News on Flaming Lips, Ray J, Tom Petty
The Flaming Lips' official Web site will be the sole source for the photo collection "Waking Up With a Placebo Head Wound: Images of the Flaming Lips From the Archives of Jay Blakesberg and J. Michelle Martin-Coyne -- 1987-2004." The 184-page book will be limited to 1,500 copies, housed in a handmade box and autographed by the band.
In addition to comments from the photographers, "Waking Up" sports essays from band members Michael Ivins and Steven Drozd, manager Scott Booker and publicist Rick Gershon plus an introduction by vocalist Wayne Coyne.
Fans who pre-order the book by Nov. 12 will receive a limited-edition 7-inch single featuring two songs earmarked for the soundtrack to the Lips' film "Christmas on Mars," due for release in late 2005.
As previously reported, the Lips will cap 2004 with a New Year's Eve concert at New York's Madison Square Garden alongside Wilco and Sleater-Kinney.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
R&B vocalist Ray J has signed a new deal with Sanctuary Urban Records group for his own label, KnockOut Entertainment. The first fruit of the deal will be the new album "Raydiation," due in March. Ray J previously released one album each for Elektra and Atlantic, the most recent of which, 2001's "This Ain't a Game," debuted at No. 21 on The Billboard 200.
"Raydiation" includes collaborations with Timbaland, Mya, Rodney Jerkins and Ray J's sister, Brandy. R. Kelly wrote, produced and appears on the track "Quit Actin'."
In addition, Ray J will be a part of cable channel BET's fall lineup in a capacity yet to be announced.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Veteran rock artist Tom Petty has signed a deal to publish the first authorized book on his life and career. "Conversations With Tom Petty" will be written by American Songwriter magazine senior editor Paul Zollo and is expected in November 2005 via Omnibus Press.
The author and subject "are in the middle of a series of in-depth discussions about Tom's career, with special focus on his songwriting," according to Omnibus acquisitions editor Andrea Rotondo. "The conversations will be reprinted with little or no editorial comment and will therefore represent a unique perspective on Tom's entire career.
Zollo most recently wrote "Songwriters on Songwriting," which features interviews such storied artists as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Carole King, Frank Zappa and Neil Young.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.