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Radiohead and Robert Plant Face Off in Race for Mercury Prize

Aidin Vaziri
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07.23.2008

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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will take on the likes of Radiohead, British Sea Power, and teen British singer-songwriter Adele in the competition for the 2008 Nationwide Mercury Prize. The 12 nominees in the race, created in the early ’90s to recognize exceptional British and Irish albums, were announced Tuesday morning in London.
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Paul Westerberg Records Album on Monday, Sells It on Amazon for 49 Cents on Sunday

Ellen Mallernee
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07.22.2008

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Since injuring one of his hands in a 2006 incident that involved candle wax and a screwdriver, 49-year-old former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg has moseyed into the spotlight only once—at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame event in his honor. But Westerberg has been “writing and recording at a furious pace,” says his manager, and he made a bold move on Monday by releasing his new album 49:00 … Of Your Time/Life out of nowhere, and selling it on Amazon for 49 cents. (To obtain that rate, follow the link to Amazon from Westerberg’s Web site, Man Without Ties.)
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Watch This! Fergie and Slash Play 'Sweet Child O’ Mine'

Aidin Vaziri
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07.22.2008

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We realize not everyone is going to want to see this, but we have to admit that Fergie pulled off a pretty sweet Axl Rose impersonation over the weekend when Slash joined her on-stage in Coast Mesa, California. In the clip below, the Black Eyed Peas singer introduces the top-hatted Velvet Revolver/Guns N’ Roses guitarist in her own inimitable fashion by proclaiming in a faux British accent, “You guys like f***ing rock and roll, eh?” Things improve from there. In fact, they go so well that the pair also pulls off a killer take on Heart’s “Barracuda.” (The fan commentary is truly priceless).
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Devendra Banhart's New Music Video Stars Girlfriend Natalie Portman

Ellen Mallernee
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07.22.2008

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Last September, folk freak singer Devendra Banhart dropped his album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. This past April, he was seen stepping out with brainy movie star Natalie Portman. Both momentous events in Banhart's life—as Smokey is a gorgeous achievement, and Portman is doubtless gorgeous herself. Banhart seems to celebrate the confluence of good fortune in his new music video, "Carmencita." The Bollywood-esque video stars his famous new girlriend as a princess who must be saved by her beau's rebellious beard. Enjoy!
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Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens Wins Libel Damages

Ellen Mallernee
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07.22.2008

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On Friday, folk singer Yusuf Islam?who changed his name from Cat Stevens after becoming a Muslim in the ’70s?accepted an undisclosed amount of libel damages and an apology from World Entertainment News Network. Last year the news agency falsely reported and disseminated a story saying that Islam had refused to speak to women not wearing veils at a 2007 awards show in Berlin.
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Anastasio Sets September Debut for New Orchestral Work

07.18.2008

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Phish frontman Trey Anastasio has scheduled a date in September at the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., to debut a new orchestral work he’s penned with Don Hart, composer-in-residence for Orchestra Nashville. According to published reports, Anastasio and Hart have been working on the piece—titled “Time Turns Elastic”—for more than a year. The work is reported to be an extensive composition for vocals, electric guitar, and orchestra. Anatasio’s own press corps has described it as consisting of “long, orchestral passages intertwined with epic guitar lines and vocals,” and bearing resemblance to such Phish staples as “The Divided Sky” and “Fluffhead.”
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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Welcomes Lucky Visitor No. 7,000,000 with Gibson Les Paul Prize

Ellen Mallernee
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07.18.2008

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This morning the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum welcomed the museum’s 7,000,000 visitor?Barbara Ayres from Warren, Connecticut. Barbara was with her family: husband George and sons Jake (age 15) and Grant (age 13).
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Cleaning Strings Has Never Been This Easy

07.18.2008

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This is one of those ideas that makes you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” A Brooklyn-based company called ToneGear recently introduced a new string-cleaning tool called—appropriately enough—the String Cleaner, which slides between the fingerboard and the strings, then closes to completely incase all six strings. Once closed, you guide the tool up and down the neck several times, cleaning the full length of the strings in the process.
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Green Day Working on New Album With Garbage’s Butch Vig

07.18.2008

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At Last, a Starr on the Walk of Fame

07.18.2008

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Ringo Starr will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, February 8. The legendary former Beatle will join his late bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison at a location in front of the Capitol Records Building. Festivities will include a drum line and speeches from Don Was, Ben Harper and Joe Walsh. Gibson.com is pleased to celebrate the career of this towering figure in the history of rock and roll with streaming video of the ceremony.
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