Here & There …

Merrill Lynch downgrades Warner Music Group stock to “neutral” rating –

Quiet headbangers unite for silent parties – Brisbane Times

A lot has been reported on Universal Music’s “Total Music” concept. Now the Justice Department wants to know more about it. You see, apparently there is this legal concept called “antitrust” – Wired News / Listening Post

13 months after his death, people are still fighting over James Brown’s estate – Charlotte Observer / Associated Press

Art Garfunkel talks about Art GarfunkelThe Chicago Tribune

Lucy Wainwright on the “family business” – Boston Herald

Dates, Dates & More Dates …

Cher takes over the Colosseum Celine Dion built. Right now Cher’s Vegas “residency” is set for May, June and August.

When Cher ain’t there, the Divine Miss M will dazzle ’em. Bette Midler is playing the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in February, March, June and July.

Mary J. Blige & Jay-Z! Need we say more? One of the first really big tour announcements of the year has the artists playing Miami, FL, Uniondale, NY, E. Rutherford, NJ, Baltimore, MD, and Philadelphia, PA, in March, and Toronto, ON, Boston, MA, Greensboro, NC, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, CA, in April.

Juanes updates with several arena gigs for Texas, Arizona and Colorado. Stops include San Antonio on April 5, Houston on April 17, Denver on April 25 and Tucson on April 27.

New dates for jazz man Larry Carlton include Milan, Italy, on March 26 & 27, Base, Switzerland, on March 30 and a two-night stand in Monte Carlo on April 1 & 2.

During the past few hours we also updated the schedules for American Hi-Fi, Ana Popovic, Kelly Richey, Mindless Self Indulgence, Mayday Parade, The Allman Brothers Band and Rick Derringer.

This Day In Music History … (from Associated Press)

In 1827, the first ballet to be performed in the U.S., “The Deserter,” was presented at the Bowery Theatre in New York City. It featured a ballerina in such flimsy attire that many women in the audience are reported to have walked out.

In 1894, Belgian musician and inventor Adolphe Sax died at 79. He gave the world the saxophone, the saxtromba and the sax horn.

In 1944, the first Canadian Kiwanis Music Festival opened at the Eaton Auditorium in Toronto. There were about seven-thousand competitors. One of the winners was a 10-year-old pianist – Glenn Gould.

In 1964, the Beatles’ invasion of North America began as thousands of screaming fans welcomed John, Paul, George and Ringo at New York’s Kennedy Airport.

In 1979, Stephen Stills became the first rock artist to record on digital equipment, but the tracks were never released.

In 1980, Pink Floyd performed their elaborate stage show, called The Wall, in New York. Presented in only three cities – Los Angeles and London were the others – the show featured the building of an actual brick wall which eventually obscured the band from the audience’s view.

In 1987, Crosby, Stills & Nash did not perform as scheduled at a Greenpeace benefit in Vancouver after David Crosby was refused admission into Canada because of his criminal record.

In 1995, a judge in New York sentenced rapper Tupac Shakur to four and a-half years in prison after he was convicted of fondling and groping a woman in a hotel room in November 1993. His road manager, Charles Fuller, was also found guilty. The two were acquitted of sodomy and weapons charges.