Live Nation announced today that Canadian guitar-rock greats the Tragically Hip will play three shows at the Orpheum Theatre this summer.

The band will be touring in support of its 12th studio album, We Are the Same, which was produced by Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crue, the Cult) and is set for release on April 7.

So far over the course of its 26-year-career the quintet of friends from Kingston, Ontario has sold more than eight millions albums and scored 11 Juno Awards.

Tix for the June 22-24 shows go on sale Friday, March 6, at 10 am, $89.50 and $69.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/

A message for anyone hoping that the relative failure of Chinese Democracy and Velvet Revolver's indefinite hiatus (brought about by the departure of Scott Weiland) might lead to a reunion of the classic Guns N' Roses line-up: abandon all hope.

Things aren't looking good for the Virgin Megastore chain. In August of 2007, two real-estate companies (the Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust) acquired the Virgin Entertainment Group North America and seem to have set about sytematically shutting down all 11 U.S. locations of the music-retail chain. (In an unrelated closure, the Vancouver store ceased operations in 2005, when HMV took over its location.)

The latest round of closures will see two New York City locations (Union Square and Times Square) and one in San Francisco shut down this spring, leaving only shops in Denver, Los Angeles, and Orlando.

With a liberal helping of the Cure's "Close to Me".

Lady Sovereign—So Human

Canadian musician, poet, and sometimes visual artist Leonard Cohen recently announced the dates for his world tour and will be playing GM Place on April 19.

The beloved Montreal-based singer-songwriter will be performing classics from his 40-year career and will be joined by Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters.

Tickets go on sale this Monday (March 2), but Straight readers can nab them tomorrow at 10 am with our exclusive pre sale by going to Ticketmaster.ca and entering the password "takethiswaltz".

To keep on top of all upcoming concerts and pre sales, subscribe to the Straight’s “The List” eNewsletter.

It's not often I discover two New Favourite Bands within the space of one week, but this definitely makes up for lost time (and before you purists start squawking: yes, I know they're not new bands in the timely sense, but they're new to me. Feel free to judge).

On Monday, it was The Morning Benders, and then on Wednesday (March 25), cajoled to the Media Club by a Billy the Kid fan, I discovered that the headliners of the three-band lineup may just be worth shelling out for tickets to the upcoming Plain White T's show.

Remember how when Encore came out in 2004, you couldn’t believe Eminem had gone from hating the world and everyone in it to making limp jokes about Michael Jackson. Well at least he’s had something to be pissed off about since then, namely what his record has paid him for digital royalties.

Two years ago, Slim Shady’s publishing company, F.B.T. Productions, launched a lawsuit against Universal seeking approximately $1.3 million in back-royalties. The case went to court on Tuesday (February 24).

Punk rockers Rise Against recently announced the dates for their summer tour and will be playing Pacific Coliseum on June 4.

Rise Against will be performing songs from their latest album, Appeal to Reason, which debuted at number one on the Canadian Nielson SoundScan album chart last October. They will be joined by guests Rancid and the Riverboat Gamblers.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday (Feb. 27) at 2 pm, but Straight readers can nab them today with our exclusive pre sale by going to Ticketmaster.ca and entering the password "against".

Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page has quit the long-running Toronto band, according to a statement posted on the BNL Web site Tuesday night.

"By mutual agreement, Steven Page will be parting company with the remaining members of Barenaked Ladies," the announcement reads. "Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, and Tyler Stewart will continue recording and touring together as Barenaked Ladies. Steven Page will pursue solo projects including theatrical opportunities while the band enters the studio in April 2009, and hits the road in the fall."

What do Lynyrd Skynyrd, Captain Beefheart, Freddie King, Sergio Mendes, and Bryan Ferry all have in common? Not that much, really, apart from the fact that they've all covered JJ Cale's "Same Old Blues".

Cale is better known as the writer of "Cocaine" and "After Midnight", two songs that helped make Eric Clapton a very wealthy man, but there's nothing like hearing the legend from Tulsa, Oklahoma croon those numbers in his own exquisitely laidback way, with his understated guitarwork laying out a downhome shuffle. Vancouverites will be able to do just that on April 10 when the 70-year-old tunesmith visits the Capilano Performing Arts Theatre, where he'll focus on material from the brand new Roll On, his first solo CD in five years.

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