Melissa Goldstein

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    Joaquin Phoenix Quits Acting to Pursue Music

    Attention Led Zeppelin: We hear you're in the market for a new frontman and we have a lovely Johnny Cash-like singer you just might be interested in. That's right: Joaquin Phoenix, the man who so winningly portrayed the Man In Black in Walk the Line, is calling it quits on his acting career in order to pursue his musical ambitions. Seriously. Working the red carpet at the Paul Newman benefit in San Francisco, Phoenix broke the news to Extra. "I'm not doing films anymore," he said. "I'm working on my music. I'm done. I've been through that." Ever the trusty sidekick, Casey Affleck was on hand to support the legitimacy of the claim. "I don't think he's kidding," he said. "He's got music and stuff." More on this "music and stuff": The ex-actor's band is called the Lady is a Tramp and also features Antony Langdon, formerly of Spacehog.

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    MTV Video Game Wins Beatles Music War

    It seems the Beatles have become the biggest band to license its catalogue to a music-oriented video game, joining the likes of still-touring-after-all-these-years acts like Aerosmith, Metallica, and AC/DC [via]. Details regarding the contract have yet to be revealed, but the Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd. elected to seal the deal with MTV Networks and Harmonix, the pair of developers behind the popular Rock Band video game series. The two companies will develop a game specific to the band, which will take users on an "experiential journey" through the Beatles' career, music, and vision.

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    Silver Jews to Play in Underground Cave!

    Doing their part to keep underground music alive, Pavement offshoot the Silver Jews are due to play a super-subterranean show on January 31 at McMinnville, Tennessee's Cumberland Caverns. The lo-fi country-rock outfit will tape an afternoon performance for a midnight radio broadcast of "Bluegrass Underground" on Nashville's WSM radio [via]. The show is open to the public, so dig out that spelunking gear and come on down, literally.

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    From the Vault: Death Cab, Rivers Cuomo, MTV

    Maybe it's the fact that recently the names in the news are oldtimers like AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, and Metallica, but lately we've been feeling a bit nostalgic. Here, a rundown of the things that have us recalling the days of yore. Weezer's Rivers Cuomo: The bespectacled rocker dug up his school picture for the cover art for Alone II: The Home Recordings, the second album of songs from his personal archives due for release on November 25 [via].

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    50 Cent, Guided by Voices Unveil Film Projects

    Mos Def and Beyonce aren't the only ones with new film projects up their sleeves.

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    Noel Gallagher: "I Hope Liam Gets Arrested"

    Oasis may have just released their seventh album, Dig Out Your Soul, but Noel Gallagher already has his eyes set on a pair of "psychedelic" follow-ups as well as a solo album [via]. Expressing desire that the solo set happen sooner rather than later, Gallagher said that his brother's incarceration might speed the artistic process: "I'm kind of hoping Liam might be arrested soon, and then I'll have time to see it through." But if that doesn't happen, apparently Gallagher has two "psychedelic epics" completed for the next Oasis album, the material from which he's already written and demo-ed. "They seem to be songs about people, but not people I know," he says of the new tunes. "And they all seem to have a narrative; it's kind of like a story which follows on from song to song." We're intrigued.

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    New Eminem Album Release Date Leaked Grinch-who-stole-christmas or Rudolph-like holiday savior? It all comes down to whether or not the online music purveyor is right about the release date for Eminem's highly-anticipated new album, Relapse. The artist has yet to formally announce Relapse's release date, but the appearance of a December 23 tag next to the album's listing on Amazon [via] has fans feverishly writing Santa -- and if history repeats itself, their wishes will be granted with a hefty dose of Slim Shady under the tree this Christmas. UPDATE: Within the past hour, Amazon has removed the release date from its listing of Relapse.

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    Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

    What? Famously prolific singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has dabbled in everything from '80s arena rock to hip-hop, but he consistently returns to his alt-country roots. Having weathered personal storms -- from high profile relationships (Winona Ryder, Parker Posey) to high profile feuds (Jack White, Courtney Love), to overt drug use -- Adams' new album Cardinology (Lost Highway) makes a case that his turn to drug-free living has given way to a cleaner, more-focused approach. On his first release in a year (noteworthy for someone who put out three albums in 2005), the artist offers a well-edited sampling that provides power ballads (see "Go Easy") and straight-forward country ("Natural Ghost"), while being held together by a classic rock thread that runs throughout. Who?

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    Fall Out Boy Aim to Break World Record

    It seems that Fall Out Boy have a fetish about breaking records. Having failed to attain their goal of being the first band to play all seven continents when Antarctica's harsh weather thwarted their travel plans last spring, they've now taken a decidedly less-climate-dependent approach to going down in history. Attention Guinness: This Halloween, the emo crew has its sights set on breaking the record for most radio interviews given by a pair of musicians in 24 hours -- that'd be singer Patrick Stump and bassist Pete Wentz looking to rack up a total of 58 interviews [via]. Let's see Global Warming try to mess up this one! Fall Out Boy's new album, Folie A Deux (translation: "a madness shared by two"), is due out on December 16.

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    Kim Gordon, Katy Perry Go Topless on eBay

    Usually, talk of selling nude keepsakes from music's biggest stars is accompanied by statements such as, "I was told they'd be tastefully done," "I didn't know there was film in the camera," or the ever-popular, "It was pivotal to the plot." This time around, however, it's all for charity. Girl-on-girl sensation Katy Perry has joined the likes of Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Iggy Pop, and Devo, contributing to an eBay charity auction organized by the Keep a Breast Foundation, whose mission is to help eradicate breast cancer. Her offering? A cast sculpture of her breasts painted by boyfriend Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes [via]. Perry's boobs are set to hit the auction block November 26. Gordon, Pop, and Devo's contributions are currently for sale now. Click here to make your bid. Maybe the good deed will distract from Perry's controversial silverware antics?

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