Jay-Z, Maroon 5, J.Lo among acts on soundtrack



Kathy Willens/AP Photo


Jay-Z has a hand in the soundtrack for The Simpsons movie.


COUNTD’OHN: We’re less than two months from the opening of the Simpsons movie, and when we aren’t being teased with half-finished animation sequences, there’s the growing stream of news and info leaking from Fox to heighten anticipation of what, let’s be honest, could be a real dud. The film’s soundtrack album was leaked to the punknews.org web site, and features a mix of new and old rap acts (N.W.A., Jay-Z, Lil’ Romeo, Ja Rule, Obie Trice, Beanie Siegel) and recent pop punk, emo and (ahem) “alternative” by acts such as Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Lifehouse and Maroon 5. Oh yeah – and a track each by Jennifer Lopez and Ben Folds, for whatever strange demographic the Simpsons is supposed to encompass.

Green Day, who appear in the film, will not appear on the soundtrack album, however. According to Billboard, the pop punk band’s version of the show’s theme will be released on July 24th, three days before the film’s premiere, and will be released in three different versions by three different companies. Warner’s, the band’s label, will release the single, while Fox will make a digital version of Hans Zimmer’s score – including the Green Day track – available on its website and “other outlets” – which will include iTunes, one assumes.

Finally, Extreme Music will be releasing a limited edition of the score in special pink doughnut-shaped cases through retailers like Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble. It’s an unusually creative and flexible roll-out – even if it is a bit of a cash grab that will pressures fans to buy both the score and the soundtrack albums - especially for the music industry which, to be frank, has never really looked like it stood a chance of recovering its stride after being utterly wrong-footed by digital downloading. Here’s hope the Green Day version of the theme will be a bit more sprightly than its drab, leaden take on John Lennon’s Working Class Hero, a particular lowlight of this year’s Idol finale.

FOX DEATHWATCH: As far as I know, the second episode of Fox’s big deal summer reality show On The Lot actually did air last night, though reports of dismal ratings – and the usual reaction of Fox to low-rated shows – makes me wonder just how long it’ll be before the network pulls the show from the air, winner or no winner. The show held on to just 38 per cent of the audience it got from following last Tuesday’s American Idol performance show.

It’s a measure of how shaky the show’s health might actually be, even after its debut, that the host for last Tuesday’s show, comic actress Chelsea Handler, has been dropped, to be replaced by onetime CNN Headline News anchor Adrienne Costa. Last night’s show was the “Film Premiere” episode, to be followed by tonight’s “Box Office” results show, in a one-two formula that mimics shows like Idol and So You Think You Can Dance? Last week’s miserably edited premiere episode – ironic for a show about filmmaking – didn’t bode well; this week could make or break the show. If ratings drop even more, look to see its kind no more.