For The Record: Quick News On Diddy, Busta, T.I., Beyonce, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Korn, Bloc Party & More

Diddy throws birthday party for Gilbert Arenas; dancers try out for Beyoncé tour; 'Jay-Z Blue' SUV unveiled.

Diddy hosted a birthday bash for basketball player Gilbert Arenas in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, according to The Associated Press. Busta Rhymes, the Game, T.I. and Lil Wayne performed at the event, which was held at the nightclub Love. …

Hundreds of dancers turned up at a Houston audition on Saturday, trying out for a part in Beyoncé‘s world tour. Thirty semifinalists were selected from the Houston auditions and will face off with selected dancers from four other cities — earlier auditions were held in Los Angeles and Atlanta last month, with tryouts in New York (Thursday and Friday) and Chicago (January 27) to come. Once all tryouts are complete, Beyoncé and choreographer Frank Gaston will review the tapes and narrow the field to 40 dancers who will accompany the singer on tour. …

Jay-Z has joined the esteemed ranks of phthalo, Prussian and cornflower by lending his name to a blue hue, AP reports. The rapper teamed up with General Motors to unveil a GMC Yukon Denali concept vehicle painted “Jay-Z Blue” — a deep, reflective cobalt — at a North American International Auto Show pre-event in Detroit on Saturday. … Barbados native Rihanna was named Female Entertainer of the Year at the Barbados Music Awards on Friday. “I am always delighted to win awards,” the singer said in an interview with AP, “but it’s especially great to win awards at home.” Rihanna also scored prizes for best album (A Girl Like Me) and best song (“Unfaithful”). …

With drummer David Silveria on temporary hiatus and a new album to record, Korn have enlisted 56-year-old veteran drummer Terry Bozzio (Steve Vai, Richard Marx) as his fill-in. While not an official member of the band, Bozzio will hammer the drums for its forthcoming LP and may even tour with the group in support of the disc. According to Korn’s management, “they are currently writing and rehearsing with [Bozzio] and things are going well.” The spokesperson emphasized that Silveria is still Korn’s official drummer, but added that, for the moment, the bandmembers “aren’t looking too far into the future.” … Bloc Party will promote their new album, A Weekend in the City, due February 6, with a North American tour kicking off March 11 in Seattle and wrapping up March 31 in New York. Albert Hammond Jr. of the Strokes is opening on select dates. …

Perhaps growing tired of ducking interviews, holing themselves up in abandoned churches and flying to Budapest to record songs with a full orchestra, the Arcade Fire are taking the concept of guerilla marketing to new levels of ridiculousness. Last month, they debuted “Intervention,” a song from their hotly anticipated new album Neon Bible, via a mysterious toll-free phone number. And this weekend, they used a bizarre pseudo-infomercial posted on YouTube to announce the track list and release date for Bible, as well as give fans previews of several songs on the record. In the spot, “Juno-Award-winning guitarist” Richard Reed Parry — wearing a paper mask, clutching a megaphone in one hand and the Arcade Fire’s Juno Award (sort of the Canadian Grammy) for Songwriters of the Year in the other — announces that the band’s new disc will hit U.S. stores on March 6. He then fires up an oscillating fan as song titles and sound clips from Bible fly by. At the end of the spot appears the full track list for the 11-song album, which includes the first single, “Black Mirror”; “Keep the Car Running”; “Ocean of Noise”; and a reworked version of “No Cars Go,” which first popped up on their self-titled 2003 EP. Fans can also hear “Black Mirror” at frontman Win Butler‘s journal on the Arcade Fire Web site. …

Elvis Presley would have turned 71 on Monday (January 8), but another living legend has his own milestone to celebrate: David Bowie and his 60th birthday. Bowie was reportedly going to spend the day at his apartment in downtown New York, according to Agence France Presse, but his wife Iman told England’s Daily Mirror that “he’s not freaking out” about the milestone. … Former “You Hear It First” artist Matt Costa is kicking off 2007 by hitting the road with G. Love. The trek starts Friday in Nashville and wraps February 3 in West Hollywood, California. … The reunited Sebadoh will launch their first tour in 14 years February 26 in San Diego. The trek, featuring Lou Barlow, Eric Gaffney and Jason Loewenstein, ends April 16 in Tucson, Arizona.

Marilyn Manson and his wife of a year, model and burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, are calling it quits, AP reports. Von Teese (born Heather Sweet) cited irreconcilable differences in papers filed December 29 in Los Angeles Superior Court. The couple married November 28, 2005, and separated on Christmas Eve, according to court documents. … Dave Matthews will guest star as a virtuoso pianist with a brain disorder on an episode of the Fox series “House, M.D.” that will air in March. Matthews plays a man who suffered a severe neurological impairment — and ended up with a great musical talent — as the result of an accident when he was 10 years old. Matthews’ character comes to House (Hugh Laurie) with cerebral bleeding, and the doctor attempts to get to the root of the problem while determining the origin of the brain rewiring responsible for his musical gift. … Tiger Army and the Almost have been added to the lineup for this summer’s Warped Tour. They join Bad Religion, Paramore, Cute Is What We Aim For, Big D and the Kids Table, K-os and the Fabulous Rudies on the festival’s bill. …

“American Idol” alum Constantine Maroulis joins the cast of the off-Broadway show “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well Living in Paris” on Tuesday. “It’s funny because people are like, ‘Oh, he’s an actor now?’ ” Maroulis told MTV News. “But they don’t realize I’ve been doing this a very long time. I studied at the Boston Conservatory. I was in [a touring production of] ‘Rent’ long before Idol.’ ” Maroulis said that he wasn’t that familiar with Brel before he signed on to do the show, but now hopes he can bring the late singer/songwriter — who he called “a genius that people in this country don’t know” — to a new audience. “It’s truly some epic stuff,” he said. “It’s very underground. He was, in the ’60s, doing some crazy stuff. More like a folk singer, poet. … [Brel] was as big as Bob Dylan in Paris in the ’60s.” … Alabama hardcore outfit Haste have broken up following an extended hiatus. “This has been one of the most amazing experiences of our lives, but we have all come to the point where it is time to move on,” the band said in a statement posted on its MySpace page. “A simple thank you does not express the gratitude we feel for everyone who has supported us over the years. Haste has been a huge part of all of our lives and we are all very sad to see it go, but it is time to have some closure to this part of our lives.” Haste formed in 1995, and released three albums — the most recent being 2003′s The Mercury Lift.

01.05.2007

Fall Out Boy will headline the seventh annual Honda Civic Tour, which will commence April 18 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The full itinerary has yet to be announced. The band will also partner with the company to design custom features for a Civic hybrid, which fans will have the chance to win. The band gave a surprise performance at the company’s Torrance, California, headquarters on Friday (January 5). …

Demi Moore wants to expand her family and has joked with husband Ashton Kutcher about doing a Broadway version of “The Graduate” — in which a middle-age woman seduces a college graduate — according to a new interview with Vanity Fair. In the issue, which hits stores Tuesday, the actress also revealed that, “If somebody would have said, ‘OK, here is the prediction: You’re going to meet a man 25 years old and he’s going to see being with you and having your three children as a bonus,’ I would have said, ‘Keep dreaming.’ ” …

Monitored mother Madonna can breathe a little easier: The Malawi government is reportedly pleased with how she is raising her newly adopted son, David Banda. “We have been monitoring her and so far we see a loving mother in Madonna, and David is very fine,” Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare Adrina Mchiela told Reuters. “The father should not be worried.” Mchiela would not say whether a government official who has been assigned to monitor how Banda is being raised has visited Madonna’s London home, where Banda has been living. The singer previously signed interim adoption papers that stipulated Banda would be monitored for 18 months, after which Malawi officials would decide whether final approval would be given for him to remain with her family. …

Jennifer Lopez makes the cover of People en Español‘s “100 Most Influential Hispanics” issue, on newsstands Friday. “Being an example to others is a big part of my work,” Lopez said in an interview with the magazine. “It excites me to think that I could be capable of changing opinions, or of making people laugh or cry.” Others on the list include Shakira, Salma Hayek, Ricky Martin, film directors Alfonso Cuarón (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”) and Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) as well as fashion designers Manolo Blahnik and Oscar de la Renta. …

Whitney Houston‘s clothes and musical gear are going up for auction — but not for charity purposes. According to The Associated Press, Speed of Sound — a company that has been taking care of 300-plus items from the singer’s 1999 tour — is selling the gear and clothes to help cover Houston’s unpaid storage fees. A lawyer for Speed of Sound told AP that the company is owed $175,000-$200,000 but that excess money from the auction will go to Houston’s Nippy Inc. The items, including a black-velvet bustier, one of her microphones and a vintage barber chair, will be auctioned Tuesday at a warehouse in Irvington, New Jersey. …

Snoop Dogg‘s Snoop Youth Football League Foundation has been sued by a New York media company that alleges the group has been double dipping. Natural Resources Media & Technology Group claims that the foundation made a deal for a reality television series about Snoop’s involvement in the league — a pact that violated a pre-existing deal with 20th Century Fox to develop a similar feature film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the complaint filed in New York Supreme Court last week claims that the June deal gave Natural Resources exclusive pay-per-view, cable and home video rights for the league in exchange for raising and providing more than $100,000 in production revenue to share with the foundation. When Fox learned about the deal, it informed the other companies involved in the reality show that Fox had exclusive rights to chronicle Snoop’s involvement with the youth league for an in-development film titled “Coach Snoop.” Natural Resources claims that it informed Snoop that he was in breach of contract, but received no response from the rapper’s representatives. The suit seeks $250,000 in damages plus attorneys’ fees. …

Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore, the New PornographersCarl Newman and author Chuck Klosterman share their favorite concert memories in “The Show I’ll Never Forget: 50 Writers Relive Their Most Memorable Concertgoing Experiences,” a new book released this week. … Based on year-end numbers from Nielsen SoundScan, album sales continued their slide in 2006, dropping 4.9 percent from the previous year, even as total music sales rose thanks to a big increase in digital downloads. While the 588.2 million albums sold in 2006 amounted to a decline, digital sales were up 65 percent over 2005, with 582 million tracks sold and digital album sales doubling to nearly 33 million. The year’s top-selling album was the “High School Musical” soundtrack, with more than 3.7 million copies sold, followed by records from Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Nickelback and Justin Timberlake. Both hip-hop and R&B album sales were hit hard in 2006, dropping 20 percent and 18 percent respectively. …

Former Phish frontman Trey Anastasio made a surprise appearance in court on Wednesday to plead not guilty to charges of driving under the influence of drugs and misdemeanor drug possession stemming from a December 15 traffic stop in upstate New York — during which police said they found prescription painkillers and an anti-anxiety drug that had not been prescribed to the singer/guitarist. A prosecutor said Anastasio, who was stopped when police saw his car weaving across a rural road in the early morning hours, could face felony charges due to the quantity of pills that were found in the car, according to AP. WNYT News in Albany, New York, is reporting that a quantity of heroin was also found in Anastasio’s car, and that he told police he was smoking hashish and taking pills prior to his arrest. Anastasio is due back in court on February 14. … Former Creed singer Scott Stapp and his wife, Jaclyn Nesheiwat, welcomed a new daughter on Thursday, AP reports. The baby girl, Milan Hayat Stapp, is the couple’s first child. Stapp has a son from a previous relationship. …

Papa Roach and It Dies Today have augmented their touring plans, adding a slew of new dates to their current tour. Rather than concluding February 3, the tour will continue two days later in Alberta, Canada. The trek will hit Minneapolis, Chicago, Baltimore and elsewhere before wrapping up March 4 in Clifton Park, New York. Kill Hannah have been added to the bill as well. … The holidays were a bummer for Microsoft, whose heavily hyped Zune MP3 player failed to crack the top 10 in sales for all portable digital music players, according to market research firm Current Analysis. Coming in behind eight different iPod models and two SanDisk players, the Zune grabbed 12 percent of the market of hard-drive-based players in December based on Current Analysis’ tracking of sales at Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Staples and RadioShack. The analysis did not include sales from Wal-Mart or Apple’s own retail stores.