The dates for the 2014 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, the Bay Area's mammoth annual celebration of music and more, have now been set.
It returns to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco Aug. 8-10.
So we know when the party is happening, but we still don't know who the guests of honor will be.
Of course, that won't stop festivalgoers from speculating about which acts will headline the three-day event.
The odds-on favorite, many believe, is Outkast, the popular hip-hop duo that is reuniting for Coachella and plans to play other festivals as well. Another potential candidate is Green Day, the East Bay band that has yet to perform at the Bay Area's biggest pop music festival.
So, in other words, I'm putting my money on Outkast and Green Day headlining two of the three days.
Beyond that, however, it's anybody's guess.
Fingers crossed for Kanye West.
To stay up to date about the festival and get early word about on-sale information and other news, go to www.sfoutsidelands.com.
Digital Sabbath: Get ready to crank up "War Pigs," buddy! Because the full catalog from the original Black Sabbath lineup is finally available digitally in the U.S.
"It's about (expletive) time the first eight Black Sabbath albums were made available on iTunes in the U.S.," says the group's legendary lead vocalist, Ozzy Osbourne, properly summing up the historic occasion.
Nobody is happier about the situation than the band's extraordinary guitarist, Tony Iommi.
"Great news. Been a long time trying to explain to fans why the music wasn't available," he says.
The albums are available exclusively at iTunes (www.apple.com/itunes).
I'm happy about this news, but what I really long for is word that Sabbath is returning to town. The band's show last year at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View was one of 2013's top concerts. I sure could go for another round with these madmen of metal.
Ozzy and crew are scheduled to perform in late April in Hollywood, so would it be too much to ask for them to add a Bay Area date to their itinerary?
Kind of Dire: Dire Straits is kind of, not really, getting back to together.
OK, so Mark Knopfler isn't involved, so few are really going to care all that much about this partial reunion.
Still, there might be two or three folks out there who could be marginally interested to learn that Dire Straits' Alan Clark and Chris White and some other musicians are touring as "the Straits."
Shockingly, the tour is set to play mostly smaller venues. (No word on a Bay Area date yet.)
Pure Magik: The Magik*Magik Orchestra stays busy.
The Bay Area ensemble's many projects have included touring with indie-pop act Death Cab for Cutie, performing alongside rock icon Nick Cave and composing the original score for the sci-fi film "Looper."
The group now plans to celebrate its fifth anniversary in grand style, with an all-star concert at 8 p.m. Friday at the Fox Theater in Oakland.
The show will feature such indie-rock acts as Two Gallants, John Vanderslice, the Dodos, and Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers. Tickets are $29.50-$150, www.thefoxoakland.com.
The Replacements: So many of the acts scheduled to play Southern California's mammoth Coachella festival in April are also announcing Bay Area dates.
We've gotten word on shows by Neutral Milk Hotel, Ellie Goulding, Bryan Ferry and the Knife, among others.
So, when are we going to get the one that arguably matters most of all -- the Replacements?
It's hard to believe that the legendary indie band would pass on the chance to play the Bay Area.
My guess is that we'll see an announcement about a show at the Bill Graham Civic soon.