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Elton John, Justin Timberlake Release New Albums


On September 12, Elton John's new album, The Captain and the Kid, will be released. The collection is the sequel to Elton's 1975 Captain Fantastic album and reportedly "chronicles the trials and tribulations" of his 31-year relationship with lyricist Bernie Taupin. Elton recently announced that he'd like to experiment with hip-hop beats. "I love those beats, but I have no idea how to get them," he told Rolling Stone magazine. "I'd like to work with Dr. Dre, Pharrell, Timbaland, Snoop (Dogg), Kanye (West), Eminem and just see what happens. It might be a disaster, it could be fantastic, but you don't know until you try."

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced this year's recipients of the 29th Kennedy Center Honors. They include movie director Steven Spielberg, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, singers Smokey Robinson and Dolly Parton, and conductor Zubin Mehta. The honors will be presented at a State Department dinner on December 2. A gala performance will take place at the Kennedy Center on December 3, which will be taped for broadcast on CBS-TV in late December.


Bob Dylan's new album, Modern Times, debuts at Number One on Billboard's Top 200 chart this week (week ending September 16). This is his first chart-topping debut since 1976, when he entered the list at Number One with Desire. Four other artists debut in the Top 10 this week. The Roots enter at Number 9 with Game Theory, Method Man comes in at Number 8 with 4:21…The Day After, Jessica Simpson debuts at Number 5 with Public Affair and Young Dro enters at Number 3 with Best Thang Smokin'.

On September 12, Capitol Records will release the first studio album in 11 years by Detroit rocker Bob Seger. Seger describes it as "a pretty high-energy rock record." Interestingly, its first single, "Wait For Me," logged five weeks on the Country chart.

Athens, Georgia-based rock group R.E.M. will be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 16. The band will perform three songs during the induction ceremony. Original drummer Bill Berry, who left R.E.M. in 1997, will join the group for the performance. Two years prior to his departure, Berry suffered a brain aneurysm, but said his reasons for leaving R.E.M. weren't related to health problems. The remaining three members of the band plan to begin work on a new album later this year, their first since 2004's Around the Sun.

On September 12, Sony Records will release the benefit album Between the Covers. Norah Jones, Madonna, the Dixie Chicks, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and U2 are among the artists who donated previously released cover songs to the project. The only unreleased track is the Bacon Brothers' remake of the Beatles' "If I Needed Someone." Proceeds from sales of Between the Covers will go to the T.J. Martell Foundation, which supports cancer, leukemia and AIDS research.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES

New albums scheduled for release on September 12 include: FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake on Jive Records; Barenaked Ladies Are Me by Barenaked Ladies on Desperation Records; Coming Home by Lionel Richie on Island Records; Fingerprints by Peter Frampton on New Door Records; Half the Perfect World by Madeleine Peyroux on Rounder Records; Continuum by John Mayer on Sony Records; Love Loss Hope Repeat by Carbon Leaf; Live From Across the Pond (first live album) by the Robert Cray Band on Vanguard Records; and These Four Walls by Shawn Colvin on Nonesuch Records.

MUSICAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS/BENEFITS

The 49th annual Monterey Jazz Festival will take place September 15-17 in Monterey, California. More than 500 artists are expected to appear at the event, which is billed as the second-oldest jazz festival in the world. Among the biggest names are Bonnie Raitt, Dave Brubeck, Chris Botti, Dianne Reeves, the Charles Lloyd Quartet and the McCoy Tyner Trio. America's top high school and college bands will be featured on the final day of the festival.

John Mayer, Lou Reed, Bruce Hornsby and Tab Benoit are among the headliners at the 13th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. The three-day event takes place September 15-17 in Telluride, Colorado. In addition to the many concerts, there will be a day-long tasting of more than 100 beers from 50 microbreweries.


TOUR DATES AND INFORMATION

On September 12, The Who will kick off a North American outing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 21-city tour will support the legendary band's upcoming album, Endless Wire, which Universal Records plans to release on October 31. It marks The Who's first new studio album since 1982's It's Hard.

Eric Clapton begins the North American leg of his world tour on September 16. Shows begin in St. Paul, Minnesota and wrap up on October 23 in Miami, Florida. After a couple weeks rest, he'll continue the tour with 13 concerts in Japan. Clapton will start his 2007 concerts on January 27 in Napier, New Zealand, then he'll head to Australia for eight more shows.

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