Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson, King of Pop, Dies at Age 50

Michael Jackson certainly had some odd habits and an assortment of health concerns, but no one expected him to die, as he did today at the age of 50. Ironically, Jackson was preparing for a huge comeback effort that would try to restore his reputation (and his financial solvency). He was scheduled to play 50 sold-out dates at London's O2 Arena.

But the King of Pop died this afternoon in Los Angeles when he collapsed at his home and was taken to UCLA Medical Center. Paramedics found him in a coma when they were summoned to his mansion, and he died of a suspected heart attack. An autopsy may take place as early as tomorrow, and it is hoped that will clear up questions such as whether drugs (legal or otherwise) were a cause of Jackson's death.

The L.A. Times notes that celebrities offered their Michael Jackson thoughts and reactions on Twitter, and the paper's Web site offers an obituary, a timeline of his life, and Michael Jackson photos from throughout his life.

Music by Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 has been flying off the shelves at and other retailers. At one point, 17 of the top 25 bestsellers in music at Amazon were by one of those two artists. Among other things, the retails is selling the MP3 version of The Jackson 5's album "ABC" for $7.99.

Whatever one thinks of his personal life, Michael Jackson was one of the most talented and enduring artists of our day, and he has legions of fans throughout the world.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Canadian Rockers Metric Perform Live on Radio (Free Download)

Canadian rock band Metric has been touring the U.S. recently to support its new album "Fantasies" and whether you've caught the band in concert or not you can now listen to a couple of these live sets.

Two weeks ago Metric performed an in-studio set for "Morning Becomes Eclectic," the acclaimed show on KCRW radio in Santa Monica, California. The set includes a couple of conversation breaks during which the band discusses "Fantasies" with host Nic Harcourt. Metric's set is archived on the KCRW Web site for you to watch or listen to.

On the opposite coast, Metric played at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club last week and National Public Radio not only Webcast the show live, but has made the audio of the hour-and-20-minute set available for free online streaming or download. The set focuses on the new album, but also includes some old Metric favorites such as "Monster Hospital." Since I unfortunately missed Metric's sold-out show at New York's Terminal 5, I was glad to be able to download and listen to the D.C. concert.

Metric's tour continues over the summer with shows in England, Canada (including Ottawa and Halifax), and Australia.

More Metric:
* Metric MySpace page
* Metric Web site (
* Metric on YouTube

Monday, June 08, 2009

Apple WWDC Coverage Underway; New Laptops Introduced

Apple Inc.'s 2009 Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) is underway, and already the company has introduced a new laptop computer with what it says is the fastest microchip it has ever put in a laptop. One site says there is a new MacBook lineup, available in 13- and 15-inch sizes, with longer battery life, among other features.

You can follow live WWDC coverage at MacObserver and other Web sites.

More info to come later.

Oh, and Bruce Springsteen Giants Stadium tickets went on sale this morning for his last two shows there, which were announced the other day.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Blues Legend KoKo Taylor Dies; Paul McCartney Citi Field Shows Confirmed

There's some very sad news concerning one musical living legend, and happy news about another one.

KoKo Taylor dies at 80. The bad news is that the singer long called the "Queen of the Blues," KoKo Taylor, passed away at age 80 Wednesday afternoon. She died from complications of surgery she underwent on May 19th to correct gastrointestinal bleeding, sources have reported.

The Memphis native moved to Chicago in the early 1950s. Her final live performance was earlier in May in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards, where she was honored as Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year. Among her signature tunes was “Wang Dang Doodle,” above. She recorded for Alligator Records.

You can find out more about Koko Taylor's life and career and read an obituary at the official KoKo Taylor Web site.

And the folks at public radio's All Songs Considered take a look back at KoKo Taylor, and provide some more songs of hers to listen to.

Paul McCartney to give first concerts at Citi Field. With the Beatles, McCartney performed in the first concert at the New York Mets' original home, Shea Stadium, so it's fitting that McCartney will give the inaugural concerts at the team's new ballpark, Citi Field, on July 17th and 18th.

Tickets for the McCartney Citi Field shows go on sale June 15 at 10 a.m. through or 817-507-TIXX.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bruce Springsteen Final Shows at Giants Stadium - On Sale Now

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are closing out the concert history of Giants Stadium in style with three concerts this Fall, and tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. Monday morning, June 1st.

Here are the details:
  • Link to the Springsteen Giants Stadium tickets page (Note: Tickets will not be sold at the IZOD Center Box Office on this date)
  • There are three shows: September 30th, October 2nd, and October 2rd
  • Ticket prices are $98, $65, and $33
  • Field tickets are General Admission standing only, no seats
  • There is an eight-ticket limit per person, per show. (Tickets can be all reserved, all GA or a combination of the two)
  • Giants Stadium is located in the Meadowlands sports complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey
  • Tickets will not be sold for areas behind the stage

These concerts by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be the last concerts at Giants Stadium, which will be retired at the end of the 2009-2010 NFL season.

You can find more information and Bruce Springsteen tour dates at the official Bruce Springsteen Web site.