The Top 10 Songs For Writers

Writers are a funny breed. They are often depicted as eccentric recluses who go for days without eating, sleeping or bathing because they are completely obsessed with getting their ideas on paper. Musicians have a never ending love affair with the written word. After all, songwriters must be just as adept at putting words together as they are at putting chords, melodies and rhythms together. That is unless you're a musician focused solely on instrumental music. It's no surprise that the very best lyricists are also serious fans of books. The lives of authors and the stories found in novels have inspired countless songs.However, for this playlist I wanted to put together songs that are specifically written about the act of writing itself, or the writer in general. As opposed to songs inspired by a particular novel or author..

What's your favorite song about writing?

Songs For Writers:

1. Every Day I Write The Book - Elvis Costello

2. Paperback Writer - Paul McCartney

3. Lady Writer - Dire Straits

4. Writer's Minor Holiday - Calexico

5. Shadow Stabbing - Cake

6. Dancing In The Dark - Bruce Springsteen

7. When I Write The Book - Nick Lowe

8. There She Goes, My Beautiful World - Nick Cave

9. Wrapped Up In Books - Belle and Sebastian

10. Screenwriters Blues - Soul Coughing
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Tickets to Michael Jackson movie go on sale September 27

The film about Michael Jackson's final three months, which uses video of rehearsals for his concert comeback, will run in theaters worldwide for two weeks only beginning October 28, according to Sony Pictures.

Tickets for "Michael Jackson: This Is it" go on sale Sunday, September 27, Sony said in a news release Thursday.

"Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, and genius as he creates and perfects his final show," Sony said.

Kenny Ortega, who was working with Jackson to create the "This Is It" concert, is also directing the documentary.

"As we began assembling the footage for the motion picture, we realized we captured something extraordinary, unique and very special," Ortega said. "It's a very private, exclusive look into a creative genius' world."

Ortega said "This Is It" "may go down as the greatest concert that no one got a chance to see," since the pop singer died three weeks before it was to debut in the O2 Arena in London, England. "But with this film, we get a rare portrait of Michael as he prepares for his final curtain call and what I believe was going to be his master work."

Sony began editing the film last week after concert promoter AEG Live handed over about 100 hours of video it shot during April, May and June 2009.

The initial release date was set for October 30, but Sony said it decided the "special, limited, two-week engagement worldwide" would be moved up two days.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge approved the deal last week to allow the special administrators of Jackson's estate to sign a contract with Sony and AEG Live to allow the production.

The judge has yet to decide on a deal that would allow AEG Live to conduct a three-city tour of a Michael Jackson memorabilia exhibition to coincide with the film's release.
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Kanye West Finally Apologizes to Taylor Swift

After Taylor Swift's Tuesday appearance on The View, the country singer received a telephone call from rapper Kanye West, who apologized for his behavior Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards.

"Kanye did call me, and he was very sincere in his apology, and I accepted that apology," Swift told ABC News Radio.

She added that she believes there won't be any conflict in the future.

Earlier in the day, Swift appeared on The View and said that while she would accept a face-to-face apology from the rapper – "Sure!" – he has made no effort to get in touch with her since disrupting her best female video award acceptance speech at Sunday's VMAs.

"He has not personally reached out or anything," she said, "but if he wanted to say hi..."

The singer explained what was going through her mind Sunday night as she watched West grab the microphone and announce that her award should have gone to Beyoncé.

"My overall thought process went something like, 'Wow, I can't believe I won. This is awesome. Don't trip and fall. I'm going to get to thank the fans, this is so cool ... Oh, Kanye West is here! Cool haircut! What are you doing there? And then, ouch. And then, I guess I'm not going to thank the fans.' "

West apologized on his blog later that night, and on Monday, he told Jay Leno that he'd like to apologize.

"I'm not going to say that I wasn't rattled by it," said Swift on The View, "but I had to perform live five minutes later so I had get myself back to the place where I could perform."

Swift said she was touched by the outpouring of support from fans and fellow singers like Kelly Clarkson, who blogged that West was "a sad human being."

"I just never imagined that there were that many people out there looking out for me, so it was really wonderful to see that people were out there defending me so I didn't have to."
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Civility: A thing of the past?

A politician, an athlete and an entertainer. What do they have in common? Some would say rude behavior. In less than a week, millions of people witnessed displays of anger and rage that have many wondering whether decorum is a thing of the past.

Kanye West's behavior at the MTV Video Music Awards was widely condemned.
"I think we're seeing a decline in our protocol and etiquette skills,'' said Pamela Eyring, director of the Protocol School of Washington.

Last week on Capitol Hill, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson yelled "you lie!" at President Obama as he addressed Congress on heath care.

"It was an obvious breach of decorum. There's a time and a place for everything, and that was obviously not the time or the place," said Sen. John Cornyn, D-Texas.

Wilson apologized to Obama but has balked at the idea of giving a formal apology before the House of Representatives.

Just days later, in a heated display of frustration over a questionable call, tennis star Serena Williams threatened a line judge at the U.S. Open.

The outburst, like Wilson's, was seen by millions on live television. Williams later issued an apology and has tried to put the incident behind her.

One day after the Williams meltdown, it was Kanye West's turn. But this wasn't a fit of rage; it was an outrageous display by the rapper toward singer Taylor Swift.

The 19-year-old was accepting her award at the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony Sunday when West took the microphone from her hand and told the audience that singer Beyonce Knowles' video had been better. West was booed off the stage.

Eyring says these three high-profile incidents serve as reminders to public figures and regular people alike to watch their behavior.

"They're mentors, like it or not. They are mentors, and they need to show their good side," she said.

It's one thing for a public figure to have a bad or very bad moment. But more and more Americans are wondering whether rudeness has become the norm in society in general.

"Everybody's lashing out for no apparent reason. It's starting to be this virus that's going on these days now," said David Stuart of Washington.

How did it get to this point? Eyring blames technology. "Blogging, texting, the twittering; we're finding that people aren't focused on their people skills any longer, and so they're doing outbursts. They're just saying what they feel and what they want to say, when they want to say it."

Eyring is quick to point out that not all of society is lacking in people skills. But she does stress a return to simple gestures: opening a door for someone, giving up your seat for an elderly person or simply saying "thank you."

"I think actions are more powerful than words. We have to learn this, and you can do it, and it doesn't cost anything. You can do it. It costs nothing to be nice or civil or polite. It's easy, and it makes you feel good."
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Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley Separate

Life's going to be a little less complicated for Avril Lavigne. Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley married in California in July, 2006.After months of facing rumors about trouble in their marriage, the pop star and husband Deryck Whibley announced Thursday that they are separating on good terms.

"Deryck and I have been together for 6-an-a-half years. We have been friends since I was 17, started dating when I was 19, and married when I was 21," Lavigne, 24, wrote on her Web site. "I am grateful for our time together, and I am grateful and blessed for our remaining friendship."

She added: "I admire Deryck and have a great amount of respect for him. He is the most amazing person I know and I love him with all my heart. Deryck and I are separating and moving forward on a positive note."

In a message on the MySpace page for his band Sum 41, Whibley also posted a message about the split. "The past 6 and a half years have been the most amazing years of my life. It's sad it has come to an end but Avril and I are still family and moving forward in the most positive way possible," the note read.

"Our decision to part ways is amicable and she holds a special place in my heart and forever will be a great and amazing friend," Whibley added. "Thanks to all our family, friends and fans for all the support."

Whibley, 29, and Lavigne, who are both from Canada, tied the knot in July 2006 at a private estate in Montecito, California. But save for one appearance together last month, the pair had been living apart for some time.

"They really want the best for each other," a source tells PEOPLE. "They're handling everything as amicably as possible."

In fact, says the source, Whibley produced much of Avril's upcoming album.
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Linkin Park's Bennington Talks New Band, Debut

Dead By Sunrise's debut album, "Out of Ashes," doesn't come out until Oct. 13, but frontman Chester Bennington is guaranteeing it will be a going concern, though always subject to the demands of his other band, Linkin Park.

"We'll make records when we can," Bennington -- who started forming Dead By Sunrise, originally as Snow White Tan, in 2005 -- tells "I don't think people should expect to see an album every couple of years. I'm definitely not going to tell Linkin Park, 'Hey, can you guys take some time off so I can go work on Dead By Sunrise?' That's not gonna happen. But we definitely see this as something we'll continue to do. This isn't a one-time thing for us. Every five years or so I could imagine there'd be a Dead By Sunrise record."

And, Bennington adds, his bandmates in Linkin Park have become his "No. 1 support group" for Dead By Sunrise.

"I think they see how much time I put into it," he says, "and they definitely can tell these songs are different from what Linkin Park is doing. I still contribute 110 percent to Linkin Park. I think they know (Dead By Sunrise) is not something I would do if it meant jeopardizing what we have in Linkin Park."

With the album's first single, "Crawl Back In," already out, Bennington -- who co-produced the album with Howard Benson -- and the Dead By Sunrise crew are itching to play some live shows in support of "Out of Ashes." "We really are looking forward to going and playing small venues for a few hundred people," he says, "and really having the people who want to hear us play getting sweaty with us and having speakers right in their faces and blasting them pretty loud."

The fledgling group will also offer fans some bonus material, including a cover of the Misfits' "20 Eyes" and acoustic renditions of the "Out of Ashes" songs, some of which will be available for download with the purchase of the album.

While he's preparing for "Out of Ashes' " release, however, Bennington is also in the studio with Linkin Park working on the band's fourth album. Rick Rubin is again on board as co-producer, and Bennington says the group would like to have the set out by mid-2010 but "won't put anything out until we can pull a batch of super-stellar songs together."

"We're really experimenting a lot with sounds and time signatures and (song) structures," Bennington reports, "really not being constrained by any kind of preconceived ideas that we might have ourselves. So it's really promising."
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Tori Amos Gets Into Holiday Spirit For 'Midwinter Graces'

The holidays are shaping up to be rather bright for Tori Amos fans, as the singer-songwriter is set to release "Midwinter Graces," her first collection of holiday music. Due November 10 on Universal Republic, the twelve song set features holiday standards such as "What Child, Nowell" and "Star of Wonder," as well as original compositions such as "Pink and Glitter" and "Our New Year." Amos recruited longtime collaborators Matt Chamberlain on drums, Jon Evans on bass, Mac Aladdin on guitars and arranger John Philip Shenale.

The main parts of the album were recorded at Amos's studio in Cornwall, UK with additional sessions taking place this summer in Los Angeles and New York City.

"Midwinter Graces" will conclude a very busy year for Amos, who released "Abnormally Attracted to Sin," her tenth studio album this past May. According to Nielsen SoundScan, "Sin" has sold 92,000 and peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200. According to a release, Amos has had a long history with seasonal themed music, honing her chops as a youth at her father's church where he was a minister. Amos has also been known to cover Christmas staples "Little Drummer Boy" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in concert.

Amos is currently on tour in Europe through October 10 and will head to Australia in November. Currently, there are no holiday themed shows scheduled.

Here is the track listing for "Midwinter Graces":

"What Child, Nowell"
"Star of Wonder"
"A Silent Night With You"
"Candle: Coventry Carol"
"Holy, Ivy, and Rose"
"Harps of Gold"
"Snow Angel"
"Jeanette, Isabelle"
"Pink and Glitter"
"Winter's Carol"
"Our New Year"
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Alice In Chains Are Back In 'Black'

In the midst of its first reunion tour in the summer of 2006, veteran hard rock act Alice in Chains played to a crowd of 30,000 at Portugal's Super Bock Super Rock festival. As the band performed a set of its classic cuts, a handful of fans unfurled a 25-foot-long sign that read, "Alice in Chains Get Born Again."

With the Sept. 29 release of "Black Gives Way to Blue," Alice in Chains' first full-length in nearly 14 years, the band's reincarnation reaches its conclusion. The band says "Blue" serves as both a synthesis of past achievements and a tribute to lead singer Layne Staley, who died in 2002 of a drug overdose, and fans are greeting it with open arms. The Elton John-assisted title track and the lead single, "Check My Brain," is No. 1 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart.

"There's a lot of personal stuff here that we're making public," drummer Sean Kinney says. "But I'm proud of everything we've done. We've grown as individuals and as a collective."

Following the chart-topping release of its self-titled third album in 1996, the band stopped touring and went on an indefinite hiatus. The first hint of a reunion came in 2005, when Kinney, guitarist Jerry Cantrell and bassist Mike Inez performed together at a Seattle benefit concert for South Asian tsunami victims. The members started jamming and soon recruited their longtime friend, Comes With the Fall frontman William DuVall, to share vocals with Cantrell.

After the band played European festivals and select U.S. club dates in 2006, it faced a decision the following year: whether to record new material. "There was never an intention to do these shows and then make another record, but they kept feeling stronger about it," manager Susan Silver says. "At the end of 2007, Jerry dug deeper than I've ever seen him dig and wrote many of the songs, and in 2008, they decided it was time to lay them down."

Recorded at the Foo Fighters' Studio 606 in Los Angeles, "Blue" is Alice in Chains' first release on Virgin/EMI, which signed the band this spring.

As the band gears up for a European tour in November and a U.S. trek in early 2010, Kinney has no reservations about making the album and plans to keep recording with the band's current lineup. "It'd be a disservice to Layne's legacy to not keep moving forward with this project," he says. "You hope it strikes a chord, but to me, this record's already a success."
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