For The Record: Busta Rhymes, John Mayer, Courtney Love, System Of A Down, Dave Matthews Band, Danger Mouse & More

'Woo Haa!!' rapper signs deal with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records.

And the New York Yankees thought they had a heck of a lineup. Don't make Dr. Dre laugh. He's bolstered his Aftermath label roster, which already includes 50 Cent and Eminem, by officially inking a deal with Busta Rhymes. No official word yet on Busta's impending LP. ...

Those who caught some recent John Mayer shows may have encountered songs they didn't know by heart. Mayer has been road-testing tracks that may surface on the successor to last year's Heavier Things. He's also stressing the "writer" part of his omnipresent "singer/songwriter" descriptor with a monthly column for Esquire magazine, set to start with the June issue. ... Courtney Love played a solo show at Los Angeles' Viper Room on Thursday. The singer, with a new band, played selections from her solo debut, America's Sweetheart, as well as material from her former band Hole. ... Serjical Strike Records, the label owned by System of a Down singer Serj Tankian, will release the second album by Bad Acid Trip on April 20. The 17-track disc was produced by SOAD guitarist Daron Malakian. ...

The Dave Matthews Band has released plans for its third consecutive summer tour, set to kick off on June 17 in Maryland Heights, Missouri, and wrap on September 5, in George, Washington. The 42-date trek will follow Matthews' solo performance at the fourth annual Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. ... Fans of Danger Mouse's The Grey Album — a mix of vocals from Jay-Z's The Black Album with music from the Beatles' The White Album — are being asked to take part in the Grey Tuesday protest (Greytuesday.org) by posting the album on fan sites for 24 hours beginning Tuesday. Downhill Battle, a music activism project, organized the protest after EMI issued a cease-and-desist order. The protest aims to act as a "day of coordinated civil disobedience" to major labels who want to "control what musicians can create" by limiting their use of samples. ...

2.20.2004

Contraband, the debut album from Velvet Revolver, is set for a May 18 release, and the first single, "Slither," is expected to surface at radio in late March. The band — which features former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland backed by ex-Guns N' Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum as well as guitarist Dave Kushner — is expected to support the long-awaited disc with a tour. ...

Pharrell Williams already has a clothing line coming out — Billionaire Boys Club — but now he's changing gears with his extracurricular activities. He's become one of the sponsors of NASCAR driver Bill Lester's truck in this year's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. For his money, Pharrell gets to emblazon the truck with a logo for N.E.R.D.'s upcoming album, Fly or Die. Nelly and Incubus have been involved in similar deals. ...

Beastie Boys fans can expect the group's sixth album to drop in early June. MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D are finishing up the final mix on the still-untitled effort, which follows up 1998's Hello Nasty. ... New Found Glory are hoping their fourth album, Catalyst, causes a positive reaction amongst fans when it drops May 18. NFG's follow-up to 2002's Sticks and Stones will be prefaced by the title track, which is expected to surface in early April. A video will be shot in late March. ...

Artemis Records appears happy do what the major labels take great care to prevent: the label is making its entire roster available on Kazaa. But unlike the copyright-infringing fare also appearing on the file-sharing network, users wanting label-sanctioned downloads of Lisa Loeb, Jesse Malin or Sugarcult will have to pay for them. A label spokesperson said the move, which begins next month, is meant to educate Kazaa users that a legitimate alternative exists on an interface already familiar to them. ... Swedish pop band the Cardigans will release their fifth album, Long Gone Before Daylight, in North America on May 25. The disc came out internationally last year, but the domestic release will include two bonus tracks and a bonus DVD featuring two new videos and a concert performance. ...

Canadian prog-rock power trio Rush will launch their 30th anniversary tour on May 26 in Nashville. Dates run through August 22 in Toronto, after which the band will head to Europe. Rush last toured North America in 2002 after issuing Vapor Trails. The trip was documented on the triple-disc concert CD Rush in Rio. ... After she returns from Europe and Japan, Ani DiFranco will hit the road again in North America. The tour starts April 5 in Chico, California, and dates are scheduled through May 15 in New York. ...

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club had to cancel five dates on their tour of the U.K. and Ireland after guitarist Peter Hayes fell at a show in Brighton and broke his thumb. After playing in pain in a cast, Hayes flew home for surgery in order to prevent further injury. ... After four years, the popularity of the Jammys has branched out like a Gov't Mule guitar solo. The jam-band awards show, scheduled for March 16 in New York, has moved from the 3,000-capacity Roseland Ballroom to the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, a venue that hold 2,000 more people. A performers lineup has yet to be announced. ...