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MULTI-MILLION RENOVATION PROJECT TO BE COMPLETED BY SPRING OF 2004 The 74-year-old, award-winning Greek Theatre broke NEW ground November 17 with a Multi-million renovation project, which is scheduled to be completed by spring of 2004, marking the theatre's 75th Anniversary. The construction will include restoring the front of the theatre to its 1930's facade as well as, 35,000 square feet of improved plaza areas with upgraded concession stands; a relocated and upgraded box office, a new picnic lawn plaza located in front of the theatre, and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system. In addition, the theatres backstage dressing ...

Neil is coming to PBS. Taped in Dublin in July, 2002, NEIL DIAMOND: SPECIAL MOMENTS IN CONCERT FROM IRELAND is a rousing music special featuring performances of some of Neil's most beloved hits, including "Sweet Caroline", "America", "September Morn", and "Cracklin' Rosie". In addition, Neil has taped a special interview, which will be shown during the one-hour program in select cities. This concert special premieres during the December 2003 PBS Pledge Drive. Check your local listings for dates and times or visit www.pbs.org.

Hilary Duff, Clay Aiken Unwrap The Mysteries Of Holiday CDs Hilary Duff's Santa Claus Lane Photo: Buena Vista "If you're feeling the Christmas spirit, you wanna do a Christmas album and make the people feel good." — Ginuwine "My dream is to do a Christmas album," Jessica Simpson said backstage at a recent holiday festival. "But I gotta have a really big hit album first." From Frank Sinatra to the Beach Boys to Mariah Carey, that has traditionally been the strategy, but is it still the route to go? Forget about "Do You Hear What I Hear?," the question singers are asking this holiday season is: When exactly is the right tim...

John Soeder Plain Dealer Pop Music Critic There's no need to think outside the box if you're still hunting for the ideal gift for the music lover on your shop ping list. As usual, this holi day season offers a boxed set to match almost any taste, in cluding the following noteworthy new releases: Leonard Bernstein "A Total Embrace: The Conductor" (Sony Classical/Legacy, three CDs; $19.98) The first of two new boxes dedi cated to the multifaceted Bern stein celebrates his arm-flaying prowess with the baton, leading the Columbia Symphony Or chestra, the New York Philhar monic and other ensembles. Total tracks: 29 (all pre...

By Spencer Patterson (spencer@lasvegassun.com) For a music fan, there's nothing better than opening up a gift box only to find ... another box inside! Over the past 20 years boxed CD sets have become as much of a holiday tradition as menorahs and mistletoe. Virtually every major musical artist has released one, if not several, such collections chronicling their career. As technology has changed, so have the contents of boxed sets. Several collections released in 2003 include not only audio material, but also video footage, on the increasingly popular DVD medium. There's something for practically every taste in music among thi...

CD Reviews By DAVID PERRY Sun Staff 'Tis the season for extravagance. If there's a music lover on your list, there's a box set to fit their taste. Multiple-disc boxes typically attempt to encapsulate an artist's career, usually tossing in live or previously unreleased material to justify the price and lure diehard fans who may already own the hits. As always, a slew of box sets hit the shelves this year. A few choices to ponder follow. Talking Heads, Once in A Lifetime. (Rhino) A beautiful job. And wouldn't you just know they'd come up with a widescreen cover that defies the status quo. Artsy. Bubble-gum. Hard, polyrhythmic f...

COLIN MCCONNELL/TORONTO STAR Eight weeks ago, Toronto 1 news anchor Wei Chen and Michael Pollard travelled to China to bring Jensen home. They've since discovered she's a music buff. "She likes the energy of soca, but also responds to Tom Jones, Neil Diamond and Mozart," Pollard says. TV anchor, husband celebrate little one What a difference 8 weeks make as Jensen turns 1 Adopted baby having a hoot in Cabbagetown ASHANTE INFANTRY STAFF REPORTER It's wet and gloomy outside. Inside, a plumber's muddy footprints are resentfully vacuumed away. But neither weather nor thoughtlessness can mar the celebration taking plac...

From jazz to rock, search for the perfect soundtrack to the Christmas season Christmas music is an iffy thing. Two minutes in any retail store between Thanksgiving and the middle of January can pretty much present you with a year's supply of the genre. On the other hand, it can be nice, at parties and whatnot, to add a few musical reminders of the holiday. Here are a few of the more interesting albums of holiday tunes currently on the market. Bing Crosby, "White Christmas." MCA, 1992. The original Mr. Christmas sings all the familiar carols: "Adeste Fideles," "Silent Night," "Jingle Bells" and of course the title son...

Rusty chats with Neil Diamond Watch video Rusty Gatenby talked to Neil Diamond about the release "Stages: 1970-2002," a boxed set of six CDs of the musician's live performances. NEIL: "There were songs I don't remember doing, Bob Dylan's 'Lay Lady Lay' ... We have about 80 live performances that have never been heard before. So it was a big job." NEIL: "It was a bigger job than I thought it was. It was two years of involvement." The collection also includes a CD of live Christmas music. NEIL: "But I do like performing during Christmas." But will Neil ever perform in Minnesota again? NEIL: "I'm definitely coming back....

Public TV funding drive falls short of goal David Dinell KPTS Channel 8 wrapped up its fund-raising efforts falling short of its $65,000 goal by several thousand dollars. During the nine-day pledge drive, KPTS raised $53,787 and signed up 253 new contributors. "Of course we are disappointed with the final numbers," said Don Checots, KPTS president and general manager. "However, we won't complain too loudly. We know that times are lean for many area families, businesses and nonprofits, and meeting the community's basic needs of food, clothing and shelter should be everyone's top priority." KPTS is a locally owned, not-for-...

MARKETING BRAND BRANDING ADVERTISING Most companies spend a lot of time and energy trying to find and keep customers. But what they really should be doing is creating fans, according to the author of a new book. Newswise — Most companies spend a lot of time and energy trying to find and keep customers. But what they really should be doing, according to Roger Blackwell, is creating fans. America’s staid, button-downed companies need to be following the path of the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Madonna, said Blackwell, a professor of marketing at Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business. These rock stars and others ...

Dolly Parton & Neil Diamond Added To Album (Nashville) -- The new music project termed by Howard and David Bellamy as ?the highlight? of what is now their second quarter century (their first national attention with ?Let Your Love Flow? hit in the mid ?70?s) of making music as ?The Bellamy Brothers? is picking up major star power steam in the studio. The hook? This time around Howard and David are inviting a few of their closest?and highest profile musical friends to help them with the recording process. Neil Diamond and Dolly Parton are just announced as the latest artists tracking for the new Bellamy retrospective. Previously in ...

By Times Staff Writers You notice them more on hot summer days. Cars tooling down your street, windows — sometimes even tops — down, and music thumping. Noise ordinances in most communities try to muffle such things, but almost all of us have a neighbor kid whose buddies pull into the driveway at midnight blasting Limp Bizkit. Or Creed. Or Evanescence. These days, as we begin our four-month or so ride through wintry weather, the windows and tops are up, and the heaters are cranking. But guess what? Car audio systems are still blasting. We just might not hear them as easily. With that in mind, we asked a number of Finger Lakes a...

Michael Stipe - no 'Desert Island' questions... He learnt to sing from his soul by accident. Now Michael Stipe is learning to trust his instincts, he tells Mark Edwards Michael Stipe looks keen and eager to talk, sitting on the edge of the couch in his Knightsbridge hotel room. He’s smiling and friendly. This is going to be a good interview, I think. And then he lobs in his opening thought. "I’m really bad at Desert Island questions," he says. "I just don’t process information that way. I don’t think like that. I don’t have ‘the best REM show ’ or ‘my favourite track’ or ‘the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me’. My tho...

Fieldhouse memories Under construction In early 1929, while the Fieldhouse was under construction, I attended the old McKinley School on Jefferson Street in ninth grade. Since they finished the gymnasium first at the Fieldhouse, we ninth-graders were allowed to walk two blocks to the gym for our exercise class. There we were doing the best we could with all the hammering and sawing making noise on the other parts of the building. Elnora Puterbaugh Muncie A local Bearcat fan I went to Muncie High School from 1937 to 1940. I was a loyal fan of the Bearcats and attended almost all of the basketball games there in the Fieldh...

TODAY "The Last Samurai" comes out. Some people see it for Tom Cruise. On West 25th they see it for the swordplay. The Fencers Club is 125 years old and has 425 members, but - en garde! - it's $800 to join. I went to see this gentleman's sport, where a code of conduct, proper manners, no cursing behind the mask are the rules. Think "The Three Musketeers," "Scaramouche," "Cyrano" and "Zorro," and it's a shock to learn the executive director is no Hungarian nobleman, but a wife and mother named Rita Finkel. In aisles as narrow as a medieval castle hallway, maybe 50 men and women, age 8 to 80, in white knickers, stood parrying and thrus...

POLLY HIGGINS Tucson Citizen Get to know Polly Higgins Every artist seems to give a try at a Christmas album at some point, and the results range from the curious to the classic. What follows is a summary of offerings released this year, with a concentration on pop and rock holiday albums. American Idol, "The Great Holiday Classics" (RCA) - It's not a question of whether or not Clay Aiken's rendition of "The First Noel" needs to exist in this world - 'cause here it is - but rather whether or not someone on your shopping list deserves it. This companion to the "American Idol" holiday special, which aired in late November, also feat...

Neil Diamond to appear LIVE on QVC! Tune in December 3rd at 10 p.m. EST to hear Neil talk about the STAGES box set and play selections from the DVD.

Seeking center stage for party's nominees By Rick Klein, Globe Staff It's a setup that has worked for everyone from William Shakespeare to Neil Diamond. Now, organizers of the Democratic National Convention are considering a theater-in-the-round stage that would place the presidential nominee smack in the middle of the FleetCenter floor at July's gala. The idea is to inject life into the otherwise predictable proceedings with fresh camera angles that create the appearance of an interactive event. But the question remains: Are the Democrats agile enough to pull it off? "Bill Clinton could do it in a blink, but some others would ha...

NEIL DIAMOND: 'STAGES: PERFORMANCES 1970-2002' (Columbia, five CD's and one DVD, $59.98 ) A new live set from Mr. Diamond is hardly a rarity, but "Stages" is a well-conceived addition to the canon. Great care has been taken to avoid overlap with Mr. Diamond's other albums, yet the discs capture all the romantic crescendos, glitter-encrusted folk and modest jokes of a classic Neil Diamond show. Two of the discs document a Las Vegas concert from 2002; two others span his career, including covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Elton John and the Beach Boys; and the fifth CD — the only excruciating one here — consists entirely of Christmas songs. Fina...

"About Neil Diamond: Stages Neil Diamond appears in an hour-long show on QVC with his new six-CD box set, "Stages: Performances 1970-2002". Viewers will enjoy hearing Neil reminisce about his life on the road and will have the opportunity to call in and speak directly with the legendary performer. Nearly four decades since he first hit the road as a headlining performer, and exactly three decades since joining Columbia Records in 1973, the incandescent Neil Diamond continues to reign as one of the top five most successful performing artists in the popular music arena."

Deputy's nightmare: Worst case scenario: a drunken Neil Diamond. Gene Weingarten: Major guilty pleasure: I like Neil Diamond. His voice, anyway. Ever hear him on the Band's farewell album, doing "Dry Your Eyes." Say what you will, the man has a voice. He also sings some TERRIBLE songs.

Pier 39 Holiday Celebration Pier 39 will host its much anticipated holiday celebration this Sunday with the lighting of the majestic entrance plaza tree, an appearance by Santa Claus and a special performance by popular local cover band, Super Diamond. Singer Randy Cordero started playing around with Neil Diamond covers back in the late '80s. When he moved to San Francisco and started performing his uncanny imitation as "the Surreal Neil" in local clubs, the idea of a full-band tribute to Diamond soon started to take shape. In addition to pitch-perfect takes of many favorites from the Neil Diamond catalogue, expect Cordero and company to...

NEIL DIAMOND IN JERSEY By STEPHEN HOLDEN March 12, 1982 LIKE a barnstorming evangelist in gladiatorial garb, Neil Diamond roared onto the stage of the Brendan Byrne Arena Monday in the first of three sold-out performances. Mr. Diamond and his eight-man band then proceeded to bring off the sort of swashbuckling extravaganza that only Elvis Presley, in his Las Vegas prime, might have attempted. Its success was as much a matter of attitude as it was of music. For Mr. Diamond combines the strutting machismo of a rock star with the dramatic gesticulations of a Technicolor-style Old Testament prophet. And his booming bass baritone,...

The Frog Who Would Be King The importance of being Neil Diamond BEN FONG-TORRES They had a tip: Cocaine in Holmby Hills, just outside Beverly Hills. They had a description of a white male in his early 40s, graying. It didn't sound exactly like that guy on all those album covers or, at that moment, on a huge billboard high above Sunset Strip. But they had a search warrant, and the name on it was Neil Diamond. And so, on June 30th at 10:30 p.m., a force of fifty men, a joint effort of the sheriff and police departments, arrived at the house in Holmby Hills. A helicopter hovered overhead, ready with searchlights, while the head of the ...

Neil Diamond: People covering my songs is like sex Monday, August 24, 2009 Neil Diamond: covers are like sex American singer-songwriter Neil Diamond tells Metro about supporting the Who in their '60s heyday, what he thinks of American Idol and why cover versions are an erotic experience. What's the new album all about? It's an actual representation of my live show. It was recorded from a glamorous night on my concert tour at Madison Square Garden. I'm not sure I've ever done a live release before so I'm a little nervous about it, even after all this time. I just want people to love the show. What made you choose this perform...

Good times never seemed so good for Neil Diamond REVIEW | At age 67, the pop music icon remains artistically vital July 28, 2008 Recommend (6) BY BOBBY REED Neil Diamond topped the Billboard pop albums chart -- but it took a few decades. Although he has been releasing albums since 1966, Diamond had never reached that commercial pinnacle until May, when his excellent disc "Home Before Dark" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Diamond salutes two colleagues on the deluxe edition of the album, which contains his versions of compositions by Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. All three composers were born in 1941, and each of ...

Neil Diamond's old songs will rule new show BY NIZ PROSKOCIL WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER Over three years, Neil Diamond has put out two new albums, 2005's "12 Songs" and "Home Before Dark," released in May. But when it comes to concerts, it's the old songs that dominate. In a recent teleconference call with reporters, the 67-year-old music legend ? who performs tonight at the Qwest Center Omaha ? said he will play several songs from those recent recordings, but they'll sound a bit different live. "I don't do them quite as spare, or as sparse as they are on the album, maybe with the exception of 'Home Before Dark,'" Diamond said...