Monday, April 05, 2010

Music News: Dylan Cancels Asian Tour; Albums from Elliott Smith, Peter Wolf, & Sharon Jones; Rihanna & Neil Young Tour Dates

Left: Kill Rock Stars is releasing two albums by the late Elliott Smith this week.

There's lots of music news this week, from tour dates to new albums; from hot new artists to veteran performers:

* Bob Dylan has canceled his tour of Southeast Asia after Chinese officials declined to let him perform in Shanghai and Beijing. Dylan, who has never performed in China, is thought to have been kept out of those cities for fear the sometimes-rebellious performer might make some controversial comments, a la Bjork's shoutout to Tibet at her concert in Shanghai a couple of years ago.

* Northwest indie label Kill Rock Stars will re-release Elliott Smith's first and final full-length albums, "Roman Candle" (1994) and "From a Basement on the Hill," according to the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog. The first had never been mastered; the latter is a release Smith was working on at the time of his suicide in 2003. Both are out tomorrow, April 6th.

* I hadn't thought about Peter Wolf, longtime singer for the J. Geils Band, for years, but he's coming out with a new album. Both the Wall Street Journal and NPR talked to the blues-rock group's frontman about his latest effort, "Midnight Souvenirs."

* The Journal also has a nice article on the new album by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, the soul group that uses tape machines and analog equipment in a Brooklyn studio to give its albums a retro-soul sound. "I Learned the Hard Way" drops on April 6th.

(Update: is offering a free MP3 download of the title song from "I Learned the Hard Way." Site doesn't say how long it'll be available.)

* Rihanna is spending her summer on tour, and taking along Ke$ha with her. On-sale dates for the Rihanna/Ke$ha tickets are posted; New York shows are August 12th at Madison Square Garden and August 15th at Jones Beach.

* Neil Young has announced some new May tour dates, with concerts slated for Buffalo, Connecticut, Kentucky, Atlanta, South Carolina, and Nashville.

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