• Good news for fans of Outside Lands: The music festival just requested a permit to remain in Golden Gate Park through 2021, and hopes to expand to 75,000 people per day from 65,000 now. Organizers also proposed to steer more revenue to the city's Rec and Parks Department, making it likely that the new permit will be approved.
• Ben Gibbard gave the kind of show he always wanted to at the Palace of Fine Arts. It was just the Death Cab frontman, a guitar, a piano, a dark room, and a silent, reverent audience. The setlist spanned his entire body of work: "This tour is more like greatest hits played slower," Gibbard said.
• Has Too $hort retired his player card? That's how it seemed after the latest episode of VH1's Couple's Therapy, in which the famously profane Bay Area rapper declared that he wanted to spend his life with longtime love Monica Payne. Good luck, Short Dog.
• The bill was Neurosis, Vovoid, and YOB at the Fox — a once-in-a-lifetime lineup for metal fans. Don't call us whiners here, but it was just great — Neurosis stuck to new material, and proved less feral than usual. We hate to complain, but we left wanting a little more.
• The Backstreet Boys' new Christmas single, "It's Christmas Time Again," is totally unnecessary. First, we all know what time of year it is. Second, it sounds like a list of holiday song clichés all mashed together in a frenzy of pop sickliness.
• Speaking of groups that should break up, here's INXS calling it quits — after the band's original frontman died in 1997 and the remaining members went on an icky televised search for his replacement. We'll happily remember the end of INXS as happening 15 years ago, thanks.