Former Wilco member Jay Bennett died Sunday morning in Urbana, Ilinois. The 45-year-old musician reportedly died in his sleep, but no cause of death has been announced.

The singer and multi-instrumentalist was a member of Wilco from 1994 to 2001, contributing to the albums Being There, Summerteeth, and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. As documented in the film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, Bennett left the band when his relationship with Jeff Tweedy broke down. Earlier this month, Bennett filed a lawsuit against his former bandmate for breach of contract and unpaid royalties.

The City of Surrey announced that 54-40 and Bif Naked will be among the performers at the annual Canada Day celebration at the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre (172nd Street and 64th Avenue).  

The event is free and attracted more than 100,000 people last year.  This July 1, it  begins at 10 a.m. and winds up at 10:30 p.m. with what might be the  most spectacular  Canada Day  fireworks show in the province.

Naked  has  battled cancer and will be playing songs from her new album, The Promise. Others who will appear include Sweatshop Union, Carlie Rae Jepsen, Jeremy Fisher,  and Kuba Ohms.

Okay, so this is seriously the coolest thing I've seen all day. Click here and start any combination of videos playing in any order. Adjust the volume levels to your heart's content, sit back, and let the sound flow. The clips are all in the same key, so they all blend together seamlessly into one dreamy ambient whole.

When a band tours, it's going to mean different things to different people. Some of us only show up to hear the hits, and then there are those freaks who actually want to hear the new material the guys on-stage are invariably there to plug.

I always thought that by and large I fell into the former category, but seeing Doves at the Commodore on Thursday, May 21 was a revelation: not only do I really like the new material, but I was also clamouring to hear more of it.

Okay, the vodka shots may have helped my enthusiasm, but whatever the reason, I couldn't help but dance along, grinning like an idiot all the while, to classics both established and in the making.

On the whole, I'm not a big fan of American indie bands. That's because I am a big fan of hooks, and this is a specialty most of the aforementioned outfits don't seem to have the hang of. I also have a problem with aesthetically challenged musicians, of which there is no shortage among this particular scene. (Enough with the facial hair already!)

An open letter to Scott Weiland:

Dear Mr. Weiland,

Thank you for coming to Vancouver on Monday, May 18. It was fantastic to see you at the Commodore, as opposed to GM Place, which is where you played the last time you were in town. I have been greatly enjoying your new album, "Happy" in Galoshes, and was looking forward to hearing you burn through your solo catalogue.

According to Page Six, Rihanna was spotted at New York's Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge on Monday. The Barbadian R&B star was with a group of friends, but allegedly spent most of the night smooching Aubrey Graham, a Canadian performer familiar to TV audiences as Jimmy Brooks from Degrassi: The Next Generation but better known to hip-hop fans as rapper Drake. The two were seen leaving together at around midnight.

Live Nation announced today that Celtic rockers Great Big Sea will play back-to-back shows at Stanley Park's Malkin Bowl on September 11 and 12.

Vancouverites can expect the usual seafaring fare from the Newfie folk band, as well as tunes from GBS's ninth album, Fortune's Favour.

Tickets go on sale to the masses May 22, but Straight readers who sign up for THE LIST newsletter by tomorrow can get in on our exclusive presale on Thursday (May 21) from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Reserved seating and general admission lawn tix are priced at $59.50 and $37.50 (plus service charges and fees), and are available from Live Nation.

Live Nation announced today that legendary British rocker Elvis Costello, also known as Diana Krall's husband, will perform on Monday, August 24, at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park.

As well as the obligatory hits from the past, Costello will be performing tunes from his upcoming CD, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, which is scheduled for release on June 2. The album was recorded during a three-day session in Nashville with producer T Bone Burnett, and features an array of Music City's top country and bluegrass players, including dobro ace Jerry Douglas.

Reserved seating and general admission lawn tix are priced at $59.50 and $45 (plus service charges and fees), and go on sale May 22, 10 am, at


By Nancy Shields

Vancouver Island may be small; however, the music scene is forever growing and the island is bursting with local talent everywhere you look. From surf-pop to metal, Vancouver Island has everything to offer to the music fan. This slideshow is for the many hardworking Vancouver Island bands that deserve recognition for their efforts to keep the music scene alive.