For The Record: Quick News On Lil’ Kim, Diddy, Outkast, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Christina Aguilera & More

Kim gearing up for first post-prison performance at VH1's Hip Hop Honors, also featuring Diddy, Outkast.

Besides appearing at the VMAs and a few parties here and there, Lil’ Kim has been taking it pretty light since her release from prison on July 3. Come October 7, however, she’ll be rapping for the first time since her release as part of VH1′s Hip Hop Honors special. She’ll be paying tribute to fellow Brooklyn, New York, rap pioneer MC Lyte and is expected to perform “Lyte as a Rock.” Diddy, Outkast, Ludacris, Fat Joe and Lil Jon will also perform at the event, helping salute Ice Cube, Wu-Tang Clan, Russell Simmons, Beastie Boys and others. The program will air on October 17. …

Shortlist Music Prize co-founder Greg Spotts has purchased the rights to the name and will revive the album contest — modeled after the U.K.’s Mercury Music Prize — this fall. Spotts and co-founder Tom Sarig feuded over the future of the award last year and Sarig launched the New Pantheon Award without Spotts. Sufjan Stevens, who won that award, will be considered a previous Shortlist winner. …

Red-hot songwriter and producer Sean Garrett (Beyoncé‘s “Ring the Alarm,” Fergie‘s “London Bridge”) is working with Gwen Stefani on her second solo album. “I’ve also been talking with [Interscope Geffen A&M chief] Jimmy [Iovine] about Enrique [Iglesias],” Garrett said. “He’s somebody I’d love to work with.” … Kanye West, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, Diddy, Nick Lachey and dozens more will be featured in “Big Red Book,” a collection of photos benefiting model Petra Nemcova‘s Happy Hearts Fund. The charity organization, founded by Nemcova after her experience in the 2004 tsunami, aids children who have been affected by natural, economic and health-related disasters. The book is currently in production, with stars such as Russell Simmons, Serena Williams and Joaquin Phoenix having their photos shot in New York this week. …

Guns N’ Roses continue to add dates to their upcoming fall run of North America. The band’s newest bookings are in Jacksonville, Florida (October 20); Nashville (October 22); and Estero, Florida (October 27). The tour kicks off with two back-to-back gigs in Las Vegas on Saturday and Sunday, and stops are planned in San Francisco; San Diego; Reno, Nevada; and Tampa, Florida. … Flavor Flav may have more women than he can handle as he tries to find a girlfriend on the second season of “Flavor of Love,” but the 47-year-old rap legend is also getting hot and heavy with his real first love: music. Hip-hop’s greatest hype man is releasing his debut solo LP October 31. The first single from the self-titled album is set to be “Flavor Man,” and the disc will come out on Flav’s own Draytown Records — a play on his real last name, Drayton. The Public Enemy rapper insists that this will be his first and last solo effort. …

Tool canceled a show Tuesday night, calling off their gig at the AT&T Center in San Antonio because singer Maynard James Keenan was too sick to perform. In an interview posted on local radio station 99.5 KISS-FM’s Web site, guitarist Adam Jones explained, “It’s very unfortunate ’cause when I get sick or [drummer Danny Carey] or [bassist Justin Chancellor] get sick, we can still go on with the show. But Maynard’s got fever, he’s coughing up stuff, he’s hoarse and he doesn’t want everyone to think he sucks by going out and trying anyway. He needs to just get over it, rest, and hopefully we can continue.” Jones encouraged fans to hold on to their tickets, explaining that the band will try to make the date up. … Former D Generation frontman Jesse Malin has completed work on Glitter in the Gutter, the follow-up to his 2004 disc The Heat. The album is expected to drop early next year, and will feature guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams, Queens of the Stone Age‘s Josh Homme and the Foo FightersChris Shiflett. … Homme’s Eagles of Death Metal will release “Death by DVD” on October 10. The DVD chronicles the recording of 2006′s Death by Sexy and features additional behind-the-scenes footage. …

On Monday, MetaMachine, the company behind the file-sharing service eDonkey, became the latest of the major P2P sites to settle with the record industry. The company agreed in a settlement with the major labels to pay $30 million to avoid potential copyright-infringement lawsuits, and to abide by a permanent injunction barring the company from allowing users to distribute copywritten works. “We are pleased to have reached this settlement and see it as another important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the digital music marketplace,” Recording Industry Association of America CEO Mitch Bainwol said. “With this new settlement, another domino falls, and we have further strengthened the footing of the legal marketplace.” Bainwol said the settlement leaves LimeWire as one of the only major rogue P2P companies that have not yet settled with the recording industry. …

An attorney for Buckcherry has answered claims made in a lawsuit filed last week against the group and its label by a 16-year-old girl who said she was given alcohol and coerced into exposing herself for one of the band’s videos. “The claims in this case are completely bogus,” lawyer Skip Mille said in a statement issued Tuesday. “This woman obtained access to the video shoot by using a phony ID. Strict precautions were taken to insure that only people over the age of 18 would gain access to the shoot. The casting ad called for talent over 18 only, signs were posted to that effect at the venue and IDs were checked. This person signed a talent release form and verified her age by writing what we have now discovered to be a false birth date on the release to match her phony ID. She was later seen boasting into the camera about her exploits in the video. This lawsuit was filed almost a year after the video was shot, following the financial success of the band. We are going to defend this action vigorously and let the evidence speak for itself.” … “Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis and his Mantra films pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating federal laws protecting children from sexual exploitation, the Los Angeles Times reports. In a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice, Francis agreed to pay a $500,000 fine to settle Los Angeles charges that he failed to maintain identity and age records of the women who appeared in his films. Sexually explicit footage of minors appeared in at least two DVDs released, Francis said in a statement. Mantra Films will pay an additional $1.6 million in fines and restitution to settle similar charges in Florida, pleading guilty to 10 counts of breaking federal record-keeping and labeling laws that govern sexually explicit material.

09.12.2006

In an interview with New York magazine, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose explained what’s been holding up the release of the oft-delayed Chinese Democracy, an album he’s spent more than a decade working on. “It’s not about being a control freak,” he said. “It’s about being maybe smart enough to go, ‘No, that’s a bad idea.’ That’s all it’s about — keeping the ability to at least have a shot as opposed to something that’s just an obvious disaster. I want to make a good record. I don’t want to throw a brick. This cannot be Shaq at the free-throw line.” Rose added that the disc will surface before the end of 2006. In the meantime, Guns N’ Roses have booked two more live gigs as part of their brief U.S. trek. Fans can catch the band in Sunrise, Florida, on October 24 and in Tampa, Florida, on October 25. …

Superstars can’t help but love the “Jackass” crew — at least that’s what Steve-O maintains. “There’s a sexiness about the bad boy, the naughty boy, the dude who doesn’t smell as good as the other guys, the guy that might be a little bit dirtier — that’s why the Paris Hiltons and Jessica Simpsons, they love us,” he told MTV News. “At the end of the day, we’re all as dirty as each other and we know that.” Chris Pontius revealed that he’s recorded a song titled “Karazy” — though Pontius said the track may not be what you expect. “A bunch of papers have been publishing stories about me writing a song about one of our friends having sex with Jessica Simpson,” Pontius said. “I never really wrote that song. If someone wanted me to write that song, I could. It would be a hit, you can count on that.” …

Christina Aguilera will join Tony Bennett for a rendition of “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” featured on the TV special “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” set to air November 21 on NBC. Stevie Wonder, Elton John, John Legend and Barbra Streisand will also duet with Bennett on the show honoring his 80th birthday. All but Aguilera are also featured — along with Bono — on Bennett’s Duets: An American Classic LP, due September 26. … Jennifer Lopez is celebrating the launch of her Live Luxe Jennifer Lopez fragrance with an iPod giveaway. Beginning Friday, one JenniferLopezBeauty.com visitor per day will score a limited-edition video iPod engraved with Lopez’s signature and pre-loaded with her music and a behind-the-scenes look at the Live Luxe ads. …

Brand New will release the yet-untitled follow-up to 2003′s Deja Entendu on November 21. No other information regarding the LP has been revealed. … With New York’s BoostMobile Rock Corps concert — featuring T.I., Panic! at the Disco, Young Jeezy and Taking Back Sunday — less than two weeks away, would-be attendees need to start racking up volunteer hours. New York City Department of Parks-sponsored cleanups are scheduled for Tuesday (September 12) at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Wednesday at Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx and Thursday at Rufus King Park in Queens. The work starts at 3:30 p.m., and participants have to pre-register at BoostMobileRockCorps.com to log time for the September 23 concert — four hours of work buys one ticket. … British act Mojave 3 will cross the pond for a 19-date run of North American venues. The tour kicks off September 24 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and dates are planned through October 28 in Nashville. …

Spokane, Washington, newspaper The Spokesman-Review reports that a local police officer resigned after he was caught breaking the law at a Tool concert. Jonathon Smith, who had been on the force for three years, left the department last month when he was given a choice between resigning and being fired after two fellow officers said they spotted him buying — and then consuming — two cookies containing marijuana at Tool’s August 27 show at the Gorge Amphitheatre. Smith will not face arrest. … Audioslave‘s Chris Cornell offers advice in the October issue of Men’s Health (on newsstands September 19), and says you don’t have to feel down to be creative. “If you’re depressed long enough, it’s almost a comfort, a state of mind that you’ve made peace with because you’ve been in it so long. But I never felt like I had to be depressed or unhappy to write songs.” The happy family man explains in the “Take It From Me” column that he isn’t concerned that domestic bliss is hindering his songwriting. “Now with my wife and my babies, I don’t slip into that type of depression anymore. And I’m having the best time I’ve ever had in terms of creativity.” …

Long-defunct post-hardcore legends Texas Is the Reason, who disbanded back in 1997, will reunite for a one-off gig at New York’s Irving Plaza on November 25. The concert will mark the 10th anniversary of the release of the band’s sole LP, 1996′s Do You Know Who You Are?Idiot Pilot recently tracked the drums for the follow-up to 2004′s Strange We Should Meet Here. According to the band’s MySpace page, Travis Barker (Blink-182) and the Dillinger Escape Plan‘s Chris Pennie were called upon to handle the drum parts for the yet-untitled LP. … The track list for Primus‘ upcoming They Can’t All Be Zingers: The Best of Primus hits compilation has been revealed. Look for the disc — out October 17 — to boast 16 classic Primus cuts, including “John the Fisherman,” “Too Many Puppies,” “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” “My Name Is Mud” and “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver.” The Primus DVD “Blame It on the Fish” will also be out October 17, and the band will launch a North American tour in support of both efforts in November. …

Seal is the latest musician to join artists including Patti Smith, Ryan Adams, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Black Crowes brothers Chris and Rich Robinson, and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth in a concert tribute to the music of Bob Dylan. The event, to be held at New York’s Lincoln Center, will benefit the Music for Youth Foundation, which brings music education to at-risk youth. Other artists who will perform at the November 9 event include Natalie Merchant, Rosanne Cash, Cat Power, Warren Haynes, Phil Lesh, Bob Mould and Jill Sobule.”For Seal, and all the other artists performing, the reason they said yes was because they so revere Bob Dylan as a master of lyrics and sound,” producer Michael Dorf said. “They are honored to pay respect to this legend. The artists performing represent rock, blues, jazz and folk — exemplifying how Dylan’s music transcends all genres of music; with fans of all ages.”