For The Record: Quick News On Guns N’ Roses, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Lopez, Korn, Alicia Keys & More

GN'R headlining fests, playing for Rosario; J. Lo reimbursing promoters for canceled tour.

Guns N’ Roses will headline KROQ’s Inland Invasion 2006 on September 23 at the Hyundai Pavilion at Glen Helen in Devore, California. GN’R frontman Axl Rose revealed the news Friday (May 19) during an on-air segment with KROQ hosts Kevin and Bean. It will be the band’s first Los Angeles gig in more than 15 years, Rose said. And who would have imagined even a few days ago that the long-dormant yet suddenly ubiquitous GN’R would be back playing an acoustic set for actress Rosario Dawson on her birthday? The band did just that Thursday night at the Plumm in New York, showing up to play 11 cuts, including “Used to Love Her,” “Mr. Brownstone” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”…

Promoters had been threatening to sue Jennifer Lopez after the singer canceled her international tour without providing a reason. But Bulgarian promoter Ivaila Bakalova told MTV News Friday that those plans have been put on hold, as Lopez has just informed them that she’ll reimburse the promoters for all expenses, including advertising and supplies that had to be imported to fulfill her contract rider. “She told us everything would be OK,” Bakalova said. But if she doesn’t make good on this commitment, Bakalova said, the lawsuit is back on. Meanwhile, Indian show sponsor Kingfisher Airlines told MTV News it’s still holding out hope that Lopez might change her mind and reschedule the shows. …

Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Denzel Washington, Matthew McConaughey, Elijah Wood, John Travolta, Ryan Cabrera and the Bravery are among those who’ve kicked in items for an online charity auction organized by a group of Utah junior high school students. Olympus Junior High Schoolers have mobilized in an effort to help their hearing-impaired janitor, Terry Birch, afford cochlear implants to aid his hearing (Birch and his wife, who is deaf, already face mounting medical bills from her ongoing battle with breast cancer). Also on the block are tickets to the upcoming premiere of Jack Black’s “Nacho Libre” and autographed items from sports legends including Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Young and members of the world champion Pittsburgh Steelers. You can find out more about the auction and the effort behind it at www.help-terry.org. …

A few days after Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at a Chicago Cubs game, Korn singer Jonathan Davis threw the first pitch on Thursday at Wrigley Field. Davis also enthused Cub fans by throwing $10 bills to thousands of people to promote this summer’s Family Values Tour, which will have a $9.99 lawn ticket price. Co-headliners Deftones also promoted the festival on Thursday with a free show in their home city of Sacramento, California, and Stone Sour did the same in Kansas City, Missouri. … Brandy has signed on to judge “America’s Got Talent,” a televised contest created by “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, The Associated Press reports. David Hasselhoff and British newspaper editor/TV personality Piers Morgan will also be on the panel that decides the fates of aspiring entertainers vying for a $1 million prize. The series, set to debut June 21 on NBC, will be hosted by Regis Philbin. … Staind will perform at the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 as part of ABC’s pre-race telecast, beginning at noon EST on May 28. A day earlier, the band will headline Indianapolis’ annual X-103 May Day concert, which also features Three Days Grace and Flyleaf. …

Stephen King has posted an angry rant aimed at ABC on his Web site. “Those of you who are familiar with the wonderful world of television may have noticed that ’Desperation’ — probably the best TV movie to be made from my work — has been scheduled by ABC to run, not just against ’American Idol,’ but against the ’American Idol’ finals!” the author wrote. “Am I bitter? Hell, yes, I am bitter!” … The name Nevaeh (pronounced “neh-VAY-ah”) is proliferating faster than any baby name in more than 100 years — and, according to The New York Times, it all stems from Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D., who appeared on MTV in 2000 with his baby daughter, whose name is “heaven spelled backwards,” he explained. According to the paper, there were just eight newborn American girls named Nevaeh in 1999, and last year there were 4,457 — the fastest climb among all names in more than a century, the entire period for which the Social Security Administration has such records. … The Dillinger Escape Plan will issue an iTunes-exclusive EP on June 13. The release will feature new versions of “Unretrofied” and “The Perfect Design,” along with four covers: Nine Inch Nails’ “Wish,” Massive Attack’s “Angel,” Soundgarden’s “Jesus Christ Pose” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You.” …

William Hung will be crowned this year’s Artichoke King at the Castroville Artichoke Festival this weekend in Castroville, California. Marilyn Monroe was the first “Artichoke Queen” in 1947. … They Might Be Giants are going to help creep up “Coraline,” the stop-motion animation adaptation of “Sandman” writer Neil Gaiman’s award-winning book. The band will provide songs to the film, while Dakota Fanning will lend her voice to the young girl who walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an eerie alternate version of her life, complete with counterfeit parents and children sucked dry. Henry Selick (“James and the Giant Peach,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) will direct the film, which is due in 2007. …

Warped Tour stalwarts and self-described “gypsy punks” Gogol Bordello will host a concert to benefit the Romani Jag Organization, a group that raises awareness about the struggle of Roma gypsies in Ukraine and, most recently, an increasing trend of anti-Roma police brutality. The event will be held June 9 at New York’s Irving Plaza. … Montreal stoner rockers Priestess haven’t even released an album in the U.S., but that’s not stopping them from heading out on tour this summer. Their debut, Hello Master, drops on June 13 and two days later the power rock quartet will hit Los Angeles’ Spaceland for their tour opener. The trek wraps up July 12 in Philadelphia and will see the band on the road with the Bronx, Riverboat Gamblers and the Electric Six. …

The Senate voted Thursday to approve a drastic hike in fines for television and radio stations that violate indecency rules. According to Reuters, the tenfold increase in fines per violation from $32,000 to $325,000 for airing profanity or sexually explicit material still pales in comparison to the bill passed by the House last year, which would push fines up to $500,000 per violation and require the Federal Communications Commission to consider revoking a station’s license after three indecency violations. House and Senate leaders will now have to hash out a compromise before an increase becomes law.

05.18.2006

Fresh from beefing with Colonel Sanders over how he treats his chickens, Pink is turning her activist energies to the Queen of England. During her visit to the U.K. this week, Pink fired off a letter to Her Majesty requesting that Buckingham Palace guards no longer wear their distinctive hats, which are made of bear fur. Though she praised the queen for being a “modern monarch,” Pink suggested that she get with the program and use faux fur instead. “Sorry to be a royal pain … [but] apparently it takes the entire hide of one bear to make a single ceremonial hat,” Pink wrote on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which provided samples of synthetic bear fur to the Ministry of Defence. Buckingham Palace said any correspondence to the queen is treated as private and is never commented upon. On Saturday Pink plays at a benefit dinner/concert for Prince’s Trust, a nonprofit group aimed at helping young people who are struggling. And on July 22 she’ll be joined by Train, Nickel Creek, Aqualung and Mat Kearney for Star 94’s Star Fest, an outdoor concert at Atlantic Station in midtown Atlanta. Advance tickets go on sale June 3. Head to Star94.com for more information on the show. …

Wu-Tang Clan, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Redman will headline the 2006 edition of Rock the Bells. The festival — scheduled for August 5 at NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California — will also include De La Soul, Aesop Rock, Living Legends, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Supernatural, who will attempt to break the eight-hour, 45-minute Longest Freestyle Rap documented in the “Guinness Book of World Records.” Wu-Tang will pay special tribute to Ol’ Dirty Bastard, whose last show was at Rock the Bells in 2004. An additional festival in Northern California is also confirmed for August 6, although details are not yet available. …

Alleged drunken encounters with oil heir Brandon Davis and the paparazzi notwithstanding, Paris Hilton’s been hard at work finishing her forthcoming debut. Although the heiress recorded an album’s worth of material with Scott Storch, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald and Three 6 Mafia, she went back in the studio last week to do one more song, “I Want You,” with producer J.R. Rotem (Rihanna, Dr. Dre). “It’s an uptempo dance-club song,” Rotem said. “It’s very high-energy in a retro, late-disco sort of way.” Though skeptics constantly disparage Paris for being, well, Paris, Rotem said she was very professional and focused in the vocal booth and had a “warm, round, soft tone” to her voice, which he also described as “very sexy and sassy.” …

Mandy Moore — who’s had nothing but nice things to say about Wilmer Valderrama until now — is upset that the actor went on Howard Stern’s radio show in March to brag about his long list of supposed sexual conquests — which allegedly included taking her virginity. The singer/actress tells Elle for the magazine’s June cover story that the claims are “utterly tacky” and “not even true.” “It hurt my feelings because I like him,” Moore tells the mag. She also tackles the rumor mill on her Web site. “I am so overwhelmed by the absurdity of rumors and how on earth they could get started,” Moore writes. “It’s unbelievable! Earlier this week, I was apprised of a wonderful piece of gossip that I was in rehab … nice! … I am so saddened that people stretch as far as they do in attempting to spread gossip that, at the end of the day, is just downright hurtful.” Jennifer Love Hewitt, one of Valderrama’s other alleged conquests, previously told reporters that his claims were exaggerated: “I was told that we had all these very steamy encounters and I was like, ’Really! Well, I would have loved to have been there!’ ” …

Chris Brown fans can take an inside look at the singer’s climb with “Chris Brown’s Journey,” a DVD featuring footage of Brown rehearsing for a tour, hitting the 2006 Grammys and promoting his record in Japan and the U.K. The disc, in stores June 6, also includes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his videos for “Gimme That,” “Run It!” and “Yo” as well as a bonus CD with two previously unreleased tracks: “So Glad” and a new remix of “Run It!” … Cam’ron, who is offering 15 exclusive Killa Season ring tones including “He Tried to Play Me” and “Love My Life” to Virgin Mobile users, will keep one lucky winner on the phone for an entire year. The top prize in the “Cam’ron Tops You Up for a Year” contest is $600 in Virgin Mobile Top-Up cards ($50 per month for 12 months, beginning July 1, 2006.) Virgin Mobile users who purchase Cam’ron ring tones or wallpaper are automatically entered in the contest and anyone can get in the game by filling out an online form at AsylumRecords.com/virgin. …

Ghostface Killah and sizzling art-punks Art Brut will help Blender commemorate its fifth-anniversary issue by performing at a Studio 450 party in Manhattan, New York, Tuesday. … The Ricky Martin Foundation has teamed up with the International Organization for Migration to combat the sexual exploitation of children. Martin’s foundation and the IOM signed an agreement in Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday to develop the organizations’ partnership, The Associated Press reports. “We are committed to ending child exploitation,” said Martin, whose People for Children project has been active in anti-trafficking programs. The IOM is working on over 150 projects to raise awareness, lend support and train law enforcement worldwide. …

Old-school Spoon fans are about to save themselves some serious eBay bucks. The Austin, Texas, indie rockers will re-release their long-out-of-print first LP, 1996’s Telephono, and the 1997 Soft Effects EP on July 25. The releases will be packaged together for the price of one disc and will be available through the band’s label, Merge. A video for Spoon’s new single, “The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine,” will debut Friday on the band’s Web site. … Easy Star All-Stars, who brought you 2003’s reggae version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (renamed Dub Side of the Moon), have done it again. On August 22 they’ll roll out Radiodread: A Complete Reggae Version of Radiohead’s OK Computer, featuring guest vocals from Toots and the Maytals, Citizen Cope, Horace Andy, Morgan Heritage, the Meditations, Israel Vibration and Sugar Minott. The band will perform the dub-ified work in its entirety at the All Good Music Festival on July 13. …

Twenty years after their debut, Please, British dance-pop pioneers the Pet Shop Boys are releasing their latest album, Fundamental. Due June 27, the LP reunites them with their legendary ’80s producer Trevor Horn. A bonus eight-song disc, Fundamentalism, will be available with a limited-edition version of Fundamental. … Creative Technology Ltd. filed a patent complaint against Apple Computer in federal court this week claiming that the iPod’s navigational menu infringes on a patent on its Zen MP3 player. According to Reuters, the suit seeks a cease-and-desist order on the sale of iPods and damages for what it calls Apple’s “willful infringement of the Zen patent.” Creative Technology applied for the Zen patent in 2001 — the same year the iPod was launched — and it was granted in August 2005. Apple has 72 percent of the portable MP3 player market in the U.S. to Creative’s 10 percent.