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Sister Hazel Week: Day 2
antiMusic reports: Sister Hazel will be releasing, "Before The Amplifiers, Live Acoustic," a new live acoustic album next week. The CD features the band's hits, fan favorites, and live concert staples. To celebrate the release we asked frontman Ken Block to tell us about his five favorite tracks from the CD. Here is Ken with today's song:

"Happy": This was our second biggest single ever and it's has always been a fun song to play live. I actually wrote the song about growing up as an artist and having people always saying "when are you gonna get a real job." The lyrics are actually fairly introspective and a bit darker than the hook would lead you to believe.

For the new acoustic CD, we changed the tempo, the vibe, the instrumentation, the melody - and I think it captures the essence of the song much better. So far our fans have been really excited by the new approach to the song.

Learn more about the new CD, preview some tracks and grab tour dates - here

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Tool Surgery
Blabbermouth reports: Tool drummer Danny Carey had to have two surgeries on his hand recently, according to a post at the group's official web site, Toolband.com.

The post said that Carey's hand was apparently injured as a result of a run-in with "an unruly marine hazard, venomous and... dangerous... while vacationing in Hawaii. This aquatic critter was most likely a sea urchin or a scorpion fish."

The post was accompanied by a photo of Carey's hand taken by guitarist Adam Jones, which clearly shows a scar. - more on this story

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R. Kelly Defense Rests
antiMusic reports: How many years did it take for R. Kelly to finally see the inside of a courtroom? We lost track, but it only two his attorneys two days to put on a defense. E! has the story: R. Kelly' s lawyers have called it a case.

The defense in the R&B superstar's trial on kiddie-porn charges rested its case today, after spending only two days calling witnesses to counter prosecutors' charges that Kelly taped himself engaging in sex acts with a minor.

Cook County Criminal Court Judge Vincent Gaughan dismissed the jury following the brief morning session, which ended minutes after starting when Kelly's crew announced they had no intention of putting anybody else on the stand. - more on this story

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Paul Stanley Defends KISS Idol TV Plans
BW&BK reports: In the wake of numerous reports stemming from an interview done in Norway regarding an upcoming KISS clone reality TV show, frontman Paul Stanley has issued the following statement:

"A KISS clone reality show? First of all, contrary to what was said by anyone, there is no signed deal. Secondly, if we were to do a KISS II, and I don't rule that out, it would be in addition to, and never in place of KISS.

"If we were to do it, I know it would be done in a groundbreaking way and would be tremendously entertaining. KISS has always defined itself by the rules we break, so what's the big surprise? We are in the middle of our biggest and most successful tour of Europe ever, playing to over a half million people, and neither KISS or I have any plans to stop afterwards!" - more on this story

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Janet Jackson Blames Label For CD Failure
Billboard reports: Janet Jackson has aired her frustrations with Island Def Jam, whom she claims is no longer supporting her label debut, "Discipline."

The album has sold 392,000 copies in the United States since its February release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Jackson told SOHH.com that Island discontinued promoting "Discipline" after her single, "Rock With U," failed to chart. - The label's response to this is priceless, read it here

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Metallica Management Refuse To Comment on Censoring Critics
Blabbermouth reports: Metallica invites bloggers to preview new album. Bloggers write about album. Metallica management demand bloggers take down comments about album. Management won't comment on their censorship.

Blabbermouth has this: One site, The Quietus, told Blinded By The Hype that its reporter at the listening session was not asked at the time to hold back from reporting on what he heard or sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The site itself was later contacted and asked to remove the article, which it did to "protect the professional interests of the writer concerned." A representative for Metallica's management had no comment on the matter. - more on this story

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From Autumn To Ashes To Dust As Band Splits
Lambgoat reports: Long Island, New York's From Autumn To Ashes has apparently called it quits, though members are refraining from using the word "break-up." FATA frontman Francis Mark has issued the following:

"At this point I feel that we have accomplished everything we could have hoped for with FATA. It doesn't feel much like a break up. Just feels like the end. It's complete. I would say that we are going on indefinite hiatus because the term breakup suggests a more negative circumstance.

"There have been no quarrels between band members. It is also not a question of fan support because we are lucky to have some of the most loyal and impassioned friends a band could ask for. - more on this story

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Warren G Off The Hook
TMZ reports: After getting popped this weekend for possession in Hollywood, Warren G's reps issued this truly original statement to TMZ.

"They were in the Hollywood area for Kanye's party. He was a passenger asleep in the front seat when the car was pulled over. They charged him because he didn't debrief. Whatever was found wasn't his, it was in the car."

The L.A. County District Attorney has rolled up and thrown out drug charges against Warren G and buddy Ryan Butler. - find out why

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Miley In Trouble For Slutting Online
antiMusic reports: Leave it to the good folks at Hecklerspray to turn a non-story into a bit of fun. We couldn't resist this one: Miley Cyrus' mother has grounded the little harlot for her incessant slutty behavior. The latest crime to add to the ever growing list is chatting online to boys and older men.

What is the matter with the girl? Is she human or something? It all kicked off with her Annie Leibovitz photo-shoot, when she let down herself, her friends, her family and, judging by the media response, the entire planet, as she showed the world her filthy, naked, underage back.

She also posed for a 'got milk?' commercial that made it look like someone had neatly spunked over her top lip – all in order to sell more milk... She posed for a photo where she was holding a microphone in front of her gaping mouth which, to the untrained eye, seemed little more than a picture of a singer singing but, to the trained eye, Miley was clearly pretending the microphone was a cock.
And now, to rub salt into the wound, she's 'chatting' to boys and older men on the internet. [I swear she told me she was 18]
- Read the rest of the Hecklerspray report

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The Late Game
idolator reports: The Game's upcoming album Lax- sorry, L.A.X., has been pushed back two weeks from its original street date of July 8.

His latest single, "Game's Pain," is actually his first top ten track on the Rap Singles chart since 2005's legendarily awful "Dreams" (not to be confused with Big Dreams"), but it has barely dented the Hot 100.

Maybe a Keyshia Cole hook isn't enough to get listeners interested in the Game yet again filling a song entirely with references to other, more successful rappers. - more on this story

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Happy Birthday Les Paul
antiMusic reports: Gibson marked the occasion of Les Paul's 93rd birthday on Monday: Musical pioneer and namesake of Gibson's most iconic guitar, Les Paul was born 93 years ago, on June 9, 1915 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Any player who knows his guitar history is already aware that Gibson's Les Paul guitar was pioneered, developed with the assistance of, and endorsed by Les Paul, a famous jazz-pop artist and musical and electronic genius.

Paul wanted a guitar that better served the needs of jazz guitarists, one that would offer more sustain and feedback resistance than the hollowbody archtops that were the norm at the time, and would also be more versatile sonically.

In the early '50s, he and Gibson worked together to develop the cutting-edge guitar of his dreams. What resulted was the Les Paul, and with its unrivaled tonal capabilities it soon landed in the hands of top guitarists from every genre. Though Les Paul may be best known for developing the electric guitar as we know it, the sum of all of his contributions is immeasurable. - a lot more on Les

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Talkin With Dokken
PR reports: The latest episode of "Talking Metal" features the uncut interviews hosts Mark Strigl and John Ostronomy conducted with Don Dokken at Total Access Recording in Redondo Beach, CA for Talking Metal on fuse.

Topics include the "Live From Conception" album, the Rainbow Bar and Grill, Gene Simmons, Van Halen, Poison, Metallica, Great White, AC/DC, Cinderella, Quiet Riot, and the death of Kevin Dubrow.

The 67-minute podcast can be downloaded at Talking Metal's brand new website at - talkingmetal.com

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Apples in Stereo Tour
Filter reports: Denver indie-rock collective The Apples in Stereo have announced a full tour fresh off the heels of their rarities and b-sides release Electronic Projects For Musicians.

Earlimart, Poison Control Center, and Big Fresh come along for the ride.

At the end of the tour, the band will make a special encore appearance on The Colbert Report performing the song/ode "Stephen, Stephen" premeiring August 4 Comedy Central. - more on this story

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Foos Crowing About Wembley Gigs
PR reports: 165,000 tickets sold, more than four hours of music, and one encore with half of Led Zeppelin later, Foo Fighters have wrapped their biggest ever headline shows: two sold out nights at Wembley Stadium.

The Wembley concerts, which took place last Friday and Saturday June 6th and 7th, sold out within 24 hours, making them the biggest headline performances of the band's illustrious career--as well as the biggest rock shows staged at the new Wembley to date.

Both nights featured career-spanning 2-hour-plus sets drawing on all six of Foo Fighters' studio albums, as well as an intimate mid-set acoustic section featuring the expanded semi-acoustic Foo configuration playing on a rotating stage. The highlight of the second night's encore was a historic appearance from Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, who joined Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins for renditions of "Rock and Roll" (with Hawkins on vocals and Grohl on drums) and "Ramble On" (with Grohl on vocals and Hawkins on drums). The Wembley weekend closed with a final encore of "Best Of You" with a closing chorus of 85,000 fans leaving Grohl visibly moved. - more on this story

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Live Stuff
Kayos reports: They were the most in-demand of all the session players. Guitarist Cornell Dupree, bassist Gordon Edwards, drummer Steve Gadd, guitarist Eric Gale and keyboardist Richard Tee probably played on most of the albums you bought in the 1970s and beyond. Yet when they convened as Stuff, an all-instrumental funk-jazz-pop-rock-soul machine, they had an inherent chemistry all their own. They could stop on a dime, wheel it around and churn off in another direction that was as dizzying and satisfying as it was thrilling and syncopated. Their only Montreux Jazz Festival appearance came in 1976 and they did not disappoint.

Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the release of Stuff's Live At Montreux 1976 on CD and DVD on July 15.

With material by composers such as Stevie Wonder, Dave Mason, Billy Preston, Steely Dan, Earth Wind & Fire, Edwin Hawkins, James Weldon Johnson and others, Stuff plays the tar out of these songs and the knowledgeable Montreux crowd erupts. It's a goosebump-raising performance.
- more on this story

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Idol Winner David Cook Lines Up Appearances
PR reports: American Idol winner David Cook will make his first appearance at a major sports event after being crowned the winner of season seven when he performs the National Anthem on Tuesday, June 10, prior to Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics at the Staples Center.

Two days later, the vibe in Los Angeles shifts from rock to soul as Grammy Award-winning smooth jazz and R&B legend Jeffrey Osborne performs the National Anthem at Game 4 on Thursday, June 12.

All National Anthem performances during the best-of-seven series will be televised live on ABC in the U.S. and to a worldwide audience in more than 200 countries and territories beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET. - more on this story

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Matchbox Twenty Solo CD
PR reports: Matchbox Twenty's Paul Doucette is preparing his first solo release, milk the bee, under the moniker The Break And Repair Method. Set to hit September 16th via bluhammock music, milk the bee sees Doucette taking on the role of frontman with his own exciting brand of emotionally-driven songs and melodies.

Co-produced by Greg Collins (U2, Gwen Stefani), milk the bee was birthed on some of Doucette's rare down time. Paul had secured a deal before even beginning the recording process, as he prepared to enter the studio, Doucette found himself without a label due to modern music industry shake-ups. Armed with a carefully curated team of musicians at his side, from Nina Gordon (Veruca Salt) to Tracy Bonham, Moon Zappa, David Levita (Alanis Morrisette), Roger Manning (Jellyfish, Beck) and Rusty Anderson (Paul McCartney), Doucette began the recording process nonetheless and left with a collection of brilliant, catchy and emotion-laden songs, which he later dubbed milk the bee. "When I first came up with the title, it was from a place of pure frustration. It seemed a futile thing to do– you make a record, and really, what's the point? It's like milking a bee."
- more on this story

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Marching Band Set Release
PR reports: The Swedish-based indie-pop pair combine eccentric musical elements with mainstay rock sounds, creating a unique sonic fusion that finds instrumentation of xylophone, marimba, banjo and vibraphone meshing with guitar, bass, drums and lush vocal harmonies. Marching Band's distinct sound and style arrives on August 5, 2008 with the release of their debut album Spark Large.

Produced by Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yo La Tengo, Clem Snide), Spark Large spans 12 tracks of beautifully crafted indie-pop and atmospheric folk. The disc's first single "Gorgeous Behavior" has already caught the attention of KCRW's Nic Harcourt where he has been spinning the song on Morning Becomes Eclectic. Meanwhile, another standout track from the disc, "Feel Good About It," has been put into rotation on Los Angeles' Indie 103.1FM.

Sunbring and Lind note that the development of Marching Band was a natural progression. "We met 4 years ago in our first year at university, and creative forces were released at that moment. Since then we've been constantly evolving," the pair says. Their collaboration with producer Adam Lasus then brought Spark Large to life. "We are very pleased to have been able to work with a great producer like Adam Lasus who really made our songs sound great." - more on this story

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Curved Air Reunion Kicks Off This Friday
PR reports: The original 'Rock Chick' Sonja Kristina has reunited with her band, progressive rock legends Curved Air, for some summer festival dates, kicking off with the Isle of Wight Festival on 13th June.

Sonja Kristina's extravagant and flamboyant stage presence led to her being nicknamed at one point, 'the female Jagger'. The first female lead singer of a rock band in the UK, she blazed the way for bold rock icons from Siouxie Sue to Amy Winehouse.

Featuring founding members Darryl Way and Florian Pilkington Miksa, Curved Air are about to release a new album 'Reborn - Classic Curved Air Revisited' - a record of the Curved Air tracks that are given new life in this re-union tour. 'Reborn' will be released on June 18th - more on this story

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Get Afflicted Again
PR reports: Metal Mind Productions will rerelease Afflicted's "Prodigal Sun" on 7th July 2008 in Europe and 2nd September 2008 in USA. New digipak edition is limited to 2000 numerated copies. Digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on golden disc.

Afflicted debuted when the Swedish metal scene was crawling with Entombed and Unleashed clones, all far from any originality. The Stockholm five-piece had a different approach towards death metal – they offered complex and intriguing music, reaching far beyond the typical Swedish school of metal. Their first and most acclaimed album – "Prodigal Sun" – was a groundbreaking release, unfortunately overshadowed by the flood of other death metal bands at that time. Now you have the chance to experience the genius of Afflicted, who were often compared to such icons as Pungent Stench, Atrocity, Atheist and Dismember… - more on this story

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Impulse Manslaughter Reissues
PR reports: Metal Mind Productions will release double reissue of Impulse Manslaughter's "He Who Laughs Last… Laughs Alone" and "Logical End" on 7th July 2008 in Europe and 2nd September 2008 in USA (via MVD). New digipak edition is limited to 2000 numerated copies. Digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on golden disc.

Today's metal scene is known for combining various genres such as punk, hardcore, grind, death and thrash metal, and shaping them into new subgenres. But if you dig deeper in heavy music history, you'd be surprised that metalcore, grindcore or crustcore were played long before they had a name!

Impulse Manslaughter proves that even in the 80's punk and metal did collaborate, creating the same extreme combinations we know today. The exclusive double reissue of "He Who Laughs Last… Laughs Alone" and "Logical End" shows the band in the peak of their career. - more on this story

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Top Reviews of the Week

. Van Halen Live
A review of Van Halen's stop at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. on May 30, 2008 including photos. - Read the full Van Halen Live review

. The Biz: Kid Rock Delivers More Bang For Fewer Bucks
Most other acts would cancel the show, drape curtains over the balcony or point fingers wanting to lay blame on someone else. Not so for the son of Detroit, he put his money where his mouth is and discounted tickets to 15 bucks…with service charges included. - Read the full Kid Rock Delivers More Bang For Fewer Bucks op/ed

.... MorleyView: Karen Lawrence<
You know how some things are written in your head forever? The first kiss? Your first beer? Well, for me, the first time I heard the voice of Karen Lawrence is chiseled out in my memory banks as a permanent posting. Morley talks to the woman behind that voice. - Read the full Karen Lawrence MorleyView

. Rev. Bubba D Liverance & The Cornhole Prophets - Let My Peoples Dance
Rev. Bubba is the self proclaimed "Right Reverend of Rock and Soul" and after listening to the debut disc he and his band have recently released I tend to agree with the good reverend. (4 stars) - Read the full Rev. Bubba D Liverance & The Cornhole Prophets - Let My Peoples Dance review

.... Road Trip: Birmingham's City Stages Festival
Birmingham has a special fondness for music and they are particularly proud of their homegrown talent including legends like Eddie Kendricks and Sun Ra. American Idol big shots Ruben Studdard, Bo Bice and Taylor Hicks are all from Birmingham. - Read the full Birmingham's City Stages Festival Road Trip article

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