- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Hear ye, hear ye

Pete Townshend has warned IPod users they may face hearing problems if they don’t turn down the volume.

Mr. Townshend, guitarist for the ‘60s rock band The Who, says his hearing has been irreversibly damaged by years of using studio headphones and that he must take 36-hour breaks between recording sessions.

“Hearing loss is a terrible thing because it cannot be repaired,” he says on his Web site. “If you use an IPod or anything like it, or your child uses one, you may be OK. …

But my intuition tells me there is terrible trouble ahead.”

The Who was famous for its earsplitting live performances, but Mr. Townshend, 60, says his problem was caused by using earphones in the recording studio.

“I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal components deaf,” he says.

Date with Kate

Does Kate Moss have a new man for the new year?

The supermodel, still reeling from revelations of her cocaine use and her doomed dalliance with rocker Pete Doherty, was seen in Aspen with singer-songwriter James Burke, the New York Post reports. Although Miss Moss, 31, says she and Mr. Burke, 20, are “just friends,” sources tell British Vogue that Mr. Burke has already met Miss Moss’ mother and brother.

Whoa, Nellie

Nellie McKay has been dropped by Columbia Records after a dispute over her sophomore album, “Pretty Little Head,” turned ugly.

According to Associated Press, the singer-songwriter — whose 2004 album, “Get Away From Me,” was a breakout hit — said Columbia decided not to distribute her new album, which had been set for release Tuesday. Miss McKay had pressed for a 23-song, 65-minute version, but Columbia wanted a 16-song, 48-minute cut.

“It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why — they kept the coffeepot, I got the dog,” the 21-year-old singer-songwriter said. “All that matters to me is that I can continue to make irritating music which will baffle and enrage.”

Calls by AP to Columbia Records, which is owned by Sony BMG, weren’t immediately returned Tuesday.

The split was first reported by Billboard magazine, which said that at recent shows Miss McKay had given the personal e-mail address of Columbia Chairman Will Botwin to fans, encouraging them to urge the release of the album’s longer version.

“I thought we had resolved things favorably,” she told the New York Times for Tuesday editions.

Mr. Botwin, however, left the company and was replaced by former Epic Records Chairman Steve Barnett. At a New York concert after the executive change, Miss McKay dedicated a song to Mr. Botwin and said the way he was forced out was unfair.

Soon after, Miss McKay was told her album wouldn’t be released by Columbia in any form.

“Pretty Little Head” already had been supplied to the press, drawing very positive reviews from Spin and Blender magazines.

Meanwhile, Miss McKay has contributed six new songs to the soundtrack of the recently released Rob Reiner film “Rumor Has It … .” She will co-star with Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper and Ana Gasteyer in the musical “The Threepenny Opera,” opening on Broadway in March.

Too old to boogie

Mick Jagger and his band mates may be nearing senior citizenship, but Super Bowl planners only want people 45 and younger to take the field during the Rolling Stones’ halftime show.

The NFL is offering 2,000 people a chance to watch the Stones play during the Feb. 5 extravaganza. They will be expected to dance, sing and cheer.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the Super Bowl from a totally unique perspective,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Detroit News.

People are asked to apply in groups of 20 or more and be at least 18 years old but no older than 45. Sign-up is under way on the Web site of Star Flow Entertainment, the company organizing the volunteers.

The NFL says the reason for the age cutoff is that the job is physically challenging. Volunteers must enter and exit the field quickly and be on their feet for long periods. They will not have seats and will wait in a tunnel under Ford Field for most of the first half.

Participants also must attend up to five rehearsals that could last seven hours each.

“You have to attend rehearsal and be able to stand for long stretches of time,” Mr. McCarthy told the Detroit Free Press.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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