Dog Days: 

It’s a shame that the commercial buzz world beat the you know what out of Florence + The Machine‘s “Dog Days Are Over” – at one point I was forced in an infinite cab video screen promo loop of 20-second clips – or maybe you’re one of the people said team commercial buzz played it for, and you actually dug hearing it over, and over, and over again until there were no more dog days to be over. Regardless of which stance your ears take, MTV’s iconic Unplugged series has unveiled their taping of the band this morning in tandem with the release of the live album. And let’s just say it’s refreshing.

North America:

Ya’ll who couldn’t get tickets for Fiona Apple‘s short, seven-date romp across big-city America earlier this spring can collectively “aww-hell-yeah” right now with news of the spiritually-brooding singer-songwriter’s large venue summer tour 2.0. She’ll be revisiting some of those same big cities – Chicago, NYC, LA – but also some mid-tier staples – both Portlands (Maine, Oregon), Nashville – and three Canada dates from June-July immediately following The Idler Wheel… and its official drop unto the world. In the interim, you can still dig on a few live debuts of the new material over on her website.


As the wild wild west of the intranets gets more orderly and people have less and less access to stolen music, streaming is the new House of Commons. Spotify may be extending its free subscription “honeymoon” in America, but it’s still now a household name, along with Pandora. Though what these services have yet to tap is a golden chunk of an artist’s last sure-shot revenue maker – live shows, in all their ticket-selling glory. The New York Times Ben Sisario put together an eye-opening little snapshot over the weekend of a musician looking to take control of his art before companies begin to assemble, reporting more people tuning into the live stream of his band’s show than those that actually were in physical attendance. This musician is doing it for free. But we can’t imagine this being the case for long. Question: Would you pay to tune into a live stream of a show over a ticket to the actual event?


Following rumors that Rihanna was being poached for a biopic of the late Whitney Houston, news on the TMZ unnamed sources beat is claiming Houston’s daughter, 19-year-old Bobbi Kristina, wants in on the role, citing BK’s justification that if Eazy-E‘s son can play his father in the forthcoming silver screen N.W.A. tale, Straight Outta Compton, she could honor her mother the same way. That is, if there was actually a film in development.


Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at one o’clock in the afternoon to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on this day in 1865, effectively ending the Civil War. At least battle-wise. Of the many ways in which the North crippled the South, the Union would repeatedly tear up confederacy railroad lines, of which was immortalized in The Band‘s 1969 swan-song, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” Dixie being a euphemism for the South, of course. Threading the “beautiful sadness” in “americana land” that still continues today, as chief songwriter Robbie Robertson put it in The Last Waltz, the song’s chorus is one of the finest, achy-southern rock odes to the end of an era of your choice. Fun fact: The Band has refused to perform the song since its Last Waltz outro in ’69. Double fun fact: Robertson is a Canadian.

The night they drove old dixie down, and the bells were ringing
The night they drove old dixie down, and the people were singin’