For The Record: Quick News On Ashlee Simpson, Beyonce, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Angels & Airwaves, Matisyahu & More

Ashlee credits boyfriend for keeping her scandal-free; Chili Peppers headlining Weenie Roast.

Ashlee Simpson has been scandal-free since November, and she tells Teen People for its June/ July “25 Hottest Under 25″ cover story that the shift can be attributed to now-serious boyfriend Braxton Olita, the guitarist in her band. “He’s the yin to my yang,” Simpson told the magazine. “People call him my little Buddha. When he comes around, everything changes. … I’m more peaceful and chilled out. I honestly couldn’t be more content.” Though she’s “absolutely in love and in a committed relationship,” Simpson says she’s in no rush to speed up the pace, especially after what she’s seen happen with her sister’s much-publicized marriage and divorce. Instead, “We live day to day,” she said. “Marriage is definitely not on my mind. There’s a lot of growing up you do in your 20s, and I definitely want to wait until my late 20s or 30s or whenever the time is right.” Ashlee’s big sister Jessica Simpson also made the cut for Teen People‘s “25 Hottest Under 25″ list, along with Amanda Bynes, Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Chris Brown, Ciara, Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, JoJo, Kristin Cavallari and Natasha Bedingfield. …

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline KROQ’s annual Weenie Roast festival in Irvine, California. The May 13 event will also feature Matisyahu, AFI, Dashboard Confessional, Angels & Airwaves, Rob Zombie, She Wants Revenge, Panic! At the Disco, Taking Back Sunday, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, H.I.M., Wolfmother, Atreyu, Matchbook Romance, the Academy Is … and Rock Kills Kid. … Gap stores in four major cities are giving away tickets to a handful of summer concerts through a Rock Color instant-winner game-piece contest. Participating stores in New York and Chicago will have tickets to John Legend, Panic! At the Disco and Counting Crows with Goo Goo Dolls shows; ones in Los Angeles and San Francisco will offer shoppers a shot at those shows, plus Dave Matthews Band. …

American V: A Hundred Highways, the final album Johnny Cash recorded before his death, is due July 4. Like the rest of the American series, it was produced by Rick Rubin; this album features the last song Cash ever wrote plus others written by Bruce Springsteen, Hank Williams and more. … My Morning Jacket will collaborate with conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra on June 21 and 22 at the Boston Symphony Hall. The band is otherwise touring this summer with Pearl Jam beginning May 9 in Toronto. … The Blood Brothers have entered Robert Lang Studios in Seattle — where they recorded 2004′s Crimes — with Fugazi guitarist Guy Picciotto (Blonde Redhead) and John Goodmanson (the Like, Bikini Kill), who’ll co-produce the band’s yet-untitled disc. While the LP isn’t slated for release until this fall, the Brothers will issue an EP to tide them over. Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck will hit stores May 23 with a live version of the title track, an alternate version of “Crimes,” a remix of “Peacock Skeleton With Crooked Feathers,” a couple of British B-sides (“Ladies and Gentlemen” and “Metronomes”) and the band’s remix of the Gang of Four track “Anthrax.” …

Sonic Youth will kick off their summer tour beginning June 13 at the seminal New York rock club CBGB. The trek will span 22 dates, including festival appearances at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, opening for Pearl Jam as well as straight-up SY headlining shows in support of their forthcoming album, Rather Ripped, due the same day their tour kicks off. Additional dates are expected shortly. … Another prolific indie-rock band, the Fiery Furnaces, just released two full-length CDs within the span of seven months. Now the duo’s male half, Matthew Friedberger, is releasing his solo debut, Winter Women/ Holy Ghost Language School, August 8. The double-disc was recorded over the course of three years and was co-produced by Bill Skibbe, who engineered, mixed and performed on the Fiery Furnaces’ Bitter Tea. Friedberger wrote and performed the entire album, minus some drumming help from Tortoise‘s John McEntire, who plays on a few tracks. …

“You Hear It First” veterans Danko Jones have a North American tour planned in support of their upcoming LP, Sleep Is the Enemy, due May 23. The road trip — which is currently scheduled to kick off in Montreal on May 5 and finish up in Buffalo, New York, May 28 — will hit cities including Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia, as well as New York’s CBGB. … You think your life is a mess? Just wait for the debut this fall of “The Carters,” an E! Entertainment show chronicling the life of pop singers and brothers Nick and Aaron Carter as they work through family conflicts. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Backstreet Boy, his kid brother and three sisters will be the subjects of an eight-part half-hour series in which they live together and try to figure out their futures. …

Napster is launching a new service Monday (May 1) that allows users to stream any complete song in their library up to five times for free. “It’s the first time we’ve gotten back to the original Napster roots,” Laura Goldberg, Napster’s Chief Operating Officer, said Friday. “We see it as an exciting way to introduce people to what a subscription service is like, with the unlimited access and listening to anything you want.” … The only thing we know for sure is that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards suffered a concussion on the island of Fiji at some point in the past few days and is recovering in New Zealand. Though she’s not denying it, the band’s publicist wouldn’t confirm that Richards, 62, suffered the injury after falling out of a coconut tree, as widely reported by the media. … British glam rocker Gary Glitter will appeal his three-year jail sentence for molesting children in Vietnam on May 19, according to a Reuters report. The 61-year-old singer was sentenced on March 3 in the resort town of Vung Tau and was imprisoned there for sexually abusing two 11-year-old girls.

04.28.2006

Jessica Simpson loses her mind in an upcoming Keith Barry magic special, in which the magician and psychological illusionist performs stunts on Eve, Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, Wilmer Valderrama, Elijah Wood and others. Barry drives while blindfolded, induces memory loss and takes control of Simpson’s mind in a series of stunts on “Keith Barry: Extraordinary,” which will air May 12 at 8 p.m. on CBS. …

Nick Lachey, Sean Paul and Jagged Edge will provide “Style Stage NYC” — the self-proclaimed “largest shopping party in the U.S.” — with some musical entertainment. The event will be held Friday and Saturday at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building at 125 and 135 W. 18th St. …

Oprah Winfrey gathered a who’s who of urban artists for what you might call “Oprahpalooza” over the course of one recent weekend. First, the talk-show host held a private luncheon at her Montecito, California, home, where music legends such as Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Dionne Warwick were honored by Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Ashanti, Brandy, Natalie Cole, Janet Jackson and Missy Elliott. Winfrey also invited Usher, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones and others for a white-tie ball the next night. And to cap the weekend, Winfrey held a gospel brunch the next morning with performances by LaBelle, Knight, Warwick and Chaka Khan. Winfrey’s “Legends Ball” special airs May 15 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. … Jewel is getting a facelift of sorts — by performing on an upcoming episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” In an episode called “Arena Family,” the show renovates the home of a husband and wife in Somers, New York, who recently lost their only son. New York Yankee Jorge Posada donates an item for the house, while Jewel performs at a memorial. The episode airs May 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. …

Shakira is calling ahead for her upcoming tour, sending multimedia personal video invitations to each city she’s hitting on her Oral Fixation jaunt. The messages, which will come through on Verizon Wireless phones, give users the option to buy barcode tickets that can be scanned to get them into the show. Shakira’s also inviting fans to text which songs they want to hear on the tour, and a select few concertgoers will be picked to head backstage. The arena tour, which was announced Friday (April 28), kicks off August 9 in El Paso, Texas, at the Don Haskins Center, and wraps September 25 in McCallen, Texas, at the Dodge Arena. … The singer lit up the stage in Hollywood, Florida, on Thursday night for the Latin Billboard Awards, scoring six awards and performing “Hips Don’t Lie” with Wyclef Jean. Shakira took Latin pop album of the year for Fijacion Oral Vol. 1, while her single “La Tortura” won four awards, including hot Latin song of the year. She was also presented with the Spirit of Hope Award, honoring her work through the Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet) Foundation, aiding children in Colombia. Daddy Yankee, who scored three awards at the ceremony, opened the show performing “Rompe” and took prizes for Latin album artist and top reggaetón album. He was also honored along with collaborators Baby Ranks, Tonny Tun Tun, Wisin y Yandel and Hector “The Father” for “Mayor Que Yo.” …

With a little one on the way, Gwen Stefani is planning to expand her L.A.M.B. line to include baby tennis shoes. “Little gold ones, you wouldn’t believe it. They’re so cute,” the singer told Women’s Wear Daily. She’s also widening her footwear line for adults to include boots and stilettos, as well as adding other accessories, such as a watch line. “I want to do lingerie and makeup at some point,” she said. “I want to do everything, eventually.” … While the tabloids love to link Jessica Simpson and Adam Levine, Victoria’s Secret thinks the Maroon 5 frontman and Shakira would make a better match, according to their “What Is Sexy” list — the two singers won sexiest male and female musicians, respectively. But Simpson wasn’t entirely shut out. Her “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ ” clip still gets mileage, nabbing sexiest video. Meanwhile, the sexiest real couple honors went to Seal and Heidi Klum.

An exclusive Beck remix is available as part of a comic manga series. “Go It Alone,” remixed by Superthriller, is a free download in the fourth volume of “Mongolian Chop Squad,” to be released in June. But once the page goes live at the end of May, the download will be available at www.tokyopop.com/beckvsbeck. … The Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick filed suit Thursday in New York against Sony BMG alleging that they were being shortchanged by the Sony Music division on profits from digital downloads. According to the Los Angeles Times, the suit by the two classic rock acts seeks class-action status and contends that Sony currently counts downloads sales as “physical phonorecords,” with the standard 20 percent deduction for packaging even though the downloads are electronic. It also claims that Sony Music deducts 15 percent for a standard “breakage” fee, as it would with CDs or cassettes. The suit alleges that bands should be getting 30 cents per download from Sony Music versus the 4.5 cents they get now. …

Apparently you shouldn’t mess with Hoboken, New Jersey, indie rockers Yo La Tengo. Their 12th album, due September 12, is called I Am Not Afraid of You, and I Will Beat Your Ass according to a spokesperson for Matador Records. The 15-track LP includes the songs “Pass the Hatchet,” “Black Flowers” and “The Story of Yo La Tango” (You read that right — it’s “Tango”). Having done movie-soundtrack work for the films “Junebug” and “Old Joy” recently, the group has also written music for “Shortbus,” John Cameron Mitchell‘s directorial follow-up to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” … Montreal rockers the Dears have completed work on their third record, the self-deprecatingly titled Gang of Losers. Tentatively due August 29, the 12-track record has been described by the band as a more stripped-down and raw affair than its past expansive orchestral work. Tracks include “The Ballad of Humankindness,” “Find Our Way to Freedom” and “Death or Life We Want You.” The track “Fear Made the World Go ‘Round” can currently be heard on the group’s MySpace page.