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By Andy Argyrakis
Van Halen Weekend Report: Danity Kane dances with Day26, Rescheduled Van Halen
Friday, May 30, 2008
Betting on who exactly will be in Van Halen or if a promised tour will actually happen is always such a sketchy subject. In early 2007, Sammy Hagar was out and David Lee Roth promised he was back, but after news of a tour hit the press, the band quickly withdrew from the public eye. By fall, Diamond Dave, guitarist Eddie Van Halen, bassist (and Eddie's son) Wolfgang Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen finally announced a trek and sold out in virtually every city. At the tip of 2008, the troupe spouted off a second round, but it was soon postponed for what was rumored (though never officially confirmed) to be Eddie's latest trip to rehab. But regardless of the reason, the band is really back to dust off its greatest hits (yet again) and see if they can remain friends for at least the next few months. (Fan club only Friday at Allstate Arena- Rosemont, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).

Most male vocalists from the classic era are long gone, and aside from the enduring Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis the only like-minded entertainer who remains on the road. And even at 72, his pipers remain marvelously in tact, which are sure to be amplified all the more with a little help from the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra. Though he performed with the same symphonic faction forDanity Kane a recent Christmas show, this trip through town is in support of the new A Night To Remember (Columbia), which finds the crooner covering old school soul and jazz tunes from the likes of Al Jarreau and Bill Withers. (Worth a shot Saturday at Rosemont Theatre- Rosemont, IL: www.chicagolandpops.com).

No one could look at Danity Kane's press photo and deny the fivesome's outer beauty, but is there really any substance to the sounds packed inside the new Bad Boy release Welcome To the Dollhouse? Outside of a few delectable dance grooves, not really, plus the sensuality is so overdone that it gets tiresome after about the third song. Nonetheless, these P. Diddy proteges strive to be more than the next Spice Girls during a co-headlining tour with R&B infused hip-hoppers Day26 on a bill that also includes Donnie Klang and Cheri Dennis. (Fan club only Sunday at Chicago Theatre- Chicago, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).

Porcupine
Tree Street Week: Porcupine's modern prog rock, Green gets adventurous
Monday, May 26, 2008
Even though the progressive rock term is generally relegated to dutiful dinosaurs like Yes, King Crimson and early Genesis, the style's found a mild resurgence in recent years. Cut from an updated cloth of the aforementioned while also appealing to fans of The Mars Volta and its like-minded offshoots, Porcupine Tree is steadily growing across multiple generations. Though the band is fresh off 2007's Fear of a Blank Planet (Atlantic) with guest appearances from Rush's Alex Lifeson and Crimson's Robert Fripp, the English act is revisiting 2000's Lightbulb Sun (Snapper) as a special edition this week. Aside from the original material earning a new mix, the set also includes bonus tracks and a DVD-Audio disc in 5.1 Surround Sound.

The Reverend Al Green continues his secular comeback with one of his most ambitious albums to date. Lay It Down (Blue Note) features production from The Roots' mastermind Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, resulting in a more contemporary dichotomy split between soul, R&B and even sprinklings of hip-hop.The Reverend Al Green The face lift is fleshed out even further via a handful of duets from relative neo-soul newcomers John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae and Anthony Hamilton. Green is currently on tour in support of the album, including a Chicago area show at Charter One Pavilion with Dr. John on July 12.

Alternative country-leaning roots rocker John Hiatt returns after three years with Same Old Man (New West), urban superstar Usher drops Here I Stand (Jive) and the always quirky Cyndi Lauper turns in Bring Ya To the Brink (Epic). In import contexts, The Pogues release its long-awaited five disc box set of rarities Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say...Pogue Mahone!!, though early online pricing is over a hundred bucks. Though the band's well worth the dough, stay tuned on these very pages for the announcement of a proper American release date.

The Dish Archives - 2008

May 19 - 23
May 12 - 16
May 5 - 9
Apr. 28 & May 2
Apr. 21 & 25
Apr. 14 & 18
Apr. 7 & 11
Mar. 30 & Apr. 4
Mar. 24 & 28
Mar. 17 & 21
Mar. 10 & 14
Mar. 3 & 7
Feb. 25 & 29
Feb. 18 & 22
Feb. 11 & 15
Feb. 4 & 8
Jan. 28 - Feb. 1
Jan. 21 - 25
Jan. 14 - 18
Jan. 7 - 11
Jan. 1 - 4
Daily Dish Archives - 2007

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