Sound Check: STP, Gang Starr

CN'T STP: Rock and rollers Stone Temple Pilots will release Shangri-La Dee Da, the follow up to 1999's No. 4, on June 26 through Atlantic Records. The single LP (there had been talk of a double album) was recorded in a Malibu, Calif., villa with producer Brendan O'Brien.

NEW CLIP: New York hip-hop duo Gang Starr has returned to the studio to begin recording a follow-up to 1998's Moment of Truth. The set, expected early next year, may include guest appearances from Virgin Records artists D'Angelo and Aaliyah, according to Billboard.

CENTER STAGE: Former Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro will make his solo debut on June 19, with the release of Trust No One on Capitol Records. He is joined on the album by producers Jon Brion and Matt Chamberlin.

SOUTHERN MEN: Atlanta rap act Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz make their views of the Confederate flag controversy clear on the cover of their upcoming album, Put Yo Hood Up. The cover photo will show the group members standing in front of, and surrounded by, Confederate flags that have been set on fire. Numerous states in the South, including Mississippi and South Carolina, have debated recently about the continuing presence of the symbol within the states' flags.

KNOCKOUT: Jack Johnson, the all-star rock act fronted by rapper Mos Def, is nearing completion of its first album, for Rawkus Records, tentatively titled Black Bastard. The band includes Bad Brains guitarist Dr. Know, Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell, and Living Colour members Doug Wimbish and Will Calhoun. The album's expected out this fall.

STRUMMING AGAIN: Former Clash singer Joe Strummer, who released only one album in more than 10 years after the Clash broke up, is back in the groove again. He has recorded a relatively quick follow-up to 1999's Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, and will release it July 24 through Hellcat Records. As with the last album, he is working with his band, The Mescaleros.

SHARED BUSINESS: Bad Azz's second album, Personal Business, is due to arrive in stores July 17. MTV reports that the follow-up to 1998's Word on tha Streets was repeatedly pushed back, to allow Snoop Dogg to make a guest appearance. Snoop is featured on four songs on the final product.

HEAVY TRIO: Metallica entered a recording studio as a trio this week, according to a posting on the band's Web site. The band has not yet decided whether it will replace ousted bassist Jason Newsted, but in the meantime the remaining members are working on the studio follow-up to 1998's Garage Inc. without a bassist.

RAP EXPRESSIONISM: Ras Kass is finishing work on Van Gogh, his follow up 1998's Resassination. The disc, due in August, will feature collaborations with Method Man & Redman, Carl Thomas, and the Eastsidaz. Busybody Ras is also working with Xzibit on Golden State Project, who will release a debut album early next year.

QUICK HITS: Indie rocker Liz Phair will soon enter a studio to begin work on her fourth album, and first since 1998's Whitechocolatespaceegg. Sugar Ray is set to release a self-titled album on June 12, with "When It's Gone" as the first single. Indigo Girls fans needn't worry about Amy Ray's solo album being the end of the folk-rock duo —l Ray is set to enter a studio with Emily Saliers this September, following several late summer performances together.

For a comprehensive list of CDs due in the next few weeks, check Wall of Sound's Release Dates.

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