According to an article in London's Rock Sound Magazine, Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz has heard some of the new material the boys in Panic! at the Disco have been working on, and he said, "I think it will be all over for anyone else in 2008 if this [one] track is picked as the first single. It has the biggest hook I have ever heard. [Guitarist] Ryan [Ross] always likes to keep me guessing or try to freak me out with stuff. So he will message me to tell me that they have just written an amazing song, and I will get excited, then he will message me again to tell me it sounds like 'Aladdin,' and I will feel kind of bemused. Or last week he messaged me to say they had written a song that makes him think of France. He can say some weird stuff." ...

Bono, who has arguably written some of rock's most inspirational lyrics in recent years, is turning up in "Third Rail," a collection of poetry inspired by rock music. "The poets who fill the pews here have come to testify, to bear witness to the mysterious power of rock and roll," the U2 frontman writes in the book's foreward. "Rock and roll is truly a broad church, but each lights a candle to their vision of what it is." The collection, edited by poet Jonathan Wells, includes titles like "Punk Rock You're My Big Crybaby," "Variation on a Theme by Whitesnake" and "Vince Neil Meets Josh in a Chinese Restaurant in Malibu (After Ezra Pound)." ...

Jay-Z, Diddy, LL Cool and Alicia Keys were named in New York Police Department intelligence documentation released Wednesday, revealing that the NYPD monitored various activists, bloggers and politicians in the months leading up to the 2004 Republican National Convention. The musicians were listed in the 600-page report as those expected to attend a rally held by Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. The paperwork was released after a federal judge ruled in favor of a motion to declassify the documents, filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times. ...

Due to their touring schedule, 30 Seconds to Mars will not be participating in the Smashing Pumpkins tribute LP that MySpace and Spin magazine have compiled. "It's not from a lack of love," said a spokesperson for the group. "The band loves the Pumpkins; their hectic touring schedule just didn't allow enough time to record the song." Selections from the album will be released online beginning Friday through June 18 on the MySpace profiles of the participating bands, which include Panic! at the Disco, (+44), the Bravery and the Academy Is .... The CD will be included free with the July issue of Spin, which hits newsstands June 26. ...

The White Stripes have announced that they will play their first show since December 2005 on Friday at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville. Tickets will be available exclusively through the band's site beginning Thursday (May 17) at 1 p.m. ET. The Stripes will then head out on a Canadian tour, followed by a run of U.S. shows that kicks off July 22 in Portland, Maine. The trek will also hit Boston; New York; Wallingford, Connecticut; Wilmington, Delaware; Fairfax, Virginia; North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Birmingham, Alabama; before wrapping up July 31 in Southaven, Mississippi. ...

Phil Spector said in a 2005 home-video interview broadcast Wednesday on "Inside Edition" that he was too short to shoot Lana Clarkson. In the video, the 5-foot-5-inch music producer says the actress was standing when a gun was fired in her mouth and that "she was 5-11 and she would have been 6 feet 2 with heels on. ... It would have been physically impossible for me to have administered the death wound to her in any shape, way or form." In the video, Spector also challenged women who said he had threatened them with guns — he offered them $100,000 to take lie-detector tests. ... Ike Turner was released from jail on Wednesday after it turned out that the 18-year-old narcotics warrant he had been arrested on was determined to be invalid, AP reports. ...

Timbaland is set to jump into the wrestling ring with the Divas of WWE, but the multiplatinum producer won't throw down with the ladies. Instead the Divas will make an appearance in his next video, "Throw It on Me," featuring the Hives. The clip has already been shot and is set to debut next week on "Monday Night Raw." ... Jay-Z joined honoree Martin Scorsese Tuesday at the Museum of Modern Art's "Party in the Garden" fundraiser and afterparty. The bash raised an estimated $3.8 million, the most in the event's 39-year history. ... Blink-182 live on — at least onstage. Mark Hoppus announced Wednesday night on his MySpace blog that (+44) — his band with Blink drummer Travis Barker — are going back on their word. "For the past year and a half, we have been saying how (+44) will never play Blink-182 songs. ... Last week we changed our minds. And tonight during our set we played 'What's My Age Again,' " Hoppus said in the post. "You see, Travis and I LOVE our history with Blink-182, and it seems a shame to let those songs sit dormant forever because of what happened two years ago." ...

Elijah Wood has been attached to an Iggy Pop biopic project for years, but now Variety reports that the movie is moving forward. Wood will star as Pop in the film "The Passenger," which will focus on the rock legend's early days with the Stooges. The film is expected to shoot before the end of this year for a summer 2008 release. ... Hellyeah have officially announced that former Damageplan bassist Bob "Zilla" Kakaha has joined the band. Kakaha replaces former Hellyeah bassist Jerry Montano, who recently exited the group. ... Once those braces are off, look out for Betty Suarez. "Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera has had her smile insured by Lloyd's of London for $10 million, The Associated Press reports. The policy was taken out by Aquafresh White Trays, which is partnering with Ferrera on a charity campaign for free dental care for unemployed women. ...

iTunes is finally going to get some serious competition in the download department. Online retail giant Amazon.com announced Wednesday that it is opening a digital music store that will be free of Digital Rights Management software, meaning customers can copy the tracks to as many devices as they want, as many times as they want. The store is expected to debut later this year with songs from 12,000 yet-unnamed small labels as well as music from major label EMI (home of Coldplay, the Beatles and Norah Jones), which announced a landmark deal in April with Apple to offer DRM-free songs at a premium price on iTunes. Amazon has not announced how much it will charge for the downloads. ... Michael Moore is giving as good as he gets. After the Treasury Department said it was investigating the documentary filmmaker for making an unauthorized trip to Cuba to film scenes for his new health-care documentary, "Sicko," Reuters reports that Moore is launching his own investigation into the U.S. government's probe of his trip. Moore's attorney has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the Treasury Department asking for all its documents regarding its investigation of Moore, which was launched by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. ...

05.16.2007

Britney Spears has posted a new missive on her Web site. "The reason for this letter is to let everyone know that their prayers have truly helped me," reads the post, which accompanies an image of the singer crossing her arms over her topless chest. "I am so blessed that you care enough about me to be concerned and will continue to live in this brighter state with all of you by my side during this trying time. We are all lights of the world and we all need to continuously inspire others and look to the higher power. You are all in my prayers. Godspeed. Love, Britney." Spears is slated to perform under the guise of the M+Ms again on Saturday and Sunday in Florida. ...

Beyoncé may need to make more room on her trophy shelf — the singer racked up a leading six BET Award nominations on Wednesday (May 16). She will face off against Mary J. Blige, Ciara, Jennifer Hudson and Corinne Bailey Rae in the Best Female R&B Artist category, and is also up for Video of the Year, Best Collaboration and Viewers' Choice Award. Ne-Yo, Akon, John Legend, Gerald LeVert and Robin Thicke are up for Best Male R&B Artist; Gnarls Barkley, Three 6 Mafia, Pretty Ricky, Mary Mary and Outkast are vying for Best Group; Diddy, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Ludacris and T.I. are going head to head for Best Hip-Hop Artist honors; and Gnarls, Hudson, Bailey Rae, Mims and Lupe Fiasco will battle it out for Best New Artist. Diana Ross will be saluted with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Don Cheadle will be recognized with the Humanitarian Award for his efforts to help end the Sudan genocide. 50 Cent and T.I. are set to perform on the show, which will air June 26 at 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT on BET, with a preshow starting at 6 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. CT. Comedienne Mo'Nique will host. ...

Madonna's new album isn't projected until around November, but a new song is on the way. "Hey You," a Live Earth charity download track she worked on with Pharrell, finds her singing, "Open your heart/ It's not so strange/ You've got to change this time ... Poets and prophets will envy what you do/ This could be good/ Hey you." The song is currently available as a free download on MSN's Live Earth site. MSN will donate 25 cents to the Alliance for Climate Protection for each of the first 1 million downloads. When not trying to change the world, Madonna's also working on the film "Filth and Wisdom," which she's directing herself. She's hoping to show the short-form comedy at film festivals, her rep said. ...

Ever since he showed up for her last "Chicago" performance in London's West End, Ashlee Simpson has said she's dying to work with Robert Smith of the Cure. But he's not the only name on the list of collaborators for her third album — the singer has been hard at work writing songs with Timbaland, John Legend, Kenna and Chad Hugo of the Neptunes, a source close to the project told MTV News. If that list sounds unusual to you, it should — Ashlee is going for a more "soulful" sound on her new album, she told Cosmopolitan for the mag's June cover story, and has been listening to a lot of India.Arie, Tori Amos and Fiona Apple for inspiration. "This record is not like, 'I didn't steal your boyfriend' or anything like that," she told Cosmo. "But who knows what's going to happen in the next few months. I'll probably have my heart broken and then end up with one of those kinds of songs on there." Don't count on it, though. "I'm in a stronger place now," Simpson insisted. "I'm coming into my womanhood, and it's changing my music." ...

Paris Hilton's mother, Kathy, says people should take a tip from her daughter's misfortune. In a statement Barbara Walters read on "The View" on Wednesday, Kathy Hilton said, "We can only hope that something positive will come from all of this. Hopefully, young people who look up to people like Paris will learn from this," according to The Associated Press. ...

Anna Nicole Smith wrote about an abusive boyfriend, celebrated plastic surgery and detailed her mother's alleged jealousy in diaries she kept in the early '90s, AP reports. In one of the excerpts released Wednesday, Smith wrote, "I'm a very sad person ... my mom hates me so much. She is so jealous of me. ... I love my mom but I can't handle it anymore." ...

Phil Spector's chauffeur took the stand again Wednesday in the record producer's murder trial, AP reports. Adriano de Souza testified that he fled after seeing the body of actress Lana Clarkson in Spector's mansion, fearing he also might be shot. "I didn't know what to do," he said. "I tried to escape from that place. ... I was afraid [Spector] could shoot me." De Souza said he drove away from the mansion, left a message for Spector's secretary and then called 911. A tape of the phone call, in which he told a 911 operator, "I think my boss killed somebody," was played in court. ...

Fall Out Boy seem to have left Babyface hungry to work with more rock artists. The producer is twiddling the knobs for at least three songs primed to appear on the major-label debut by Los Angeles quartet the 88. In the meantime, listen for the band's song "Coming Home" in the new Sears TV ad campaign. ... Kid Rock is a few weeks away from completing his first studio album of new material since 2003's self-titled CD of country-rock tunes. A spokesperson said Rock hasn't revealed yet what the sound of the new self-produced record will be, but the set is tentatively scheduled for a September release. Though the Detroit MC has hinted that it might take him in a more rockin' direction, the Kid still has his feet planted firmly in hip-hop. He has a guest spot alongside Ludacris on the track "Rock Star" from R. Kelly's upcoming double album as well as an open invitation from Beanie Siegel to appear on a track from his next album, called Rock Out With Your Co-- Out. Rock has also been in talks with Run-DMC's Rev Run about recording a full album together. ...

Former "American Idol" champ Carrie Underwood continued her winning ways Tuesday night at the 42nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, grabbing three prizes — the biggest haul of the night. Underwood's multiplatinum debut, Some Hearts, snagged her trophies for Album of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year. Her "Before He Cheats" clip earned the Video of the Year prize. ... Velvet Revolver will release an EP titled Melody and the Tyranny early next month as a precursor to the band's forthcoming album, Libertad, which hits stores July 3. The EP will contain two tracks from Libertad as well as a cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" and a video documentary about the making of the album. ...

Bo Diddley has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke on Sunday, according to his publicist. The 78-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist was admitted to an emergency room in Omaha, Nebraska, with elevated blood pressure and glucose levels. He is in intensive care. ... Ike Turner is being held without bail at the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles on an outstanding felony drug warrant, the Los Angeles Times reports. Police pulled Tina Turner's ex-husband over for speeding Tuesday night, at which point they discovered the 75-year-old had a no-bail narcotics warrant. ...

MySpace responded Tuesday to a request from the attorneys general of eight states to turn over the names of known sex offenders who are using the site, but the answer was not what the AGs expected. The New York Times reported that MySpace said in a statement that it would work with state officials, that its cooperation would come only if it could comply with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which requires that a subpoena be issued for the names. The request was seen as a snub to the AG leading the group that is requesting the information, with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal telling the paper, "I do believe it is disingenuous and disappointing because much of the information that we have sought, specifically the numbers of convicted sex offenders on the site, require no subpoena or any other compulsory process. ... We have a valid and viable need to know about convicted sexual offenders who may pose a threat to children." He added that parole conditions for sex offenders usually say they cannot be in contact with children and that Connecticut and other states usually do not require a subpoena to enforce parole conditions, but that he would issue them if need be. MySpace's chief security officer said MySpace has already taken down the profiles of thousands of sex offenders since the beginning of May.