Hollywood star George Clooney is still putting together the January 22nd telethon to raise funds for Haiti, and he's got some big name talent chipping in. Bono heads up the music performers for the evening, with Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Sting, and Alicia Keys also taking part. Clooney will co-host the event with Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean. The show is expected to air on multiple networks on Friday night. Participating networks include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT.
NEW YORK HOSTS HAITI BENEFITS
One of the first major benefits for Haiti will take place at New York's City Winery January 20th-25th. There will be four dates during the week with musicians and comedians coming together to raise funds for earthquake relief. Patti Smith, Swell Season, Josh Ritter, John Wesley Harding, The Antlers and Young People's Chorus play January 20th. Nada Surf, Living Colour's Vernon Reid and Corey Glover, Marshall Crenshaw, Willie Nile, Rich Pagano And The Sugarcane Cups, comedian Lewis Black, and David Johansen appear on January 21st. On January 24th, Rosanne Cash, Madeleine Peyroux, and Croline Chocolate Drops take the stage. The final date, January 25th, will include a number of indie acts with The Bongos leading the way.
ARCADE FIRE'S CHASSAGNE SPEAKS ON HAITI
Arcade Fire's Regine Chassagne has family ties to Haiti and she's speaking out on the recent earthquake disaster. In an editorial penned for "The Observer," Chassagne says, quote, "Since Haiti shook and crumbled, I feel as if something has collapsed over my head, too. Miles away, somehow, I'm trapped in this nightmare. My heart is crushed. I've been thinking about nothing else." The vocalist adds, quote, "Haitians know they have been wronged many, many times. What we are seeing on the news right now is more than a natural disaster. This earthquake has torn away the veil and revealed the crushing poverty that has been allowed by the west's centuries of disregard. That we must respond with a substantial emergency effort is beyond argument, but in the aftermath, Haiti must be rebuilt."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD VOW TO FINISH ALBUM
Avenged Sevenfold continue to the mourn the loss of drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan, but are doing so with purpose. Singer M. Shadows, after detailing his love for the late bandmate, says, quote, "As for the rest of us, it has become clear what we need to do. We had just finished writing a record with Jimmy. I can't promise what the future holds right now because it's too painful to think about, but we know we need to record and put out this record in honor of Jimmy, for Jimmy." Shadows says the drummer used to call him nightly and express how much the songs meant to him and how they would change the world. He adds, quote, "I agree with him. Unfortunately I didn't know it would be on these terms." The vocalist asks fans for patience during this difficult time, but they will complete the album and then make decisions about the future after recording is over.
Sullivan was found dead in his home in Huntington Beach, California on December 28th. Autopsy results are expected in the coming weeks. James Owen Sullivan was 28 years old.
CYPRESS HILL DISCUSS RETURN
Cypress Hill is back after taking time out for side projects. The group just signed with Priority/EMI and are readying the release of their first album in six years titled "Rise Up." In a statement, Rapper B-Real says, quote, "Though we were doing other things, [Sen Dog and I] each kept ideas in mind for Cypress Hill and would go into the studio periodically to record. It was great to work at our own pace and without a deadline hanging over us. We'd get together at my studio and record whenever we felt that burst of creativity. It was an amazing way to work and resulted in what I think is our best record yet." Cypress Hill is the first artist signing by Priority Records' new Creative Chairman, rap great Snoop Dogg. Look for Cypress Hill's "Rise Up" to arrive in stores April 6th.
SMASHING PUMPKINS ISSUE "WIDOW" SINGLE
The Smashing Pumpkins are moving forward with their "Teagarden By Kaleidyscope" collection this week with the release of the latest single, "Widow Make My Mind." The track will be featured today on MySpace, the band's MySpace site, and via cross-promotion with www.ilike.com. This marks the second release from the 44-track collection. Singer Billy Corgan has stated that even though the entire collection will eventually arrive as one, there will be a series of limited edition four-song EPs throughout the run. Release details on the first in the series have yet to be revealed.
Gorillaz are hitting the home stretch on their new album. Murdoc says in a new tweet, quote, "Just finished mixing new Gorillaz track with er... My arse! Sounds pretty good, can't wait to play it. Oh yeah, Gorillaz fans. I'm far, far away on a big piece of plastic floating in the middle of nowhere just so you know." As usual, the animated outfit will be joined by an eclectic list of musicians. Rumored contributors include Mos Def, Bruce Willis, De La Soul, The Horrors, Mark E. Smith, Ozzy Osbourne, Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, Barry Gibb, and Bobby Womack. Their album, titled "Plastic Beach," is expected in March.
BANDS SUPPORTS HAITI DONATIONS
In the wake of the devastating 7.0 earthquake that occurred last Tuesday in Haiti, many rock bands have made efforts to help raise awareness about and money for the victims. 30 Seconds to Mars has posted information on how to donate and fundraise for emergency relief efforts in Haiti, listing links for Oxfam and Unicef on MySpace.com/ThirtySecondstoMars. While, Blink 182 has a specially designed Haitian t-shirt on their Web site, with all proceeds going to assist those in need. Head to GoMerch.com/Blink182 to get the “tee”.
SPOON, MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK AND MORE DROP NEW MUSIC
Spoon’s seventh album Transference drops today. The new effort from the Austin band includes the hit single “Written in Reverse.” Motion City Soundtrack’s new album My Dinosaur Life also hits stores today. This is the fourth studio album from the Minneapolis band. The 2010 GRAMMY Nominees album is also available for purchase today. The 20 song mix includes nominated tunes from U2, Kings of Leon, Green Day and more.
ALICE IN CHAINS RELEASED IN 2009
Alice in Chains have been nominated for a total of seven GRAMMY awards since 1992. The band has yet to take home a trophy. This year, the band was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance for “Check My Brain” off of their new Black Gives Way to Blue disc. Tune in to CBS Sunday, January 31st to see if the Seattle group finally gets their gramophone.
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS NEW WORK
The Smashing Pumpkins’ new album, Teargarden By Kaleidyscope,will eventually consist of 11 EPs of four tracks each, all of which will be made available for free download. Billy Corgan has already released the first song from the effort, a tune called “A Song For A Son.” He said his goal is to release one new song a month.
PAGE GETS AWARD FROM U-N
Last week, Jimmy Page not only made it official that he’d play the Show of Peace Concert in Beijing, China in April, the Led Zeppelin guitarist was also given an award by the United Nations’ Pathways to Peace. The group bestowed Page with their first-ever award for the global impact he and his music have had on building world peace. When receiving the award, Jimmy stated, “Although this award has my name on it, this is a tribute to the power of music and its positive effect.” Read more at LedZeppelinNews.com.
The Motels' Martha Davis is 59.
Marcy Playground's John Wozniak is 39.
UB40 keyboardist Mickey Virtue is 53.
Emmy Award-winning actress Jean Stapleton is 87. (Born 1923) She won several Emmys for her role as Edith Bunker on "All in the Family."
Tony Award-winning actor Fritz Weaver is 84. (Born 1926) He won a Tony for his work in the Broadway show "Child's Play." His other credits include the movie "The Thomas Crown Affair" and the TV miniseries "Holocaust." He also provides the narration for specials on the History Channel.
Actress Tippi Hedren is 80. (Born 1930) Her credits include the movies "The Birds," "Marnie," "Citizen Ruth," "Pacific Heights," "I Woke Up Early the Day I Died," and "I Heart Huckabees." She's also the mother of actress Melanie Griffith.
Hall of Fame newscaster and journalist Robert MacNeil is 79. (Born 1931)
Director Richard Lester is 78. (Born 1932) His credits include the movies "Spiderman 2," "Spiderman 3," "The Three Musketeers," and The Beatles' films "Help!" and "A Hard Days Night."
Football Hall of Famer Joe Schmidt is 78. (Born 1932)
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Phil Everly is 71. (Born 1939) He and brother Don make up the duo The Everly Brothers.
Tony Award-winning actor Michael Crawford is 68. (Born 1942) He took the Tony for his work in the Broadway production of "The Phantom of the Opera."
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joe Butler is 67. (Born 1943) He was a member of the Lovin' Spoonful.
Singer and actress Shelley Fabares is 66. (Born 1944) She has appeared on several television shows including "Coach" and "The Donna Reed Show."
Former football star and coach Dan Reeves is 66. (Born 1944)
Country singer and actress Dolly Parton is 64. (Born 1946)
Deep Purple co-founder Rod Evans is 63. (Born 1947)
Newscaster Ann Compton is 63. (Born 1947)
Musician Dewey Bunnell is 59. (Born 1951) He's a member of the group America.
Entertainer Desi Arnaz, Jr., 57. (Born 1953) He is the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Actress Katey Sagal is 56. (Born 1954) Her credits include the TV shows "Sons of Anarchy," "8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter" and "Married... With Children." She also provides the voice of Turanga Leela on the animated "Futurama."
Comedian Paul Rodriguez is 55. (Born 1955) His credits include the movies "A Cinderella Story," "Blood Work," "Ali," "Tortilla Soup," and "Made in America," and the TV show "a.k.a. Pablo."
Conductor Simon Rattle is 55. (Born 1955)
UB40 keyboardist Mickey Virtue is 53. (Born 1957)
Actor William Ragsdale is 49. (Born 1961) He's best known for the role of Herman on the television show "Herman's Head." His other credits include the TV series "Gross Pointe" and the movies "The Reaping," "Mannequin: On the Move," "Fright Night," and "Fright Night Part 2."
Documentary filmmaker Martin Bashir is 47. (Born 1963) He was filmmaker behind the controversial Michael Jackson biography "Living with Michael Jackson." He's also contributed to "20/20" and "ABC News Nightline."
ESPN anchor Karl Ravech is 45. (Born 1965)
Former tennis star Stephan Edberg is 44. (Born 1966) He is a two-time winner of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Actor-comedian Shawn Wayans is 39. (Born 1971) His credits include the movies "Little Man," "White Chicks," "Scary Movie," and "Scary Movie 2," and the TV series "In Living Color" and "The Wayans Bros."
Musician John Wozniak is 39. (Born 1971) He is a member of the group Marcy Playground.
Emmy Award-winning actress Drea de Matteo is 38. (Born 1972) She won the Emmy for her work on the TV series "The Sopranos." Her other credits include the sitcom "Joey."
Actress Jodie Sweetin is 28. (Born 1982) She's best known for the role of Stephanie Tanner on the sitcom "Full House."
ROCK ON TV
DAVID LETTERMAN (CBS) Scheduled: Dwayne Johnson; Bettina Luescher, and The Swell Season.
CRAIG FERGUSON (CBS) Scheduled: Alan Alda and Anna Kendrick.
CONAN O'BRIEN (NBC) Scheduled: Tom Hanks, Paul Bettany, and Spoon.
JIMMY FALLON (NBC) Scheduled: Randy Jackson, Paul Teutul Sr., and The Mountain Goats.
JIMMY KIMMEL (ABC) Scheduled: Dennis Quaid, Ty Burrell, and Orianthi.
GEORGE LOPEZ (TBS) Scheduled: Brendan Fraser, Khloe Kardashian, and Lamar Odom.