Review: Bryan plays it safe on ‘Crash My Party’

Luke Bryan, “Crash My Party” (Capitol Nashville) Within the first minute of “That’s My Kind Of Night,” the opening track on Luke Bryan’s new album “Crash My Party,” he cites tailgating, beer drinking and a nameless “pretty girl”…

Review: Book brings JFK’s heady final days to life

“JFK’s Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President” (Penguin), by Thurston Clarke For a blunt-titled book with a tragic conclusion that every reader knows from the start, Thurston Clarke’s “JFK’s…

ABBA items bring in money, money, money

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A fan of the Swedish pop group ABBA saw the money, money, money roll in as his collection of more than 25,000 ABBA albums, posters and other memorabilia was sold at an auction house in…

Baldacci to write fantasy novel for young adults

NEW YORK (AP) — David Baldacci has decided to enter the fantasy world. The best-selling thriller writer has a deal with Scholastic Inc. for a young adult novel, “The Finisher.” Scholastic, a top U.S. children’s publisher, announced Monday…

Author Wendell Berry wins Ohio peace award

CINCINNATI (AP) — Kentucky-based author, essayist and poet Wendell Berry has been named winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s lifetime achievement award for his steadfast promotion of the need for people to live at peace with their…

Baldacci to write fantasy novel for young adults

NEW YORK (AP) — David Baldacci has decided to enter the fantasy world. The best-selling thriller writer has a deal with Scholastic Inc. for a young adult novel, “The Finisher.” Scholastic, a top children’s publisher, announced Monday that…

NY Comic Con poster features trade center tower

NEW YORK (AP) — The official DC Comics poster for the New York Comic Con features Superman and Wonder Woman in front of a completed One World Trade Center. The Daily News (http://nydn.us/11YB6ma ) reports that French artist…

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts offers online access

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts has launched a new eMuseum that gives online visitors access to its collection of more than 4,200 works. The KIA recently announced that online visitors may search a database…

Virginia, NYC races pose distractions for Clinton

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton’s effort to carefully craft her post-Cabinet image has hit a few bumps. A sexting scandal in the New York City mayoral race and a federal investigation that’s roiling the Virginia governor’s race…

Ex-gay gospel singer doesn’t play MLK concert

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gospel singer who says God delivered him from being gay did not perform at a concert the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/15oFZCe ) reports singer Donnie McClurkin was scheduled to…

Elvis birthplace opens Elvis Week

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — For the 13th year in a row, Les Horne of Oxford, England, began Elvis Week in Tupelo, Miss., at the birthplace of Elvis Presley. “Every year we come, it has gotten a little better,”…

Disney prepares a toy offensive with ‘Infinity’

GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) — With cartoony posters plastering the walls and toy figures standing at attention on nearly every flat surface, a once ordinary conference room on Disney’s Glendale campus has been transformed into the colorful war room…

Yooper Day in Marquette, other cities bid for 2014

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — Get ready, residents of St. Ignace, Hancock and Escanaba — the next Yooper Day could come to your hometown. Upper Peninsula residents call themselves “Yoopers,” and Marquette hosted the first Yooper Day celebration on…

Tony-winning theater publicist Shirley Herz dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Shirley Herz, an indefatigable press agent who became as legendary in the New York theater community as the hundreds of shows and stars she represented, died Sunday, according to press agent Kevin P. McAnarney.…

Some ‘Enlisted’ TV cast members visit Fort Bliss

FORT BLISS, Texas (AP) — Some actors in the upcoming Fox television show “Enlisted” have had a taste of life on an Army post thanks to a West Texas installation. The El Paso Times (http://bit.ly/1bmJu1M ) reported Sunday…

NH lifetime achievement award for Stephen Sondheim

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. (AP) — Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim is being awarded one of the top honors in the arts world: the Edward MacDowell Medal for lifetime achievement. The award is being presented Sunday at the MacDowell…

Michele dedicates Teen Choice Award to Monteith

With categories including best lip lock and male hottie, the Teen Choice Awards aren’t exactly profound, but what they lack in depth they make up for in passion from their fans. The Teen Choice Awards honor teen favorites…

Design chosen for Ann Arbor art project

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Massachusetts artist has been chosen to create a $360,000 public art project at the new Stadium bridges in Ann Arbor. City officials said Catherine Widgery’s proposal called “Arbor Winds” was chosen as…

Grand Rapids planetarium awaits $1.2M overhaul

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Grand Rapids Public Museum is offering some final chances to see programs at its planetarium before it gets a major overhaul. The Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium is being closed Sept. 14 for…

Jody Payne, Willie Nelson guitarist, dies at 77

Jody Payne, a guitarist who toured with Willie Nelson for more than three decades, has died. He was 77. Nelson publicist Elaine Schock told The Associated Press she received an email from Payne’s granddaughter Saturday saying the guitarist…