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Today's Headlines
Today's Full Report and Breaking Stories for 01/08/2008

Tarja Week: Lost Northern Star
antiMusic reports: Tarja Turunen made her mark on the world as the frontwoman of Nightwish. Now she strikes out on her own with her solo debut 'My Winter Storm'. The album soared to the top spot in her native Finland and went gold in one day! To celebrate the upcoming US release of the album we asked Tarja to pick her favorite tracks from the disc and tell us a little about them. Today she tells us about "Lost Northern Star"

This was composed in Ibiza together with Michelle and Kiko. I wanted to have a heavier song in the album with more operatic vocals. It took some days to come up with this song and in the end the song has 74 tracks of vocals!

I had a lot of fun in creating harmonies and strange sounds with my voice. Mel Wesson added more power to the song with his crazy sounds. The story in the lyrics is beautiful, even though the music itself is really massive. We definitely like Rammstein and as homage I sang the line "my soul burns" that you would find familiar if you follow the band.

The CD hits US stores on Feb 26th but you can preview tracks and learn more - right here!

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Shins Domestic Abuse Arrest
Filter reports: Two things nobody expected on this Monday morning - 1) Marty Crandall, keyboardist for The Shins has been arrested and charged with domestic assault and 2) his model girlfriend, Elyse Sewell would have written a hilarious afterthought about the incident on her personal blog.

According to Sewell, the altercation took place in Sacramento, CA last Friday. After a road trip from Albuquerque, Sewell claimed that Crandall got drunk and "roughed her up" in their hotel room.

Sewell, then used the often effective method of bullet points to chronicle her jail house adventures, including her surprise at the Sacramento Police's knowledge of the reality show (America's Next Top Model) that she appeared on a couple years back. - more on this story

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Coldplay Ditch EMI?
Gigwise reports: Things could potentially go from bad to worse for EMI Records, with a newspaper report published today claiming that Coldplay are ready to jump ship from the major label.

With two of their biggest acts, Radiohead and Sir Paul McCartney, refusing to put pen to paper on new deals in recent months, the Daily Star (yes, hardly a bastion of truth we know) quotes an unnamed source who believes Chris Martin and co are ready to follow Radiohead's example.

The source says that Coldplay "don't necessarily need a label" any more and that they are just waiting to "see what happens" before they consider a deal. - more on this story

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AC/DC Ready To Return Despite Angus Injury
BW&BK reports: Spanish website RafaBasa.com has published the following exclusive report about the possible return of AC/DC: "There is not so many things to tell, but even with the secret everything is kept under, we have some interesting news about AC/DC. There is no official announcement at this moment, but our sources in New York told us that the band is ready to return.

As we have previously informed, the main problem that has forced AC/DC to be on hold without releasing any albums or playing live, is an injury on Angus Young's knee, something that we can say that it's fine considering the information we are revealing. We know that the album is on the last stage of the mixing process, and the band have worked with famous producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange (DEF LEPPARD).

They are going to make several secret "showcases" for very small audiences (maybe 500 people venues) in Europe at the end of January. The will premiere the new song and also will be a warm up for the band - more on this story

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Dr Phil Jumps Off Britney Bandwagon
antiMusic reports: Dr. Phil has backed off his public involvement with Britney's meltdown. His issued a statement Monday on his website concerning his television coverage of the popstar's mental problems. He writes, "As was widely reported this weekend, at the request of concerned family members, I visited Britney Spears in the hospital. The details of that visit will, of course, remain private.

"We had planned to tape a Dr. Phil Now show today, focusing not on the tabloid side of Britney's latest problems, but instead on the very serious issues surrounding this case. Clearly, it is not just Britney's family struggling to find a way to protect adult children who cannot be ordered or compelled to seek help.

"Because the Spears situation is too intense at this time, and out of consideration to the family, I have made the decision not to move forward with the taping at this particular time. - more on this story

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Weezer Complete CD
Punknews.org reports: Brian Bell of Weezer recently posted an update on the band's upcoming sixth album. The record has been the source of much speculation but little concrete information has actually surfaced in the past few months. Bell explained:

Greetings fellow Weezer-ites. We'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years. And it's going to be a very happy one because album six is finished and personally I think it's our best yet.

Never have the four of us worked so hard and passionately on an album and we all look forward to performing this culmination of our talents and combined knowledge in 2008 in a city near you! - more on this story

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Idol Hicks Leaves Arista
Billboard reports: Remember that old guy that won American Idol, did a commercial and then pretty much disappeared? Looks like he has disappeared from Arista's roster as well. Billboard has the story: 2006 "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks has split with Arista, which released his self-titled major-label debut in late '06. The set has sold 699,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"Taylor is going to record on his own for the next album," says a source close to the situation, who declined further comment.

Hicks told Billboard last year that he had signed a three-album deal with the label following his "Idol" victory, and that "We all knew what we were getting into when we signed the contracts." - More on those "contracts" and Hick's departure here.

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Bif Naked Battling Cancer
Jam! reports: Canadian rocker Bif Naked says she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The 36-year-old, who lives in Vancouver, made the announcement on Sunday on George Stroumboulopoulos's syndicated radio program "The Strombo Show."

The Juno award-winning singer, whose real name is Beth Torbert, says she plans on taking things "one day at a time."

"I have never been one to give up when an obstacle is placed in front of me," she told Stroumboulopoulos. "I am in the fight of my life and I'm lucky to have the support of my husband, Ian, and many friends and family members," she said. - more on this story

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The Black Crowes Announce One Night Only Shows
PR reports: For the first time in their 18-year career, The Black Crowes will perform an album of theirs in its entirety. On a special run of "One Night Only" shows beginning March 2 and wrapping March 20, fans will experience WARPAINT--the group's first album of all new studio material in seven years, due out March 4 -- in its entirety onstage, after which the band will perform songs from their catalog and selected surprises.

THE BLACK CROWES launch their overseas tour March 24 when they headline the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival in Australia. They'll continue their Down Under trek--their first since 1991--through April 5, and conclude with exclusive performances in London, UK at Brixton Academy April 9 and The Amsterdam Music Hall April 11. A major market multiple night U.S. tour will begin in May, with cities and venues to be announced in the near future. - more on this story

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Death Cab Get Loud?
Punknews.org reports: After hitting the big time with 2005's breakthrough Plans, Death Cab For Cutie looks to be headed down an unexpected direction for the follow up.

In a recent Billboard piece, the band is promising a "curve ball" and though it will have a number of slower songs, the band is promising some surprises:

It's really weird. It's really, really good, I think, but it's totally a curve ball, and I think it's gonna be a really polarizing record. But I'm really excited about it. It's really got some teeth. The landscape of the thing is way, way more lunar than the urban meadow sort of thing that has been happening for the last couple of records. [It's also] louder and more dissonant - more on this story

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OK Go and Bonerama Team Up for EP
PR reports: This Mardi Gras (February 5th), OK Go and Bonerama will release You're Not Alone, a five-song digital EP. OK Go spent the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina recording with the New Orleans soul trombone band at Piety Street Studios deep in the city's Upper 9th Ward. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the EP - available exclusively at iTunes - will benefit members of New Orleans' music community such as R&B legend Al Johnson, who are still struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives in the aftermath of the flood.

"New Orleans is one of the last places in America where music is truly a fundamental part of everyday life," says OK Go singer Damian Kulash. "People get together on the weekends and parade through the streets just playing songs; 12-year-old-kids learn funk on the tuba; everyone dances. Life elsewhere in the world simply isn't as celebratory. If we allow the culture of New Orleans to die by leaving its musicians marooned around the country, America will have lost one of its great treasures."

OK Go and Bonerama will also team up for two benefit shows - info on those here

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Yellowcard USO
PR reports: Rock band Yellowcard will soon travel to the Persian Gulf and perform for service men and women as part of a USO/MNC-I expeditionary entertainment tour. This is the first USO tour for Yellowcard, who will hang out with armed forces, sign autographs and treat U.S. troops to a selection of hit songs from all their albums. Their latest album "Paper Walls" debuted at no. 13 on the Billboard charts and sold more than 40,000 copies in its first week.

Recognized for their trademark sound infused with entwined guitar lines, airtight vocal harmonies and flourishes of violin, Yellowcard has performed before millions, acquired thousands of devoted fans and toured hundreds of venues.

"We're really excited about going to the Middle East with the USO and performing for the troops," says Yellowcard frontman Ryan Key. "It's a privilege to have the opportunity to visit and entertain those that serve our nation. This tour isn't just a treat for them but also for us." - more on this story

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Hail to the Geek
PR reports: Dallas-based quartet Deaf Pedestrians were chugging along, playing shows with bands like Staind, Papa Roach, Saliva and Shinedown and making a name for themselves on local radio. Then in June 2007, frontman Charlton Parker wrote the hooky, tongue-in-cheek song "Hail to the Geek" about his nerdy hobbies and awkwardness with girls.

Originally, Parker had no plans to record the number, but when his bandmates heard it, they convinced him to track it with them. After a few hours in the studio, Deaf Pedestrians emerged with an undeniable cut that's catchy, funny, spirited and endearingly wistful - a proud declaration of geekdom to their fans and the world.

"Hail to the Geek" will be included on Deaf Pedestrians' major label debut …And Other Distractions, which comes out February 12. Deaf Pedestrians will support the album with a tour of North America that will launch in the spring.
- more on this story

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One Less Pointless Awards Show To Watch
BBC reports: This year's Golden Globes ceremony is to be scrapped and replaced with a news conference amid a strike by writers over royalties, organisers say.

The winners will now be revealed in an hour-long conference next Sunday that replaces the dinner and ceremony.

Hollywood actors had vowed to boycott the event in support of the writers. Without top actors present, TV networks had threatened not to screen the film and TV awards - more on this story

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