For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Mase, Lloyd Banks, Backstreet Boys, Velvet Revolver, R.E.M. & More

Britney Spears is well on her way to becoming a stepmother of two. That's because her fiancé, Kevin Federline, is now a father of two — his ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson gave birth to their second child Tuesday in Orange County, California. Federline and Jackson already have a 2-year-old daughter together, named Cori. There's no word yet on what they're calling their latest bundle of joy, but they were expecting a boy. ...

Lloyd Banks, Jadakiss and Mase will attend the next Hip-Hop Summit Action Network event scheduled for July 26 in Boston to coincide with the Democratic National Convention. Twista, Loon and the Ying Yang Twins will be on hand to help register young voters. ... If you're gonna party at Ozzfest and you're under 21, make sure you know who you're hanging with. On Tuesday, undercover cops arrested 73 underage concertgoers in Columbus, Ohio, for drinking and drugging. ...

The Backstreet Boys will perform at a Los Angeles benefit on September 11 for 9-1-1 for Kids. Jessica Simpson, who stars in the organization's educational videos, will also take part. ... Drug addiction is nothing new to the members of Velvet Revolver, a fact that makes their new video especially poignant. The clip for "Fall to Pieces," the second single off Contraband, is being shot this weekend in Los Angeles. Its plotline traces a drug addict's fall into despair. ...

If you're not famous enough to carouse around the Playboy mansion with the likes of Carmen Electra, Sum 41, Uncle Kracker and "Soul Plane" funnyman Tom Arnold, at least you can pretend to be with "Playboy: The Mansion," a game for Xbox, PlayStation and PC scheduled to hit stores in time for the holidays. Players assume the role of Hef as they attempt to run a profitable magazine, orchestrate photo shoots, plan parties and build the Playboy empire all in the comfort of some suave silk pajamas. ... Dave Navarro will appear on "America's Most Wanted" on Saturday to talk about the investigation to catch the man who murdered his mother in 1983. The program, which airs on FOX at 9 p.m. ET, will examine the shooting deaths of his mom, Connie Navarro, and her friend Sue Jory at the hands of Connie's ex-boyfriend John Riccardi. ...

The Dave Matthews Band is staging a charity concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on September 12. Tickets are free, but the band is asking its fans to make a donation between $25 and $100 for each ticket. Proceeds will go to the Taylor Family Foundation for the 2004 Golden Gate Works Fund, which benefits Bay Area community charities focusing on homelessness, pediatric AIDS and other terminal childhood diseases; park improvement; and various music-education resources. ... Former Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee has lined up another movie role, and this time his pants are expected to stay on. Lee is scheduled to appear in "10th and Wolf," a mafia flick starring Val Kilmer and Freddie Prinze Jr. that's expected to begin shooting in Pittsburgh in September. ...

Though Lollapalooza is no more this year, PJ Harvey is still planning to hit the road. She's got a handful of summer dates on the West Coast already booked, including Solana Beach, California, on August 13, Los Angeles on August 15-17, San Francisco on August 19 and Santa Cruz, California, on August 20. Harvey also plans to headline a tour this fall. ... The attorney general of Illinois has sued the company that owns Kool cigarettes, claiming that its ad campaign for "Kool Mixx 2004," a coast-to-coast DJ competition, targets children by including hip-hop imagery. Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a suit against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation on Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, alleging that the campaign violates a 1998 agreement between states and cigarette companies, according to Reuters. Madigan is seeking a ban on the company's hip-hop products that are part of its campaign and plans to seek a court order forcing the company to run ads that warn young people about the dangers of tobacco use. She is also seeking more than $11.7 million in penalties and costs to the state. The company was sued by the state of Maryland earlier this month. ...

New England metalcore band Killswitch Engage didn't trust just one acclaimed director to create the video for their new single, "The End of Heartache." Last week, the band shot the clip in Los Angeles with both Marc Klasfeld and Vem & Tony. The video is in postproduction and should be finished by August 7. ... The Polyphonic Spree are covering John Lennon's "Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)" and Death Cab for Cutie are doing U2's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" for Maybe This Christmas Tree, the third installment of the Maybe This Christmas series, benefiting Toys for Tots. The Raveonettes ("The Christmas Song"), Lisa Loeb ("Jingle Bells") and Jars of Clay ("Christmas for Cowboys") are also on the album, due October 5. ...

All they are saying is "Give Peace a Dance." Earthdance: The Global Dance Festival for Peace is hitting the road for its United Beats of Peace Tour. The 20-date trek launches on August 20 in San Francisco and culminates in the eighth annual Earthdance global gathering on September 18. The 24-hour celebration is the world's largest synchronized music and dance event, bringing together people from more than 120 cities and 50 countries. The tour will feature electronic/trance musician and composer BT, DJ Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, Groove Armada's Tom Findlay and Particle, among others. ... No strangers to taking a political stance, R.E.M. are planning on issuing their next album in advance of Election Day. Among the tunes slated for the band's October follow-up to 2001's Reveal are "Final Straw," penned in advance of the Iraq war, and "I'm Gonna DJ," inspired by the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle. ...

7.20.04

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. ...