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By Andy Argyrakis
BjorkWeekend Report: Rock For Kids is coming
Friday, November 30, 2007
The 19th Annual Rock For Kids Rock & Roll Charity Auction hits Chicago's Park West tonight, featuring several collectible items from the music industry's most elite entertainers. Topping the list is a set of sheet music signed by Billy Joel, plus an autographed Gibson SG by The Who's Pete Townshend. Other celebrities who donated signatures include Bjork, the Flaming Lips and Jack Nicholson, while several other Hollywood stars and musicians will have additional memorabilia on display (such as a suit worn on stage by James Brown).

As for the Rock For Kids organization, it was started in 1988 by a group of Jam Productions employees who collected donations at shows to buy holiday gifts for the less fortunate. Aside from the annual auction, the charity also hosts several shopping events for children and mothersPaul
McCartney in shelters, plus year round music lessons as part of its Youth Jam program. Even those who can't attend the event can still get involved in the action by visiting www.rockforkids.org.

For those needing a DVD dose of rock 'n roll, Paul McCartney's brand new box set should tide them over through Monday. The McCartney Years (Rhino) complies Sir Paul's best loved music videos from his solo and Wings days, plus loads of archival footage available commercially for the first time. Expect footage from Wings' 1976 world tour, Macca's 1985 Live Aid set, 1991's acoustic appearance on MTV and 2004's headlining slot at Glastonbury Festival. However, die-hard fans will notice the incomplete nature of these concerts, a fact that's garnered lots of internet grumbling thus far, but isn't enough to override a purchase of this otherwise exhaustive triple disc compilation.
John ForgertyFogerty tapes "Soundstage," Take Action Tour unveiled
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The studio for WTTW's "Soundstage" is getting fired up for tonight's taping with John Forgerty, the one time leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival turned somewhat reclusive solo star. Thankfully the southern fried rocker is back to singing the band's classics, while also turning in raucous new tunes from his like-minded new release Revival. This tour comes on the heels of last summer's double bill outing with Willie Nelson, a somewhat oddly matched but still enjoyable run that produced a series of sellouts.

The Forgerty episode is a part of season five in the revived era of the famed PBS program, slated to launch at the top of 2008. Stevie Nicks opened the season with a string of solo and Fleetwood Mac smashes after having previously appeared in specials with that band, plus Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. From there, Matchbox Twenty set up shop to perform a career spanning set list,Every Time I Die while Bon Jovi's upcoming opening act Daughtry also stopped by (prior to taking home several trophies at this year's American Music Awards). To track the line-up of airdates and future tapings, log onto www.wttw.com/soundstage.

Southern California indie heavyweights Hopeless/Sub City Records just announced the line-up behind this year's Take Action Tour (kicking off in February), which will be co-headlined by Every Time I Die and Escape The Fate. Now in its seventh year, the annual outing previously hosted the up and coming likes of Jimmy Eat World, Thrice, Avenged Sevenfold, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Chiodos and Sugarcult. Outside of artistic contexts, the event also takes a socially conscious twist that strives to educate fans about making a positive difference throughout the local community. Thus far the organization raised over $450,000 spread throughout a variety of local charities.
Lou CarlozoTribune troubadour's record release, A&E's latest specials
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Between his time as a Chicago Tribune entertainment editor and DVD columnist, Lou Carlozo certainly has a wide array of musical projects hit his desk throughout the course of a year. In fact, that constant stream of product to review recently stirred his inner artist to the point of releasing the solo debut disc Stick Figure Soul. The jangle pop/acoustic rock project comes on the heels the troubadour's world music tinted band the Blue Lit Souls and features an influence amalgamation of early R.E.M., Tom Petty, Robbie Robertson and the Beatles. Those in the Windy City can judge for themselves tonight at Schubas for his record release party, with all the ticket information at www.schubas.com.

Though A&E's upcoming "Biography" line-up has a fair share of fluff (such as episodes involving 'Nsync and Britney Spears), there are several worthwhile episodes chronicling artists of deeper substance. Despite starting Sheryl Crowout in pre-fabricated contexts, The Monkees eventually earned an admirable amount of artistic salt, which will all be chronicled in a December 19 premiere (at 10pm ET/9pm CT/ 11pm PT). Other episodes of merit include Sheryl Crow (debuting December 20 in the same time slot) and a closer look at U2's Bono outside the band (initially airing December 27 at 9pm ET/8pm CT/ 10pm PT).

Electronically saturated indie rockers Burnside Project are digitally re-releasing its out of print debut disc. The self-titled project originally hit streets on Fraga Music, but this particular version features five additional bonus tracks. Outside of this rebirth, front man Richard Jankovich also operates under his underground moniker Pocket, which recently released a remix of Radiohead covering Bjork's "Unravel" (the subject of major props thus far from both Pitchfork and Stereogum).
IncubusStreet Date: Incubus DVD, Switchfoot solo
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Even though Incubus may not be riding at the top of the alt-rock charts these days, the band continues to expand its creative palette with every album released. The 2006 studio effort Light Grenades (Epic) is a primary example of members fully abandoning their nu-metal tipped beginnings for a much more sophisticated, experimental jam session, even if it does come at the expense of radio accessibility. Yet fans of both factions can both find solace on the concert DVD Look Alive (Epic), which was filmed over the past year on tour in support of a career spanning set list.

Switchfoot recently jumped ship from Columbia for a more artistically challenging sound, and while the band is currently writing for its next record, front man Jon Foreman already has an arsenal of EPs ready to go. The first installment hits digital distribution today and is simply titled Fall (to focus on the troubadour'sSwitchfoot thoughts relating to this particular season). The trend continues with Winter, Spring and Summer, which were birthed out of acoustic shows after the band's plugged-in affairs. "Many of these 'after shows' have been incredible experiences, a chance for spontaneous acoustic music that is completely juxtaposed to the rock band environment: no booking agent, no light show, no amps or guitar techs- just Dylan covers, some sing-a-longs, and honest stories," he says. "These projects are an attempt to create a musical conversation that mirrors that experience."

Now that Justin Timberlake has officially brought sexy back, his record label continues to squeeze that cash cow just in time for the holidays. As if the standard version of the immensely popular FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive) wasn't enough, a deluxe edition features that original album, plus other club infused goodies. Though they don't necessarily justify an additional purchase to previous owners, a new version of "Sexyback" and the Beyonce duet "Until The End Of Time" are a few download worthy highlights.
Lenny KravitzLenny's MySpace mania, Another rap spat
Monday, November 26, 2007
Anyone who's a MySpace friend of Lenny Kravitz could find themselves actually hanging out with the man behind the music in the not too distant future. His upcoming "Get on the Bus with the Love Revolution Tour" contest is meant to pump additional attention towards his early 2008 release It Is Time For a Love Revolution (Virgin) by giving fans the chance to chill with the superstar. And we're not just talking a simple meet and greet with a few photos or autographs, but rather a full-fledged bus ride and complete backstage access to the outing (think Depeche Mode's now classic 101 concert DVD). Additional details on the clever marketing angle will be unveiled as the February 5 street date nears at www.myspace.com/lennykravitz.

Patrons to R. Kelly and Ne-Yo's current tour won't be celebrating the recent news of the pair's split only two shows into the endeavor. Similar to Kelly's parting ways with Jay Z a few years ago, the dismissal is centered R. Kellyaround two separate stories, starting with Kelly's camp issuing the following statement to E! Online. "Ne-Yo's departure from the Double Up Tour was the result of a contractual issue between him and the tour promoter. R. Kelly had nothing to do with it."

Yet BET.com found Ne-Yo in another frame of mind: "Let [my label] tell it, I was removed from the R. Kelly tour because of contractual agreements not being met, but that's absolutely false. I believe it was because the first few reviews of the show, people were talking more about my set than his, and I don't think he liked that too much." But the real question the episode raises is how in the world does R. Kelly continue dodging his looming sex trial to be on the road anyway?

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