USA TODAY's music staff offers a weekend tip sheet of sound recommendations spanning the media landscape.
On sale Friday: Guns N' Roses in Las Vegas
Heavy metal legend Guns N' Roses embarks on its first residency with Appetite for Democracy, a series of 12 shows scheduled between Oct. 31 and Nov. 24 at The Joint in the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The concerts, on the heels of the 25th anniversary of Appetite for Destruction, will pluck hits from that 1987 debut through 2008's Chinese Democracy. Tickets, starting at $45, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. PT (details at thejointlasvegas.com). The Joint dates are Oct. 31, Nov. 2-3, Nov. 7, Nov. 9-10, Nov. 14, Nov. 17-18, Nov. 21 and Nov. 23-24.
Founded in 1985, the storied band consists of singer Axl Rose (the sole original member), bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Frank Ferrer, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman, and guitarists DJ Ashba, Richard Fortus and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. Appetite spent three years on Billboard's album chart and has sold more than 18 million copies. — Gundersen
Don't freak out: Zappa's catalog is now on iTunes
Fans of the late Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and supreme iconoclast Frank Zappa finally get easy access to the music they've been awaiting for decades: His entire collection of works from his Barking Pumpkin label have just been remastered and made available on iTunes. Last month, the composer's family trust re-released 12 of his masters on CD and will continue to release a dozen more each month through November. But as of this week, all 56 masters are available digitally.
The dozen albums that are currently out in both CD and digital formats: Freak Out! (1966); Absolutely Free (1967); Lumpy Gravy (1967); We're Only In It for the Money (1968); Cruising With Ruben & The Jets (1968); Uncle Meat (1969); Hot Rats (1969); Burnt Weeny Sandwich (1970); Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970); Chunga's Revenge (1970); Fillmore East, June 1971 (1971); and Just Another Band From L.A. (1972). Zappa, who played guitar and composed in both rock and classical formats, died at 52 in 1993. — Shriver.
Indie faves honor Fleetwood Mac on 'Just Tell Me That You Want Me'
In a 1991 interview quoted in the liner notes for Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks says that the band that made her a star "goes on like a miniseries." The group's different seasons, and lineups, are acknowledged in this new collection, which includes covers by the New Pornographers, Marianne Faithful, MGMT, The Kills and Craig Wedren with St. Vincent, among other alt-pop artists. But emphasis is put on the band's creative and commercial peak years, which yielded classics such as Rihannon, Dreams, Gold Dust Woman, Silver Springs and Tusk, all included here. — Gardner
Vintage Shirley Bassey albums go digital
Two early '60s albums by Welsh chanteuse Shirley Bassey, best known in the USA for themes to the James Bond films Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker, are available from Amazon as MP3 downloads. EMI has packaged Shirley (1961) and Let's Face the Music (1962) together; the latter album paired the singer with Nelson Riddle and His Orchestra and included the pop hit What Now My Love. Also being reissued is 1993's Shirley Bassey Sings the Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber, on which her powerful voice is undiminished. The still-active 75-year-oldBassey sang Diamonds Are Forever at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace in June. — Jones
On Four,Bloc Party takes its signature brand of electro-dance to a new level by adding guitar-rock influences. The album won't be released until Aug. 21, but you can decide now whether or not you like the group's new direction. The full album, complete with lyrics, is streaming at four.blocparty.com. Fans can also add up to four Facebook friends in a mock album cover. Bloc Party kicks off its fall tour Sept. 14 in Boston. — Lopez