For The Record: Quick News On Metallica, Every Time I Die, The Moonman, N.O.R.E., Franz Ferdinand, PJ Harvey & More

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and his wife, Skylar, are getting divorced, the band said on its Web site. The couple have been separated since March and have quietly been undergoing divorce proceedings. They will share custody of their two children. ...

Every Time I Die singer Keith Buckley was arrested at Sunday's Ozzfest stop in Bristow, Virginia, for drinking in an area that was off-limits. He was released 30 minutes after police led him off in handcuffs. Fans at that show wondering why the crowd broke into the "Ole" soccer chant during Black Sabbath's set should know that it was the work of the SOC, or "Shirts Off Crew." A revolving lineup composed of members of second-stage acts including Slipknot, Atreyu, Bleeding Through and Lamb of God, the SOC can be seen running backstage and through the crowd urging concertgoers to go shirtless. ... On this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong took "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" and his colleague Buzz Aldrin spoke the first words from the moon from inside the lunar module: "Tranquility base. The Eagle has landed." Fifteen years later, Aldrin landed on the podium at the first MTV Video Music Awards, immortalized as the MTV Moonman, the award handed out to the lucky winners. ...

Roc-A-Fella Records continues to beef up its roster. The newest member of Dame Dash's team is N.O.R.E., who just inked his deal. ... Franz Ferdinand, the Streets, Joss Stone and the Basement Jaxx are among the artists shortlisted for this year's U.K. Mercury Music Prize, which honors the best album of the year from the genres of pop, rock, jazz and classical music. The Streets was also nominated in 2002. Last year, Dizzee Rascal took home the pop award. An independent panel of judges selects the albums on the shortlist and then meets on the night of the Nationwide Mercury Prize Awards on September 7 to choose the winner. ...

After cracking down on students for illegally downloading music, several universities across the country are taking a different approach: making legal downloading more accessible. On Monday, Napster announced that it has signed agreements with six more universities, including Cornell, George Washington, and Miami to offer students access to its download program, according to Reuters. Penn State University and Rochester University were the first schools to offer this service to students. ... One school is taking music downloading to the next level, however, handing out iPods to all new students. Beginning this fall, Duke University will give each incoming freshman a brand new iPod, paid for by the university. The iPods will be loaded with school calendars and other information, and the school hopes students will use them to download class materials. ...

Tony Hawk is catching some air ... airwaves, that is. The pro-skateboarding legend is the first host on Sirius Faction, a new channel on Sirius satellite radio for extreme-sports enthusiasts. Broadcast from a custom-designed studio at Hawk's new practice facility in California, the show features interviews, music and commentary without any commercials. ... Duran Duran continue working on their new album, due out in October, and have most recently teamed up with producer Dallas Austin (Pink, Janet Jackson). "This is an incredible experience, you can't pay for the history," Austin said in a statement. "I am a word-for-word, lyric-for-lyric fan. They are all super musicians! And we're all Astronauts!" ("Astronaut" is the title of one of the tracks the band is working on with Austin). The album also features songs the '80s heartthrobs worked on with producer Don Gilmore (Good Charlotte, Linkin Park). "Duran Duran really like to experiment," Gilmore said in a statement. "They don't like to do things the conventional way." One of Gilmore's tracks with the band is called "Still Breathing." ...

The charges against two members of Ozomatli and their manager have been dropped in an agreement with Austin, Texas, prosecutors. The charges stemmed from the arrests of the three individuals during the South by Southwest music festival earlier this year. On March 18, percussionist Jiro Yamaguchi, manager Amy Sue-Blackman Romero, and bassist Wil-Dog Abers were charged with assault on a public servant, interference with the duties of a public servant, and failure to obey a lawful order, respectively, for violating a city ordinance by performing in the street. ... The Don't Knock the Rock Film and Music Festival kicks off in Hollywood August 12 and features a performance by PJ Harvey and the West Coast premieres of the documentaries "Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel" and "Edgeplay," a film about the Runaways, the influential 1970s girl group that counted Joan Jett and Lita Ford as members. ...

Ex-Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has just returned from a monthlong vacation and is currently back in the studio. In a post on his Web site www.billycorgan.com, the rocker says he's about two months away from completing his solo album, which he is co-producing with Bon Harris. ... If Pierce Brosnan hangs up his James Bond hat, who could be next? Internet bookmakers at Intertops.com are betting on Robbie Williams, who is their favorite to be the next Bond, at 7-2 odds. Odds are also placed for Tom Cruise (80-1), George Clooney (50-1), Ben Affleck (250-1) and David Beckham (100-1). ...

The farewell voyage of influential indie rock band Guided by Voices will begin in New York on August 19 and run through New Year's Eve in Chicago. The band's final album, Half Smiles of the Decomposed, will be released August 24. ... Machine Head and Chimaira will co-headline the Road Rage Tour, which also features 3 Inches of Blood and Trivium. The trek kicks off August 3 in Cleveland and dates are scheduled through August 29 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ...

7.19.04

The Britney Spears Foundation Room at the Onyx Hotel (the real Onyx Hotel in Boston) is now open to the public. It was designed by the singer's mother to resemble her daughter's bedroom back home in Kentwood, Louisiana. Two 14-year-old girls from the Boston area won a radio contest and were the first to stay in the room on Tuesday. The room goes for $259 a night with 10 percent of the proceeds donated to the singer's charity. ...

Futures, Jimmy Eat World's follow-up to 2001's breakthrough Bleed American, is due October 19. The band will debut some of the material August 27 at San Diego's Street Scene festival and September 3 at Milwaukee's Summerfest. ... John Mayer is going to raise the roof — literally. The singer/songwriter is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity to build a house on Sunday in San Antonio, Texas, and four fans will get the chance to join him as well as see a concert of his that evening. The home is being built for Angelia Brown, a working mother and cook at a hospital in San Antonio. The contest will run on various radio stations in the Southwest. ...

The soundtrack to the Josh Hartnett film "Wicker Park" will have a decidedly indie bent. Due August 24, the disc will feature tracks by Death Cab for Cutie, the Shins, the Stills, Broken Social Scene, Snow Patrol and Mogwai. The soundtrack will also feature previously unreleased songs highlighted by the Postal Service's cover of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" and a Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde) and Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails) rendition of Coldplay's "The Scientist." ... Artists in search of potentially unpaid royalties now have more flexibility to audit record companies thanks to a law California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Friday. The law allows artists to conduct annual audits of record companies doing business in California. ...

The Foo Fighters plan to release a double-CD set to follow up 2002's One by One. Frontman Dave Grohl hopes to write one disc of lightweight material and the other of stomping, crashing heavy rock. The band is currently building a studio in Los Angeles to record the album. Their last few discs were created in a studio in Grohl's basement in Virginia. ... PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and Damon Albarn from Blur have written songs for Marianne Faithfull's new album, Before the Poison, due September 27. The disc is the follow-up to 2002's Kissin' Time, which featured collaborations with Beck, Billy Corgan and Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. ...

Saturday's Axis of Justice benefit in Hollywood ended with the "house band" — Serj Tankian and Maynard James Keenan on vocals, Pete Yorn on guitar and vocals, Tom Morello on guitar, Flea on bass and Brad Wilk on drums — covering U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name." Each of the musicians played solo earlier in the show, which also featured Jurassic 5. ... Having been described as conceptual, ethereal and emotional, A Perfect Circle may soon add "political" to that list. According to statements made by frontman Keenan at the Axis of Justice concert, he's planning on a civic-minded release for November, the same month an APC remix album is due. Although that album is still coming together, it's expected to include a remix of "The Hollow," a tune off the band's 2000 debut, by former bassist Paz Lenchantin, who is also contributing violin and piano parts to the band's next album. ...

The X-ecutioners and Biz Markie will perform at a Rock the Vote-sponsored kickoff party at the Democratic National Convention in Boston next week. Jon Stewart, Natalie Portman and the Clintons will attend the July 25 show, which will be followed on later nights by Black Eyed Peas (July 27) and Maroon 5 (July 29) concerts. ... Godsmack frontman Sully Erna has pulled out of his deal with the co-owners of Dorsia, the New York nightclub he went in on in 2003. Erna plans to sue his former business partners for improper management, sources close to the band said. ...

The death of Doors singer Jim Morrison, of an apparent overdose in 1971, has been as shrouded in mystery as the demise of Elvis Presley. A new book titled "Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend" by Stephen Davis, author of the classic Led Zeppelin biography "Hammer of the Gods," raises the possibility that Morrison's girlfriend Pamela Courson may have had a part in the singer's death. ... Forget about your regular Friday night poker game, the first Vegas Rock Star Poker Tournament and Sweepstakes is giving fans a chance to put on their best poker face and throw down against rockers Dave Navarro, Tommy Lee and Johnny Rzeznik. The weekend tournament kicks off August 26 at the Palms Casino Resort. Contest entries and more information is available at vegasrockstarpoker.com. ...