Billboard Bits: Napster, Kid Rock, Geri, ECW

News on Napster, Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr., Geri Halliwell, Spice Girls, ECW

The Recording Industry Association Of America yesterday (March 13) accused Napster of "stall tactics" that are "unacceptable," Billboard Bulletin reports. On Monday, Napster CEO Hank Barry described the company's problems fulfilling a court order to remove unauthorized songs, calling the site's filtering technology "a work in progress"

A spokesperson from Sony Music yesterday disputed Barry's contention that Sony had delivered more than 46,000 song titles to Napster without file names. "The numbers that Hank gave don't match anything we gave them." But the spokesperson would not disclose how many songs were submitted.

To refine its filtering, Napster said yesterday it will begin using the Gracenote database, which lists variations of artist names and song titles. Napster users have been able to avert the filtering system by simply modifying file names.

-- Eileen Fitzpatrick, L.A.

Hank Williams Jr. will head to the tiny town of Almeria, Ala., on March 21 to record songs for an upcoming album, "The Almeria Club," due in September on Curb. The album, which will be mostly acoustic, will be produced by Chuck Howard, while the Almeria sessions will be put to tape at a former schoolhouse, now used for social functions. Hank Williams Sr., played the building in 1947 with his wife (and Hank Jr.'s mother) Audrey, a show which has become local legend thanks to a shooting incident. Another song for the project was recorded last week at the Greater Pentecostal Church of Kansas City, as a tribute to late Kansas City Chiefs all-pro Derrick Thomas, who died last year. Three more blues sides will be recorded later this month with rock/rap star Kid Rock and other players at Rock's studio in Detroit.

Ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell was banned from driving for six weeks today (March 14) for speeding at double the limit north of London. The singer also was ordered to pay a $580 fine and $50 in costs by the Watford Magistrates Court. Halliwell -- appearing under her full name, Geraldine Estelle Halliwell -- admitted driving her Aston Martin DB7 at 60 mph in a 30 mph zone near Watford on Oct. 31. "She expects to be treated in exactly the same manner as any member of the public," said her lawyer, Nicola-Jane Taylor. Dressed in a floor-length cream leather coat and matching heels, 28-year-old Halliwell spoke to confirm her name, date of birth, and address during the brief hearing. After receiving her sentence, the former Ginger Spice smiled at the three magistrates, gave a little wave and said, "Thank you. Have a nice day. Goodbye."

Unreleased tracks from Static-X, Chimaira, Jesse James Dupree, and F.M. Racket will be featured on the second Extreme Championship Wrestling compilation album. Concrete Entertainment and V2 Records will release "ECW II: Anarchy Rocks" on Tuesday (March 20), featuring songs heard on the weekly program, pay-per-View events and ECW video games. ECW wrestlers will provide voiceovers and intros throughout the set, while the chorus to Chimaira's "Balls to the Walls" will be sung by a slew of grapplers, including Roadkill, Steve Corino, Nova, and Balls Mahoney. Here is the tracklist for "ECW II: Anarchy Rocks": Chimaira, "Balls To The Walls" (previously unreleased) Static-X, "Head" (previously unreleased) Coal Chamber, "El Cu Cuy" Rob Zombie, "Superbeast" Linkin Park, "One Step Closer" Powerman 5000, "Neckbone" Cold, "Just Got Wicked" U.P.O., "Now You Want Me" Disturbed, "Welcome Burden" One Minute Silence, "Holy Man" Jesse James Dupree, "Highway To Hell" (previously unreleased) F.M. Racket, "Natural Born Killas" (previously unreleased)