Shins Instrumentalist Arrested For Domestic Violence; Plus Jay-Z, Bono, Hannah Montana, Fergie, Nicole Kidman & More, In For The Record

Jay, Bono poke fun at Bill Gates in video; Miley Cyrus, Fergie roped in to perform at rodeo show; Kidman pregnant.

Shins multi-instrumentalist Marty Crandall was reportedly arrested Friday night on a domestic-violence charge after an altercation with girlfriend and former "America's Next Top Model" contestant Elyse Sewell. In a LiveJournal.com post titled "Worst Weekend Olympics" that has since been locked, Sewell, who dated Crandall for several years, wrote that a night of drinking in a Sacramento, California, hotel room ended with her escaping "from the room through a blitzkrieg of violence." According to several reports, the post featured photos of Sewell's heavily bruised arms and bloody knuckles, and noted that Crandall bore bite marks from their alleged scuffle, which resulted in Sewell's arrest as well. Both were reportedly booked after she notified hotel security about the incident — Sewell was reportedly released from jail Saturday, while a search of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Web site shows that a man named Martin Lesley Crandall was released from jail Sunday. A spokesperson for the Sacramento Police Department could not be reached for comment at press time. In a Sunday afternoon post, Sewell wrote on her LiveJournal.com page that, "I'm feeling much better on this new day (after sleeping until noon). I've decided to heed the advice of many commenters (lawyerly types) and friends — lock my last entry about the legal foibles between me and my ex-boyfriend." The Shins' label Sub Pop responded to the matter on Monday (January 7), saying in a statement, "Marty Crandall and his ex-girlfriend Elyse Sewell were both arrested over the weekend following an argument at a Sacramento hotel which resulted in hotel staff calling the police. They were both taken into police custody and released over the weekend. There will be no further comment at this time, and [we] would appreciate their privacy being respected." Crandall and Sewell are due back in court Tuesday. ...

Jay-Z, Bono, Al Gore, George Clooney, Jon Stewart and Matthew McConaughey were just a few of the celebrities who appeared in a video poking fun at Microsoft founder Bill Gates on his last day and subsequent retirement. The clip aired Sunday as a part of Gates' last keynote address to his company. In the video, Gates — with newfound time on his hands — explores several alternative post-career options. First he's in the studio cutting a record with Jay at the boards. "You killed it, Billy G," Jay says in the clip. Then Bono gets a phone call that brings him offstage during a concert — on the other end, Gates shares his new high score at "Guitar Hero." The near-eight-minute video ends with the iconic software advocate receiving a cheering ovation. ... Curiously, the Gates keynote event wasn't the only place where Jay and Bono crossed paths recently — the exiting Def Jam prez checked out a screening of U2's new 3-D concert film on Monday (January 7), according to RollingStone.com. Jay reportedly left the "U2 3D" screening early. ... Miley Cyrus, Fergie and John Legend have been roped into the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, which will go down March 3-22. The country-centric event will also feature Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts. ...

Kid Rock's scheduled arraignment Monday in DeKalb County, Georgia, has been postponed until February 4, according to the DeKalb County Solicitor's Office. The arraignment stems from Rock's arrest in October on a misdemeanor battery charge after he allegedly got into a brawl over a woman at a Waffle House. According to a Solicitor's Office spokesperson, the postponement was necessary to give officials more time to investigate the matter and determine whether they'll prosecute the case. ... Nicole Kidman is having another, um, kid. The actress, who already has two adopted children with ex-husband Tom Cruise, is expecting her first baby with new hubby Keith Urban. ...

Add Beanie Sigel to the growing list of veteran rappers unhappy with what they see as a lack of support from Def Jam. Jay-Z detractors LL Cool J and Method Man have been the most vocal, but in an interview with DJ Whoo Kid over the weekend, the Philadelphia lyricist revealed his — and labelmate Freeway's — frustration with the label. "It's some f---ed-up sh-- that needs to be addressed," Sigel said. "A lot of questions should be directed to the people in charge. They need to be put on the spot and asked questions. Because I want to know myself. ... I'm waiting to hear the same answers to questions that me and Freeway get asked." Jay-Z has stepped down as president of Def Jam, but he still seemed to draw some of Beans' ire, though he wasn't directly named. Beans, however, explained he will release a mixtape soon titled "True American Gangster," a play off Jay's most recent album, November's American Gangster. ...

According to a post on Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider blog, "American Idol" season-five winner Taylor Hicks is the latest "Idol" to get the boot from J Records. Just weeks after season-two champ Ruben Studdard was dropped, an unnamed label source told the site that Hicks is going to record his next album on his own, because "he is no longer on the J Records roster." A spokesperson for J Records could not be reached at press time. ... Jessica Simpson escaped to Mexico over the weekend, with boyfriend Tony Romo — and her parents — in tow, according to People.com. The two were also joined by some of Romo's Dallas Cowboys teammates, who have apparently warmed up to the actress, who some had criticized for distracting the quarterback. ... Actor Jack Black and wife Tanya Haden are expecting their second child, according to The Associated Press. Black reportedly confirmed his wife's pregnancy over the weekend. Black and Haden, a cellist and the daughter of jazz great Charlie Haden, were married in 2006 and already have one child, a 6-month-old son. ...

BT, an electronic-music producer who has worked with everyone from Britney Spears to the Roots, is speaking out about the alleged abduction of his daughter by the child's mother. According to a statement released by his publicist, 3-year-old Kaia Transeau has been missing for three weeks, and BT has not had contact with her since the first few days she was gone. "I am diligently and delicately working to do everything possible to amend this tragic family situation," he said in a statement. "As a father, my only goal is to get my daughter back home. I appreciate your continued support and understanding in this desperate hour." Kaia is on the National Crime Information Center's missing-persons list (304-625-2000). ...

José González is feeling green — the indie-folk luminary will launch an environmentally friendly trek starting February 29 in Miami. The singer/songwriter has partnered with Reverb for his Green Tour, which will find him neutralizing emissions from venue energy use and calculating his CO2 footprint. Tickets will cost an extra 50 cents each to offset costs for the effort, and the jaunt will end March 31 in Vancouver, British Columbia. ... OK Go have stepped up for a good cause — the band ganged up with New Orleans funk/soul group Bonerama during the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and recorded music at a studio in the city's Upper Ninth Ward. The end result is an exclusive iTunes EP that will drop February 5 and benefit local musicians — including R&B legend Al Johnson — who are still struggling to get their lives back together. You're Not Alone features three reworked songs from OK Go's last album, 2005's Oh No, as well as covers of David Bowie's "Rock 'N' Roll Suicide" and Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released," with Johnson contributing vocals to the latter track. The groups are also partnering to play two benefit shows: a gig Friday at Tipitina's and a February 2 concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., that will be streamed on NPR. ...

R.E.M. aren't the only big-name rock vets who will perform at this year's South by Southwest festival — Black Crowes will also descend on Austin, Texas, with a headlining show at Stubb's on March 15. The band has lined up seven additional March club gigs, during which it will play the entirety of its first proper studio release in seven years, March 4's Warpaint, in addition to classic material. The Crowes' One Night Only run starts March 2 in Sayreville, New Jersey, and ends March 20 in Los Angeles. Speaking of R.E.M., frontman Michael Stipe recently chimed in on the presidential-nomination race, and while he's not exactly going to pull a Chuck Norris and throw his support behind Republican candidate and Mike Huckabee, he did have a few kind words for the former Arkansas governor. "I can't think of probably a single issue in which I am even remotely in the same universe as that guy ... and yet, he was kind of charming and ... self-deprecating," he said on Sirius Satellite Radio program "Jade Radio." "He was actually kind of a good sport, and funny, and I don't know what that means. Maybe it's a good thing that's he's being lauded right now by the right. He's an evangelical. May God bless all living creatures, but my God ... how weird." ... A Perfect Circle mastermind Billy Howerdel has christened his new band Ashes Divide. The group will release its debut album in March, with the album's first single, "The Stone," due to hit radio January 22. ....

Sony/BMG — home to Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Carrie Underwood — is finalizing plans to sell part of its collection without Digital Rights Management protection in the first quarter of 2008, BusinessWeek.com reports. The first initiative under the deal will come via a Platinum MusicPass series of digital-album gift cards that will be sold starting January 15 at Best Buy, Target and other select stores. The album cards retail for $12.99 and come with bonus material — titles include Backstreet Boys' Unbreakable, John Mayer's Continuum and Bruce Springsteen's Magic. Also being considered is an upcoming Pepsi Super Bowl promotion featuring Justin Timberlake that will involve the free distribution of 1 billion songs from major labels.

1.4.08

The Hannah Montana tour is definitely one of the hottest tickets in town for tweens and their parents, but one woman admits she went a little overboard in trying to win tickets for her daughter. Texas mom Priscilla Ceballos apologized Friday (January 4) on NBC's "Today" show for writing an essay falsely claiming the girl's father had died in Iraq just so the girl could see Hannah (a.k.a. Miley Cyrus) in person. "I just wanted to help my daughter write a compelling story," she said. The fabricated essay won the contest's grand prize, which included airfare for four to Albany, New York, and four tickets to a sold-out Hannah Montana concert there, as well as a makeover that included a blond Hannah Montana wig. "Please accept my heartfelt apology and please do not punish my child for my mistake," Ceballos urged on the show. ...

What's harder to find than a City of Gold? For "American Idol" rocker Chris Daughtry, it was one of his own songs. Daughtry was commissioned to write a song to play over the end credits of "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," but the single, "Feels Like Tonight," was left on the cutting-room floor, reports Variety. "It's a great song, and probably could have been a good marketing tool, but when we put it up with the movie, it just felt wrong," Disney music chief Mitchell Leib told the Hollywood trade. ...In other "Idol" alumni news, Season Two winner Ruben Studdard and semifinalist Frenchie Davis (who got the boot from the show after Fox discovered that she worked for an adult Web site before trying out) have signed on for the 30th anniversary national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical revue "Ain't Misbehavin'." Richard Maltby Jr. co-wrote and directed the Broadway production, which showcases the music of "Fats" Waller, and he will re-create his original direction. Studdard was in need of some good news after being the first "Idol" winner to be dropped from his label, when J Records let him go in December. Since appearing on "Idol," Davis was in the Broadway cast of "Rent." The "Ain't Misbehavin' " tour will begin in November and run at least through May 2009. ...

Literature probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of C-Murder, but the rapper — who is to be retried on a second-degree murder charge on February 11 — is taking part in a unique book club that connects readers with authors. On January 19, C-Murder will help christen the New Orleans "chapter" of the Conversations Book Club when he joins the group at the Comfort Inn & Suites downtown to discuss "Death Around the Corner," his recent novel about the city post-Katrina. ...

R.E.M., My Morning Jacket, Vampire Weekend, Daniel Lanois, Tech N9ne and My Brightest Diamond are among the initial slate of bands scheduled to perform at this year's South by Southwest festival. Lou Reed will be the keynote speaker at the fest, which will take place in Austin, Texas, March 12-16. ... Birdman is being sued for allegedly sampling other artists' songs without paying for them. The lawsuit, which was filed in New Orleans, claims that the Cash Money Records co-founder (real name: Bryan Williams) owes several music publishers money for using copyrighted songs without permission. ... Does Britney have some competition? Both Whitney Houston and her estranged husband, Bobby Brown, were no-shows Friday (January 4) at their scheduled court appearance, TMZ.com reports. According to the Web site, Whitney's attorney, Stephen Kolodny, said the singer was sick. ...

Bay Area producer/DJ Amplive won't be putting out his remix of Radiohead's In Rainbows after all. Just a month after announcing his remix album, Rainydayz Remixes, which was to feature a cameo from Too Short, Amp announced on his MySpace page that he had received a cease-and-desist letter from Radiohead's publisher, Warner/Chappell, on December 18 that barred him from releasing the unapproved album, according to a story on Pitchfork linked to from Amp's site. In a video on his MySpace page, a dejected-looking Amp, holding a sign that reads "free," laments, "In Rainbows is one of the top Radiohead albums, and I'm a big Radiohead fan, and it was all done in celebration." He says he wanted to show his appreciation for Radiohead's pioneering pay-what-you-want scheme by doing a hip-hop remix album that would also have featured Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Jurassic 5's Chali 2na. He says he wishes that Radiohead could hear the free remix album, which he knows they would like, and suspects the band is not to blame for the legal action. "Thom [Yorke], holla at me, man," he pleads to the band's frontman at the end of the message. ...

Australia's first couple of music, Silverchair singer Daniel Johns and singer/actress Natalie Imbruglia, have announced that they will separate after four years of marriage, according to the Melbourne Herald Sun. The pair announced their split in a joint statement released Friday (January 4) that read, "While we are very sad that our marriage has ended, we want to make it clear that our parting is amicable and we remain friends. ... This mutual decision has not been taken lightly or quickly. However, our career demands and our lives in different parts of the world have brought us to the point where unfortunately this difficult decision was necessary for both of us. We have simply grown apart through not being able to spend enough time together." ... On March 25, long-running, genre-spanning party-poppers the B-52s will return with Funplex, their first album of new material since 1992's Good Stuff (and their first to feature co-frontwoman Cindy Wilson since '89's Cosmic Thing). Guitarist Keith Strickland describes the album as "loud, sexy rock and roll for your pleasure zones, with the beat pumped up to hot pink," just in case you were wondering. ...

Josh Groban had a great Christmas, but the music industry? Not so much. For the eighth year in a row, album sales were down, with total album sales diving 15 percent in 2007 to 500.5 million units, according to year-end figures from Nielsen SoundScan. The Los Angeles Times reports that it was the lowest tally and steepest decline since Nielsen began publishing estimates based on in-stores sales data in 1993. There was a bright spot with digital-album sales rising 2.4 percent to 30.1 million units, but even that paled in comparison to the 19 percent uptick in 2006. The overall picture, including albums, singles and individual-song downloads, showed a rise of 14 percent to 1.4 billion units, which, again, was down from the 19 percent gain in 2006. ...

Last year's Live Earth concert and the Roskilde Festival in Denmark will be recognized with environmental honors at the upcoming Midem Green World Awards in Cannes, France, later this month, according to BBC News. The awards pay tribute to events that promote a greater awareness of environmental issues. Live Earth is being recognized for the strict green guidelines it set out in order to create a low-impact worldwide event, while Roskilde, one of the largest European festivals, is earning praise for serving all its drinks in recyclable plastic mugs. ...

Not everyone is psyched about the huge music festival that is slated to touch down in Vineland, New Jersey, this summer courtesy of a hookup between Lollapalooza promoters C3 and the people behind England's Glastonbury Festival. According to the Vineland Daily Journal, a group of citizens, including a former City Council president, have mobilized under the banner of Neighbors Against Rock Concert Site in an attempt to block the show. The first meeting of NARCS is slated to take place Thursday, with the goal of blocking the festival — currently scheduled for August 8-10 — from taking place on a local 570-acre farm. The event is expected to draw 35,000-40,000 people over three days, with mostly on-site camping, which neighbors worry will have a negative impact on the area due to potential increases in traffic, noise, crime and pollution. According to the Journal, NARCS isn't opposed to the festival, just its location. The group is considering a lawsuit to stop the show, while suggesting that promoters move it to a more "appropriate" location, such as the local county fairgrounds. ...

The once-in-a-lifetime New Year's Eve gig at a small club in Surrey, England, that featured Who guitarist Pete Townshend, former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and guitar god Eric Clapton might not be a one-off after all. The secret show, which the trio performed under the name Totally Abandoned, benefited charity and included mostly "old classics," according to London newspaper The Independent. A Thursday post on the Who's site confirmed that the gig took place and teased that "a much larger gig" could happen in New York before March. ...

Stephen Stills is recovering after having surgery for prostate cancer on Thursday. He is expected to be at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25 for the world premiere of "CSNY/ Déjà Vu," a movie directed by Neil Young that revolves around his and Stills' group, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.