Link-O-Rama …

Take a peek at the Chicago Tribune‘s picks for side-stage gems as the annual kicks off in the city’s Grant Park.

The RIAA honors Jewel for selling 18 million records, er albums, er CDs – oh, whatever the heck they’re called now, she’s sold a lot of ’em. – Associated Press via The Indianapolis Star

Coldplay executes a delicate balancing act with Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, attempting to evolve without alienating fans. – The New York Times

Lily Allen apologizes (sort of) for over-imbibing at the Glamour magazine Women of the Year Awards – BBC News

The blue Wiggle, Anthony Field, reveals the death of his niece inspired the creation of the group. – The Australian

Miley Cyrus drafts Rascal Flatts for her upcoming Hanna Montana flick. – Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle

Dates, Dates & More Dates …

The Police reveal the scoop on their final concert. Ever. Really. They mean it. (It’s August 7 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, by the way.)

Judas Priest pencils the land of the rising sun into its world tour, with stops in Nagoya, Osaka, Yokohama and Tokyo.

Canadian blues rocker Anthony Gomes pumps up his schedule until it’s as beefy as his riffs. New stops include Jacksonville Beach, Fla.; Cleveland; Toronto; Topeka, Kan.; Davenport, Iowa and Long Beach, Calif.

Brooklyn’s Team Robespierre brings its synth-punk (emphasis on the punk) sound to the masses in London and all across North America, with stops including Washington, D.C.; Birmingham, Ala.; Tampa, Fla.; Austin; Minneapolis; Montreal and Philadelphia.

, sometimes known as Bright Eyes, adds a trio of German stops to his summer itinerary: Munich, Berlin and Cologne.

Whew! That was a lot to digest. Don’t know about you, but we’re ready for a nap. We’re setting the alarm though, so we can bring you a pre-cocktail feast with The Closing Bell around 5 pm (PST).

This Day In Music History … (from Associated Press)

In 1956, Gene Vincent’s recording of ”Be-Bop-A-Lula” was released.

In 1962, the Beatles auditioned for producer George Martin at EMI in London. Martin was later quoted as saying he thought “they were pretty awful,” but also thought them “interesting” and signed them the following month.

In 1969, Rod Stewart, while still officially a part of the Jeff Beck Group, signed Mercury Records. His debut LP, The Rod Stewart Album, was only a modest success.

In 1982, an anti-nuclear rally featuring performances by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Wonder and Tom Petty drew 85-thousand people to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

In 1990, a Fort Lauderdale judge declared “As Nasty as They Wanna Be” by 2 Live Crew to be obscene. A record store owner was charged two days later for selling the hit rap album. But an appeals court overturned the judge’s decision two years later, causing 2 Live Crew leader Luther Campbell to remark – “This makes me so happy – I’m going to go get drunk tonight.”

In 1996, lyrics of a song written, but never recorded by Elvis Presley, sold for 30-thousand dollars at a London auction. Presley co-wrote “Mississippi River” with Terry Fell while with the U-S Army in Germany in 1959. It’s believed to be a tribute to Presley’s mother, Gladys, who had died a year earlier.

In 1997, Iggy Pop suffered a separated shoulder when he dived from the stage during a Columbus, Ohio concert. He hit the ground after the audience failed to catch him.