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Eminem, Kid Rock, Reunions On 2010 Music Docket

Of the Oakland Press

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After an eventful 2009, the calendar has turned and yielded ... not a clean slate but a 2010 that’s already filling up with major music plans and events. Here’s a look at some of the biggest stories already percolating for the new year:

— After scratching plans to release it in the fall of 2009, homegrown rap superstar Eminem will put out “Relapse 2,” his second album in two years, after a five-year break. A tour also is anticipated.

— The title and release date are mum, but Kid Rock will follow his triple-platinum 2007 “Rock N Roll Jesus” album with a set produced by Grammy Award-winner Rick Rubin and, if past practice is an indicator, keep his Twisted Brown Trucker Band rolling on the road again. Look for a wider rollout of his American Bad Ass beer brand too.

— Even before their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction was announced, and despite co-founder Ron Asheton’s death, the early ’70s “Raw Power” incarnation of The Stooges, with James Williamson on guitar, was planning to reunite for live shows. An expanded “Legacy Edition” of the “Raw Power” album comes out April 27.

— After pleasing fans by beginning to tap into his voluminous vaults with last year’s “Early Seger, Vol. 1,” Bob Seger is said to be already working on Vol. 2. Keep an eye, and ear, out for that, as well as a wider release of “Vol. 1” beyond its Meijer retail exclusive.

— Despite reports that The White Stripes, inactive since 2007, would reconvene for new music in 2010, Jack White has said he plans to first work on a second album with his latest musical endeavor, the Dead Weather. But on March 16, the Stripes will release “Under Great White Northern Lights,” a documentary of their 2007 Canadian tour that included surprise gigs on a city bus and at a senior citizens’ home. The project will come out in a box set, though its component parts will also be available separately.

— Rationals leader Scott Morgan is launching the Irrationals, an all-star group that includes producer Jim Diamond, Matt Smith (Outrageous Cherry, the Volebeats), Dave Shettler (SSM, the Sights) and Chris Taylor (Powertrane). The group is hitting the studio in January with a planned album release in May.

The Romantics’ Wally Palmar is said to be among the possible members of Ringo Starr’s 2010 All Starr Band, which will hit the road in the summer. Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer and Gary Wright are also on the reported short list. Starr comes with a new solo album, “Y Not,” on Jan. 12. Beatlemate Paul McCartney, meanwhile, is talking about doing an extended run of concerts at London’s O2 Arena later in the year.

— After recreating “The Dark Side of the Moon” onstage, former Pink Floyd bassist and conceptualist Roger Waters is expected to execute a lavish production of the group’s 1979 concept album “The Wall,” which it staged for only a handful of shows in 1980 and 1981.

— Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan brings her Lilith Fair tour back on the road for the first time since 1999, with a comprehensive group of female artists or female-fronted bands that includes Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, Indigo Girls, Miranda Lambert, Colbie Caillat, Emmylou Harris, Sugarland, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and others. No dates have been announced yet, but Detroit is on the list of cities the tour plans to visit.

— Warped Tour and Mayhem Tour co-founder Kevin Lyman will offer a new creation, Country Throwdown, which will run from May 13-June 20. Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Little Big Town and Jack Ingram are among those who have signed on. Warped Tour, meanwhile, is already set for a July 30 date at Comerica Park.

— U2 has spoken about releasing yet another new album, a quick follow-up to last year’s “No Line on the Horizon,” in 2010, before the group brings its U2 360 Tour back on the road (with a June 30 stop at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing). The Irish rockers are also putting together a limited edition remix album, “Artificial Horizon,” for fan club members.

— The Ozzman cometh again in 2010. Ozzy Osbourne’s memoir “I Am Ozzy,” which was published in the U.K. this fall, hits U.S. shelves on Jan. 25, while his first new album in three years, “Soul Sucka,” comes out in June. The first full-scale OZZFest tour in three years will also roll out in the summer.

— OZZFest will continue to have competition from the upstart Mayhem Tour, which will hit the road for a third year. Rumored headliners include Rob Zombie, Korn, Lamb of God, Five Finger Death Punch and Hatebreed.

— James Taylor and Carole King have only announced a few joint concerts for 2010 — including shows in Australia, New Zealand and Japan and four so far in the U.S. — but it’s expected to be expanded into a full-scale tour. Look for a spring arena date in these parts.

— Peter Wolf, frontman of Detroit favorite the J. Geils Band, will release his first set of new material in eight years, “Midnight Souvenirs,” on April 16. The 14-song set features guest appearances by Shelby Lynne, Merle Haggard and Neko Case, while the track “The Night Comes Down” is dedicated to the late Willy Deville. The Wolf-man plans to hit the road in support of the album and says he might even start the tour in Detroit.

— Country superduo Brooks & Dunn will spend the year saying farewell to its fans. A July 29 Detroit area date has already been announced, which we’re betting will be at the DTE Energy Music Theatre.

— After working on it for nearly a decade, John Mellencamp and Stephen King are ready to roll out their stage musical, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” in September at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Both men will be part of the cast, and Mellencamp has written 15 new songs for the show. A companion soundtrack album will feature guest appearances by Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash and Kris Kristofferson. Mellencamp is also expected to release a new studio album, “No Better Than This,” during the first half of the year.

— Hip-hop impresario Dr. Dre has been working on “Detox,” which he claims will be his final album, since 2004. We’re still waiting, but chances seem good that it will roll out in 2010, with guest appearances expected from Eminem, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg, among others.

— British favorites Coldplay and Radiohead both have plans to put new music in fans’ hands this year. Coldplay recently started work on its fifth studio album in an abandoned London church with producer Brian Eno, who helmed 2008’s “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends,” while Radiohead plans to hit the studio this month for the followup to 2007’s “In Rainbows.” No titles or release dates have been announced for either.

After keeping busy in 2010 with a new album (“21st Century Breakdown”) and a stage version of its “American Idiot,” Green Day will be the subject of its own Rock Band game in the new year, complete with band member avatars.

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page is a definite, and an array of superstar acts are on the wish list, for the first annual Show of Peace Concert, a globally televised event slated for April 17 before an expected crowd of 100,000 in Beijing. Organizers — who previously worked on the Live 8 and Live Earth events of the ’90s — are using the concert to launch an ecologically-minded “peace is green” awareness campaign. More details are coming at a Jan. 13 press conference in Beijing.

— It seems like the best way to keep Ron Wood out of trouble is put him on the road, and he may have a couple of options this year. There are rumblings that the Rolling Stones will tour again, and there are rumors that Wood and fellow Faces Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones will play shows with or without Rod Stewart, who will be on the road promoting his “Soulbook” album. The Stones will also release an expanded version of their classic “Exile on Main Street” album containing the first authorized versions of long-bootlegged gems from the sessions.

— The Who — or whatever we consider the remaining duo of Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey — seem to be setting up for a big year that will start wtih the halftime performance at Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7 in Miami. Townshend has announced plans to finish a musical called “Floss” and to release a new Who album that will include the group’s performances of songs from that piece.

— The Kinks’ Ray Davies has some time on his hands now that a touring edition of the musical “Come Dancing” has been canceled. He’s voiced a desire to reunite the band again, though much depends on the health of his brother, guitarist Dave Davies, who suffered a stroke in 2004.

— After several jaunts paired with Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire will team with Santana for a summer amphitheater tour.

— Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash is finishing work on his first proper solo album, which is due out in late March or early April. Among the pals are Kid Rock, Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Chris Cornell and members of Maroon5 and Wolfmother.

— The Limp Bizkit reunion will be cemented during the first half of the year with the release of “Gold Cobra,” the nu rockers’ first release in five years.

— Fans of the posthumous Michael Jackson documentary “This Is It” will get an hour’s extra footage, as well as a video of the title track directed by Spike Lee, on Jan. 26. The four surviving members of the Jackson 5, meanwhile, are exploring the possibility of a tour, possibly a full-family endeavor that would include sister Janet and latter-day brother Randy.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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