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Austin City Limits celebrates 35 years

Kristi Kates - January 11th, 2010
Austin City Limits Celebrates 35 Years
PBS TV music show “Austin City Limits” just kicked off their 35th year on the air this past fall, and are celebrating in part by booking their first hip-hop acts in addition to the rest of their standout performance roster for 2010. In addition, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have just designated the Austin City Limits studio “landmark status,” due to their longevity with a format that probably would’ve been cancelled years ago on fickle commercial television. The January-February schedule includes plenty of acts that help solidify why ACL is one of the best and most interesting performance shows on TV, with shows including Allen Toussaint (1/9), Mos Def (1/16), Them Crooked Vultures (2/6), and Madeleine Peyroux (2/13)...
The 18th Big Day Out Festival tour of Australia is set to kick off on January 15th and will run through January 31 this year, with ticket prices set at $100 U.S. for the Aussie shows. The biggest outdoor music event of the pop genre in all of Australia, last year’s six-date run of the event reached just over a quarter million people in attendance, and given the roster for this year’s event, the numbers could easily surpass that. The 2010 event will include Muse, local heroes Powderfinger, and Brit rockers Kasabian as the headliners; additional performers will include Groove Armada, rapper Dizzee Rascal, and a possible acoustic set from a rumored David Bowie...
Sting and wife Trudie Styler say that they weren’t particularly interested in opera until the late great Luciano Pavarotti invited them to a performance of Tosca, which helped changed their minds about the genre. Now, Sting is hoping to attract new fans to the beautiful art form of opera with his latest film, in which he and Styler are backed by musicians and opera singers as they tell the story of the life of composer Robert Schumann by reading the love letters between Schumann and his wife Clara. The movie was filmed at the Royal Opera House, and is now available on DVD; the DVD itself will raise money for the Royal Opera House’s Education Program, which allows people from all backgrounds in the community to view and take part in opera...
The Sunshine Underground, whose new EP was just dropped last November, have announced details of their full-length album that will hit stores in early 2010. A follow-up to the band’s 2006 release, Raise the Alarm, the new set will be accompanied by a UK tour that will kick off in February and that will include stops in Newcastle (2/2), Manchester (2/5), Stoke (2/10), Southampton (2/16), and London (2/18), among others; tix for those shows are on sale now...

MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:
If you’re tired of the cold and looking to plan ahead for fun times, check out the lineup for this year’s Sonar Festival, which will take place on June 17th through the 19th in Barcelona, Spain. This year’s event will include the likes of headliners Air and LCD Soundsystem; keep an eye on the full lineup at www.sonar.es...

MINI BUZZ:
Val Kilmer and 50 Cent are set to star in Gun, a new movie drama set in the world of drug dealing that will be filmed in Grand Rapids, Michigan...
Beach Boy Brian Wilson has been tapped to complete several unfinished compositions of the late legendary composer George Gershwin; the pieces will be included on an upcoming album of Gershwin covers...
K’naan’s track “Wavin’ Flag: The Celebration Mix” has been selected as the official anthem for this year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup, which will kick off in South Africa this June...
The British PRS (Performing Rights Society) has named the hardest-working bands of 2009, and on the list are Status Quo, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, and Take That...
Speaking of the underrated Status Quo, the band’s Francis Rossi is set to embark on his first-ever solo tour in May; he’ll stick to the U.K. for the trek, making stops in Manchester (5/14), London (5/16), and Sheffield (5/19)...
And are y’all ready for this? It’s true - American Idol is back, Simon Cowell included, and will premiere with a two-night, four-hour TV event on January 12 and 13th, which will showcase the audition process; this year’s Idol will feature guest judges Victoria Beckham, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris, Shania Twain, and Mary J. Blige, among others...
And all ready to send their new music to you are this week’s cool new releases... ON CD: DJ Kicks’ Flying Lotus... OK Go’s Of the Blue Colour of the Sky... Ringo Starr’s Y Not... and Vampire Weekend’s Contra... ON DVD: Alicia Keys: The Element of Forgiveness ... and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.

Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column or your favorite musicians? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com
 
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