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a-ha to play 3 rare U.S. concerts in New York, Los Angeles as part of 2010 farewell tour

a-ha to play 3 rare U.S. concerts in New York, Los Angeles as part of 2010 farewell tour

Norwegian pop giants a-ha will bring their worldwide 2010 farewell tour to the United States for three concerts in New York and Los Angeles in May — a short trek that marks just the second time the trio will have performed on American soil since 1986.

Video: Preview of Sonic Youth on Bravo! Canada’s ‘Innovators in Music’ next month

Music fans up north have been treated this month to a new documentary series on Bravo! Canada called “Innovators in Music” that profiles artists from different disciplines, including, next month, legendary noise-rockers Sonic Youth.

Milestones: New Order’s ‘Technique,’ flavored by Ibiza, released 21 years ago today

Milestones: New Order’s ‘Technique,’ flavored by Ibiza, released 21 years ago today

Revered as an iconic singles band, New Order delivered, with its fifth album “Technique,” what now holds up — alongside 1985’s “Low-Life” — as its strongest front-to-back effort. The album was released on this date in 1989.

Video: Trent Reznor, Peter Murphy perform Iggy Pop, The Normal, Nine Inch Nails

Video: Trent Reznor, Peter Murphy perform Iggy Pop, The Normal, Nine Inch Nails

Today, Trent Reznor dug a few gems out of his archives, posting high-def videos of four June 23, 2006, radio performances he taped in Boston with Peter Murphy during Nine Inch Nails’ 2006 With Teeth tour.

Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis starts new band Sweet Apple with Cobra Verde, Witch members

Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis starts new band Sweet Apple with Cobra Verde, Witch members

Dinosaur Jr guitar slinger J Mascis has teamed up with two members of Cobra Verde and one of his Witch bandmates for a new project: Sweet Apple, which delivers its 12-track debut album, Love & Desperation, on April 20, and is expected to tour later this year.

Video: U2’s The Edge soundchecks solo in this ‘It Might Get Loud’ deleted scene

Video: U2’s The Edge soundchecks solo in this ‘It Might Get Loud’ deleted scene

Last year’s six-string doc “It Might Get Loud” was a must-see for fans of U2’s The Edge, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin or The White Stripes’ Jack White — or anyone, really, who appreciates loud rock guitar. The film’s out on DVD now, and here’s one of the deleted scenes that appears as bonus on the disc: It’s four minutes’ worth of The Edge soundchecking solo, running through concert staples “Until the End of the World,” “Pride (In the Name of Love”) and “Bad” alone on guitar, with just the aid of his foot-triggered console of effects.

Lou Reed reissues ‘Metal Machine Music,’ plots ‘A Night of Deep Noise’ European tour

Lou Reed reissues ‘Metal Machine Music,’ plots ‘A Night of Deep Noise’ European tour

Rock iconoclast Lou Reed next month will issue a digitally remastered edition of his oft-derided 1975 guitar-feedback opus Metal Machine Music on a trio of audiophile formats, and mark the occasion by taking his Metal Machine Trio to Europe for a brief tour billed as “A Night of Deep Noise.”

Apple’s iPad promo video features Ben Folds’ cover of The Cure’s ‘Inbetween Days’

Is Steve Jobs a big fan of The Cure? Someone at Apple apparently is, since the company used an piano-based cover of the band’s 1985 single “Inbetween Days” — which attentive Slicing Up Eyeballs readers now report is performed by Ben Folds — to soundtrack its eight-minute promo video for the just unveiled iPad tablet computer. Wonder whether Robert Smith will make a pretty penny in royalties off this one?

‘Ceremony: A New Order Tribute’ proceeds to benefit Tony Wilson children’s charity

‘Ceremony: A New Order Tribute’ proceeds to benefit Tony Wilson children’s charity

Florida-based record label 24 Hour Service Station next month will release a two-disc tribute to New Order, proceeds from which will benefit the Salford Foundation Trust’s Tony Wilson Awards, established in memory of the late Factory Records co-founder and Manchester musical icon.

Crowded House to release new album in March, announce spring UK tour

Crowded House to release new album in March, announce spring UK tour

Crowded House this spring will release its second album since reuniting in 2007, an 11-track, as-yet-untitled disc that Neil Finn and Co. will support with a just-announced tour of the United Kingdom in May and June and a slot at the famed Isle of Wight Festival.

Video: Supergrass spinoff The Hot Rats plays The Cure’s ‘Lovecats’ at Glastonbury

Video: Supergrass spinoff The Hot Rats plays The Cure’s ‘Lovecats’ at Glastonbury

Last week saw the release Turn Ons, the debut album from The Hot Rats, aka Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey of Brit pop-rockers Supergrass. We’d be remiss for not mentioning this album, since a.) Supergrass is a superb band, and, b.) the record features covers by the likes of Gang of Four, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Roxy Music and The Cure. In the case of that last act, check out the clip above to see the Hot Rats perform a fuzzed-out version of Robert Smith and Co.’s 1983 single “The Lovecats” at last year’s Glastonbury Festival. It’s the grooviest thing.

The Specials to play ‘Jimmy Fallon,’ New York City in April; full U.S. tour later in 2010

The Specials to play ‘Jimmy Fallon,’ New York City in April; full U.S. tour later in 2010

Reformed ska legends The Specials will make their first U.S. appearance in nearly 30 years with a performance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on April 12 before playing the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and three other stateside dates — all in advance of a full North American tour later in 2010, according to Billboard.com. So far, only an April 21 date at New York’s Terminal 5 has been announced, but two more shows are expected in April around the band’s previously announced California festival date, Billboard reports.

New releases: David Bowie live, reissues from The Other Two, Beat Farmers, Rain Parade

New releases: David Bowie live, reissues from The Other Two, Beat Farmers, Rain Parade

Record Rack: A round-up of the week’s new albums, reissues and/or box sets. This week sees new releases from David Bowie, The Other Two, The Beat Farmers, Hurrah!, Big Country and Rain Parade.