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    Jay-Z Joined by Rihanna, Kanye, Diddy at 9/11 Show

    There was really only one man for the job. Only one who could honor such a terrible tragedy without making the night anything but a celebration. Only one MC so symbolic of New York City and its potential, yet so loved by all. Only Jay-Z can rock Madison Square Garden on 9/11. Of course, the cynics could just as easily say that Jay had a whole other anniversary on his mind, that this wasn't just some benefit concert for a charity with a really long name (the New York Police & Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund). Exactly eight years ago, on September 11, 2001, Jay released his landmark album, The Blueprint, and his latest disc, The Blueprint 3, dropped on Tuesday. No coincidences here. But this gig wasn't about Jay; it was about New York. And the Brooklyn-bred rapper certainly put on a show worthy of his hometown.

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    The Bravery Rock NYC's Amstel Light Amsterdam Live

    When there's free beer, people will come. When that beer is Amstel Light, they'll come in droves and demand free screen-printed T-shirts with the beer's logo (courtesy of Ad Hoc Art). At least that's what happened Wednesday night (Aug. 26) at Manhattan's Webster Hall. Mr. Hudson and headliners the Bravery played big sets to a packed house full of jubilant, sweaty fans who double-fisted beers, lining them four, five, six in a row along the stage before leaving the plastic cups stacked high in the venue's dark corners. All the free brew came courtesy of Amstel Light Amsterdam Live -- a SPIN-sponsored concert tour that's been crisscrossing the country this summer bringing live music and a taste of Amsterdam to the masses. Opening the festivities, London-native Mr.

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    Spinnerette Celebrate Album Release in NYC

    Since Brody Dalle, the tattooed Amazon goddess of a frontwoman, disbanded her So-Cal punk outfit, the Distillers, in 2006, her focus has been more maternal than nocturnal: She got hitched to Josh Homme -- the Queens of the Stone Age frontman with whom she had a daughter, Camille, that same year. But that's all about to change. As her new band, Spinnerette, made its NYC debut last night at the Bowery Ballroom, Dalle aimed to wrestle some of the spotlight away from her domestic life and put it back firmly where it belongs: on her voice. But that voice, as Dalle explained to the Bowery crowd, didn't quite make the trip with her to New York: The singer said she woke up hoarse, alluded to having laryngitis, and claimed, jokingly, that openers Band of Skulls had given it to her. But no worries: Dalle coerced someone to "stick a needle in [her] ass" -- full of what we don't know.

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    Sonic Youth Debut New Album in NYC

    To mark the release of their 16th album, The Eternal, indie-rock godfathers Sonic Youth performed Tuesday night at the one venue with even more pop-culture clout than their own: an Apple Store in lower Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood. The show was being filmed for iTunes' "Live from SoHo" series. Most of the folks who squeezed into Apple's performance space, which looked more like a millionaire's basement entertainment center than a rock venue, were members of the media or friends of the band. This was as much a press conference as a rock show. Still, this was Sonic Youth -- 56-year-old Kim Gordon wearing a dark blue dress that swayed just below her knees as she strummed a Fender Jazzmaster 10 feet from the crowd. The quintet (including bassist Mark Ibold) ripped into "Sacred Trickster" -- the two-minute firecracker that launches The Eternal.

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    Girl Talk Entertains NYC Hipsters!

    "Girl Talk: I'm Not a DJ" flashed the giant video screens next to the stage at NYC's Hiro Ballroom Thursday night. And yet, there was GT's Gregg Gillis front and center, surrounded by a crush of sweaty twenty-somethings dancing to his dizzying mash-ups of Top 40 radio and kitschy classics. (See a photo gallery of the show here.) We can forgive Gillis his one moment of ironic self-awareness. Everything else about his set screamed sincerity -- from the massive, blinking beach balls he unleashed on the audience to the grin on his face when he knew he'd played their favorite guilty pleasure. In other words, it was a total, unqualified blast for a packed-to-the-gills house of invited guests and 250 contest winners at the private Canon PowerShot/SPIN event.

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    Rockers Honor Joey Ramone's B-Day in NYC

    It's not everyday that you find the Supersuckers, Fishbone, and a bunch of bagpipe players together in the same room. But then again not everyday is Joey Ramone's birthday. Tuesday night, the ninth annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash brought together a slew of bands and Ramone's family and friends for a party at New York's Fillmore East to celebrate the life of the shy, 6' 3" singer who changed rock'n'roll -- a life cut short by lymphoma at the age of 49, nine years ago. After run-of-the-mill rockabilly from Tom Clark and the High Action Boys, and bland glam rock from former groupie extraordinaire Bebe Buell (a.k.a. Liv Tyler's mother), the night finally got moving with (of all things) a folk duo known as Uncle Monk. That would be Tommy Ramone on mandolin and Claudia Tienan (of '80s rockers the Simplistics) on acoustic guitar.

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    Lou Reed Unleashes Metal Machine Music in NYC

    "No Songs. No Vocals." The stern warning was printed on every ticket to Thursday night's performance of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Trio at the Gramercy Theatre in Manhattan. And besides the occasional moan or grunt from Reed himself, that's exactly what his fans got: an hour and a half of pure, throbbing -- occasionally blissful -- noise. This was no "Sweet Jane." Reed's new band, if you can call it that, takes its name from his infamous 1975 album Metal Machine Music -- a double LP consisting of over an hour of tortured organ and guitar feedback. Though some critics hail the record as a harbinger of late-century noise experimentalists like Sonic Youth, Metal Machine has for the most part remained a collector's item for Reed cultists. Thankfully, the downtown rocker wasn't simply out to recreate that early sonic screed.

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    Stipe, Patti Smith, Others Play R.E.M. Tribute in NYC

    Last night, Hootie & the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker and folky Kimya Dawson proved that they had at least one thing very much in common: a love for R.E.M. They, along with 19 other artists -- Glen Hansard, Marshall Crenshaw, and the great Patti Smith among them -- came together for a benefit concert at New York's Carnegie Hall to pay tribute to the legendary Athens, GA, quartet with their own versions of R.E.M. classics. Of the bands who gave birth to the '80s indie-rock explosion, R.E.M. are one of the lucky few to have made it through the '90s alive. The event was about celebrating R.E.M.'s many moods -- the strange mutability in their music that has assured the band's survival over a nearly 30-year career.

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    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Play "Final" Show

    If their show Friday night at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music was their last one ever -- as rampant internet speculation would have it -- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah certainly gave no indication the end was near. Their set had swagger and verve, swinging confidently between their beloved early hits and a handful of epic, guitar-centric new tunes. Lead-singer Alec Ounsworth didn't mention a word of any impending break-up. If you hadn't read the rumors online, you'd have no idea. And yet, the rumors appear to be true -- more or less. Late last month, the band's management told NME that Clap Your Hands had abandoned plans to head into the studio and decided to take a long break after Friday night's show, though they refuted suggestions the boys were calling it quits. All those Internet rumormongers are "probably reading too much into things," Nick Stern said.

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    Lily Allen Wows at Secret Show

    The pressure is undoubtedly on Lily Allen's little shoulders, especially on the day her hotly-tipped new album, It's Not Me, It's You, arrived in stores. But at Tuesday night's MySpace Secret Show at NYC's Bowery Ballroom, she certainly didn't act like it. Working her trademark mix of silly and sexy, the 23-year-old British pop star sauntered on stage -- looking dapper in a strapless red dress -- and wowed a young, largely female audience with her new record's confident, darker, and more synth-heavy tunes. Sure, there was the odd single or two from Allen's 2006 debut, Alright, Still, and her fabulous cover of Britney Spears' "Womanizer," but for the most part Allen showered the packed 600-capacity room with new tracks like "The Fear," "Fuck You" (which she took great pleasure in dedicating to George W.

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