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Published Jun. 29, 2010

A few months ago, my trusty iPod was nicked by neighborhood hooligans.Last weekend, I broke down and journeyed to the Willy Wonkian nerdery that is the Apple Store in International Plaza. I picked up a $250 black iPod Classic with 160 GB. I've decided to rebuild my whole playlist, start from scratch. First to go on? The Stones' Exile on Main Street. Then Regina Spektor; her song Us in particular. And then? Justin Bieber's Baby, which is firmly entrenched in my brainpan. I am not ashamed!

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She's still so unusual

She started as a neon-haired party kid driving her old man crazy. Twenty-seven years later, Cyndi Lauper is a bleach-blond Delta Dawn wailing about tough times with B.B. King. It's weird, but it works. On the new Memphis Blues, a Stax-strong covers collection garnering critical and commercial kudos, the 57-year-old native New Yawker shows off a deceptive voice that's always been built for bigger things than She Bop. For my full review, head on over to today's Etc, Page 2B.

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Download these!

Led by Kyler England, L.A. quartet the Rescues sound like Shania Twain fronting Belly (or one of those countless '90s indie bands that always seemed to be fronted by Tanya Donelly). Their song Break Me Out is currently a freebie on iTunes. . . . Ozzy Osbourne's new single Let Me Hear You Scream isn't exactly Grammy material, but it's good dumb fun and testament to the 61-year-old metal man's strangely ageless voice. . . . Eminem and Rihanna's bad-love duet Love the Way You Lie is violently good, especially Ri-Ri's heartbreaking hook. . . . Going to a family cookout? Surprise Aunt Shirley with the eight-minute (!) get-down version of Sister Sledge's We Are Family, my new favorite online find.

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O Jannus, my Jannus

Before the Fiddy Cent show a couple of weeks ago, Jannus Live's Eric Snider gave me a tour of the rebooted venue. With the steroidal stage, sleek bars and celeb-stuffed VIP area where I plan on loitering "off the clock" - Hello, Jen Holloway, fancy meeting you here. Have you met my friend Gary Sheffield? - the joint offers hot bragging rights for downtown St. Petersburg. Capacity could grow to 2,000, which should help lure a slew of hot acts. I've been to a ton of concert clubs all over the country, but let me tell you, boys and girls, Jannus Live is special.

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The Delivery Room Playlist

No, no, no: The Forever Fiancee is not pregnant. Let's just get that out of the way first. I already have two kids, and I swear I saw a third rifling through my wallet yesterday. I'm officially done procreating until I can find the Fountain of Youth or a Mary Poppins who will work for free CDs. Instead, this week's playlist inspiration comes from loyal Pop Life reader Meaghan from St. Petersburg, who sent me an e-mail:

Hi Sean: I am 37.5 weeks pregnant, and my husband has asked me to come up with an iPod playlist for my upcoming labor and delivery. Obviously you have no personal experience giving birth, but I bet you could come up with fun suggestions! Of course, Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It"is a must.

Love it, Meaghan! By the way, although I have "no personal experience giving birth," let it be known that I was extremely active in the delivery room for both Kid Lulu and Mai-Mai. I was cracking jokes, cutting cords, filming the docs as they played volleyball with the FF's uterus. There was so much blood in that joint, Jason Voorhees would have grown light-headed. But did I get queasy? Heck, no! Granted, I didn't eject a living, breathing carry-on bag, but still, I was tough, yo.

Anyhoo, Meaghan: These songs are dedicated to both you and your bouncy new bundle of joy. Let us know how the playlist goes. Good luck and God bless!

1. Push It, Salt-N-Pepa

2. Machinehead, Bush (you know: "Breathe in, breathe out . . .")

3. Shout, Tears for Fears

4. Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash

5. I Wanna Be Sedated, the Ramones

6. This Woman's Work, Kate Bush

7. (You're) Having My Baby, Paul Anka

8. I'm Coming Out, Diana Ross

9. Baby Come to Me, James Ingram and Patti Austin

10. Break on Through (To the Other Side), the Doors