HITS Daily Double
On the CD front, look for Atlantic’s Musiq Soulchild to go head-to-head with Universal Motown’s Atlanta R&B star Lloyd for the #1 spot on this week’s chart, with a total that could nudge 145-150k.


Never Mind Your Office Pool, This is What You Need to Get The Week Started
Spring is in the air, folks. Just two more days until it's busting out all over.

Meanwhile, local basketball teams UCLA and USC are both in the Sweet 16, giving the Pac-10 an NCAA tournament-high three survivors (including Oregon), alongside all four #1s (Florida, North Carolina, Ohio State, Kansas), with the lowest remaining seed #7 U.N.L.V. The SEC also has three remaining teams (Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt), the Big 12 two (Kansas, Texas A&M) and the Big East two (Georgetown, Pittsburgh). The Big 10 (Ohio State) and ACC (North Carolina) are both down to one representative apiece, as is the Horizon (Butler), Conference USA (Memphis), Mountain West (U.N.L.V.) and the Missouri Valley Conference (Southern Illinois). Closest call for a #1: Ohio State’s overtime win over cross-state rival Xavier, thanks to a three-point bucket with two seconds left by Ron Lewis in the weekend's most dramatic game. Next up: UCLA coach Ben Howland goes against his former team Pittsburgh and USC faces top-seeded North Carolina.

WIGGING OUT? Jury selection for the Phil Spector trial begins today in L.A., as the Wall of Sound producer mounts his “suicide” defense in the gunshot killing of actress Lana Clarkson. And it will be televised, so it’s bound to be a media circus. For L.A. Times’ take on whether he’ll don one of his ridiculous toupees, click here.

MONROE MURDERED? The U.K. Telegraph reports that Marilyn Monroe's apparent suicide could have been the result of an elaborate plot that tricked her into killing herself, hatched with the knowledge of Robert Kennedy, according to secret FBI files unearthed under freedom of information laws by Australian filmmaker Phillippe Mora. A detailed three-page report is said to implicate members of Monroe's inner circle in the conspiracy "to induce" her suicide, including her psychiatrist, publicist, housekeeper and pal, Hollywood Rat Packer and Kennedy family member Peter Lawford.

On the CD front, look for Atlantic’s Musiq Soulchild to go head-to-head with Universal Motown’s Atlanta R&B star Lloyd for the #1 spot on this week’s chart, with a total that could surpass 150k. Universal Republic’s Brit Award-winning Amy Winehouse is making a surprisingly strong debut this week, with a total that could go over 50k for her impressive stateside bow, Back to Black and its modern-day anthem, “Rehab.” Keep checking HITS’ Building Album chart to follow her progress.

300 topped the movie box office for the second consecutive as the Warner Bros. battle epic took home $31.2 million, putting it past the $100 million mark after just a week in theaters, with a total of $127.5 million. Disney's road comedy Wild Hogs also crossed the $100 million mark, remaining the #2 movie with $18.8 million to lift its total to $104 million. Sony's paranormal thriller Premonition, starring Sandra Bullock, debuted in third place with $18 million. The weekend's two other new wide releases had modest openings. Universal's fright flick Dead Silence from director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell, the team behind the original Saw, debuted at # 4 with $7.8 million. Fox Searchlight's I Think I Love My Wife, a romance starring Chris Rock, who also co-wrote and directed, premiered in fifth place with $5.7 million. Overall box office rose, with the top12 movies taking in $102.4 million, up 10.5% from the same weekend last year. Movie attendance this year is up 3.5% compared to 2006. The rest of the Top 10 included Bridge to Terabithia ($5.1m), Ghost Rider ($4 million, now over $200 million total), Zodiac ($3.1m for a tepid three-week total of $28.9m), Norbit ($2.7m) and Music & Lyrics ($2.2m). On the art-house circuit, Fox Searchlight's The Namesake could be a breakout hit in the making. Mira Nair’s family saga averaged almost $17,000 per theater, expanding to 41 locations in the second weekend of its rollout.

MONKEY BUSINESS: The Arctic Monkeys have revealed the cover of their new album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, which comes out on April 24 and can be seen at www.arcticmonkeys.com. Singer Alex Turner explained that the band wanted to use a real work of art for the cover image:The idea was to get a house or a factory that looks really plain and bland, dark satanic mills or whatever, and then inside there’s all this color.” Bassist Nick O’Malley added, “We wanted to get a girl and a lion on it as well.” Unh, check and check.

MUSIC ON TV TONIGHT: Joss Stone on David Letterman (CBS 11:35 p.m.); Jersey Boys on Jay Leno (NBC 11:35 p.m.), John Mellencamp on Craig Ferguson (CBS 12:35 a.m.)

The N.Y. TimesJon Pareles and Jeff Leeds blog on their SXSW experiences here.

The N.Y. TimesNate Chinen ponders the disco-punk fusion of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and his new album Sound of Silver, which comes out Tuesday, here.

The N.Y. TimesWill Hermes examines the indie rap of Brooklyn hip-hop producer/performer Jaime Meline, better known as Definitive Jux label head El-P here.

The N.Y. TimesJeff Leeds looks at the increasing globalization of the music biz at SXSW here.

The N.Y. TimesKelefa Sanneh marvels at the crossover success of Robin Thicke at his Irving Plaza show here.

The N.Y. TimesNate Chinen measures the Shins’ progress at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden show here.

Legendary producer Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, R.E.M.) looks back on the ‘60s with the N.Y. TimesBen Sisario here.

The N.Y. TimesKelefa Sanneh reviews new releases by Cupid, Rose Kemp, Get Cape. Wear Cape., Fly, the Killers & the Pet Shop Boys and Josh Turner & Ralph Stanley here.

The N.Y. TimesDave Itzkoff sings the praises of SNL’s Weekend Update gal Amy Poehler here.

The N.Y. Times reports that Amazon.com is looking to fill the classical music voic created by the demise of Tower Records here.

The L.A. TimesAnn Powers goes ga-ga for the latest U.K. soul diva, Amy Winehouse here.

Jonathan Lethem’s You Don’t Love Me Yet is about the travails of an alt-rock L.A. band, but the L.A. Times isn’t quite sure he gets the milieu here.

Newsday’s Glen Gamboa measured the presence of Long Island bands at this year’s SXSW here.

The Washington Post's technology editor Mike Musgrove ruminates on where people are turning to hear interesting new music here.


In 1957: Elvis Presley bought Graceland.

In 1958: Simon & Garfunkel released their first single, “Our Song,” under the name of Tom & Jerry.

In 1962: Bob Dylan’s self-titled debut album was released.

In 1964: At London’s Dorchester Hotel, Prime Minister Harold Wilson presented The Beatles with the award for Show Business Personalities of the Year.

In 1970: David Bowie married his first wife, Angie Barnett.

In 1974: Jefferson Airplane renamed themselves Jefferson Starship.

In 1988: Michael Jackson started construction on his Neverland ranch and amusement park.

In 1996: Johnny Rotten announced The Sex Pistols had reformed for the “Filthy Lucre” tour.

In 2002: The Strokes got into a fistfight with a record executive in Paris.

In 2002: A taping of CMT’s Crossroads was cancelled when Ryan Adams fell ill. His partner for the show, Elton John, refused to have the audience dismissed and delighted them with a solo performance instead.

In 2003: At the Dance Music Awards, Dirty Vegas won Best Video and Record of the Year for "Days Go By," Justin Timberlake won Best Chart Act and Moby won Best Act. At the ceremony, P. Diddy and Kelis debuted their new song "Let's Get Ill."