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Top 5 stories for second half this week

Thugs Abduct NFL Star
antiMusic reports: Not music related but we know a lot of sports fans read this site and this is a pretty big story, so here it is. TMZ reports: Just moments after getting oral surgery to fix his busted face, NFL star Javon Walker blew the lid off his mysterious beatdown -- claiming he was abducted out of his Las Vegas hotel room by gun-toting thugs early Monday morning.

In an exclusive statement to TheDirty.com Walker said, "I was just back at my room and at about 5:30 in the morning, I got a knock at the door, I opened it and 3 guys with guns were there, they cracked me in the head a few times knocking me unconscious.

"They then robbed me of everything I had -- my watch, money -- everything! Somehow they got me to the car and dropped me off in the street. That's what happened."
- more on this story

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GNR Leak Plugged (updated)
antiMusic reports: On Wednesday, a website streamed what they reported as nine "finished" tracks from Guns N' Roses allegedly forthcoming album "Chinese Democracy". Which they deemed well worth the wait.

Axl's lawyers quickly sprung into action and the website removed the streams of the tracks but the reaction from the few fans that actually heard the songs was mostly positive with a couple of Naysayers.

We originally published some of the text of the article from that website (which was submitted to us by the author.) However, we got a love letter from Axl's lawyers claiming that reporting about the leak was somehow "broadcasting" his copyrighted material. So much for the First Amendment? Had we linked directly to the files or actually posted them on our servers that would have been one thing, but simply reporting about a leak is another thing entirely. But as a courtesy we did remove that article and we won't mention the site's name. Now release the damn CD already, so we can buy it!

Interestingly enough, Idolator also reported about this leak. What makes that interesting is that they were recently acquired by a company that Axl's label invested in. Wonder if they got a love letter from Axl's lawyers too? -

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Drummer Dies on Tour
Blabbermouth reports: Drummer Traci Michaelz of the long-running Hollywood, California glam band Peppermint Creeps passed away on Friday, June 13 after the group's concert in Ft. Worth, Texas.

He was 34 years old. According to the surviving members of PEPPERMINT CREEPS, "the cause of death is still unknown" and will likely take several weeks to determine. Commented the band: "[We] were with him for two weeks on the road. He was the happiest we have seen him in such a long time. He was doing what he loved the most.

"Let us put to rest any OD rumors. None of us saw anything but alcohol, and yes, he was drinking a lot, but not unusually for Traci. Anyone who knows him, hung out with him or drank with him knew his tolerance was high. - more on this story

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Kid Rock Vs iTunes
BBC reports: US music star Kid Rock is refusing to put his albums on iTunes because he says artists do not get paid enough for downloads from the Apple store.

He said it was based on "an old system, where iTunes takes the money, the record company takes the money, and they don't give it to the artists".

His latest album Rock 'n' Roll Jesus went to number one in the US last year, despite being absent from iTunes. - He had a lot more to say on the subject and says he is losing CD sales because he is sticking to his guns.

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Reason 764,231 Why Tom Waits is One Cool Mofo
antiMusic reports: Even if you don't like his music, you can't help but love Tom Waits. In an age of bland manufactured "rock stars," Tom stands out by the sheer force of his personality. The latest example of this is Tom interviewing himself for The Independent. We're sure many artists wish they could do this at the end of a long day of answering the exact same questions over and over again. But Tom is a man of action so he took the bull by the horns and asked himself the questions he wanted to answer! They cover a wide variety of topics but his introduction to the interview itself is priceless. Here is that:

I must admit, before meeting Tom, I had heard so many rumours and so much gossip that I was afraid. Frankly, his gambling debts, his animal magnetism, coupled with his disregard for the feelings of others... His elaborate gun collection, his mad shopping-sprees, the face-lifts, the ski trips, the drug busts and the hundreds of rooms in his home.

The tax shelters, the public urination... I was nervous to meet the real man himself. Baggage and all. But I found him to be gentle, intelligent, open, bright, helpful, humorous, brave, audacious, loquacious, clean and reverent. A Boy Scout, really (and a giant of a man). Join me now for a rare glimpse into the heart of Tom Waits. Remove your shoes and no smoking, please...# - The full Q & A is here

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Wednesday

Rolling Stone Trash Pete Wentz And Show How Behind The Times They Are
punkbands reports: Rolling Stone has a fairly scathing look at Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy's latest endeavor, his TV show FNMTV. The magazine described the program as "a celebration of awkwardness than the art of lip synching and cheesy acting."

Among the crimes committed by the show are "Wentz's repeated references to his wife and (impending) kid" and a crowd that finds Blink-182 more important than The Who. After all, how could "Baba O'Riley" compare to "What's My Age Again?"

[Isn't the Blink reference a bit outdated? What was that, like 10 years ago? Doubtful that many Blink fans still watch MTV, they've grown up since then. A My Chemical Romance reference would have been more relevant. It kind of kills their argument. Not to defend MTV or Wentz, the sentiments expressed by RS are spot on, but are they really that out of touch with current music to make a relevant-to-today's-MTV-tween-market reference? Will they show Fred Durst half naked on the cover next?] - more on this story

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Winehouse Still Hospitalized
BBC reports: Amy Winehouse's stay in the hospital was extended according to the following from the BBC: Amy Winehouse remains in hospital in London after fainting at home on Monday afternoon, with tests on the singer so far proving "inconclusive".

"She seems to be fine in herself, but they are taking their time to be sure," her spokesman said.

Winehouse had been "doing admin" when she fell ill but "quickly recovered". Her manager's assistant had stopped her falling and Ms Winehouse's father, Mitch, had taken her to hospital "as a precaution", the spokesman added. - more on this story

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Big Success for Lil Wayne, Grab Your Chain Saw and Rock, Free Futurheads Show, Fresh Meat Plans Spoiled, Canada Blacklists Blacklisted, Lollapalooza and More
antiMusic reports: Here are some hump day quicks for you: With "Tha Carter III," Lil Wayne becomes the first artist since 50 Cent in 2005 to sell more than 1 million copies of an album in a single week, according to chart reports that will be issued tomorrow morning (June 18) by Nielsen SoundScan. more

Jesse James Dupree, the chain-saw wielding lead singer from multi-platinum Jackyl, will release Rev It Up and Go-Go on Mighty Loud Records July 15th. The tunes on Rev It Up range from one extreme to the other. The first half of the cd features the intense hard rock you'd expect for the wildman, while the second half is -----kicking country that sounds like a retro radio show. The Dixie Inc band features members of The Kentucky Headhunters, Doubledrive and Blackberry Smoke. wanna taste and more info

Attn: NYC Futureheads fans. The band is playing a Brooklyn Vegan Secret Show at Pianos tonight (Wed) So if you missed buying a ticket to the sold out show at the Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday, you have another chance to see them and it won't cost you a thing. more info

To all of you in Canada expecting to see Blacklisted live this week, sorry, but the band was denied entry into the country on Sunday. Details regarding the denial haven't been disclosed, but according to the group, "We are now banned forever from entering Canada." more

On Tuesday June 24 Los Angeles will be host to the first-ever American appearance of the multimedia London art rock group CIAM at KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. The following night (June 25), CIAM will be performing publicly for the first time at Tangier in Los Feliz. The group seeks to be more than a band, but rather, in the words of founding member Jeff Shapiro, an "art and music movement." CIAMySpace

Eye Alaska re-released their debut EP, Yellow & Elephant, on iTunes Tuesday. The release includes re-recorded tracks plus a bonus song titled, "Cheetah and The Tiger." The re-release coincides with the much anticipated nationwide release of Yellow & Elephant in retail stores July 22, 2008.

One of our old writer's once joked that all you needed to be a rapper was a drum machine and the ability to cuss to the beat. Looks like all you need now is a cell phone. Check it: Ludacris has teamed up with Disney- backed company VoodooVox create a "mobile recording studio" for WeMix users. The partnership allows members to use any phone as a microphone, and lay down original vocals, tracks, and beats and instantly broadcast original content recordings worldwide. Any user can call in from any phone and record their demo for all to hear.

Metal Blade's Fresh Meat Tour which was to feature Rose Funeral, Epicurean, The Destro and The Absence has been cancelled. more

Documents unsealed from the R. Kelly child pornography trial include claims from the prosecution's star witness that an employee of the R&B star threatened her. more

Beck and the Black Crowes will headline the annual San Diego Street Scene festival, scheduled for September 19-20. more info

Lollapalooza has revealed its daily schedule. The three-day festival runs August 1-3 at Chicago's Grant Park. Radiohead, The Raconteurs, Bloc Party CSS, The Kills, Cat Power, The Go! Team and Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks will kick things off on Friday. - more

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Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten Coming To DVD
SonyBMG reports: The ongoing 30th anniversary salute to the Clash etches a new peak with the long-awaited DVD release of Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, a film by Julien Temple, which will arrive in stores July 8th on Legacy Recordings, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

The intimate biographical portrait of Clash frontman, vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and primal lyricist Joe Strummer (b. Aug. 21, 1952 – d. Dec. 22, 2002) underscores his passion for the music, and his instincts as a committed social and political activist. His body of work, alongside his partners in the Clash, led the band to be inscribed in rock history as "the only band that mattered" then – and the only band that really matters now.

Filmmaker Temple's 30-year association with John Graham Mellor aka Joe Strummer resounds throughout the course of the film, as the Clash City Rocker's life and times and influences unfold. THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN – with narration throughout by Strummer from his BBC radio show – is a major musical event in its own right, featuring some 65 songs heard in full or in part. - more on this story

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Eminem Emerges For Remix
PR reports: Eminem emerges from the shadows to rework Masta Ace's classic "Slaughtahouse" for Delicious Vinyl's RMXXOLOGY.

Originally released on 1993's Slaughtahouse, the track called for a "death to the wack MC's" and the gangsta rap era. The original video featured Masta Ace and crew rhyming in an actual slaughterhouse.

Dressed in white butcher suits, drenched in blood, and with axes in their hands, they explicitly made fun of the corny rappers of the day. Eminem tones down the heavy West Coast bass of the original and morphs it into a thumping groove that feels like a purposeful, pissed march. The seriousness of the beat is balanced by the playful metaphors of Masta Ace and his early 90's flow.
- iTunes Link

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Unearth Plot Next Album for Rocktober Release
Blabbermouth reports: Unearth have begun work the follow-up to 2006's "III: In the Eyes of Fire", tentatively due in October via Metal Blade Records. The bulk of the CD's instrumental tracks are being recorded at Massachusetts' System Recording Studios with producer Adam Dutkiewicz (Killswitch Engage guitarist), while the album's drum tracks are being laid to tape by drummer Derek Kerswill (Kingdom Of Sorrow, Seemless) at Zing Studios.

The as-yet-untitled record is said to feature the band's "most dynamic material to date," combining strong tension and release, abundant guitar solos and a bulldozing power-groove.

"Heavy Metal Shred Mayhem! Now With 50% More Guitar Solos!! If the new Unearth songs were laundry detergent, then this is what it would say on the box," dishes Unearth lead guitarist Buz McGrath. "Fortunately for all you metal maniacs, it's not laundry soap but a mind-blowing journey consisting of epic mosh and shred, so we had to call in the one man who could wrangle such a massive beast — Adam Dutkiewicz. - more from Buz and a lil taste

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Fear Factory Plan Comeback CD and Tour
Blabbermouth reports: According to Fear Factory's official MySpace page, the long-running Los Angeles-based metal band will release a new album and embark on a world tour in 2009.

Fear Factory is currently on hiatus while the band's frontman, Burton C. Bell, focuses his attention on the Ascension Of The Watchers project, which recently inked a deal with Ministry mainman Al Jourgensen's 13th Planet Records.

Fear Factory is presently unsigned, having parted ways with Liquid 8 Records, the label that issued the group's last two albums — 2004's "Archetype" and 2005's "Transgression". - more on this story

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Heaven and Hell Recording New Studio Album
Sleazeroxx reports: Heaven and Hell is recording a new album. Heaven and Hell is the Ronnie James Dio edition of Black Sabbath, following the departure of Ozzy Osbourne in 1980.

The line-up regrouped last year and recorded three songs for the compilation 'Black Sabbath: The Dio Years', but when they wanted to tour, Sharon Osbourne, beholder of all legal things Sabbath, refused to allow them to use the Black Sabbath name. [surprise, surprise. Maybe she's saving it for a stupid reality show?]

The new album will be the first ever full-length album as Heaven and Hell. It will be released through Rhino in early 2009. - more on this story

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Major Deals on Digital Albums, Not Obscure Crap Either, Try Coldplay for 2 Bucks
antiMusic reports: Amazon's music store has been pretty much ignored until now. Their video offering is horrendous, with so many limitations that it's not worth the effort or the expense, but their DRM free MP3s are a pretty good deal. When they debuted, they had so few known titles available it was easy to forget that they were trying to take on iTunes.

But things have changed. How about buying an album from a popular band for just $2 bucks? According to Billboard, "To support the new Coldplay album 'Viva la Vida,' Amazon will feature each of the band's past four albums for $2, with 'Brothers and Sisters' going for only $1."

That's not all, they also have a promo called Friday Five where they sell five different albums for $5.00 bucks. While they are offering deals, eMusic with is filled mostly with the obscure indie stuff you never heard of, is jacking up their rates. Read more about both here

It's not just Coldplay, check out all the other albums you can get for under five bucks - right here

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Cancer Conspiracy In Serious Accident
Lambgoat reports: Mike Poorman of Strangeways Recordings has issued the following regarding The Cancer Conspiracy guitarist Daryl Rabidoux:

This past week my best friend, and partner here at Strangeways, Daryl Rabidoux, was involved in a serious car accident that has left him in the hospital with a list of serious injuries. Daryl sustained two punctured lungs, many broken ribs, a torn liver, a fractured sternum, and head trauma from the accident.

Daryl was released from the ICU Saturday and is still in the regular ward at RI Hospital while he is healing. One of the most tragic parts of the accident is that Daryl does not have any health insurance. When all is said and done his hospital stay will total near two weeks. That is a serious expense for anyone, with or without insurance, but even more so without. - Find out how you can help

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Everlast Returns
antiMusic reports: Whitey Ford is back and will release his new album on September 23rd. Here is the 411: "The sound is totally different than anything I've ever done before," says Everlast aka Erik Schrody, the Irish-American rapper and singer/songwriter about his new album, Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford and that's saying something for the Grammy-winning artist who has broken ground and sold millions of albums for mixing hip-hop and acoustic-based folk-rock.

"I didn't approach it differently, I just kind of used a greater variety of instruments, and denser arrangements," he explains. "Of course, hip-hop remains an important influence on my music, but not everything I do fits under that category."

The new album, his first since 2004's Island/Def Jam release White Trash Beautiful, was co-produced by Everlast with his longtime partner Keefus Ciancia ("He's a real brainiac when it comes to vintage grooves"). Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford is the logical sequel to his 1998 breakthrough, the multi-platinum Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, an eclectic mix of rock, blues, country, pop and hip-hop, which cracked the Billboard Top 20 and sold more than 3 million copies on the strength of its crossover hit, "What It's Like." - Check his Myspace for the latest

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Darker My Love Turn 2 and Line Up Dandy Tour
PR reports: Darker My Love's ironically titled sophomore LP, 2, will be released August 5 on Dangerbird Records (Silversun Pickups, Sea Wolf).

The Los Angeles/San Francisco residents will unveil their new polychromatic material with dual-city residencies at various venues around both hometowns throughout July before heading out with The Dandy Warhols as main support on the band's North American tour.

Prior to hitting the road with the indie rock vets, Darker My Love will celebrate their album's release with back-to-back shows at San Francisco's The Independent August 5 and the Troubadour in Los Angeles August 7. The anticipation swells as early radio supporters includes L.A.'s KCRW and Indie 103.1, as well as Seattle's KEXP. - dates

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Spock's Beard DVD
PR reports: Los Angeles based progressive rockers Spock's Beard will release a concert DVD, simply entitled "Live", this summer via InsideOut Music.

The footage was shot by D'iMages on May 25, 2007 at De Boerderij in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands.

If you pre-Order either of the upcoming Spock's Beard releases, Live (2-CD) or Live DVD and get a limited autographed booklet with purchase - link to that and tracklisting

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Warrant Make Other Plans
antiMusic reports: When bad luck hits and totally screws up their plans, the Down Boys go on tour anyway. According to Blabbermouth Warrant, now back to their classic lineup, won't let a little thing Cinderella being forced to pull out of tour, keep them from their cherry pie.

Here are some of the details from Blabbermouth: The reunited classic lineup of '80s hard rockers Warrant, whose tour with Cinderella, Lynch Mob and Lynam was recently cancelled will still play dates this summer.

For the first time since 1994, original Warrant members Jani Lane (vocals), Joey Allen (lead guitar), Jerry Dixon (bass), Erik Turner (guitar) and Steven Sweet (drums) will grace stages across the land together. - Break out your spandex and head here the dates

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Robyn Joins Madonna Tour
PR reports: Things just keep getting better and better for Robyn. Having just finished an amazing sell out UK tour, she has now been asked to support Madonna on her recently announced European Sticky & Sweet Tour.

Additional Sticky & Sweet concerts will feature special guest DJ's as support. The Swedish popstrel said "Having been a fan of Madonna since I was a little girl, I'm very excited about sharing a stage with her and playing to her audiences…I'm thrilled."

Robyn will also be showcasing her live show in full HD on the MSN Control Room program which debuts this Thursday June 19th - here

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RockCorps Hitting LA On Friday
PR reports: This year, civic minded youth in the Los Angeles area will earn tickets to the signature BMRC show taking place on Friday, June 20 at Gibson Amphitheatre. This once-in-a-lifetime line-up will feature some of the hottest names in hip-hop, R&B and rock.

Common, Flyleaf, Akon, Puddle of Mudd and Academy Award Winning hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia are all a part of the stellar line-up hitting the stage in Los Angeles on June 20 performing for more than 3,000 youth volunteers.
- more on this story

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Burn In Silence Cancel Farewell Show
antiMusic reports: Burn In Silence will take their name to heart and go silently into that good night, as the band have decided to pull the plug on their farewell show. Metal Underground has more:

The band issues the following explanation: "Many apologies, but we have to cancel the farewell show. It saddens us just as much as you.

"Unfortunately there were too many complications in putting together the show. We have decided that we were not meant to have a last show, after many failed attempts."
- more on this story

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More Hard Rocker KISS My Ankh
PR reports: Four additional musicians have been confirmed for the upcoming tribute album "KISS MY ANKH: A Tribute To Vinnie Vincent."

Former Adler's Appetite vocalist Sheldon Tarsha, former Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie, former Altaria bassist Marko Pukkila and current White Lion drummer Troy Patrick Farrell have collaborated on a new recording of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion power ballad "That Time of Year."

The original song was the lead single and MTV music video from the second Invasion album "All Systems Go," which featured the recording debut of vocalist Mark Slaughter. A 45-second sample of the new version is now available at the official "KISS MY ANKH" MySpace page. (not provided, sorry but google is your friend-- if you can sort through all the scam/spam pages). - more on this story

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More Accurate Sales Tracking of Overpriced Song Clips
antiMusic reports: Hip-hop fans apparently don't mind paying full price for clips of songs (a.k.a. ringtones). Now they'll be able to judge which ones are really the most "hip," with a big change to the ringtone sales chart data. Here is the official word on it:

Nielsen RingScan, a service of The Nielsen Company, has increased its mobile market ringtone data tracking and coverage with the addition of AT&T Mobility's weekly ringtone sales data. Through the expansion, Nielsen RingScan data will now represent ringtone sales of every major US mobile carrier. AT&T, in addition to providing sales data, will also provide weekly ringback sales results for inclusion in Nielsen RingScan's newest report, ringback tracking, scheduled to debut later this year. - who's the hippest of them all? or rather has fans that like paying full price for only part of a song.

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Tokyo Police Club Plan US Invasion This Fall
PR reports: Although Tokyo Police Club is already embarked on a summer itinerary that includes Denmark, Japan, and Australia, the band has begun plotting a fall return to the US. In addition to previously announced appearances at the Monolith and Treasure Island Festivals in September, the band will headline the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles on September 18th, and New York's Webster Hall on October 18th.

The band's incessant touring is in support of their debut full length album Elephant Shell, which was released earlier this year by Saddle Creek Records.

Finally, the band is teaming with the Lupus Foundation Of America to raise money for continued research of lupus, an incurable disease that affects over 1.5 million Americans. - more on this story

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Get In The Moog For The Vortex Music Fest
PR reports: The Vortex Music Festival, which takes place June 27th & 28th at the Asheville Civic Center, is proud to announce that the Moog Foundation will be sponsoring an additional stage at the festival, featuring some of the top up and coming producers and live electronica acts from all over the US and Canada.

Some of the acts include Kero (Ontario), Project 313 (Detroit), Sensory Overload (Philadelphia) and Rex Sepulveda, who founded D records with world renowned DJ Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman).

Aside from an already stellar musical lineup featuring acts such as Toubab Krewe, Perpetual Groove, Telepath, SeepeopleS, Dubconscious and Laura Reed and Deep Pocket, to name a short few, the Vortex Music Festival will also be doing a Manna Food Bank Promotion. - more on this story

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Freshly Dipped Tour
PR reports: Tanya Morgan joins the ranks of legendary hip-hop collective The Hieroglyphics this summer as part of their Freshly Dipped Tour.

Tanya Morgan members Donwill, Ilyas, and Von Pea, who put out the critically acclaimed Moonlighting in 2006 and who are promoting their EP The Bridge, are preparing to hit the road again to perform not only some of their past hits but also new tracks for the first time.

The Freshly Dipped Tour is a 45 date, three month-long expo of cutting edge music and fashion from the Hiero crew. - more on this story

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CD For Sic F*cks
MVD reports: Sic F*cks' Cbgb Omfug Master: Live October 13th, 2006 Bowery Collection CD is set to hit stores on Aug 5th on CBGB Records.

The Sic F*cks were one the earliest NYC punk/glam bands, formed by famous NYC scenesters/sisters Tish and Snooky after their stint as backup singers in Blondie. Herky jerky rhythms and witty lyrics combined with an only-possible-in-NYC glam/trash style made for an incredible band.

This live set features the band running through their best songs for a loving audience at the world famous CBGBs. And yes, Tish and Snooky are the ladies behind the world famous Manic Panic boutique in Manhattan and the cosmetics products of the same name! - more on this story

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Karma To Burn Again
MMP reports: Metal Mind Productions presents re-issue of the second full-length album by Karma To Burn, "Wild Wonderful Purgatory". This classic material from Mallcore Records archives will be released in a new digipak edition limited to 2000 copies.

New edition of "Wild Wonderful Purgatory" includes 6 bonus tracks taken from EP 30.33.32.20 and the bootleg recorded in Utrecht (07.03.2000). Digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on golden disc. The album will be released on 21st July 2008 in Europe and 2nd September 2008 in USA (via MVD).

Karma to Burn was a desert rock/psychedelic rock band from Morgantown, West Virginia (US) comprised of guitarist William Mecum, bassist Rich Mullins and drummer Nathan Limbaugh (later to be replaced by Rob Oswald for Wild, Wonderful Purgatory). - more on this story

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Evidence One Reissue
MMP reports: Evidence One is one of the most talented groups on the contemporary melodic rock scene, paying homage to traditional hard rock while in the same time sharpening it with a hard metal edge.

"Tattooed Heart" is their second full-length release and one of their best – it contains all the elements that make a band worth your attention: great musicianship, passionate vocals and a powerful message. If you think that you know all about modern rock music – think again…

New digipak edition of "Tattooed Heart" will be released by Metal Mind Productions on 21st July in Europe and 2nd September 2008 in USA (via MVD). Limited to 2000 copies, digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on golden disc.
- more on this story

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Janie Fricke at the Opry
PR reports: Music icon and world renowned performer Janie Fricke is scheduled to perform on the Grand Ole Opry, Saturday, June 21, 2008. Fricke, who just released her latest album Roses & Lace, will mix up her Opry performance with a bit of the old and a bit of the new.

"It's great to have a new album out this year," Fricke said. "The audience has been very pleased and receptive of the new songs and what we have added to our stage show."

Performing on the Opry has always held a special place in the song girl from Indiana's heart. Fricke, who is known for her unique sound and performance personality, has been a dominating force in the music world. - more on this story

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