News on NBA All-Star Game, Petra Haden, Ridgway

NellyRapper Nelly, rapper/actor Ice Cube, singer/songwriter Ryan Cabrera, producer/artist/record executive Jermaine Dupri, singer Brian McKnight and Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath are among those taking part in this year's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. The Feb. 18 game in Denver, which will be broadcast live by ESPN, comes two days before the National Basketball Association's annual All-Star Game.

Ciara will perform at halftime of the game, which will also include participation from actors Danny Masterson ("That '70s Show") and Donald Faison ("Scrubs"), professional skateboarder Eric Koston and a host of NBA and WNBA players.

For more information, visit the NBA's official Web site.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







HadenThe idea of an artist covering an entire album is not entirely far-fetched, but a solo a cappella remake of a rock classic is another thing entirely. That's exactly the case with "Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out," a nearly note-perfect recreation of the band's 1967 release, which is due Feb. 22 via Bar/None.

The curious project was suggested by friend and punk rock icon Mike Watt after hearing her largely vocal 1999 solo album, "Imaginaryland" (Win). It was created alone at the former That Dog! violinist/vocalist's home on an 8-track recorder on loan from Watt.

Hoping to pull off a series of performances in the not-so-distant future, Haden is recruiting a host of other voices, including those of her siblings Tanya and Rachel. "I just had my first choir practice last night," she excitedly told Billboard.com today (Feb. 10). "I have six girls so far, and I would like to have maybe up to 10. It was so great … that I had to stop! We did 'I Can See for Miles' and I almost cried."


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.







StanA video companion to Stan Ridgway's 2001 album "Holiday in Dirt" will be released Feb. 22 on DVD via New West Records. The disc collects 14 short films based on the songs by 14 different filmmakers, each made with a budget of $500.

"Most music videos these days really suck," says Ridgway, former lead singer of Wall of Voodoo. "What happened to just making a cool interesting film with the music?"

Produced by Chris Strouth and Rick Fuller, the set tapped the talents of Phil Harder (Incubus, matchbox twenty), Rick Fuller (Wilco, Paul Westerberg), Steve Hanft, Carlos Grasso (Cracker, Oasis), Jim Ludtke (the Residents), Chuck Statler (Devo, Elvis Costello), Katherine Gordon, Simon Blake, Dan Brown, Hernan Barangan, David Roth, Heidi Frier & Charles Bowe and Dave Moe.

Ridgway plans to hit the road in support of the DVD and last year's "Snakebite - Blacktop Ballads and Fugitive Songs" (redFLY Records). He'll begin a brief Southwestern U.S. tour Feb. 26 with a "Holiday in Dirt" premiere and concert in Los Angeles and close out the run with a March 15 showcase at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas.


-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.