Idol Chatter: Those of you wondering how Picnic, one third of Idol Records' splendid hip-hop group PPT, is faring after a fire destroyed his home last month, take heart. The man has bounced back like a classic NBA ball: He's moving into a new home this month, and he's already got a new studio up and running, according to Idol main man Erv Karwelis. PPT's Pikahsso, meantime, is finishing up his solo album, The Blew Period...Karwelis also updated us on the rest of the Idol lineup: Black Tie Dynasty's new single "I Like U" has been enjoying lots of airplay in some big markets, such as KDLD-103.1 FM in Los Angeles and WKQX-101.1 FM in Chicago, not to mention our very own KDGE-102.1 FM. The colorless ones will play Saturday, January 20, at the grand opening (free!) of the Palladium Ballroom...Looks like Spin magazine really likes The Fags—the group's Light 'em Up scored No. 32 on the venerable rag's Top 40 albums of the year, available at www.spinmagazine.com.
File Under "Proof That Hockey Is Lame": So the NBA All-Star Game gets Luda, Kanye and Hova. The NHL All-Star Game, to be played January 24 at American Airlines Arena, gets...Garth Brooks, Robert Randolph and the Family Band and Amos Lee. Brooks, along with plastic-country star Trisha Yearwood and VH1's Aamer Haleem, will perform at an NHL charity gala, whose proceeds will go to the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation, whatever that is. They should be some damn fine proceeds, as it's $5,000 per table of 10 to attend. Randolph and Lee (whom Rolling Stone described as "the male counterpart to Norah Jones," whatever that is) headline a much cheaper benefit for the Leary Firefighters Foundation at 25 bucks a person.
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Bits and Pieces: The Drams kick off their tour in support of their latest, Jubilee Drive (which, according to their press release, explores "a culture sapped by hollow heroes and soul-killing, high-tech crapola"), in Baton Rouge on January 17. They hit their hometown on January 19 at the Gypsy Tea Room before heading to various dates on the West Coast, including one at Hollywood's Knitting Factory...Saturday, January 20, should be a doozy at Good Records, when our favorite potential mayor, Zac Crain, hosts a benefit for his own damn self, starring the Heartless Bastards, Baboon and Dove Hunter, plus tasty free barbecue and beer...Fair to Midland just signed a deal with Serjical Strike Records, headed by Serj Tankian, front man for mega-sellers System of a Down. FTM's next disc should be out in March...The AllGood Café's Rock 'n' Reel film series continues with the cream of the cinematic crop. January 17 sees the screening of David Byrne's True Stories (which, of course, was filmed 'round these parts); the Flaming Lips doc Fearless Freaks will be shown January 24, followed by the Townes van Zandt movie Be Here to Love Me on January 31. All proceeds (minimum $5 donation) go to KNON-89.3 FM and the Video Association of Dallas. Plus there's free popcorn. Who says charity ain't fun?