Snoop has settled on a title for his upcoming album, which is being released as a joint venture between Snoop's Doggy Style Records and the Neptunes' Star Trak label. R&G: (Rhythm & Gangsta) The Masterpiece is due November 16. ...

Mary J. Blige is in discussions to appear in her first Broadway musical, "Brooklyn," which will open in October. The singer recently performed in the off-Broadway play "The Exonerated." Blige is also looking into recording a song from "Brooklyn" for her next album. ... New Found Glory, in conjunction with Guitar Center, are offering fans the opportunity to see the band live in New York. One grand-prize winner will receive a trip for two to the Big Apple to attend a New Found Glory show, $500 in spending money, a New Found Glory merchandise pack, and a Fender Stratocaster guitar signed by the band. Interested fans should visit www.newfoundglory.com for more information. ...

The Axis of Justice, created by Audioslave's Tom Morello and System of a Down's Serj Tankian, is gearing up to right political wrongs at a July 17 concert at the Avalon in Los Angeles. The lineup will also include Jurassic 5 and Pete Yorn. ... They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh has collected tracks by R.E.M., Blink-182, Fountains of Wayne, Elliott Smith and the Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am. for a benefit compilation due August 10. Proceeds from the sale of the album will go to political activist groups, such as MoveOn.org, Music for America and others. ...

It's going to be a busy summer for Killswitch Engage. The band has just announced that it will play the Jägermeister fall tour along with Slayer. The trek begins October 13 and runs through the end of November. Additionally, Killswitch will play the Aggressive Music Festival on July 18 in Glens Falls, New York; headline Hellfest on July 24 in Elizabeth, New Jersey; and headline their own tour from August 13 through September 25 with special guests From Autumn to Ashes. Eighteen Visions and 36 Crazyfists will open. ... New York hipsters the Walkmen have been tapped to open for Modest Mouse on tour this summer. The trek, conceived in the wake of the cancellation of Lollapalooza, will begin July 16 in Chico, California. ...

Raven is eyeing a song called "Back Flip" to be the first single from her new album, due in the fall. "You have to do cartwheels and backflips to get to my heart," she explained. "You can't just sit there and expect me to do everything." ... Rah Digga said label issues have caused the delay of her long-awaited second album, Everything Is a Story, but she's confident it will be released before year's end. Making the best of the situation, Digga is returning to the studio with the Youngbloodz to add to an album already featuring Lloyd Banks, Fabolous, Snoop Dogg and others. "I have a lot of stuff out as leak joints," she added. "I have songs out on the street with Mary [J. Blige] and Lil' Kim." ...

Carl Thomas shot a video this week for his Just Blaze-produced "My First Love," the latest single from his second album, Let's Talk About It. "I'm talking about the woman I'm with at the time, [and how] she just reminds me of my first love," Thomas explained. ... MC Lyte has recorded a song with Xzibit for her next album, due in September. She also recently collaborated with Boyz II Men for a song on their upcoming covers album. ...

A musical featuring the music of the Ramones will hit the stage in Perth, Australia, in August, according to Playbill. In the frenetic spirit of the Ramones themselves, "Gabba Gabba Hey" packs 18 songs into a 70-minute show, and finds time to add a "touching love story" to the mix. Tommy Ramone will serve as the musical director. "Gabba Gabba Hey" is slated to run for four days at Perth's Monkey Bar; producer Michael Herrmann hopes to bring the show to the U.S. at some point. ... Paul Westerberg is prepping his next solo album, Folker, due out on Vagrant in September. The former Replacements frontman recorded and produced the record in his Minneapolis basement studio and plays every instrument on the disc. ... "First of the Gang to Die" will be the second single from Morrissey's You Are the Quarry. The track, due July 13, will be available as a CD single, along with three new B-sides. ...

7.01.04

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. ...