For The Record: Quick News On Ashlee Simpson, New Edition, Shyne, Constantine Maroulis, Maroon 5 & More

Ashlee surfs her way back to TV; Bobby Brown-led group performing at Essence festival; Shyne's hearing delayed.

Who knew Ashlee Simpson could surf? The singer is hitting the waves for the “Kelly Slater Celebrity Surf Invitational,” airing on MTV March 25 at 4:30 p.m. and also featuring Jack Osbourne and Ashley Parker Angel. Braxton Olita, Simpson’s bandmate and boyfriend, came along for the special — “He’s my love!” she told Jane magazine for its April cover story. (Check out photos from the spread right here. ) Simpson’s relationship with Braxton first came to light following her collapse in Japan in December, but she’s been dating him since the summer. The reason for the collapse remains in dispute, as she now claims in Jane that she was sicker than reported at the time. “I was dehydrated. I had bronchitis. Who knows exactly what it was? I think it was just complete exhaustion.” And apparently celebrity status doesn’t equal celebrity care. “I didn’t go to a nice emergency room — I ended up in one with blood on the walls,” she tells the mag. …

Fans already clamoring for New Edition‘s 2008 reunion tour will have their appetites sated sooner than later — the Bobby Brown-led group has agreed to perform at this year’s Essence Music Festival in Houston, according to The Associated Press. Diddy, Chris Brown and Jaheim were also just added to the July 1-3 bill, which already included participants Mary J. Blige, Steve Harvey, LL Cool J and Jamie Foxx. …

Former Bad Boy Records rapper Shyne will have to wait a bit longer to find out if his assets will be unfrozen, so he can pay off some legal bills and help out his family. Lawyers for the MC — who now goes by the name Moses Michael Leviy — are trying to get an exemption from New York’s “Son of Sam” law, which is blocking Leviy from gaining access to a $500,000 advance he got from his former record label. A hearing on the motion was delayed for at least two weeks on Monday when the judge in the case was forced to recuse himself because of a conflict of interest. As it turns out the judge’s brother-in-law was once represented by the same firm that is seeking some funds from Shyne. …

Constantine Maroulis has signed on for his first movie role. “I can’t tell you too much about it yet, but it will be a super-sexy indie feature and [the filmmakers] have been really avid about making me a part of it,” he said. “They want me to supervise the music as well and want some of my music to be [included].” … Maroon 5 have contributed a cover of the Bill Withers classic “Lovely Day” to the soundtrack of “Hoot,” due April 18 on Jimmy Buffett‘s Mailboat Records. Buffett plays a small part in the comedy, which is about a man fighting to save endangered owls, and has several tracks on the album alongside G. Love, Toots and the Maytals and Mofro. …

Diddy‘s Bad Boy South has partnered with Southern hip-hop label Block Enterprises for the release of several albums, beginning with one by Yung Joc, whose “It’s Goin Down” is a recent mixtape favorite. New Joc City is due in May. … Former Destiny’s Child singer LeToya (she’s dropped her last name, Luckett) will release her self-titled solo debut July 18. Scott Storch worked on the album, which features guest appearances from fellow Houstonians Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Bun B and Slim Thug. …

It used to be that you couldn’t find a Red Hot Chili Peppers track on iTunes to save your life. But the Peppers have finally given in to the digital-music market, making their entire back catalog available for 99 cents a track. All the Chilis albums are also being made available — with bonus tracks — along with videos and short documentary downloads. Fans will have to wait until May 9 to download Stadium Arcadium, the band’s forthcoming double LP; the discs are nicknamed “Jupiter” and “Mars.” … The album art for Tool‘s next album, 10,000 Days, has been posted on the band’s Web site. Once again Tool called on artist Alex Grey — who crafted the art for 2001′s Lateralus and whose daughter appears in “The Shaggy Dog” — to come up with the cover design. The 77-minute, 11-song 10,000 Days is due in stores May 2. …

Having already released two full-length albums in 2005 — Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning — the super-prolific Bright Eyes, a.k.a Conor Oberst, is already working on another effort. At Monday night’s “Bring ‘Em Home Now” concert in New York, Oberst said he’s written new material but doesn’t feel the need to rush it out until 2007. (See snaps from the concert right here. ) “We have a bunch of songs recorded and we are going to put out a record probably next year,” he said. “The music’s good. It keeps my life turning around.” … At the same event freak-folk rocker Devendra Banhart said he’s been switching musical gears in his new home in Mexico. “We’re working on some weird stuff inspired by the tropicalista movement in Brazil, Caetano Veloso, Os Mutantes … that whole movement is really special to us because it is about embracing where you are from but also being open to other cultures and other things.” …

Thursday‘s A City by the Light Divided, due May 2, will feature 11 tracks: “The Other Side of the Crash/ Over and Out (Of Control),” “Counting 5-4-3-2-1,” “Sugar in the Sacrament,” “At This Velocity,” “We Will Overcome,” “Arc–Lamps, Signal Flares, a Shower of White (The Light),” “Running From the Rain,” “Telegraph Avenue Kiss,” “The Lovesong Writer,” “Into the Blinding Light” and “Autumn Leaves Revisited.” … 3 Doors Down and Lynyrd Skynyrd, both Southern-rock giants but from two different eras, will co-headline a 15-city trek. The Double Trouble Summer Tour kicks off June 25 in Cincinnati and wraps up July 22 in Biloxi, Mississippi. … Five more dates have been added to this summer’s Unholy Alliance Tour, featuring Mastodon, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Thine Eyes Bleed and headliners Slayer: June 9 (Denver), June 19 (Cincinnati), June 24 (Dallas), June 30 (Cleveland) and July 16 (Salem, Oregon). …

With “Rock Star” winner J.D. Fortune behind the mic, INXS will embark on a second leg of their Switched on Tour April 21 in Memphis, Tennessee. The outing ends June 1 in Vancouver, British Columbia. … In the immortal words of Ice Cube in the film “Anaconda,” “There’s snakes out there this big?” Yes there are, and apparently they’re infesting planes too, judging from the “Snakes on a Plane” trailer that’s making the rounds online. Aspiring musicians take note: New Line Cinema wants you to compose the theme song for the flick. If you’re eager to make songs for Samuel L. Jackson to bash snakes to, submit them to TagWorld.com/SnakesonaPlane by April 11 and they’ll be taken into consideration.

03.20.2006

Shakira appears on Elle‘s April cover, revealing inside how a family financial setback changed her at age 8. The singer — who was already dancing and writing her own songs by then — told the magazine she reacted to the collapse of her father’s business with anger, but that a visit to a park where homeless children lived also changed her. “These children had no food,” she said. “It moved me so much that at that very moment, I took up a mandate to succeed in life and give a hand to those kids.” Shakira said she hopes a 16-foot steel statue of her likeness, set to be erected in her hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia, will help inspire citizens to follow their dreams. Designed by German sculptor Dieter Patt, the statue — which comes complete with bell-bottom pants and a guitar strapped to its neck — weighs five tons and took more than a year to complete, according to The Associated Press.

It’s becoming less likely that people will see any more of that Kid Rock/ Scott Stapp sex tape. Lawyers for Rock reached an agreement with World Wide Red Light District, the company hoping to release the tape of the two rockers cavorting with groupies. The pact extends a judge’s order blocking the tape’s release. According to an AP report, the temporary injunction currently in place would remain in effect without the parties having to go to court again. Paperwork to permanently block the tape’s release is expected to be filed soon. … Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello will take a break from the studio this week to guest host Rock-N-Roll Bingo, a charity event set for Thursday at Cranes Hollywood Tavern in Hollywood. Bingo cards run $5 each and the game, which will begin at 6 p.m., is open to players of all ages. Proceeds raised during the event will benefit South Central Farm, a 13-year-old community farm serving more than 350 families in the heart of South Central Los Angeles. …

Two of Bam Margera‘s favorite bands have united in the name of metal. H.I.M. frontman Ville Valo has contributed guest vocals to “The Bryonic Man,” which will appear on Cradle of Filth‘s yet-untitled forthcoming album, due in late June. … This fall Rock N’ Roll Books will release “Rick Rubin: In the Studio,” a tome that takes a look at the highly respected producer’s 20-year career. Written by biographer Jake Brown, the book will provide studio insight for Rubin’s work with the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Linkin Park and Metallica. Interviews with some of the bands who’ve aligned themselves with Rubin will be included, as will interview material with the producer himself, who discusses the making of each record. …

Jack White‘s Raconteurs side project has shot its first video, for the single “Steady, as She Goes.” Auteur Jim Jarmusch, who directed last year’s “Broken Flowers” and featured Jack and Meg White in his 2003 film, “Coffee & Cigarettes,” shot the clip on V-Cams bought at Toys “R” Us. The Raconteurs’ Broken Boy Soldiers will be released May 16. … Stars singer Amy Millan will release her solo debut, Honey From the Tombs, in August. A departure from Stars’ romantic pop, the disc’s bluegrass leanings will be rounded out with appearances by fellow Stars members Chris Seligman and Evan Cranley, Metric‘s James Shaw and Broken Social Scene‘s Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning. Millan will hit the road late this summer. …

On April 11 Capitol will release the Beatles collection The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2. The four-CD follow-up to the 2004 set The Capitol Albums, Vol. 1 will include four Beatles albums originally released in 1965: The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, the “Help!” soundtrack and the U.S. version of Rubber Soul. Each disc comes in replica packaging and includes a booklet with photos and clippings from that year. … Word that the landmark Capitol Records tower — the label’s longstanding home, which looks like a giant stack of records — might be sold to a developer intent on converting the building into living space has sent city leaders and preservationists into overdrive, according to the AP. Los Angeles politicos claim the building, where Frank Sinatra and many other musicians recorded, is a historical landmark (a spokesperson for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa likened the building’s legend to that of the Hollywood sign). Owners EMI told the AP that the company hasn’t been “actively shopping” the building, which currently holds offices for 150 people, on the market, but that it had received several serious proposals from interested buyers. …

Would you turn down $5 million dollars? Apparently Morrissey would. During an interview at this year’s South by Southwest conference Thursday, Moz revealed that the Smiths were offered the enormous sum to re-form for this year’s Coachella festival but turned the offer down. “When you start doing things for money, something terrible happens to you,” he explained. “I haven’t reached that stage … but I might.” During his performance at the Austin Music Hall that night, Morrissey attacked the latest round of U.S. bombings in Iraq. “I hear we bombed Iraq again. We can’t be looking for weapons of mass destruction again.” … In other South by Southwest news, indie-rock vets Built to Spill were forced to cancel their performance at a Filter Magazine party after frontman Doug Martsch suffered a detached retina. The band’s You in Reverse is due April 11. … A pirate hip-hop radio station in Miami called Da Streetz has been creating some headaches for pilots taking off from Miami International Airport. The signal from the station has been bleeding into the communications between pilots and the control tower on occasion, according to an AP report. Authorities traced the signals to an antenna in a warehouse near the airport, where they found three computers and a CD player — but no DJ. Despite the discovery the station continues to broadcast.