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    Depeche Mode Works the Hits at Lollapalooza

    Shortly before Depeche Mode took the stage to close out a frustratingly first damp day of Lollapalooza on Friday, the rain stopped. Too bad, because if any band could've benefited from a dark and stormy night, it was these longtime British merchants of seductive gloom, who put on a solid 17 song set that, while played with passion and heavy on crowd-pleasers, was just short of magical. Not through lack of effort, though. Taking the stage in a black lounge jacket and tight black pants, lead singer Dave Gahan exuded a darkly sexy androgynous allure. On ominous opening song, "In Chains," from this year's Sounds of the Universe, he slowly rocked his hips back and forth in time to the ominous drum beat.

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    Beastie Boy Adam Yauch Gives Cancer Update

    Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA, sent an email blast this morning, Aug. 5, updating his health status following surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his parotid gland, the discovery of which caused the cancellation of the band's scheduled concert appearances behind their recently completed album, Hot Sauce Committee. You can read the email below. The update contains positive news and follows up on the good vibes sent his way at last weekend's All Points West festival, when Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs wore a "Get Well MCA" armband and Jay-Z and Coldplay covered the Boys' classics "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" (the former) and "Fight For Your Right" (the latter) to honor the band, who were originally slated as fest's headliner. Read Yauch's letter -- formatting left intact -- below.

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    First Listen: Wolfmother's New Album

    In the four years since Aussie hard rock outfit Wolfmother released its self-titled debut, the trio toured the world, saw its track "Woman" become a Guitar Hero favorite, and, uh-oh, lost two members. When a trio becomes a one-o, it's easy to imagine dissolution being the next step. But the Wolf survived, and previewed its new album during an open-bar laser show Monday night at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex in New York City. Singer-guitarist Andrew Stockdale, who found three even hairier Aussies to replace his old running mates, introduced the band's new album, Cosmic Egg (out Oct. 13), with the ominous words, "Prepare for the onslaught." To help you do the same, here's a first crack at the Egg. "California Queen"Meet the new Wolfmother, same as the old Wolfmother. And thank Satan for that.

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    David Byrne Calls Out U2!

    Bono and David Byrne might not be shaking hands the next time they meet at that magical exclusive place where rock stars go to hang out. Writing on his blog recently, the ex-Talking Heads frontman crankily called out the Irish megastar. With what seems to be at least half-a-tongue planted in his cheek, Byrne wrote that U2's "$40 million stage" and estimated "200 semi trucks crisscrossing Europe" is "overkill" and "looks a wee bit out of balance given all the starving people in Africa and all." Byrne's obvious sarcasm aside, this is not the first criticism of U2's world tour behind their latest album, No Line On the Horizon.

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    WATCH: Weezer Debut Two New Songs Live!

    Fans of "El Scorcho," from Weezer's benchmark 1996 album Pinkerton, know that Rivers Cuomo has a thing for Japanese ladies -- but maybe he digs South Koreans too? Sunday night at the Jisan Rock festival outside of Seoul, Weezer debuted two new songs! The first, "I'm Your Daddy," is a straightforward blast of power-pop, as Cuomo sings about an unexpected romantic hook-up over crunching guitar and a no-frills drum pattern. It's a fun, if bloodless song -- more "Pork and Beans" than "Say It Ain't So" -- but it's fun to watch Cuomo sans guitar, awkwardly and endearingly executing some frontman moves. Paul Stanley he is not. And thank goodness for that. "The Girl Got Hot" is the better of the two new numbers. The lyrics are about that most vexing of young women -- the junior high wallflower who ends up turning into a hottie.

  • Wilco, 'Wilco (the album)' (Nonesuch)

    As far as rock'n'roll is concerned, status quo is for suckers. New boss same as the old boss? fuck 'em both. Accordingly, in their own insular way, Wilco have spent their 15-year existence struggling against stasis. Whether it's alt-country, '70s-influenced chamber pop, Woody Guthrie covers, or Radiohead-refracted Americana, frontman Jeff Tweedy has felt compelled to dress his innate tunefulness in all manner of disguise. The band lived according to shark logic: Keep moving or die. Until now. If 2007's Sky Blue Sky was an amiable, if mildly flaccid, return to rootsy songwriting fundamentals after the migraines-and-motorik meandering of 2004's A Ghost Is Born, then Wilco (the album), the band's seventh studio effort, treats verse-chorus-verse basics like holy truths. The result is the rare rock album about acceptance.

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    Breaking Out: Broken Records

    Who says the British monarchy is powerless? Simply by showing up for school, Prince William unwittingly helped Scotland's hottest new band get started."I was doing an English and philosophy course at St. Andrews University when William was studying there," explains singer Jamie Sutherland. "It was terrible. He attracted all these upper-class toffs running wild with Daddy's credit card. I had to get out of that place if I wanted to make music." So that's what he did. After causing his doctor parents some grief by dropping out in 2006, Sutherland, 27, returned home to Edinburgh and formed Broken Records with his brother, violinist-accordionist Rory, 25, and guitarist Ian Turnbull, 26. "We played weird country-pop," says Sutherland. "The songs felt like beginnings.

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    Spencer Pratt on Rap, God, and Spencer Pratt

    Talking with Spencer Pratt is like encountering a mythical beast -- you've heard about it, maybe even seen it in pictures, but you still can't quite believe it exists. Oh, but it does. And it wants to tell you all about its Machiavellian genius. Pratt's knack for self-promotion will come as no surprise to fans of the MTV reality show The Hills, currently in production on its fifth season and co-starring his wife, Heidi Montag. Most recently, the newlyweds -- a.k.a., Speidi -- were seen fleeing NBC's I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here because the Costa Rican jungle wasn't up to their "5-Star everything" standards. And now, as if the haters didn't have enough ammunition, Pratt is getting into the rap game. His first single, "I'm a Celebrity," produced by sometime Lil Wayne collaborator Steve Morales, is out.

  • The Most Serene Republic, '...And the Ever Expanding Universe' (Arts & Crafts)

    A primary-color blast of major-key melodies, airy boy-girl vocals, ringing guitars, skipping rhythms, brass, woodwinds, and rolling piano, the rather exhaustingly charming third album from this Canadian collective radiates with the earnest warmth of a child's finger painting. It's about as deep, too. Almost nothing on this jumble -- not a lyric, chorus, nor riff -- stands out. When penultimate track "Don't Hold Back, Feel a Little Longer" opens with sharp synths, the clarity of purpose is almost jarring. So hang Universe on the fridge, and look at it as a sign of potential. BUY: Amazon

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    Remembering Michael Jackson's Better Days

    In the days to come, you will hear a lot of negative stories -- some true, some not -- about Michael Jackson. His squandered fortune. His strange health history. His failed marriages. But I can remember a time when "Michael Jackson" only meant good things. I remember being five years old and listening to Bad on cassette tape over and over again. I remember being eight and playing Michael Jackson's Moonwalker on my Sega Genesis until my eyes started to tear. ÂI remember going to Disney World with my family and seeing Michael Jackson in the 3D movie Captain Eo. I remember how my friend Adam Litovitz could do the moonwalk better than anybody else in our 4th grade class. I remember the thrill of being allowed to stay up late and watch the video premiere of "Black or White." I remember when Michael Jackson was more than a freak. I'm 27 years old.

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