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    Sheryl Crow Soulful in Los Angeles

    Considering everything Sheryl Crow has been through the past few years--a battle with breast cancer, her tabloid-chronicled breakup with Lance Armstrong, her high-profile roles as a foot soldier for Barack Obama and as an adoptive mother--it's no surprise the 48-year-old songstress has done some soul-searching. What's remarkable is the soul she found. It's the musical variety, the kind that echoes in the catalogs of Motown greats and Stax Records, and it's the territory Crow mined for her new album 100 Miles From Memphis. On Friday night at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, the only thing standing between Crow and a makeover as an R&B diva was motherhood. "My little boy got the flu this week, and I got it too. But I'm here," the former Michael Jackson backup singer told the audience, sipping something ostensibly medicinal out of mug.

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    Arcade Fire Close Lollapalooza with Grace

    Arcade Fire is not so much a band these days as a weather pattern. Riding the jet stream created by the release last week of its third album, The Suburbs, the Montreal collective seems at this stage capable of changing the temperature, humidity and even barometric pressure wherever they set foot. And on a muggy Sunday night, playing to a crowd of more than 20,000 on a vast expanse of Chicago's Grant Park known (coincidentally) as Butler Field, Arcade Fire ended Lollapalooza 2010 with an exclamation point. At the finish, fans weren't merely applauding the ma-and-pa outfit fronted by Win Butler and his wife Régine Chassagne. They were bowing, palms thrust forward.

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    MGMT Get an Assist from the Kids at Chicago Benefit

    MGMT's biggest hit took on an added dimension on Friday at Chicago's House of Blues.

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    Robyn and Kelis Launch 'All Hearts' Tour in L.A.

    All that was missing from Robyn's set Friday at the opening night of the "All Hearts" tour at Los Angeles' Music Box theater was a giant disco ball. Everything else was in place: footloose fans who arrived early for Englishman Dan Black's good-humored set and stayed in motion during Far East Movement's DJ stylings; a slick light show that was certainly not for the faint-of-strobe; and a critically anointed electro queen who frolicked all over stage as if riding the sheen of her synth-pop veneer. Robyn, 31, equal parts Debbie Harry austere, Cyndi Lauper whimsical, and Nina Persson sweet, seemed perfectly comfortable in her dancing shoes, delivering six of the eight songs on her latest album Body Talk PT 1 in a well-paced set that was light on banter and heavy on beats. The same could not be said, however, for "All Hearts" co-headliner Kelis, whose new album Flesh Tone recasts the

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    Smashing Pumpkins Triumph Over Hecklers in Debut

    Billy Corgan debuted his leaner, meaner Smashing Pumpkins on Wednesday night, roaring through a scintillating 80 minutes of songs old and new before ending the set nonplussed, a ukulele in his hand. A ukulele? Yes. Near the show's end, Corgan took up a four-stringer to play a solo acoustic version of "Love Is the Sweetest Thing." "I've waited a long time to play this thing," he said, strumming the intro while waiting for the chatter from the crowd at West Hollywood's Viper Room to die down. "They're not gonna be quiet, are they," he said good-naturedly.

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    Findlay Brown, Shelby Lynne Launch Tour in L.A.

    Findlay Brown is a tall man, with even taller hair, but holding the attention of a roomful of Shelby Lynne fans proved a tall order Thursday night at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood. Armed with only an acoustic guitar, a disarming smile and a handful of heartfelt but featherweight songs, the 29-year-old Londoner kicked off a 22-date U.S. tour supporting Lynne by mining the tender moments on his sophomore release Love Will Find You.

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    Corinne Bailey Rae Launches Tour with Powerful Show

    All that was missing Tuesday night at the kickoff to Corinne Bailey Rae's 16-date North American tour was a collection plate. Everything else surrounding the British songstress' concert cried religious experience - the setting, Vibiana, a 134-year-old decommissioned cathedral in downtown Los Angeles; the audience, 500 or so devout fans; the proselytizer, influential radio station KCRW-FM; and the music, 14 chapters of heart and soul ending in a stirring, gospel take on"Que Sera Sera." Rae proved a charismatic confessor, the fabric of her expressive vocals flitting between silken jazz and woolen soul as she traversed nine of the songs from her sophomore album "The Sea," released in January.

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    Star-Studded Tribute to Alex Chilton and Big Star

    Power-pop icon Alex Chilton died suddenly of a heart attack on Wednesday at age 59, but his influential '70s band Big Star shone brightly nonetheless Saturday night at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin. A headlining concert originally scheduled as a reunion show instead became a star-studded tribute to the late songwriter/producer whose work with the Box Tops and Big Star inspired many indie artists, including R.E.M and the Replacements. Anchored by longtime Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and the two Posies who had joined the latest configuration of Chilton's band, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, the 90-minute show at Antone's kept it light on the banter and heavy on the group's catalog.

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    Hole's First U.S. Gig -- Live from SPIN's Stubb's Bash!

    Courtney Love took the stage at Stubb's on Friday evening wearing an orange sash that said "BEWARE." PHOTOS: See more photos from SPIN's Stubb's party As if the capacity crowd at the SPIN 25 party (presented by RockBand and MySpace Music) at the South by Southwest Music Festival needed any warning: The Hole frontwoman has kept friends and foes on their heels for the better part of two decades. And most who angled their way onto the list for one of 2010's hottest tickets - Hole's first North American show in more than a decade - came expecting some sort of spectacle, maybe even a train wreck. They got neither. With Love leading an entirely new cast of co-conspirators, Hole delivered a muscular and saw-toothed 50-minute set that reaffirmed her status, even at age 45, as rock provocateur.

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    Spoon and Broken Bells Kick Off SXSW Day 1

    It's Austin and it's Spoon. If Britt Daniel couldn't get elected mayor of this music mecca, he'd at least be toasted as the crown prince of its indie constituency, judging from the adulation showered on the quartet during its 75-minute performance at the outdoor stage at Stubb's Wednesday night. The heaping helping of home cooking capped an NPR showcase at the South by Southwest Musical Festival that included sets by Broken Bells, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, the Walkmen, and Visqueen. Spoon's insistent grooves took the chill out of the evening air, to be sure, but the sonically muscular display wasn't without at least one surprise. Eight songs in, Daniel and his bandmates busted out a cover of the Damned's 1979 single "Love Song," giving it a thick bottom and serious purpose. The rest of the set was vintage Spoon, cocksure rhythms and prickly guitars.

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