For The Record: Quick News On Brandy, Ludacris, John Legend, James Brown, Crowded House, John Mayer & More

Mechanical failure ruled out in Brandy crash; Luda, Legend performing at New Orleans jazz fest; Brown's children want trustees removed.

Police ruled out mechanical failures as contributing to the fatal car crash involving Brandy on Thursday (January 25), Reuters reports. Still, the singer could be found to be primarily at fault or criminally negligent in the December 30 crash, which took place in Los Angeles. A police spokesperson, who said investigators will be sifting through more evidence and conducting more interviews in the coming days, added that Brandy was being "fantastically cooperative" with authorities. ...

Ludacris, John Legend, Norah Jones and New Edition will anchor this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Associated Press reports. Luda and Jones — along with Rod Stewart, Van Morrison and others — are slated for the first weekend, April 27-29. Legend, New Edition, ZZ Top, Steely Dan and others will perform May 4-6. ...

James Brown's children want the trustees of the late music icon's estate removed, citing mismanagement, AP reports. In an emergency petition filed Wednesday, the six children also warned that some of Brown's assets are in danger of being "lost or dissipated or stolen." An irrevocable trust that was signed in 2000 is said to contain most of Brown's assets, and Buddy Dallas — a trustee, as well as Brown's former lawyer — told AP that the process was handled "appropriately and properly" when Brown passed away. ... A full-on Crowded House reunion tour is in the works, Reuters confirms. The band, which has been confirmed to perform at the Coachella festival on April 29, has yet to unveil dates for the trek, although it has been revealed that a new LP will coincide with it. The lineup will feature singer/guitarist Neil Finn, bassist Nick Seymour and keyboardist Mark Hart, and auditions are being held for a new drummer. ...

The latest addition to the Grammy Awards lineup is a triple-threat collaboration between nominees John Legend, John Mayer and Corinne Bailey Rae. The trio will play together at the February 11 ceremony, which will also feature previously announced performers Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, the Dixie Chicks, Gnarls Barkley, Ludacris, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake and Carrie Underwood. ...

The Beastie Boys have been quietly working on a new studio record, the group revealed to Australian newspaper The Age. Down Under fans will get a first taste of the new material when the Boys headline next month's Good Vibrations Festival. Mike D told The Age that the new album "is actually really different," and joked that fans "can expect to be disappointed; they can expect to be angry at us." ... Lily Allen, the Shins and Cold War Kids will headline radio station KCRW's sixth annual A Sounds Eclectic Evening festival April 14 in Universal City, California. Rodrigo y Gabriela and Bitter: Sweet will also take the stage at the Gibson Amphitheatre. ...

Tool will tour the U.S. again in March. Nine confirmed gigs have been announced through the band's Web site; additional dates will be released in the coming weeks. Confirmed dates run from a March 15-16 stint in Las Vegas through a March 27 show in Corpus Christi, Texas. The trek will also take the band to San Diego; Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas; and San Antonio. ... The sold-out Slayer show scheduled for February 17 at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has been nixed due to "venue production issues." The stop was part of the band's 22-city North American jaunt, which kicked off Wednesday in Tucson, Arizona. ...

20th Century Fox is after YouTube to disclose the identity of a user uploading entire episodes of the network's shows, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Google-owned video-sharing site was served Wednesday with a subpoena by Fox, demanding that YouTube reveal the name of the member that posted recent installments of "24" and "The Simpsons." It is not known whether YouTube has complied with the legal request, the trade paper reports. Fox also hit video site LiveDigital with a similar subpoena. A spokesperson for the smaller video-sharing portal told the Reporter that the company would comply. ... Nicole Kidman was taken to — and subsequently released from — a Los Angeles hospital after being involved in a car crash Thursday, AP reports. The accident happened downtown, where Kidman has been shooting the sci-fi thriller "The Invasion." ...

Relient K, the band that brought you "Be My Escape," is heading out for a long spell starting March 9 in New York. Relient K are using the tour — which will keep them on the road through May 20 in Cleveland — to promote their March 6 release, Five Score and Seven Years Ago. ... VH1 is calling on Mat Kearney to headline the first You Oughta Know Tour. The jaunt, which will also feature Rocco DeLuca and the Burden and the Feeling, begins March 17 in Denver and ends April 20 in Atlanta. VH1 will give the Burden another boost by rebroadcasting its documentary, "I Trust You to Kill Me" — which features their tour manager, Kiefer Sutherland — February 2. ...

Godsmack frontman Sully Erna will sign copies of his forthcoming memoir, "The Paths We Choose," February 24 at Borders on Vine Street in Los Angeles. The book hits stores February 7. ... Staind frontman Aaron Lewis is hitting the road on a solo acoustic trek that kicks off March 1 in Royal Oak, Michigan. The tour runs through April 4 in Buffalo, New York. ... AFI have added six more shows to their winter trek, which kicks off Wednesday in Tampa, Florida. Five of the new dates are in California (Davis, San Bernardino, Bakersfield, Chico and Eureka), beginning with the Davis stop on March 1. ...

Pop/rockers Locksley — who have toured with OK Go, We Are Scientists and She Wants Revenge — will lend the Rapture some support as the latter band spreads its dance-rock goodness across the Northeast and Midwest next month. The Rapture — whose Universal Motown LP Pieces of the People We Love came out in September — and Locksley will hit Cincinnati (February 2); Pittsburgh (February 3); Milwaukee (February 5); Indianapolis (February 6); State College, Pennsylvania (February 7); and Northampton, Massachusetts (February 10). ... Now-defunct Scottish indie squad Arab Strap are getting a send-off with Ten Years of Tears. The 18-track set will feature unreleased demos, plus new recordings, B-sides, remixes and more. ...

Hot Rod Circuit's forthcoming LP, The Underground Is a Dying Breed, will land in stores March 20. The effort will feature guest vocals from Kenny Vasoli of the Starting Line and Anthony Green of Circa Survive. ... Days of the New are returning to the stage as a trio on Saturday, performing at the Gasparilla Pirate Fest in Tampa Bay, Florida. A representative for the band said that frontman Travis Meeks, who chronicled his journey to rehab for drug addiction in an episode of the A&E series "Intervention," has been clean for a year and a half and is rehearsing with bandmates Ray Rizzo and Malcolm Gold in New York. ... NYC indie-rockers Stellastarr are writing their second album but will put their pens down for a handful of East and West Coast gigs. The seven-date run starts February 5 in San Diego and ends February 22 in the band's hometown. Stellastarr have been demoing their new songs in Philadelphia and posting them to their MySpace page.

01.24.2007

Snoop Dogg's attorney entered a not-guilty plea for the rapper Wednesday (January 24), answering a possession-of-a-deadly-weapon charge from the rapper's fall arrest at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California. Snoop, who has said the baton found in his luggage was a prop for a video, remains free on $150,000 bail. Meanwhile, he has yet to be charged in connection with two other arrests in Burbank in October and November. ...

Brandy was involved in a four-car freeway crash on December 30 that left a 38-year-old woman dead, according to a California Highway Patrol report released Wednesday. Brandy, driving at about 65 mph, allegedly hit the back of a 2005 Honda, which spiraled out of control and was then hit by an oncoming car. The driver was taken to a hospital, where she died of blunt-force injuries. The coroner's office ruled her death an accident. "I wish to publicly express my condolences to the family of the deceased," Brandy said in statement. The singer was not injured and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, her spokesperson told The Associated Press. ...

A hearing scheduled for Wednesday in the DJ Drama/ DJ Don Cannon mixtape bust has been postponed. Officials at Atlanta's Fulton County Superior Court did not announce a rescheduled date as of press time. Each DJ faces five years in prison and fines of up to $100,000 if convicted. ...

Beware of the Swarm: The Wu-Tang Clan announced Wednesday that they will reunite to release 8 Diagram later this summer. The effort is the first by the eight-man collective in six years and also marks the first Clan reunion on CD since the passing of founding member Ol' Dirty Bastard. RZA confirmed that ODB's vocals will be featured on the album, as well as "Life Changes," a dedication track to the late rapper. "People want something that gives them an adrenaline rush," RZA said in a statement. "We're here to supply that fix." ...

The long-dormant Jesus and Mary Chain have been added to the lineup for this year's Coachella fest, to take place in Indio, California, in April. Day-to-day lineups for the now-three-day gala have also been unveiled: Björk, Interpol, Jesus and Mary Chain, Arctic Monkeys, Sonic Youth, Peaches and We Are Scientists are on for April 27; Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Arcade Fire, Ghostface Killah, the Nightwatchman — a.k.a. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave — and the Decemberists anchor the following day; and the reunited Rage, Lupe Fiasco, the Roots, Tapes 'N Tapes, Kaiser Chiefs and revived vets Crowded House will convene for the April 29 show. ...

Producer Rodney Jerkins will finally release his much-discussed all-star remake of "We Are Family," a benefit for Points of Light Foundation's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, February 27. Chris Brown, Ciara and Ray J are among those who guest on the song, which reunites Sister Sledge for the first time in two decades. ... G-Unit and Sha Money XL are also recruiting some big names. The two are helping pull together a star-studded panel for the One Stop Shop Conference, a two-day workshop geared toward music producers. Swizz Beatz, DJ Premier, Hi-Tek and others will participate in the event, taking place February 10-11 at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix. The workshop will conclude with the One Stop Shop Beat Battle Final Round, with G-Unit members, Sha Money and others acting as judges. ...

Not sick of Paris Hilton yet? Fans of the celebutante can get even more Paris via a new pay Web site called ParisExposed.com. The site launched Tuesday, according to to AP, and promises subscribers Hilton photographs, home videos and diaries, along with love letters from former beau Nick Carter, recorded phone conversations and phone numbers of friends and celebrities, which were all left behind at a Los Angeles storage facility. The site charges $40 a month for access and claims to also have several Hilton sex tapes and nude photos. The items were sold to an unidentified buyer after a third party failed to make payments to the facility. "We certainly are going to explore all of our legal options about this matter," Hilton's spokesperson Elliot Mintz told the wire service. ...

The National Restaurant Association is flipping out over Kevin Federline flipping burgers, Reuters reports. The restaurant organization is demanding that Nationwide Insurance yank an ad — slated to air during the Super Bowl — that features K-Fed as a failed rap star who is instead working in the fast-food industry. "An ad such as this would be a strong and a direct insult to the 12.8 million Americans who work in the restaurant industry," NRA Chief Executive Steven Anderson told the outlet. A Nationwide spokesperson said the ad was designed to be entertaining and that it reflects the company's goal of meeting the insurance needs of its consumers. ... Stolen Babies drummer Gil Sharone has been summoned to fill in for Travis Barker on (+44)'s current European tour, according to Sharone's MySpace page. Barker was forced to drop off the tour after he re-injured his broken arm. "I played my first show with them [Saturday] after learning the whole record on the plane ride over to Germany," Sharone wrote. "I'm glad to help the band out and fill in for a drummer that I have a ton of respect for." ...

TV on the Radio multi-instrumentalist/producer Dave Sitek has ganged up with electro-pop buzz band the Knife to remix their latest single, "Marble House." The single — the fourth one from the Swedish band's third album, Silent Shout — will hit stores February 20 and feature five additional remixes, as well as a video for the track. ... Eddie Van Halen is joining forces with Fender for a new guitar, amp and product line called EVH. Among those items being offered is the striped "Frankenstein" guitar the icon has used throughout his career. That replica — which copies everything down to the cigarette burns — will be limited to 300 instruments. Megadeth axeman Dave Mustaine is following a similar route, teaming with Dean Guitars for the guitar line Vehement: VMNT. The initial model, a flamed Mustaine V autographed by the musician, is limited to 150 instruments. ... The Prodigy are currently recording a new album, which the group will release on their own Ragged Flag label through a worldwide distribution deal with Cooking Vinyl. "They are sounding big and mean," frontman Liam Howlett said of the new songs. ...

Kaiser Chiefs will return to North America in April for a tour in support of their forthcoming sophomore LP, Yours Truly, Angry Mob. With the Walkmen lined up as the support act, the trek hits the U.S. starting April 6 in Philadelphia and concludes April 29 at Coachella. ... Manchester, England's James are re-forming for their first live shows in six years. According to a post on the band's newly launched site, WeAreJames.com, the Laid-era lineup of the band will be touring with "a back catalogue to die for and a bunch of new songs." Tickets go on sale Friday for six U.K. shows scheduled for April. ... Auditions for the sixth season of "American Idol" just wrapped up, but if you've got a yearning to perform and an ogre inside hoping to break out, "Shrek" might be your ticket to the stage. A Broadway production of the animated film is hosting an open call at New York's Chelsea Studios on Thursday for performers to play Shrek and Donkey in the musical. The producers describe ideal Shrek candidates as singers in their 20s or 30s with "a powerful presence and strength with rock or R&B voices" (no word on fake Scottish accents), while Donkey hopefuls should have "urban edge and great humor," with performers from the hip-hop and poetry-slam worlds preferred.