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Dance Workshops

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Beau Wright
Beau Wright

50 Cent - The !!EXCLUSIVE!!

The late, great Ray Charles' final studio album, Genius Loves Company, comes in at #7, selling more than 80,000 copies and inching closer to the 3-million mark in total sales. Falling to #8 is last week's chart champ, Omarion, whose album O sold more than 76,000 copies in its second week of release, a sales dip of almost 60 percent.

50 Cent - The


Interestingly, this time around, Dre has taken a back seat and left production duties to a string of mercenaries. Perhaps he was embarrassed. Certainly, there's nothing as thrillingly awesome as "In Da Club", although "Candy Shop" makes a decent stab of impersonating it.

WORLD PSYCHEDELIC CLASSICS 3: LOVE'S A REAL THING (Luaka Bop)A canny idea, packaging vaguely countercultural early-'70s Afropop aspsychedelia rather than funk. That way the shambling trap drums andcasual solos are part of the solution rather than part of theproblem. And though none of these bands could have rocked Woodstock'ssocks off like the Family Stone or Ten Years After, nobody wore socksat Woodstock anyway. Charming at worst and captivating at best,sometimes mild and sometimes wild, the sources range from Cameroon andNigeria up to Mali, crossing the treacherous boundaries betweenAnglophone and Francophone, jungle and desert--as if west-centralAfrica, at least, is all one place. Not that the music's homogeneous,although there's a cheesiness to the guitars that the hotshots down inKinshasa would have laughed out of town. But it shares amood--postcolonial hopes inflamed by news of a world culturalrevolution that would soon succumb to the economics of enforcedscarcity. The high point is William Onyeabor's "Better Change YourMind," which calmly warns Western nations including Canada and Cubanot to "think this world is yours." It seems Africa didn't have whatit took to back Onyeabor up. We shall see. A MINUS

The two rappers called a truce after an escalating series of incidents that led to 50 Cent throwing Game out of his G-Unit entourage after a recent spat outside a New York radio station ended with shots being fired.

But Lady Gaga told The Wall Street Journal in June that, as far as digital music was concerned, her album was not worth more than the 99 cents Amazon charged. "It's invisible," she said. "It's in space. If anything, I applaud a company like Amazon for equating the value of digital versus the physical copy, and giving the opportunity to everyone to buy music." Lady Gaga also noted that Amazon graciously covered the price difference on the sale, ensuring that she would not lose money on the deal.

Amazon selling digital albums at low cost is not a new trend. In April 2009 Apple moved from selling all songs in its iTunes Store at 99 cents each to a tiered pricing model that includes songs priced as low as 69 cents. That same month Walmart's online music store began selling songs for as low as 64 cents. And earlier this year Amazon lowered its song prices to 69 cents each. Amazon's monthly discounted $5 albums, some of them massive classical compilations or catalog rock and pop releases such as Prince's 1999, Radiohead's Hail To The Thief and Joni Mitchell's For The Roses, are also commonplace.

Other online retailers such as eMusic offer subscription-based services that offer the customer an allotment of downloads for a monthly fee. EMusic subscriptions start at $11.99 per month with individual song prices starting at 50 cents each.

"It's certainly not sending a great message as to what the true value of an album is, and when I say album [I mean] physical," says Pietroluongo. "It doesn't help. I think everybody has a good idea of what they are willing to spend, if anything, on music, but if there are some that are still casual consumers, they may dive in at 99 cents but not pay $3.99, $5.99 or $9.99. It would be worse if we saw this consistently. It would send more mixed signals if the price started to vary day by day. If we start seeing albums priced a certain way on Tuesday [for instance], [and] then lowering the price on Friday or Saturday, that's really going to start to set things in a negative way in terms of music consumption."

Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.

Lori McKenna: Unglamorous (Warner Bros.)Sobriety can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially in aNashvillian who claims in so many words she expects ecstasy. If shejoked around or liked to party, it might give her country goodness thewiggle room every way of life needs. But she does like to rock, andthere's no denying her eye for out-of-the-way details or her ear for adecent tune. Of several believable love songs, I'll take thefull-bodied "Witness to Your Life" over the spartan title tune. Ofseveral believable unlove songs, I recommend "Drinkin' Problem" toAl-Anon. A MINUS


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