For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Beyonce, Snow Patrol, Prince, Ozzfest, Alkaline Trio & More

Spears hits back at tabloid media; animal-rights group confronts Knowles; Snow Patrol reschedule dates.

Britney Spears has a plan to combat reports in the tabloid media: “I need to come up with my own magazine and say the real deal,” the singer told Matt Lauer in an interview that aired on “Today” and “Dateline NBC” Thursday. With Sean Preston, a baby on the way and her music career to stay on top of, a foray into publishing is unlikely to happen, but Spears is venting about the press anyway. “I can’t go anywhere without someone judging me,” the tearful singer said, adding that the February incident in which she was photographed driving with then-4-month-old son Sean Preston on her lap was not a big deal. “I did it with my dad. I’d sit on his lap and I’d drive. We’re country.” And the time she tripped with Sean in her arms and ended up on the cover of the New York Post? “Accidents happen!” she responded. “There will be plenty more oopses. I’m not perfect. I’m human.” Despite reports that her marriage is in trouble, the singer called Kevin Federline an “amazing” husband. “He cares so much and his heart is awesome.” Spears said. She also credited Federline with helping her cope while she deals with the pressures of being in the public eye. “I’m an emotional wreck right now.” …

Look out, Beyoncé: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have their eyes on you. The animal-rights group secretly placed a winning bid to an eBay auction that granted the victor a dinner with the singer, according to The Associated Press. At the dinner Wednesday in New York, members of PETA approached a reportedly shocked Knowles about using fur coats in her clothing line, although they were eventually booted from the restaurant. …

Snow Patrol have realigned their 2006 tour schedule after it was put on hold due to singer Gary Lightbody‘s severe throat problems. The band will play Boston’s Bank of America Pavilion on August 15, after which it’ll kick off a full-fledged jaunt September 6 in Atlanta. The fun ends September 28 at San Diego’s House of Blues. … Prince surprised outdoor music lovers in Brooklyn, New York, Thursday night, showing up for a cameo at Maceo Parker‘s show at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Even Parker — a saxophonist and longtime James Brown collaborator who joined Prince on his Musicology tour — wasn’t expecting the very special guest, The New York Times reports. …

John Mayer and Sheryl Crow are joining forces for a tour that kicks off August 24 in Pittsburgh. The 27-date tour will make stops in cities including Boston, Cincinnati, Seattle, Denver, San Diego and Houston before wrapping up October 12 in Tampa, Florida. … The July 14 date on this summer’s Ozzfest, which was scheduled to take place at the Float-Rite Park in Somerset, Wisconsin, has been canceled. The Ozzfest camp didn’t give a reason for nixing the date. … Heavens, the side project of Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba and F-Minus bassist Joe Steinbrick, will release their LP, Patent Pending, September 12. The Epitaph release will feature “Counting,” “Dead End Girl” and “True Hate.” …

Pixies frontman Frank Black has lined up a handful of solo dates for August, giving him a chance to headline his own shows in between opening for the Foo Fighters on their acoustic trek. Black will hit the road August 9 in Salt Lake City and swing through Indianapolis; Omaha, Nebraska; Santa Cruz, California; and Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The tour wraps up August 31 in Sacramento, California. Black’s Fast Man/ Raider Man double-disc drops Tuesday. … Sensitive rockers Rainer Maria have announced plans for an extensive U.S. tour in support of their fifth studio album, Catastrophe Keeps Us Together. The 36-date trek kicks off July 14 in Phoenix and runs until September 1 in San Diego. The Format will headline all dates, except for an August 5 gig at Lollapalooza. Catastrophe hit stores in April. …

On Friday (June 16), a Manhattan judge issued an arrest warrant for Boy George after the troubled singer didn’t show up in court, AP reports. George, whose real name is George O’Dowd, was supposed to explain why he wants to change his sentence for falsely reporting to the police that his apartment had been burglarized. After O’Dowd made the false claim in March, police discovered cocaine in his apartment. … Just how New Year’s Eve 1998 finally brought an end to questions about what it’d be like to party in 1999, Sunday should resolve any lingering concerns among Beatles fans over what would happen to Paul McCartney when he’s 64. Macca hasn’t revealed his birthday plans yet, but AP reports that the Beatles Story Exhibition in McCartney’s Liverpool hometown is throwing down with a karaoke contest, balloons, cake and more. …

If Dinosaur Jr. have reunited, then why is J Mascis excavating Dino bones with another set of backing musicians? Well, for a good cause, of course. To benefit the far-reaching humanitarian organization Amma, Mascis is ganging up with members of Broken Social Scene, including frontman Kevin Drew, for a one-off gig in Toronto. The show goes down at the Mod Club on June 23. … Selling 14 millions albums worldwide isn’t enough to satisfy the Barenaked Ladies, apparently. The Toronto band has a new LP, Barenaked Ladies Are Me, slated for release September 12 through its own Desperation Records imprint. The Ladies are planning to release two digital versions of the set that same day: one with two additional tracks not on the standard CD, and another 27-track deluxe edition. …

Philadelphia’s Mewithoutyou have completed work on their third album, Brother, Sister. The record was produced by Brad Wood (who helmed their breakout 2004 LP, Catch for Us the Foxes) and features guest vocals by Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate, the Fire Theft) on two tracks. Sister is due in stores September 26. … The Reverend Horton Heat will stage a traveling musical revival with his long-running psychobilly band this summer. The tour launches June 30 in Tempe, Arizona, with 45 gigs scheduled through late September. The band is also slated to appear December 1 in Irving, Texas. Danish rockers Horrorpops will open on most dates, along with California’s Throw Rag. …

EMI North America agreed Thursday to pay $3.75 million to settle a pay-for-play investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, The New York Times reports. The gubernatorial candidate had been probing radio air time traded to benefit artists including Gorillaz, Coldplay and Beenie Man. Spitzer announced settlements with Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group last year. Investigators are now expected to focus on the conduct of radio corporations, including Clear Channel Communications and CBS Radio. The Federal Communications Commission is also investigating payola claims in radio broadcasting.

06.15.2006

Red alert: Jessica Simpson sports a fiery new ‘do on the July cover of Maxim magazine, which hits stands Thursday (June 15). In the issue, the singer/actress makes a promise that has been uttered by others before her: “I will never do another reality-TV show. Been there, done that.” In addition to revealing that guys with vivid imaginations send her “through the rafters” and that she likes kissing with her eyes open, Simpson also let fly her admiration of Ashlee: “My sister has the most perfect [breasts] and skinniest legs,” she said. …

Black Eyed Peas, Beyoncé, AC/DC, Chamillionaire, T-Pain, Cyndi Lauper and D4L are among the artists who were honored with the Recording Industry Association of America’s inaugural Master Ringtone Sales Awards. In a ceremony on Wednesday, 84 gold (500,000 downloads), 40 platinum (1 million downloads) and four multi-platinum certifications were awarded for the music people hold dearest to their hearts — the tracks they don’t mind hearing every time someone calls them. The RIAA has been certifying albums gold and platinum for 47 years, and added ringtones to the mix with Wednesday’s announcements. …

Tom Cruise has topped Forbes magazine’s celebrity power list, beating out the Rolling Stones, Oprah and U2. Cruise, who the magazine says is “Hollywood’s most bankable actor” after having made $67 million last year, previously held the spot five years ago. … Ruben Studdard was awarded $2 million Thursday (June 15) after suing his ex-manager for misappropriating Studdard’s money and credit cards, according to The Associated Press. A judge in a Birmingham, Alabama, court awarded the “American Idol” winner $1.5 million in punitive damages and $500,000 for his actual losses. …

If you’d planned to secure a table at one of Jay-Z‘s 40/40 Clubs with a bottle of Cristal, better consult the drink menu. Jay will no longer serve the pricey champagne name-checked in many hip-hop songs — including Hov’s own “Hard Knock Life” and “Dead Presidents II” — following statements made by the managing director of Louis Roederer, the company that produces Cristal, in a recent interview with The Economist. “It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frédéric Rouzaud, views the hip-hop culture as ‘unwelcome attention,’ ” Jay said in a statement. “I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands including the 40/40 Club, nor in my personal life.” … Having wrapped production on their second album in Las Vegas, the Killers have headed to London to mix the record. Co-producers Flood and Alan Moulder are overseeing the mixing for the still-untitled sophomore LP, which is tentatively due later this year. …

After a one-day hearing that was closed to the public, a Vietnamese court upheld child molestation charges and a three-year jail sentence for British former glam rock star Gary Glitter on Thursday, according to a Reuters report. The sentence against Glitter, 62, born Paul Francis Gadd, will be imposed from the November 19, 2005, date the disgraced rocker was arrested while trying to leave Vietnam and will require him to be deported upon release. Glitter reportedly shook his head as the judge read the evidence against him — he was convicted on March 3 of sexually molesting two 11-year-old girls — and screamed, “No justice here in Vietnam. … They did not listen to the defense at all,” as he was lead out of the courtroom. Meanwhile, The Boston Globe reports that the National Football League has asked teams to stop playing Glitter’s popular game-day anthem, “Rock and Roll Part 2,” to pump up crowds. …

Los Angeles County prosecutors have declined to file charges against Eric Wright Jr. — a.k.a. Lil’ Eazy-E — in connection with his arrest Saturday on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, L.A. CBS affiliate KCAL reports. According to the district attorney’s office, there was not enough evidence to prosecute Wright, who was released from jail Sunday. The 22-year-old rapper is the son of late N.W.A member Eazy-E. … After dueling lawsuits failed to resolve the matter, the U.S. International Trade Commission has launched a probe into whether Apple’s iPod infringes on Creative Technology’s patent for its Zen MP3 player, according to Reuters. The world’s #2 MP3 player maker’s complaint alleges that Apple imported into the U.S. and sold iPods that infringe on Creative’s “Zen” patent, which covers the user interface on its Nomad and Zen models. Creative said it has asked the ITC for a permanent cease-and-desist order against Apple. A ruling is not expected before next year. In June, Apple filed a second patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. against Creative, which earlier had filed patent complaints against Apple in a federal court.

Just when you thought Ozzfest couldn’t get any freakier, the festival’s organizers have added the Bros. Grim Sideshow, billed as “the world’s greatest collection of human oddities, strange people and novel entertainers,” to the tour’s Village of the Damned for nine of the trek’s stops. The Bros. Grim Sideshow will be part of the festivities in San Antonio (July 11); Chicago (July 16); Detroit (July 19); Columbus, Ohio (July 21); Indianapolis (July 23); Buffalo, New York (July 27); New York (July 29); Boston (August 1); Raleigh, North Carolina (August 9); and the festival’s final stop, West Palm Beach, Florida (August 13). … “Gabba Gabba Hey! — A Punk-Rock Musical,” inspired by the songs of the Ramones, will open in London on July 31 for a one-week run of shows set to conclude August 5. Described as “a postmodern fairy tale about the redeeming power of love,” the musical will feature 18 classic Ramones tracks, including “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Beat on the Brat” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Tommy Ramone, the production’s musical director, will be appearing each night during the brief run. …

Dredg vocalist Gavin Hayes will take the stage with Dan “The Automator” Nakamura at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California, on Sunday. The duo will be performing selections from Nakamura’s Lovage and Handsome Boy Modeling School projects. Hayes will also join Dredg to perform at a benefit to help Day One Symphony pay medical bills following a car accident. The show is set for July 7 in San Francisco. … Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue has announced plans for a 10-date club tour in support of his forthcoming self-titled solo acoustic debut, which took two years to complete. Ben Nichols of Lucero and Yellow Red Sparks will open on the trek, which kicks off July 27 in Philadelphia with dates scheduled through August 6 in San Francisco. …

Primus frontman Les Claypool will be touring this summer in support of his solo LP, Of Whales and Woe, with several gigs sprinkled on off-nights throughout a run with his revived Oysterhead side project. The next stop on the trek, which is already in full swing, is set for Sunday in St. Louis, Missouri, following two appearances at this weekend’s Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. The tour runs through July 22 in Cleveland. … After months of rumors, Poison the Well have confirmed their split with Atlantic Records. The band continues to work on new material and plans to release an album early next year.

The reunited Germs — with actor Shane West filling the shoes of deceased frontman Darby Crash — are adding more shows to their plate. The band will play three Warped Tour dates, including July 4 in Phoenix. Other cities on the docket include Chula Vista (July 6) and Pomona (July 7), both in California; Detroit (July 25); Chicago (July 26-27); New York (July 29); Boston (July 30); and Washington, D.C. (August 5). … The Ataris have parted ways with Columbia Records, according to frontman Kris Roe. In a post on the band’s MySpace page, Roe said the Ataris made their decision after several people they originally worked with at the label left and, according to Roe, rumors have been circulating about a merger between Columbia and Epic. “Our newfound freedom might cause a slight delay in the release of Welcome the Night,” the band’s forthcoming LP, he wrote. “We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to release our next album under the best possible circumstances.”

[This story was originally published at 8:40 a.m. ET on 06.16.2006]