For The Record: Quick News On Lloyd Banks, Michelle Branch, Hoobastank, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Usher & More

How hot are copies of Lloyd Banks‘ new album, The Hunger for More? A distribution house in the Northeast was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash and approximately eight boxes of the CDs (200 copies) over the weekend. A downtown New York record store had nearly 100 copies of the CD stolen from its racks by a single perpetrator on Tuesday, the album’s first day in stores — though they were later recovered. …

Michelle Branch is now a married woman. She married her bass player, Teddy Landau, in a ceremony that took place just days before her 21st birthday, which is on Friday. … Meanwhile, Branch has signed on to be a guest creator for the new Estée Lauder cosmetics line, Flirt!, which will have a rotating cast of creators who sign on twice a year. The singer’s collection will be a line of nail polish with matching lip color, with each shade named after a song from her album Hotel Paper. The collection will debut in October in Kohl’s department stores. …

Joan Jett is going to play one hot mom in an alternate version of Hoobastank‘s next video, “Same Direction.” Though the band shot a clip on Monday and Tuesday of this week in Los Angeles, it’s shooting a second take on Friday with a new concept, which will include a cameo by the mother of all tough-chick rockers. … You make the burgers, Hoobastank will bring the buns. One lucky fan can win a private backyard barbecue and concert with the band. To enter, fans have to sign up for Yahoo! Messenger, and then put five or more people on their Yahoo! Messenger list between now and August 2. Fans of the band can check out www.hoobastank.com for details. …

Mariah Carey has been tapped to sing the Olympic anthem at the opening ceremonies for the 2004 Olympic Games, to be held August 13 in Athens, Greece. … Almost all of the Roc-A-Fella family is scheduled to converge on the Pontiac Silverdome near Detroit on Friday for the Roc-A-Fella 4th of July Takeover. Jay-Z, Cam’ron and the Diplomats, Twista and members of State Property are scheduled to perform. Dame Dash, who will also be on hand, says that this is only the beginning of his family’s massive gatherings; he’s planning a Roc-A-Fella tour in the coming months. …

The organization Black Americans for Life is urging blacks to protest BMG Entertainment, the parent group of Usher‘s record label, LaFace, over the lyrics on an Usher remix by rapper Joe Budden that advocate violence against pregnant women. On the remix of “Confessions,” Budden rhymes, “Pray that she abort that/ If she’s talkin’ bout keepin’ it/ One hit to the stomach/ She’s leakin’ it.” The group is also requesting that the remix be pulled immediately. … Scott Weiland‘s finally got a start date for his DUI trial in Los Angeles — on Wednesday, a judge decided that the case should go to trial on Friday. …

In the July issue of Glamour U.K., Christina Aguilera talks about her love life — with both men and women. Of her boyfriend Jordan Bratman, she says that they’re not engaged, as rumored, but that she’s fallen in love. “He’s amazing in every way and he’s not part of the hype,” she told the magazine. “I always fall for guys who hate the spotlight, which is obviously difficult for them. … It’s hard for a man to enter my world because they can get stuck in my time, my schedule. But I’m not going to change who I am and what my world is about just to appease someone else.” That includes experimenting with women, apparently. “The female body is sexier than the male and I have a deep appreciation for it,” she said. “People should be attracted to people, and their sex shouldn’t matter.” Aguilera admitted to kissing Pink once, at a party “years ago,” when they were playing spin the bottle. The magazine asked if it was a bad kiss, and Aguilera said, smiling, “No. Not at all.” …

William Hung‘s new cover of Queen‘s “We Are the Champions” isn’t quite taking off like his rendition of “She Bangs,” but the “American Idol” reject has made a fan in Queen guitarist Brian May. “People send us covers every day,” May said. “The only time we ever say no is if it’s something abusive to women or racially abusive or something like that … but if people are honestly interpreting the song, then how could you possibly tell them you didn’t want them to do that? As they say, it’s the greatest compliment, so thank you, Mr. Hung.” … Couldn’t travel to Sweden to catch the last Incubus show? Have no fear, the band will be releasing Live in Sweden 2004 on July 13, as part of a series of bootleg CDs that includes Live in Japan 2004 and Live at Lollapalooza. Fans can listen to tracks from the upcoming release, which includes the first live performance of “Crowded Elevator,” and later purchase the CD in its entirety, at www.incubusbootlegs.com. The band will donate a portion of the proceeds from each CD to its Make Yourself Foundation. …

Puddle of Mudd shot a video this week in downtown Los Angeles for their next single, “Spin You Around.” Victoria’s Secret model Marisa Miller stars in the clip. … Mos Def has finished a new album, tentatively titled The New Danger. The LP, due out September 28, is not the much-discussed rock album from his band Black Jack Johnson, but rather a straight hip-hop album. Mos is currently filming his role as Ford Prefect in the upcoming flick “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” …

After years of slumping sales partially blamed on illegal downloaders, the music industry finally has something to celebrate. For the first half of 2004, sales are up 7 percent, or 19.8 million units, compared with the same period last year. Paid digital downloads are also steadily on the rise. … Perry Farrell, David Byrne and Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne are among the artists collaborating with Thievery Corporation on their next album, due early next year. …

The Polyphonic Spree are asking fans to create a video for “Hold Me Now,” the first single from Together We’re Heavy, due July 13. The winning video will be submitted to MTV and the director will receive $5,000. Details are available on the band’s Web site. … Jack Russell, lead singer of Great White, has sued his former publicist Charrie Foglio for slander, according to The Associated Press. The suit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Foglio threatened to tell charity organizations associated with the 2003 concert at which 100 fans were killed in a fire that Russell and his manager Obi Steinman were withholding money they promised to use for a fund to benefit survivors. While Russell claims that the profits from the tour went solely to the charity, Foglio alleges that Russell was keeping some of the proceeds for himself. …

Keith Richards will join Norah Jones, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and Dwight Yoakam for Return to Sin City: A Tribute to Gram Parsons. The event, which honors the late country-rock legend, consists of two concerts, July 9 at the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, California, and July 10 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. … Electronic music fans can get their fix with Warp Records’ DVD collection, “Warp Vision (The Videos 1989-2004),” a video compilation 15 years in the making, due September 21. Among the artists featured are Aphex Twin, Nightmares on Wax, Autechre, Antipop, Plaid and LFO. … The Goo Goo Dolls will perform a special Fourth of July concert in their hometown of Buffalo, New York. A DVD featuring footage from the show is slated to be released later this year. …

06.30.04

While Britney Spears is sidelined with her bad knee, she’s thinking about her next project — a greatest-hits album. Due November 16, the still-untitled LP will include some new material as well as a limited-edition remix bonus CD. A new song will be the first single, which is slated to hit radio September 14. A separate greatest-hits DVD will be released on the same day. …

The cover of Green Day‘s seventh album, American Idiot, lends itself to the political themes contained therein — the artwork features a hand squeezing the blood out of a heart-shaped grenade. … Avril Lavigne has announced four dates for her fall and winter tour. The first show is October 31 in Philadelphia. The pop rocker will also play Boston (November 1), Denver (November 14) and Glendale, Arizona (November 17). …

Jennifer Lopez continues to work on her next record, due out by the holidays. She’s enlisted Corey Rooney as a producer, according to her Web site. She’s also recorded a cover of Dean Martin‘s “Sway” — in both English and Spanish — for the end titles of the flick “Shall We Dance?” … A Perfect Circle are looking for the perfect video director. The band is holding a contest to find “the most creative, arresting and imaginative realization in film, animation or any visual medium” for its next single, “Blue.” Those interested should sign up for the band’s street-team mailing list at www.aperfectcircle.net, after which they will be sent the contest details and a special version of “Blue” to use in their video. One grand-prize winner will receive $1,000 and the chance to have the video included on an upcoming DVD. …

Kimberly Mathers, the ex-wife of Eminem, was sentenced on Wednesday (June 30) to a year in prison for leaving a court-ordered drug treatment program without permission. According to a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Corrections, Mathers will only have to serve 140 days of the sentence. After her jail time is completed, she will be ordered to enter a drug treatment program. If she completes this, the remaining balance of her jail time will be suspended and she will go back on probation. If, on the other hand, she fails to finish the program, she will have to serve another year in jail. … Lindsay Lohan‘s father, Michael Lohan, had another brush with the law on Tuesday when he was arrested at Nassau County Court in Mineola, New York. According to Suffolk County Police Lieutenant Kenneth Fasano, Lohan was at the courthouse to appear at a conference for unrelated charges. While at the courthouse, he was arrested for allegedly failing to pay a bill of $3,834.53 to Long Island’s Oheka Castle where he had booked suites for April 12 and 13. Lohan was released from the Suffolk County Police Second Precinct on $250 bail. His court date has been set for August 26 at the First District Court in Suffolk County. …

Carmen Electra wants to call your bluff — she’s hosting a strip-poker game to be aired on In Demand. The Strip Poker Invitational, to air July 18, will be a game of seven-card Texas Hold ‘Em, played by six women for a shot at a $50,000 pot. … Meanwhile, Carmen’s hubby, Dave Navarro, is joining her for another set of games — the couple are hosting the second annual awards show for gamers. G-Phoria, which takes place July 31 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, will air on G4techTV on August 6. …

A little thing like the cancellation of Lollapalooza 2004 isn’t about to stop the String Cheese Incident from touring. The group will play the 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, on July 4 before embarking on its own trek July 9. The String Cheese tour will kick off with two performances at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, and run through August 21 in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Despite what the industry is saying,” bassist Keith Moseley said, “we still believe people want to see live shows.” … Joe Barresi, who worked on the Queens of the Stone Age‘s self-titled, 1998 debut, is back in the QOTSA fold, assisting frontman Josh Homme in producing the next album, the follow-up to 2002′s Songs for the Deaf. The LP is due before the end of the year. …

Jimmy Eat World‘s still-untitled fourth album will come out in October. The follow-up to the band’s self-titled 2001 disc was again produced by Mark Trombino. Jimmy Eat World entered a studio in Tempe, Arizona, earlier this year and finished mixing in the beginning of June. … The Lost Boyz‘s Legal Drug Money was the album that propelled Mr. Cheeks‘ rap career, and now it’s also the name of the Queens, New York, native’s independent label. Cheeks’ first release from his company is his third solo LP, Ladies and Ghettomen, which comes out in September. The first single features Truth Hurts and is called “It’s Alright.” …

Gravelly voiced crooner Tom Waits has finished work on his forthcoming album, Real Gone. The LP, slated for an October 5 release on Anti Records, was written and produced by Waits and his wife, Kathleen Brennan. For the first time in Waits’ career, there will be no piano on the album. … Vans Warped Tour alums CKY canceled all remaining summer tour dates after bassist Vern Zaborowski was let go from the band due to personal and professional reasons. Chad Ginsburg filled in on bass for three shows this past weekend. The band will continue to work on its third album, the follow-up to 2002′s Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild, while searching for a replacement. …