R. Kelly Case Still Moving At A Snail’s Pace; Plus Wu-Tang Clan, Paula Abdul, Chris Daughtry, ‘American Idol’ & More, In For The Record

U-God sues Wu Music; Abdul considers adopting kids; Daughtry says 'Idol' is 'in a state of decline.'

Nearly six years after the alleged sex tape first surfaced, the court proceedings in the R. Kelly case continue to move at a snail’s pace. The prosecutors originally sought to have testimony from one expert witness, Dr. Sharon Cooper, cover several different areas — the age of the girl on the tape based on forensic pediatrics, the identification of the man on the tape based on the vein pattern on his hands, and the behavior profile of the girl based on the psychology of child sex-abuse victims. Judge Vincent Gaughan had previously ruled that Dr. Cooper could testify about the victim’s age, but not the behavior profile, so prosecutors had asked him to reconsider. At a hearing on Monday (January 14), Gaughan ruled once again that Dr. Cooper would not be able to testify about why the girl in the case would deny that she was a victim, or how common denial is in sex-abuse cases. Kelly is due back in court March 12 for another pre-trial hearing, while the trial itself is slated to start on May 9. …

And the Wu-Tang Clan infighting goes on. U-God — who complained about RZA being callous toward him in the studio nearly four years ago — is now suing Wu’s label, alleging that he is owed $170,000, according to TMZ.com. U-God (born Lamont Hawkins) reportedly filed papers in a New York district court, alleging that Wu Music owes him money for services rendered dating back to March of last year. Wu Music is licensed to Universal Music. …

Paula Abdul doesn’t just have the seventh season of “American Idol” on her mind these days. “I want kids!” the singer recently told Ladies’ Home Journal for its February issue. “If it doesn’t happen naturally, I can always adopt.” The 45-year-old Abdul opened up even more about her personal life, saying of 32-year-old boyfriend J.T. Torregiani, “I’ve experienced real loneliness, so I love knowing there’s someone I can share the good and the not-so-good with.” … Everyone’s wondering how the seventh season of “Idol” is going to fare in light of some retooling and the writers’ strike, but if you ask Chris Daughtry, the show is “in a state of decline.” The Daughtry frontman recently spoke with RollingStone.com about the show, adding that if it doesn’t right itself, “it’s probably not gonna last too much longer. I’m sure that’ll be used against me, but that’s the truth, you know?” He also said the show is “definitely lacking some credibility at this point.” …

White Stripes, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Mark Ronson, Klaxons, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Cheifs and recent MTV Artist of the Week Kate Nash have all landed Brit Award nominations, although Leona Lewis, Mika and Take That have scored the most, with four apiece. Rihanna, Ronson, Kaiser Chiefs, Kylie Minogue and Paul McCartney are slated to perform at the February 20 ceremony. … R.E.M. have pulled the curtains back on a new Web site surrounding the April 1 release of their 14th studio album, Accelerate. Their NinetyNights.com Web site has daily high-definition-video snippets shot by Arcade Fire collaborator Vincent Moon

Björk attacked a newspaper photographer who was attempting to take her picture at the Auckland International Airport on Sunday, according to reports in the New Zealand press. The singer, who was flying in to perform at the Big Day Out concert on Friday, reportedly ripped New Zealand Herald photographer Glenn Jeffrey’s shirt after he snapped a photo of her. Jeffrey told the New Zealand Press Association that he was warned by a man traveling with Björk not to take her picture, and once he did, the singer came up behind him, grabbed the back of his shirt and tore it before tumbling to the ground. In 1996, Björk attacked a reporter in an airport in Bangkok, Thailand, after she objected to being photographed. … The Walkmen and White Rabbits will hop along the U.S. this month for nine shows. On the itinerary are Pittsburgh (Wednesday); Detroit (Thursday); Milwaukee (Friday); Madison, Wisconsin (Saturday); Chicago (Sunday); St. Louis (January 21); Columbus, Ohio (January 22); Philadelphia (January 23); and Baltimore (January 24). …

For the first time in 25 years, former Clash members Mick Jones and Topper Headon reportedly shared the same stage at a gig by Jones’ new band, Carbon/Silicon. The duo performed “Train in Vain” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” during the set. … Megadeth have recruited Chris Broderick (Nevermore, Jag Panzer) to be their newest guitarist, following the recent departure of Glen Drover. Broderick will make his live debut with the band on February 4, at a gig in Finland. …

Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali said the band will not be revived following the late November death of frontman Kevin DuBrow. In an online statement, Banali claims he had been “approached to see if I would be interested in contacting Rudy Sarzo and Carlos Cavazo and to audition singers for Quiet Riot.” He said that he’s even fielded an offer to re-form “the version of Quiet Riot that included Paul Shortino, Carlos Cavazo and Sean McNabb.” But Banali rejected any suggestions of the band performing live. “My friendship, love and respect for Kevin DuBrow, as well as my personal love and affection for Kevin’s mother and his family, makes it inconceivable for me to ever entertain any ovation to re-form or to continue Quiet Riot,” he wrote. “It would also be a disrespect to the fans who have supported [the band] for nearly 25 years.” …

Roger Avary, the Oscar-winning co-writer of “Pulp Fiction,” was arrested on Sunday after a fatal single-car crash in Ojai, California. According to a Reuters report, Avary, 42, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, and was released from jail after posting $50,000 bail. Andreas Zedini, a 34-year-old passenger in the car, died of his injuries at a local hospital. Avary’s wife, Gretchen, 40, was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries after being thrown from the car.

1.11.08

Mary J. Blige has a love-hate relationship with her fans, she reveals in the new issue of Vibe, out Tuesday. They don’t seem to like her when she’s happy — but she doesn’t want to be dark and depressed just to make them happy. “When I took the chance to show people I can be happy, I lost a million of my fans,” she told the magazine. “I was like, ‘I’m gonna have to lose y’all in order for us to live, because if I keep going down this dark hole, we’re all gonna die together. I’m gonna slit my wrists or take some pills, and it’s gonna be over.” That’s why Blige feels obliged, more than ever before, to write love songs that she dedicates to her husband. “That’s my buddy, my best friend, my business partner,” she said. “He’s got my back like nobody’s ever had my back. I feel like God used him to come and pull me together.” Also getting Mary’s back is Bill Cosby‘s wife, Camille, who helped inspire the themes on Blige’s Growing Pains. “Bill Cosby called me like, ‘My wife loves you! She says there’s a song you need to write about love,’ ” Blige tells the magazine. “I finally called Bill back and said, ‘We got the record.’ He says, ‘Mrs. Cosby will be so glad to hear that.’ I damn near cried.” …

Wyclef Jean is being sued for copyright infringement by Blahz of New York rap squad Blahzay Blahzay, who is alleging that an unauthorized sample appears on the former Fugee‘s latest solo effort, Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant, according to XXL. The suit, which was filed last month, reportedly claims Wyclef used a sample from Blahzay Blahzay’s hit song “Danger” on his tune “Welcome to the East” but didn’t clear the sample or credit the group. Blahz did say in a statement, however, that he was contacted by Wyclef’s people over use of the sample, XXL reports. …

Jessica Alba, Katie Holmes and Rosario Dawson celebrated the 10th anniversary of V-Day, a worldwide effort to stop violence against women and girls, at a private luncheon on Thursday, according to The Associated Press. A two-day event commemorating the anniversary will reportedly be held in April at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. … While we’re talking Superdomes, TVGuide.com reports that Paula Abdul is in talks to perform live at the Super Bowl on February 3. She is reportedly rehearsing a music video for a duet with “American Idol” peer Randy Jackson, and the song is due to be the first single from Jackson’s forthcoming solo LP, Music Club Vol. 1. According to TVGuide.com, footage from the Super Bowl performance will be folded into the video if Abdul does indeed perform at the football extravaganza. Tom Petty is headlining the Super Bowl halftime show. …

Daughtry are working on the follow-up to their self-titled LP — which was the biggest-selling disc on the Billboard 200 during the December 2006-November 2007 chart year. “Some songs are coming out a little heavier than the last record, and some songs are just way more beautiful,” frontman Chris Daughtry told Gibson.com about the new material. … Paris Hilton has been named Woman of the Year by college comedy magazine The Harvard Lampoon. Hilton will accept the award February 6 at Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and speak to the student body. …

Does Marilyn Manson reconciling with Twiggy Ramirez remind you of Robert Plant reuniting with Jimmy Page? Probably not, but the Antichrist Superstar recently told RollingStone.com that the Led Zeppelin comeback gig spurred him to make amends with Ramirez. “The turning point for me was when I went to see Led Zeppelin’s reunion show, and I saw Jimmy Page and Robert Plant look at each other for a moment, and they probably said, ‘Holy sh–, we wrote “Stairway to Heaven.” ‘ … I want to look at Twiggy and go, ‘Holy sh–, we wrote “The Beautiful People.” ‘ I called him, and I said, ‘Let’s go do this.’ ” How modest. … Zooey Deschanel swung by NPR Southern California affiliate KCRW’s “Open Road” recently, during which it was revealed that the actress is cobbling together an album with singer/songwriter M. Ward, with whom she has performed in concert in the past. According to ThePlaylist.com, the album — the name of which has yet to be revealed — will drop in March via Merge Records. …

Gnarls Barkley frontman Cee-Lo made a guest turn recently on “The Boondocks” as Reverend Rollo Goodlove. Cee-Lo’s character lends his support to Huey’s hunger strike against BET and narrates the entire episode, which skewers several of the network’s top execs. A preview of the show appears on YouTube with a note stating the original airdate was Monday, but the show hasn’t aired yet. … Jill Scott announced dates for her Real Thing tour on Friday (January 11). The recent NAACP nominee (Best Female Artist and Best Actress) will hit the stage on multiple nights in Oakland, California (February 7-8); Atlanta (February 22-23); and Baltimore (February 26-27), as well as play a four-night stand in Washington, D.C., beginning March 11. The run ends March 30 in Birmingham, Alabama. …

Funnyman Patton Oswalt has been tapped to host this year’s Plug Independent Music Awards, which will also feature performances by indie folkie José González and St. Vincent, the solo project by Polyphonic Spree guitarist Annie Clark. The ceremony will be held March 6 in New York. … The Take Action Tour is getting even more charitable. Do Something, a nonprofit group that helps teens fight discrimination and homelessness, is partnering with the trek to offer three $500 grants to young people looking to make change in their neck of the woods. Go here for more info on the Take Action Grants. … Fiery Furnaces got some sad news recently when Olga Sarantos, the grandmother of two of the indie-rock group’s members, passed away, according to BrooklynVegan.com. Sarantos was heard telling tales of her youth on the band’s 2005 disc, Rehearsing My Choir.