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Pop Essentials: Soap operas return, Lady A releases fourth album

Main Event

M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather

The word: The outdoor concert season at Merriweather Post Pavilion kicks off with two days of rock music from all kinds of familiar bands. W.A.S.P., Kix and Danger Danger are among the acts to perform Friday. Bret Michaels Band, Twisted Sister and Steel Panther are among the scheduled Saturday acts.

Details: 5 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475, Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $25-45 for Friday and $40-60 for Saturday. 877-435-9849 or http://www.merriweathermusic.com

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Hot ticket

'American Idol' tour

The word: This is the closest the "American Idol" tour will get to Carroll this year. After five straight years of a male winning the "Idol" prize, the final four contestants this year are women: Amber Holcomb, 18, Angie Miller, 18, Candice Glover, 23, and Kree Harrison, 22.

Details: Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Concert is at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9. Patriot Center, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, Va. $46.20-80.50. 800-745-3000 or http://www.patriotcenter.com

Big premiere

"Iron Man 3"

The word: Robert Downey Jr. is back as industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man in this sequel featuring the Marvel Comics superhero. It also stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle.

Details: Movie debuts at 12:40 p.m., 3:50 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10:10 p.m. Friday at Regal Westminster 9, 400 N. Center St., Westminster. 410-857-1422.

Dropping

Lady Antebellum's "Golden"

The word: The former Carroll County 4-H & FFA performers are releasing their fourth album "Golden" on Capitol Nashville records. The band has six previous No. 1 singles. Their previous two albums topped "Billboard" Magazine's Hot 200 album sales chart for all genres.

Details: "Downtown," the debut single released off "Golden," has reached No. 2 on "Billboard's" Hot 100 country songs chart. It can be preordered for $11.88 at Amazon.com.

Couch Potato

Soap Operas return

The Word: After being cancelled by ABC, long-running soaps "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" are back after a hiatus of more than a year, albeit just on the Internet. Many of the familiar actors on the shows are reprising their roles for these soaps.

Details: You won't find the soaps on traditional TV. They can be viewed daily at Hulu.com and iTunes.com. New episodes are uploaded at 5 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Each episode is 30 minutes long.

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