Guide to 2009

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    Concerts

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    John Legend, Nokia Theatre, Jan. 22: Singer and philanthropist John Legend
    will be bringing his brew of soul and R&B to North Texas.

    AC/DC, American Airlines Center, Jan. 23: The devil horns will be flying high and guitarist Angus Young will probably be dressed for the occasion in his signature schoolboy outfit. Your ears will be ringing but you won’t regret the experience.

    The Killers, Nokia Theatre, Feb. 4: The Killers are coming to town to support their latest album “Day & Age.”

    Britney Spears, American Airlines Center, March 31: The pop star in perpetual comeback mode will drop by Dallas on her “Circus” tour featuring the Pussycat Dolls.

    Events

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    Fort Worth Stockshow & Rodeo, Jan. 16 to Feb. 8: Events like bullriding, cattle judging contests, even quarter horse tie-down roping classes are just a taste of what the annual stock show has to offer.

    Sculptor Ranjani Shettar’s exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth lasts until Feb. 8.

    Texas Ballet Theater Presents “Cleopatra,” Bass Performance Hall, March 27 to 29.

    South By Southwest, Austin, March 13-22: Bands will be rubbing elbows with filmmakers. Graphic designers will clash with gamers as the worlds of music and media converge in Austin for SXSW. The talks and trade shows will be held at the Austin Convention Center but the bands will be cramping themselves into any venue near ground zero on Sixth Street. Be sure to register at the SXSW site for a pass and plan your stay in advance. The place will be swarming with fans, media executives and media critics.

    The Interactive Festival will be held March 13-17 and will include gaming, web design and social networking as some of the featured works.

    The Film Festival will be March 13-21.

    The Music Festival held March 18-22 has attracted bands from all over the world. Speakers will include veteran musician Martin Atkins and R&B and all-around media impresario Quincy Jones.

    TCU Events

    The Radio-TV-Film Department will present a weekly film series featuring such films as Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” and Orson Welles’ “Touch of Evil” from Jan. 29 to April 23.

    An Evening with the TCU School of Music at Bass Hall: Composer Carl Orff’s masterpiece “Carmina Burana” will be performed Feb. 9 by the Fort Worth-TCU Symphonic Choir and TCU Symphony Orchestra along with performances by the TCU Wind Symphony and the TCU Jazz Ensemble.

    TCU Department of Theatre presents the comedy “Scapino!” Feb. 24 to March 1 and the musical “A Chorus Line” April 1-5.

    Anticipated Albums

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    U2: The band has been working on its first album in almost five years titled “No Line on the Horizon.” The group originally went to work on the new album in 2006 with uber-producer Rick Rubin but they scrapped the material from those sessions and returned to previous producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. Track titles include “Unknown Caller” and “Moment of Surrender.” U2 guitarist The Edge told Rolling Stone magazine that the album is “very raw and very to the point.”

    Kelly Clarkson: Her first single off the album “Masquerade” is “My Life Would Suck Without You,” and the new album seems like a departure from her relatively darker “My December.” The former “American Idol” winner has also expressed a desire to record a country album, possibly joining fellow Idol alumna Carrie Underwood on a country music career.

    PJ Harvey will release a new album, “A Woman A Man Walked By,” with John Parish. As a producer, Parish has worked on several Harvey albums. As a musician, they have collaborated on one album, 1996’s “Dance Hall at Louse Point.”

    Wilco: While it’s technically not official (there’s not even a tentative title floating around), Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy told an Albany, N.Y. radio station last year that the band would release a follow-up to 2007’s “Sky Blue Sky” sometime this spring.

    Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante will release his next solo album “The Empyrean.” The album will feature collaborations with bandmate Flea and the Smith’s guitarist Johnny Marr.

    Movies

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    “Bride Wars,” Jan. 9

    “Crank 2: High Voltage,” April 17: The movie equivalent of an energy drink, this film’s ludicrous plot follows the events of the first offering, which seemingly ends with anti-hero Chev Chelio’s death.

    “Wolverine: Origins,” May 1

    “Star Trek,” May 8

    “Terminator: Salvation,” May 22: The latest in the Terminator series will join a host of sequels to successful franchises like “Transformers” and “X-Men.”

    “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” June 26

    “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” July 17

    “Inglourious Basterds,” August 21: Yes, that is apparently the correct spelling for the title of the next Quentin Tarentino film. Brad Pitt will star as an illiterate country boy (that explains the title) who wrangles up some commandos for the Allies during World War II. Expect brutal Nazi killings and pop culture references from the 40s.

    “G.I. Joe,” August

    Too much testosterone? These next couple of films will balance that out.

    “He’s Just Not That Into You,” Feb. 6

    “Coraline,” which premieres Feb. 6, will be the first stop-motion feature film shot in stereoscopic 3D. Directed by Henry Selick, who directed “The Nightmare “Before Christmas,” from the children’s book by comic-book veteran turned fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman: The film promises a dark mix of offbeat humor and wonderment.

    “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” Feb. 13

    “Watchmen,” March 6:Fanboys everywhere have been holding their breath for this one. Once stuck in development hell, the adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel has been delayed further by a lawsuit by 20th Century Fox, the former owners of the rights to the film. Alan Moore has withdrawn his support from the films made from his work, which includes “From Hell” and “V for Vendetta.” With a big budget and a style that closely resembles the way the comic looked on the page (a la director Zach Snyder’s previous comic book adaptation, “300”), the film has so much hype behind it that it will (a) be a huge hit or (b) be another disappointing Moore adaptation.

    TV

    “24”- Jack Bauer must be tired of having to save the world almost every day. Bauer will embark on another hectic 24 hours in a 2-night, 4-hour event beginning on Jan. 11.

    “Lost” – The series returns Jan. 21.

    “American Idol” returns with new judge Kara DioGuardi alongside Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. DioGuardi is a Grammy-nominated songwriter who has worked for artists like Gwen Stefani, Pink and Carlos Santana. Maybe the move comes in an effort to counteract the mix of “peppy” and “crazy” coming from Abdul’s direction. The new season premieres Jan. 13.

    The 81st Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman, Feb 22: “Wolverine” actor and musical theater enthusiast Jackman is an interesting choice but if you know him mostly from his “X-Men” films, be prepared to see a slightly more song-and-dance side to him.

    Video Games

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    “Resident Evil 5”- The latest in the series has Chris Redfield, the protagonist from the first Resident Evil, stuck in Africa and will concern the origins of the dreaded T-virus. The combat system will be similar to RE4’s successful over-the-shoulder perspective that contributed to the revival of the series.

    “Brutal Legend”- A heavy metal fable centering on a roadie voiced by actor and Tenacious D singer Jack Black who gets transported back to a mythical age of swords and – guitars. Black will be joined by metal legends like Ronnie James Dio and Judas Priest and singer Rob Halford. Game designer Tim Schafer and his Double Fine Productions studio released 2005’s critically acclaimed and commercially underappreciated “Psychonauts.” Expect bloody combat and solos that will make your bowels quake.

    “Street Fighter 4”- the other anticipated follow-up in developer Capcom’s lineup for 2009, this fighter will be 2D and stunning and will have you remembering the good old days when you fed your weekly allowance to the local arcade with SF2.