Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard (real name: Russell Jones) was sentenced in Los Angeles last week to two years in prison for having violated probation by escaping from a rehab clinic. Jones, who was already sentenced in July to two to four years on cocaine charges in Queens, N.Y., will not face additional time thanks to a deal he struck with prosecutors for pleading guilty to the latter offenses. The plea will allow the sentences to run concurrently.
Craig Schelske, husband of country singer Sara Evans, announced Monday that he'll seek the Republican nomination for the House seat held by Democratic representative Darlene Hooley, who's expected to seek a fourth term next year representing Oregon. But Democrats sounded a sour note, accusing him of improperly raising campaign money.
Sheryl Crow's fourth, as-yet-untitled A&M studio album is tentatively due in March, the artist's management tells Billboard.com. A single is due in late January, with a tour to follow. According to a Q&A sent to members of Crow's online mailing list, the artist recorded with guitarist/bassist Tim Smith, guitarist Peter Stroud, violinist Lorenza, cellist Matt Brubeck, and drummers Jeremy Stacey and Steve Jordan.
The Beastie Boys have organized and will headline the New Yorkers Against Violence benefit concert Oct. 28 at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. Also on the bill are up-and-coming New York-based rock outfits Rival School and the Strokes, along with the B-52s, Cibo Matto, Saul Williams, and Pakistani vocalist Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. All proceeds will benefit Sept. 11 relief efforts via the New York Association for New Americans and the New York Women's Foundation.
The title of Dilated Peoples' sophomore Capitol album, "Expansion Team" (due out Oct. 23), plays on the Los Angeles-based trio's musical philosophy. "We've gone from performing in a tiny L.A. club to traveling all over the world," says Rakaa Taylor, aka Iriscience. "It's about expanding and stretching the whole game-coming in and forcing it to make room for what we do. We're making major-label music. As far as skills and production quality go, our record could hang with any pop record out there."
Washington, D.C.-based indie rock outfit the Dismemberment Plan has lined up an 18-date European tour to coincide with the Oct. 23 release of its fourth Desoto album, "Change." The trek begins tomorrow (Oct. 18) in Reykjavik and wraps up Nov. 10 in London, after which the group will hit 17 U.S. markets through early December. As was its predecessor, 1999's "Emergency & I," the new album was produced by J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines).
Chart-topping rapper Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter) pleaded guilty in a New York court this morning (Oct. 17) to stabbing producer Lance "Un" Rivera in a December 1999 incident. Carter will most likely receive three years probation at a Dec. 6 sentencing hearing, according to a Manhattan district attorney spokesperson. He faced a possible 15 years in jail on the second degree felony assault charge.
Rock rapper Kid Rock will release "Cocky," the follow-up to his breakthrough 1998 album "Devil Without a Cause," Nov. 20 via Clarkston Chophouse/Lava/Atlantic. The album will be led by the single "Forever," for which Atlantic will solicit U.S. radio airplay beginning Monday (Oct. 22). A supporting video clip for the track is currently in production.
CBS has set a Nov. 13 airdate for a two-hour special of highlights from Michael Jackson's star-studded concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden last month. The show, which will run from 9-11 p.m. ET, will open with Whitney Houston, Usher, and Mya's rendition of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'."
Recording labels should not refrain from releasing albums with violent material in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., according to a recently completed Billboard.com poll. More than 68% of 5,433 respondents who weighed in say they support sticking with releases seen by some as violent.
Fans of E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren will be pleased to hear that the guitar slinger has just released a new solo album, "Break Away Angel." However, they may be dismayed to learn that, due to record company disinterest, it is available only via his official Web site and at his concerts. It's an ignominious position for a man who is one of the more notable musical talents of his generation.
In the wake of last week's exit of founding guitarist Wes Borland, Limp Bizkit is planning to hit the road for a series of guitarist auditions and fan parties. "It's just a great chance for us to be with our fans," bandleader Fred Durst said in a statement. "We could be at a club, at your house, at the mall, at your high school, who knows?"