For The Record: Quick News On Paula Abdul, Matisyahu, Tool, Slum Village, Ben Folds & More

'Idol' judge involved in airport-security breach; Matisyahu planning in-store; Tool announce LP title.

Federal Transportation Safety Administration officials are investigating a breach of security at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport on Thursday involving Paula Abdul and a companion, according to The Associated Press. Southwest Airlines was alerted to the breach while the “American Idol” judge’s 12:20 p.m. flight was in the air and then screened all passengers and baggage once the plane landed in Burbank, California. A McCarran spokesperson told the AP that someone not employed by Southwest Airlines, the TSA or the Department of Aviation, led Abdul past the mandatory checkpoint. …

Four “American Idol” hopefuls were sent packing Thursday night, narrowing the field for the show’s fifth season to 16. Brenna Gethers, Heather Cox, David Radford and Jose “Sway” Penala scored the fewest votes in the second round of “Idol” eliminations determined by the viewers. Host Ryan Seacrest revealed that more than 42 million votes were cast this week. …Tool have titled their upcoming album 10,000 Days, according to the band’s spokesperson. The record is due around their Coachella performance on April 30. …

Matisyahu will descend upon Tower Records in Northridge, California, for a live performance two days after the release of his new album. Youth hits stores March 7, and customers who purchase the Hasidic rapper’s disc at Tower in Northridge will receive a wristband for the gig and signing two days later. The show will be staged in the Tower Records parking lot, and the first few hundred people who buy Youth beforehand will be able to stand in front of the stage. … Thursday night, fresh off their European tour, Detroit’s Slum Village gave an intimate performance at Club Twenty Twenty in Santa Monica, California. During the show the group — which dropped its self-titled album last year — paid tribute to recently deceased friend and hip-hop producer Jay Dee. …

Former Jackson 5 drummer Johnny Jackson was found dead at his home in Gary, Indiana, on Wednesday night, according to The Associated Press. The 54-year-old was found stabbed in the chest not long after a neighbor complained of a disturbance between Jackson and a woman on the first floor of his complex. The unidentified woman has yet to come forward, and no murder weapon was found at the scene. Police are currently treating the case as a homicide and an investigation is still taking place, according to the AP. Johnny Jackson, who grew up near the Jackson family home, joined the superstar pop group — which included a young Michael Jackson — in 1967, replacing original drummer Milford Hite. Reports have varied over the years as to whether or not Johnny was directly related to the Jackson clan. …

When is a band sticker on a bicycle more than it seems? When police think it’s an act of terrorism. Officials at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, shut down four buildings and called out the bomb squad on Thursday when they spotted a bike with sticker that said “this bike is a pipe bomb.” According to the AP, it turns out the sticker was a promo for a punk band of the same name, but police didn’t find that out until they blocked off streets for blocks around the Oasis restaurant near campus and called in the bomb squad from 65 miles away. The bomb experts hit the bike with a high-pressure hose and tore it apart with a Jaws of Life device before finding out that it was the name of a Pensacola, Florida, band on Plan-It-X Records. The bike’s owner was interviewed by cops and released without charge. … The U.S. Justice Department said Thursday that it had opened an investigation into alleged price-fixing in the sale of digital downloads, according to the AP. The inquiry is almost identical to the one launched in December by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, according to two music industry executives. The Justice Department would not name the companies it has targeted. …

Ted Nugent, Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Sebastian Bach, Biohazard’s Evan Seinfeld and Jason Bonham, the son of late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, will be the stars of VH1’s forthcoming series “SuperGroup.” Set to start airing May 18, the program will team these five rockers up, presenting them with a chance to form the “heaviest ’SuperGroup.’ ” The audience will watch as either history — or just mistakes — are made. The series follows the rockers over a two-week period in Las Vegas; rock manager Doc McGhee will guide the guys through the process. The entire experiment will culminate with a massive concert in Sin City. … Lamb of God will hit a Richmond, Virginia, recording studio on March 13 to begin pre-production on the as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2004’s Ashes of the Wake. The metallers have once again called on producer Machine (White Zombie, Bloodsimple) to helm the LP. A late August release date has been tentatively set. … Ben Folds will launch a 22-date tour in Seattle on Saturday — one that will keep him busy through late April. The trek will hit several college campuses along the way, and wind down in Knoxville, Tennessee, on April 28.

03.02.2006

Paris Hilton has been ordered to appear in Los Angeles Superior Court on September 18 at 9:30 a.m. for the first date of her trial against actress/model Zeta Graff, who filed a $10 million defamation suit against Hilton last year. Graff, who also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Hilton’s former squeeze Paris Latsis, is suing the heiress for allegedly planting gossip about her in the tabloids, including one “Page Six” item in the New York Post that claimed Graff attacked Hilton at a club when she was with Latsis. Set for September 11 is a final status hearing during which the judge will discuss the case with both sets of attorneys and make any additional orders before the trial kicks off the following week. …

If you missed the deadline for thinkMTV’s Storm Corps, you may have another chance to spend your spring break helping those in the Gulf Coast region. Rapper/actor/activist Mos Def is one of the hip-hop leaders supporting Katrina on the Ground, an alternative spring-break initiative to lend a hand to the lives and homes devastated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Starting Sunday, students will make the trek to the Gulf’s hardest-hit areas of Mobile, Alabama; Biloxi, Mississippi; and New Orleans to help rebuild communities and provide legal assistance and financial advice. While the deadline has passed for the weeklong outing that starts Sunday, there is still time to apply for the remaining three weeks in March. Check out KatrinaOnTheGround.com for more information. …

Franz Ferdinand will issue a five-track “single” for “The Fallen” on March 27 in the U.K. — meaning staunch Franz fans in the U.S. will need to look for a copy in the imports section of their neighborhood record store. The single will feature the new tracks “Lauren Wells,” “Brown Onions,” “Jeremy Fraser” and the “Ruined by Justice” remix of “The Fallen.” … On the subject of overseas ventures, Staind will perform a series of live shows in Germany for U.S. military personnel returning from combat duty in the Persian Gulf. The first show is scheduled for Friday at the U.S. Army Garrison, Mannheim, followed by performances March 16 at the U.S. Army Garrison, Franconia; and March 17 at the U.S. Army Garrison, Baumholder. The band, on tour in Europe, will return to the States in mid-April for the Jägermeister Music Tour. …

Depeche Mode’s “Suffer Well” (from last year’s Playing the Angel) has been translated into Simlish, the native language of virtual gaming community the Sims. The track can be heard on the “The Sims 2 Open for Business” game-expansion pack. … Stereolab have launched a brief U.S. tour that’ll keep them busy through the rest of this month. Hot Chip, Espers, and Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt of the Sea and Cake will open various legs of the trek. The band performs in San Francisco Thursday (March 2), and dates run through March 29 in San Diego. … Mogwai have kicked off a brief U.S. tour that hits Columbus, Ohio, Thursday. The jaunt will expire March 15 in Austin, Texas, where the band will perform as part of this year’s South by Southwest music conference. … Also hitting SxSW is Sia, who caused a smash with her song “Breathe Me” on the “Six Feet Under” season finale and soundtrack. The Aussie native will kick off a tour in Austin on March 18 in support of her recent album Colour the Small One, hitting Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and New York through April. … British rockers Gomez will play at SxSW as well, in anticipation of their next album, How We Operate. The band’s three singers will also play acoustic shows in Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York to hype up the new, Gil Norton (Pixies, Foo Fighters)-produced record, which comes out May 2. …

British rapper Mike Skinner, a.k.a. the Streets, has set an April 25 release date for his third album, The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living. The album has been described as an autobiographical account of Skinner’s last few years. … Rammstein already have three videos crafted for their new album Rosenrot, due March 28. While Jonas Akerlund (Blink-182, Madonna) directed the clip for the first single “Mann Gegen Mann,” the band also banked footage for the video for the title track and for “Benzin” (which was recently remixed by Beastie Boy Ad-Rock). The video for “Rosenrot” promises to be disturbing, involving burning at the stake and authentic scourging and flagellation, sans stuntmen (not surprisingly, it’s already been banned from daytime play in Germany). … Alkaline Trio will kick off their Occult Roots of Alkaline Trio: Early Songs for Eerie People Tour on March 30 in Sparks, Nevada. The band’s set list for the trek will include material from the Trio’s entire catalog, with some tracks being performed acoustically. Dates run through April 15 in Sayreville, New Jersey. Against Me! have been tapped as the tour openers. … Massive Attack’s Collected, due April 4, will feature some previously unreleased material alongside the pioneering electronic-music group’s best tunes. A greatest-hits DVD will also be included, with Jonathan Glazer’s just-completed clip for new single “Live With Me” as a bonus.