RINGED THAT: I was recently surprised to learn that Beyonc??s current world tour?which comes to the MGM Grand on June 29 ($53-$253)?is titled The Mrs. Carter Show. I had to think: Did I get married anytime in the last year? I don?t think I?ve had any blackout drunk episodes, or at least none that I?ve remembered after I?ve sobered up. And then I thought, maybe it?s some kind of new personalization technique?like, when Jason Schwartzman reads the ad it?s called The Mrs. Schwartzman Show. And then I remembered, as old men eventually do, that Beyonc? is married to Jay-Z, whose born name is Shawn Carter. Awkward. So, to save face, I?d like for you all to address me as Geoff-Z or ?Hova,? as befits a man who reinvented the concert-column genre ? Oh, you wanna know about the show? Well, it?s Beyonc?. I?m guessing it?ll be at least somewhat Beyonc?-esque.
THE PRODIGAL: Welcome home, Las Vegas Academy alumni Ne-Yo. The R&B singer-songwriter, who performs poolside at the Cosmopolitan on June 28 ($55), comes back to his hometown awash in fame and glory: He?s written Top 10 singles for Rihanna and (how about that?) Beyonc?; he?s had three consecutive albums in Billboard?s Top 10; he?s acted in several films, including Stomp the Yard and Red Tails; and he?s even creating an animated show for Cartoon Network, which to my mind is a true barometer of success. (Seriously. I watch a lot of cartoons.) But for all these successes both great and greater, Ne-Yo has remained down-to-earth, which I gotta chalk up to the Academy influence. Proof: He wrote several songs for Michael Jackson just prior to his death, and has kept them, feeling it would be ?disrespectful? to sell them to another artist. That?s a true Downtowner, I?ll tell you what.
NOW ON SALE: Courtney Love plays Vinyl on August 22-23 ($35-$47). I scarcely know what to say about an artist whose chaotic personal life so completely eclipses her professional that Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger once saw fit to eulogize her after she went off the deep end for the umpteenth time. So I?ll say this: I?ve seen her perform, and she rocks hard. And I?ve driven her in my car, and she seemed pretty normal.