Rock Beat: Dead Kennedys, Smashmouth, Busta Rhymes ...

Jury deliberation begins in trial pitting Jello Biafra against his ex-bandmates.

Jury deliberation began Wednesday (May 17) in the trial of Dead Kennedys vs. Jello Biafra. Former Dead Kennedys members East Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride and D.H. Peligro accuse ex-frontman Biafra of mismanaging the punk band's back catalog. Biafra is countersuing Ray, alleging fraud and mismanagement of the group's business partnership. ... "Phish: Bittersweet Motel," a feature-length film that chronicles the band over a two-year period, will be distributed to theaters this summer. The movie won a Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. ...

Former Jesus and Mary Chain singer Jim Reid will unveil his new band, Free Heat, at the Digital Club Festival on July 24–25 in New York. The shows will be webcast live. Free Heat, which also features bassist Romi Mori, drummer Nick Sanderson and Mary Chain guitarist Ben Lurie, will play dates in London prior to their Stateside debut. ... Smash Mouth are envisioning "a lot more fun California music, but a little harder" for their follow-up to last year's Astro Lounge, according to guitarist Greg Camp. The band will begin recording the album in Big Sur, Calif., this summer, with an eye toward a November release. ... Rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers, Filter and Fuel and electronica guru Moby will play the daylong Rolling Rock Town Fair music festival Aug. 5 in Latrobe, Pa. The event at Westmoreland Fairgrounds will also will feature rockers Our Lady Peace and Marcy Playground. ...

Busta Rhymes recorded a version of "Iron Man," and Godsmack will cover "Sweet Leaf" on the upcoming Black Sabbath tribute, Nativity in Black II, due June 6. Also contributing songs will be Static-X, Soulfly, Pantera and Primus with Ozzy Osbourne. ... German scientists recently announced results of a study in which users of the drug ecstasy performed worse than both nonusers and marijuana-smokers in tests of memory and general intelligence, Reuters reported. The test group reportedly used the drug, which is popular among ravers and concert-goers, an average of three and a half times a month for about two years. ... Concert giant SFX Entertainment announced that it settled a shareholder lawsuit concerning the company's planned merger with Clear Channel Communications. The deal, expected to go through this fall, would team the largest U.S. concert promoter with its largest radio station conglomerate. ...

Latin metal band Soulfly, recently added to the Tattoo the Earth tour, will be pulling out to do another gig — headlining the second stage at this summer's Ozzfest. They will replace industrial-rockers Ministry, who pulled out of the festival, which begins July 2. ... The 20th annual International Beatle Week festival will be held Aug. 24–29 in Liverpool, England, the legendary band's hometown. More than 30 international bands will perform, including the Quarrymen, who once played with John Lennon, and the Run Devils, a group made up of leaders of various Beatles cover bands. ...

Arty rockers Devo will perform on Wednesday (May 17) at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, the day after the release of their two-CD anthology, Pioneers Who Got Scalped. The show also kicks off the fourth annual Rhino Musical Aptitude Test, a music-trivia competition offered at Tower Records in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Nashville and Philadelphia, as well as on Rhino's Web site (www.rhino.com). ... Beck has remixed David Bowie's "Seven," which first appeared on last fall's hours..., and Beck's interpretation of the song will appear as a B-side when the single hits stores June 23. ...

The BBC will present the Music Live Festival from May 25–29 both on UK airwaves and in live performances. The event will feature live broadcast concerts from Elton John, Tony Bennett, Bush, Moby and others, finishing with the broadcast of a specially prepared version of Lou Reed's 1972 song "A Perfect Day" for a nationwide sing-along. ... Hard-rockers Kittie will offer a live version of their song "Spit" (RealAudio excerpt) through participating Liquid Audio affiliates. The song, available in multiple formats, was recorded in February at Kitt's Corner in Madison, Wis. Participating retail Web sites offering the song include twec.com, HMV and J&R Music World. ... Rockers Sunny Day Real Estate will kick off a summer tour June 20 in Seattle, the same day their new album, The Rising Tide, will hit stores.

— sonicnet.com staff report