The Live Magic of Ghostland Observatory and Alicia Keys and Other Assorted Goodies

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Here's a selection of the best of last week's music blogging from around the Village Voice chain:

One girl's love of Ghostland Observatory overcomes a solid, wailing wall of douchebags, drunks and general idiocy.

Now that Jay Z is out as president of Def Jam, who can fill his shoes? This piece looks at the unlikely but very intriguing possibility that Chuck D could take the reins.

Alicia Keys pulls off an alchemical transformation of New Year's Eve.

After last week's overload of lists, the last thing you need is another list. Here's another list, but don't worry, this is different. This is actually four mixes in MP3 form. Read the words, download the tunes, listen and enjoy.

Former Rogue Wave bassist Evan Farrell died last week in a fire, prompting some nice memories of him to be shared.

Did anyone need more proof that cigarette companies are bad? Just in case you did, read all about a multi-billion dollar lawsuit aimed their way by some very pissed off indie bands, including Xiu Xiu.

Jessica Simpson's announced intentions to go to Nashville and make a country record inspire one Nashville blogger to generate some anti-advertising for his hometown to keep her and any other likely riff-raff out.

Rock legends never die, but their audiences do become frighteningly polite: ZZ Top fails to rouse fans from their aged stupor, revealing feet of clay.

Ignore the fact that it's merely a rambling intro to a new column, and this piece proves remarkably entertaining in its reminiscences of adolescent guitar geekery and Guitar Hero paranoia.

Drenched in Blog gets all sentimental and sort of creepy on the occasion of Britney Spears's latest debacle. -- Cory Casciato

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