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The Approval Matrix: Week of January 16, 2006

Our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies.


Singer-songwriter John Mellencamp and novelist Stephen King are teaming up to write a musical titled The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County; the show focuses on a pair of brothers whose father takes them for a stay in a haunted cabin. . . . A group of top-notch acts, including Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega, Cowboy Junkies, Tracy Chapman, and Jimmy Scott, will play Carnegie Hall in February to pay tribute to folk legend Joni Mitchell as part of a benefit for the Music for Youth Foundation. . . . After extensive talks with HBO, Ted Koppel and a crew of former Nightline reporters have instead signed on with the Discovery Channel, where they will develop long-form programming. . . . Pop acts Belle & Sebastian and the New Pornographers have announced a massive North American tour for 2006. . . . Paul Feig, creator of Freaks and Geeks, will direct Unaccompanied Minors, a movie based on a “This American Life” radio essay about children who are stranded at O’Hare airport on the day after Christmas and create an impromptu holiday.