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Coldplay to Bolt EMI?

Jerry McCulley
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01.08.2008

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Already reeling from agonizing contractual fights with Radiohead and Paul McCartney, music giant EMI is reportedly on the verge of losing yet another major act, Coldplay. An unnamed source close to the band told the Daily Star that the band has decided “they don’t necessarily need a label anymore” and were considering following a course of action similar to Radiohead’s to free themselves from the veteran music giant. Such a move would herald further troubles for the traditional record industry in general and EMI in particular, who previously saw its share prices decline sharply when Coldplay delayed release of its third album, X&Y. —Jerry McCulley
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U.K. Town Threatens to Ban ‘Gangsta Rap’

Jerry McCulley
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01.08.2008

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The British town of Reading is threatening what few municipalities have ever seriously contemplated: banning certain genres of music outright. In the wake of a nightclub brawl that resulted in serious injuries to patrons and police alike, police inspector John Relph said that if his investigation found that hip-hop music attracts “the hardcore minority of thugs,” he would pursue banning it in his jurisdiction.
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Rolling Stone's Craziest Rock Photographs

Ellen Mallernee
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01.07.2008

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Star Jones and Lil Jon party it up. Alicia Keys and Lou Reed hang courtside. Meatloaf makes out. Pete Doherty serenades Kate Moss, who hangs nonchalantly out of a window. Come to think of it, Pete Doherty is in most of Rolling Stone's collection of Craziest Rock Photos, as are fellow newsmakers Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse. —Ellen Mallernee
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The Kinks Next On Reunion Bandwagon?

Aidin Vaziri
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01.04.2008

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When Pete Townshend asks for a favor, you don't say no. At least when you’re the Kinks, the long estranged British rock band responsible for classic rock hits like "You Really Got Me" and "Waterloo Sunset." When inducting the group into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2005, the Who guitarist merely suggested that the group fronted by battling brothers Ray and Dave Davies get back together, and it seems like they're ready to comply. This week Ray announced that the original members of the band—which also include drummer Mick Avory and bassist Pete Quaife—will most likely play together this year for the first time since 1969. Of course, his brother might need a little more convincing. In November he dismissed the idea of a reunion: "It would be like a poor remake of Night of the Living Dead." The band has toured with a variety of lineups as recently as 1996, but this would mark the first time the founders joined each other on-stage in nearly four decades, in time to mark the release of a Kinks box-set called Retrospective.?Aidin Vaziri
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McCartney to Duet with Ozzy

Jerry McCulley
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01.04.2008

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Paul McCartney’s newly repaired heart will get a serious test at the 2008 Brit Awards, where the 65-year-old formerly Fab one is scheduled to perform a duet of his 1972 James Bond theme “Live and Let Die” with Metal’s favorite 59-year-old madman, Ozzy Osbourne. McCartney will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award at the show, which concludes with the oddball rock legend pairing. The idea was Sharon Osbourne’s, who told the Sun newspaper that the two veteran rock legends “go together really well. It will be amazing.” Ozzy is perhaps McCartney’s most unlikely devotee, having previously named Memory Almost Full his favorite album of 2007. “McCartney’s a genius,” enthuses the Ozster. “The Beatles were the greatest band ever.” Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne will host the televised event February 20. —Jerry McCulley
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Grohl to Replace Bonham on Future Zeppelin Gigs, If and When?

Jerry McCulley
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01.04.2008

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Nearly a month after Led Zeppelin’s triumphant reunion gig at London’s O2 Arena, rumors continue to swirl about the future of the legendary band. Gigwise.com now reports that Foo Fighters mainstay Dave Grohl may replace Jason Bonham on the drum throne for future Led Zeppelin shows. Grohl has reportedly lobbied hard for the job and, according to a source at the Daily Star, was a serious contender to do the recent London show as well. “He was in the running to take over from John Bonham a few years ago,” said the unidentified insider, “and he’s still gagging to get on stage with the Zep. While he loves playing with Foo Fighters, Dave would drop anything to be part of Zep’s shows.” And despite previous conflicting reports and denials, Britain’s Mirror continues to stand by its story that Zep will headline Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Festival in June, and possibly embark on a full-blown tour. “This is the news that will drive their fans absolutely wild,” said the paper’s unidentified source. “They have been bombarding their website to get back together for good but only Robert Plant wasn’t keen to commit. Now he’s had a change of heart..and they are also talking about touring.” —Jerry McCulley
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Deluxe Version of Beck’s Odelay On The Way

Aidin Vaziri
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01.04.2008

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On January 29, Geffen/UMe will release a two-disc expanded edition of Beck's 1996 genre-busting classic Odelay, featuring new artwork and a second disc that includes 19 tracks that weren't included on the original album. The extensive bonus material includes remixes by the likes of Aphex Twin and UNKLE; an avalanche of b-sides such as "Electric Music and the Summer People," "Strange Invitation," and "000.000"; plus "Burro," the Spanish-language version of "Jackass." Of course, nothing can top the material on the original disc, which includes alternative rock radio staples like "Where It's At" and "Devil's Haircut." Beck is also up for a Best Rock Vocal Grammy this year for his one-off digital single, "Timebomb." ?Aidin Vaziri
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Jessica Simpson Goes A Little Bit Country

Aidin Vaziri
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01.04.2008

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Jessica Simpson may be a household name thanks to her romantic trysts with John Mayer and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, but so far Jessica Simpson’s record sales haven’t quite measured up to her tabloid appearances. So the Dukes of Hazard star recently relocated temporarily to Nashville, Tennessee and began work on her first country album, which is set for release sometime this year. “I am a country girl,” she told Billboard. “I grew up in Texas, and country music was what I listened to. I always wanted to make a country album, but I wanted to wait until the time was right.” Already a longtime friend of Willie Nelson, Simpson's rubbed elbows with country heavyweights like Alison Krauss during her stay in Nashville. Can we expect some guest appearances on the record? ?Aidin Vaziri
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Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo Generates Strong Sales, Glowing Reviews for Alone

Jerry McCulley
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01.04.2008

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Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, a collection of 18 previously unreleased home recordings and demos by Weezer mainstay Rivers Cuomo, debuted at 163 on the Billboard charts, then topped the magazine’s January 5 Top Heatseekers chart. The collection, which includes demo versions of Weezer classics like “Buddy Holly” as well as number of previously unreleased songs, has also generated more positive critical response than the last few albums by Cuomo’s pioneering indie band. Rivers and Geffen records have also made the tracks “Longtime Sunshine,” “Blast Off” and “Superfriend” available for on-line preview. Cuomo says he hopes to make more of his home recordings available in the future. —Jerry McCulley
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R.E.M. to Ratchet Up Guitars On Forthcoming Album

Russell Hall
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01.03.2008

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Billboard and other sources are reporting that R.E.M. have ratcheted up the guitars for their forthcoming new album. Titled Accelerate, and due for release in April, the album promises to mark a severe turn from the somnolent textures that comprised the bulk of 2004's Around The Sun. "It's not like we're going to pretend these are ballads," longtime R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs told Billboard. "There are rockers." R.E.M. has struggled to find firm footingand capture their original energy—ever since drummer Bill Berry left the group a decade ago.
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