Beth Orton has booked a North American tour to promote her new album, The Comfort of Strangers, due February 7. The trek, also featuring Willy Mason, kicks off March 12 in Washington, D.C., and wraps up April 11 in New York. … Morrissey‘s new album, Ringleader of the Tormentors, is completed and will hit stores on April 4, according to his label, Sanctuary. The album, recorded in Rome with producer Tony Visconti (T. Rex, David Bowie), features 12 tracks with thoroughly Moz titles like “Dear God, Please Help Me,” “You Have Killed Me” and “I’ll Never Be Anybody’s Hero Now.” …

The Sisters of Mercy have lined up a North American tour — the band’s first in more than six years. The goth-rockers’ 16-date run kicks off February 16 in Las Vegas, with dates running through March 22 in San Francisco. The Warlocks will open on all dates. … “Who Knows?,” the forthcoming live Andrew W.K. DVD, has been bumped back to a February 7 release. The film will premiere at New York’s Pioneer Theater with two screenings on February 3-4 at 11 p.m. Both evenings will include a solo keyboard performance by Andrew, who is “in the final stages of recording” his forthcoming, as-yet-untitled fifth LP. …

01.23.2006

Hawthorne Heights are gearing up for their spring tour with Fall Out Boy by hitting the road for a headlining trek of their own. Starting on February 10 in Toledo, Ohio, and running until March 5 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the tour will also feature Emery, Anberlin, June and Bleed the Dream. Ten days after their headlining outing ends, they’ll join up with Fall Out’s Black Clouds and Underdogs Tour, which also includes the All-American Rejects. …

Is 50 Cent planning on calling it quits, or is he just another guy looking to renegotiate his contract? While in the U.K. promoting the release of his film “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” Fiddy told a British radio station that he planned on releasing two more albums for his label, Shady/Aftermath, and then had no idea what the future would hold. “Basically I want to fulfill the album requirements to Shady/ Aftermath,” he said. “Then, I’m not sure.” … Former Sony Music head Tommy Mottola has acquired the film and television rights to “Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent and the Rise of the Hip-Hop Hustler,” a book that chronicles the rise of rap in Queens, New York, and the emergence of players like Run-DMC in the 1980s all the way to modern-day superstars like Ja Rule and 50. Mottola has plans to develop the story into a TV series along with his producing partner Jeb Brien, according to Variety.

A spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has confirmed that the organization is reaching out to the producers of “American Idol,” seeking a meeting during which the group would like to present its “concerns and the concerns of community members and allies” who have contacted GLAAD about the first two episodes of the series’ new season. “Our message boards and feedback e-mails lit up pretty dramatically following the Tuesday night broadcast and into Wednesday,” said Chris Bugbee, who wouldn’t elaborate on just what about the show provoked the complaints or GLAAD’s ire. He said GLAAD hasn’t yet heard back from the “Idol” producers. GLAAD spokesperson Damon Romine accused the producers of “adding insult to injury by turning a contestant’s gender expression into the butt of a joke.” Again, he didn’t provide details about what specific aspect of the show the group deemed offensive. …

Jewel has set a May 2 release date for her first album in three years and sixth overall, Goodbye Alice in Wonderland. To promote the record, produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day), the singer/songwriter shot a homemade video for the title track, which she will premiere Wednesday on her fan-club site, jewelunedited.com. The official first single, “Again and Again,” will be shipped to radio stations in February. … U2 topped the list of Billboard‘s Money Makers chart, raking in more dough than any other musical act in 2005 with over $225 million in album and digital sales and box-office receipts. The Rolling Stones trailed at #2 with more than $152 million, country crooner Kenny Chesney came in at #3 with $88 million, and Paul McCartney was a close fourth with $84 million. Other artists who made the list include Elton John, Green Day, Celine Dion and 50 Cent. …

“DimeVision – Volume 1: That’s the Fun I Have,” a DVD tribute to slain Pantera/ Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, will hit stores on April 4 through Big Vin Records, the label owned by Dime’s brother, Vinnie Paul. The DVD will feature live footage as well as material exhibiting the guitarist’s unique brand of humor. … Mötley Crüe will receive the 2,301st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a ceremony Wednesday morning. The band’s star will appear in front of the Musician’s Institute. …

As they do each year, the Dave Matthews Band will hit the road come summer, and they’ve called on their fans to help with some of the arrangements. At the band’s official Web site, DMB devotees can fill out an online questionnaire about what five support acts they’d like to see the boys bring out with them on the trek. … The Jared Leto-fronted 30 Seconds to Mars will be back out on the road this spring for a 43-date North American tour. The band will kick things off on March 4 in Salt Lake City and end the trek April 30 in San Francisco. Emanuel and Aiden have been confirmed as the tour’s openers. …

Bruce Springsteen, Sting, India.Arie, Paul Simon and the Dixie Chicks are among the acts scheduled to salute James Taylor at the 2006 MusiCares Person of the Year gala on February 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Taylor will also perform at the Recording Academy-hosted event, along with Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Carole King, Randy Newman and Bonnie Raitt. … The Flaming LipsAt War With the Mystics, which hits stores on April 4, will feature 12 tracks, including the first single (and lead track) “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song,” “Free Radicals” and “My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion.” Two songs get the deluxe multiple-title treatment: “The Sound of Failure/ It’s Dark … Is It Always This Dark??” and “It Overtakes Me/ The Stars Are So Big, I Am So Small … Do I Stand a Chance?” … Post-punk legends Mission of Burma will release The Obliterati on May 9. The album, the band’s third studio LP, was produced by Bob Weston, who engineered 2004′s OnOffOn.