Melissa Goldstein

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    Amy Winehouse Rushed to the Hospital

    Amy Winehouse's continued health problems returned last night when the singer was rushed to the hospital due to a suspected chest infection [via NME.com]. The report is the latest bit of bad news regarding the singer's condition -- back in June her father reported that she was suffering from emphysema, likely caused by her excessive smoking of crack cocaine and cigarettes. The artist's spokesperson discounted rumors that she was back in rehab, telling the U.K.'s Daily Mirror that Winehouse is expected to recover fully and return home soon. Meanwhile, somewhere in Los Angeles, Cindy Crawford pauses to feel guilty about her Halloween costume.

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    Slash: "I Need a Break from Politics and Democracy"

    Former Guns N' Roses and current Velvet Revolver axeman Slash is "at the very tail end of the demo phase'" for a solo project, which he could start recording in the studio early next year, Billboard.com reports."I just wanted to take a little bit of a break from all the politics and the democracy that is a band and just sort of do my own thing for a little bit,'" the guitarist said, adding that his album will reference both of the aforementioned bands and feature a slew of rock'n'roll's household names on vocals -- not that he's naming them. "They're all sort of well-known singers," he said. However, the solo project could be pushed back if Velvet Revolver finds a replacement for former singer Scott Weiland, who was ousted earlier this year.

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    Hey, Look at Me! Morrissey, Rufus, Green Day, and More

    In a special segment I'm calling "Hey, Look At Me!" we round up the artists who, this week at least, appear to have the healthiest self-esteem. Rufus Wainwright explained the stripped-down, just-piano-and-vocals approach to his new album, which he plans to work on following the debut of his opera Prima Donna next July, by saying, "It's an opportunity to have this slight moment of intimacy with me, which I know everybody wants" [via Billboard.com]. Morrissey took time out from a conversation about plans for his new book (about Morrissey) to congratulate himself on his best album yet, describing the forthcoming Year of Refusal (due out in February), as "fantastically strong" [via NME.com].

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    Pharrell, T-Pain, Nelly, Akon Unite for Supergroup

    First Rule of Nelly's Supergroup: Uphold the Oath of Secrecy. Second Rule of Nelly's Supergroup: Don't worry about the Nelly's Supergroup's Oath of Secrecy if you're Nelly. "Me, Akon, T-Pain, Pharrell are talking about doing a project," Nelly told MTV News. "We got a host of things we're trying to do -- possibly put together this new 2009 [Bell Biv DeVoe] type of thing. It's more about the music than anything. You wanna do things you can be remembered by. Make a mark. I think that's something that's foremost on all our minds." But Nelly's mind-reading skills could be a little rusty judging from Pharrell's response to questions about the supergroup. "Those are all my boys," he answered diplomatically when asked about the project. "I'm kinda like the only one that adheres to the oath of secrecy. I don't wanna break that...

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    My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way Explains the 'Umbrella Academy' Movie

    Here's what the movie based on Gerard Way's comic The Umbrella Academy won't look like: A coming-of-age story about wizards who attend a decidedly dark British boarding school. "I don't want it to be Harry Potter," he told the Los Angeles Times of his forthcoming film. "The boy in this story is not a boy. He's 60 years old. He is an assassin. There's so much about him that is extremely violent. So that's why I don't want this to look like Harry Potter." And if you're hoping Bill Murray or Owen Wilson might pop up onscreen, you can forget about that too. "I think [Wes Anderson directing] -- it's too close to home," said Way. "It's too much to the source, unfortunately. I think he would read it and think, 'I've covered this ground already.'" Okay, so what can we expect from the film then?

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    Get Ready for the Holidays: Indie-Music Style

    Besides looking a little like Charlie Brown, Tim Fite has something else in common with the pumpkin'-headed cartoon character. Namely, an affinity for Halloween. And come October 31, Mr. Fite will treat fans with ding dong Ditch, an exclusive new EP available for free via Fite's website. The album, which follows last year's holiday special It's Only Ketchup, is inspired by the "less savory rituals of Hallows eve." says Fite. And like its predecessor, ding dong Ditch will be available for 24-hours only on Halloween day. Now how much do you want to bet that Fite's mom subscribed to the "eat as much as you can in one night and throw the rest out" as opposed to the "pick one piece of candy per day" school of parenting? For those concerned about a post-Halloween musical sugar crash, fear not: The costumed-round-the-clock crew known as the Flaming Lips have us covered for Christmas.

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    Ben Folds' Death Wish Granted!

    Be careful when you play with puns, Mr. Ben Folds, you just might get buried! On his latest album Way To Normal, the hyper-literate singer-songwriter riffed on the town of Effingham, IL, playing off the locale's moniker on the track "Effington" (he admits to misspelling the town's name in the song).

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    Lil Wayne: Buy 'Tha Carter III,' Again!

    Here's a riddle: What looks like Tha Carter III, is called Tha Carter III, is by the same guy who put out Tha Carter III, but isn't technically the first Tha Carter III? Duh, it's Tha Carter III! Lil Wayne explained his upcoming release to MTV.com, and revealed a few juicy details -- including the name of a new collaborator! "I don't know if we're gonna release Tha Carter IV now," he said. "I think we're gonna release Tha Carter III -- a new Carter III with none of the same songs, though. None of them. Not one! We don't wanna call the [next album] we got coming out Tha Carter IV. That was the dilemma we were in. Some people are not gonna like this. I don't want them to not like Tha Carter IV. But I do have an album coming soon, very soon, and it's gonna be called ... Tha Carter III: The Rebirth.

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    Justin Timberlake: "I'm Going to Pimp Myself"

    Now that it's officially back, it seems that it's also officially over. Justin Timberlake announced he was retiring his "Sexy Back" track last Friday in Las Vegas at the charity event concert "Justin Timberlake and Friends: A Special Evening Benefiting the Shriners Hospital for Children," also featuring the likes of 50 Cent, the Jonas Brothers, Rihanna, Maroon 5's Adam Levine, Leona Lewis, and Lionel Richie [via MTV.com]. But that's not to say the singer's musical libido is down -- he's just more interested in other pursuits, like, you know, selling himself. "I'm going to go pimp myself to Leona Lewis," he said of his desire to work with the Brit songstress. "'Cause I think she's an amazing singer!" But that's not all JT has on his plate. "[Recently] I worked with Rihanna, hopefully working on her next record," he said. "She's on a roll.

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    Black Keys Collaborate with ZZ Top!

    The Black Keys will join ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons to pen new material in a Los Angeles studio this weekend, where ZZ Top are recording their forthcoming back-to-basics blues rock album with producer Rick Rubin. [Via Billboard.com] "I'm such a big fan of those guys ... it makes total sense," Gibbons said of the Black Keys, adding, "That's pretty down and dirty, which is good for ZZ Top." ZZ Top is the latest in a string of iconic admirers for the Black Keys, who were recently fawned over by the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde and Devo at a Democratic party fundraiser in their hometown Akron, OH. "She knew who we were," Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach explained of Hynde. "Both she and [Devo's] Mark [Mothersbaugh] were saying the nicest things, about how we made them feel proud of Akron again.

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