Sound Bites: Afghan Whigs, Outkast, Coldplay

Whigs Call It Quits

The Afghan Whigs — who released six albums over the past 14 years — have gone the way of the Whig political party, according to a statement from Columbia Records. The rock outfit said that its amicable breakup was caused by problems of geography — singer Greg Dulli lives in Los Angeles; bassist John Curley and drummer Michael Horrigan reside in the band's hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio; and guitarist Rick McCollum lives in Minneapolis. Last fall, after releasing the side-project debut Twilight as Played by the Twilight Singers, Dulli told Wall of Sound that the band was still together and working on a new album — and that he was eager to let the others write songs. At this point, according to Columbia, he is the only member still pursuing a recording career, as he works on a solo follow-up.

Outkast's Big Boi Has a Little Boi

Outkast's Big Boi got a phone call from his pregnant girlfriend after a show in Stockholm, Sweden — their baby was on the way. The rapper canceled the remainder of the duo's European tour, jumped on a red-eye and flew home … but didn't quite make it in time. His girlfriend gave birth Saturday to Cross, a healthy, 6-pound, 5-ounce baby boy. Cross is the rapper's third child. Outkast, whose acclaimed Stankonia topped the charts after its October release, will kick off a U.S. tour March 2 in Hampton, Va.

Coldplay, U2 Win NME Carling Awards

Irish rock act U2 won two NME Carling Awards — including this year's Godlike Genius prize — but it was new act Coldplay that led the way today in London, taking home three awards from the British music magazine's ceremony. Other winners included Radiohead (Best Band), Eminem (Best Hip-Hop/Rap Act), Moby (Best Live Act), All Saints (Best Pop Act), Marilyn Manson (Best Metal Act), and Badly Drawn Boy (Best Solo Artist). Oasis singer Liam Gallagher was named this year's Hero, while his rival, pop singer Robbie Williams, was named this year's Villain.

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