Michael Jackson had planned to release his forever-forthcoming Hurricane Katrina charity single on a fledgling label called Two Seas Records, which was set up by his benefactor, Bahraini Prince Abdulla Hamad Al Khalifa. But now the singer's signed to the label himself, promising to record a new album for release by next year, the label announced Tuesday (April 18). British music-industry exec Guy Holmes, who has been named CEO of the label, will also take on the role of Jackson's manager. "I am incredibly excited about my new venture," Jackson said in a statement, "and I am enjoying being back in the studio making music." ...

Jennifer Lopez is putting the finishing touches on her upcoming Spanish-language album, Como Ama Una Mujer (which translates to How a Woman Loves), but she's already brainstorming her next project, she revealed to Harper's Bazaar in the magazine's May cover story (Click to see Lopez's Harper's Bazaar photos.) The singer said her follow-up will be a ska-tinged pop album and spoke highly of former ska-pop queen Gwen Stefani. "Women who've started their own trends, who don't care what other people are thinking ... I admire Gwen Stefani's style and Madonna's. Those two have blazed their own trails." Meanwhile, Lopez has revised the dates for her upcoming international tour. She's nixed shows in Mumbai, India, and Istanbul, Turkey, and has added one in Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 2. ...

Ashley Parker Angel shows off his lack of cooking skills on Tuesday's episode of Diddy's weeklong series, "Celebrity Cooking Showdown." "I do not cook," Parker Angel said. "I'm the first one to say it. Coming into this thing, I knew how to make Eggo [waffles] and ice cubes, and that was like it." Competing with the likes of Tom Arnold, Patti LaBelle and Gabrielle Reese, the former O-Town singer said he had to overcome his fear of chopping off his fingers to please his partner chef, Wolfgang Puck. "Wolf was like, 'Faster, faster,' and I play guitar, I play piano, I need my fingers, you know?" If Parker Angel makes the cut, he'll compete again on Thursday for the final cook-off. The show airs at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, and the winner will be announced live on Friday. ...

Yellowcard will hit the road this summer for a string of festival and club dates. The tour kicks off in earnest May 7 at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee, and makes stops at radio festivals in Boston, Providence and Columbia, Maryland, before hitting its stride with the first club gig June 1 at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona. The club tour is currently scheduled to run until the end of June, but more dates are expected to be announced shortly. Matchbook Romance and Hedley will join YC for the shows. ... After visiting an AIDS clinic in Masaka, Uganda, last week, Alicia Keys was in Durban, South Africa, Tuesday to visit more Keep a Child Alive-sponsored sites, including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Ithembalabantu ("people's hope" in Zulu) Healthcare Center. The clinic provides free medical care and antiretroviral treatment to thousands of children and families living with HIV/AIDS. Keys and the KCA group spent two hours visiting a few hundred patients, about 50 of whom were children. ...

Hoobastank and Korean R&B singer Se7en are scheduled to perform live at MTV Japan's Video Music Awards May 27. The event — which will take place at the National Yoyogi Stadium No. 1 Gymnasium — will also feature Japanese R&B singer AI, reggae duo Def Tech and Japanese pop icon Kumi Koda, as well as Rihanna for the red-carpet show. Andrew W.K. and Pamela Anderson join previously announced Asian celebrity presenters such as Anna Tsuchiya, Melody and Soul'd Out. ... "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" sure worked its magic on the box office — the fourth film in the franchise became the first digitally remastered 2D IMAX film to reach the milestone of grossing $20 million, Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX announced Tuesday. "Harry Potter" also set records for IMAX with the biggest three-day opening weekend and highest per-screen average. ...

The reunited Alice in Chains will perform at the 2006 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally August 11 in Sturgis, South Dakota, according to the event's Web site. Other artists lined up to perform include Kid Rock, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blue Öyster Cult. Alice in Chains will launch a brief U.S. club tour on May 18 in Los Angeles, with Comes With the Fall frontman William DuVall and other guest vocalists filling in for the late Layne Staley. No other dates have been revealed. ... Due to an undisclosed illness, Head Automatica have been forced to pull out of three of the dates on the band's current tour with Coheed and Cambria and Avenged Sevenfold. Head Automatica, whose frontman Daryl Palumbo battles Crohn's disease, missed a performance scheduled in Houston on Monday and will not appear at shows set for San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday and Grand Prairie, Texas, on Wednesday. Head Automatica's new album, Popaganda, hits stores June 6. ...

Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee has been suffering from tendonitis in recent weeks, impeding his ability to pound the kit. But it appears the injury hasn't impacted Tommy's skills behind the ones and twos, as he's lined up a number of DJ gigs. Lee will be manning the turntables at Boston's Avalon (April 29); Louisville, Kentucky's Atlas (May 6); Las Vegas' Ice (May 27); Atlantic City, New Jersey's Mixx (June 9); and Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel (July 17). ... Panic Channel, featuring former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins, will head out on a 17-date club tour that kicks off May 16 in San Diego. Dates run through June 7 in Los Angeles. Navarro will also co-host the upcoming Erotica LA convention, set for June 23-25, with adult-film star Jenna Jameson. ... Melissa Etheridge announced on her Web site Tuesday that her partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, is pregnant with twins. "We are thrilled to announce that Tammy is pregnant, and expecting our twins sometime around this fall," read the statement. "To answer the obvious question: We used an anonymous donor from a [sperm] bank." ...

Jimmy Tamborello, the electronic whiz kid behind the Postal Service, will release a solo album titled Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake under the moniker James Figurine. Due July 11, the 10-track disc will include vocal collaborations with Rilo Kiley and Postal Service associate Jenny Lewis, Kings of Convenience's Erlend Øye as well as designer/animator/poet Geoff McFetridge. ... Having toured the country — twice — and sung out loud and proud against President Bush on "The Tonight Show," Conor Oberst is now hard at work on a follow-up to the two Bright Eyes albums he released last year, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. According to the band's label, Saddle Creek, Bright Eyes — now consisting of Oberst, Saddle Creek utilityman Mike Mogis and trumpet player Nate Walcott — are writing and recording a new album right now, and they've gotten help from singer/songwriter M. Ward and Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. The still-untitled LP is tentatively due in spring 2007. Bright Eyes will take a break from recording beginning in June to play a handful of shows in Canada, plus an appearance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. ...

Vanessa Carlton performs on an upcoming episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," in which two grandparents raising three orphaned grandchildren in Philadelphia get a renovated home. The renovation takes place over the course of two back-to-back episodes airing April 30 beginning at 7 p.m. on ABC. Since the children's late mother suffered from breast cancer, Carlton's performance takes place at a breast cancer awareness fundraising concert. ... Patti LaBelle isn't someone you'd immediately associate with country music — nevertheless, the R&B singer is going to serve as a guest judge on "Nashville Star." "So much of country music's heritage comes from rhythm and blues," the show's executive producer Jeff Boggs said. "Her advice for our contestants will be invaluable." LaBelle will give the five remaining hopefuls helpful hints during episode six, which airs live Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on the USA network.

04.17.06

Mario Etheridge, the bouncer at Detroit's CCC Club suspected in the shooting death of D12's Proof, was arraigned on weapons charges Saturday morning in Detroit's 36th District Court. Etheridge's attorney, Randall Upshaw, entered not guilty pleas on his client's behalf during the hearing. According to the Detroit Free Press, Magistrate Steve Lockhart set Etheridge's bond at $70,000 — an amount he has yet to post. He's due in court for a preliminary hearing April 26. ...

According to Jimmy Rosemond, who manages the Game, the Compton, California, MC wasn't in court in Greensboro, North Carolina, on March 28 because an appearance summons never showed up in his mailbox. In a statement issued Monday afternoon (April 17), Rosemond said "there was a change of address in which Game did not receive his court summons." (Last week a judge issued a bench warrant for the Game's arrest after he missed his court date.) The Game still faces charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Greensboro, stemming from an October incident at a local mall. "It was a simple mistake and yes, a paper warrant was issued," Rosemond said. "However, his attorneys are working to clear this matter immediately." ...

Pink's not "Stupid" — she knows it's time to move on from her controversial clip and demonstrate that the rest of her new album, I'm Not Dead, isn't all gimmick. The singer shot a video for the wistful "Who Knew" over the weekend in Los Angeles, following a couple at a carnival with directors Samuel Bayer (Green Day, Good Charlotte), Robert Hales (Fort Minor, Jet) and Brian Lazzaro (Rilo Kiley, Mest). "It's about the death of friendship," Pink said. "You're best friends forever, and then three years later, you haven't seen each other in two years. What happened? You grow apart and people come in and out of your life for different reasons, seasons." Pink also has a video for "U and Ur Hand" already in the can, directed by "Stupid Girls" auteur Dave Meyers. ... Ashanti pulled out of a planned concert in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday after her cousin was killed by a drunk driver while running an errand for the singer before the show. According to the Cape Times Web site, 20-year-old Quinshae Snead was thrown into oncoming traffic from a car in which she was a passenger after it was struck by an unlicensed 17-year-old drunk driver who had stolen his mother's car. The teen was arrested for drunk driving. Ashanti was on the bill for the Redd's Divas Concert at the Coca-Cola Dome, which also featured Lauryn Hill, Regina Belle and a host of popular African singers. ...

The White Stripes are being sued by a Detroit producer who claims he helped produce the band's signature lo-fi sound. Jim Diamond — the Dirtbombs bassist who is credited as a co-producer on the Stripes' 1999 self-titled debut and sound mixer on 2000's De Stijl — is now seeking royalties from them. A spokesperson for the Stripes acknowledged the suit but had no further comment on it. Bert Deixler, the Los Angeles attorney representing the band in the case, told The Associated Press that the suit "is meritless [and] will be defended with vigor." A June 12 trial date has been set for the case. ... If you're just about to pay your taxes, Moby wants you to think about where the money you're giving the government is going. "A lot of times, when you think of government policies, it seems very abstract and sort of arbitrary, until all of a sudden it's tax time, and you realize that your tax dollars are actually funding what the government does," he said. And that means partly bankrolling the Iraq war, which he claims is costing $244.2 million per day, or $170,000 per minute, or $2,379 per person. "Apart from that it's the biggest foreign policy disaster in the United States and that thousands of American soldiers are being killed and maimed, the fact that it's coming out of everyone's pocket really just adds insult to injury," Moby said, suggesting people feel free to write "not for Iraq" on the envelope. ...

Former Great White manager Daniel Biechele has written letters of apology to the families of 100 people who died in a nightclub fire at a Great White show in February 2003, the AP reports. Biechele was the one who lit the pyrotechnics display that sparked the blaze. He pleaded guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter and will serve up to 10 years in prison under a plea bargain that did not require him to write the letters. "Mr. Biechele feels genuine sorrow at what happened in this case, and he's been wanting to say something to the victims for a long time," his lawyer, Tom Briody, told the AP. Biechele's sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 8. ... A judge in New Orleans has thrown out a lawsuit by a man who claims to have been sexually and physically assaulted by Michael Jackson in 1984, the AP reports. Joseph Bartucci Jr., who was 18 at the time of the alleged incident, claimed Jackson lured him into a limo at the world's fair and held him for nine days, and that he repressed the memory until 2003. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon's reason for the dismissal was not released along with the judge's order. ...

Christina Milian has lots to say these days about her ex Nick Cannon, and none of it's pretty. Milian told Blender magazine for its May cover story that she found out Cannon was cheating on her after hacking his Sidekick. (Click here to see photos of Milian in Blender.) While filming the Wes Craven thriller "Pulse" in Romania, Milian started getting calls from her friends back home, asking if the couple were still together. "All the time we were together, I heard nothing," the singer told the mag. "No rumors, no gossip, and then all of a sudden I'm in Romania and I start hearing stuff." Once she found the code to Cannon's phone and cracked it, Milian says her concerns were confirmed. "I did something no woman should do," she said. "But sometimes you're entitled to ... and I think a lot of women do it, but it's my first time doing it." She had more to say about the breakup for Rap-Up's latest cover story, revealing that when she broke up with Cannon, he admitted cheating on her "for the entire three years we were together. The whole time with different girls, not just one, but different girls. He said to me that these girls helped his ego and made him look good," she said. Milian added that any characterization by Cannon that they're still friends is completely false and that she's already called his mother to ask him to stop saying that. Milian finds space to vent on her upcoming album, So Amazin', too. She gets even on the song "Who's Gonna Ride," which features the opening line "I ain't one to cuss, but f--- you." The album, produced in part by Milian's new boyfriend, Andre Lyon,Dre of Cool and Dre — is due May 16. ...

Incubus will perform during Amnesty International's Make Some Noise, an acoustic benefit concert set for April 29 in Portland, Oregon. Actress Mira Sorvino will host the event, which will also feature performances by Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello (as Nightwatchman), Collective Soul and Suzanne Vega. ... There have been several additions to this year's Coachella Music and Arts Festival, set for April 29 and April 30 in Indio, California. Head Automatica, the Rakes and Catherine Wheel frontman Rob Dickinson will all be performing as part of the first day's lineup. Others confirmed for the festival include Tool, Madonna, Depeche Mode, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Franz Ferdinand. ... The season six finale of "The Gilmore Girls" will pack an extra punch of indie love, featuring appearances from Yo La Tengo, Joe Pernice, Sparks, Sam Phillips, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon (with daughter Coco) and, for good measure, Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O'Brian from "24"). The episode will air May 9 on the WB. ...

On Saturday, Deron Miller, lead singer for Bam Margera's favorite act, CKY, posted an announcement on the forum of the band's Web site, proclaiming "CKY Has Dropped Island Records." In the post, Miller wrote that, "We had been asking to be let go since 2003, when it was clear that the label had no idea how to market a band that doesn't write songs about breaking up with their girlfriends. To this day I truly don't know why they signed us in the first place." Later in the post, Miller explained that CKY were actually quite stoked to be off Island. "They wanted to do our fourth album, but giving them a fourth chance to deliver disappointing, empty promises seemed ludicrous." A spokesperson for Island — who released CKY's 2002 album, Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild, and last year's An Answer Can Be Found — said the label had no comment on the matter. Miller promised that even without a label, the band would press on with their current Australian tour. ...

"Guitar Hero" — the 2005 video game sleeper hit that gave players the chance to strap on plastic guitars and rock out — is coming back to the PS2 this November. Publisher RedOctane and developer Harmonix announced that "Guitar Hero II" will feature 55 songs in a still-secret set list. The game will also allow players to team up with separate guitars playing the role of rhythm, lead and bass. More information is expected at the Electronics Entertainment Expo in May. ... Reports began to surface last week that Neil Young had entered a studio earlier this month to record Living With War, an entire album's worth of protest songs featuring the track "Impeach the President," bolstered by a 100-voice choir. His label, Warner Bros., said it had no information about the record, but Young himself confirmed the album Monday via a post on his Web site, NeilYoung.com. In the lengthy message, Young wrote that the album was, in fact, called Living With War, a "metal version of Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan ... a power trio with trumpet and 100 voices." The album is apparently 10 songs long, and though there is no release date set, Young did thank Warner and Reprise Records "for the support." He didn't mention "Impeach," but Young did conclude his post with lyrics to the title track, which features the hook "I'm living with war every day/ I'm living with war right now/ And when night falls I pray for peace."