News …

Jay-Z and mud blamed for soft sales – The Times Online U.K.

Herb Alpert donates $15 million to CalArts – Los Angeles Times (registration may be required)

Fans express their anger at for jail sentence – The Evening Standard U.K. /

Frank Zappa’s widow sues German fan club – The Local

Keith says Mick isn’t “very musical” – Ireland Online

Catching up with Merle HaggardFort Worth Star-Telegram

Views …

Avril Lavigne in Kingston, Ontario – ” … a tsunami of happy, screaming teenaged girls gave Avril Lavigne a homecoming to remember last night at the K-Rock Centre.” – The Kingston Whig-Standard

Eddie Vedder in Santa Cruz – “It was a dream night for Pearl Jam fans, and an ultimately satisfying evening even for those who aren’t a member of that particular flannel-clad tribe.” – San Jose Mercury News (registration may be required)

The New Pornographers in Ottawa – “Glorious but fleeting – they are addictive, prompting fans to return again and again, hoping for that euphoric high of the near perfect pop-melody and sweet harmonies.” – The Ottawa Citizen /

Bon Iver in St. Louis – “The show’s beauty was how it inspired possibility; Bon Iver’s the sort of act to make you become lost in your own head, remembering what might have been – and also what could be.” – Riverfront Times

George Jones in Kitchener – ” … can still deliver the ache.” – Waterloo Record

“Sesame Street Live” in Syracuse – “A highlight of particular notice is the excellent lighting and scenery design. It really does propel you into that neighborhood, and serves to envelop the audience.” – The Post-Standard /

They Say It’s Their Birthday … (Or so says Associated Press)

Margo Smith is 66

Hal Ketchum is 55

Dave Innis (Restless Heart) is 49

Kevin Martin (Candlebox) is 39

Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) is 31

Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) is 28

Jesse McCartney is 21