Alabama, the most successful band in country music history, ended its Farewell Tour in Bismarck, N.D., on Oct. 16, 2004. But the group famous for such smashes as “Mountain Music,” “Tennessee River” and “Love in the First Degree” could be returning to the road in 2012.

“We’re talking about doing maybe 20 shows next year,” Alabama co-founder, singer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Cook said last week. “I never felt it was right that a band called Alabama should end their career in Bismarck, North Dakota. It should have ended in Birmingham or Huntsville.”

There are also talks of a new Alabama album.

“I feel sure that if we do dates we’ll have a recording to go with it,” Cook said.

On June 14, the Country Music Hall of Famers headline BAMA RISING: A Benefit Concert for Alabama Tornado Recovery at the 17,000-seat Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham.

In addition to Alabama, the 16 confirmed acts include Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Sheryl Crow, Montgomery Gentry, Sara Evans, Kellie Pickler, Martina McBride and Darius Rucker.

Spielberg’s ‘Tintin’ fails to fit neatly in academy’s animation or live action category

The release of “The Adventures of Tintin” trailer last week revealed the look of director Steven Spielberg’s long-gestating adaptation of the popular European comic series. The story of an intrepid young reporter on a hunt for a ship’s treasure inspired by the work of Belgian artist Herge, “Tintin” was shot in a shadowy film-noir style using the same performance-capture technology that James Cameron deployed on “Avatar.”

The trailer’s scenes of photo-real characters adventuring in an animated world raise anew a question that has bedeviled the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recent years: how to treat films that use performance capture, or motion capture, as the technique is also called. Relying on both actors and animators to tell its story, “Tintin” is one of a growing category of movies that don’t fit neatly in either the animation category or live action.

“You’ll never be able to define an animated film by how it looks, ’cause we’re using the same artists, the same software, the same computers to do very cartoony stuff and very photo-real stuff,” said Bill Kroyer, a governor of the academy’s short films and animation branch. “Where are you going to draw the line? You can see how this is going to become an increasing problem. From our standpoint, it’s about preserving a specific art form.”

Court won’t consider Phil Spector’s appeal

LOS ANGELES – An appeals court on Friday refused to reconsider rock music producer Phil Spector’s appeal of his murder conviction, saying there was overwhelming evidence of his guilt.

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal panel acknowledged it did not consider an issue that defense lawyers now say was critical to his conviction.

The panel blamed the lawyers for failing to sufficiently brief the point and said they had no obligation to consider it.

Spector was convicted two years ago of fatally shooting actress Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion in 2003.