<p>Perry Farrell today at the Lollapalooza Grant Park grounds</p>

Perry Farrell today at the Lollapalooza Grant Park grounds

Credit: Katie Hasty

Lollapalooza expands into Brazil, re-ups with Chile festival

Day One at the Chicago festival starts off with expansion announcements

CHICAGO - To celebrate Lollapalooza's 20th anniversary, festival founder Perry Farrell announced today that the event's reach is spreading out further into South America.

On the heels of the first annual Lollapalooza Chile this year, the svelte Jane's Addiction frontman told a crowd of sweaty journos this morning that Sao Paulo will host a two-day fest on April 7-8 in 2012 at the Jockey Club, and that the Santiago-based Lolla will return, to O'Higgins Park on March 31 and April 1.

"If you can imagine the creativity and excitement of Mardi Gras mixed in with Lollapalooza, it may look something like the 2012 Sao Paulo Brazil Lollapalooza," he said, wearing a decided un-Mardi Gras-ish striped button-down and oversized cuffs.

The Chile edition this year boasted performances from Jane's, the Killers and Kanye West

The announcement arrives on Day One of this three-day Windy City mainstay, sold-out again this year and leading with big names like Eminem, Coldplay, Foo Fighters and deadmau5. It was velebrated with champagne, which has set my day off to a funny start.

"This is a very very big year for us," Farrell said. "We have 90,000 weirdos showing up here today in Chicago."

Farrell also introduced a new class of weirdos into the Lolla fold, with a newly formed partnership with Boston's Berklee College of Music. The conjunction will bredd new scholarships for talented students nationwide and provide a new booking element to the festival's lineup.

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<p>Rosi Golan</p>

Rosi Golan

EXCLUSIVE Song Of The Day: Rosi Golan says 'I Like You' from new album

Singer-songwrier helps push the summer along

A "Lead Balloon" sounds kinda heavy, but the phrase "I Like You" is certainly light and sweet.

The first is the name of the album that yields the second: it's Rosi Golan's sophomore set, due Aug. 30, and it's easy to see why the singer-songwriter's work has shown up on TV shows like "One Tree Hill" or films like "Dear John." There's an easy, sugary ease to her vocals, a simplicity to her pop and soft-rock melodies that come off clean in time for these hot summer months.

Golan caught my ear a couple of years ago when I was still at Billboard for these very reasons. It'd be one thing to write a song that backs a Pantene commercial or in primetime drama, but every one of her songs seem to have a lasting hook. "Lead Balloon" is a testament to this, but there's also growth in Golan's musicianship and an expansion the arrangements.

The confident track "Seeing Ghosts" has already made its debut, and the Israeli artist is set to take to the road with Jason Reeves starting later this month. She has also announced today a date at New York's Bowery Ballroom on Sept. 6.

Here are Rosi Golan's tour dates:

8/21/11    3rd & Lindsley               Nashville, TN
8/22/11    Old Rock House             St Louis, MO
8/24/11    Slowdown                    Omaha, NE
8/25/11    Augustana College         Rock Island, IL
8/27/11    Shank Hall                    Milwaukee, WI
8/28/11    Space                          Evanston, IL
8/30/11    Fine Line Music Café       Minneapolis, MN
8/31/11    The Mill                        Iowa City, IA
9/1/11      State Historical Bldg       Des Moines, IA
9/2/11      The Bottleneck              Lawrence, KS
9/6/11      Bowery Ballroom         New York, NY

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<p>Wayne Coyne</p>

Wayne Coyne

Listen: Flaming Lips and Lightning Bolt combine together for EP

Check out all four, long tracks; inspiration apparently stemming from NASA, drugs

It's hard to keep up with the Flaming Lips these days -- what, with their jaunting around cemeteries and releasing records inside of gummy skulls/fetuses and mobile phone sound experiments whatnot.

The latest surprise is their combination with noise outfit Lightning Bolt for the cleverly titled EP "The Flaming Lips With Lightning Bolt." And bless Warner Bros.' heart, they're the ones putting it out. Exclamation-prone Flaming Lips frontman and Immaculate Noise interviewee Wayne Coyne has been Tweeting pics of the vinyl and some art, but no word yet when physical copies will become available on large-scale.

In the meantime, all four tracks has snorted their way onto YouTube, for your pleasure below; NASA and dropping acid seem to be the recurring theme. Like Lightning Bolt songs, brevity is not their strong suit. And like Flaming Lips songs, the tracks bubble over like movements or acts, rather than behave like one, strong tune.

And like both bands, the result can be simply weird and merciless. Exhibit A: the video to "I Want to Get High But I Don't Want Brain Damage." YOU'RE WELCOME

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<p>Beyonce</p>

Beyonce

Beyonce calls for fans to cast her 'Best Thing I Never Had' video remake

Ladies, put back on your bridal veil: Cheap video made cheaper?

The No. 1 complaint I read about Beyonce's music video for "Best Thing I Never Had" -- my own voice included -- was that the release and result of the clip felt rushed, a half-baked idea to get Beyonce partly naked and in tip-top position to look beautiful beyond any substance.

Now, the singer seems to be taking a tack that makes the bare minimum concept even thriftier, though it may have fans clamoring to further wear emotions on their sleeves.

"Beyoncé is making an alternate fan video for her hit single 'Best Thing I Never Had,' and she wants home videos and photos from her fans joyous wedding day, or from a prom they’d rather forget," reads a release. "Fans can upload their wedding or prom video to YouTube and their wedding or prom photos to Flickr, and tag them with the following tag: #BeyonceBestThing."

In a partnership with Celebuzz and BeyonceOnline, a crowd-sourced fan video will ultimately surface after submissions have been culled and fawned-over by Team Bey.

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<p>Laura Marling</p>

Laura Marling

Credit: AP Photo

Song Of The Day: Laura Marling debuts 'Sophia' from new album

British songwriter sets limited U.S. dates in support of 'A Creature I Don't Know'

Laura Marling wasn't just my favorite folk artist last year, she was my favorite album artist overall.

And she has a new album, "A Creature I Don't Know," coming out on Sept. 13. It was produced by a very respectable and repeated offender Ethan Johns!

The first song from that effort, "Sophia," has dropped.

"Where I've been lately is no concern of yours / Who's been touching my skin... tired-eyed am I today," she deliciously drips in that Joni/Jackson Brown drawl of hers, before the indie-pop bops in and blasts away the heat with a slow-blinking cool.

The British songwriter is touring in the U.S. again, in support, starting Sept. 17 through Sept. 28. See you at Webster, New Yorkers.

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<p>Metallica</p>

Metallica

Metallica announces 30th anniversary shows -- for $6 a ticket

Fan club-members, start your (search) engines

Hey, does the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana's "Nevermind" make you feel old? No? Well, then how about the 30th anniversary of the formation of one of the worlds biggest hard rock and metal bands, Metallica.

The veteran group is celebrating their beautiful and tumultuous past with a handful of fan-only shows, four at San Francisco's Fillmore on Dec. 5, 7, 9 and 10.

"These unique shows will include special guests and events, rare songs, varied set lists, odds and ends, and all the nutty stuff you expect from Metallica... fun for the entire family!" Extraordinarily appropriate, considering a fan could actually breed a robustly sized family in 30 years' time.

What's more is that the group is offering '80s pricing, at $6 per ticket or the cute price of $19.81 for all four. These tickets, again, are for fan-club members only, with further details to be had via the band's website, "taking reservations" through Aug. 8.

Metallica is playing as part of the Big 4 (in addition to Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, for those of you playing Go Fish) on Sept. 14 at Yankee Stadium, where music lovers and dirtbags frequently collide. Sales for those long-gone tickets were on sale back in May. The band is also skedded to headlining Rock in Rio on Sept. 25.

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<p>Mastodon's &quot;The Hunter&quot;</p>

Mastodon's "The Hunter"

Watch: Mastodon premiere 'Black Tongue' from new album 'The Hunter'

Check out how their bizarre cover art and muse was crafted

When Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor told me earlier this year that the band was juggling who they wanted to produce their fifth full-length, I'll admit that I never thought they'd land on Mike Elizondo. It's not so much that I thought Elizondo incapable -- he's shocked with his propensity for variety, working with Eminem to Avenged Sevenfold to Fiona Apple. I thought of Dillinger collaborator Steve Evetts, or someone purely from the Hydra Head camp.

Elizondo's been a good fit so far, if new track "Black Tongue" is any testament.

The track is the first to arrive in full from "The Hunter," newly announced to arrive on Sept. 27. The tracklist to the set hasn't been finalized, but the first single has been confirmed, "Curl of the Burl," and fans who pre-order the fancy deluxe version of "The Hunter" will soon have first dibs on a digital download of it.

But "Black Tongue" is a also a pretty good gimme.

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<p>Bjork</p>

Bjork

Watch: Bjork, Michel Gondry land on the moon in 'Crystalline' video

Animated clip is out of this world

It's no new news that Bjork is kinda out-there, and now this mere fact is cast on the music video for "Crystalline," directed by frequent collaborator Michel Gondry.

The Icelandic singer's face is cast on the earth, as she overlooks the surface of the moon, which dances with stopmotion and drawn animations from the famed director. Actual crystals emerge from the crust and the dust and rock eminate vibrations like speaker heads.

Eventually, Bjork climbs down from our planet to bounce around in bubbles and the trip-hop breakdown and meteors shatter all the bio-glass.

It's exactly a premise appropriate from the singer/songwriter.

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<p>New artwork in promotion of Feist's &quot;Metals&quot;</p>

New artwork in promotion of Feist's "Metals"

Credit: Mary Rozzi

Listen: Feist announces new album 'Metals,' posts new song teasers

First set in four years includes contributions from Chilly Gonzales, Bjork collaborator

For the first time in four years, Feist is back with a new album.

"Metals" will be released on Oct. 4 and and includes contributions from longtime collaborators Mocky and Chilly Gonzales, plus Valgeir Sigurðsson who has helped out with Bjork and Bonnie "Prince" Billy.

The set will likely be 12 tracks long, as Cherrytree/Interscope has promised a dozen different video teasers in anticipation of the fall release. Two of these super-compressed, numerically titled snippets of music can be heard below.

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<p>Amy Winehouse in 2008</p>

Amy Winehouse in 2008

Credit: AP Photo

Remembering Amy Winehouse's first U.S. show, Britney Spears, burdens

'Back to Black' and back

In January 2007, I was at Amy Winehouse's debut live performance in America, hosted at Joe's Pub in New York. It had been a few months since she'd released "Back to Black" in the U.K., and the label was starting in on a formal introduction to the Mercury Prize-nominated singer here in the 'States.

She performed on an elevated stage over dinner tables, her tiny dress proving all the more scandalous. She took the stage with the Dap-Kings, each like props or toys around which she would weave, her knees like a foal's capping over her towering heels. Her body was thin, but that voice rattled out of it with a shambling boom. One hand held the mic as the other held a wine, almost perpetually, as if one were dropped she'd keel over like a tippled scale. When she wasn't holding a glass, she'd fuss with her short hemline, smooth her hand over her stomach or cup her breasts and bodice.

I thought she sounded magnificent. I remember the title track and how she bowed down over the chorus, "I died a hundred times," emphasis on the "hundred," and found it delicious that even after an early evening show, this raw-nerved rambler would be dragging her North London-drawled banter and throwback tunes into a second set, later after ours was done. I didn't know how she'd get there, but she did. ("Back to Black" turned out to be my No. 2 favorite record that year. She released two albums total.)

About a month after that show, Britney Spears was in the news because she shaved her head. It was in the middle of what seemed like an inevitable and heartbreaking descent for the pop star, a breaking point that wasn't altogether expected but also unsurprising. She had divorced only a couple months before, and bounded in and out of rehab treatment centers after. Spears was many, many moons into her fame. She was acting out, or acting up in rebellion, or shutting in, a coping.

[Jump...]

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