Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bruce Springsteen Announces 2009 Tour Dates -Ticket Info

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band are hitting the road to support their new CD "Working on a Dream," and the first set of tour dates has been announced. You can find the Bruce Springsteen concert dates and on-sale dates at the Live page of the Springsteen Web site.

Conveniently, tickets for many of the shows go on sale Monday, February 2nd, the day after the band is exposed to hundreds of millions of eyeballs playing the Super Bowl halftime show. The NFL had apparently wanted Springsteen to do the halftime show for years, but the artist only recently agreed. As articles in the L.A. Times and other sites have noted, the Super Bowl gig gives aging rockers a big boost in sales, and Springsteen even did a press conference to talk about the upcoming set. Apparently it's the first presser The Boss has given in more than 20 years.

"Working on a Dream," which came out on Tuesday, is currently the top-selling album on and is second on iTunes (number one is a reissue of a greatest-hits album by Credence Clearwater revival, which just recently became available on the online service).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bruce Springsteen's New Album - FREE Streaming

We've been seeing a lot of Bruce Springsteen lately, and naturally that means he's got a new album coming out. "Working on a Dream" is coming out this week, in fact, and you can listen to whole album FREE over at NPR Music via Web streaming. I'm guessing it won't be there for streaming much longer (maybe only through the on-sale date?), so head on over the the NPR page for free streaming of the new Springsteen album.

(You can order "Working on a Dream" from using the widget or Search box at right.)

As mentioned before, Springsteen has been seen all over the place in recent months: he performed a series of concerts to promote Barack Obama's campaign; he performed at the pre-inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial; and of course he and the E Street Band will be he halftime entertainment at next weekend's Super Bowl. No doubt he'll be making some other TV appearances as well.

Take this opportunity to listen to "Working on a Dream" for free now, before the album hits the stores.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Lost" Season 5 Premiere Tonight - Get Ready!

If you're a fan of ABC's "Lost" like me, you'll be parked in front of the TV for two hours tonight with the phone off the hook for the big premiere of season 5 (or three hours, if I decide to watch the clip show beforehand). What's going to happen? Will the show pick up right where it left off last season, or will it begin with yet another new story line and a tangent for us all to follow?

* The Boston Globe calls it "a riveting premiere" with lots of clues.

* Entertainment Weekly compiles a list of "10 Key Things to Know for Season 5" of "Lost".

* Public radio's Monkey See blog discusses how you can enjoy "Lost" without watching every episode (it's technically possible, but the show is much more rich when you know all that's happened and all the characters' relationships and backstories).

* Hurley speaks! Jorge Garcia spills some "Lost" season 5 secrets in an interview with Zap2It.

* Head for the official ABC site for "Lost" season 5 premiere sneak previews, photos, character summaries, and lots more.

And to keep yourself amused until the show kicks off tonight, Newsday has a "Lost" quiz so you can test your knowledge of the island and its inhabitants.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where to Hear Sunday's Washington, D.C. Inauguration Concert

HBO has the exclusive rights to show the inauguration concert on TV, but luckily you can hear the concert FREE on the radio on a number of NPR affiliates throughout the country, or listen online with a free live stream. The concert starts at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 18th and includes such stars as Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Herbie Hancock, Sheryl Crow, and Stevie Wonder.

There will also be celebrities such as Jack Black, Martin Luther King III, Laura Linney, and Denzel Washington speaking or reading passages of historical texts. And Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at the concert as well.

The radio stations broadcasting the concert included New York's WFUV and WNYC; see the Web site above for full details. (I've since noticed that at least a couple of the stations NPR mentioned are either not broadcasting the concert but are Webcasting it; or are broadcasting it only on their secondary HD channels.) Some of the stations broadcasting the concert may stream it live from their Web sites as well. NOTE: Unlike many other live concerts broadcast on NPR, this one will not be archived for future listening (says NPR), so if you want to hear it, catch it live.

Full list of scheduled performers, according to NPR:
Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Mstr. Sgt. Caleb Green, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, Bettye Lavette, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, U2, Usher, and Stevie Wonder.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A. R. Rahman Wins Golden Globe for "Slumdog Millionaire" Score

The Bollywood composer A. R. Rahman has won the Golden Globe award for his score to the much-praised movie Slumdog Millionaire. Like his scores for Indian-language movies, his work on Slumdog blends a range of global styles and influences, from Indian folk music to hip-hop and even Broadway musicals. You can hear samples of music from Slumdog Millionaire at the Interscope Records Web site.

The film's soundtrack features songs by M.I.A., a singer of Sri Lankan decent, including her international hit "Paper Planes."

(Read an interview with Vikas Swarup, the author of the novel Q&A, upon which Slumdog Millionaire is based.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

The 20 Biggest Pop Music Flops of 2008 (According to Metromix)

The biggest music stars don't always have the biggest-selling albums... sometimes their big-budget releases crash with a resounding thud. And much-hyped indie darlings can lay an egg, too. The folks at Metromix crunch the numbers and look at the 20 biggest disappointments in pop music albums of 2008.

Note: this list is based on the actual sales versus the expectations for the releases, so inclusion on this list doesn't mean that the albums don't have artistic merit. Some of these may be well-regarded albums that just happened to bomb out in the marketplace. I thought R.E.M.'s Accelerate was rather good, but it's on this list for its disappointing sales figures.

It's an eclectic list, to be sure: This may be the only music list where you'll see Guns N' Roses, the Pussycat Dolls, and Buck Cherry on the same list.