For The Record: Quick News On Black Sabbath, Jessica Simpson, Rakim, P. Diddy, Hoobastank, M.O.P., Slipknot & More

It seems like the door hasn’t completely closed on Bill Ward. Two days after posting a note on his Web site (www.billward.com) claiming that he was as surprised as anyone to find out he will be replaced by Mike Bordin when Black Sabbath take the stage for Ozzfest, the band’s original drummer posted a second note on Thursday saying he “received a positive response” from Sharon Osbourne and is moving ahead with negotiations. …

Before she launches her summer tour, Jessica Simpson‘s offering fans a chance to get premium passes via a ticket auction on www.stubhub.com. Winners get tickets in the first two rows, T-shirts, autographed photos, VIP laminates and meet-and-greet passes, which will allow them to get their picture taken with the singer. … Rakim is not done talking about his recent arrest for allegedly failing to pay child support, or about the troubles with his baby’s mother, either. The MC has recorded a freestyle about the drama over the beat from the Ghostface track “Run.” Expect the track, which DJ Kay Slay played Thursday night on New York radio station Hot 97, on mixtapes soon. …

“A Raisin in the Sun,” starring Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, is turning out to be Broadway’s biggest success this spring. Though the production has received mixed reviews, it grossed $570,000 in ticket sales in the week that ended on Sunday, according to The New York Times. Normally, a successful play in New York will pull in closer to $200,000 a week. … Diddy helped launch a new razor by Gillette in New York Thursday — by shaving some of his whiskers. He was given a commemorative version of the vibrating blade plated in white gold and encrusted with diamonds, courtesy of Jacob the Jeweler. The regular, non-blinged-out razor will retail for $15. …

Add another tour to the summer concert calendar. Hoobastank and Phantom Planet are hitting the road together in July in support of their albums The Reason and Phantom Planet, respectively. No dates have been announced yet. … While the MTV Video Music Awards move to Miami, the awards show’s European counterpart is also headed South. The Europe Music Awards will take place in Rome, at the Tor Di Valle, on November 18. It marks the first time the event has been held in Italy since 1998′s ceremony in Milan. …

Alanis Morissette didn’t have a scheduled performance at the Absolutely Fourth bar in New York on Monday, but gave one anyway — as “Tammy Reynolds.” Dressed in disguise, the singer surprised patrons when she took the mic to sing karaoke. … The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins has undergone throat surgery and is recovering well. The singer went under the knife for a hiatal hernia and acid reflux problems. If his recovery continues at its current pace, the Darkness will be able to play all previously scheduled North American dates. …

A concert in Albany, New York, featuring Slayer, Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed, Chimaira, Superjoint Ritual, Shadows Fall and Life of Agony is under attack by the local community. A woman named Susan Balfour has distributed a petition to cancel the Aggressive Music Festival, which is scheduled for July 17 and 18 at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Balfour has traveled the region showing people some of the more graphic lyrics by Slayer, Slipknot and some of the other bands in an effort to build a support network to have the event canceled. …

M.O.P. have been added to the second stage of the Projekt Revolution Tour. The outing will make 32 stops in North America this summer. Linkin Park, Korn, Snoop Dogg, the Used, Less Than Jake, Ghostface and Funeral for a Friend will also perform. … Downset have postponed their tour because singer Rey Oropeza‘s mother is in declining health. Five shows have been affected — May 21 in Seattle through May 26 in Denver. However, Downset are still expected to take part in the Projekt Revolution Tour, which launches July 23 in Cincinnati. …

Coinciding with the June 8 release of Sonic Youth‘s 19th album, Sonic Nurse, the band will also issue a DVD, “Corporate Ghost – The Videos 1990-2002.” More than three hours of commentary and interviews accompany the 23 videos included on the disc. … Former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty will tour this summer for the first time in almost four years. The tour will open on June 25 in Saratoga, California, and run through August 8 in Houston. Fogerty’s first studio album since 1997′s Blue Moon Swamp is scheduled for release by the end of September. …

5.20.2004

It’s no surprise that Lloyd Banks is lining up the big guns for his upcoming solo album. He’s planning on releasing a new street single, “Warriors Part 2,” that features both Eminem and 50 Cent, over a beat produced by Em and a chorus sung by Nate Dogg. “It’s me in between the twin towers,” Banks said of the track. “It’s real aggressive.” …

After shopping around a variety of book ideas, Alicia Keys has sold two of them to Putnam. She’ll release the book “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” her reflection on her childhood in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, her early musical education and rise to stardom, as a hardcover by fall of next year, with a paperback edition to follow in 2006. Her book of poetry, “Songbook,” will be published as a hardcover this November. … In anticipation of Jadakiss‘ upcoming album, Kiss of Death, the rapper is launching a promotional tour that will keep him on the road for the next month. Jadakiss will be in Atlanta on Friday and then hit up cities through the south Atlantic coast, Florida and then back up to the Northeast. He’ll celebrate the release of his album with a June 12 performance at New York’s Hot 97 Summer Jam and then wrap up with a June 18 show in Detroit. …

A jury has cleared Marion “Suge” Knight of battery in a 2001 attack but still awarded $162,000 in damages to a man who claimed he was beaten up by associates of the onetime hip-hop mogul. Dwayne H. Baudy said he was assaulted outside a recording studio by Knight and his bodyguards on November 6, 2001. The jury found Knight’s bodyguard, Reginald Wright Jr., negligent and responsible for the damages. … A day before her new album, Under My Skin, drops, Avril Lavigne will play a free concert at New York’s Webster Hall. The show will be broadcast on AOL as part of its Broadband Rocks series. … A doctor has advised drummer Ryan Dusick to sit out while his band, Maroon 5, continues to tour. Dusick needs to rest his shoulder, injured from two years of constant touring, and undergo some rehabilitation. Matt Flynn, who has played drums for the B-52′s and Gavin DeGraw, will fill in. …

Pity the poor Toronto Blue Jays fans, and not just because of their team’s losing record (17-24 at press time). “American Idol” castoff and Koch recording artist William Hung will perform “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch at the game against the Texas Rangers on Sunday. … The Vandals are looking for their very own William Hung to join them at this year’s Warped Tour. Beginning June 1, perspective tin-ear tenors and abominable baritones can download songs off the band’s forthcoming album, Hollywood Potato Chip, due June 29, and videotape themselves performing the tracks. The standouts may get the chance to perform with the band onstage this summer. …

The 11th annual Vans Warped Tour will go out with a bang on August 20. Bands who’ve played the tour in years past, including Rancid, Pennywise, Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, Less Than Jake, Unwritten Law, Face to Face and Sick of It All, among others, will reconvene for the tour’s 10th anniversary reunion show at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. … The Beastie Boys will headline influential Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM’s 12th annual Weenie Roast, scheduled for June 12 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California. The Hives, the Strokes, Velvet Revolver, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, New Found Glory, Hoobastank, Yellowcard, Bad Religion, Cypress Hill, Modest Mouse, Story of the Year and the Killers are also on the bill. …

Julian Casablancas‘ head is ringing — but it’s not from the after-show party that followed the Strokes‘ return from a two-month tour. It’s wedding bells that have the New York rocker rejoicing. Toward the end of the band’s set at New York’s Central Park on Wednesday, Casablancas announced that he was set to be wed. Juliet Joslin is the lucky lady. … Though Madonna had hoped to include a stop in Israel on her Reinvention Tour, the singer is avoiding the country because of the political climate, according to her spokesperson. Madonna is instead including more European markets on the outing. …

Phish have finalized the details of their first home-state festival. The event will be held August 14 and 15 at the Newport State Airport and adjacent fields in the rural town of Coventry, Vermont. Phish, whose Undermind is due June 15, will perform three live sets each day. … Former Jayhawks singer Mark Olson has recorded an album of songs critical of the Bush administration called Political Manifest. One of the tunes, a call for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to be removed from his post called “End of the Highway Rumsfeld,” is particularly relevant after the Iraqi prison scandal, although Olson actually wrote it months ago. The album is available only at shows but will soon be sold at Olson and wife Victoria Williams‘ Web site, www.politicalmanifest.com. …

Black Label Society have hired James Lomenzo to play bass during the band’s Ozzfest shows. Lomenzo was one of several bassists who played on the band’s most recent album, Hangover Music Vol. VI, which came out last month. Black Label Society founder and guitarist Zakk Wylde was originally scheduled to play with Ozzy Osbourne‘s band as well, but since Ozzy will be taking the Ozzfest stage with Black Sabbath, there will be no Ozzy solo performance. … Swedish doom metal pioneers Candlemass have snuffed their flame once and for all. The band, which over the years has been on-again, off-again, has stated on its Web site, “There will be no more gigs, no new album, no more doom! This is it … Finished … Zero … Nada … Out.” The band called it quits because the members had different goals and couldn’t agree on a direction. Meanwhile, a Candlemass tribute album, due in 2005, will feature Opeth, the Hellacopters, the Haunted, Cathedral, Satyricon and others. … Cannibal Corpse have hired Jeremy Turner (ex-Origin) to be their second guitarist. Turner replaces Jack Owen, who left early this month after 14 years with the band. …