For The Record: Quick News On Ja Rule, Backstreet Boys, P.O.D., Faith Evans, Van Halen, Garbage & More

With his busy schedule, Ja Rule has to plan things in advance … way in advance, apparently. His next album, The Last Temptation, is already being advertised with a November 26 release date. … Van Halen are absolutely, positively not breaking up — that’s what bassist Michael Anthony had to say on his Web site after owning up to his work in a new band with ex-VH singer Sammy Hagar, Journey guitarist Neil Schon and Journey drummer Deen Castronovo. …

Besides working on the Jay-Z and R. Kelly album, The Best of Both Worlds, producer Megahertz just completed a remix for P.O.D.‘s “Youth of the Nation.” The ‘Hertz describes the track as being “spooky” and reminiscent of something you would hear in an episode of “Scooby Doo.” … A Backstreet Boys fan convention will be held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the BWI Airport Marriott in Baltimore. Not only will there be ample time to discuss the many facets of Howie‘s hair and participate in an A.J. lookalike contest, but it will also be for a good cause — the unofficial gathering is a fan-organized benefit to raise money for the Boys’ favorite charities. …

After nearly a month of V-Day events, the global campaign to end violence against women and girls is headed to Harlem. Faith Evans and Amel Larrieux will be on hand at the Apollo Theatre on March 30 to perform “The Vagina Monologues” along with Naomi Campbell, Rosario Dawson and V-Day founder and playwright Eve Ensler. … Slinkily futuristic rockers Garbage hit the road for a headlining tour on April 19 in Toronto, Ontario. So far, dates are scheduled through a May 10 stop in Milwaukee, with shows in Atlanta, Nashville, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., among others, along the way. … British singer/songwriter Badly Drawn Boy will release two albums on these shores this year, both produced by Tom Rothrock (Beck). The first, the 10-track soundtrack to “About a Boy,” is due April 23, with the proper follow-up to 2000′s The Hour of Bewilderbeast to follow in the fall. …

Who knew ABC’s failed ’80s series “Cop Rock” would prove so prophetic? In the footsteps of musical episodes of UPN’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and HBO’s prison drama “Oz” comes the 100th episode of Fox’s “That ’70s Show,” set to air April 30, featuring the Who‘s Roger Daltrey as a music teacher who leads those ’70s kids in the “Spring Sing,” complete with choreographed dance moves. … Australian collective the Avalanches have joined the ranks of Elektra Records, who re-released their debut, Since I Left You (2001), which was constructed from obscure samples. The single “Frontier Psychiatrist” will hit radio and video outlets next week. … Politically charged troubadour Billy Bragg releases England, Half English on these shores March 5. … Split Enz and Crowded House crooner Neil Finn will play a few U.S. dates to drum up interest in his next solo album, One All, due May 21. Finn visits San Francisco on March 10, San Juan Capistrano, California, on March 12, and the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, on March 15. …

Heads of several independent record labels announced Tuesday (February 26) the formation of the California Music Coalition to take on Don Henley‘s Record Artist Coalition and their dispute over the seven-year statute (see “No Doubt, Beck Concerts Are Not Anti-Label, Artist Coalition Says” ). Moonshine Music’s John Levy and Ark-21′s Miles Copeland are among the members of the organization, which believes small labels should be involved in the issue just as the large ones are. … The record label and technology company behind the first known copy-protected CD released in America, Charley Pride‘s A Tribute to Jim Reeves, settled a lawsuit with a California woman last Friday and have agreed to warn consumers it is not compatible with computer CD-ROM drives or DVD players. Several companies behind the copy protection devices said last fall that many copy-protected CDs have been quietly released in the States. …

02.26.02

The Chemical Brothers have lined up a tour in support of their latest album, Come With Us, which marks the British duo’s first Stateside jaunt in two-and-a-half years. The seven-date trek begins April 15 in Washington, D.C., and heads Westward to wrap on April 27 at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California. … “Rub You the Right Way,” “My, My, My” and 15 other Johnny Gill hits comprise his Ultimate Collection, due March 26. New Edition‘s “Can You Stand the Rain,” which Gill sang after replacing Bobby Brown in the group, is also included. …

Get your earplugs — Motörhead and Morbid Angel are touring together this spring. The first date is April 11 in Dallas and the journey runs through May 18 in Anaheim, California. … Soulfly have bumped the release date of their third album from May 21 to June 25. … Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice of Spice Girls fame, is expecting a second child in September, according to Reuters. Son Brooklyn Joseph Beckham was born in March 1999. …

Slayer guitarist Kerry King makes a guest appearance on the title track of Hatebreed‘s Perseverance, which comes out March 26. … K’s Choice, the Belgium band behind the 1996 single “Not an Addict,” will release their fourth album, Almost Happy, April 23. … 10, the 10th mix album from drum’n’bass producer DB, is due March 19. The follow-up to The Secret Art of Science includes tracks from Goldie and Optical.