Digest: Tupac Shakur Biopic Casting; Death Cab For Cutie to Tour

Also: Elton John and Leon Russell launch video contest; 'The Grateful Dead Movie' returns to theaters

March 22, 2011 2:35 PM ET
Digest: Tupac Shakur Biopic Casting; Death Cab For Cutie to Tour
Tim Mosenfelder /Getty

Tupac Movie to Hold Auditions Online
The producers of a biopic based on the life of Tupac Shakur are holding online auditions for the part of the late rapper. According to the movie's website, the filmmakers are seeking an actor who can embody the look, personality and talent of Shakur. [Hollywood Reporter]

Death Cab For Cutie Announces Tour
Death Cab For Cutie will head out on a brief tour of small theaters in May, beginning with a show on May 18th at the Phoenix Concert Theater in Toronto. The band will be joined by Bright Eyes for three dates at larger venues in Bend, Oregon, and Edmonton and Calgary in Canada. According to frontman Ben Gibbard, the band will be playing which is significantly more focused on keyboards than previous Death Cab songs. [Spin]

Elton John and Leon Russell Launch Video Contest
Elton John and Leon Russell have partnered with Vevo for a contest in which fans are invited to submit their own music video for the duo's new single "Hey Ahab." Fans will be provided with footage of the two performing the song, as well as high resolution images and the audio track for the song. [Press release]

'The Grateful Dead Movie' Returns to Theaters
The Grateful Dead Movie, a 1977 concert film featuring footage of the Dead at a series of concerts in San Francisco in 1974, will return to theaters on April 20th for a one-night event. The movie will be screened at nearly 540 theaters across the United States by NCM Fathom Events. [Press release]

Animal Collective Releases Mixtape
Animal Collective have put together a two-hour mixtape featuring music from several of the artists who will be on the bill at their All Tomorrow's Party festival in England in May. The mix includes songs by Big Boi, the Meat Puppets, Beach House, Kurt Vile and Animal Collective themselves. [Stereogum]

MORE: U2 and Rihanna to Appear on Benefit LP For Japan; David Bowie Releases Birthday Concert Album

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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