Quick Hits: American Music Awards, Dave Grohl, Muse, Kurt Cobain, Black Sabbath, Jason Mraz, Jim James
November 16, 2012


Brandy, Paula Abdul and the Backstreet Boys are all newly announced presenters for the 40th annual American Music Awards, which will air this Sunday, November 18 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. The show also will include a slew of performers such as Kelly Clarkson, Carly Rae Jepsen, PSY, The Wanted and Swizz Beatz featuring Chris Brown, Ludacris, Justin Bieber, Usher, No Doubt, Ke$ha, P!nk, Taylor Swift, Nick Minaj, Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Pitbull and Linkin Park. Rihanna and Minaj lead the pack of award nominees with four nods each.

Dave Grohl has been announced as keynote speaker for SXSW 2013 in Austin, TX. The Foo Fighters frontman will speak on Thursday, March 14 at the Austin Convention Center as part of the annual conference.

Muse has announced its first batch of European Stadium dates for 2013. The band has scheduled shows in June and July for The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy with more to be added very soon. To celebrate the announcement of these dates, Muse has released three live tracks from its 2010 stadium shows that can be streamed in the media player on
www.muse.mu, plus muse.mu members can download the Summer Stadiums 2010 EP for free.

Movie director Brett Morgan is planning a documentary on late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, which is expected to be out in 2014. "Courtney [Love] is the one that brought me into this," Morgan told the New York Post about Cobain's wife. "We've been trying to find the right time to put this film together and the time is now. Kurt was not only an amazing songwriter and musician, he was an incredible artist and filmmaker. So we are going to do the movie sort of like a third-person autobiography — [as] if Kurt was around and making a film about his life."

Black Sabbath is set to reissue all of its Ozzy Osbourne-era albums as a vinyl box set. The Vinyl Collection: 1970-1978 is set for a December 12 release date, and it contains nine LPs: Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Volume 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die, plus the live album Live at Last, based on a 1973 concert. The set will come with a download voucher, a book of tour programs from 1970, 1975, 1976, and 1978, and a 7-inch containing the band's debut single, "Evil Woman," backed with the non-album track "Wicked World."

Jason Mraz is set to perform in Myanmar next month to raise awareness about human trafficking. Mraz will headline a free outdoor concert on December 16 at People's Square in Yangon, and he is believed to be the first international artist to perform an open-air concert in the country. The show, which also will include local acts, will be broadcast on Myanmar national television and will air on MTV's international network in 2013. Meanwhile, fans can check out Mraz's new video for "93 Million Miles" on www.VH1.com. The on-air premiere will happen this Saturday, November 17 at 9 a.m. on the Top 20 Countdown.

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James will release his first official solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, on February 5. Recorded at his home studio in Louisville, Kentucky over the past two years, James played nearly all the instruments on the album. "I'm really into sound collages and I love recording sounds and then taking them and putting them places they shouldn't have been," James told Rolling Stone of his recording techniques. "I want people to feel like [the album] helps their life in some way, or that it helps them celebrate or helps them mourn or laugh or cry. I just want it to feel useful." James also said that he plans to tour next year. "I want to tour for this record and I'm gonna bring a band 'cause I want to play the record as it is recorded, with all the instrumentation," he said, "but then I'm sure I'll probably do a couple of songs each night acoustic and stuff like that but I want this show to be more of a more danceable affair."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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