For The Record: Quick News On Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, Kanye West, Bijou Phillips, Jay Dee, Alice In Chains & More

Jackson gives Sony option to buy Beatles catalog stake; 'Idol' judge designs jewelry; West live set hits U.K.

Nearly two months after the deadline passed for Michael Jackson to make good on $270 million worth of loans from Fortress Investment Group, the singer has finally completed a refinancing deal, his Bahrain-based advisory team confirmed Thursday (April 13). While they wouldn’t disclose terms of the deal, Jackson’s team said the singer got some help from Sony — co-owners of Sony/ ATV Music Publishing, which contains the Beatles catalog — and that the transaction was structured by Citigroup, the investment arm of Citibank. Sources close to the singer say Sony has the option to buy half of Jackson’s stake in the Beatles catalog, while the singer has a new $300 million loan from Fortress, with reduced interest payments. …

When Paula Abdul‘s not judging “American Idol,” she spends her free time designing jewelry. Now she’s got a 26-piece collection of charms, pendants, earrings and bracelets in a mix of textures and metals, adorned with inspirational phrases “to give a piece of hopeful spirit back to the world,” Abdul said. She’ll debut the Paula Abdul Jewelry Collection April 21 in two one-hour shows airing at 1 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET on QVC. …

Lucky Kanye West fans in the U.K. will be able to get their hands on ‘Ye’s first-ever live album April 24. The CD/DVD release Late Orchestration captures his September performance for 300 lucky fans at the famed Abbey Road Studios. According to a spokesperson for West’s label, Def Jam, the CD features 13 tracks, while the DVD is loaded with live performances — including a duet with John Legend — plus music videos and a never-before-seen interview with the College Dropout himself. …

Wild child Bijou Phillips is now officially a rock chick in her own right, having learned to play bass for the Germs biopic “What We Do Is Secret.” Phillips — who plays Lorna Doom in the flick, due out later this year — told Stuff magazine that, when she was too sore to keep playing, she super-glued duct tape over the blisters on her fingers because “you want to chop off your hand at the end.” “We recorded all the songs by the Germs live and played to our own recordings in the movie,” she told the mag for its May cover. “It was guerrilla filmmaking, but I can’t imagine doing a movie about the Germs with a big budget. That would be so wrong.” …

Metallica‘s James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo will perform with Alice in ChainsJerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney May 12 at the second annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert, to be held at the Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will open the show, which will also feature a performance by Jason Mraz. During the event, Hetfield will be presented with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his dedication and support of the MusiCares MAP Fund and his devotion to helping other addicts with recovery process. …

In related news, Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan has joined Alice in Chains for a show airing next month, but will he join the band for its upcoming European summer tour? “It’s been rumored,” McKagan teased. “The amount of songs they wrote, I got a list of songs to learn, 33 songs. I look at this list, and I’m like, ‘OK, how many of these are filler songs? This is a huge song, this is a huge song. … I’ve going to have to learn them all.’ ” “If he comes to Europe,” Alice guitarist Jerry Cantrell interrupted. “If the rumors are true,” McKagan agreed. “I’m not saying they are, or did I?” “I don’t know, you might have,” Cantrell laughed. “So that put the rumors to rest, didn’t it?” McKagan laughed. “I could be showing up in Europe. That would be cool.” Alice in Chains’ performance on VH1 Classic’s “Decades Rock Live!” tribute to Heart airs May 5 at 8 p.m. …

Thursday have been forced to pull off the final three stops on the Taste of Chaos Tour. Frontman Geoff Rickly “has become very ill and is having some extreme issues with his throat,” according to a post left on the band’s Web site by its manager, Dave Ciancio. “We had to get him home and to his doctor ASAP. The band was really looking forward to these shows and [is] sad they can’t come play them.” Rickly will be examined by his doctor when he returns to New Jersey; there’s no word on what symptoms he’s been complaining about. The post adds that the band hopes to make the gigs up in the not-so-distant future. The remaining Taste of Chaos dates are Thursday night in Toronto, April 14 in Ottawa and April 15 in Montreal. …

Following the breakout collabo success of Danger Doom with their 2005 opus The Mouse and the Mask, indie hip-hop label Stones Throw Records will again partner with cable TV’s “Adult Swim” for a second venture: an album celebrating the West Coast label’s 10-year anniversary. The yet-untitled album is set for a September 19 release and will feature contributions from Stones Throw’s rich roster of talent — which includes MF Doom, Madlib and the late Jay Dee. The album will be executive produced by Peanut Butter Wolf. …

Joan Jett — who’ll perform this summer as part of the annual Warped Tour — will release Sinner, her forthcoming album with her infamous Blackhearts, June 6. The album features guest appearances by Bikini Kill/ Le Tigre frontwoman Kathleen Hanna on “Watersign,” “Tube Talkin’ ” and “Five.” It’s Jett’s first effort since 1999′s Fetish. … Swedish singer/songwriter José González will hit the road June 16 in Los Angeles for a 15-date North American tour, with openers Juana Molina and Psapp. Dates run through July 3 in New York, with the trek making stops in Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. …

Dark New Day drummer Will Hunt has been filling in for Mötley Crüe‘s Tommy Lee on the final few dates of the band’s North American tour, which ends Thursday in Regina, Saskatchewan. Lee has been receiving anti-inflammatory injections to help him manage tendonitis in his right wrist. Hunt, who had previously backed Lee as part of the rocker’s solo band, will not be leaving Dark New Day, according to the band’s guitarist Clint Lowery — he’s just doing the Crüe a favor. … The New York Dolls will issue the album One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This on July 25, according to the band’s label. The disc will include 13 tracks, including “Take a Good Look at My Good Looks,” “Maimed Happiness,” and the first single, “Dance Like a Monkey.” Look for the album, which was produced by Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, Cheap Trick), to feature guest appearances by Iggy Pop, Bo Diddley, and R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe.

04.12.06

Kanye West, Hawthorne Heights, AFI and A Tribe Called Quest have been tapped to perform at the 36th annual Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival, to be held Labor Day weekend, September 2-4, at the Seattle Center in, um, Seattle. Yellowcard, Feist and Mates of State are also on the bill. A full lineup is expected to be announced July 11, and tickets will go on sale July 15. For more information, check out Bumbershoot.org. …

He’s been attached to several movies in development over the years, but finally Fred Durst seems headed for the director’s chair. The Limp Bizkit rocker has signed on to helm “The Education of Charlie Banks,” an indie drama starring “The Squid and the Whale” actor Jesse Eisenberg in the title role and “Happy Endings” star Jason Ritter, according to Variety. The movie — which starts shooting in June in Providence, Rhode Island — is about a Vassar College student who gets paid a surprise visit by a kid from his old New York neighborhood. …

Following the path of Linkin Park and Jay-Z — who won a Grammy for their 2004 mash-up album, Collision Course — Atlanta’s Dem Franchize Boyz and Korn will join forces in a Los Angeles studio Wednesday (April 12) for a collabo of their own. The plan is to combine DFB’s “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It” with Korn’s “Coming Undone,” though a spokesperson for Korn said it’s not clear just what will happen with the tune once it’s recorded. … Dilated Peoples, DJ Shadow, Jurassic 5, Cut Chemist, Money Mark and Madlib are all slated to perform at a three-day benefit concert and art auction in Los Angeles May 24-26. The performers are friends of Keith Tamashiro, a graphic designer who recently suffered a brain aneurysm. Tamashiro has worked on album covers for those artists as well as Damian Marley, Herbie Hancock and Jay Dee. …

The Georgia Music Hall of Fame has unveiled the inductees that will be honored at its 28th annual awards banquet, set for September 16 in Atlanta. R.E.M. score the group prize, Jermaine Dupri is this year’s songwriter inductee, Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers will be recognized in the performer category, and Dallas Austin will be honored in the non-performer group for his work as a producer. The museum, located in Macon, has previously inducted artists including TLC, Ray Charles, James Brown and the B-52′s. … Head Automatica‘s forthcoming Howard Benson (All-American Rejects, My Chemical Romance)-produced LP, Popaganda, has been set for a June 6 release. The band recently shot a video for the disc’s first single, “Graduation Day,” at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. The track features backing vocals from MCR’s Gerard Way. …

Guster and the Barenaked Ladies are teaming up for a four-day cruise that will include group and solo performances, karaoke and jam sessions. The Ships and Dip Cruise through the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean will leave from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, January 15 and return on the 19th. Other acts will also be announced. … After garnering much buzz in the past year, Jamie Lidell is re-releasing last year’s Multiply as Multiply Editions May 30. The new set will have remixes by the likes of Feist collaborator Gonzales labelmate Luke Vibert, as well as live songs recorded in London and Paris. Lidell will also go out for an April tour with another labelmate, Jimmy Edgar, hitting New York, Los Angeles and Toronto along the way. Lidell will cap off the tour at Coachella. …

Two years after canceling a Glastonbury performance because of a breast-cancer diagnosis, Kylie Minogue may perform at the legendary English summer concert event. According to The Associated Press, organizers have invited the Australian singer back for the 2007 edition of the concert. Minogue has not yet announced whether she will accept the invitation. The festival, held on fields surrounding a working farm, is taking a scheduled break this year so that cows may graze through the summer. … Things have gone from bad to worse for former Village People “cop” Victor Willis. The 54-year-old singer from the disco group was in court Monday in San Francisco where a judge said there’s enough evidence for Willis to face trial on drug-related charges, according to The Associated Press. Willis is being held without bail in connection with three cases, the first involving two felony charges, a probation violation and possession of cocaine, the second also involving cocaine possession as well as a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun. The third case stems from a March 26 stop by police for a traffic violation. In that arrest, Willis and his passenger, a prostitute, were both arrested for possession of narcotics. Willis was hit with an additional charge for providing false information. …