· The next season of “American Idol” will feature more instrument-playing contestants, fewer audition shows with terrible singers and more half-hour result nights. Auditions for the eighth season begin this week in the San Francisco area.
· The final hearing in Britney Spears’ child-custody case was supposed to take place today, but the court date has been delayed until Friday to give ex-husband Kevin Federline’s attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, more time to prepare. Kaplan denied, however, that the delay was tied to a possible settlement in the long-simmering case.
· Nas is hitting the road this summer with The Jones Experience a tour that will feature the “Hero” MC performing in small clubs across North America with Talib Kweli, Jay Electronica and DJ Green Lantern. The 21-date tour kicks off July 22 in Montreal and ends September 5 in Minneapolis.
· Fresh from her appearance at the Miss Universe pageant, Lady Gaga is slated for more prime-time perversity on the July 17 “So You Think You Can Dance” elimination show, where the singer will perform “Just Dance.”
· First Supergrass’ Gaz Coombes had to fill in for Dave Grohl for a song at the recent VH1 Rock Honors, and now the Foo Fighters have been forced to cancel a pair of dates in Denver to give Grohl time to recuperate from an unspecified illness.
· Coldplay are really digging this whole free-download thing. The band has posted the unreleased song “Death Will Never Conquer” to celebrate the kickoff of their North American tour. Don’t get too excited; it’s barely 90 seconds long.
· Just what the summer needed, another festival. The inaugural Jackson Hole Music Festival will take place on August 16 and 17 and feature sets from Wilco, the Black Crowes, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Brian Wilson, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Medeski Martin & Wood, Son Volt and Kaki King.
· We’ve heard of rave-related injuries, but blindness isn’t one of them. More than 30 people attending the Aquamarine Music Festival in Moscow over the July 4 weekend were injured when organizers redirected a laser show to shoot horizontally instead of vertically, which resulted in some attendees losing up to 80 percent of their vision.
· After squabbling between James Brown’s heirs and business handlers threatened to derail it, a judge gave the go-ahead to the Thursday auction of more than 350 items belonging to the late Godfather of Soul.