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ABBA museum opens in Stockholm

by The Associated Press on May 07, 2013 10:50 AM

STOCKHOLM — You can thank ABBA for the music. And so much more.

A museum devoted to the pop superstars now open in Stockholm will celebrate the band’s long list of hits. But it will also show off paraphernalia, including the helicopter featured on the cover of its “Arrival” album, a star-shaped guitar and dozens of glitzy costumes the Swedish band wore at the height of its 1970s fame.

Some gear is definitely not on show. With a smirk on his face, band member Bj￶rn Ulvaeus says certain items are “mysteriously ... forever lost,” conceding only that among them are “embarrassing” tight costumes he wore when he was “slightly overweight.” He declined to say more on the matter.

Some 40 sets of the trademark shiny flares, platform boots and knitted hats are on display in the museum. But visitors can also see digital images of what they would look like in costumes, record music videos and sing such hits as “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia” on a stage next to hologram images of the band members. A telephone also has been placed in a corner and ABBA members have promised to “Ring, Ring” and speak to visitors occasionally.

But the museum also shows a less glamorous, more everyday side of the history of a band that has sold 400 million records and consistently topped the charts in the decade after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo.” The band — made up of Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyng-stad, Benny Andersson and Agnetha F¦ltskog — started out as two married couples, and continued performing after their divorces, before eventually drifting apart in the early 1980s.

The collection includes models of the band’s kitchen, a cottage where they used to compose their songs and the small, rustic park venues Bj￶rn and Benny played when they first met in the 1960s. Visitors can listen to the band members’ recollections and one section is dedicated to the breakup and the story of the divorces.

“It (touches) on those things as well because we think they are important in telling the story,” Ulveaus said.

The museum also includes a Swedish Music Hall of Fame, detailing other Swedish artists.

It was a long time coming, eagerly anticipated by fans and visitors to the Swedish capital. Ulvaeus said they needed the time to reflect on their careers. “You need some distance, you need perspective to be able to tell a story like that and I guess you can say that we have perspective now, 30 years on,” he told reporters.

Outside the newly built wooden museum scores of international ABBA fans gathered Monday, singing the band’s songs and hoping to get a glimpse of their idols arriving for a gala dinner.

All were expected except F¦ltskog, who is currently promoting her comeback album “A” in Britain (read her interview about the album on Page 21).

Nikita Stolyarov, 21, a student from Russia said he got a glimpse of Lyngstad on Sunday when she came by for an early view of the museum.

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AUSTIN, Texas — Depeche Mode, The Cure, Muse — this year’s expanded Austin City Limits Festival will feature something of a European invasion with five of eight headliners at least partially coming from across the Atlantic Ocean.

Also among the list of headlining performers announced today were Atoms For Peace, Phoenix, Lionel Richie and Wilco.

The festival in Austin, Texas, expands to two weekends this year, Oct. 4-6 and 11-13, at Zilker Park. Three-day passes go on sale today.

D’Angelo, Queens of the Stone Age, fun., Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala and Justin Vernon’s other band, The Shouting Matches, also are on the schedule, along with a selection of Austin bands that includes The Black Angels, Okkervil River and Court Yard Hounds.

Online: http://aclfestival.com

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NEWARK, N.J. — Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill stood in federal court Monday and compared her experience in the music business to the slavery her ancestors endured before a judge sentenced her to three months in prison for failing to pay about $1 million in taxes over the past decade.

Hill, 37, who started singing with the Fugees as a teenager in the 1990s before releasing her multiplatinum 1998 album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” pleaded guilty last year to failing to pay taxes on more than $1.8 million earned from 2005 to 2007. Monday’s sentencing also took into account unpaid state and federal taxes in 2008 and 2009 that brought the total earnings to about $2.3 million.

Despite having paid more than $900,000 in the past several days, Hill still owes interest and penalties, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

In addition to serving three months in prison, Hill must pay a $60,000 fine. After she is released from prison, she will be under parole supervision for a year, the first three months of which will be spent under home confinement.

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