Richard Ashcroft's second solo album, "Human Conditions," due for an Oct. 21 U.K. release by Hut/Virgin (a day later in North America), will include contributions from Brian Wilson, Talvin Singh, seasoned keyboard player Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin) and Ashcroft's former colleague in the Verve, drummer Pete Salisbury. The album, the follow-up to 2000's "Alone With Everybody," will be preceded by the single "Check the Meaning," due Oct. 7 internationally. Ashcroft, who co-produced the set with longtime collaborator Chris Potter, will play Sept. 9-10 warm-up shows at the Ambassador in Dublin and Sept. 11 in Belfast before guesting at Oasis' Sept. 14-15 shows at Lancashire County Cricket Club. He has also announced a U.K. tour, opening on Nov. 7 in Sheffield and continuing until Nov. 25 in Edinburgh. "Alone With Everybody" debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. The single "A Song for the Lovers" hit No. 3 on the U.K. singles tally.
After organizers went to court last week to prevent the cancellation of a rap music festival in Atlantic City, N.J., the event went off yesterday (Aug. 25) with only a few hundred people in attendance and none of the headlining acts taking the stage. Summerfest 2002 took place at the city's Sandcastle Stadium, home to the Atlantic City Surf baseball team, with a heavy police presence, according to the Press of Atlantic City . As previously reported, officials for the Surf said they initially canceled the event after law-enforcement agencies warned them about a potential for gang violence at the show. The promoters sued in federal court to allow the event to go forward, and on Friday they struck a deal for the show to go on with increased security. Although the audience was told at around 8:30 p.m. that headliners N.O.R.E., Styles, and Khia were still planning to perform despite a host of technical difficulties and the low turnout, when the show ended at 11:15, none had taken the stage. Several local acts, including show opener Desert Eagles performed, as did Crown Heights, N.Y.-based group LDL (Livin' Down Low), according to the paper.