When country rocker Gram Parsons died of a drug overdose in 1973, friends snatched his body from Los Angeles and burned it in a place he loved: Joshua Tree National Park, Calif. Later, fans illegally placed a marker in his honor in the park. Now, some say it's time for the National Park Service to officially recognize the counterculture musician as a part of park history. Supporters argue that the park recognizes 19th-century rustlers, miners, and ranchers who left their mark.
Radiohead's "Amnesiac" and PJ Harvey's "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea" have made the shortlist for the U.K.'s Mercury Music Prize, an annual contest that "aims to celebrate the best in British music." Those titles will be competing against lesser known releases such as folk/pop act Turin Brakes' "Optimistic LP," singer/songwriter Ed Harcourt's eclectic "Here Be Monsters," and brooding rockers Elbow's "Asleep in the Back."
Having gone on to win his second straight championship and to further secure his place in basketball history, O'Neal is again diversifying his resume with several new entertainment projects during this off-season. First among those is "Shaquille O'Neal Presents His Superfriends, Vol. 1," the basketball star/recording artist's fifth studio album, due Oct. 9 via Twism/Trauma.
The Beastie Boys are re-launching the Tibetan Freedom Concert after a one-year-hiatus. The fifth event, featuring performances from the Beasties, ex-Clash principal Joe Strummer, veteran U.K. rock act Pulp, and trip-hop act Morcheeba, will be held Sept. 15 at London's Brockwell Park. The full lineup is due to be announced July 31.
Recent albums by Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and the St. Lunatics reached both gold and platinum levels in their first accountings by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Elliott's Elektra release "Miss E ... So Addictive" and "Free City," the Universal set from Nelly's "St. Lunatics" were each certified for U.S. shipments of 500,000 (gold) and 1 million (platinum) copies.
Another page has been added to the ongoing saga of the planned Jacksons reunion for "An All Star Tribute to Michael Jackson - The King of Pop" in September at Madison Square Garden. According to a statement released today (July 24) by Marlon Jackson, "Randy Jackson will reunite with the original Jacksons: Michael, Jackie, Marlon, and Tito."
While known for their eclectic and often downright goofy songs, They Might Be Giants take a stab at sincerity on the forthcoming album "Mink Car," due Sept. 11 via Restless Records. Such a statement should not deter longtime fans of the band, as there's plenty of the trademark wit for which John Flansburgh and John Linnell are known laced through a collection of songs inspired by a typically wide range of musical influences.
Representing the "Artist's Perspective" at the Plug.In conference today (July 23) in New York, Alanis Morissette decried the waning use of the Internet as a distribution channel for uncommercial talent and called on artists to rally for legislation that will make their music accessible to the largest possible audiences.
Ex-Beatle George Harrison says reports of his imminent death from cancer are false, and that he is "active and feeling very well in spite of the health challenges he has had this year," according to published accounts. London's Mail on Sunday newspaper had attributed quotes to Beatles producer Sir George Martin that Harrison was near death. "Martin ... has emphatically denied speaking to any newspaper," according to reports.