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By Andy Argyrakis
PJ Harvey Weekend Report: Pack those bags for South By Southwest!
Friday, March 13, 2009

The annual music industry gathering of monumental proportions is about to overtake downtown Austin Texas, starting in the Austin Convention Center and literally winding through every one of the live music capital of the world's countless venues. Between bands playing at all hours of the day, night and wee hours to speakers and panel sessions discussing the latest music industry issues, expect a simultaneous catalyst for entertainment and education. Though every year is booming with talent on both sides of the fence, this year is loaded with luminaries of perhaps the most varied musicality in recent memory.

On the speaking side, Quincy Jones holds the keynote session addressing his illustrious career that's included everything from jazz touring and production, to working with Michael Jackson, conducting "We Are the World" and continuing to discover Quincy Adamsnew talent across all genres. Country icons the Oak Ridge Boys are also on tap to talk about its impressive career that thus far, which includes over 30 million albums sold (anchored by the smash single "Elvira"). Steven Van Zandt is also set to address the masses, sure to cover everything from his days in the E Street Band, solo sidestepping and perhaps even acting experience. (Don't forget the guitarist also had a recurring role on "The Sopranos").

In musical contexts, the perpetually innovate PJ Harvey is one of the most anticipated headliners, leading a list that also includes appearances by Ben Harper, Indigo Girls, Gomez and The Decemberists. One of this year's biggest buzz bands is Scottish import Glasvegas, who recently inked a deal with Columbia after mounds of overseas attention. Others worth noting include retro roustabouts Devo, the increasingly eclectic Delta Spirit and unshakably contagious pop star Katy Perry. (Bet your life - Wednesday, March 18-Sunday, March 22 at various venues throughout downtown Austin, Texas:
Chris Cornell Street Week: Rod and Ronnie unplugged again, Cornell's latest solo CD
Monday, March 9, 2009

Ever since he left Soundgarden, Chris Cornell's been a bit of a wandering spirit, trying a variety of projects that never matched the intensity or intrigue of his original act. Sure, Audioslave was a headline-grabbing novelty (albeit mostly because of boasting Rage Against the Machine's rhythm section), but the side project was short lived. Solo albums have been scattered at best with Scream (Interscope) appearing as one of his more unusual explorations to date. The grunge icon/alternative rocker is teaming with hip-hop hero Timbaland of all people on the production front, though that lauded knob-twirler calls the collection "the best work I've done in my career."

Equally inconsistent but even more enduring is Rod Stewart, the former Faces front man turned solo star. Though no one could dispute that group's fine rock n' roll outpouring, its Mod ringleader has succumbed to adult contemporary commonplace in later years,Rod Stewart not to mention a snore-worthy (though highly successful) standards series. Thankfully this re-issue of Unplugged...And Seated (Rhino), backed by former band mate Ronnie Wood, steers towards early material including "Hot Legs," "Every Picture Tells a Story" and "Stay With Me" on both remastered CD and DVD (for the very first time).

Country hero Ronnie Milsap has slowed his cycle of releases as of late, but he more than makes up for lost time with the double disc Then Sings My Soul (EMI). The covers collection is loaded with familiar faire sung in his signature style, including Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," the old time spiritual "Amazing Grace" and a reworked version of his own smash "What A Difference You've Made In My Life."

The Dish Archives 2009

Mar. 2 - 6
Feb. 23 - 27
Feb. 16 - 20
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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