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Thomas Dolby's first new studio album in 20 years

Thomas Dolby, the iconic ’80s star whose smash hits “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive” helped define the MTV generation/revolution, will break his 20-year silence with a new release later this year titled A Map of the Floating City. The album, featuring appearances by special guest artists Mark Knopfler, Regina Spektor, Natalie MacMaster, Bruce Woolley and Imogen Heap, will be available on October 25, 2011 on Lost Toy People Records as a regular and hi-res download, as a physical CD, and in a special Deluxe Edition featuring a second disc of instrumentals and bonus tracks.

The five-time Grammy®-nominated British artist quit the music business in the early ’90s and spent many years in Silicon Valley, where his tech company Beatnik Inc. created the ringtone synthesizer embedded in more than three billion mobile phones shipped by Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others. Now retired from Beatnik, Dolby has returned to his native U.K. and is busy recording an album of brand new songs in a renewable energy-powered studio he built aboard a 1930s lifeboat in the garden of his beach house on England’s North Sea coast.

Of the album, which is divided into three parts, Dolby says, “The new songs are organic and very personal. A Map of the Floating City is a travelogue across three imaginary continents: In Amerikana I’m reflecting with affection on the years I spent living in the U.S.A., and my fascination with its roots music. Urbanoia is a dark place, a little unsettling . . . I’m not a city person. And in Oceanea I return to my natural home on the windswept coastline.”

“I marvel at the new landscape of the music business — distribution via the Internet and recording technologies I barely dreamed of when I started out,” he continues. “But this album does not sound electronic at all. I have zero desire to add to the myriad of machine-based, synth-driven grooves out there. The Net has made a music career approachable for thousands of bands — but I hear too few single-minded voices among them, so I’m returning to what I do best, which is write songs, tell stories.”

To help tell his stories, Dolby has enlisted an impressive cast of guest musicians. Legendary guitarist Mark Knopfler helps drive the epic “17 Hills,” a song about a pair of hapless lovers and a jailbreak. Natalie MacMaster, the Cape Breton fiddler, adds spice to two songs. Scottish singer Eddi Reader takes a front seat on the ethereal “Oceanea.” Bruce Woolley (Camera Club) plays theremin. And Regina Spektor has a cameo as an East European waitress on “Evil Twin Brother.”

The innovative transmedia game The Floating City, co-created by Dolby and based on his song catalog all the way back to the 1980s, is currently in full swing and is proving highly addictive for thousands of regular players. The winning “tribe” will be treated to a private concert performance of the new album in its entirety. Thomas Dolby will shortly announce a string of concert dates in the U.S. and U.K. in support of the album.

DOUG BENSON at the Boulder Theater

Square Peg is proud to present Doug Benson – Baked On Stage Tour at the Boulder Theater on Tuesday, September 20, 2011.

American stand-up comedian Doug Benson's biggest passions are movies and marijuana, and a great deal of comedy is based on each of them -- from his film, Super High Me to his regular "I Love Movies" podcast. A regular contributor to VH1 series like Best Week Ever (where he plays the "Pop Culture Bachelor"), Benson's humor is rooted in deadpan absurdity. His silliness sometimes masks deconstructionist intelligence in his act, meaning his comedy is often way smarter than you might initially realize. Also, he's hilarious.

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DOUG BENSON

Baked On Stage Tour!

Tickets On Sale This Friday, 05.13 at 4:20 PM!!

www.bouldertheater.com - 303.786.7030

Britain's Gwyneth Herbert in the United States

Gwyneth Herbert, whose sublime version of Neil Young’s Only Love Can Break Your Heart appeared on the soundtrack to 2009 Rom-Com smash Leap Year has been hailed as a priceless talent. A quirky, original singer-songwriter, inspired as much by Janis Ian and Joni Mitchell, as by Billie Holliday or Nina Simone. Her latest collection, All The Ghosts (on boutique British label Naim Edge) features ten terrific songs, which speak to you directly, without forethought for genre or category. In their melodic immediacy and observational characterization, you might hear the Lennon-McCartney of ‘Sgt Pepper’, or the Ray Davies of ‘Lola’, rather than any jazz stereotype.

Expect witty, captivating vignettes populated by a living, breathing cast of beaten-down dreamers, jaded city-dwellers, and women in a quandary. She appears here on piano and ukulele with support from regular guitar partner Al Cherry and double-bassist Sam Burgess.

One of the UK’s finest and most original singer-songwriters plays three shows in support of All The Ghosts, her critically acclaimed new album. Released in the US on June 8th on Naim Edge (via Allegro)

Thursday 17th June The Living Room http://www.livingroomny.com/ Ludlow Street, New York, USA 10002

Friday 18th June Rochester Jazz Festival http://www.rochesterjazz.com/, Christ Church http://www.christchurchrochester.org/music/ - Made In The UK Series, 141 East Ave, Rochester, New York, USA

Saturday 19th  Rochester Jazz Festival http://www.rochesterjazz.com/, Max of Eastman Place, http://www.maxrochester.net/eastman-place/ 387 East Main St, Rochester, New York NY 14604