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By Andy Argyrakis
Jon McLaughlin Weekend Report: Modern day piano man, Three bands on 3 Doors bill
Friday, February 20, 2009

With a handful of television soundtrack slots and catchy love songs, Jon McLaughlin quickly became the subject of every girl's fantasy. But beyond his looks and label hype, the singer/songwriter is actually a modern day piano man in the tradition of Ben Folds or Billy Joel. The new OK Now (Island) is extremely commercial (more so than his more artistically centered debut Indiana), but it's impossible to shake the songs from one's psyche. (Worth a shot - Friday at House of Blues- Chicago, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).

Touring behind a self-titled CD, 3 Doors Down seems to have reinvented its crunchy blend of fist pumping anthems and good old fashion rough necked rock. Though a bit clichéd at times, the guys are known for explosive live shows, backed by towering walls of guitar distortion and plenty of room for audience sing-a-longs. South Africa's Seether is slowly rising up in the alt-rock ranks thanks to tours with Breaking Benjamin 3 Doors Downand Three Days Grace, while openers Hoobstank are already established, but should be docked points for the predictable new CD Fornever (Island). (Worth a shot - Saturday at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino- Hammond, IN: www.thevenue-chicago.com).

After touring with John Legend and tearing it up on the Grammy Awards with Kanye West, hip-hop/rap star Estelle has amassed both critical and commercial acclaim. While it may be far fetched to assume the egotistical West will make a cameo during their duet "American Boy" (even if it is his hometown) they'll be plenty of other pulsating grooves on the docket from her delectable new disc Shine (Atlantic). Beyonce's little sister Solange opens the show with a similar blend of soul, dance and hip-hop. (Bet your life - Wednesday at House of Blues- Chicago, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).
Morrissey Street Week: Morrissey's streak continues, Annie complied
Monday, February 16, 2009

Whoever called Morrissey reclusive following his days fronting The Smiths certainly hasn't kept up with the famed front man as of late. Not only has he toured every year for the latter half of the 2000s, but he just finished his third studio CD during that exact same time frame. And as was the case on his first two comeback collections, the brand new Years of Refusal (Attack/Lost Highway) is another return to form effort. Moz backs the project on an extensive worldwide tour, sure to feature a handful of group chestnuts as well as new cuts.

Annie Lennox may have first found fame as a member of Eurythmics, but she's since become a solo superstar with over a decade and a half of individual recording under her androgynous dress code. The glorious vocalist earns a much needed retrospectiveAnnie Lennox in the form of The Annie Lennox Collection (RCA), loaded with staples like "Little Bird," "Walking on Broken Glass," "Why," "Pavement Cracks" and "Sing." A bonus DVD in the deluxe edition includes the accompanying music videos and is more than worth the extra few bucks.

The Interscope years may be over, but And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead already inked a new deal with Justice Records. But the Austin indie rockers never relied on a label to dictate its experimental direction, which once again permeates The Century of Self. Though this is a studio CD, it was recorded entirely live, encapsulating the group's concert vibe free of overdubs and click-tracks.

The Dish Archives 2009

Feb. 9 - 13
Feb. 2 - 6
Jan. 26 - 30
Jan. 19 - 23
Jan. 12 - 16
Jan. 5 - 9
Dec. 29 - Jan. 2
The Dish Archives - 2008
The Dish Archives - 2007

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