August 10th, 2009
10:52 PM ET

Brooks & Done

After 20 years of making music together, Brooks and Dunn have called it a day.

The superstar country duo posted a message on its website today saying "If you hear rumors, don't believe them, it's just time."  But that doesn't make the news less bittersweet.  After winning Vocal Duo of the Year 14 times at the Country Music Association Awards, Brooks and Dunn were pushed out of the top spot by Sugarland in 2007, and again in 2008 - with a third year off the podium looking likely in November.

It's not that B&D were making poorer music.  Brooks and Dunn were  consistently good - from their honky-tonk sing-alongs to their heartbreaking ballads.  But sometimes things just run their course - and in this case, perhaps it's a miracle they lasted so long.  Ronnie Dunn, the fair-haired singer with the equally golden voice, and Kix Brooks, the dark-haired guitarist and showman who rocked a Village People mustache, but somehow made it look sexy... two polar opposites whose on-stage chemistry superseded their off-stage tendency to travel separate paths.

Brooks and Dunn say they'll release a compilation of their #1 hits on September 8th, followed by "The Last Rodeo Tour" in 2010 (dates to be announced).  After that, they'll be Brooks and Done.  I, for one, will be clamoring for tickets to their last hurrah, and savoring memories of the time they came to Hollywood for the dedication of their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and got a hankering for In-N-Out burgers.  After convincing the limo driver to hit the drive-thru, they placed their order... then discovered they didn't have any cash.

Kix and Ronnie, you still owe me 17 bucks.

August 10th, 2009
06:36 PM ET

Lollapalooza 2009 – Day Three: Jane's Addiction, Snoop

Final day of Lollapalooza and they saved the best for last! Highlights of the day:

Jane's Addiction's frontman Perry Farrell performs during the final day of Lollapalooza 2009.
Jane's Addiction's frontman Perry Farrell performs during the final day of Lollapalooza 2009.

Vampire Weekend ripped through their self-titled debut CD to a packed crowd.

Lead singer Ezra Koenig cranked up the excitement with frequent shout-outs including a dedication to director John Hughes, who passed away last week. I chatted with the guys from Vampire Weekend before their set and they told me they are working on their new CD and it should be releasing in the next few months. They performed several songs from the sophomore album including “Run".  The crowd sang along to favorites “I Stand Corrected,” “A-Punk,” "Oxford Comma" and their 'farewell song' "Walcott" to close out the performance.

Snoop Dogg performed next on the same stage. This was one of the highlights of the weekend for us and Snoop did not disappoint. I have rarely been to a concert with so much energy. The crowd kept their hands in the air the entire set. When Snoop sang “Gin and Juice,” “Who Am I(What's my Name)” and a rendition of Akon's “I Wanna Love You,” everyone went crazy.

At one point, Snoop broke into a dedication to Tupac, singing a couple of his songs, and asked the crowd to chant Tupac and we miss you with hands in the air two fingers displayed. Fellow rapper Lady of Rage made a guest appearance and the duo performed several tracks from their earlier collaboration on Doggystyle. I would say Snoop's performance was the best of the festival but then we caught Jane's Addiction Sunday night.

I am a big fan of 90s alternative music and of course Jane's Addiction has a place on my iPod, but I have a new appreciation of the reunited group after seeing them live. Wow!

Jane's Addiction's frontman Perry Farrell told me on Saturday they were putting on a spectacle and mentioned helicopters and dragons. Intriguing! When Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, and the rest of the group took the stage, the crowd erupted. Despite an elbow injury that caused the group to cancel an Australia tour a few weeks ago, drummer Stephen Perkins performed. Farrell gave the drummer a shout-out and explained to the crowd that Perkins was there against doctor's orders.

Farrell bounced, twirled, and danced his way from one side of the stage to the other - his jagged voice even stronger than I would have imagined from their CDs. Helicopters circled overhead, spotlights on the crowd, and about that dragon?  Turns out a group of dancers performed in front of the stage with a giant blue paper dragon like you would see during Chinese New Year.

JA played all the classics: "Been Caught Stealing,” "Mountain Song”, “Stop!", and closed with an acoustic rendition of perhaps their biggest hit "Jane Says.” The entire group seemed to be having a blast throughout the set and the energy was infectious.

Toward the end of the night, Farrell introduced special guest Aerosmith's Joe Perry and sent well wishes to Aerosmith lead singer Stephen Tyler who was injured after falling off a stage last week. As the show ended, Farrell brought out his two boys on stage and then in a truly bizarre but touching moment, he introduced a friend who actually proposed to his girlfriend on stage in front of the enormous crowd.

As much as I love The Killers, who were playing at the same time on the opposite stage, I am so glad I went to this show instead. It had to be one of the best concerts I have ever been to and I go to a ton of concerts. Here's hoping the reunion sticks and Jane's Addiction keeps rocking. It was a fantastic way to end an entertaining weekend.

I'm not a prolific music writer, just a producer for CNN.com and an enthusiastic music fan who wanted to share a little bit of my own experience at this very cool festival. Thanks for checking out my first blogging experience.

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Filed under: Lollapalooza • Music
August 10th, 2009
03:18 PM ET

Outpouring of support for Paula Abdul

A few weeks ago I posted a blog where I said that I wouldn’t mind if Paula Abdul left American Idol for greener pastures. At the time, I never thought in a million years that she wouldn’t come back to Idol, I just was voicing my opinion that I wouldn’t be devastated if she didn’t. For all of the flack that Paula gets, I didn’t think I would be the only one that felt that way.  Boy was I wrong! 

Ever since Paula sent out her bombshell tweets, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her. I have to tell you that I honestly didn’t know how many people liked her on the show. It seemed to me that Paula was constantly the butt of every American Idol joke that was made- so how is it that so many people are threatening to boycott the show now that she is gone? I don’t understand it!

I think it is wonderful to be supportive of someone; I am truly touched by how much people seem to care about Paula and her future.  My question is simply this: where were these people when she was on Idol? When she had a hard time stumbling through her sentences and at times was a little bit of a national joke? Remember when she couldn’t remember if a contestant had sung once or twice? People were saying that it was time for her to leave the show. So why the public outrage now? What changed?

What do you think? Will you watch American Idol without Paula?

For all of the latest details on the Great Paula Abdul American Idol Debate, be sure to watch Showbiz Tonight at 11pm ET/PT on HLN- don’t miss it!

August 10th, 2009
09:44 AM ET

'Entourage': More Tambor please

This week's episode dives in right where Eric's love life continues its awkward, inconvenient path. His relationship with Ashley seems to be warming, while the glacier that was this "thing" with Sloan continues to melt. More on that a bit later.

brady

The show clocked in at a svelte 23 minutes, but despite it being a bit leaner than the others this season, there were some pretty laughable lines.

Last week, one of our readers wished for more of Vince's publicist Shauna in future episodes, and I concur. You can always count on Shauna to open up a fresh can of "sassy" on any and all who cross her, and her quips are instant classics. However, if we're making wish lists, please for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary... May I please have more Jeffrey Tambor?

Straight from his announcement of "Who are you to judge me, agent-scum?" I was totally checked into Tambor's part in the show. When you throw in the Tambor family's proficient use of the F-word in perfect rhythm, the pairing with Ari for the celebrity golf event was chock full of funny.

I don't recall many of Ari's clients having him in such an uncomfortable grip such as Tambor's, but then again, as the situation with Mrs. Ari loomed, we witnessed him suffering plenty. Of course, that ends with taking it out on our beloved Lloyd. Stay strong brother.

Meanwhile, New York Giants' fans would have shed a tear for the way Turtle "kept it real" with Tom Brady. That is, of course, until the Patriots' quarterback mentioned "his affinity for Jamie-Lynn Sigler", "you guys should come over sometime" and "Gisele's cooking" in rapid succession. From then on, Turtle's small case of "guy love" for Brady blossomed quickly into a full-on "man crush". Funny, but sad and unsettling.

This was by no means my favorite episode of the season, but it had its moments. Speaking of which, E's awkward love life only gets more off-balance as he commits the most heinous of relationship felonies: the dreaded "wrong name call". It was excruciating to watch as the episode ended with E's casually disastrous "sorry Sloan" as Ashley makes her way past him to pour more wine. I actually turned away from the TV as the ending credits rolled.

Loved, liked or hated this week's show? Let us know!

August 10th, 2009
08:31 AM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Paula Abdul

ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson wants former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul to join "Dancing with the Stars" in some capacity, according to The New York Times, calling her a "huge talent."

The Hollywood Reporter says that "Twilight" was the big winner at the Teen Choice Awards, with nine wins.

Casting continues on the remake of "Red Dawn" and EW.com has the latest updates.

It's a boy for Elisabeth Hasselbeck of "The View." Her third child was born Sunday.

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