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Smackdown: Battle of the Actors

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins have both recently released debut solo albums. But, some critics think these Oscar winners should keep their day jobs. Today, we throw both actor-albums into the ring for a Smackdown. Plus: a performance from Steven Wilson, founder of progressive rock band Porcupine Tree.

Listeners: Do you have an actor album that you love? Or, do you wish they'd stuck to the day job? Leave a comment here.

Smackdown: Jeff Bridges vs. Tim Robbins

Actors Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins have faced off once before – in the 1999 thriller “Arlington Road.” Now, the two Hollywood stars are squaring off in a different way – this time, with steely, forlorn gazes and guitars strung around their necks. The middle-aged Hollywood hunks are both currently promoting country-tinged albums, and on this Soundcheck Smackdown, we’ll weigh the two against each other. Guests include Sean Manning, editor of the essay collection "Rock and Roll Cage Match: Music's Greatest Rivalries, Decided," and Steve Almond, author of "Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life" and the upcoming book "God Bless America."

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In Studio: Steven Wilson

The last time Steven Wilson of the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree visited Soundcheck, he didn’t play live in the studio. Instead, he let our listeners download a song he’d recorded just for them in his home studio. It became one of the most popular things we’ve ever offered on the Soundcheck page. Today, this guitar wiz tries his hand at solo piano. And, he debuts a track from his upcoming solo album “Grace for Drowning." (Download it here.)

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Steven Wilson’s album “Grace for Drowning'

Download: Exclusive Track from Steven Wilson

Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson's next solo album, "Grace For Drowning," won't come out until Sept. 27. But you can download a radio edit of the track "Like Dust I Have Cleared From My Eye" right now, as part of a Soundcheck exclusive. And, don't miss Wilson's performance and interview in the Soundcheck studio.

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Synth-pop band Little Dragon will play at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday.

Gig Alert: Little Dragon

The Swedish synth-pop band Little Dragon plays the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday night. Download "Nightlight" here for free.