For The Record: Quick News On Mariah, Jennifer Hudson, Jay-Z, Ashlee, K-Fed, Lily Allen, Chili Peppers & More

Carey shoots 'Dream' sequence; Hudson gets her own day in Chicago; Roc-A-Wear selling for $204 million.

Mariah Carey shot a “Tennessee” scene featuring her rendition of the Willie Nelson-penned track “Right to Dream” on location late last week. Nelson’s harmonica player, Mickey Raphael, accompanied Carey on the song. …

Mayor Richard Daley declared Tuesday (March 6) “Jennifer Hudson Day” across Chicago to honor the city’s Oscar-winning “Dreamgirls” hero, The Associated Press reports. Hudson performed a song outside the Chicago Theatre and visited her former high school, Dunbar Vocational Career Academy. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich previously honored the singer/actress with a statewide “Jennifer Hudson Day” on February 26. …

Jay-Z has reached an agreement to sell his Roc-A-Wear clothing line to the Iconix Brand Group for a reported $204 million in cash, the companies announced Tuesday. As a part of the deal — which could be worth up to $400 million through sales incentives — the Def Jam president and rapper will retain his role in product development and also enter into a new deal to launch the Shawn Carter Collection, an upscale luxury brand set to debut in 2008. …

Ashlee Simpson, busy writing her next album, said fans should expect a more soulful sound. “I’m from Texas, I come from that background,” she said. “It’s cool because on my last two records I was writing with the same people and now I’m writing with a bunch of different people. I’m writing with my guitar player Ray [Brady] and just seeing where it goes.” Simpson is eyeing an October release. …

Kevin Federline can’t get enough of Las Vegas these days. After taking his sons with Britney Spears — Sean Preston and Jayden James — there over the weekend, he’s planning to return to Sin City for a birthday bash on March 24 (after holding a similar one in L.A. three days beforehand). Fans can win VIP tickets to the parties via SearchWithKevin.com. … Lily Allen will continue infiltrating the U.S. via a spring headlining tour that begins March 16 in Houston. The jaunt ends at New York’s Irving Plaza on April 11, although the singer is also planning to perform at Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest festival (March 14-15); Los Angeles radio station KCRW’s A Sounds Eclectic Evening (April 14); Indio, California’s Coachella fest (April 29); and Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee (June 15). …

Red Hot Chili Peppers have sent a message of condolence to the family of a fan who was killed while waiting in line for tickets to the band’s upcoming New Zealand gig. Sang Je Lee, an 18-year-old South Korean exchange student, died Monday after being hit by a car early that morning in a parking lot in Whangarei while waiting for concert tickets to go on sale, The New Zealand Herald reports. The driver of the vehicle did not stop, and police are asking anyone with information to come forward. … A wide array of artists ranging from Taylor Hicks to the Decemberists to Stephen Marley are set to promote this year’s Earth Day. The second annual Green Apple Music & Arts Festival will encompass 60 venues in three cities from April 20-22: Hicks, Edwin McCain and New Riders of the Purple Sage will perform at assorted venues in New York; the Decemberists, Kaiser Chiefs, Walkmen, Disco Biscuits, Mad Professor and RJD2 will take over Chicago; and Marley, Bob Weir, Electric Six, Trans Am and Yonder Mountain String Band will hit San Francisco. …

“Laguna Beach” star Jason Wahler was sentenced to 60 days in county jail and 36 months’ probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor-battery charges on Tuesday, CBS News reports. Over the weekend, Wahler was arrested at a nightclub in Greenville, North Carolina, and charged with drinking and resisting a public officer. … Yoko Ono is blocking the world premiere of “Three Days in the Life,” a documentary about late husband John Lennon, AP reports. A viewing of the film scheduled for Tuesday night at a private school in southern Maine was canceled by Ono’s lawyers, with the widow saying she had not yet authorized a public viewing of the film. After executive producer Ray Thomas was unable to get an artist release from Ono — whose lawyers say she has copyright interest in the movie — he decided to air free screenings at high schools and colleges, but Ono’s lawyers say that is also forbidden. …

Bright Eyes will support their sixth studio album, Cassadaga, due April 10, with a spring-theater tour kicking off April 22 in Milwaukee. The trek ends with a seven-night stay at Town Hall in New York. … Are Mastodon sick of touring with metal bands? The Atlanta heavy-rockers have taken to the road with Slayer, Converge and Priestess in the past year, but now they’re joining forces with punks Against Me! and indie faves Cursive for at least 19 shows in May. The fun begins at Los Angeles’ Wiltern LG on May 1 and concludes at Atlanta’s Tabernacle on the 26th, with more dates to be added. … Clap Your Hands Say Yeah — whose Some Loud Thunder is one of the year’s best-considered albums among critics so far — will hit 20 clubs throughout April and early May to boost the release. The stint starts April 10 in Providence, Rhode Island, and ends May 3 in Indianapolis. …

Snow Patrol‘s former bassist Mark McClelland will make his musical return with his latest project, Little Doses. McClelland, who left the band in early 2005 citing “creative differences” between himself and frontman Gary Lightbody, formed the band with girlfriend Kirsten Ross on vocals, and former Degrassi drummer Michael Branagh. “We spent six months rehearsing and another six months playing without leaning on the projects we’d been involved in,” McClelland said. There’s no word yet on when Little Doses plan to release any material, but we’ll keep you posted. … Fatboy Slim will close the second night (March 24) of the ninth annual Ultra Music Festival, to be held at Miami’s Bicentennial Park. The Cure will headline the first day (March 23). …

Bad news for four of the country’s biggest radio companies is really good news for indie musicians and labels. Under terms of a settlement in a federal investigation into payola, Clear Channel Communications Inc., CBS Radio Inc., Entercom Communications Corp. and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. would pay one of the largest fines ever levied by the FCC, $12.5 million, to answer claims that they allegedly received money, airline tickets, clothing and other gifts from major record companies to play certain songs, according to the Los Angeles Times. In a separate agreement, the radio companies agreed to set aside 8,400 half-hour segments of free airtime over the next three years to devote to local and independent artists; those segments would have to air between 6 a.m. and midnight. … Harvey Danger aren’t just making their new album available online — the “Flagpole Sitta” gang is making their new album available online for free. “Given our unusual history, and a long-held sense that the practice now being demonized by the music biz as ‘illegal’ file-sharing can be a friend to the independent musician, we have decided to embrace the indisputable fact of music in the 21st century, put our money where our mouth is, and make our record, Little by Little …, available for download via BitTorrent, and at our Web site,” the band said in a statement on HarveyDanger.com. The already-available physical version of the album comes with a bonus CD.

03.05.2007

Jennifer Hudson continued her winning streak Friday, taking an acting prize for her role in “Dreamgirls” at the NAACP Image Awards. The ceremony, hosted by LL Cool J, also honored Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, Bono, Mary J. Blige, India.Arie and Prince, who used his acceptance speech to speak out about protecting the environment — “Fifty years from now, what will they say about us?” he asked. Beyoncé, who led the field with five nominations, didn’t win any of the awards she was up for. …

“Viva La Bam” star Don Vito, whose real name is Vincent Roy Margera, pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual assault on a child Monday (March 5) in Golden, Colorado. A motions hearing was set for May 25 and trial was set for August 27 in Division 2 of the Jefferson County District Court. Vito is accused of grabbing the buttocks of a 12-year-old girl and touching the breasts of two other girls, ages 12 and 14, in August at the Colorado Mills Mall, where he was making a promotional appearance. He remains free on $50,000 bond. …

30 Seconds to Mars bassist Matt Wachter has left the band in order to spend more time with his family, according to the group. There’s no word yet on a replacement. “We love and support him completely and accept his decision with respect and understanding,” the band said in a statement. “This is not an end, it is a new beginning.” …

Bono is taking his efforts to address poverty and AIDS to the magazine industry. The U2 singer will be the guest editor of the July issue of Vanity Fair. “We’ve got to get better at telling the success stories of Africa in addition to the horror stories. And this magazine tells great stories,” Bono said. “What is more interesting to me is that we are losing the fight against AIDS in Africa. There are still 5,000 Africans dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, dying for lack of drugs that are available at any corner drugstore,” he added. …

A Washington, D.C., radio station that bailed out a jailed Bobby Brown by paying $19,000 in back child support has now rescinded its offer, according to a post on the station’s Web site. In exchange for the payment, Hot 99.5 wanted Brown to appear on its morning show for one week. “That wasn’t our deal,” Brown said during a call to “The Kane Show” on Friday morning. “We thought we clearly communicated to Bobby our intentions,” Kane said, “but once we had him on the air … it was clear that we were not on the same page.” AP reports that Hot 99.5 and Brown’s attorney agreed that the singer would return the money. …

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich updated fans on the band’s forthcoming album on Eddie Trunk’s “Friday Night Rocks” radio program last week. Ulrich said the band will begin recording the Rick Rubin-produced effort March 12. “[We're] pretty psyched about that. It’s been about a year of writing and getting ideas together … going through a couple of years’ worth of riffs and all this stuff. We started out about six months ago with about 25 songs and now we’ve narrowed those down to 14.” Ulrich said the LP will drop sometime in 2008. …

Coldplay singer Chris Martin has the modesty thing down pat. Wrapping up a Latin American tour in Mexico on Sunday, Martin told The Associated Press that the band’s new album will have a different sound than 2005′s X&Y, explaining that the group feels like it can explore any musical horizon it wants now — and adding that the new record will include what could be the band’s best song yet. “In order for us to get excited about a new album, we have to have one song that we feel like everybody has to hear … before we die, otherwise we’ll be terribly depressed. … So luckily, with this new record we’re going to make, we have that one song.” He declined to describe the classic-in-the-making, but joked that it is “basically genius.” … Jason Wahler, who appeared on “Laguna Beach,” was arrested at a nightclub in Greenville, North Carolina, over the weekend and charged with drinking and resisting a public officer, AP reports. He is due in court April 18. … John Travolta donated $15,000 to tornado victims in Ocala, Florida, at the premiere of his movie “Wild Hogs” Friday night. …

Evanescence, Velvet Revolver, Papa Roach and Buckcherry have been added to the lineup for the inaugural Rock on the Range music festival, set for May 19 at the Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Others set to take the stage include ZZ Top, Hinder, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd and Three Days Grace. In related news, Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum revealed this weekend that the band has finished mixing its second LP, Libertad, which should be in stores before summer. … Nine Inch Nails will host a number of listening parties this month for their upcoming album Year Zero. The sessions have been scheduled for Salt Lake City (Sunday); Minneapolis (March 13); San Francisco and New York (March 14); Los Angeles, Atlanta and San Diego (March 15); Seattle (March 16); Sacramento, California (March 17); Chicago and Cambridge, Massachusetts (March 18); Dallas (March 21); Denver, Detroit, and Tempe, Arizona (March 22); Austin, Texas (March 23); and Cleveland (March 27). The album is due April 17. …

Heaven and Hell, which will reunite former Black Sabbath bandmates Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice for the first time in 15 years, will tour the U.S. this spring with support acts Megadeth and Machine Head. The trek will kick off April 22 in Phoenix and make stops in Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore before wrapping May 19 in Holmdel, New Jersey. … Wolfgang’s Vault isn’t going down without a fight. The rock archive Web site that was sued in December by Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Santana and the Doors has countersued, responding to charges that it violates the intellectual-property rights of bands by selling merchandise and streaming live concerts without musicians’ approval. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a lawyer for Vault owner Bill Sagan filed a counterclaim recently against the musicians and their record labels Sony BMG and Warner Music Group. “Far from being about bootlegging, consumer confusion or infringement of any sort, this case is actually a blatant attempt by two of the largest record labels in the world — using artists as a front — to secure new income streams and destroy a legitimate business,” the suit says. Sagan’s filing also alleges that the record companies sued only after unsuccessfully attempting to negotiate licenses for the concert footage.