· Axl Rose just learned a harsh lesson about how the world has changed since he started working on Chinese Democracy almost 15 years ago. According to reports, nine of the album’s mastered tracks were leaked online Wednesday, then quickly yanked after Axl’s people got wind of it.
· Weezer promised that their Red Album Tour would be a hootenanny, and they’ve followed through, playing their first audience-participation gig on Tuesday in Phoenix. There’s another one Thursday night in Portland, so grab a rainstick and brush up on “Pork and Beans,” “Islands in the Sun” and “El Scorcho.”
· Taco Bell has offered to donate $10,000 to the charity of 50 Cent’s choice if he’s willing to change his name to 79, 89 or 99 Cent for their “Why Pay More” promotion. I wouldn’t wait by the phone, fellas.
· How much is a heavy-metal masterpiece worth? If the song in question is Led Zeppelin’s 1971 black-light classic “Stairway to Heaven,” try half a billion dollars. That’ll buy you a whole lot of Nag Champa.
· This is the best Obama-boosting track we’ve heard so far. Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti would be proud — Cody, it’s time for you to come back.
· iTunes may not be very flexible when it comes to pricing, but Amazon is like a Chinese contortionist. The Amazon MP3 download site just launched a low-dough promotion that offers albums like Coldplay’s X&Y for just $1.99 and Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight for $5.
· Bono and Bob Geldof got all up in French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s face on Wednesday for not giving enough aid to Africa.
· Nike+ Human Race, an August 31 running event taking place all over the world, will feature live sets by Kanye West (L.A.), Fall Out Boy (Chicago), All-American Rejects (New York), Kelly Rowland (Paris), the Pinker Tones (Madrid), Kenan Dogulu (Istanbul), the Fantastic Four (Munich), Yu Quan (Shanghai) and Boys Like Girls (Singapore).