For The Record: Quick News On Ciara, Lil Jon, Fall Out Boy, Paul Wall, Killers, Fergie & More

Ciara, Lil Jon give props to Jazze Pha's ImNotSigned.com; FOB's 'personal issues' delay tour with Wall.

Ciara, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, Young Buck and others have provided audio testimonials for ImNotSigned.com, a new site created by Jazze Pha. The site is intended to connect unsigned artists with producers and A&R executives. It features a virtual “conference room,” “studios” and more, and members can log in to chat with some of “Jazze Pha’s superstar friends,” according to a press release. “If you don’t already have a deal, it’s really possible now,” Ciara said, hyping the site’s launch. “You got to get in where you fit in.” …

Fall Out Boy have postponed the start of their Honda Civic Tour, the band announced Friday (April 6). “Unfortunately, because of some personal issues, we had to delay the tour a few weeks,” bassist Pete Wentz said in a statement. “We want to put on the best possible show we can and know that this extra couple of weeks will give us the time to put ourselves in the right place.” The band’s manager, Bob McLynn, declined to specify the nature of the personal issues to MTV News but confirmed that no members have left the band. “Everything couldn’t be better with the [band's new album, Infinity on High],” he said. “This small rescheduling will give everyone a better state of sanity and make the tour even greater.” The 42-date tour — which also features Paul Wall, (+44), the Academy Is … and Cobra Starship — was initially set to kick off April 18, but now begins with a May 11 show in Denver. Shows scheduled to take place before May 11 have been moved to the end of the tour, except the May 1 stop in Sacramento, California, which has been canceled. …

The Killers, Oasis, Razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs, Travis and the Fratellis are among the bands that will re-record songs from the Beatles‘ 1967 release Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the seminal album, BBC News reports. Geoff Emerick, the engineer in charge of the original sessions, will record the new versions on the same four-track equipment he used with the Beatles. The results will be broadcast June 2 on BBC’s Radio 2. …

Fergie, Hilary Duff, Rihanna, Omarion, Daughtry, Katharine McPhee, Robin Thicke, Dashboard Confessional and Hinder are on the lineup for New York radio station Z100′s Zootopia concert. The show is scheduled for May 18 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. … Also in New York, the annual River to River summer concert series has revealed its lineup. Spoon, New Pornographers, Booker T. and the MG’s with Sharon Jones, Menomena, Animal Collective, Drive-By Truckers and Martha Wainwright are among the artists scheduled to perform free shows in lower Manhattan. …

Joss Stone will kick off her first major North American tour in three years on April 27 in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The trek will hit 18 cities, including stops at New Orleans’ Jazz & Heritage Festival (May 6) and New York’s Central Park Summerstage (June 8), culminating with a June 16 performance in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Stone will also be featured at the Concert for Diana, a July 1 charity show in London to celebrate the life of the late princess. Pharrell, Elton John, Duran Duran and Bryan Ferry are among the other artists confirmed for the event. … Japanese atmospheric-experimental band Mono will hit North America on a tour that starts Thursday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and runs through a May 17 show in New York. The group’s latest album, Palmless Prayer/ Mass Murder Refrain, was released in 2006. …

Sonic Youth will perform what many consider to be their masterpiece, 1988′s Daydream Nation, in its entirety on a handful of occasions this summer. The shows are part of All Tomorrows Parties’ Don’t Look Back concert series and will take place at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago on July 13; the Berkeley Community Theatre in Berkeley, California, on July 19; Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre the following day; and London’s Roundhouse August 30-September 1. Likewise, Slint will perform their seminal indie-rock effort Spiderland in full as part of the series. The band, which got back together in 2005, will resurrect the album at 12 shows, only two of which are taking place Stateside: July 17-18 at New York’s Webster Hall. … Tegan and Sara will release their fifth studio album, The Con, July 24. Christopher Walla of Death Cab for Cutie produced the album and AFI‘s Hunter Burgan and the RentalsMatt Sharp both play bass. …

KRS-One is partnering with veteran hip-hop producer Marley Marl for the legendary rapper’s next studio project, Hip-Hop Lives. Due May 22 on Koch, the album’s title track and “Kill a Rapper” are set to be the first two singles from the release. … The Afghan WhigsUnbreakable (A Retrospective), set for release May 1, will be more than just a career-overview disc. The CD features “I’m a Soldier,” a newly recorded track, as well as “Magazine,” an unreleased cut the band wrote before breaking up. … Cake fans can pre-order the band’s self-released B-Sides and Rarities disc at CakeMusic.com. The collection includes covers of Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs” and Barry White‘s “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” and promises “scratch-and-sniff album art.” …

This year’s first-quarter album-sales numbers are in, and they don’t bode well for the music industry. In the first three months of the year, album sales dropped 17 percent in the U.S., according to Bloomberg News. Online purchases rose but didn’t make up for the deficiency. Album sales fell 7.3 percent in 2005 and 4.9 last year. … Mark St. John, who briefly played lead guitar for Kiss, has died from an apparent brain hemorrhage, Billboard reports. He was 51. St. John, the band’s third official guitarist, was featured on 1984′s Animalize and in the video for that album’s “Heaven’s on Fire.”

04.05.2007

Avril Lavigne highlights her favorite clothes and accessories in the May issue of Lucky, explaining that she strikes a balance between rock and glamour. “I’m in a place in my life where I can try out things that are a bit more feminine but still maintain some punk attitude,” she said. Hooded sweatshirts and Vans sit alongside diamond studs and patent-leather pumps on Lavigne’s style short list, which also includes her makeup regimen — “tons of mascara and eyeliner, and then just a little bit of Vaseline on my lips.” In the interview, she also endorses the defunct Distillers: “Brody Dalle is such an amazing songwriter — and she’s got the coolest voice around.” The Lucky issue hits newsstands Tuesday — catch a glimpse of the cover, exclusive Avril images and more right here.

Beyoncé has lined up a three-month North American tour titled the Beyoncé Experience that kicks off July 6 with an Essence Music Festival performance at the New Orleans Superdome. The run is scheduled to hit cities including St. Louis, Houston, Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas and Los Angeles before wrapping up in Canada in early September. Fan-club tickets and VIP packages are now on sale at WeLoveBeyonce.com. Tickets will be available to the general public beginning April 20. …

During an interview with New York’s Hot 97 radio station on Wednesday, 50 Cent addressed the incident in which G-Unit artist Tony Yayo allegedly roughed up the son of Game‘s manager, Jimmy “Henchman” Rosemond. 50 asserted his innocence in the matter, saying surveillance cameras in his Connecticut home place him there at the time of the incident. “Absolutely not,” he said when Hot 97 personality Miss Jones asked him if he was at all involved in the incident. 50 also proclaimed Yayo’s innocence: “In this case, they are just putting his name in it,” 50 said. “[Yayo] didn’t hit him.” …

50 also appeared on Tyra Banks‘ “America’s Next Top Model” Wednesday night. The rapper was a guest at a party that served as a networking challenge for the hopefuls, and got hands-on with an overeager contestant, pushing her into the pool. “You ain’t supposed to be over here right now,” Fif told aspiring model Jael. “I asked you to leave,” he said before shoving her into the water. … Foo Fighters will open for the Police at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium on June 23. Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins — a vocal fan of the Police — showed up at the band’s reunion-tour press conference in mid-February, posing as a fake reporter. …

Harry Potter appears to have some new enemies. Ten youths have been arrested in Britain on suspicion of vandalizing the Hogwarts Express steam train from the “Harry Potter” movies, police said Thursday (April 5), according to Agence France Presse. The train was attacked at a depot in mid-March, and the youths allegedly broke more than 230 of its windows. The damage is expected to cost almost $100,000 to repair. The suspects “have been released on police bail pending further inquiries to report back to British Transport Police in the first week of May,” a BTP spokesperson told Agence France Presse. The train was also attacked in 2003, when graffiti was painted on one of its carriages. …

More than 1,000 items owned by the Jackson family will be auctioned in Las Vegas in May — if Michael Jackson doesn’t get his way first. The Associated Press reports that the pop star is considering legal action to stop the sale of the items, with spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain telling the news service, “Mr. Jackson was not aware [of the auction] and he is extremely upset that his memorabilia was included.” The items include Jackson’s gold record for Thriller and handwritten lyrics for the Jackson 5‘s “ABC,” and the auction is to be held May 30-31 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. … Going up at a separate auction are two diaries Anna Nicole Smith wrote in the early ’90s. In the entries, she detailed her bouts of depression, eating problems and love for oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II. Those items — in addition to one of her photo-ID cards, a signed check, sales receipt and more — will be auctioned April 14-15 at Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, AP reports. … In related news, the Medical Board of California is investigating the psychiatrist who prescribed the 11 drugs found in the Florida hotel room where Smith died, Reuters reports. …

Bobby Brown has missed concerts, court dates and child-support payments, but his failure to show up for a hearing on Wednesday may have cost him custody of his 14-year-old daughter. According to the Los Angeles Times, the singer was not present to hear his ex, Whitney Houston, tell an Orange County, California, judge that she doesn’t need spousal support or child support to raise their daughter, Bobbi Kristina, without Brown. Houston described Brown as unreliable and a bad communicator. Superior Court Judge Franz Miller ruled that the divorce would become effective April 24, ending the couple’s rocky 14-year marriage, with Brown getting visitation rights and facing the possibility of child-support payments in the future, if necessary. Brown’s representative said he planned to file a motion to set aside the divorce ruling. …

Al Gore will host the April 25 opening night of New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, which will begin with a series of short Save Our Selves campaign movies about global warming, AP reports. … The Knife are bringing back Silent Shout — which Pitchfork.com ranked as the best album of 2006 — in deluxe-edition form. The previous 11-track single-disc release is being bolstered by two additional discs: a concert CD capturing the Swedish electro-pop duo performing in Gothenburg, Sweden, on April 12, 2006; and a DVD featuring the same show, plus all the band’s videos and the animated short “When I Found the Knife.” The Knife are sharpening up the set for a May 8 release. …

Nine Inch Nails‘ forthcoming LP, Year Zero, is streaming in its entirety at YearZero.nin.com. The album is slated for release April 17. … Evanescence, Velvet Revolver and Buckcherry have been confirmed for Philadelphia rock station WMMR’s inaugural MMR-B-Q, set for May 20 at the Tweeter Center in Camden, New Jersey. Chevelle, Fuel, Flyleaf and the Exies are also on the show’s bill. … Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder will headline the third annual Hullabaloo benefit for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. The May 5 event, to be held at Los Angeles’ Music Box & Fonda, will raise money for the Conservatory, co-founded by RHCP bassist Flea to help low-income students afford musical instruments and lessons. The show will also feature appearances by Woody Harrelson, magician/ former Possum Dixon bassist Rob Zabrecky, the Ditty Bops, Charlie Haden and the students and faculty of the SCM. …

Bob Mould, Radio 4 and Harmony Rockets (featuring members of Mercury Rev) are on the lineup for an April 16 concert at New York’s Bowery Ballroom to benefit Jawbox frontman J. Robbins‘ son Callum, who has been diagnosed with the nerve-disorder spinal-muscular atrophy. Tickets to the fundraiser, organized by Interpol‘s Sam Fogarino, are $25. … Extreme‘s original lineup is set to reunite for a benefit concert in New York, this one honoring music manager Steven Hoffman, who worked for the band — as well as Van Halen and Rush — before dying of lung cancer in 2003. The concert is scheduled for May 18 at the Canal Room. All proceeds from the event will benefit lung-cancer research. … The Warped Tour‘s WarpedPanel.com is up and running. On the site, fans can fill out online surveys that will be provided to sponsors “to make your concert experience better,” according to concert organizers. Four hundred fifty members of the panel — 10 from each city that the festival is hitting — will get a free pass to the date of their choice and be able to watch their favorite band from the stage.