· First he brushed the dirt off his shoulder in homage to Jigga. Now presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has given a shout-out to Weezy at a town-hall meeting in Powder Springs, Georgia. Obama delivered a speech about high school dropout rates and told teens that they were better off staying in school than wishing for NBA or hip-hop glory. “You are probably not that good a rapper. Maybe you are the next Lil Wayne, but probably not, in which case you need to stay in school,” he said.
· It will probably take another month for Michigan authorities to determine what caused the deaths of a 33-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man at last weekend’s inaugural Rothbury Festival, which featured sets from Snoop Dogg, Dave Matthews and John Mayer. Initial autopsies showed no sign of foul play.
· The Smashing Pumpkins are celebrating their upcoming 20th anniversary by playing a series of mostly smaller venues in August, with the promise of “unique sets and songs.” The only date announced so far is an August 9 gig in Hammond, Indiana. In November, the band will play anniversary shows in New York, Los Angeles and their hometown of Chicago.
· Amnesty International is launching a campaign called the Small Places Tour in which bands will play hundreds of shows across the globe to help raise money and spread the word about global human rights issues on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The spokesmen for the tour are U2’s the Edge and Peter Gabriel, and acts are encouraged to sign up on MySpace for a single gig or a full-blown tour.