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By Andy Argyrakis
No Doubt Weekend Report: Isaak's ultra cool return, No Doubt reunited
Friday, July 10, 2009

Five years have passed since No Doubt last hit the road, but that isn't to say front woman Gwen Stefani hasn't kept up a high public profile. Aside from making celebrity super babies with her hubby and longtime Bush leader Gavin Rossdale, she's released a pair of immensely popular dance/pop solo projects. But these days, she's committed to the band once again, returning to the ska/punk roots that cranked out super singles like "Don't Speak," "Hella Good," "Hey Baby" and "Spiderwebs." (Worth a shot Saturday at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre- Tinley Park, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).

More than merely a modern day purveyor of Elvis Presley, sophisticated singer/songwriter Chris Isaak is also an acclaimed actor and endearing celebrity. On Mr. Lucky (Reprise)- his first non-holiday album since 2002- the tunesmith turns in a textbook batch of ultra cool retro pop, backed by unlikely guests Trisha Yearwood and Michelle Branch. Though he'll be singing solo at Chris Isaakthis show alongside a full band, he still possesses plenty of star power to light up the stage. (Bet your life Sunday at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino- Hammond, IN: www.thevenue-chicago.com).

As if Green Day wasn't convincing enough on 2004's American Idiot that it could be just as relevant throughout the 1990s as today, the punk trio just tackled the ambitious concept collection 21st Century Breakdown (Reprise). In concert, expect to hear the story of teenagers trying to press on within a society plagued by economic decay, rounded out by full-fledged production likely to rival the band's last arena outing. (Bet your life Monday at United Center- Chicago, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).
Maxwell Street Week: The indie side of Stellastarr, Maxwell reemerges
Monday, July 6, 2009

For a guy who literally started the neo-soul movement, it's somewhat peculiar for Maxwell to have waited eight years in between studio CDs. But after the inexplicable delay since 2001's Now, the R&B balladeer is finally back with the brand new BLACKsummers'night (Columbia), which he says is the first in a comeback trilogy. Unlike many albums in the genre, there's not a single shred of Auto-Tune on this album, with each of the nine tunes being recorded live in the studio.

Without the help of the major label, Stellastarr's mainstream light may be fading, but its still cranking out a compelling brand of '80s-infused indie rock. The group's latest Civilized (Bloated Wife) marks its third overall effort and features another collaboration withStellastarr producer Tim O'Heir, who also worked on the group's groundbreaking self-titled debut from 2003. Between then and now, the group's toured with the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Editors, The Killers and Placebo.

After earning a resurgence on this summer's Regeneration Tour, synth-rockers Berlin are back to releasing records. All the Way In (Fuel 2000) is a live affair from the band's recent hometown show in Los Angeles and also comes with a bonus DVD featuring a similar set list. In either format, expect to hear Terri Nunn belting out the sultry "Sex (I'm A...)," "Masquerade," "The Metro," "No More Words," plus the obligatory ballad "Take My Breath Away."

The Dish Archives 2009

June 29 - July 3
June 22 - 26
June 15 - 19
June 8 - 12
June 1 - 5
May 25 - 29
May 18 - 22
May 11 - 15
May 4 - 8
Apr. 27 - May 1
Apr. 20 - 24
Apr. 13 - 17
Apr. 6 - 10
Mar. 30 - Apr. 3
Mar. 23 - 27
Mar. 16 - 20
Mar. 9 - 13
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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