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By Andy Argyrakis
Jack Johnson Weekend Report: Phair revisits an indie classic, Johnson at Alpine
Friday, June 20, 2008

Hawaii-bred singer/songwriter Jack Johnson is in the midst of quite a sales streak thanks to the chart topping CD Sleep Through the Static (Brushfire Records), plus a barrage of full album and single downloads. While there's no ignoring the troubadour's rising popularity, is he really known enough to play the massive confines of Alpine Valley, the venue of last year's historic Rage Against the Machine reunion and this year's Projekt Revolution Tour with Linkin Park? That remains to be seen this Saturday, though given his relatively pedestrian meanderings, it could be a sleeper either way. (Fan club only - Saturday at Alpine Valley Music Theatre- East Troy, WI: www.ticketmaster.com).

The man behind the classic guitar line makes a rare concert appearance in celebration of his 93rd birthday. Yes, the iconic Les Paul (also known as "The Wizard of Waukesha") returns to his home state to show off his astounding skills alongside several unannounced friends. TLiz Phairhe star-studded evening benefits the Les Paul House of Sound at Discovery World, with tickets available in standard and deluxe packages. (Bet your life - Saturday at The Pabst Theater- Milwaukee, WI: www.pabsttheater.org).

After selling her soul to major label life and reducing her normally aggressive songwriting into ditzy pop radio pointlessness, Liz Phair comes back from the dark side to readdress her alternative beginnings. This year marks the 15th anniversary of her seminal Exile in Guyville, which earns a reissue thanks to ATO Records, plus a tour where the tunesmith will perform the project in its entirety. Thus far, only a limited run of shows has been announced with no further plans to extend the outing, making this gig a must see in a meantime. (Bet your life - Tuesday at Vic Theatre- Chicago, IL: www.jamusa.com).

Coldplay Street Week: A more reasonably priced Pogues, Coldplay's comeback
Monday, June 16, 2008

Though U2 is often tagged "the best band in the world" by overzealous critics, Coldplay is attempting to overtake those adjectives with the release of Viva La Vida (Capitol). The British critical darlings turned source of mainstream mania churn out a lean collection of a mere ten tracks, but listening to pre-release snippets indicate a sophisticated continuation of its swelling piano pop sounds, emotive lyrics and Chris Martin's instantly familiar pleas. The title track has thus far been an iTunes favorite and is known for a progressive string arrangement that collides with escalating percussion, though it remains to be seen if the album as a whole will be embraced to the rapid degrees of Bono and the boys.

American audiences salivating for a price drop in the import release of The Pogues' exhaustive box set Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say...Pogue Mahone (Wea International) won't have to wait any longer. After debuting at over a hundred bucks a few weeks ago, this Tuesday's Stateside edition is clocking in around $60 at www.amazon.com, which is more than worth the money. Expect 111 Shane MacGowantracks of rehearsal recordings, B-sides, outtakes and soundtrack selections spanning 1983 demos to live tracks from 2001, spread across five discs in a handsome collectors' box with detailed liner notes.

Other albums releasing this week include metal mavens Judas Priest with Nostradamus (Sony), alternative mainstays The Offspring on Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace (Sony) and impressive indie rockers Wolf Parade with At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop). Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall turns in the surprise Tribute to Bobby (Rhino), which tips its hat towards the blues catalogue of Bobby "Blue" Bland, while Motown masterminds The Funk Brothers translate Live In Orlando (Eagle Rock) to DVD.

The Dish Archives - 2008

June 9 - 13
June 2 - 6
May 26 - 30
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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