Pop Beat: Oasis, U2, Lars Ulrich ...

Noel Gallagher rejoins band; Irish rockers' new album due Oct. 31; Metallica drummer, Napster CEO to testify.

Oasis guitarist and main songwriter Noel Gallagher rejoined his brother Liam Gallagher and the rest of the band Saturday at Lansdowne Road Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. "There's been a lot of stuff written about us. ... But I tell you this, we ain't splitting up," Liam told the crowd, according to Reuters. Noel, who left the tour in May, is not expected to perform with Oasis at their next gig, at the Rockwave Festival in Athens, Greece, on Wednesday (July 12). He will play a handful of shows in England, according to a spokesperson at Epic Records, beginning with two consecutive dates in Bolton, near Manchester, this weekend. ...

Irish rockers U2's next album is tentatively scheduled to be released Oct. 31, according to a spokesperson at Interscope. The label would not confirm the title, track listing or producer. ...

While Napster CEO Hank Barry is reportedly in talks with the Recording Industry Association of America about a settlement in the RIAA's current lawsuit against his company, he is going forward in testifying Tuesday (July 11) before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the subject "The Future of Digital Music: Is There an Upside to Downloading?" Barry contends that his company's software is covered by the Audio Home Recording Act, which allows copying of music for noncommercial purposes. He maintains that Napster is not liable for how people use the software, citing the Supreme Court's decision in the 1984 Betamax case. Also appearing before the committee will be Danish-born Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who has been vocal in his opposition to the file-sharing software program.

A U.S. District Court has given the green light to a lawsuit by five black-owned concert promoters against some of the nation's most prominent white-owned promoters and agents alleging that concert bookings in the U.S. are racially tainted. Thirty-four companies, including SFX Entertainment, the William Morris Agency and CAA, attempted to quash the suit, which alleges that they have a monopoly over major concert venues that amounts to a civil rights violation. Judge Robert Patterson wrote in his ruling "that the booking agency defendants have not allowed plaintiffs to bid to promote concerts by any white performers or major black performers gives rise to a plausible inference of racially discriminatory intent."

Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland posted a note on his band's Web site (www.stonetemplepilots.com) about the progress of Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, the new Limp Bizkit album he is helping to write and produce. "I think that it sounds promising up to this point," he wrote. "There is one song in particular that I think is beautiful that Fred [Durst] and I worked on together. We actually perform together on the song." ... British pop singer Robbie Williams's new video, "Rock DJ," has been banned from early-evening airplay by the BBC, according to Reuters. The clip, which shows Williams tearing off hunks of his own flesh and being eaten down to a skeleton by roller-skating models, will be edited for evening audiences and aired uncut late at night. ...

Web site Riffage.com has bought 1500 Records, an imprint formerly owned by the Interscope/Universal label group. Under the new business model, artists signed to 1500's roster — including techno-rock act God Lives Underwater and hip-hop group Ugly Duckling — will split the net profits on album sales. ... Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich told Reuters that the band wants their next album "to be harsher and be a little grittier in the sounds, ... just to be a little harder hitting" than their recent releases. He said recording may begin in January. ... Music distributor K-tel International Inc. announced on Wednesday (July 5) the closure of its money-losing German subsidiary, Dominion Vertriebs, resulting in the loss of 88 jobs. ...

Advance tickets are on sale for the Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine's Rhyme and Reason 2000 tour, which begins Aug. 2 in Toronto. The tickets are available through the bands' Web sites — beastieboys.com and ratm.com — as well as through MTV.com. (Sonicnet.com is a division of MTV Interactive.) ... 2Gether, the mock boy band featured in MTV's first original television movie, will release their second album, 2Gether — Again, in August on TVT Records. The first single is "The Hardest Part of Breaking Up (Is Getting Back Your Stuff)." ... Baltimore police officials said Thursday (July 6) that the falling death of 21-year-old Martin Muschette at Tuesday's Metallica concert at PSINet Stadium does "not appear to be the result of any foul play, in terms of him being pushed or there being an altercation involved." Muschette plunged 80 feet to the ground. Muschette's death is still listed as "questionable" pending toxicology reports, a police spokesperson said. ...

Rock singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow began pre-production work last month on the follow-up to 1998's The Globe Sessions, according to her publicist. The singer has her eye on an early 2001 release. ... The Cherry Poppin' Daddies have finished recording Soul Caddy, the follow-up to their multiplatinum 1997 LP Zoot Suit Riot: The Swingin' Hits of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Recorded in the band's hometown of Eugene, Ore., Soul Caddy will be released this fall on Mojo/Universal. ...

The Bangles, the Jackson 5, the Mamas & the Papas, Peter Paul & Mary and Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers are among the acts to be inducted Oct. 20 to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum in Sharon, Pa. For a full list of honorees, see www.vocalhalloffame.com. ... Sting recorded several songs for an upcoming Disney animated movie, "The Emperor's New Groove," and his wife is making a documentary about the process, Sting told fans during an online chat Wednesday (July 5) on JAM! (www.canoe.ca/JamMusic). ...

Tuesday's birthdays (July 11): Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac), 57; Walter Egan, 52; John Wetton (King Crimson,Roxy Music, Asia), 51; Phil Kramer (Iron Butterfly), 48; Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum), 38; Robin Wilson (Gin Blossoms), 35; Tracie Spencer, 24; Eric Carr (Kiss), 1950–1991; Barbara Cowsill (Cowsills), 1929–1985.

— sonicnet.com staff report