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Neil Diamond to Have First Ever No. 1 Album?

05.08.2008

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Billboard reports today that first day sales of Neil Diamond’s new album Home Before Dark, out May 7, indicate that the singer is set to have his first-ever No. 1 charting album. By close of business yesterday, May 6, the album had sold 30,000 copies and is estimated to sell approximately 125,000 by week’s end, displacing Madonna’s new Hard Candy for the top spot on the chart.
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Eddy Arnold, 1918 - 2008

05.08.2008

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Venerable country singer Eddy Arnold died early Thursday at an assisted living facility outside of Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 89. Arnold's wife of 66 years, Sally Gayhart Arnold, preceded in him in death just a month and a half earlier. Beloved by many, Arnold sold more than 80 million albums throughout his career, and from 1945 through 1983 he had 145 charted songs, including 28 No. 1 hits. His tremendous success is owed to his rich baritone voice and his sweet love songs, somewhat uncommon in an era of singing cowboys more interested in honky tonk than heartache. A staple at the Grand Ole Opry, Arnold is credited in part for introducing country music to a broader audience. The singer leaves behind an estate estimated to be in excess of $40 million. In 2005, Arnold recorded his 100th album, After All These Years.
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After 10 Year Absence, Portishead Are Back!

Ellen Mallernee
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05.07.2008

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On April 29, English electronic act Portishead released their first studio album in 11 years, Third. That same week they made an exuberant performance at Coachella—chronicled in this article—thanking fans for "waiting." After spending 10 years out of the spotlight and four recording the new album, the band is working at getting its sea legs back. "It was good fun," said Portishead founder Geoff Barrow of the Coachella gig on the band's website, "but I doubt if it looked like we were having any! We were so far away from the crowd it was a bit weird to tell if people connected with us." Portishead have reported that this isn't just another fly-by-night reunion, but a genuine new start with the best intentions. "We feel like we're in the same place, just progressing," Barrow told the Associated Press. "We just want to keep on working. I'm definitely re-energized. I think we all are."
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Free MP3 of the Day: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' "Ah Mary"

David Sprague
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05.07.2008

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Sounding for all the world like some long-lost sister of the Allman Brothers, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have proven that it’s possible to entwine brawn and brain—not to mention spirituality and sensuality—and still come out at the top of the jam band heap. This Is Somewhere, the third full-length from Potter and her rough-and-ready band, offers a more concentrated, higher-octane blend of old-school boogie and slow-simmering soul than they’ve cooked up in bygone days. Grace is the focal point, thanks to both her honeyed vocal rasp and the turns she takes on organ and guitar. When Potter situates herself at the organ on songs like “Ah Mary,” guitarist Scott Tournet seizes the reins and steers the band into territory redolent of vintage Crazy Horse. Ah-mazing.
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Sebastian Bach Talks to Slash About Joining Velvet Revolver, Joins Gone Country Cast

Ellen Mallernee
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05.07.2008

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Amongst news that former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach will join season two of Gone Country, VH1’s ratings goldmine, Bach spoke with a Florida radio DJ yesterday and also admitted that he’s talked to Slash about the possibility of joining Velvet Revolver, which parted ways last month with vocalist Scott Weiland. Bach’s union with Velvet Revolver would be “awkward,” Bach said, explaining he prefers his current solo work to the work of Velvet Revolver and that “it would all depend on music. I wouldn’t just join the band just to join the band. If we came up with some incredible new songs, then maybe I’d think about it.”
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The Police Announce Final Concert

05.06.2008

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During a press conference in Times Square today, the Police announced that their last concert ever will be held in the Big Apple. The date and exact location of the concert were not revealed. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand to accept the Police's pledge to donate $1 million to Bloomberg's MillionTreesNYC initiative, which aims to see one million trees planted across the city by 2017. "We kicked off our very first American tour at CBGB's in 1978 and this summer, 30 years later, our journey will come full circle as we play our final show here in New York City," Sting said.
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YouTube Video of the Week: Cigar Box Guitar!

05.06.2008

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YouTube Video of the Week: Cigar Box Guitar!
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Free MP3 of the Day: Jessie Baylin's "Was I On Your Mind"

Ellen Mallernee
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05.05.2008

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Singer Jessie Baylin is longtime BFF to Scarlett Johansson—who makes no bones about standing front-and-center to support her gal pal when she's giggin' in Tinsel Town—and the source of some well-documented inter-band controversy after becoming engaged to Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill. But neither of these associations are at all necessary to make Baylin the belle of the music industry's ball; that she's capable of all on her own. With a hand from Grammy winner Jessie Harris and Whiskeytown's Mike Daly, the blonde bombshell writes love songs with a bite and delivers each of them with a voice that's steeped in twang (a byproduct of her recent relocation to Nashville?) and soulful enough to stand up to Rumours-era Stevie Nicks.
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Must See: Tom Waits Holds "Press Conference" to Announce Tour

05.05.2008

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Thanks to Sonicboomers.com, we’ve learned that Tom Waits has held a “press conference” to announce his new tour. Repeat after Tom: “Pehdtsckjmba.”
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Luthier to the Stars Profiled by New York Times

05.05.2008

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Check out the New York Times' cool profile of Cristian Mirabella, a lifelong luthier out of Long Island who has worked on guitars for Pete Townshend, Brian Setzer, and Keith Richards and builds his own line of high-end archtops.
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