A strange clash of artists is set to appear on the soundtrack to the vampire flick "Underworld," which hits theaters September 19. The Damning Well, the eclectic combo of former Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland, Filter's Richard Patrick, A Perfect Circle drummer Josh Freese and Nine Inch Nails' Danny Lohner, lead the charge with "Awakening," followed by the equally inventive teaming of David Bowie with Tool/APC's Maynard James Keenan and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante on "Bring the Disco King." The LP, due September 2, also features contributions from Skinny Puppy, Finch and Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano. ...

Metallica and Missy Elliott both saw their albums earn multiplatinum status in the RIAA's most recent monthly distribution of awards. Luther Vandross, Madonna and Beyoncé all witnessed their discs go platinum, while Radiohead, Matrix Reloaded: The Album and the "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" soundtrack all went gold this month. Finally, Led Zeppelin's DVD collection of rare footage was certified 10-times platinum. ...

Lumbering guitar rockers Monster Magnet are currently in pre-production for their new album, tentatively titled Radiation Day. The disc will be recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Joe Barresi and frontman Dave Wyndorf and will be released in early 2004. ... After the Donnas' European tour, which begins September 22 in Hamburg, Germany, and ends October 17 in London, the ladies will begin working on a new album, due next year. ...

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, who will both release albums on August 19, are hoping to promote their projects together. "Our ultimate dream is to be able to tour together," Simpson said recently. "It's hard in this business, when you're married, to make time for each other, so it would be nice." ... Probot, Dave Grohl's self-produced side project on which he plays the instrumentals while his favorite heavy metal frontmen belt it out, is now due sometime in November. The likes of Motörhead's Lemmy, Mercyful Fate's King Diamond and Soulfly's Max Cavalera have been working with Grohl on the project. ...

Raven-Symone, the former child star of "The Cosby Show," has recorded several songs with 3LW's Kiely Williams and Adrienne Bailon for the soundtrack to their upcoming Disney Channel movie, "Cheetah Girls," due Tuesday. Raven, who stars in her own Disney Channel show, is also in the studio now working on her third solo album. "I love the words of alternative, I love the feeling that you get when you listen to new soul, I love the popularity and head boppin' you get from R&B, so I wanna incorporate all of that," she said. ... Scottish band Travis will follow up 2001's The Invisible Band with 12 Memories in October. Their fourth LP will be preceded by the first single, "Re-Offender." ...

Eleven years after founding Phat Farm, Russell Simmons is at it again. The hip-hop mogul plans to launch another clothing line, called Def Jam University, in the spring. The men and women's sportswear collection will premiere at the annual Magic Marketplace trade show in Las Vegas, August 25-28. ... Mexican pop singer and actress Thalia Sodi also has a clothing, accessories, and housewares line bearing her name. The Thalia brand began arriving in Kmart stores last week. ...

Starsailor's "Silence Is Easy," one of the last songs the legendary Phil Spector produced before being arrested in connection with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, will be released in the U.K. as a single on September 1. The song is the title track to the English band's second album, which will drop September 15 overseas and is tentatively scheduled for a January release in the U.S. ... Singer/songwriters Elvis Costello, Pete Yorn, Jesse Malin and Billy Bragg are a few of the artists contributing to the double album Light of Day: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen. Proceeds from the sale of the album, due September 2, will benefit the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (www.pdf.org) and the Kristen Ann Carr Fund, which grants money for cancer research and assists those suffering from the illness. ...

After they return from their European tour, the hyperkinetic Blood Brothers will kick off another U.S. tour. The launch is September 10 in Minneapolis, and dates run through October 17 in their hometown of Seattle. Cursive will open all shows. ... Hot on the heels of receiving two MTV Video Music Awards nominations for his video "Freetime," Kenna will be joining Fischerspooner on the road for their fall tour, which begins in September. Kenna's currently opening up for Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan. ...

Counting Crows will release a greatest-hits album showcasing the past 10 years of their music. After wrapping up their co-headlining tour with John Mayer in early September, the Crows will hit the studio to record some new cuts for the yet-untitled album. ... The John F. Kennedy Center has announced the recipients of the 26th annual Kennedy Center Honors. James Brown, actress Carol Burnett, country legend Loretta Lynn, director Mike Nichols and violinist Itzhak Perlman will be honored at the December 7 Honors Gala, which President Bush will attend. ...

On Tuesday, veteran DJ Keoki will release a new mix album, Keokiclash, featuring tracks from Felix Da Housecat, Chicks on Speed and others. Wilmer Valderrama, of "That '70s Show," plays Keoki in the upcoming movie "Party Monster," in theaters September 5. "It's amazing story, very twisted and dark," the actor said recently. ... Blackalicious' Gift of Gab, Jurassic 5's Cut Chemist and skateboarder Tommy Guerrero are featured on the latest solo album from Lyrics Born, of the San Francisco hip-hop duo Latyrx. Titled Later That Day, the project is due in September. ...

Verve Remixed 2, the follow-up to last year's collection of remixes of classic jazz tracks, is due September 9. The album includes Felix Da Housecat (Nina Simone's "Sinnerman"), Dan the Automator (Willie Bobo's "Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries") and Miguel Migs (Ella Fitzgerald's "Slap That Bass"), among others. ... Beth Hart's follow-up to Screamin' for My Supper, which included the single "L.A. Song," is due October 21. The album is titled Leave the Light On, named after the first single, which is due at radio outlets in late August. ...

Gateway Inc. keeps stepping farther and farther away from only making personal computers. According to the Associated Press, Gateway is now selling its own portable digital music players at $130 with 128 megabytes of storage space, equaling about two hours of music in MP3 format. ...

08.05.03

Lil' Kim has been attached to star in a new movie, "National Lampoon's Bouncers," opposite Vivica A. Fox. The flick, which will start shooting before the end of the year in New York, was written and produced by Full Force, onetime songwriters and singing crew who also helped develop "House Party" and "House Party II." ...

The new album from Usher, Confessions, will now be released on November 18. Usher's fifth album was previously scheduled to drop on the singer's birthday, October 14. ... If you're a full-figured gal who can't seem to find bras that don't look like rocket launchers, fear no more — Queen Latifah's got your back. Adding lingerie spokesperson to her growing list of titles, she'll be promoting four new bras by Curvation that will up the comfort and style of plus-sized women. In turn, the company will contribute to the Lance Owens Foundation, her late brother's charity, which provides scholarships for kids. ...

Rapper Ras Kass, serving time in a Los Angeles prison for a DUI violation, released an open letter to the hip-hop community over the weekend blasting his former record company, Priority Records, for failing to release his last two albums, Van Gogh and Golden Child. Ras promises four new records by the end of the year, courtesy of indie labels and bootleggers: The Re-Up, a compilation of outtake recordings; Catch Me If You Can, the album he recorded while a fugitive; and both lost Priority albums. ... The 10 finalists from "American Idol" spinoff "American Juniors" will release their first single Tuesday. The record includes two mixes of a cover of Kim Wilde's 1982 hit "Kids in America," and "One Step Closer," written by producer Cathy Dennis (Kelly Clarkson). ...

On the heels of their career-reviving song "Unwell," Matchbox Twenty have selected the upbeat track "Bright Lights" as their next single. The track hits radio next week; video plans remain in the works. ... Marilyn Manson and Exene Cervenka will exhibit pieces of their art at "Cruel and Unusual: An Exhibition to Benefit the West Memphis Three" from September 6-20 at Sixspace Gallery in Los Angeles. Ex-Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra will provide a taped lecture for the event. An opening-night reception will be hosted by Winona Ryder. ...

Beth Orton's B-sides and rarities collection, The Other Side of Daybreak, will include a cover of "O-O-H Child," made popular by the Five Stairsteps, as well as Roots Manuva's remix of "Daybreaker" and a live acoustic version of "Concrete Sky," among others. The album is due September 2. ... Following their stint on Ozzfest, which concluded July 30, and their current tour with Taproot, which runs through the end of the month, Revolution Smile will open European dates for A Perfect Circle and Deftones. Filling their Ozzfest void is Chimaira, who joined the tour last week. ...

The Very Best of the Grateful Dead, a 17-track career-spanning retrospective, is set for release September 16. The LP features favorites such as "Sugar Magnolia," "Fire on the Mountain" and "Ripple." ... Phantom Planet have lost their star drummer. On Monday, Jason Schwartzman posted on the band's Web site, www.phantomplanet.com, that he's left the band "to pursue other things," namely, acting (he had previously made a name for himself for his lead role in "Rushmore"). Phantom Planet were halfway through recording their follow-up to 2002's The Guest with producer Dave Fridmann when Schwartzman gave notice, so he will appear on the new album, due in January, but not on all of the songs. Phantom Planet have started rehearsing with a new drummer, Jeff Conrad, for their upcoming set at the Sunset Junction Street Fair in Los Angeles on August 24. In the meantime, the band's track "California" can be heard as the theme song for the "The OC," which premieres Tuesday (August 5) on Fox. ...

Superstar DJ Paul Van Dyk will promote his October 7 release, Reflections, with a U.S. tour beginning August 28 at New York's Central Park Summerstage and ending November 4 in Las Vegas. The follow-up to his 2000 studio album, Out There and Back, includes the overseas hit "Nothing But You." ... With the hipster gauge firmly redlined, Brooklyn, New York, indie label StarTime International, home to Northern State, the Natural History and Brendan Benson, has teamed up with Fader magazine and formed a new label called Stifle. Every four weeks a new 12-inch dance-rock single will surface. The first, Stifle001, due August 12, features two remixes of the French Kicks' "Close to Modern" by Eucho and DJ Smash. The Streets' "Weak Become Heroes," remixed by Röyksopp and 3 Friends featuring Lisa Shaw, will follow on September 9. Remixes of tracks by VHS or Beta, the Ends and Ted Leo are on the horizon. ...