Bring on the … game. Sting, frontman for The Police, is joining the Guitar Hero World Tour lineup (Oct. 26 for the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStations 2 and 3). The singer/bass player did a motion-capture session to make his virtual doppelganger look and move as he does while performing Demolition Man.
Already announced characters: Jimi Hendrix, Ozzy Osbourne and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins. More music comes from The MC5, Sex Pistols and Motorhead, and metal band Tool plans to have three songs (Parabola, Schism and Vicarious) playable in a specially created venue.
"We're not just building an eclectic set list … but introducing these musicians and their music to new audiences," says Tim Riley of game publisher Activision Blizzard. —Mike Snider
Welcome to the Hotel Cafe holiday tune collection
The Hotel Cafe tour, named for a Hollywood coffee shop that's a hot venue for budding singer/songwriters, has inspired a disc of holiday tunes.
Out Oct. 14, Hotel Cafe Presents: Winter Songs will feature female troubadours — among them Katy Perry, Colbie Caillat, KT Tunstall, Fiona Apple and Meiko — singing seasonal favorites and originals. The title track, Winter Song, was written and recorded by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson.
Fifty cents of every album purchase goes to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer foundation. And so do download proceeds from a various-artists version of Auld Lang Syne.
"The idea of a Hotel Cafe holiday compilation came out of a yearly toy drive," says owner Marko Shafer. "We wanted to put out a slightly more hip holiday record that captured what the Hotel Cafe was about." — Elysa Gardner
It's good vs. evil in animated 'Igor'
Igor is doing the monster mash-up.
The animated comedy, out Sept. 19, about a hunchbacked henchman who longs for greater things in a world run by diabolical geniuses, fuses Frankenstein mythology, comic-book villainy and Halloween spookiness by way of Looney Tunes.
John Cusack provides the voice of the title character, who toils under a cruel scientist (John Cleese) and labors in secret to create a monster who will make him famous. He "isn't allowed to follow his dreams because he was born different, with a hunch on his back," says director Tony Leondis. "He finally gets his chance to create a horrible monstrous weapon. But instead of being evil, the weapon wants to be an actress."
Eventually Igor questions whether being evil is the only way to get ahead. It's about "how it's OK to question authority, because in the end, we're all responsible for the world we live in," Leondis says. —Anthony Breznican