News on P. Diddy, Matador/Napster, Luna

DestinySean "P. Diddy" Combs and model Kim Porter, the mother of his youngest child, have reached an agreement for support of their 3-year-old son. Terms of the settlement -- which would provide for the child, Christian Casey Combs, until he reaches age 21 -- were not disclosed in court documents. The case is adjourned until March 4.

"I believe the matter is settled," Porter's lawyer, Suzanne Bracker, told hearing examiner David Kirshblum in a New York court yesterday (Dec. 5). "We have a gentlemen's agreement." The lawyers told Kirshblum they expect Combs and Porter to sign the agreement by tomorrow.

In comments outside court, Bracker initially described a settlement totaling more than $4.5 million over the years. But Combs' representatives disputed that figure, calling it too high, and Bracker later said her comments were misinterpreted.

"The terms of the settlement are private," Combs said in a statement. "The welfare of my children is always my first priority, and whatever I have, they have." Combs, 31, had been giving Porter, 30, a court-ordered $11,000 a month, said Bracker. Combs has another son, Justin, 6, by hip-hop fashion stylist Misa Hylton-Brim, of Mount Vernon, N.Y. Combs reportedly pays Hylton-Brim $5,000 a month as child support.

Bracker estimated that Combs -- who runs the Bad Boy Entertainment music publishing and recording company, has his own fashion line and owns several restaurants -- earns several million dollars a year.

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NapsterA little more than a week after it inked a catalog licensing deal with online e-commerce site EMusic.com, Matador has licensed its entire catalog to Napster for use in its upcoming subscription service. The deal will make tracks from such artists as Pavement, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Belle & Sebastian, and Guided By Voices, among others, available to Napster users.

"Napster is synonymous with music online," Matador Records general manager Patrick Amory said in a statement. "We're impressed with their new file-sharing service and believe it will become a powerful promotional vehicle." Added former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus, "the Internet helps me get my music in front of millions of people who might otherwise not hear it -- and making my music available for Napster will enable me to be compensated for that."

Other indie labels that have signed similar deals with Napster include TVT, edel, GNP/Crescendo, Vitaminic, and Tiger Style.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







LunaVenerable alt-rock act Luna has signed with New York-based independent Jetset, which has set a March 19 release date for the group's new album, "Romantica." The bulk of the set was recorded in Hoboken, N.J., with Gene Holder engineering and co-producing, while mixing was handled by Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips).

"Dave did all kinds of clever things to our songs, a string arrangement here, some weird noises there," frontman Dean Wareham writes on the group's official Web site. "Sometimes I would walk in to the control room and think, 'You've destroyed the song!' But after a couple of listens I would calm down, and realize that he knew what he was doing."

"Romantica" is Luna's first studio album since "The Days of Our Nights," which was intended for a spring 1999 release on Elektra, but after band and label parted company, was eventually issued later that year by Sire subsidiary Jericho. In February, the group released "Luna Live!" via New York indie Arena Rock.

Luna has shows scheduled this month for Cambridge, Mass. (Dec. 28) and New York (Dec. 31).


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.






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