Quick Hits: Madonna & Lady Gaga, Jack White, American Idol, CBGB, Joan Jett
August 2, 2013

Did Madonna and Lady Gaga violate Russian visa laws by performing concerts in the country in 2012? According to The Guardian, both singers were allowed in the country thanks to "cultural exchange" visas, but the visas did not permit "the right to engage in any commercial activity," such as performing a major concert.  The government began an investigation into the visa issue thanks to legislator Vitaly Milonov, who authored St. Petersburg's controversial anti-gay law. Madonna spoke out against this legislation during her concert last summer in Russia. With the Winter Olympics coming to Russia in 2014, there is a fear that if Madonna and Gaga are fined, it will scare off future performers and tourists, reports Rolling Stone.

Jack White
The Nashville City Paper reports that singer/model Karen Elson has filed a restraining order against her ex-husband Jack White. According to the paper, Elson claims the musician has harassed her while the pair have been in a custody rights battle recently over their two children. The restraining order says that Elson "fears for her and the children’s safety as a result of this harassment." White and Elson announced their divorce in 2011.

Keith Urban will return as a judge for the next season of American Idol. Fox Entertainment Chief Kevin Reily confirm the Country singer's return at the Television Critics Association press event yesterday. USA Today reports that Reily added the show is in ongoing talks with Jennifer Lopez about a return to the judges' panel. "We want judges that are good at the job, that people like and refocus our attention on the contestants. I think even our own marketing maybe skewed that a little. It really became too much about the judges," he said.

The soundtrack to the upcoming CBGB film has been announced, with classic tracks from Talking Heads, Blondie, The Police, Dead Boys, The Stooges, MC5 and many, many more. CBGB: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be out October 8, with a double LP vinyl version and an expanded digital edition as well. CBGB stars Alan Rickman as the famous club's owner Hilly Krystal. Unsurprisingly, the film will makes its debut as part of the CBGB Music & Film Festival, set for October 9-13 in New York City.

Joan Jett will release her first new album in seven years, Unvarnished, on October 1. Jett is backed by The Blackhearts on the new release, which also features contributions from Dave Grohl and Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, both of whom Jett has shared a stage with in recent years.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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