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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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Sir Paul McCartney Underwent Heart Procedure

Russell Hall
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01.03.2008

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London's Daily Mirror and other sources are reporting that Sir Paul McCartney underwent "routine" heart surgery this past fall. The 65-year-old McCartney had complained of not feeling well and had sought out a specialist at a London clinic. Tests apparently determined that a coronary angioplasty—a surgical procedure that unclogs arteries—was advised. A coronary angioplasty is performed by inserting a thin tube into the blood vessels in the groin and threading the tube up to the aorta, where a small attached balloon is then inflated. The balloon flattens fatty deposits that are causing a blockage, thereby allowing blood to flow more freely. Oftentimes a wire-mesh tube called a stent is put in place as well, to support the walls of the vessel.
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Boston Blues Elder Statesman “Weepin” Willie Robinson Dies

Russell Hall
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01.03.2008

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“Weepin” Willie Robinson, a blues artist who many considered the elder statesman of Boston blues, died in a residential care facility in the city’s Jamaican Plain neighborhood on Monday. The likely cause of death was smoke inhalation from a fire sparked by Robinson’s own cigarette. The singer was 81. Robinson led a checkered life marked by towering highs and challenging lows. Born in Atlanta in 1926, he picked cotton and fruit along the East Coast throughout his childhood. In the ’40s he spent time in the Army, and eventually ended up in Trenton, New Jersey, where he secured work as an emcee and doorman at local clubs. In that capacity he met B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and other blues luminaries, and eventually sang with King’s 21-piece orchestra.
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MC Hammer Launches Social Networking, Dancing Website

Ellen Mallernee
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01.02.2008

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MC Hammer, the rapper behind 1990's "U Can't Touch This" and a particularly billowly style of pants, told the Associated Press on Sunday that he's launching a networking site called DanceJam.com, on which users can post their own dance videos. Similar to YouTube, the site will debut in mid-January in the hopes of becoming the go-to destination for dance videos and in bailing Hammer out of bankruptcy, which he was forced to file in 1996, after squandering his $30 million fortune.—Ellen Mallernee
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Pitchfork's 20 Worst Album Covers of the Year

Ellen Mallernee
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12.31.2007

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Pitchfork has issued its list of the 20 Worst Album Covers of the Year, a worthy record of all the painfully dweeby album artwork to emerge in '07. In the most ironic reversal of fortune, Ani Difranco retrospective Canon made Pitchfork's list, just two years after her album Evolve recieved a Grammy nod for Best Album Packaging. If you dig Pitchfork's list, check out Gigwise.com's list earlier this year that featured the 50 Worst Album Covers in the World. —Ellen Mallernee
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Time's 10 Best Songs of the Year

Ellen Mallernee
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12.31.2007

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In a flurry of fascinating, year-end Top 10 lists, Time.com has released its Top 10 songs of 2007, including singles from Amy Winehouse, Feist, Radiohead, and more. Click here to see what surprises also made the list.
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