For today’s final lesson, we’ve got reading material on a tribute to guitar great Les Paul, U.K. diva-in-the-making Estelle, life with Ryan Adams and The Cardinals, the trials and tribulations of Zac Efron, unearthing a Bangles mystery and the five stages of Henry Rollins.

And we’ve added a bunch of new shows to the list of places for you to take your field trip, including dates for Rodney Carrington, Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer, Calexico and Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s.

Overnight Sensation …

In case any of you were wondering about the plight of the staffer we kidnapped from elsewhere in the building, rest easy.

We didn’t have to torture her (or threaten to) at all today because she’s now suffering from Stockholm syndrome and has taken to wearing a beret and calling herself Tania. Luckily it hasn’t affected her writing, as you’ll see in these two excellent pieces.

Back Door Slam Hitches Up With Gov’t Mule – Get ready to roll out some jam-band riffs!

The Gabe Dixon Band Rocks The Keys – The trio, currently out on the road with singer/songwriter Justin Nozuka, isn’t pulling any punches in its conquest of North America.

Link-O-Rama …

Slash joins the growing list of guitarists lining up to pay tribute to pioneer Les Paul at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Associated Press via The Boston Globe

The new British soul invasion continues. Estelle discusses some of the differences she sees between the U.S. and the U.K. – Houston Chronicle

‘ Neal Casal talks about how the benefits of working with Ryan Adams go both ways – Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

Some days it’s tough being “High School Musical” star Zac Efron – Cincinnati Post

Susannah Hoffs finally sheds light on the inspiration for “Walk Like An Egyptian” as The Bangles tour down under – Sydney Morning Herald

It’s good to know there’s still one place in this country where you can get some straight talk. Henry Rollins drops in on Sin City – Las Vegas Sun

Dates, Dates & More Dates …

Earlier today, we discussed how folks tend to try to cram as many dates as possible into the end of the year. Rodney Carrington, on the other hand, apparently decided to settle much of his itinerary through next summer! Besides hitting places like Little Rock, Ark.; Paducah, K.Y.; Biloxi, Miss; and Kansas City, Mo., the singer has lined up a trio of extended runs at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Christian bands Jars of Clay and Sixpence None The Richer are joining forces for Love Came Down: A Christmas Pageant. Cities who get to share the warm fuzzies include Montgomery, Ala.; Pompano Beach, Fla.; Merrillville, Ind.; Lewiston, Maine; and Harrisburg, Pa.

Fans of Arcade Fire should try to catch Indianapolis’ self-described “chamber pop” collective Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s. The band just added places like Milwaukee; Nashville; Tampa, Fla.; Mount Pleasant, S.C.; Philadelphia and Chicago to the list of potential opportunities to check them out.

Tucson, Arizona’s Calexico just filled up their date book through Thanksgiving. Lucky cities include Austin, St. Louis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Toronto, Chicago and Minneapolis.

For those of you who haven’t been measuring up to the exacting standards required of today’s music fan, we offer a chance for extra credit. Check out updated itineraries for 3 Doors Down, Crystal Stilts, Lucinda Williams, Born of Osiris, Arrested Development, Gibson Brothers, The Seldom Scene, Cadence Weapon and all the others we banged out today.

Good work all of you who managed to keep up today! You’ve come a long way from the rag-tag bunch of clueless newbies you were this morning. Now you can all proudly call yourselves well-informed music fans.

We’ll see you all again bright and early in the morning when we begin our lessons all over again.