Quick Hits: Justin Bieber, Chad Kroeger & Avril Lavigne, No Doubt, hardDrive Live Tour, American Idol, Zakk Wylde, Silversun Pickups, Evanescence, Joe Strummer
August 22, 2012

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is set to do a cameo on the 24th season of The Simpsons. Bieber broke the news on Twitter, and while his tweet has since been deleted, Simpsons executive producer Al Jean confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the singer will play himself in an upcoming episode. "He tries to get into a talent show that Bart is playing piano in and they won't admit him," explained Jean. "Draw your own conclusions." No specific air date has been announced, but the Bieber episode is slated to air in 2013.

Fellow Canadians Chad Kroeger of Nickelback and Avril Lavigne are tying the knot after only six months of dating. The pair first got together in February to co-write a song for Lavigne's upcoming fifth album, and "a romantic relationship blossomed as they spent time writing together," a Lavigne source told People. On August 8, Kroeger officially popped the question. "He makes her so happy," the source said. "Both of their families could not be more excited."

No Doubt recently revealed the full tracklist for their new album, Push And Shove, which is due on September 25. The album will offer 11 songs, and bassist Tony Kanal says it still shows off the band's Reggae and '80s influences. The title track even features a verse from Jamaican dancehall singer Busy Signal. "We want to sound modern, but we're still influenced by ska, reggae and Eighties U.K. bands," Kanal told Rolling Stone. "There's no way to escape who we are." He also called the song "Heaven" the band's "homage to OMD, Depeche Mode and The Cure – the stuff we love to reference."

Nationally syndicated radio show hardDrive has announced the 2012 hardDrive Live Tour featuring Tremonti and Man the Mighty. The fourth annual tour will begin in Flint, MI on September 20, and run through October 5 in Shreveport, LA. Tremonti with Charm City Devils also will be doing two warm-up dates, dubbed The Road to hardDrive, on September 11 in West Greenwich, RI and September 12 in New York City.

As rumors continue to swirl that Nicki Minaj will be the next judge on American Idol, new judge Mariah Carey is lobbying for Lenny Kravitz to get the job. Carey posted a picture of herself with Kravitz on Twitter and wrote: "@AmericanIdol What's going on? need the info!! What about this combo? if we could ever get him to do it!" Meanwhile, TMZ reported that Kanye West is being courted for the show. Producers allegedly reached out to the rapper about filling one of the open judging spots, but TMZ said that Kanye isn't sold on the idea "because he's not sure if A.I. is in his wheelhouse," and he would require a salary of at least $18 million a year.

Guitar great Zakk Wylde will host a new weekly sports talk show for SiriusXM, debuting next month. Wylde on Sports - which Wylde will host alongside veteran sports talk personality Ken Thomson - will debut September 4 and air every Tuesday night (9:00 – 11:00 pm ET) for six weeks on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, SiriusXM’s 24/7 fantasy sports channel. SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio airs on channel 87 on XM and channel 210 on Sirius Premier and is also available on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online at SiriusXM.com. "I’m excited to join my brother-in-law Ken Thomson every Tuesday night on SiriusXM to recap all of the awesome NFL action, and to find out what in the Wylde world of sports is going on," Wylde said. "We’ll be hosting an amazing cast of characters from the worlds of sports, music, movies, television & your local bowling alley as we get WYLDE ON SPORTS! Yay! Go Team!"

Congratulations to Silversun Pickups bassist Nikki Monninger, who announced today she is pregnant with twin daughters. Monninger will tour with the rockers as long as she can, before Sarah Negahdari of The Happy Hollows takes over as a fill-in bassist live. "This is such an exciting and happy time for me -- new record, first babies. I'll lay low for a little while, but they won't be able to keep me off the road for too long," Monninger said in a statement. "We'll put the twins to work ASAP. If they can't lift heavy equipment after their first few months of life, we'll start them off selling merch. In the meantime we're very happy to have Sarah filling in. We are huge fans of The Happy Hollows and are very excited she'll be joining our family." Silversun Pickups will play Conan next Monday, August 27 and kick off a new leg of touring in Calgary, Alberta on September 1.

Evanescence is still headlining the Carnival of Madness tour until September 2 and then the band will hit the U.K. Some other dates may be added to the schedule, but singer Amy Lee plans to have the touring cycle wrapped up by the holidays to enjoy some down time. "The first order of business is going to be to soak up some good family time," she told Billboard.com. "The older I get, it's not just about kids of my own but just spending time with my living family. That's something I really end up missing a lot on the road, just down-home family time with my husband and my parents and my grandparents, cousins, weddings, funerals, family gathering. You miss a lot of that stuff when you're on the road." However, being at home also will fuel her songwriting for the next album. "I only get into that (creative) mode when I'm home and finally separated from the chaos of public life," Lee said. She added that the band's current tour "has been a lot of going out there and seeing new things and being able to have some new inspiration. So the writing will come. I'm not worried about that."

Yesterday was the 60th birthday of the late Clash singer/guitarist Joe Strummer and Hellcat Records is commemorating the occasion with a new digital compilation. Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros, The Hellcat Years complies all the tracks from his three studio albums released on Hellcat — Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, Global A Go-Go and Streetcore — along with rare b-sides and never before heard live recordings with his band The Mescaleros from 1999 and 2002. Along with the compilation, Hellcat will reissue Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, Global A Go-Go and Streetcore as standalone releases on September 25.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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