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by (@katespencer)

Rockers Heat Up So We Can Cool Down

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From Kanye to Kelly, from the Chilis to the Foos – the big-ass summer rock event is shaping up to be the Live Earth bash, an Al Gore-organized, hands-across-the-water dealio that hops from Jersey to Wembley.  It’s an inclusive list of performers. Classique rockers like the Police, country stars like Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, MCs like Kanye and Luda, and newcomers like Corrine and Keane are all on board. All the $$$ goes to keeping the planet at a tolorable temperature. Where will you be on July 7?

Which of the participants is going to steal the show?

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Scratch M.I.A.?s Back, She?ll Scratch Yours

                               

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British/Sri Lankan beauty M.I.A. announced that she?s ready to release her sophomore effort, Kala, on June 25th. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2005 album Arular features collaborations with beat-whiz Timbaland and avant-hop-head Diplo. (She?s worked with Timbaland before; there?s a bonus track on the U.K. version of Shock Value called ?Come Around? to that effect.) M.I.A., whose work thus far has been both sexually charged and a lightning rod for political controversy, has been hard at work on making challenging music. It?s not always the most danceable, but we love the title of her first single (which you can hear at her MySpace page): ?Bird Flu.? Anyone care to guess at the titles of other tracks on the album? We?re hoping for ?Project Red? and ?Niger Yellowcake.?

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Shout at the Captain: The Motley Cruise

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Got plans for the end of January ’08? Now you do: Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil is partnering with Carnival to whisk you (and hundreds of other die-hard Cruesters) away on a four-day cruise through the Florida Keys and Mexico. Included in your fare is accomodation, all meals, an "up-close-and-personal" concert by Vince, as well as "wet and wild shore excursions in Key West and Cozumel and [a] no-limit Texas Hold’Em charity poker tournament" where you can hopefully recoup the $479-$1699 you spent to get there.

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Fergie’s Got a Case of the Mondays

Fergie had quite the weekend. First, she was attacked by brain-sucking zombies in Grindhouse. Then she covered Dolly Parton?s ?9 to 5? on the Charlotte Church show in Britain. (Maybe she caught the cover-song fever from Alanis.) Here?s one on a slow Monday for all you cubicle slaves from the first lady of the Black Eyed Peas. Fergie knows how to help you through the start of the workweek.

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Box Set: Fergie

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LCD Soundsystem Attacks Backlash

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On Friday, LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy held a press conference to address "the backlash" — the inevitable response tastemakers will have to the success of their latest The Sound of Silver on the charts (currently Number 46 on Billboard). After quickly dispensing with how he’s planned for the backlash ("I’ve been saving up canned food, I’ve put aside some money, and I’ve kept my tastes small"), Murphy shared some of his wit and wisdom. Check out the video of a power-tied Murphy below. After the jump, a quick compendium of the quotable James Murphy.

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Whitney’s Sunshine After the Rain

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Don’t cry for Whitney Houston. Though she spent a tear-filled day in court Wednesday, her spirits were later lifted by one of life’s simple pleasures: the hilarity that comes from watching someone wipe out. One of the members of the paparazzi that swarmed her as she left the court took a stumble, prompting a wild, phlegm-filled laughing fit from the notoriously media-cranky Whit. Watch the amazing footage here. For the first time in maybe decade, you have the opportunity to laugh not at Whitney, but with her! Don’t miss out!

Whitney may hate the camera, but it absolutely loves her, if TMZ’s recent footage of her is an indication (more examples here and here). Someone please get this woman her own reality show, now. A Flavor of Love-style televised search for love would be ideal for the newly single diva. Although the flavor of Whitney is probably something like a mixture of battery acid and Newports, so never mind. [TMZ.com]

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Photos: Whitney Houston

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Who?s More Foolish – Brit or Bush?

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Radar points to an interesting – if also confusing – Fox News segment about the Eighth Annual Most Foolish American poll, which this year was won by Britney Spears in a landslide. (The winner of the previous four polls? Michael Jackson.) In the Fox segment, however, something?s gone wrong: Britney?s listed at capturing 33% of the vote, while President Bush held onto 40%. Clearly something?s up here, and it?s not just foreign policy or an aversion to underpants. We want to know what you think: Does Bush beat Britney for brainlessness? And will someone at that Fox affiliate been asked to go ?hunting? with Dick Cheney?

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Exclusive: Modest Mouse Frontman Talks Cutting Self, Heath Ledger Collab

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We caught up with enigmatic Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock shortly after topping the Billboard charts to find out how it feels to sell thousands of records, what he’s up to next, and why the hell he cut himself.


So, um, why’d you cut yourself?

I had lost my voice in Portland, and I was drinking single malt scotch, which opens up your vocal chords. That night I was drinking coffee with single malt scotch and was having a really good time. I got hyper, got kind of punk rock on it, no crazier than Nick Cave or Iggy or anyone like that. It?s not a cry for help. If people want to make it a sad sack moment, f*ck them. I see no reason to turn my fun into their drama. After the show I was in a great mood. It wasn?t something I even thought about until a few days later when I got a text from a friend that said ?Someone said you cut yourself — are you ok?? and I?m like, ?Oh sh*t. Here we go. I know how this one plays out.? So now I gotta answer this question for the next year.


To find out what else Brock’s up to, check out after the jump.

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Divorcing Bobby Brown

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It’s a sad day for reality show enthusiasts and R&B lovers alike — Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown have made their divorce official. At a hearing in an Orange County, Calif., court on Wednesday attended by Whitney but not Bobby, a judge ruled that the divorce will become final April 24. It was also ruled that Whitney will get full custody of their sole child, Bobbi Kristina. During the hearing, a tearful Whitney testified that she and Bobbi Kris did not need any sort of support from Bobby. She also called her soon-to-be ex "unreliable."

No matter what you thought of their relationship, this is undeniably the end of an era. For 13 years, up until the announcement of their separation last fall, Bobby and Whitney were a seemingly invincible force, deflecting whatever bullets of speculation that were shot at them. Regardless of what went on behind closed doors, they survived in a public forum far longer than anyone expected. In their own bizarre, maybe cracked-out way, they were a source of hope. If Bob and Whit could make it, you could, too. Or so it seemed.

After the jump is a collage of stills from their 2005 Bravo show Being Bobby Brown. Think of it as a final tribute. [AP/Yahoo!]

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Jay Picks Bubbly, Nation Rests Easy

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Rap titan Jay-Z has finally decided on a bubbly brand to endorse, after a recent falling out with French brand Cristal. After wearying months of searching, he decided on Armand de Brignac Champagne, also known as the Ace of Spades because of its gold-plated bottle and pewter label shaped like an ace. No word on whether the fermentation process involves Lemmy and mutton-chops.

Jay-Z declared war on Cristal, calling for an industry wide boycott, following disparaging remarks Cristal head Fr?d?ric Rouzaud made, worrying about the effects the endorsement of the rap community has on the brand: "What can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business." In Jay’s video for "Show Me What You Got," he can be seen turning away a bottle of Cristal for the Ace of Spades.