Random news bites from the last several days (excluding anything about Michael Jackson ... well, mostly).
Regina Spektor's new album, far, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 this week and the lovely Russian-born songstress is scheduled to perform on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on Thursday, July 30. Slipping to the No. 2 spot this week are the Jonas Brothers with Vines And Trying Times, which held last week's No. 1 position. Black Eyed Peas have moved to the top of the charts with The E.N.D. And in case you BEP fans were worried, the title doesn't foreshadow the band's immenint break-up, but stands for "The Energy Never Dies." Clever.
Seattle grunge metal makers Alice in Chains have confirmed the dates of their upcoming world tour, sans lead voice Layne Staley, who, if you recall, faded away into reclusivity before he speedballed to his death in 2002. The tour supports the band's first new studio release in more than 10 years, Black Gives Way to Blue (in stores September 29). The first single, "A Looking View," is currently streaming on their MySpace page and definitely has the feel of classic Alice in Chains, complete with the hard-meets-soft harmonies by vocalist/guitarist Jerry Cantrel and Staley replacement, vocalist/guitarist William Duvall. Here's a statement the band released about the new song: The song basically speaks to any number of things that keep you balled up inside. A cell of our own making with an unlocked door that we choose to remain in. Focusing our attention inward instead of reaching out to a much larger world. I think this is common to us all. Its funny how hard we fight to hang on to a bone we cant pull through a hole in the fence, or how difficult it is to put down the bag of bricks and move on. Current confirmed U.S. stops include Detroit, DC, Chicago, NYC, Milwaukee, Portland and San Francisco. No telling whether the tour will bring them to Florida.