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Digest: Beach Boys Release Japan Benefit Single; Arcade Fire Plan 'The Suburbs' Reissue

Also: Blink-182 postpone tour to work on new album; George Michael covers Stevie Wonder for royal wedding

April 18, 2011 4:45 PM ET
Digest: Beach Boys Release Japan Benefit Single; Arcade Fire Plan 'The Suburbs' Reissue
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Beach Boys Release Japan Benefit Single
The Beach Boys are set to release a new single tomorrow to benefit the Red Cross's relief efforts in Japan. The A-side will be a new version of "Don't Fight the Sea," a song originally recorded for founding member Al Jardine's 2010 album A Postcard From California, featuring Jardine, Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston. The B-side is an a capella mix of the 1968 Beach Boys track "Friends." The first 1,000 copies of the single, which will be released tomorrow, will be pressed on white vinyl. [NME]

Arcade Fire Plan Deluxe Edition of 'The Suburbs'
According to BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, the Arcade Fire will be releasing a deluxe edition of their third album The Suburbs on June 27th. This expanded version of the record will include two unreleased songs titled "Speaking in Tongues" and "Culture War," as well as DVD of Spike Jonze's short film Scenes From the Suburbs. [Pitchfork]

Blink-182 Postpone European Tour
Blink-182 have set aside plans to tour in Europe this summer in order to finish recording their first album in eight years. According to the band's website, the process of making a new record has taken longer than originally planned. The band have rescheduled its European dates for next year. [Billboard]

George Michael Covers Stevie Wonder For Royal Wedding
George Michael has recorded a version of Stevie Wonder's song "You and I (We Can Conquer the World)" to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The song is being released as a free download – mainly due to Wonder clearing the track for free distribution – but Michael suggests that fans donate money to the royal couple's charity fund. [Guardian]

The Stills Break Up
Canadian rockers the Stills announced that they are calling it quits. In an open letter to fans, the band said that this was "the best decision for each one of us, and in order for each of us to live fully, creatively, and freely." [Paste]

MORE: Replica of Graceland Opens in Denmark; Lil Wayne's Bodyguards Accused of Impersonating Cops

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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