Britney Spears Pops A Tire; Plus Lindsay Lohan, John Legend, Robin Thicke, Kanye West, Beyonce, Fergie & More, In For The Record

Woman seeking more money from Lohan; Legend, Thicke to perform at MusiCares event; West blogging like crazy.

Does anything go right for Britney Spears anymore? In the wake of Brit’s recent hospital stay and 15-minute meeting with Dr. Phil , the troubled pop star was spotted Monday night on Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard, having a bit of car trouble. Spears’ car suffered a flat tire near the 405 freeway. According to a rep from the Los Angeles Police Department, the singer abandoned her Mercedes in the middle of the street and accepted a ride home from one of the many paparazzi who were following her. The LAPD had the car towed to a nearby lot for safekeeping. Spears will have to cover the $104 towing fee, as well as a $35.60 storage fee. …

Lindsay Lohan is being sued by the woman she allegedly chased in July while driving under the influence, and now Tracie Rice is seeking more money from the actress. According to TMZ.com, Rice has filed legal papers that allege she has already spent $3,500 in therapist bills and other medical-related expenses. She also claims she lost her job because of the car chase. …

John Legend, Robin Thicke, Lil Mama, Anthony Hamilton and Fantasia are some of the stars who will serenade Aretha Franklin when she is honored as the 2008 MusiCares Person of the year at an event at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 8. The music legend is being hailed for her outreach efforts to children’s and health-care groups, churches and food banks in the Detroit area. The event will also feature a silent auction with items by members of Led Zeppelin, Bill Clinton and others — proceeds go to MusiCares, which helps musicians in need of financial, medical and/or personal help. …

Kanye West has been on fire lately with his blog, posting about everything from Dr. Dre‘s new line of headphones to a nostalgic look at Jamiroquai‘s “Virtual Insanity” video. … Beyoncé, Amy Winehouse, Fergie, Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne and Lindsay Lohan have something dubious in common — they’ve all been named on Mr. Blackwell’s annual worst-dressed list. Victoria Beckman topped the list. … Ray J is teeing up a new album for release in April, and he has taken Lil Wayne, the Game and Snoop Dogg along for the ride. All I Feel also boasts production from Rodney Jerkins, and Yung Berg is featured on the album’s first single, “Sexy Can I.” …

What’s good for Radiohead is apparently good for Coldplay. According to various reports, including one from British newspaper the Daily Star, Coldplay may be mulling a departure from EMI, the band’s longtime label home. Radiohead ditched the label and released their last album, In Rainbows, independently online. According to a source, Coldplay don’t feel they “necessarily need a label” and will consider all of their options before re-signing with the company. The band has been working on its fourth LP with producer Brian Eno (U2, Depeche Mode), and had originally hoped to release the new material this spring, though no official release date has been given. …

The South by Southwest lineup has swollen to include Bun B and the Black Keys. Blitzen Trapper, the Von Bondies, the Raveonettes and Vampire Weekend have also been announced to play at the festival, which will happen March 12-16 in Austin, Texas. Speaking of the Keys, their new album, Attack & Release — which was produced by Danger Mouse — will hit stores April 1. … Sean Penn and the Coen brothers keep raking in the accolades — the respective “Into the Wild” and “No Country for Old Men” directors have been nominated for the Directors Guild of America’s best filmmaker honor. Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood”), Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”) and Julian Schnabel (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”) are also up for the distinction, and the winner will be announced January 26. …

According to Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, singer Bif Naked, 36, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Naked, whose real name is Beth Torbert, reportedly found a lump in her breast during a self-examination. She is scheduled for a lumpectomy this week and will also undergo chemotherapy. “It’s like being on ‘The Price Is Right,’ ” she told the paper. “I can’t believe coins didn’t come out of the machine. They said, ‘This is not something we’re happy with. Let’s do an ultrasound.’ … A week later … they did these tests, and this biopsy came back basically being pretty gosh darn positive for breast cancer.” Naked is not afraid to take on the chronic disease. “I’m really confident that it’s going to be a snap for me,” she said. “I have a pre-existing aneurysm in my heart, so it will be a challenge medically. Hopefully in three weeks I can start my chemotherapy. … After that, you can go through the steps of radiation, and hopefully be right as right.” …

According to guitarist Brian Bell, Weezer‘s forthcoming sixth album is in the bag. “Personally, I think it’s our best yet,” he said in a statement. “Never have the four of us worked so hard and passionately on an album, and we all look forward to performing this culmination of our talents and combined knowledge in 2008 in a city near you.” … French electronic sensations Justice will anchor the bill for the forthcoming MySpace Music Tour, which is set to kick off March 3 in Austin, Texas, and run through March 31 in Los Angeles. Diplo, DJ Mehdi, Chromeo, Busy P and Fancy are also scheduled to perform. … Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett has an autobiography on the way. His tome, “Things the Grandchildren Should Know,” examines the singer’s life and his early days in rock music. The book will be available in the States in the fall. …

There’s a new Web site that’s designed to help pair drummers with bands that are short on talent. Over at DrummerHunter.com, bands that need a kitman can browse potential players using a profile system similar to those used on dating Web sites or social networks like MySpace. Drummers can post contact information, MP3s of their playing, acts they like and genres they can play, all for free. Bands can then search the profiles and contact the sticksmen directly.

1.07.08

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 BoysUnbreakable, 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.