Melissa Goldstein

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    Rihanna Cancels Comeback Concert

    A month after Rihanna confirmed her first live performance since the February altercation with boyfriend Chris Brown, the 21-year-old R&B star has cancelled the May 28 Dubai show. "Rihanna and her management will not be accepting to hold a public concert at this time as it is not appropriate timing for her," Yassin Matbouly of Vibe Entertainment Management Agency, the company that would have been staging the Dubai gig, confirmed in a statement [via gulfnews.com]. Matbouly added that the star remained interested in performing in the region. "Rihanna's management contacted us on Saturday and explained she was unable to come to the United Arab Emirates in May, but said she is keen to still perform in the region.

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    Download: Wilco and Feist Cover Woody Guthrie

    Wilco and Feist have teamed up to record a cover of Woody Guthrie's Depression-era song "The Jolly Banker." The remake came about at the request of Guthrie's daughter, Nora, who approached Wilco with the idea. "[She contacted us] a couple of months ago when things really started to get hairy financially and economically for the country," Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy said in a taped interview for the show Marketplace. "That song had begun to get a little bit of attention. And she felt like somebody was going to cover it. And she called us because she wanted it to be us." Feist is credited with providing percussion on the tune, which finds Tweedy reprimanding banks for ripping people off. The song is currently available for free, but Wilco has requested fans donate a minimum of two dollars to download the song.

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    Yusuf Islam Accuses Coldplay of Plagiarism

    Legendary folk singer Yusum Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) has something in common with guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani. No, Islam isn't joining the Sammy Hagar-fronted supergroup Chickenfoot. But he is the latest to accuse Coldplay of copying his song. Islam attests that his 1970s tune "Foreigner Suite" is the basis for Coldplay's "Viva La Vida." Satriani has also claimed that the hit tune plagiarizes his song "If I Could Fly." "There's been this argument about Coldplay stealing this melody from Joe Satriani, but, if you listen to it, it's mine!

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    Babyshambles Channel Stone Roses On New Record

    Pete Doherty's band Babyshambles are channeling Britpop legends Stone Roses on their new album, due out early next year. "The songs we have done so far are pretty groove-based, like early Stone Roses," drummer Adam Ficek told UK tabloid The Daily Star. "It's less straightforward rock'n'roll and punk. It's a bit more beat-driven. Some of the stuff coming out was sounding like "Fools Gold" [Stone Roses' 1989 song], which is pretty amazing."? But Ficek was quick to point out that for Babyshambles, "amazing" does not equate to "time-intensive." ?"As normal, we won't spend long making it,"he said of the follow-up to 2007's Shotter's Nation. "It's all thrown together in scraps whenever we get a chance." One thing they do seem to be putting a bit of effort into, however, is a bid to open for Blur at their upcoming reunion shows.

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    Killers: Better Than Zepp and Nirvana?

    The Killers may be popular in the U.S. -- but they're bonafide mega stars in Europe. Singer Brandon Flowers has a theory about why that is: "With this last album [Day and Age] there's been a noticeable shift but we're still nowhere near where we are in Europe," Flowers told NME.com of his band's U.S. popularity. "[In America] people are still so obsessed with Led Zeppelin and Nirvana, those sorts of bands -- nobody else is allowed [to grow]," he said. "It's not just us; there are a lot of great bands that have been held down or confined by the influence of these people that we've put up on pedestals." So what's a glam-rock frontman who's buddies with Jared Leto and Kanye West to do?

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    More Eminem Album Details Emerge

    Like some sort of hip-hop advent calendar, nearly every day leading up to the May 19 release date for Eminem's new album Relapse seems to yield an enticing new surprise! Yesterday, RapRadar.com posted what they claimed was the official tracklist for the album -- and it has 20 songs, including "Bagpipes From Baghdad" and "Must Be The Ganja." There are even four short "skits." Usual suspects 50 Cent and Dr. Dre appear on the album, and some other names from Em's past show up, too, including Ken Kaniff-- the Detroit rapper's homosexual persona who likes to rhyme explicitly about pedophilia, masturbation, and gay sex. There's more news on pre-release downloads, too: According to iTunes, "Old Time's Sake" (featuring Dr. Dre) will be available on May 5, and "Beautiful" will go on sale May 12.

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    Latest Quotes: Lily Allen, Prince

    You've heard the old adage about "suffering for your art" -- and Lily Allen and Prince are out to prove it: Lily Allen: The Brit songbird has admitted to being a bonafide maneater in her quest for hits. "I've actually broken up with boyfriends for inspiration," she confessed. "When I hit a period of not being able to write music, I get up and walk away. It's pretty mean but it's true." [Via Daily Express]. Prince: During a candid interview with PBS's Tavis Smiley, the Purple One dished on all sorts of personal struggles that have influenced his art. On the conversational agenda: Prince's struggle with epilepsy as a child ("I used to have seizures when I was young") and getting teased by the kids at school ("early in my career I tried to compensate by being as flashy as I could and as noisy as I could.") Gallows: The U.K.

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    Method Man: "Wu-Tang Haven't Split Up!"

    Rumors have been circulating that New York hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan have broken up -- but according to lead rapper Method Man they're certainly not true. (Whew!) "We never split up. People need to stop taking shit out of context," he told the New York Daily News. The "shit" he is referring to is his first new album with Redman in a decade, Blackout 2, and Southern rhyme-sayer Ludacris' new song "Let's Stay Together" ("First Wu-Tang broke up/Now ODB's gone"). "Even Ludacris, who I respect a lot, kind of upset me with a song he had where he mentioned Wu-Tang broke up," Method Man said. Wu-Tang Clan dropped their last album, 8 Diagrams, in 2007.

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    Chris Brown's Lawyers Want Case Dismissed

    Chris Brown's lawyers are working every possible angle on behalf of their client. In addition to reportedly pursuing a plea deal, Brown's attorney Mark Geragos is prepping an argument for the singer's case to be dismissed on the basis of "leaks" about the trial. Geragos explained his intentions in a Los Angeles court yesterday, where he appeared on behalf of Brown to request another hearing postponement. Geragos said he needs more time to respond to the still-pending investigation into how a police photo of Rihanna leaked to the media. "The leaks can form the basis for a motion to dismiss the case in regards to outrageous governmental misconduct," Geragos told E!

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    Lil Wayne's 'Rebirth': "Another Classic," Say Producers

    Lil Wayne's producers Cool & Dre say the musician is about to change the nature of rap with his next release, Rebirth, out June 17. "It's almost like where Outkast was when they made Aquemini," Dre told told MTV of Wayne's genre-bending approach. "It's still a rap album, but was it really arap album compared to all the other rap albums at that time? AndréBenjamin was evolving artistically to where he's at now -- Wayne isdoing the same thing, and he's not afraid to show you his growth. Rebirth is going to be another classic album." "There's some rock songs on there, but there's also some records where he's rapping," he added.

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