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"08.12.2016 16:15:42" theguardian.com Boy George: 'We're all clinging to a rock, and some people have got a better grip than others' Nine years sober and back on tour, the Culture Club star talks about the power of positivity and why pop needs mystery “It feels like the mainstream has been hijacked by hitmakers, people who are really good at writing songs that all drop in the right places, they're all pleasant, but there's not many people who really give of themselves, if you know what I mean,” he
"08.12.2016 15:15:45" theguardian.com Neil Young: Peace Trail review – a political dream defaced Armed only with righteous anger, Neil Young punctures this knocked-together protest project with half-formed songs full of confused platitudes More in sadness than anger, Alexis Petridis decides that the new album by one of his all-time musical heroes is, well, not really cutting it.
"08.12.2016 15:13:56" theguardian.com X-rated: who was the most hopeless X Factor winner? It's the final of the 13th series of the talent-show-that-wouldn't-die this weekend. Which cruise singer is now back singing on cruises and who was last seen turning on the Christmas lights in West Brom? It's The X Factor final this weekend. So what became of the winners of the previous series?
"08.12.2016 10:08:11" theguardian.com Sleaford Mods on Brexit: 'You can't ignore things any more' – video We go backstage at a Sleaford Mods gig in their hometown of Nottingham to hear what singer Jason Williamson thinks about politicians Brexit, Sleaford Mods … throw in austerity to complete your Angry Britain bingo card.
"08.12.2016 10:07:00" theguardian.com Best albums of 2016: No 7 Anti by Rihanna Forget its shambolic release – the Barbadian singer offered a masterclass in shapeshifting on her most defiant record yet It's the seventh best album of 2016, as proven by science.
"07.12.2016 13:23:24" theguardian.com Public Enemy – 10 of the best From the anthemic to the polemic, here are some of the most influential songs by the self-proclaimed 'Rolling Stones of rap' Turn it up! Bring the noise! (Not in our 10 of the best, BTW)
"07.12.2016 11:11:33" theguardian.com Best albums of 2016: No 8 Chaleur Humaine by Christine and the Queens In the year of Bowie's death, Héloïse Letissier's triumphant crossover record was a salutary reminder that pop can be inspirational and comforting Let there be no debate. This is is, indisputably, the year's eighth best album.
"06.12.2016 09:38:23" theguardian.com Metallica: how we made Master of Puppets Lars Ulrich: 'There's a fast song, a mid-tempo song, a ballad. It's like food groups: you need your carbs, your protein' Come crawling faster! Obey your master!
"06.12.2016 09:36:58" theguardian.com Best albums of 2016: No 9 Konnichiwa by Skepta It won the Mercury prize and sold grime to a new generation – most of all, the rapper's debut album made British music cool again The 10th or the eighth, but the ninth best album of 2016.
"05.12.2016 10:42:41" theguardian.com Best albums of 2016: No 10 – A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead Was Radiohead's ninth album the sound of them opening up? An accidental soundtrack to the era of Trump? Whatever the answer, it was one of their best Official: the 10th best album of 2016.
"03.12.2016 11:13:46" theguardian.com Laura Jane Grace on being transgender in the age of Trump: 'Panic isn't the answer' As she publishes an intimate new memoir, the Against Me! founder shares her thoughts on the presidential election, parenting and the healing power of punk “It would be weird enough just being in a band trying to date,” she says. “It makes it harder being a parent. And it makes it really interesting when you're trans."
"03.12.2016 11:09:10" theguardian.com The Weeknd: 'Drugs were a crutch for me' Abel Tesfaye's tortured, genre-bending R&B has brought him millions of fans, a triple platinum album and collaborations with Daft Punk and Beyoncé. Will mainstream success make him happy? Tesfaye pops his eyebrows, nods half a dozen times and says eventually that he “dibbles and dabbles and whatnot”. Everything in moderation, he insists. “When I had nothing to do but make music, it was very heavy. Drugs were a crutch for me. There were
"02.12.2016 09:13:11" theguardian.com The best albums of 2016: 40-11 The Guardian music critics' favourite albums of the year, counting down to reveal 2016's best release Our albums of the year countdown reaches No 11 …
"02.12.2016 07:54:33" theguardian.com Anne-Marie, Dua Lipa and Rag'n'Bone Man – meet the Brits critics' choice shortlist Two aspirant purveyors of bright and shiny pop, plus the face of the East Sussex blues revival. Who's going to be this year's most-likely-to? Two aspirant purveyors of bright and shiny pop, plus the face of the East Sussex blues revival. Who's going to be this year's most-likely-to?
"01.12.2016 15:03:56" theguardian.com John Legend: Darkness and Light review – musical weirdness and lyrical bleakness Emulating his idol Marvin Gaye, the singer has fashioned the personal and the political into a heartfelt musical statement You can understand the desire to occasionally alter the album's emphasis from the political to the personal – it's the kind of thing Legend's 70s idols did all the time – but even the most devoted fan might find their empathy running on empty when they
"01.12.2016 13:43:17" theguardian.com The Rolling Stones: 'We are theatre and reality at the same time' The band's best album in decades is an 'accidental' covers collection of songs by their early heroes. Backstage in Boston they talk about playing until they're dead, Prince opening for them in his knickers and what Bob Dylan really thinks about his Nobel Richards says the gig often regarded as marking the end of the innocent dreams of the 60s wasn't all bad. “I think given that there about half a million people there, I'd say that 499,000 had a good time,” he says. “Which is not bad on the average, you
"01.12.2016 07:49:49" theguardian.com The best albums of 2016: 40-21 The Guardian music critics' favourite albums of the year, counting down to reveal 2016's best release Our albums of the year list counts down to No 21 …
"30.11.2016 12:24:36" theguardian.com The best albums of 2016: 40-31 The Guardian music critics' favourite albums of the year, counting down to reveal 2016's best release Our albums of the year countdown is underway!
"30.11.2016 12:23:31" theguardian.com Judas Priest – 10 of the best From mid-70s eclecticism to the definition of early-80s metal, and a latter-day reformation with singer Rob Halford, the band is a scream 10 of the best time for the Priest.
"30.11.2016 08:43:53" theguardian.com The best albums of 2016: 40-31 The Guardian music critics' favourite albums of the year, counting down to reveal 2016's best release Kano's comeback, an alt-country collaboration and the proto-punk king. The countdown begins.
"29.11.2016 12:46:25" theguardian.com Now that's what I call unstoppable! How a compilation CD survived the digital age Now 95 is sweeping all before it in the Christmas sales rush. How has the no-frills anthology series managed to prosper in the era of streaming? Who buys Now now? If you want to hear a selection of 2016's biggest singles, that's what Spotify is for. Yet Now 95 sold 230,000 copies last week, making it one of the biggest sellers of 2016, across both compilation and single-artist albums. And it's not
"28.11.2016 09:44:06" theguardian.com Pop art, fanzines and Channel 4 – the making of Saint Etienne's Foxbase Alpha With the band's debut album having been given the 25th-anniversary treatment, founder member Bob Stanley explains how the record came about "Yes, we made mixtapes. And we made them before we did the fanzine. Someone made me one called Don't Put That Sausage in Your Mouth, Mrs Worthington. You wouldn't have given that to a girl." https://gu.com/p/5ckmy/sfo
"24.11.2016 15:11:58" theguardian.com Jazzie B's 10 best 80s anthems: Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Cameo and more The Soul II Soul leader picks his favourite songs from a pivotal decade "To be fair, asking for 10 tracks is totally taking the piss …”
"24.11.2016 15:04:04" theguardian.com The Rolling Stones: Blue and Lonesome review – more alive than they've sounded for years | Alexis Petridis Mick Jagger's voice and harmonica drive an album of blues covers that returns the Stones to their roots Blue and Lonesome sounds surprisingly like Mick Jagger's show, which rather goes against the commonly held belief that Keith Richards is the band's R&B heart and Jagger is a fashion-conscious dilettante who'd have the Stones recording tropical house with
"24.11.2016 09:09:02" theguardian.com How well do you know the life of Freddie Mercury? – quiz It's the 25th anniversary of the death of the Queen frontman on 23 November – test your knowledge of his life and times It's 25 years since Freddie Mercury died. How well do you know his career?
"22.11.2016 10:03:00" theguardian.com Meet Fenriz, the black metal hero who is now an Oslo councillor Darkthrone are a black metal band revered for their corpsepaint trilogy. But frontman Fenriz just became a politician – thanks to his cat. He talks us through his busy diary One of the most ebullient and eccentric figures metal has ever produced, Fenriz has long been a hero in the underground scene, primarily because Darkthrone have spent the last 30 years demonstrating that it is possible to stick to your principles and
"21.11.2016 16:16:08" theguardian.com Fabric nightclub to reopen under strict new licensing conditions Renowned venue, scene of drug-related deaths of two teenagers earlier this year, will operate over-19s policy and ID scanners The new rules, set out in a 155-page document, includes banning entry to anyone under 19 on main nights, more comprehensive CCTV monitoring, ID scanners and a lifetime ban on anyone caught asking for drugs.
"18.11.2016 08:00:44" theguardian.com Juju on that Beat: the power of music memes Viral videos are pushing songs such as Harlem Shake and Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) into the charts. Now, record labels are looking to commodify trending tracks and the artists behind them It took several months, and a little help from some dancing clowns, for Juju on that Beat to become a viral meme. It started off as the TZ Anthem Challenge, in which kids had to replicate the dance moves performed in a video clip made by 15-year-old Zay
"18.11.2016 07:44:19" theguardian.com A Tribe Called Quest return: 'You fight for what you love – and you go through hell to get it' Eighteen years after their last album, the hip-hop legends are back with a record that reunites original members Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White and Phife Dawg, who died in March. Here, they talk post-Trump despair, why their music is a rallying “It's hard to see it right now but there's always a silver lining.” He thinks for a moment. “I put it to you like this. He's one man and he's one problem. But the thing about problems is that there's a whole bunch of different solutions that surround
"17.11.2016 11:43:31" theguardian.com Watch the Rolling Stones sing Country Tonk acoustic – video In an exclusive clip shot backstage, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards perform an acoustic version of their 1969 honky-tonk classic Country Tonk – footage taken from a new documentary that captures the band's journey across Latin America on their 2016 tour. Watch Mick and Keith in action …
"17.11.2016 11:33:08" theguardian.com Meet J Balvin, Latin America's answer to Drake and Kanye The Colombian star is up for a best album award at the 2016 Latin Grammys – apt reward for the man making reggaeton cool again “We came from a country that had a lot of problems, with Pablo Escobar and all those things. We want to change the face of Colombia. We're the new generation that want to bring the positive to the world. We just wanna be positive.”
"15.11.2016 18:10:26" theguardian.com 'It's got balls and it can bite': the woman blowing recorder prejudice away She is revolutionising the classroom scourge – blasting raw experimental music through it, sometimes playing two at once. Meet recorder powerhouse Laura Cannell “At school, I used to play for medieval banquets in a haunted pub in Bungay. But I just get bored of there being rules, I don't like being told what to do. And I'm really anti-twee. People think: 'Recorders, how lovely!' But they've got balls and energy –
"15.11.2016 18:02:43" theguardian.com The legacy of David Mancuso: 'His dancefloor was a kind of egalitarian utopia' The DJ behind legendary disco club the Loft, who died on Monday, would talk of music as if it had magical powers – and, in his hands, it was almost possible to believe he was right Mancuso was always the most complex and anomalous of dance music's early-70s pioneers. He defined the latter-day notion of a DJ not as someone who played records, but as someone who could manipulate music to create an atmosphere and tell a story; to – in
"14.11.2016 17:29:04" theguardian.com La Femme: the superchic French band who hoodwinked their way to the red carpet What do you do if you've got the tunes and the look, but can't get gigs? France's hottest band relive their ingenious $3,000 gamble “He likes to smoke crazy weed and take a bunch of drugs,” says Magnée. “Before the show begins, he listens to the album and dances everywhere.” At which point Magnée – in so far as he can while cramped into a tiny booth in a crowded brasserie, with his
"14.11.2016 16:52:54" theguardian.com Never mind John Lewis – here's the TV advert music it's impossible to forget TV adverts are uniquely positioned to ruin a good song, or force a terrible one deep into your consciousness. Here are some of the most memorable, for all the wrong reasons One of pop's biggest days of the year fell last Thursday, when John Lewis unveiled its Christmas ad. The soundtrack to that ad is considered one of the prime showcase slots in the music industry – as Eamonn Forde wrote in the Guardian in 2014: “Winning
"11.11.2016 13:48:31" theguardian.com The 1975's Matt Healy: 'I am pretentious. And I'm not apologising' Slated, then feted, pop magpies the 1975 are riding high. Their frontman talks about ignoring critics, his Messiah complex and what really happened with Taylor Swift “Oh, me and George are like a married couple. The other day I woke up at 3am, and he was just on the sofa. I said, 'What are you doing?' and he was like, 'I didn't have any weed, so I just came round.'”
"11.11.2016 09:58:22" theguardian.com The future 50: the rising stars to look out for From squat rock to laptop futurism, 2016's most creative music is being made away from focus groups, major labels and publicists. Meet the most exciting independent minds in music To lift the gloom, we looked at the state of new music, and picked the 50 artists who are taking the notion of independence forward. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/nov/11/the-future-50-the-rising-stars-to-look-out-for
"11.11.2016 07:08:44" theguardian.com Leonard Cohen – he knew things about life, and if you listened you could learn The great musician was a man who used songwriting as a way of making sense of a bewildering world Leonard Cohen was always the grown-up in the room. He was young once, of course, but the world never saw much of the modestly successful poet and novelist from Montreal. He was already 33 — ancient by 60s standards — when he gazed out from the
"11.11.2016 06:22:27" theguardian.com Leonard Cohen: 10 of the best From his 1967 debut album to 2104's Popular Problems, here's the pick of the great man's career 10 of the best from Leonard Cohen.
"11.11.2016 06:20:35" theguardian.com Leonard Cohen dead at 82: tributes paid to legendary singer-songwriter – latest Leonard Cohen has died aged 82. Here we round up tributes and reaction as they flood in for Canada's cultural icon The world mourns Leonard Cohen.
"10.11.2016 14:02:53" theguardian.com Laura Jane Grace: 'Punk was more closed-minded than the church' In Tranny, the Against Me! singer writes a memoir about transitioning while in a successful punk band and the slow, difficult journey towards self-acceptance The lyrics sailed right over the heads of both the fans and her band-mates. “It became this game of 'OK, how much can I get say and get away with it?'” Grace said. “When I was still getting no reaction it became disheartening. I was [like] 'OK, are you
"09.11.2016 19:47:48" theguardian.com Chrissie Hynde: 'I am very grateful to punk' With her band the Pretenders, Hynde has blazed a defiant trail through rock'n'roll for four decades. Just don't call her a role model – or invite her to an awards event Nor was she flattered to be inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. “I call it the Rock and Roll Hall of Shit,” she says. “It's everything that rock'n'roll isn't. It desecrates the name of rock'n'roll.”
"09.11.2016 17:09:43" theguardian.com John Prine: 'I'm not writing poetry, I'm writing lyrics' One of the great American songwriters, Prine has been hailed by Bob Dylan and collected his share of awards. Now, he's recording with a new generation The man who wrote the line "There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes" on his life in songwriting.
"09.11.2016 08:40:46" theguardian.com Ryley Walker – 'I grew up deep white trash. I identify with Tesco' The US jazz-folk musician explains why he's had enough of Nick Drake, and where to get the best coleslaw “To be honest. I don't think I really like Nick Drake. I don't think it really works any more. He's a fucking genius, obviously, he was a great guitarist, great lyricist, but I don't think it speaks to me any more. It's the same thing when I listen to
"08.11.2016 09:45:46" theguardian.com Lorde's letter, in full: 'The party is about to start. I am about to show you the new world' To mark her 20th birthday, Lorde has posted a letter on Facebook saying goodbye to her teens and announcing a new album. It's reprinted here with permission My heart broke. I moved out of home and into the city and I made new friends and started to realize that no one is just good or bad, that everyone is both. I started to discover in a profound, scary, blood-aching way who I was when I was alone, what I did
"08.11.2016 09:28:13" theguardian.com Britain's lost pop genius: the glam rocker who hated being in the spotlight He is best known for Wizzard's perennial Christmas novelty hit, but, as Roy Wood celebrates his 70th birthday, his idiosyncratic pop is ripe for rediscovery The heritage rock mags never run grand retrospective features, tracing his career from the Move, through the formation of ELO to Wizzard and his extraordinary, maverick solo albums, Boulders and Mustard, in the 1970s. He is seldom placed on a par with all
"07.11.2016 11:11:47" theguardian.com Alicia Keys: 'I want to make sure all the issues about race are addressed' At a home town launch for her new album, Here, the New York singer-songwriter talks about the US election, Black Lives Matter, and modern family life "These are the streets that I walked, and learned my lessons on, and heard the music, and witnessed disenfranchised people, and people who just had dreams and hopes. Every pimp, every prostitute, every drug dealer, every Broadway dreamer wishing they
"07.11.2016 09:32:42" theguardian.com Little Mix: 'The prime minister should dress like Ru Paul' Little Mix are Britain's most successful girl group since the Spice Girls. Five years after winning The X Factor they're still going strong – just don't ask them to be role models or stick to the rules of pop-star interviews Does she feel there are people who try to keep people like her quiet? “Yes, especially male MPs who like to ridicule young women for having an opinion. What I don't understand is: they should be encouraging young people to be interested in politics and
"04.11.2016 20:36:47" theguardian.com Jay Z (and maybe Beyoncé) spearhead final anti-Trump musical push The rapper will host a Clinton benefit concert at the end of a campaign that has seen musicians from across the spectrum creating anti-Trump protest songs In FDT Part 2 G-Eazy raps: “How'd he make it this far? How the fuck did it begin?/ A Trump rally sounds like Hitler in Berlin” and goes on to take aim at Trump's response to the massacre in Orlando: “The fuck is goin' on? People just passed/ A mass murder
"04.11.2016 08:04:25" theguardian.com The Chainsmokers on feuding with Mark Ronson and writing 2016's biggest hit After a disastrous start on American Idol and pastings from Deadmau5, the US dance duo have had the last laugh with Closer's chart success “I don't know how you get forgiveness from the dance world,” Taggart shrugs. “We've played a lot of big, important festivals, our sets have got great reviews. We're not at Avicii and Calvin [Harris]'s level, but we've got songs on the radio all the time.
"04.11.2016 07:48:00" theguardian.com Watch the reworked video for David Bowie's Life on Mars Director Mick Rock has revisited the classic 1973 video for Life on Mars. Here he remembers shooting one of Bowie's greatest ever clips Mick Rock tells the story of the Life on Mars video – and unveils the re-edited version. h
"03.11.2016 19:11:38" theguardian.com REM on Out of Time at 25: 'Being the voice of a generation is not a pretty place to be' Their seventh album made them superstars. But the fame cost REM a band member and, nearly, their friendships. In a rare interview, five years after splitting, they discuss legacy, Trump and why they're still sorry for Shiny Happy People “The hardest part was being put in the position of being 'the voice of a generation',” Michael Stipe says. “It's not a pretty place to be. It's not easy. I tried. I did try to use the platform of being a public figure. But you find yourself sitting at a
"03.11.2016 15:36:02" theguardian.com Robbie Williams: Heavy Entertainment Show review – a lurching mess of styles The returning boyband escapee's latest album is almost like a variety performance, featuring something for all the family – but that's just not how pop music works any more If Williams's return felt in many ways welcome, it was not without its drawbacks. Party Like a Russian was a case in point – it contained a dancehall-tinged, half-rapped verse, jokes imploring you to “have it like an oligarch” and a sample of Sergei
"03.11.2016 14:20:32" theguardian.com Neurosis: 'Crass were the mother of all bands' The San Francisco metal band know their British anarcho punk – so singer/guitarist Steve Von Till picked five crucial tracks Crass were perhaps the mother of all bands. I didn't totally understand it when I was a teenager, because they had multiple layers and intellectual depths. They were unique and they made incredibly strange music – when you're in a psychedelic mood and
"02.11.2016 09:50:10" theguardian.com Peter Gabriel – 10 of the best Offbeat lyrical twists, innovative sounds and a deep commitment to African culture have attended the career of this musical explorer Here are some PG tips - 10 of the best from Peter Gabriel.
"02.11.2016 09:08:01" theguardian.com Honeyblood: 'We're about girls fending for themselves, with superhuman strength' The Glaswegian grunge-pop duo return with a heavy new album that emphasises female power. It's all about doing whatever you want, they explain “They must see me in the paper and think: 'Oh, there's that scabby girl I went to primary school with!"
"30.10.2016 15:50:45" theguardian.com Suicide's Dream Baby Dream – the unlikely anthem of 2016 It has been covered by Bruce Springsteen and Arcade Fire, and soundtracks American Honey and new Adam Curtis documentary HyperNormalisation - but is it a song of hope or despair? Expect it to be on the jukebox in the Queen Vic any day now.
"30.10.2016 15:32:12" theguardian.com Robbie Williams: 'My main talent is turning trauma into something showbizzy' He's sold 75m albums, but he's still racked with self-doubt. He talks about anxiety, addiction and why he still fears being sent back to Stoke-on-Trent “Well, you know, I've done a bit of time with Aleister Crowley myself. I've read some of his books. What did I learn from it? That it's above my intellectual pay grade. That I didn't understand what I was getting into, and that I could probably do myself
"30.10.2016 09:14:00" theguardian.com Bruce Springsteen: 'You can change a life in three minutes with the right song' The global superstar talks about the masculine facade of Donald Trump, the strength he inherited from his mother, the philosophy he shares with fans, and the joy he delivers on stage "I have built up the skills to be able to provide, under the right conditions, a certain transcendent evening, hopefully an evening you'll remember when you go home. Not that you'll just remember it was a good concert, but you'll remember the
"28.10.2016 12:47:54" theguardian.com Shawn Mendes and the Harlem Shake: what Vine did for pop The six-second video app had a similarly brief period as the music business's next bright hope, as stars emerged from online fandom to the charts The six-second video app had a similarly brief period as the music business's next bright hope, as stars emerged from online fandom to the charts
"27.10.2016 17:10:24" theguardian.com Shirley Collins: Lodestar review – austere, foreboding music from long-silent singer She hasn't released an album of new material since 1978 and hardly sang for 30 years – but now Shirley Collins is back with songs full of the stark strangeness that made her early work so powerful Lodestar's songs' body count would startle a Norwegian death metal band. By my calculations, there were at least 11 fatalities – including two infanticides – in the space of three songs and nine minutes alone: the old girl keeps knocking them off with the
"27.10.2016 15:44:11" theguardian.com Madness: 'We dressed as coppers and raided the Clash. They didn't speak to us for five years' Suggs and co have battled through knife (and fork) fights, fascist fans and being banned from TOTP (four times). Is their 12th album further proof the Nutty Boys have survived 'Rod Stewart syndrome'? “D'you know we got banned from Top of the Pops four times?” He starts counting on his fingers. “Well, there was the time our saxophonist turned up with a T-shirt that said, 'I need the BBC,' and he pulled it off and the one beneath said, 'like a hole in
"27.10.2016 15:41:20" theguardian.com Lambchop's Kurt Wagner: 'I wanted to make a record my wife would like' Lambchop are no strangers to reinvention, but their new album Flotus – with traces of hip-hop and technological tricks – marks a truly different sound for the alt-country band He liked it, but do others? Will Lambchop's fans approve? And what about his wife? If you read the press release Wagner wrote to promote Flotus, you're left a little disheartened. “It turns out she's not impressed,” he writes. “She prefers the sound of my
"26.10.2016 15:05:53" theguardian.com Steve Reich: the composer with his finger on the pulse Steve Reich showed the world the hypnotic pleasures of repetition as his music took in religion, politics and New York city life – and aged 80, he's still moving forward.
"26.10.2016 09:16:22" theguardian.com Crooked Man: 'Could you see Phil Oakey with a window round?' Dance pioneer Richard Barratt links Sheffield's musical past with its present. With a new album out on James Murphy's DFA Records, he recalls how the city's club scene began, and admits he always thought he made pop music Jive Turkey was notable for its diversity. Sheffield's large Afro-Caribbean population gave it burgeoning soul and hip-hop/breakdance scenes that spilled into the club, but there was also a particular subculture that Barratt calls “benefit bohemians …
"26.10.2016 07:37:54" theguardian.com Mike Skinner: 'It's like I've retired, being a DJ – I'm just doing what I want' Why the ex-Streets man is chattier than Stephen Fry, more selfish than Noel Gallagher and happier than Thom Yorke Obviously British rap music has completely changed. I used to say: grime doesn't pay. It does now, doesn't it? Creatively, I think we've become very voyeuristic. We like watching people up close with a microscope. I think the sorts of people who become
"26.10.2016 06:59:25" theguardian.com Pete Burns – 10 of the best From waspish Wirral weirdo via thong-clad club bunny to cosmetically enhanced reality TV star, Burns was never, ever boring. Here are 10 of his best songs The late Pete Burns gets the 10 of the best treatment …
"24.10.2016 08:30:09" theguardian.com Marc Almond: 'I've had the chance to be subversive in the mainstream' With a career-spanning 10-album box set coming out, the Soft Cell star reflects on the 80s, Brexit and his fading love affair with London Almond's obvious otherness was intriguing to many, but threatening to others, including his publicists, who weren't happy with how outre he was. They invented relationships he'd had with women (including Liv Tyler's mother, Bebe Buell) to sell to the
"21.10.2016 15:18:19" theguardian.com Silence is golden: how keeping quiet became 2016's album launch strategy While Solange has seen huge success by staying quiet, Lady Gaga and Bon Iver have struggled despite huge promotional campaigns How do you get everyone to talk about your album? By barely talking about it. Or else by shouting the house down and throwing everything at the wall. There is, seemingly, no third way.
"21.10.2016 06:54:17" theguardian.com Tove Lo: 'Being open about sex is not a bad thing' The Habits (Stay High) singer has never been good at bottling up her emotions – which is why her songs reveal her most intimate experiences. On her second album Lady Wood she tones nothing down I feel like I grew up in a place where nudity and sex is something natural and not shameful. Here [in the US] they're like: 'Oh, you're a bad girl, aren't you? You go against the rules.' That's not at all what I'm trying to say or do here. It's about just
"21.10.2016 06:45:49" theguardian.com Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker review – still changing, still full of life Despite all the recent talk about Leonard Cohen's mortality, his wonderful new album suggests an artist determined to keep moving forward You could never describe You Want It Darker as merely more of the same. As striking as the sense that its themes are of a piece with the rest of Cohen's oeuvre is the sense of an artist willing to move forward. Even leaving aside the fairly mind-boggling
"21.10.2016 06:12:25" theguardian.com Gucci Mane: 'Being in a place full of death motivated me to change my life' Once one of the most feared figures in hip-hop, the rapper and trap pioneer has made three albums since being released from prison in May – and spent time repairing old bonds. 'I was wild,' he says Gucci had been in and out of county jail since he was a teenager (even facing murder charges at one point, although they were eventually dropped). But a maximum-security facility – in this case, the US penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana – was a
"20.10.2016 11:13:25" theguardian.com Lady Gaga: Joanne review – bold rebrand peels away the look-at-me layer The singer strips back the excess image to produce a rootsy album that showcases her powerful voice and maybe brings us closer to the real Stefani Germanotta Ten years and four studio albums into her career, this is where Mother Monster sheds the trimmings. Joanne – named after the singer-songwriter's late aunt, but also her own middle name – is Lady Gaga's way of drawing a line, at least for now, under the
"19.10.2016 15:26:46" theguardian.com Burial – 10 of the best The Banksy of future garage, whose two-step compositions soundtracked London's darker sides, continues to shape-shift across collaborations and genres 10 of the best time for Burial.
"17.10.2016 21:39:33" theguardian.com Nobel panel gives up knockin' on Dylan's door Days after being awarded the literature prize, Bob Dylan has yet to get in touch with the Swedish Academy, or indicate whether he will attend the celebrations Go away from my window, leave at your own chosen speed ... perhaps the sentiments of Bob Dylan to the Swedish Academy who awarded him the Nobel prize for literature
"17.10.2016 09:35:21" theguardian.com Agnes Obel: 'It's called a Trautonium – and it can electrocute people!' Denmark's Agnes Obel takes music where it has never gone before, layering 250 tracks on top of each other, and duetting with a male cyborg version of herself. Where does it all come from? “I was reading Der Spiegel on tour in 2014: this long article about the concept of the gläserner berger – about how these days, as people, we're all meant to be made of glass.” In person, Obel is tiny and warm – she's aware that being inspired by
"14.10.2016 18:39:17" theguardian.com David Crosby: America is no longer a democracy The Byrds and CSNY founder has put his wild living behind him and his new album continues a recent hot streak – only US politics can darken his mood "Frankly I have always wanted a woman president and Hillary is not who I would have picked. I think she's just a politician. I think under Hillary, nothing is going to change. It's the same game, same players. But I think that under Trump, we would get
"14.10.2016 15:27:17" theguardian.com From tax bills to endangered elephants: 10 subjects songwriters should avoid Some songwriters can turn any subject into gold. Most aren't so fortunate, so here are some subjects best steered clear of – and feel free to add more The list below is a guide to some of the subjects that might best be avoided (there are others, such as The Mystical Power of the Native American, My Trip to Africa, My Trip to Asia, Why People Who Commute to Office Jobs Are Deluded Sheep, Why Monogamy
"14.10.2016 11:07:37" theguardian.com David Bowie's last three songs: decoding the final transmission Bowie's Lazarus soundtrack contains three new songs from his final recording sessions. A first listen shows a great artist racing through a final burst of creativity Posthumous material often resembles a scrawny cigarette, scraped together using strands of tobacco from the butts in the ashtray. But these songs are as fully realised as anything on Blackstar. Indeed, they were recorded at the same time, with the same
"14.10.2016 07:23:53" theguardian.com Van der Graaf Generator: 'We still love making a racket' The awkward squad of prog rock discuss being punk before there was a name for it, and the continuing joy of making unconventional music "We love making a racket, and that has to do with chaos, which is pretty punk,” the 67-year-old Peter Hammill says, smiling. “That clean, precise way of presenting things as they are on the record, being consistent night after night – I'm not knocking it,
"14.10.2016 06:10:27" theguardian.com Annie Mac: 'Radio definitely isn't a thing of the past' The Radio 1 DJ talks radio v the internet, why she's happy to be the face of macaroni cheese and clubbing's drug culture Was Fabric's closure really about drugs, or secretly about property development?
Drugs, I think. Radio 1 did a documentary on it and interviewed Cameron Leslie, who's the co-founder of Fabric, and for once, he said, this was not to do with property.
"13.10.2016 17:20:58" theguardian.com 'Dylan towers over everyone' – Salman Rushdie, Kate Tempest and more pay tribute to Bob Dylan Salman Rushdie, Cerys Matthew, Jarvis Cocker, Andrew Motion, Billy Bragg and other artists and writers pick their favourite moments from Dylan's body of work I was a Saturday boy in a record shop at the time, and in my lunch hour I would sit in the listening booth with a sticky bun listening to music – I was into singer-songwriter stuff like Simon & Garfunkel. One day, the guy who ran the shop decided to spin
"13.10.2016 17:17:35" theguardian.com Meet the Lemon Twigs, the New York teens who went from Les Mis to glam powerpop Brian and Michael D'Addario's retro look has raised eyebrows, but they share a commitment to raiding the past that goes way beyond dressing like the Bay City Rollers He frowns: “It's just jeans and a T-shirt.”
Oh, come off it, you look like one of the Bay City Rollers. No one turns up to an interview in 2016 dressed like one of the Bay City Rollers by accident.
"13.10.2016 15:05:09" theguardian.com Mø: 'I love pop music. But I also love super DIY hardcore punk' Appearing on the most streamed track of all time, Lean On, made the Danish singer an instant global star. But is she ready to abandon her anarcho roots? Ten years ago, Karen Marie Ørsted was one half of a Danish feminist anarcho-punk duo whose repertoire included a song called Pussy in Your Face. Starting in 2007, she and her friend Josefine spent five years crusading across Europe drunk, rousing riots in
"13.10.2016 14:09:11" theguardian.com Pop lyrics aren't literature? Tell that to Nobel prize winner Bob Dylan Yes, lyrics usually work better when set to music – but 60 years of rock and pop has produced words that stand on their own as poetry At the risk of sounding like the kind of English teacher who insists on first-name terms and keeps saying Great Expectations was the EastEnders of its day, why shouldn't lyrics – or rather the best lyrics – be treated as literature? Pretty much everyone
"13.10.2016 13:28:06" theguardian.com Why Bob Dylan deserves to win the Nobel prize in literature There will be some who doubt Dylan's right to the Nobel prize for literature. There are others who believe he should get a special Nobel just for being Bob Dylan Essentially, in the work of Bob Dylan, the words and the music cannot be separated. Just take your favourite Dylan line. Yours might be the ever-timely “Where preachers preach of evil fates / Teachers teach that knowledge waits / Can lead to
"13.10.2016 12:38:05" theguardian.com Bob Dylan's song about the Titanic makes you wish you'd been on board Alex Macpherson: Could someone who doesn't love the rock canon, but does love lyrics, listen to Dylan's new album and understand the gushing praise? That time we asked someone who'd never paid any attention to Dylan to listen to his then new album and see if he came to the same conclusions as the heritage rock mags …
"13.10.2016 12:33:33" theguardian.com Nagasaki the musical? The label bringing West End disasters back to life Whether finding those responsible for putting Jack the Ripper onstage or unearthing early work by Jeff Wayne and Tim Rice, Stage Door's reissues are worth making a song and dance about Meet the man whose mission is to reissue old recordings. Nothing unusual about that. More so when they are old recordings of stage shows that bombed …
"13.10.2016 10:44:32" theguardian.com The Who: listen to unreleased 1965 track The Girls I Could Have Had The latest reissue of the Who's first album features three previously unreleased Pete Townshend songs – here's one of them Here's an unreleased song by the Who from 1965 …
"12.10.2016 12:36:51" theguardian.com Last name Ever, first name Greatest: why Drake's better than Michael Jackson The 6 God has smashed Jacko's record for AMA nominations – and there are other categories in which he has eclipsed the late star too. Knitwear, for example … In a possibly tongue-in-cheek piece, Anne T Donahue assesses the moves, sounds and sweaters which have led Drake to smash Michael Jackson's record for the most AMA nominations in one year.
"12.10.2016 11:53:01" theguardian.com Tamam Shud – the psychedelic surfers who made a classic album in an hour After years playing Australia's pub circuit, rumours from surfing buddies of a 'summer of love' in California prompted to a dramatic change of tack for one Sydney band “We gave the drugs a shot,” says Lindsay Bjerre, the band's guitarist, singer and songwriter, looking back to the days when they were bringing the summer of love to the Sydney suburbs. “To be honest, when we first tried some of these things, they were
"12.10.2016 10:47:11" theguardian.com Marillion – 10 of the best The prog veterans haven't spent their 33-year recording career standing still – as they've moved on creatively, they've also reinvented music industry models 10 of the best time for Marillion. First person to mention "the new singer" gets slapped round the head with a wet haddock.
"12.10.2016 08:39:26" theguardian.com Justin Bieber review – pop idol lacks bounce, despite bringing a trampoline 'Be quiet and listen' he tells screaming Beliebers, then limps through a Purpose tour show of hits and half-hearted dance moves, often without bothering to lift mic to mouth Let's just say Alexis Petridis didn't love the Justin Bieber show.
"12.10.2016 08:38:39" theguardian.com The Move loses record takings after libel on Harold Wilson - archive, 12 October 1967 12 October 1967: The Move apologised to the prime minister for spreading false and malicious rumours concerning his character, and agreed all profits from its latest record shall go to charity Here's a strange story from our archives – the time Prime Minister Harold Wilson sued the Move for libel.
"12.10.2016 08:32:07" theguardian.com Robin Thicke – can he really swap rape culture for Black Lives Matter? Does the singer of misogynist anthem Blurred Lines really think his new single, featuring a heartfelt verse from rapper Nas, can redeem his public image? Can you remember Robin Thicke? He was the guy who became wildly popular on the back of populist misogyny before the world woke up to the fact sexual assault wasn't really that funny. No, not the guy running for US president, that's a different guy.
"11.10.2016 12:41:17" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Optimo (Espacio) – the club night that defied expectation and defined a generation Keith McIvor and Jonnie Wilkes ran Optimo in Glasgow for well over a decade and influenced dance music experimentation way beyond the city Franz Ferdinand is a band whose sound evolved from the dancefloor at Optimo, and their drummer Paul Thomson was an enthusiastic attendee. “I'd seen the posters around Glasgow, the Robert Mapplethorpe image where he's holding the rifle, and already I
"07.10.2016 06:28:38" theguardian.com The new cool: how Kamasi, Kendrick and co gave jazz a new groove A generation of jazz musicians has grown up with hip-hop in its blood. The result is the thrilling reinvention of a genre that has been guilty of fixating on its past “A lot of us grew up playing with Snoop Dogg's band, the Snoopadelics,” Kamasi Washington says. “And we all played in big bands and jazz quartets and so on. I never had a problem moving between jazz and hip-hop. People like to compartmentalise music,
"06.10.2016 15:01:03" theguardian.com 'Flattened by the cocaine panzers' – the toxic legacy of Oasis's Be Here Now Oasis released their third album to rave reviews and colossal sales. Yet it soon came to be seen as a disaster, and the embodiment of hubris. The critics behind those five-star reviews explain what happened Noel's pre-release interviews struck an oddly ambivalent note (“This record ain't going to surprise many people,” he told NME), but there was nobody to echo his reservations. “Everyone's going: 'It's brilliant!'” he later said. “And right towards the end,
"06.10.2016 06:16:54" theguardian.com Jean-Michel Jarre – 10 of the best With the release of the final album of his Oxygène trilogy planned for December, it's time to list 10 of the best of the electronic composer's oevre 10 of the best time for Jean-Michel Jarre.
"05.10.2016 13:25:13" theguardian.com Bros announce 2017 reunion at London's O2 Arena The pop group return – without third member Craig Logan – for a date in August next year Is this “the biggest reunion in pop”?
"04.10.2016 16:53:39" theguardian.com Donny McCaslin on David Bowie: 'We had this amazing connection, then he was gone' The jazz saxophonist's band helped make Bowie's final album one of his most musically daring – and now McCaslin is paying tribute to the late star with an album that includes a song riffing on one left off Blackstar When discussing the fact that his band will forever be linked with Bowie, McCaslin chokes up again. “For me to be associated with him is really special,” he says. “I don't think that negates anything I've done prior, or what comes in the future."
"03.10.2016 14:16:45" theguardian.com The return of Craig David: 'My songs are a time stamp for a lot of people's lives' Fifteen years ago he was one of the biggest pop stars in Britain. Then almost overnight Bo' Selecta! turned him into a national joke. But now he's back with a hit album – and happy to talk about excessive bodybuilding, cosmic connections and that rubber Fifteen years ago he was one of the biggest pop stars in Britain. Then almost overnight Bo' Selecta! turned him into a national joke. But now he's back with a hit album – and happy to talk about excessive bodybuilding, cosmic connections and that rubber
"30.09.2016 13:51:17" theguardian.com Solange: A Seat at the Table – a stately, sprawling celebration of black identity Featuring Lil Wayne, Q-Tip, Tweet and others, Solange Knowles embraces empowerment, independence and healing with joyous brilliance "Anyone hoping for another Losing You, or Sandcastle Disco from her undervalued Sol-Angel and the Hadley St Dreams album, is likely to be initially disappointed by A Seat at the Table. Clearly crafted to be listened to as a full album, songs segue into
"30.09.2016 06:20:50" theguardian.com Banks: 'As a woman, you have to learn how to be a boss' First to go was her meekness in rehearsals – then she had to 'learn how to be unapologetic and unemotional' with the people who worked for her. Did it pay off creatively for her new album, The Altar? Her descriptions of creating particular songs err on the side of melodrama: “When I was writing it, I was like I don't want to fucking say this stuff,” she says of closing track To the Hilt. “I got sick when I wrote it, like, my body wasn't even ready to
"29.09.2016 19:36:56" The Guardian London Contemporary Orchestra interview legendary composer Steve Reich and award-winning filmmaker Bill Morrison about their 'Different Trains' collaboration Watch Steve Reich “Different Trains” - live from Edge Hill station in Liverpool https://www.facebook.com/theguardian/videos/10154575917576323/
"29.09.2016 15:58:28" theguardian.com Get rich or try dying – how musicians' estates are the biggest earners in pop Michael Jackson's estate made $115m last year – proof that artists' work can carry on making a fortune after their death. From Nick Drake to Elvis, it's about selling an artist as if they are still alive – and learning how to say no The real financial winner in music this year may not be Beyoncé, or Bruce Springsteen, or any of the artists who have been touring the stadiums and enormodomes of the world. It will probably be a group who have massively increased their worth without
"29.09.2016 14:40:25" theguardian.com Bon Iver: 22, A Million – the downsides of success never sounded so good Justin Vernon's latest seems in part to be a reaction against his experience of fame, but it's a lot more fun than such albums tend to be 22, A Million is obviously not the first confounding, how-do-you-like-me-now gesture offered up in rock history. Traditionally, the danger with that kind of thing is that it can look like haughty obscurity for obscurity's sake, or, worse, wearyingly
"28.09.2016 20:04:08" theguardian.com Gary Clark Jr: 'I spent time in Keith Richards' dressing room, eating shepherd's pie' The Atlanta bluesman, who has a new song on the soundtrack of Deepwater Horizon, has played with the best – but there was one band who intimidated him "I was saying to myself: “Dude, just be cool, be cool, be cool, be cool.” He was like: “Yeah, we're from the same school, mate. We're like brothers.” I'm like, ho-ly shit."
"28.09.2016 20:01:44" theguardian.com Could the future of Americana be … British? Thanks in part to Mumford and Sons, there are more UK artists making American roots music – and there's even government funding to help them in the US "Freeman, also a co-owner of Union Music Store, a record shop in Lewes that specializes in Americana, says that the resurgence of interest can be traced to the success of Mumford and Sons, a band that pushed against conventional pop hitmakers because of
"28.09.2016 11:16:29" theguardian.com Gene Clark – 10 of the best From hallucinatory stormers to Dylanesque big-city tales, here are 10 tracks that define an artist forever ahead of a game he always ended up losing 10 of the best time for Gene Clark!
"28.09.2016 11:15:29" theguardian.com Girli: 'If everyone likes you it means you're inoffensive' With her outspoken lyrics and catchy but uncomfortable PC Music sound, the 18-year-old singer with pink hair and something to say was always going to raise eyebrows. That, she says, is what being an artist is all about When the 18-year-old emerged on to the music scene last year, a vision of shocking pink singing about ASBOys and hypermasculinity, critics dubbed her music's “bratpop”. It was a term she initially encouraged, then swiftly discarded. “I started realising,
"28.09.2016 08:49:54" theguardian.com The return of Four to the Floor: music TV that restores faith in the future The oddball, lo-fi music show is returning to Channel 4 – bringing creative positivity to post-millennial Generation Z without a trace of condescension Now in its third series, FTTF - which returns tonight - is an anomaly for many reasons. While websites and broadcasters scramble to cater to a youth market, Four to the Floor, tucked away on late-night Channel 4, effortlessly and accurately represents the
"27.09.2016 15:57:04" theguardian.com Thurston Moore on Chelsea Manning: whistleblowers want to protect the US Sonic Youth co-founder says he's been fascinated with the struggle faced by Manning and admires her as a 'punk princess' stepping up for what's right “If for some bizarro reason Donald Trump gets voted into office, I'm going to have to figure out what to do,” he says. “I could return to the US to fight in the streets, or I could stay in London, gather all the Americans I can find, and have a mass
"27.09.2016 15:02:11" theguardian.com Marilyn: 'I sat in a room for 20 years, taking crack and watching the Alien films' In the 80s, the bitchy, 'bloody gorgeous' singer was groomed to be the next Boy George. Stardom beckoned – until drugs and a very lengthy breakdown got in the way I ask him if he worries about entering the spotlight again, given how it ended up last time, and he gives me another incredulous look. “Are you fucking nuts?” he snorts. “I've had the most amazing life! I'm not a victim! I had a great time! Of course! I
"27.09.2016 09:08:48" theguardian.com Hamilton and Rostam: the last men standing in indie New York Take the singer of the Walkmen and the keyboard player from Vampire Weekend, and you end up with a record that's remaking the past for the present “People used to call the Brooklyn buzz bands the 'Class of 2008', and we would always joke about how funny that was,” Batmanglij says.
“Who's the class of 2008 besides you guys?” asks Leithauser.
“Yeasayer, MGMT, maybe Dirty Projectors, even though Dirty
"26.09.2016 15:04:16" theguardian.com Spacemen 3: 'A monkey could play one note. But could a stoned monkey?' In an extract from his memoir, Spacemen 3 bassist Will Carruthers recalls one journey in search of the drone that bemused cinemagoers in Brentford “Just play one note,” Sonic had advised us as we travelled down to the M1. “Keep it simple. One note. No fancy stuff.” By “fancy stuff” he meant two notes. Anything beyond that was pointless. We could play one note … mostly. Anyone could do it. A monkey
"26.09.2016 07:31:45" theguardian.com Bon Iver: 'There are people who are into being famous. And I don't like that' Justin Vernon's falsetto-folk infiltrated pop and caught Kanye's ear but now he's kicking against the fame game. For his new album, he explains why the last thing he'll do is a Beyoncé-style Pepsi tour Part of Vernon's discombobulation stemmed from the experience of being in the spotlight. “Having people asking to get their picture taken when you're just trying to get eggs and not having a good day,” he says. “There are times when it's just a nuisance,
"23.09.2016 06:42:29" theguardian.com The return of Yello: 'America thought we were black guys rapping' The Swiss electronic pioneers are performing live for the first time in 40 years. Dieter Meier and Boris Blank discuss their bizarre lives as accidental pop stars While my interview with Blank proceeds relatively normally – albeit punctuated by the sound of the Yellofier, an iPhone app he recently invented and is keen to demonstrate at considerable volume – my conversation with Meier keeps getting sidetracked. He
"23.09.2016 06:41:09" theguardian.com Quiz – how well do you know this week in music history? A delinquent Door; a rapping Ramone; a generation of Whitesnakes; and a TV dispatch from our own correspondent Eyes down! It's pop quiz time!
"22.09.2016 22:03:58" theguardian.com Beyoncé, Kanye or Taylor Swift: who's got the next surprise album coming? The music industry's blowout season is upon us, and with that comes the rumors from a Jay Z-Beyonce duet to another Frank Ocean LP. Let's debunk and dissect An album of duets by Jay Z and Beyoncé, a Kanye West and Drake set and a new Taylor Swift album – the imminent release of all of these and more has been rumoured over the past few months. So which will be sprung on us before Christmas?
"22.09.2016 18:37:36" theguardian.com The greatest record sleeves – as chosen by the designers What's the best-designed album sleeve? The Beatles' White Album or Kraftwerk's Autobahn? Miles Davis's Tutu or Pixies' Doolittle? Designers of modern album covers including Peter Saville, Vaughan Oliver and more pick their favourites Here's something great for you: the best record cover designers pick their favourite album sleeves.
"22.09.2016 14:30:32" theguardian.com RIP DJ Spank-Spank – your music changed the way people dance When Phuture's Earl Smith Jr messed around with a Roland TB-303 synth one night, he helped create acid house – and his legacy lives on in basements the world over Once you hear certain sounds – really hear them as they're intended to be heard – they seem to rewire your mind and body. Jimi Hendrix's guitar, Aretha Franklin's voice, James Brown's locked grooves: their effects aren't just aesthetic or hedonistic, they
"22.09.2016 14:29:05" theguardian.com Meat Loaf: 'The only thing I'll do after this is a Christmas record' The rock singer talks about his new (and final?) album Braver Than We Are, serial comebacks, and how he's never lost a fist fight Three years after telling us he was on his farewell tour (having previously retired several times already), Meat Loaf is back again …
"22.09.2016 14:25:51" theguardian.com David Bowie: Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) review – an artist on the edge Bowie performed an extraordinary stylistic pivot between Diamond Dogs and Young Americans, and made it look easy – but as this new box set shows, it was a more convoluted and problematic shift than it appeared at the time A 180-degree artistic turn is an incredibly tough stunt to pull at all, let alone with the aplomb that Bowie appeared to execute it. Young Americans didn't signal a dip in commercial fortunes – it finally made him a fully fledged mainstream star in the
"22.09.2016 07:44:18" theguardian.com Hear the Weeknd's new track with Daft Punk, Starboy The R&B star has teamed up with the kings of EDM for his latest single Here's the Weeknd's single with Daft Punk!
"21.09.2016 12:43:23" theguardian.com Talking Heads – 10 of the best From post-punk to funk, with an off-kilter view of the world, these songs show why the restless US band remain an influence on successive waves of musicians The name of this 10 of the Best is Talking Heads.
"21.09.2016 07:46:40" theguardian.com Laying down tracks: Billy Bragg and Joe Henry take a railroad trip to the blues The two songwriters decided the best way to explore the songs of the railroad was to record them on the railroad – and then they found themselves in Robert Johnson's old hotel room … “There's trains, and there's the railroad,” Bragg suggests. “And 'the railroad' is one of those phrases like 'the west' that has an immediate and evocative sense of space and light, and distance and hope, and fear. The railroad was such a transformative
"21.09.2016 07:45:53" theguardian.com Changing up: the irresistible rise of Dagny A year ago she was ready to pack in her pop dream. Now the 26-year-old Backbeat singer has hit the big time. We join her vintage shopping spree for her next gig Hell isn't other people, but it might be shopping with them. Sadly, this morning's expedition is entirely my own fault: the consequence of not learning my lesson many years ago when a throwaway comment in a magazine editorial meeting resulted in indie act
"20.09.2016 12:27:03" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Liars – masters of eccentric electronica These most obstinate of oddballs have made a career of gleefully snubbing comfort zones and spurning sensible choices Sometimes, it seems as if experimental music is fetishised for its complexity beyond all else, and lauded only for being difficult to understand; a sense that people should be prided for their perseverance in wrestling meaning from the notes. But there's
"20.09.2016 10:29:33" theguardian.com Jimmy Page: 'Led Zeppelin weren't gonna fit on Top of the Pops' With The Complete BBC Sessions out now, the Led Zep guitarist talks recording against the clock, the struggle to get on TV and his plans for a new band We did a pilot of an arts programme, which I've forgotten the name of – we did Communication Breakdown. There was an antiques dealer called John Jesse on it. But I don't remember any more than that. TV wasn't really catering for our sort of bands apart
"16.09.2016 14:29:29" theguardian.com The Last Waltz and Heartworn Highways: two 40-year-old films at the birth of Americana The Band's Scorsese-helmed farewell couldn't be more to different to the long-overlooked 'outlaw country' doc, but both are touchstones for today's roots musicians The Last Waltz was released tin 1978, and became one of the most revered music documentaries of all time. Heartworn Highways did not surface until 1981, when it played for a week at the Art Cinema on Eighth Street in New York. And though it has garnered a
"16.09.2016 14:06:06" theguardian.com When Hollywood goes rock – five videos by star movie directors Radiohead unveiled a new clip by Paul Thomas Anderson on Thursday. But when star directors meet musicians, success is not guaranteed … Given Brian de Palma directed Dancing in the Dark, it's something of a miracle Courteney Cox didn't end up dismembered …
"16.09.2016 08:04:37" theguardian.com Skepta's Konnichiwa – a Mercury prize winner few can argue with | Alexis Petridis This year's shortlist managed to showcase the best of UK music. But despite the open field, the right album won It's a resolutely British album: the R&B-inspired tracks that seem to have one eye on American audiences are vastly outnumbered by thrilling, explosive blasts of unreconstructed grime, the lyrics come thick with British slang and indeed a certain British
"15.09.2016 19:53:00" theguardian.com The 2016 Mercury prize ceremony – live! Join us in front of BBC4 with a packet of salt and vinegar peanuts and a lukewarm bottle of your choice as we find out who's won the 2016 prize it's the Mercury prize liveblog!
"15.09.2016 14:53:31" theguardian.com Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Skeleton Tree review – brilliant music on the verge of collapse The band's misunderstood new album has an eerie and apparently premonitory power It's worth pointing out that, for the most part, the lyrics deal with the topics Nick Cave lyrics usually tend to deal with. “The song it spins now since 1984,” as Girl in Amber puts it, presumably in reference to the year Cave released his first solo
"15.09.2016 14:30:25" theguardian.com Bruce Springsteen – the unreleased tracks from Chapter and Verse reviewed Five tracks on the new Springsteen compilation – timed to accompany his autobiography – predate his fame and have never been released officially – but how good are they? The album that accompanies Bruce Springsteen's autobiography has five unreleased early tracks. But are they any good?
"15.09.2016 12:50:38" theguardian.com Catherine Ward Thomas: mum told us don't swear or talk politics or religion Celebrating a No 1 album that kept Jamie T off the top spot, the dark-haired half of the country pop twins on Shania Twain, Sister Act and free footwear No 1 in the album charts, pop fans.
"15.09.2016 12:47:44" theguardian.com Mykki Blanco: 'I didn't want to be a rapper. I wanted to be Yoko Ono' Last year, the performance artist-turned-rapper announced he was HIV-positive. But instead of ending his career, it marked a turning point – which has now been capped with a debut album On 12 June last year, Mykki Blanco was convinced he was about to commit career suicide. It had been three years since he had transformed himself from a New York performance artist into the indie rapper du jour. He toured with Björk, recorded with Tricky
"15.09.2016 12:46:18" theguardian.com How well do you know the Mercury prize? As the 25th-annual event approaches, test how well you know your past winners, losers and all-round award show bothers POP QUIZ!
"15.09.2016 11:45:24" theguardian.com Bowie? Skepta? Radiohead? Our critics decide who should win the Mercury prize Ahead of the Mercury prize ceremony, our writers argue the case for the albums they think deserves the coveted gong In a very real sense, they're all winners, aren't they?
"15.09.2016 08:28:29" theguardian.com Julius Eastman: the groundbreaking composer America almost forgot When the pianist died homeless and alone in 1990, it looked like his music had died with him – but fans and one tireless researcher refused to let that happen The last time Rocco Di Pietro saw Julius Eastman was on a freezing April morning in Buffalo in 1989. “Julius showed up at my door,” remembers Di Pietro. “He was homeless and looking for bus money to get to California. I gave him what I could, offered to
"14.09.2016 17:15:31" theguardian.com Shakin' Stevens: 'I'm like a skittle. If I get knocked down I get back up again' Back with a dark, socially consious album, the 80s chart-topper recalls family histories, bust-ups with TV presenters and why he had to freeze his own body Shakin' Stevens, patron of the LA punk underground …
"14.09.2016 16:45:26" theguardian.com Julius Eastman: the groundbreaking composer America almost forgot When the pianist died homeless and alone in 1990, it looked like his music had died with him – but fans and one tireless researcher refused to let that happen "We all thought we were pretty hip back then, but Julius walked in off the street, dressed in leather and chains, drinking from a glass of scotch at 10 in the morning. It was like, woah!”
"14.09.2016 14:48:16" theguardian.com Why I belong as a black woman in the white world of indie Publicist Michelle Kambasha is tired of feeling like an outsider in the alternative music industry because of the colour of her skin. This is her vocation In those few short minutes before the band comes on, the stage lights illuminate the crowd. It's only then I become aware that I am a black woman in an overwhelmingly white place. “I'm probably the only black woman here,” I'll think, and suddenly the
"14.09.2016 14:46:07" theguardian.com Ed Harcourt: 'I'm coming out with fists flying' It's taken seven albums, visions of the child catcher and Billy Bunter's reflection in the mirror, but the English songwriter has finally refound his voice in new album Furnaces – with the help of boxing Just over a year ago, Ed Harcourt was at an impasse. He had been nominated for the Mercury prize in 2001 for his debut, Here Be Monsters, but the five albums that followed had all been commercial failures. He was trying to make a seventh, but finding it
"14.09.2016 11:21:36" theguardian.com Lady Gaga – 10 of the best Gaga's wide-eyed hope gradually eroded as she became the most famous artist of the last decade. Here are 10 of the songs that show us how absurd pop can be 10 of the best time for Lady Gaga …
"13.09.2016 11:14:51" theguardian.com Cult heroes: the Long Ryders – the accidental creators of alt-country The Paisley Underground band's mission to fuse country and rock was short-lived, but it inspired a new music genre that has left a lasting legacy I saw Sid Griffin the other night, at the comprehensive school both our daughters attend. In shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, his young son in tow, he looked like any other slightly harassed dad trying to keep up. You wouldn't have guessed – why would
"13.09.2016 09:54:36" theguardian.com Backstabbing, Moogs and the funky worm: how gangsta rap was born In an edited excerpt from his book Original Gangsta, Ben Westhoff recalls how one of music's most controversial genres began and who truly invented it What made G-funk so effective? An LA musician named Dâm-Funk – a keytar-toting funk revivalist who collaborated with Snoop on the 1993 album 7 Days of Funk – put it well. He told me that, for many who grew up on Parliament-Funkadelic, the sound came to
"12.09.2016 16:59:37" theguardian.com Nick Cave's gift: a skeleton key that unlocks the source of songwriting After the Bad Seeds singer lost his child, he invited a film crew in and simply carried on working. The result is an indelible portrait of the artistic process itself "Call it an act of revenge, or of defiance, or of celebration, whatever. It was a reminder so loud that, as a songwriter, I'm almost deafened. A reminder that any pain of any size can be transmuted into a gift of art. We cannot “make sense” of anything,
"10.09.2016 10:33:26" theguardian.com Skepta on grime: 'People are catching on. There's a revolution happening' Grime is going global and the MC is leading the charge with a self-released, Mercury nominated album. He explains why he's avoided the mainstream “In every area of life you get a natural talent and then somebody comes in, a manager who knows about the business, they take them and fuck them over. The talent realises they've been fucked over and come out the other side. Some of them fall off and some
"10.09.2016 07:49:46" theguardian.com Jerry Dammers on Prince Buster: 'The first king of Jamaican music' It's not just music that owes a debt to Prince Buster, it's all of popular culture, says the founder of the Specials He was the first real ambassador of Jamaican music worldwide, he was a voice of the third world – luckily for us, speaking in English, and that made him accessible to anyone in the rest of the world who spoke English and was willing to listen.
"09.09.2016 11:32:49" theguardian.com Jenny Hval: 'I was watching low-budget 70s horror movies with nude vampires' The Norwegian musician's work is rooted in the avant garde and influenced by everything from psychoanalysis to Gaudi to schlocky films – but don't say her new album Blood Bitch isn't pop “I certainly don't make art – and I think that this goes for a lot of artists – to start conversations on Facebook. That is not enough. I want to change poetic conversations. I want to change philosophical conversations and I also just want to give people
"09.09.2016 11:17:40" theguardian.com Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Skeleton Tree first-listen review – a masterpiece of love and devastation Nick Cave's first album with the Bad Seeds since the death of his son is harrowingly bleak, but heartrendingly beautiful This is, unsurprisingly, a very dark record, which captures a sort of post-traumatic stress disorder in which the Cave no longer knows what he will think from one moment to the next, vomits in the bathroom sink, sees bags growing under his eyes and for
"09.09.2016 06:13:02" theguardian.com Mercury prize contender Michael Kiwanuka: 'Kanye wanted me to be myself – I wasn't ready' His 2012 debut made him one of the music world's most wanted. But, riven by doubt, he ended up walking out on the planet's biggest rapper and heading home to watch TV in his pyjamas. Has he finally banished those demons? “They would go crazy over my voice,” he says – he has been compared to Bill Withers and Terry Callier – “but it's only now that I value it. At the time I was like, 'This is average at best.' I was trying to sound like Justin Vernon on Lost in the World,
"09.09.2016 06:11:57" theguardian.com From Uptown Funk to Verve royalties, do you know this week in music history? Test your pop knowledge with our Friday quiz POP QUIZ!
"08.09.2016 14:15:34" theguardian.com Jack White: Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 review – stripped back but still elusive Stripped of his pearly king artifice, White's new pose as a normal human being finds him every bit the painstaking craftsman in this classy compilation The sleeve notes by august critic Greil Marcus place the 26 tracks in a grand tradition of austere, sincere, unembellished music that also includes Son House's a capella Grinnin' in Your Face. “One man against the world. And one song,” White notes
"08.09.2016 14:14:35" theguardian.com 'Landmark clubs are evidence of creativity and energy in a city': why Fabric's closure matters Britain's clubland is shrinking but the world-famous London venue had survived the trend – until now. What does its loss mean for the capital's cultural profile? If Fabric means nothing to you, then the rending of garments over the closure of a single club may seem excessive. The tectonic plates of London clubland are constantly shifting. It is in the nature of even the best clubs to rise and fall as tastes
"08.09.2016 13:39:57" theguardian.com Bowie and the missing soundtrack: the amazing story behind The Man Who Fell to Earth David Bowie is rumoured to have written a score to the sci-fi classic that's locked up in some vault. But the truth is much stranger – involving screaming maids, boozy brawls and coke-induced hearing hallucinations "Oh God, here I am in Mick's bed with Mick's old lady. My old lady's outside, banging on the door. There were Nicaraguan maids running around, screaming in Nicaraguan. Genevieve storms in the door and takes a swing at Bianca. I sort of hold Genevieve back
"08.09.2016 12:50:52" theguardian.com Why Abba's Dancing Queen is the best pop song ever Since its 1976 release, Abba's 'absolute best song' (according to Frida Lyngstad) has won over everyone from punks to royalty and almost caused a riot in New York. So how has the song's low-lit Friday night managed to last for ever? What is it that elevates Dancing Queen above so many other beautifully produced, catchy, euphoric songs? Pete Waterman, who knows a thing or two about writing a hit, believes it exemplifies how the best Swedish artists are able to soak up popular trends
"07.09.2016 19:20:39" theguardian.com Bruce Springsteen is enhanced by his openness about depression Springsteen's frankness about mental health extends the evolution of our notion of American manhood and adds a new layer to our understanding of his work "For decades, Springsteen has used classic iconography to present himself as a paragon of American manhood, from his use of the flag to his devotion to motorcycles, white t-shirts and jeans. Yet he has never represented the stoic old view of masculinity.
"07.09.2016 05:55:55" theguardian.com London nightclub Fabric to close permanently after licence is revoked Islington council said club had failed to stop people buying and taking illegal drugs on its premises, after deaths of two teenagers in recent months After deliberation that lasted into the early hours of Wednesday morning, the local council decided that searches by security staff at the London venue had been “inadequate and in breach of the licence”.
"06.09.2016 16:08:30" theguardian.com UB40, Stiff Little Fingers and Yes: the bands that split in half Most bands end by breaking up. Not many carry on as two separate acts and land themselves in a bitter dispute about which is the 'real' group If you want to know the backstory to the whole "which one is really UB40?" thing, it's all here …
"06.09.2016 09:37:09" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Broken Social Scene – bruised, beautiful and chaotically epic Pitchforked to stardom, the indie collective have in turns enthralled and infuriated fans with hazy songs and rambling live sets. But when the chemistry works, it really works It seems strange to talk of a band fulfilling their promise, 15 years after releasing their first album, countless raves and awards later. But End of the Road felt like a flower suddenly and unexpectedly blooming: you've seen the picture on the packet of
"05.09.2016 13:20:22" theguardian.com End of the Road review – the sweetest festival of the season Sunshine is about the only thing missing in a weekend of stellar performances from Animal Collective, Broken Social Scene and Ezra Furman Rain, euphoria, psychedelic electronica and some precise, powerful rock'n'roll
"05.09.2016 08:52:32" theguardian.com Christine and the Queens: 'I just want to shatter everything' Having stormed the charts and ruled the festival season, Héloïse Letissier talks pop, pansexuality - and the power of an alter ego Héloïse Letissier, aka Christine and the Queens, talks pop, pansexuality - and the power of the alter ego
"02.09.2016 11:58:39" theguardian.com The All-Saved Freak Band: the story of a hellfire preacher and a rock'n'roll Jesus cult Ohio's ASFB were pioneers of late 60s religious pysch rock. But there was a dark side to the band's communal life, involving beatings, martyrdom and depogramming This might be the best, most fascinating piece we print this year. Do read it. It's well worth your time.
"01.09.2016 15:01:51" theguardian.com Lady Leshurr: 'They wanted to pit me against Nicki Minaj – I wasn't feeling that' The rapper learned how to make music in a Solihull youth club – now, after a false start, she's working with Timbaland and is the toast of US hip-hop. 'Basically,' she says, 'I'm on the up' “Everyone's too cool, everyone wants to be drinking alcohol in their videos and driving flash cars, wearing big chains. I don't want to do that, because I don't live that. All my music, you'll never see me with my breasts hanging out or showing so much
"31.08.2016 10:10:29" theguardian.com It's oh so cultural: the sharpest sounds of autumn 2016 Björk celebrates 20 glorious years of barrier-breaking, Pink Floyd go back in time, and the Afropunks are coming. Plus, Lady Leshurr, Saint Etienne and Jean-Michel Jarre hit the road Björk celebrates 20 glorious years of barrier-breaking, Pink Floyd go back in time and Lady Leshurr, Saint Etienne and Jean-Michel Jarre hit the road
"30.08.2016 09:16:23" theguardian.com Angel Olsen: indie's dark star tackles 'the complicated mess of being a woman' She made her name with angsty alt-country, but now she's tired of being blue. The singer-songwriter discusses her new album and why it's bigger than gender and sex Olsen resents people zeroing in on the word “woman”. “I'm constantly being ambushed by it,” she says. “It's like I've used a naughty word. People roll their eyes; male journalists ask if I'm afraid of losing male fans. And I'm down to talk about women's
"29.08.2016 17:04:54" The Guardian Here's our second live session at London's famous Carnival, one of the UK's biggest music events, listening to the sounds of King Tubby And now it is King Tubby on our live stream from the Notting Hill Carnival
"29.08.2016 16:03:33" The Guardian Here's our second live session at London's famous Carnival, one of the UK's biggest music events, listening to the sounds of Rampage Sound Live from Notting Hill Carnival - it's Rampage Sound
"29.08.2016 00:27:29" theguardian.com VMA 2016: MTV Video Music Awards to feature Beyoncé, Rihanna, Britney - a live blog Beyoncé, Rihanna, Britney Spears, and Kanye West are returning to the scene of the weirdest moments in pop culture, and yes, we're going to spend our Sunday ... The MTV Video Music Awards are one of the most consistently ridiculous pop culture events on the planet – and we're going to follow along live. #VMAs2016
"28.08.2016 16:04:52" The Guardian We're live at London's famous Carnival, one of the UK's biggest music events, listening to the sounds of Aba Shanti-I It's the August bank holiday and that can only mean one thing: the annual street party where sound systems rumble with Caribbean beats, dancers parade in front of the floats and coppers willingly pose for selfies!
"26.08.2016 09:00:05" theguardian.com Dan Smith of Bastille: 'I sound like a nervous wreck who hates doing this' Their track Pompeii was one of the biggest hits of the decade but the Londoners still think they look like 'competition winners' when they hit the red carpet. Will their new album Wild World change that? “There are moments, when you're playing your songs to thousands of people, which are amazingly satisfying,” he says. “I'm very self-critical so I find it hard to go along with moments like that. At any point where I feel like we're just a cliche, I stop
"26.08.2016 06:10:11" theguardian.com UB40, Stiff Little Fingers and Yes: the bands that split in half Most bands end by breaking up. Not many carry on as two separate acts and land themselves in a bitter dispute about which is the 'real' group “I've had to reinvent myself while my brothers are murdering my songs and legacy,” Ali Campbell says. “My UB40 are the hottest reggae band on the road. I wouldn't dream of going back.”
At least the feuding brothers can agree on something. “I've lost all
"25.08.2016 15:16:33" theguardian.com Frank Ocean: Blonde review – a baffling and brilliant five-star triumph With its enigmatic beauty, intoxicating depth and intense emotion, the follow-up to Channel Orange is one of the most intriguing and contrary records ever made What originally appear to be Blonde's flaws – its loose ends and ambiguities – end up as its strengths. Past and present, black and white, blonde and blond: in subsuming them all, this record serves as a subtle and moving rumination on the passage of time
"25.08.2016 08:28:25" Hello music writers. Do any of you actually know about Gong?
"25.08.2016 08:02:27" theguardian.com Britney Spears – 10 of the best With Britney Spears releasing her ninth studio album, Glory, we look back over a career of pristine pop and distressing vulnerability Britney gets the 10 of the best treatment. Warning: no … Baby One More Time or Toxic.
"25.08.2016 06:08:50" theguardian.com Hear Led Zeppelin's previously unreleased Sunshine Woman Next month sees the release of Led Zeppelin's complete BBC sessions, and we've got this rarity from their 1969 'lost session' for you Fancy hearing an unreleased Led Zep track?
"24.08.2016 06:50:20" theguardian.com Divine disco: the beatific sub-genre that delivered sermons on the dancefloor In the mid-70s, gospel artists flirted with disco in an attempt to convert clubbers into believers and, in the process, left behind a heavenly body of work James Hillard, part of the Horse Meat Disco DJ collective, says that no gay clubbers have ever complained when he has played tunes such as Betty Griffin's sizzling Free Spirit. “To be honest, a lot of the lyrics are about getting on your knees and
"23.08.2016 14:32:15" theguardian.com Grandstand, Countdown, Ski Sunday: the unsung heroes behind TV's greatest tunes They've written some of the most iconic tracks of the last 50 years. Yet you've probably never heard of them. We met the legends of 'library' music They've written some of the most iconic tracks of the last 50 years. Yet you've probably never heard of them. Meet the legends of 'library' music.
"21.08.2016 15:24:29" theguardian.com Frank Ocean: Blonde first-listen review – 'An album that will be worth living with' Frank Ocean's second release in three days isn't the pop album some had predicted. But beneath the subtlety lie indelible hooks Under all the subtlety and still surfaces, there are actually hooks here – just not the needy, salesmanlike kind that wave at you, shouting; “Here I am, remember this song!”
"21.08.2016 02:50:22" theguardian.com Frank Ocean releases long-awaited album, Blond Singer releases follow-up to Channel Orange album in pop-up shops and on Apple Music; contributors include Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood Blonds have more fun? Finally the Frank Ocean album has been released
"19.08.2016 13:31:00" theguardian.com #RIPMileyCyrus and the rise of online fan wars Online audiences cultivated by pop stars are using hashtags as weapons to harm rival idols. No wonder stars such as Justin Bieber are becoming wary of social media … Some fans seem to want to cause online chaos to get the attention their slightly wary idols are now not so keen to give them. “I think celebrities are starting to distance themselves from the voices of their stan communities, which maybe drives some
"19.08.2016 13:30:00" theguardian.com Frank Ocean: Endless first-listen review – brilliantly confounding Frank Ocean's visual album mixes the avant garde with the accessible – but is it the precursor to an imminent pop collection? Endless isn't always an easy listen. There are computerised voices (arty curtain-raiser Device Control), hazy electronic shimmers (In Here Somewhere) and the odd snippet of conversation littered across Endless, the latter providing a pleasingly lo-fi
"19.08.2016 13:04:52" theguardian.com Steven Tyler: walking this way into country music Former Aerosmith frontman joins other rock stars who've realised country is one of the few areas of the music industry still thriving, and want a piece of the action The music industry may be in crisis, but there's one genre that continues to thrive. No wonder rockers like Steve Tyler are rushing to go country.
"19.08.2016 13:02:06" theguardian.com Sia is being sued by Israeli fans for a lack of banter – but is on-stage wit a must? Fans in Israel were unsatisfied with the Cheap Thrills singer's show due to a lack of between-song chat – but banter only works in the right hands Do bands need to up their game from "Hello, Cleveland!"?
"19.08.2016 08:42:37" theguardian.com PC Music's Danny L Harle teams up with Carly Rae Jepsen – watch their video here Super Natural teams up the maker of Call Me Maybe with one of PC Music's leading lights Carly Rae meets PC Music. It's really pretty good.
"19.08.2016 07:13:12" theguardian.com De La Soul's Pos: 'Who's going to buy dog headphones?' The hip-hop legends will be on the next Gorillaz album, can't speak French and know a dud Kickstarter when they see one "There's nothing we shy away from. You can do a blues record, a jazz record, a country and western record. As long as you marry the right aspect of who you are to it, it can work."
"19.08.2016 06:31:27" theguardian.com Dolly Parton: Pure and Simple review – toning down the schmaltz … a bit The country legend's latest isn't quite the kind of back-to-basics project that gave Johnny Cash's late career such a boost, but it's a step in that direction The promotional material talks of “taking my fans back to my roots”, boasting that “we didn't go overboard with arrangements”, although such things are relative: by the time you get to the middle of the album, there's a full band and back-up singers
"19.08.2016 06:19:36" theguardian.com Bovver rock – the strange revival of daft music for 70s football yobs This 'junk shop glam rock' is a largely buried footnote in British music history. So why are young Italians like Giuda and Faz Waltz gleefully recreating the music of terrifying old English pubs? “Yes, we play music that you can call glam rock, but we put something inside it that belongs to us,” says Damas. “So maybe people hear that, too.” Besides, he says, they tried wearing platform shoes once – they bought them on eBay, for the video for their
"18.08.2016 07:40:28" theguardian.com 'Stalin sent grandad to Siberia': Katie Melua goes home to Georgia The pop star behind Nine Million Bicycles left Georgia when she was nine years old. Now she's returned to record with the Gori Women's Choir. We joined the singer to hear about family struggles – and how she is 'learning how to sing again' “Granddad was deported to a Siberian prison camp at the age of 15,” she says. “One particular story he told me was about how he lost half of his thumb. The guards kept the supplies outside and he and a few of his friends used to try and steal food, as
"17.08.2016 12:39:49" theguardian.com Beach Slang: meet the punk rockers who are ready to 'bleed for you' Don't be fooled by the bowties: Philly's finest might just be the most raucous band of the moment… if they can hold it together “Once it stops being fun, why are you doing it? That goes for anything I do in life. If for a season I really enjoy gardening, I'm going to garden the hell out of that thing. But if next spring I go out there and it's not doing it for me, I'm going to
"17.08.2016 12:38:10" theguardian.com The Band – 10 of the best From metaphysical meditations to blue-collar laments, here are 10 standout tracks from the roguish rockers It's 10 of the best time for the Band.
"16.08.2016 14:53:47" theguardian.com Cult heroes: A Certain Ratio – genre-bending influencers put the funk in punk They made their mark on everyone from Talking Heads to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, yet this Manchester group have never had so much as a sniff of a hit Three of us had hitchhiked – as we often did, surviving lifts such as the one from the psychotic HGV driver whose party trick was to jack-knife his vehicle in front of unsuspecting car drivers, or the spanking headmaster who prompted one of us to make a
"16.08.2016 14:27:43" theguardian.com Daniel Barenboim on ageing, mistakes and why Israel and Iran are twin brothers At 73, the conductor is still lobbying presidents and bellowing at the violins in five languages. But has his passion project – an orchestra of players from across the Middle East – achieved any real change? We meet him in Buenos Aires We promise you, this brilliant piece by Aditya Chakrabortty is worth your time …
"12.08.2016 16:28:30" theguardian.com The sound of the Upside Down: Stranger Things make sinister synths mainstream The antsy bingers of Netflix will eagerly anticipate the digital release of the Survive soundtrack, out today This sudden worldwide love for frosty, instrumental, analogue-synth music, previously the preserve of crate-diggers and aficionados who consider Kraftwerk and Vangelis to be hopelessly commercial, shows just how influential a maverick Netflix project can
"12.08.2016 16:25:20" theguardian.com Vinyl destination: who is actually buying records? YouGov says middle-aged men – not bushy-eyed millenials – are fuelling the record renaissance. We hit the stores of Soho to test their data YouGov says middle-aged men – not bushy-eyed millenials – are fuelling the record renaissance. We hit the stores of Soho to test their data.
"11.08.2016 16:04:31" theguardian.com Jamie T: 'People were weirded out by me talking about anxiety' Back with an album of bouncy and infectious pop, the singer-songwriter revisits themes of anxiety and not yet breaking America. Just don't ask him to analyse his own lyrics Jamie Treays seems genuinely delighted at his relative obscurity on the world stage. One of the reasons he disappeared from the public eye in the first place was because the attention his popularity brought caused him so much distress. “After shows,
"11.08.2016 06:08:59" theguardian.com Proms musical families: 'She takes a lot more liberties when she's playing with me!' What's it like to play a cello concerto written by your brother? To conduct your wife? To sing alongside your daughter? Michael Hann meets the classical musicians who are keeping it all in the family this Proms season "When I got married, I thought it would be nice if Huw wrote a little organ piece for us going down the aisle. I was 23, so he would have been 16 or 17. He came up with this piece and played it to my wife-to-be. She really didn't like it at all. She said:
"10.08.2016 15:45:29" theguardian.com Gateways: cratedigging the cream of Nigerian music – podcast Renowned producer Odion Iruoje and record collector Temitope Kogbe pick out gems and swap stories about decades of music from West Africa's cultural capital Here's a podcast for you – part of Gateways, in collaboration with Boiler Room.
"10.08.2016 14:13:06" theguardian.com Nigerian disco – 10 of the best This week's 10 of the best focuses on our Tony Allen-inspired Gateways series, in collaboration with Boiler Room, to look at when disco took over west Africa Our Gateways series, in collaboration with Boiler Room, takes over 10 of the Best this week …
"09.08.2016 14:57:49" theguardian.com Davido's Nigerian playlist – Wizkid, Fela Kuti, D'Banj and more In the latest part of our series Gateways featuring Tony Allen and in collaboration with Boiler Room, Afrobeats star Davido picks his favourite records from his homeland, Nigeria More from our Gateways – Tony Allen and Nigeria series, in collaboration with Boiler Room.
"09.08.2016 13:26:18" theguardian.com How Nigerian artists made their mark on British music The achievements of a new generation of artists have not just helped shape British pop, but given a sense of pride to the diaspora “At school, the African kids used to lie and say they were Jamaican.” Those were the words of Skepta (aka Joseph Junior Adenuga) during a recent profile in the Fader. He spoke about howwhen the register was called he would try to say his Yoruba surname
"08.08.2016 13:02:48" theguardian.com Don Jazzy and the rise of Nigerian hip-hop Our Gateway series collaborators Boiler Room catch up with three of Nigeria's most influential musicians to talk about the changes in the scene over the last 20 years Our friends at Boiler Room went to Lagos, in assocation with British Council, and came back with this video of Don Jazzy, DJ Jimmy Jatt and Dr SID for our Gateways series.
"08.08.2016 12:48:53" theguardian.com Gateways – Tony Allen and Nigeria: From Afrobeat to Afrobeats After Afrobeat faded and the major labels left Nigeria, a new wave of artists influenced by hip-hop revitalised the country's music scene “Most of the Afrobeats scene,” says Fela's son, Femi Kuti, “gives credit to my father, but I think they find it difficult to give me praise. Which is OK."
Another piece from our Gateways series, in collaboration with Boiler Room.
"05.08.2016 12:38:20" theguardian.com Watch Tony Allen pass on his drumming tips to new jazz star Moses Boyd In the latest part of our Gateways – Nigeria and Tony Allen series, the great man gives a lesson to one of Britain's rising talents Here's something extraordinary from our series Gateways – Tony Allen and Nigeria, in collaboration with Boiler Room.
"05.08.2016 07:10:03" theguardian.com Tony Allen: 'Fela was right – but I detest singing militant' After pioneering afrobeat in the 70s, Tony Allen has gone on to work with musicians as diverse as Damon Albarn and Flea. As part of our series Gateways – Tony Allen and Nigeria, in association with Boiler Room, he talks about Fela Kuti, drugs and the art In the latest in our series with Boiler Room, Gateways – Tony Allen and Nigeria, the great drummer tells his own truths.
"“I knew I had to fight it myself. The cold turkey business, I won't have it every day. It's one full day of that you suffer. The
"05.08.2016 06:21:56" theguardian.com Watch Afrobeat legend Tony Allen's set at Dekmantel festival live from 8.15pm We kick off our weeklong series Gateways – Tony Allen and Nigeria, in association with Boiler Room, with a livestream of his set direct from the Amsterdam festival All weekend you can watch Tony Allen's set at Dekmantel festival in Amsterdam, right here, as part of our weeklong series Gateways – Tony Allen and Nigeria, in association with Boiler Room.
"04.08.2016 14:12:41" theguardian.com Blossoms: Blossoms review – doughty indie indebted to 80s rock-pop The Stockport quintet have already had a Twitter spat with Sleaford Mods, but their chugging melodies show sparks of individuality In a world where music journalists are regularly accused of laying it on a bit thick – from the superlatives liberally scattered in new band profiles to the insistence in some areas of the internet that every note issued by Beyoncé comes freighted with a
"04.08.2016 14:11:59" theguardian.com Jon Hopkins: 'Brian Eno taught me to embrace accidents in music' The musician talks about the five highlights of his career – from his first ever show opening for Coldplay at Madison Square Garden to working with David Lynch Ever since I got a job in Imogen Heap's touring band when I was 17, there have been moments in my career that I can't quite believe really happened. My first ever show in America was opening for Coldplay at Madison Square Garden. Nobody in that audience
"04.08.2016 12:00:43" theguardian.com From visionary veterans to grime lords, the Mercury list revives an ailing brand | Alexis Petridis In recent years the Mercury shortlist has commited the cardinal sin of being boring. This year the judges have rectified this with a list that includes Bowie, Radiohead and Skepta Perhaps the sense that the awards aren't holding the public's interest as they once did accounts for the fact that this year's nominees are noticeably better-known than last year's: only the Comet Is Coming, who operate in a fascinating middle ground
"04.08.2016 10:13:21" theguardian.com David Bowie heads Mercury shortlist with his final album, Blackstar The singer, who died in January, appears on a list that also recognises the resurgence of UK grime by including Skepta and Kano The Mercury shortlist is here. And it looks pretty good this year.
"03.08.2016 15:50:14" theguardian.com Lagos calling: Tony Allen opens up Nigeria's music scene Over the next week, we're collaborating with Boiler Room on a new series, Gateways, that explores the spreading strands of Nigerian music. And the world-renowned Afrobeat drummer is our chief guide For the next week, we're collaborating with Boiler Room on a new series, Gateways, in which we explore the music of Tony Allen, and Nigerian music in general. Fancy finding out more? Read on …
"03.08.2016 07:39:08" theguardian.com Fantastic Negrito: the drug-dealing hustler who became Bernie Sanders' favourite bluesman When he realised his life of guns, knives and hustling was getting too dangerous, Fantastic Negrito grew his sideburns long – and gatecrashed music school He “grew long sideburns” and pretended to be a student at the University of Berkeley. Taking the 40-minute bus ride north every day, he would head for its music rooms, copying students as they practised their scales. By day, he was not quite a student; by
"02.08.2016 07:08:54" theguardian.com Modern masculinity and music: 2016, the year of the ambiguous male Olly Alexander, Hayden Thorpe, Gaika and more share their views on what it means to be a man "Being a guy in a band is a huge projection of masculinity. But in many ways I started making music as a response to machismo. As a child of Britpop there was a point where I realised this blokey-ness was not speaking to me whatsoever. I felt alienated
"01.08.2016 09:14:30" theguardian.com DJ Khaled: a day in the life of a living meme He was already a successful hip-hop producer – but when DJ Khaled found Snapchat he became a pop-culture sensation Snapchat, the video-based social medium which remains bewildering to most people over the age of 21, has become Khaled's kingdom. On it, he broadcasts his days in real time, narrating scenes with catchphrases that are now rap lingua franca (“Major key
"29.07.2016 09:06:13" theguardian.com From Top of the Pops to AC/DC – do you know this week in music history? It's our weekly test of the byways of pop – and today is a test of your knowledge on angry Swiss crowds, Carole King and the best 'gay albums' ever Pop quiz!
"29.07.2016 08:43:11" theguardian.com How the pop video got weird again From Jamie xx's intense video shot under a Chinese Eiffel Tower to high-concept productions from Beyoncé and Rihanna and Aphex Twin's lo-fi stylings, music promos have become an event once more Do you remember when pop videos used to be good? They're good again now.
"28.07.2016 19:45:33" theguardian.com Lou Reed celebration The Bells: 'You won't have everyone asking to sing Satellite of Love' Reed's widow and producer have been trawling through the Velvet Underground man's archive for a day-long event at New York's Lincoln Center, with guests such as Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe and Anohni interpreting his work The free concert in New York on Saturday dedicated to Reed promises to be diverse, even within its song segments. “It goes all the way from the first to the last songs that Lou wrote,” says Anderson. “We found some really wonderful things in the archives,
"28.07.2016 19:43:35" theguardian.com DMC from Run-DMC: 'I snorted and guzzled through almost every day' The pioneering rapper has released a raw autobiography that charts his journey from stardom to rehab – and he's still hungry "Ninety-nine percent of rap today is bad demos. It's about responsibility. It's not about censorship and freedom of speech. We let corporate America come in and exploit us, tell us how to do our own hip-hop. You get more money if you're a knucklehead … In
"28.07.2016 15:11:13" theguardian.com 'There's a hunger for the next frontier': the new cosmic Americana Five decades since Gram Parsons pioneered an alternative strand of experimental Americana, the genre is thriving with a new generation of artists such as Steve Gunn and William Tyler inspired by its loose spirit Gram Parsons' dream of Cosmic American Music is finally coming true …
"28.07.2016 14:15:42" theguardian.com Ramones 40th anniversary super-deluxe edition review – rock boiled down to its absolute essence Despite having percolated through rock and pop almost continuously for four decades, the most influential punk album of them all can still provide a prickle of danger and discomfort In Britain, Ramones seemed to tap into something darker and more potent than just nostalgia for a golden age of rock'n'roll. There had been rock music that reflected the hard times of the mid-70s – the Count Bishops and Dr Feelgood's tough R&B; the
"28.07.2016 13:24:27" theguardian.com Teenage Fanclub – watch the new video from a group you can grow old with Have a look at the promo for I'm in Love, the first single from the Scottish veterans' new album I sometimes use the metaphor of a cardigan to describe certain bands, and the Fanclub are the model of a cardigan band: you look at your wardrobe and you're distracted by clothes that are smarter, cooler, brighter; but as soon as you put the cardigan, all
"28.07.2016 13:23:44" theguardian.com Pink Floyd to release rarity-packed 27-disc set of their early years The Early Years 1965-1972 will include Syd Barrett tracks never officially released, as well as the soundtrack recording called 'the Floyd holy grail' Just imagine how many hours of Interstellar Overdrive you're getting on this …
"28.07.2016 11:13:47" theguardian.com Led Zeppelin – hear an unreleased version of Communication Breakdown This 1971 recording appears for the first time on the forthcoming set The Complete BBC Sessions New Zep box means new unreleased versions …
"28.07.2016 11:10:47" theguardian.com Brendon Urie: 'Everybody wanted out from Panic! at the Disco' As the only remaining member of the band, the singer no longer has to compromise – whether that's about making music or being naked I've always been comfortable in my own skin – sometimes a little too comfortable, which in turn makes other people uncomfortable. I have no qualms: no shame, no guilt, no embarrassment. I tend to act out a lot. When I'm out and about in public and I see
"28.07.2016 10:33:24" theguardian.com Jacques Brel – 10 of the best The Belgian singer-songwriter dwelt fearlessly on love, death and desperate emotion in works that inspired countless artists, and spawned covers that only rarely matched his intensity I swear by the wet head of my first case of gonorrhea that it's time for Jacques Brel …
"27.07.2016 18:13:18" www.theguardian.com Sharon Jones: 'Before I get on stage something comes over me and the pain goes away' Oliver Wang caught up with the soul star to talk about chemo, performing and what it's like letting a film crew capture your most vulnerable moments
"22.07.2016 10:07:43" theguardian.com The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl is still the black sheep of Fab Four albums After being out of print for more than 30 years, the sole official Beatles live album is being reissued. Are there better ways to add to the band's legacy? Anyone hearing the original Hollywood Bowl album for the first time is liable to be taken aback. I first heard it in 1985, and was struck by how closely it resembled that year's musical cause celebre, the Jesus and Mary Chain. That's not because of the
"22.07.2016 09:30:05" theguardian.com Izzy Bizu: 'It's OK to be a space chicken' Hailing from Ethiopia via south London, dropping out of music college and seeing her teenage girl group flop have shaped this jazzy singer-songwriter's perspective “On the surface, I'm pretty normal. But I just think there's a lot of dialogue going on in my head,” she says. “That period between 15 and 22, that whole period was a bit mad for me. I went through so much and I had a great time. But I went through a lot
"22.07.2016 08:36:34" theguardian.com Pretty Vicious and Let's Eat Grandma – what it's like playing a festival in your teens For most school-age kids, they're a chance to escape the constraints of home to watch your heroes. But, for a select few, it's a chance to play in front of thousands "Being old enough to perform at a festival but too young to get a drink can be a bit frustrating. Most British festivals aren't too uptight, but going to America can be really frustrating, as you're not able to drink there till you're 21. But having older
"22.07.2016 08:05:56" theguardian.com Pop quiz: from Amy Winehouse to Pearl Jam – do you know this week in music history? It was the week Elvis made his first recordings, and we lost Amy Winehouse. But how well do you know your pop history? Pop quiz time!
"22.07.2016 07:56:12" theguardian.com I'm a Freak Baby: A Journey Through the British Heavy Psych and Hard Rock Underground Scene 1968-1972 review – grey, grim and glorious Four hours of angry, crashing music – with a handful of famous names, including Deep Purple and the Groundhogs – that perfectly captures its era If one response to the end of the 60s party was the wistful morning-after melancholy found on Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water or Crosby, Stills and Nash's debut album, then Egor or Factory or Barnabus offer another: music that feels like
"21.07.2016 09:16:31" theguardian.com Yello, absurdist Swiss pop pioneers, return with a new video, Limbo Dieter Meier and Boris Blank show no signs of giving up on their eccentric modus operandi on their first new music for seven years We've got the first new Yello music in seven years for you …
"20.07.2016 21:25:17" theguardian.com Hank Williams: the lighter side of the godfather of country Williams lived fast and died young but in 1951 he was able to do radio broadcasts at 7.15am, where the wisecracking improvisor showed his mastery of music It wasn't all booze, pills and heartache – Hank Williams's daughter on revealing radio sessions which proved that her father had a more cheerful side.
"20.07.2016 19:17:57" theguardian.com Third Eye Blind baits Republican audience at Cleveland fundraiser 'Boo all you want – I'm the artist up here,' said Stephan Jenkins, after riling RNC attendees with quips including: 'Raise your hand if you believe in science' Many attendees used social media to express their displeasure with the tone of the concert, including one fan who tweeted her disappointment regarding Tuesday's show. “Good,” the band responded on Twitter.
"20.07.2016 18:29:57" theguardian.com The reinvention of radio: how Spotify, Beats 1, Red Bull changed the airwaves Spotify have announced two new shows with presenters. Is this an attempt to steal a march on Apple's Beats1 and Red Bull's RBMA Radio – or is it the savviest way of guiding listeners round an endless landscape of music? In an age of impersonal playlists, streaming music services need to learn the tricks of what makes radio attractive without actually trying to photocopy a radio station. Here a human voice, rather than a snappy playlist title, tells you not only what you
"20.07.2016 18:28:53" theguardian.com The Rolling Stones on film, in the flesh: 70s rock decadence gets a rare screening This week, the band's notorious, semi-banned documentary Cocksucker Blues is screened – and its voyeuristic portrait of real-life rock sleaze still shocks With its shaky camera work, blurry image, and muddled sound, it feels more like the work of a peeping tom than a film-maker. Cocksucker Blues has a tantalizing hint of the illicit.
"20.07.2016 17:04:46" theguardian.com Orange Juice and Edwyn Collins – 10 of the best The Scottish post-punk pioneers didn't fully realise their potential. But they gifted us one of music's most tuneful, gleefully absurdist agitators, Edwyn Collins It's 10 of the best for Orange Juice and Edwyn Collins!
"20.07.2016 12:45:06" theguardian.com 'In the Faroe Islands, everyone is in a band' Out in the North Atlantic, this tiny archipelago has a thriving music scene of everything from primary coloured-pop to thrash metal – despite having one record label and just a handful of venues Is there any stigma attached to being a Necronomicon-wielding metal singer in a society that still looks askance at difference (Magni Arge, one of the two Faroese MPs in the Danish parliament, explains that it remains a patriarchal society, and gay people
"20.07.2016 08:33:25" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Kool Keith – oddball schemer at the heart of hip-hop's weirdstream From time-travelling alien doctors to polyrhythmic 'pornocore', Keith and his 58 alter egos show his rap peers what it means to stand out It was Dr Octagonecologyst that would cement Keith's place in rap legend, selling around 200,000 copies and getting picked up by Mo' Wax and DreamWorks. It is, by any standards, a supremely strange album, relating the adventure of the titular doctor, a
"18.07.2016 15:08:02" theguardian.com Suicide's Alan Vega: a punk pioneer who shoved the streets back in people's faces The late musician inspired violence and respect in equal measure – from having an axe thrown at his head to influencing Bruce Springsteen and Soft Cell The 1978 live recording of Suicide's 23 Minutes Over Brussels makes for horrifying, compelling listening: during the performance, one audience member snatched the singer's microphone in an attempt to make the band stop playing; another broke Vega's nose.
"18.07.2016 11:04:47" theguardian.com New band of the week: The Lemon Twigs (No 112) – glam baroque starts here Prodigious brothers from New York make lush, lo-fi pop inspired by the Beatles, Beach Boys and any number of eclectic influences One thing is certain: Lemon Twigs are going to divide opinion. This is, perhaps, a strange thing to say about a band who base a lot of their shtick on two of the biggest groups in pop music history – the Beatles and the Beach Boys – around whom there is
"15.07.2016 15:26:58" theguardian.com Celebrating Channel U's Darren Platt: unsung hero of the UK grime scene Channel U's founder died this week, but the legacy of his pioneering station lives on. It forged a place for a genre that began its life ignored by the mainstream If pirate radio stations such as Deja Vu FM typified the sound of the music, Channel U was instrumental in showing its look to bigger audiences, beyond niche documentaries such as Risky Roads and Lord of the Mics. For many – like me – who were staying up
"15.07.2016 13:47:33" theguardian.com The One Dance phenomenon: why Drake could be No 1 for eternity The Canadian rapper's challenge to chart-topping record-breakers Wet Wet Wet and Bryan Adams is a reflection of the way we consume music in the digital age Drake creates a microcosm of the way many of us listen to music now: a cherry-picked, hyper-personal blend. We're totally individual in our tastes, but paradoxically that makes us all the same – Drake is the leader of this new global mono-tribe.
"14.07.2016 15:03:49" theguardian.com 'We lost our minds' – how the Avalanches spent the last 16 years Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi spent the best part of two decades making the follow up to their classic debut Since I Left You. Now – having lived through 'seven shades of shit' – they're back with its Technicolor follow-up, Wildflower. What took them so “By the time I was 21, I'd been a heavy drinker for a long, long time and my body was in a really bad way," the Avalanches' Robbie Chater says. "I had a severe withdrawal issue, and ended up in intensive care for a number of weeks. I nearly didn't make
"12.07.2016 10:46:46" theguardian.com DJ Obi sets new world record for longest DJ set – 10 days The Nigerian DJ smashed the previous record by 40 hours, though he suffered hallucinations along the way Thing is, in a 240-hour set, he probably didn't have time to fit in all the bangers.
"12.07.2016 09:40:02" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Raspberries – 60s-loving progenitors of powerpop Like Big Star, this Cleveland quartet ditched the beard-stroking of prog to channel the wham and bam of pop's golden age into something catchy and current Bassist Dave Smalley and drummer Jim Bonfanti departed, keen to pursue a more American rock direction and stop wearing white polyester suits. Or as the band's label, Capitol, put it – rather startlingly – in its 1974 press biography of the band: “After
"12.07.2016 09:32:54" gu.com Darren Hayman: No sleep till Upper Slaughter Two years, three albums and 54 stops ... Darren Hayman's latest project takes him on a tour of the 'thankful villages' whose sons all returned from... His visits to thankful villages do keep unearthing fascinating stuff, even if it isn't always as it seems. He visited Colwinston in Wales, where every New Year's Day they play collyball, a sport that involves rolling swedes down a hill. “I'd researched
"12.07.2016 09:27:40" theguardian.com Dolly Parton on the election: 'We could use more boobs in the race' In a changing world, the country star is a constant, cheering presence: 'I try every day to leave something in this world that is a little better and a bit brighter' 'I have not endorsed Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Someone asked me, “Would I think about a woman being president?” I was saying that I think a woman would be great, I'm sure Hillary would be fine. I have not endorsed either candidate. I was only
"11.07.2016 08:42:15" theguardian.com Tents, cows and rock'n'roll: a look back at Woodstock - in pictures A collection of photographs, exhibited in Camden's Proud Galleries and taken by Baron Wolman, document a journey 'three days of peace and music' which took place at Woodstock during the summer of 1969 Just don't remember: stay off the brown acid.
"08.07.2016 09:32:37" theguardian.com Roísín Murphy: Take Her Up to Monto review – still too strange for the bigtime Many a critic has lamented the failure of the record-buying public to embrace Roísín Murphy's unique pop vision – but this is clearly not mass-appeal stuff Her fifth album, the follow-up to last year's Mercury-nominated Hairless Toys, shows there are reasons for her not transcending that cult success. Its title is a reference to Dublin's red-light district, taken from the lyrics of a cheerily filthy folk
"08.07.2016 08:42:34" theguardian.com Do you know your summer pop hits? – quiz It's the season for songs of sunshine – but will our quiz leave you with the summertime blues? What speed was Fresh Prince driving at when he cruised Philly in Summertime?
"08.07.2016 08:29:17" theguardian.com Maxwell returns: my working style is 'Would Sade or Marvin do this?' The singer takes his time when he makes an album – seven years for the latest. He explains how his lovelife gives him material, but anxiety holds him back “Why does it take so damn long? I would say … anxiety.” Two events paralysed him artistically: turning 40 in 2013, and the success of his previous record. BLACKsummers'night entered the US chart at No 1, while its single Pretty Wings topped the Hot R&B
"08.07.2016 08:12:29" theguardian.com The Spice Girls at 20: 'Women weren't allowed to be like that in public' After the release of Wannabe on 8 July 1996, the Spice Girls briefly became the biggest band on the planet. So what did it mean to be a devoted fan of Ginger, Sporty, Posh and co? “She was loud and obnoxious, and there weren't many women like that on TV. I knew to an extent that I was a lesbian but I wasn't sure – I had an affiliation with loudmouthed, tomboy women, and Geri was quite loud and had the qualities associated with men.
"06.07.2016 13:42:54" theguardian.com Marvin Gaye – 10 of the best From shy beginnings with Motown to No 1 hits, songs demanding racial justice and sexy funk, Marvin Gaye's peerless voice sent a message to millions From shy beginnings with Motown to No 1 hits...
"05.07.2016 11:55:18" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Jacques Dutronc - the epitome of 60s pop chic Inspired by American rock'n'roll, the suave, handsome boulevardier graduated from teen idol to become a hugely influential grand fromage of French music Dutronc was impossibly handsome and suave, emoting in the boulevardier style to keep the mums on side, with just enough Dylanisms (shaggy fringe, chattery, circumlocutory rapping) to make him positively au courant. His genial vocal style over fainéant
"05.07.2016 11:54:29" theguardian.com Dexys, the band who confound you with their strangeness – and then their brilliance Watch our premiere of the video for their single, Grazing in the Grass – just the latest maverick move from a group who never stand still We've got the new video by Dexys for you …
"04.07.2016 16:48:23" theguardian.com Walk This Way: how Run-DMC and Aerosmith changed pop Exactly 30 years ago today, a single was released that brought hip-hop into the mainstream, and revived a rock band's career. This is the story of Walk This Way Exactly 30 years ago, a single was released that changed the landscape of mainstream pop.
"01.07.2016 08:19:45" theguardian.com How women shaped indie rock: 'the lyrics could never have come from a male perspective' Sharon Signs to Cherry Red, a new anthology, showcases female musicians who rejected the machismo of rock and sang of motherhood, babies and love “You grew up struggling to imagine what it would really mean to be a woman in a band, because there quite simply weren't any role models. The only sort of girl band I was aware of was the Runaways – and that was just some guy's idea of a girl band rather
"01.07.2016 08:17:20" theguardian.com Carole King's Tapestry feels like a comfort blanket, until you hear the anxiety within it Carole King performs Tapestry in full on stage for the first time this weekend. What is it about this 45-year old album that inspires such devotion? Carole King comes to London to perform Tapestry this weekend. Bob Stanley discusses the Tapestry phenomenon …
"30.06.2016 17:48:36" theguardian.com Tegan and Sara: 'We couldn't tell each other we hated being on stage' Tegan and Sara's relationship might be tumultuous but their music proved cathartic for many after the Orlando shootings. They explain why moving into pop has opened up new worlds “We were often out on our own. And the second Sara and I had conflict, everyone would leave. It was alienating and awful at times. We'd look around at [other bands] and think, 'You're having so much fun,' 'cos they were friends. Whereas we were out there
"29.06.2016 15:02:02" theguardian.com Minnie Riperton – 10 of the best She had a five-octave vocal range, inspired Stevie Wonder and gave birth to Maya Rudolph – the tragedy is that this huge musical talent died aged only 31 Minnie Riperton gets the 10 of the best treatment.
"29.06.2016 15:01:09" theguardian.com Scotty Moore did more than play guitar – he invented the role of the rock guitarist Elvis Presley's sideman didn't just carve out a new sound – he showed that the singer wasn't always the most important thing on a record Even as rock'n'roll bloomed, lead instrumentalists were often the singer, too – Little Richard, for instance, or Jerry Lee Lewis or Chuck Berry. In Presley's setup, the singer played rhythm guitar, and Scotty Moore took the lead, as part of the backing
"28.06.2016 07:03:25" theguardian.com Beyoncé's star formation: from Destiny's Child to Queen Bey Beyoncé's new tour finds her at the height of her artistic powers. What makes her sound, her dance moves, her image and her feminism so distinctive? Beyoncé's new tour finds her at the height of her artistic powers. What makes her sound, her dance moves, her image and her feminism so distinctive?
"26.06.2016 19:00:00" theguardian.com Glastonbury: what they wore and how they voted Cut-off denim shorts and flower garlands out. Swimsuits and borrowed dungarees in. We take the festival's fashion – and political – temperature Cut-off denim shorts and flower garlands out. Swimsuits and borrowed dungarees in. We take the Glastonbury's fashion – and political – temperature
"26.06.2016 18:00:01" theguardian.com In the Left Field, a small silver lining to the doomy cloud of Brexit One subject dominated political debate in Glastonbury's activist area – but all is not lost One subject dominated political debate in Glastonbury's activist area – but all is not lost. John Harris reports
"26.06.2016 17:00:00" theguardian.com Inside Glastonbury's NYC Downlow – 80s warehouses, drag queens and 'gay butchers' The festival's gay nightclub designed by Block9 is a recreation of a Meatpacking District warehouse, featuring a disco, sauna and sides of (fake) beef Glastonbury Festival (official)'s gay nightclub is a recreation of a Meatpacking District warehouse, featuring a disco, sauna and sides of (fake) beef
"26.06.2016 16:12:14" theguardian.com Someone like you: the Adele eyeliner challenge Six music fans attempt the singer's 'cat eyes' without a mirror Six music fans attempt Adele's 'cat eyes' without a mirror
"26.06.2016 12:19:07" theguardian.com Blind date goes to Glastonbury: 'There was a lot of snogging' Did strategy manager Andrew, 26, and urology nurse Katie, 31, find love in a muddy place? Would they find love?
"26.06.2016 10:41:06" theguardian.com Glastonbury 2016: Sunday in the mud, with reaction to Adele, plus today's music – live It's the final day of the party at Worthy Farm, and we'll be bringing you all the news and action It's Sunday. We're still in the mud. We'll be bringing you all the news and action from Glastonbury Festival (official) here
"25.06.2016 18:35:12" theguardian.com Glastonbury 2016: Saturday night live – Adele, New Order, Tame Impala and more It's Saturday night at the greatest festival in the world – and we're covering the whole thing Hello! Party time! Woo! Everyone's in the party spirit this weekend, I trust? Nothing getting them down?
Well, the good news is that we're here until around midnight, providing post-Brexit party vibes for us all while we come together as one to watch
"25.06.2016 13:45:00" witness.theguardian.com GuardianWitness - Glastonbury 2016: share your best festival photos If you're headed to Glastonbury in 2016, we'd love to see your best pictures from the weekend. Here, you can share your pictures, videos or stories directly with us. Show us your favourite acts, your campsite, your favourite view, your friends – whatever Are you at Glastonbury Festival (official)? Share your best festival pictures here
"25.06.2016 10:58:31" theguardian.com Glastonbury 2016: reaction to Muse, mud, mayhem and Adele – live Lashings of mud, Adele and much more – all the action, live And we're live! Saturday at Glastonbury is ON: reaction to Muse, mud, mayhem and Adele ... Follow the day with us here
"25.06.2016 10:22:02" theguardian.com Philip Glass on David Bowie: 'He was a master unto himself' In a spectacular tribute to David Bowie, the US composer's Heroes symphony is being performed at midnight on Saturday at Glastonbury's Park stage. Ahead of the set, he discusses his longstanding friendship with the late musician I first met David when I was in my mid-thirties and he was in his early 20s, just a kid out of art school turning from being a painter into being a composer. We lived close to each other in New York. There were periods when we saw each other a lot and
"25.06.2016 10:10:54" theguardian.com Muse headline Friday at Glastonbury 2016 – review Matt Bellamy and his bandmates take the view that more is more – and the vast crowd appears to agree with them Muse's headlining set on the Pyramid stage opens with a Big Brotherish figure shouting menacingly at the audience from the screens at either side of the stage. But it's not always as subtle and nuanced as that.
"25.06.2016 10:09:52" theguardian.com Skepta, ZZ Top and more – Friday's music at Glastonbury 2016 Never mind the mud – our team was out about at Glastonbury, scouring the stages for the best music Here are reviews of 13 bands from Glastonbury yesterday!
"24.06.2016 16:00:00" theguardian.com Building Glastonbury – mud, manpower and mini-spiders It might be famed for the 200,000 ticket-holders who brave the sludge each year, but thousands more are enlisted to create the different club worlds festival-goers will inhabit, from Arcadia to Shangri-La It might be famed for the 200,000 ticket-holders who brave the sludge each year, but thousands more are enlisted to create the different club worlds festival-goers will inhabit, from Arcadia to Shangri-La. Behind the scenes at Glastonbury Festival
"24.06.2016 15:01:26" theguardian.com Glastonbury 2016: Friday as it happens – waking up to Brexit, James and Skepta The music kicks off in earnest with main stage sets from Muse and ZZ Top plus an all-day grime stage Brexit, Christine and the Queens, Damon Albarn and Bowie tributes ... Follow our live Glastonbury Festival (official) coverage
"24.06.2016 08:38:53" theguardian.com Chris Martin: 'Coldplay are saying the opposite of walls and Brexit' The Glastonbury Sunday headliners get emotional about the power of music and their quest for the perfect hook “The closest I got was in 1997. I was on a train; I'd just been to Devon to get braces fitted. I felt so self-conscious, I was like: 'Shit, what am I going to do? I'm 19 and I've got braces.' Then the train stopped at Castle Cary, and everybody from
"21.06.2016 08:12:45" theguardian.com Glastonbury 2016 quiz – how well do you know the world's greatest festival? Here are 10 questions to sort the seasoned welly-wearers from the first-timers in flip-flops What is the total of ELO's total weeks in the UK singles top 40, James Blake's height in inches, the Alarm's number of guns and Ronnie Spector's age?
"20.06.2016 12:39:28" theguardian.com Mitski: 'Why is it so hard to understand that I'm in control?' The American lo-fi rocker is celebrated for angsty satire on teen life but she insists her music is more than just confessional “People talk about my music like it's totally confessional, or so honest and raw, and 'it just pours out of her',” she says. This removes her own agency from her music. “Even when I'm writing and performing it, [people say], 'Oh no, she has no control
"20.06.2016 08:51:54" theguardian.com Glastonbury 2016 highlights – the best of what to see and do Our writers pick some of the standouts of this year's festival. Let us know what you're most looking forward to at Worthy Farm Off to Glastonbury? Here\s what we're looking forward to seeing and doing …
"17.06.2016 12:14:42" theguardian.com The Stone Roses – what we learned from their gigs this week They sound good, the fans still love them, and they matter – even if the world they sing about has changed beyond recognition Somehow, whether through giving up smoking or simply having a break from touring, he has regained his vocal range. Of course, there are times when his voice will go horribly wayward – in Halifax it was Waterfall, at the Etihad it was the start of Made of
"17.06.2016 08:04:03" theguardian.com M83: 'Tangerine Dream are the reason I'm obsessed with synthesisers' Electronic musician Anthony Gonzalez shares the five albums that have inspired him most, from Brian Eno and krautrock to the power of Polish composer Henryk Górecki My brother's bedroom was separate from the house, so he had more privacy. Every Friday night, he would go to sleep at his friend's house and would leave me his room. I'd invite a couple of my friends over and we'd watch crazy films and listen to crazy
"17.06.2016 06:57:47" gu.com Two Door Cinema Club's Alex Trimble: 'I wasn't prepared to go back into... After six years on the road, the Irish indie band couldn't stand to be in the same room. But thanks to DIY and yoga, they're back – and warming up... “I was depressed and stressed, so I ended up with stomach ulcers,” he says. “I wasn't mentally prepared to go back into what had been hell for quite a long time, so on the buildup to that my health deteriorated. It got so bad that I missed my flight to
"17.06.2016 06:30:09" gu.com Laura Mvula: The Dreaming Room review – vivid, original, it's the real deal The twisted, off-centre vision of Mvula's debut, Sing to the Moon, is everywhere in this rich and seductive follow-up As if to emphasise her otherness, Mvula keeps doing things other artists do – getting a rapper in for a guest verse, availing herself of the services of the ever-obliging Nile Rodgers – but doing them completely differently. Wretch 32's cameo appearance
"17.06.2016 06:12:58" gu.com Patti Smith: 'You decide your fate. Are you going to fall apart or own it?' The punk-poet genius behind Horses is finally getting her wish to play Hyde Park next month. She talks about life as an outsider, New York's scuzzy... “I'd like to get there early, so I can visit the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens,” she says – and then clocks my confused look. “Have you seen it? Oh, it's so wonderful! He's got a pipe and there are fairies about! I used to go and see it in the
"16.06.2016 07:49:32" theguardian.com Brandy Clark: 'I sing about real, truthful, unpretty subjects' Her father died in a mill accident and she grew up touring pageants with her mom in a band called Sagebrush and Satin. But gay singer-songwriter Brandy Clark is far from your average country star “I often think what attracts us to people eventually repels us,” she says. “My way into that song is that I'm not the girl-next-door kinda artist. I'm not what people expect of a female country artist. I feel like I'm singing about real, truthful,
"15.06.2016 08:33:46" www.theguardian.com Stone Roses – 10 of the best Manchester's Stone Roses begin a run of four stadium shows in their hometown tomorrow. What might their perfect setlist contain? Ahead of their stadium shows, Stone Roses get the 10 of the best treatment.
"15.06.2016 07:00:15" gu.com Cult heroes: Saxon – Barnsley boys who forged the 80s metal boom In their heyday, these DIY heroes were as big as Iron Maiden, blasting out songs about motorbikes and metal subculture that delighted their fans There's something deeply touching about seeing Saxon's bassist, Steve “Dobby” Dawson, on Top of the Pops – a moustachioed, balding man with the look of a deputy manager of a sports shop, dressed up in trousers tight enough to count the change in his
"15.06.2016 06:27:59" gu.com Rod Stewart: 'I was surrounded by gay men in the 70s' Forty years ago, Rod Stewart released The Killing of Georgie, a groundbreaking single about the murder of a gay man – now tragically relevant again... “I've had gay people thank me for the song many, many times,” Stewart said. “Recently, the boyfriend of a big-time British Olympic champion came up to me and said he heard it when he was 17 and he said it gave him some identity and independence, which is
"12.06.2016 12:07:12" theguardian.com Meet Kel Assouf and Imarhan, the new wave of Tuareg rock A new generation of Tuareg bands are refreshing Tinariwen's Saharan blues for the Facebook generation. Singers Anana Ag Haroun and Sadam Ag Ibrahim talk guitars, exile and education The problems facing the Tuareg – or Kel Tamashek (“those who speak Tamashek”), as they prefer to be known – have changed little since the early 80s, when Tinariwen introduced their radical new sound. But the world itself has changed, at a dizzying pace
"11.06.2016 09:57:41" theguardian.com Arise Sir Rod Stewart! No one deserves a knighthood more than you Don't sneer at Rod's knighthood – this is a man whose artistry, not just his reputation, demands recognition It gives me the utmost joy to learn that someone who once wrote the line “Spread your wings and let me come inside” has become a knight of the realm. Rod Stewart has long been our Lord Rochester of Rock – half his charm lying in the sheer lusty filth of
"10.06.2016 14:50:13" theguardian.com A Bruce Springsteen show makes you feel like the best version of yourself I was well into my 30s before I could even tolerate the Boss. Now I can't go to watch him without being moved to tears and made to feel overwhelmingly alive It's no coincidence that both The Promised Land and The River make the explicit link between dreams and lies, a thought that for all its simplicity is a very confrontational idea for pop music: it takes courage to admit your daydreams are just lies that
"10.06.2016 13:22:28" theguardian.com New band of the week: Savoy Motel (No 107) With a glam revival imminent, try these Nashville exponents of funked-up glitter boogie Grab your gold lamé trousers and your platforms, glam fans.
"10.06.2016 09:30:18" gu.com Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor: 'I like the chords my cat plays' The singer has stripped everything back for his solo album, Piano. It's inspired by divorce, John Lennon and, yes, random pet sounds Right now, the Hot Chip frontman is having what I can only assume is an equally emotional experience: sitting at a piano with me while I try to play him some jazz (I figured every musician's dream, surely, is that an interviewer might one day turn up with
"10.06.2016 09:05:07" gu.com Ladyhawke: 'I was always drunk on stage. It's how I hid my anxiety' After her first two albums, synthpop star Pip Brown lost herself in LA. But now she's sober, married, and back with the vibrant glam of Wild Things She feels the music industry doesn't know how to support artists who might be vulnerable, who might seek crutches. “It encourages … drinking and partying. You don't have to pay for alcohol ever, it's always free. You get given anything you want, really.
"10.06.2016 08:40:07" gu.com From Super Furry Animals to Avicii – the best (and worst) Euro 2016 singles Every international tournament brings fleeting hope, crushing disappointment and a raft of singles. Hear's your brief guide to the latter There's one way in which Wales are the undisputed champions of Euro 2016 …
"10.06.2016 08:13:46" theguardian.com Meet Kel Assouf and Imarhan, the new wave of Tuareg rock A new generation of Tuareg bands are refreshing Tinariwen's Saharan blues for the Facebook generation. Singers Anana Ag Haroun and Sadam Ag Ibrahim talk guitars, exile and education In the wake of Tinariwen, there's a whole new generation of Tuareg musicians making the music of the desert …
"09.06.2016 14:49:58" theguardian.com Ed Sheeran sued for $20m by songwriters behind X Factor winner The writers of Matt Cardle's single Amazing are seeking $20m from Sheeran, who they say copied the song for Photograph – and they've enlisted the attorney who represented the Marvin Gaye family in the Blurred Lines copyright case The composers of a song which got to No 84 for Matt Cardle enlist the attorney who got the Marvin Gaye estate $$$ in the Blurred Lines case
"09.06.2016 14:47:46" theguardian.com A California club bans DJs who use laptops … but why? When DJs started to use CDs, purists were up in arms – and now an even more recent piece of kit has been declared verboten. Yet, like dance music itself, technology moves on – so why not embrace it? What's so wrong with DJing with a laptop?
"08.06.2016 16:33:40" theguardian.com Van Morrison/Bryn Terfel review – spine-tingling musical meeting Fresh from a funeral and a recital respectively, the Celtic soul troubadour duetted with the Welsh opera star in a one-off coup for the Festival of Voice Van Morrison meets Bryn Terfel!
"08.06.2016 16:31:51" theguardian.com The Go-Betweens – 10 of the best From shambolic cult pop to more complex and even FM-friendly, these tracks display Grant McLennan's melodic genius and Robert Forster's lyrical brilliance The Go-Betweens get the 10 of the best treatment …
"08.06.2016 09:59:08" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Moodymann – the enigma who remade dance music The mysterious Detroit musician abhorred the shiny sounds of the mid-90s and ousted them with nasty, dirty techno – electronic music with grit in its grooves There's nothing particularly complicated about Moodymann's music – most tracks consist of a few simple loops and filters. But it's full of atmosphere, crowd noise and voices cutting in almost at random, undercut by unsettling synths that set the hair on
"08.06.2016 09:10:17" theguardian.com The best albums of 2016 – so far The year is half over and it's time to take stock of all the brilliant albums made in 2016, from Beyoncé's fizzing pop to Anohni's anguished protest music Looking for something to listen to? We think these are some of the best albums released this year.
"08.06.2016 09:01:41" theguardian.com The best albums of 2016 – so far The year is half over and it's time to take stock of all the brilliant albums made in 2016, from Beyoncé's fizzing pop to Anohni's anguished protest music From Beyoncé's fizzing pop to Anohni's anguished protest music.
"07.06.2016 12:25:13" theguardian.com How we made the Orb's Little Fluffy Clouds 'The song still follows me around. There's a beer named after it now – and a loaf of bread' 'The song still follows me around. There's a beer named after it now – and a loaf of bread'
"06.06.2016 12:47:16" theguardian.com Muhammad Ali's influence ran deep through rap's golden age Some have argued that the Champ was the first rapper. But more important to rap than his disses of his opponents was his manner outside the ring Some have argued that the Champ was the first rapper. But more important to rap than his disses of his opponents was his manner outside the ring
"03.06.2016 15:19:48" theguardian.com How to write a banger for Beyoncé The songwriter behind some of Adele, Leona Lewis and Beyonce's hits reveals the formula behind creating a timeless knockout of a track "A couple of times, I've yanked songs from artists because, no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get it right. If it's not a 10, then it's not worth doing."
"02.06.2016 15:51:34" theguardian.com The Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin on the birth of LA punk: 'I wrote lyrics at work on crystal meth' They stole food, drank all night, and formed bands that couldn't play. The guitarist relives the clothes, clubs and drug-fuelled chaos she was lucky to survive "The year was 1977. I don't think I slept for years; between school, jobs and shows, there was no time, and that was fine with me. During the day, after a brief few hours of sleep the night before, I took crystal meth to stay awake at my job. I worked in
"31.05.2016 09:07:09" theguardian.com Glastonbury 2016: the full lineup for the main stages With new additions such as Damon Albarn, Christine and the Queens and Tame Impala, here are the full listings for the biggest stages at this year's festival All you need to know...
"30.05.2016 15:11:14" theguardian.com Beth Orton: 'I've set free another part of me' Beth Orton's latest album is a joyously abandoned swirl of words and sounds. She talks about living in the US, being a motherless mother and letting her music 'hang out a bit' "Even when I was supposed to be this fragile folk singer, I was bringing up a family and supporting them and I did nurse my mum when she was dying. For me, the real balance is being strong as a woman in what is still a very male world and, at the same
"30.05.2016 15:07:49" theguardian.com Emmy the Great: 'It's time to retire English as pop's lingua franca' The Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter Emmy the Great asks why more and more musicians, from Gwenno Saunders to Maria Usbeck, are turning to their first languages for their lyrics "The process of singing in our “home” languages has uncovered sentiments and flavours that would not have existed in English. As a listener, you do not need to understand the words to feel these shifts. Music, after all, is itself a language."
"27.05.2016 09:12:07" theguardian.com Radiohead review – Yorke and co hit new heights on a night of muscular mayhem Roundhouse, LondonJoy radiates from the stage as the band dance, joke and work the crowd into a frenzy Tonight, Radiohead sound like a band out on their own in more than one sense. It's not just that no current rock artist of comparable size is making music as exploratory and exciting as this. It's that, in a world where lengthy careers are usually marked
"26.05.2016 21:33:17" theguardian.com The British pop talent crash: where have all the new acts gone? With the charts dominated by North American titans such as Beyoncé and Drake, it is getting harder and harder for the UK's rising stars to break in. Will we ever see another Adele? “There's nothing on the horizon, no music scene at the moment. It seems to be that the talent isn't out there, [or if it is] they don't know what to do with it,” says the label source. “[Labels] just chase data and click-throughs. They'll say: 'Oh, this
"26.05.2016 21:32:10" theguardian.com 'Heroic, sexy and a warrior bravado': how Adam and the Ants redefined pop They were a riot of makeup, feathers, tribal drums and surf guitars – and, for a brief, spectacular moment, they became the biggest band in the UK. Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni tell the story of their breakthrough Adam and the Ants are remembered as a band that sang about pirates and highwaymen – which is weird enough in itself, but I suppose might account for at least some of their appeal to a nine-year-old boy – or who unplugged the jukebox and did us all a
"25.05.2016 11:22:59" theguardian.com Elton John: 10 of the best From the gentle whimsy of Your Song to the R&B of Bennie and the Jets, Elton John was at his world-conquering best in the 1970s and 80s 10 of the best time for Sir Elt.
"24.05.2016 13:28:53" theguardian.com Evvol's Julie Chance: 'As a closeted lesbian in Dublin, life wasn't easy. Then I found heroin' As the dark wave duo prepare their new EP, their founder explains her journey from heroin addiction to touring with her musical hero "Let me tell you about the moment I arrived on planet earth, the moment I discovered my sole life purpose. I was 15, standing in the middle of a dance floor in a dingy Dublin night club called the Pink Elephant, Atlantic Oceans' Waterfall was pounding
"24.05.2016 09:19:57" theguardian.com Adele's singular contract shows why she is pop's greatest outlier Sony's reported £90m deal may not quite stack up to that sum, but the singer can call the shots because she is bankability personified Any contract Adele signs will be, by the nature of her status, an anomaly. It will not change how other contracts in the record industry are negotiated and it will not alter how she engages with the rest of the music business. She is pop's greatest
"23.05.2016 09:32:30" theguardian.com Moby: 'There were bags of drugs, I was having sex with a stranger' He was the sober, Christian dance music pioneer – but then Moby found success... Now he's coming clean New York suited his drinking; he classifies himself as “an old-timey alcoholic, I mean, there's just no doubt, you know?” He would try going out for a couple of drinks and find himself “at 8am, with strangers in my house, bags of drugs, I'd had about 15
"23.05.2016 00:31:28" theguardian.com Billboard Music Awards 2016: Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Madonna – live Follow all the action with us as Madonna and co come to Las Vegas as Kesha performs after Dr Luke dispute and The Weeknd leads the way with 19 nominations Join us as we liveblog the Billboard Music Awards, featuring a Prince tribute by Madonna, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and more
"20.05.2016 10:55:47" theguardian.com Great Escape: journey across genres at the Guardian's stage If you're heading to Brighton for the Great Escape this weekend, don't miss our hand-picked lineup at the Sallis Benney theatre on Friday night If you're heading to Brighton for the Great Escape this weekend...
"20.05.2016 09:12:47" theguardian.com Fetty Wap: 'I didn't even get to use no bed – I was lucky to have a carpet' Just over three years ago the New Jersey rapper was dealing drugs and practically homeless. In 2015, his track Trap Queen was the year's biggest sleeper hit. So how is this 'hip-hop Evel Knievel' coping with the fame? Just over three years ago the New Jersey rapper was dealing drugs and practically homeless. In 2015, his track Trap Queen was the year's biggest sleeper hit. So how is this 'hip-hop Evel Knievel' coping with the fame?
"19.05.2016 16:22:30" theguardian.com Chance The Rapper is the world's first truly independent artist His fourth mixtape, Coloring Book, makes him the first artist to get an album in the Billboard 200 charts based on streams alone – is he the future of music? "Chance the Rapper is rap music's brightest polymath, autodidact and cottage industry all rolled into one. He is no fan of the “old” industry system and his achievements to date represent a crystallisation of all the grand theorising about
"19.05.2016 12:26:32" theguardian.com Gene Simmons: 'I still fly up to the top of the rafters and spit fire' Descending to the stage on a flying-saucer is a dangerous business, says the Keane-loving Kiss frontman To be quite honest, I wish celebrities would shut up: I don't like the idea of celebrities announcing who they're for and not for, because a number of their fans will be voting just because their favourite band said to do so. That takes away the honesty
"18.05.2016 14:26:53" theguardian.com The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir: 'I'm nowhere near done with our legacy' The legendary band may have bid a farewell last July, but their co-founder has never been busier – and he doesn't even need the money "It was an adventure. If we had a little more rehearsal the music may have been a little tighter, but I think we delivered the goods. Everybody went there to celebrate the legacy, and that's what got done, and done good and proper.”
"18.05.2016 14:21:55" theguardian.com Bob Dylan's new album – as performed by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and more Bob Dylan's new album, Fallen Angels, brings together 12 mid-20th century standards. We've compiled a playlist of the finest versions How does the new Bob Dylan album sound when performed by people who are not Bob Dylan? Here's your answer.
"18.05.2016 14:04:04" theguardian.com Mercury Rev – 10 of the best Over 25 years, the US greats have ploughed a wayward furrow through grunge, funk, doo-wop and electronica. Here are some of their finest tracks 10 iof the best time for Mercury Rev!
"17.05.2016 10:18:44" theguardian.com Why Prince, Bowie, Freddie and co will rock you from beyond the grave Prince, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury and Elvis Presley have all had a string of hits since their deaths. But how do artists' estates keep the posthumous profits rolling in? Crass though it sounds, it's too early to say what the long-term impact of Bowie's and Prince's deaths will be on their chart performance. After a dignified period of mourning, and once all the legal issues relating to their estates are sorted out, the
"17.05.2016 10:17:26" theguardian.com Great Escape: journey across genres at the Guardian's stage If you're heading to Brighton for the Great Escape this weekend, don't miss our hand-picked lineup at the Sallis Benney theatre on Friday night Join us at The Great Escape on Friday night!
"17.05.2016 09:44:00" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Miracle Legion – the band Thom Yorke loved, who could have been REM Mark Mulcahy's lyrics cut directly to profound childhood memories, whoch are being revived in a reunion of the band that almost flatlined Few records had overwhelmed me as much as Miracle Legion's six-track debut EP, The Backyard, which indeed shared similarly haunting, homespun tones with REM, but replaced Michael Stipe's cryptic tendencies with Mark Mulcahy's much more direct, and
"17.05.2016 08:34:50" theguardian.com How we made Manic Street Preachers' Everything Must Go James Dean Bradfield: 'One minute we were backstage with Arthur Scargill. The next we were on stage with Kylie' "One minute we were backstage with Arthur Scargill. The next we were on stage with Kylie."
"13.05.2016 11:55:13" theguardian.com New Stone Roses' single is just another anticlimax from a returning band The more important a band was, the harder it is for new material to match past glories – as the Velvet Underground, Pixies and Guns N' Roses also found The Stone Roses are in good company as underwhelming returnees …
"13.05.2016 10:16:19" theguardian.com 'Bowie kept it cool to the end' – Twin Peaks pick their favourite 1970s records The Chicago garage rockers take a distinctly Stonesy turn on their new album, so we asked them to nominate some favourites from the decade that inspired it "There was a time, two years ago, when I was listening to Dead Boys a lot. They were one of the few punk bands who were so over the top that it seemed like they had a sense of humour about it, though I don't know if that was intentional. Just how
"13.05.2016 08:25:00" theguardian.com Rick Astley: 'I made tea for Bananarama, Dead or Alive, Mel and Kim' After perfecting the art of brewing hot drinks in a studio, pop legend Astley retired at 27. But how much did he make from rickrolling? Hello there, Rick Astley!
"13.05.2016 06:46:53" theguardian.com Margo Price: 'Country music is about divorce, drinking and jail' The outlaw Nashville singer worried she'd be singing to empty bars her whole life until Jack White heard the songs on Midwest Farmer's Daughter “I always wanted to be equal with the boys,” she says. “I never thought it was fair that women couldn't travel freely because it was dangerous. I'd stay by myself on the North Carolina coast for a couple of weeks, with my dog and my gun, and my mom would
"13.05.2016 06:08:06" theguardian.com Macklemore and Ryan Lewis: 'Systemic racism isn't going to get clicks' Unrest in Ferguson led the duo to question their role in hip-hop. The result was White Privilege II, an examination of how white people view race. Will the pair's soul-searching make fans assess their place in society, too? "Watching the non-indictment on TV and then going out into the streets …” He pauses, as he does frequently. “It was a jump that I felt was essential to … who I am. Because the silent, I-don't-wanna-mess-up, fearful person that had emerged out of me is not
"11.05.2016 09:52:56" theguardian.com LCD Soundsystem – 10 of the best James Murphy's pioneering dance-punk project began with him singing about midlife crises. Yet they were always ready to fill the dancefloor, too 10 of the best time for LCD Soundsystem!
"09.05.2016 11:05:31" theguardian.com Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool review – achieving something they've never achieved before Radiohead have always sounded like a band in constant motion: every album has seemed like an agitated shift from the last Big reviews of the weekend No 2: Radiohead
"A Moon Shaped Pool is noticeably different to its predecessor, 2011's patchy King Of Limbs. You'd hesitate to call it more poppy – this is still an album on which standard verse-chorus structures are very much
"09.05.2016 11:04:28" theguardian.com AC/DC review – Axl Rose brings menace as rock legends pull off a triumph The Guns N' Roses singer might have been confined to a 'throne', but he delivered a masterly first appearance fronting AC/DC Big reviews of the weekend No 1: Axl/DC
"The triumph lies in the renditions of the songs AC/DC wrote and recorded when Scott was still alive. Whereas the Johnson-era material tended towards boozy bonhomie, Scott was often a malevolently misanthropic
"09.05.2016 10:38:12" gu.com Win tickets to Glastonbury 2016 Win one of 25 pairs of tickets to Glastonbury 2016 Win tickets to Glastonbury 2016
"06.05.2016 16:13:48" theguardian.com All Tomorrow's Parties: where did it all go wrong for the beloved indie festival? In the wake of the collapse of its recent Manchester event, we investigate how Barry Hogan's project went from anti-corporate utopia to debt-stricken disaster How did Barry Hogan's project go from anti-corporate utopia to debt-stricken disaster?
"06.05.2016 10:55:21" theguardian.com James Blake: The Colour in Anything review – toweringly accomplished, heart-wrenchingly frail James Blake's third album suggests he's the only person who can make the space in electronic pop sound like a void The Colour in Anything reaffirms that he stands apart from his new peers. His music is not nice; the production frequently evokes a disturbed mind, and over it he speaks of profound alienation. Modern Soul, the album's first single, is dominated by one of
"06.05.2016 06:04:14" theguardian.com Walking on sunshine: The Ladies of Too Slow to Disco compilation From singer-songwriter ballads to lavish soul, The Ladies of Too Slow to Disco compilation captures the creativity and optimism of female musicians in 70s California. Here some of them talk about those heady days “The money was flying,” says Franne (formerly Frannie) Golde, one of the stars of the new compilation The Ladies of Too Slow to Disco. “Limousines from the airport – not just for the artist but for the songwriters, for anyone that you might want in the
"06.05.2016 06:02:06" theguardian.com James Blake: 'I'm the opposite of punk. I've subdued a generation' Kanye, Beyoncé, Drake and Frank Ocean have all been inspired by the unassuming Londoner's sound. Now he's coming of age with his new album, The Colour in Anything “The times I needed to work things out and couldn't really understand my place in the world, I thought that was over at 18. The last few years have been immensely formative in ways I haven't expected. I enjoy the company of other people and their input
"05.05.2016 14:21:27" theguardian.com Fela Kuti – 10 of the best A look back over a seminal career that encompassed political dissidence, UFO contact, chicken sacrifice – and some of the greatest dance music ever recorded 10 of the best time for Fela Kuti.
"05.05.2016 14:02:49" theguardian.com Does David Bowie's Blackstar sleeve hold a secret? Help us find out Owners are claiming to have discovered a secret constellation – but is it an intentional chemical reaction or just a trick of the light? We need your help!
"05.05.2016 10:54:08" theguardian.com Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones: 'If musicians disappear, the music will too' What do you do when you're fed up of modern pop and worrying how to make a living? You make a record summoning the spirit of 1962 There's an endearing glumness about Thompson. Like me, he's ginger, and after a burst of swapping stories about receiving ginger insults, he posits his suggestion for a Rihanna-like perfume line to boost his earnings. “Eau de Ginger. In the rest of the
"04.05.2016 13:28:35" theguardian.com Cult heroes – Hank Williams Jr: crusading country boy with a lesson for the left The Nashville star once compared Obama to Hitler and his rightwing persona can often stray beyond parody, but his musical message is one of inclusion and amity Hank Williams Jr, a man who has ploughed several of his own furrows.
"04.05.2016 13:12:38" theguardian.com Morten Harket: 'I'm not an entertainer, I'm an engager' The A-ha frontman talks longevity, Kierkegaard, Uriah Heep, why John Barry rubbed A-ha up the wrong way, and an interesting metaphor about large breasts Kierkegaard's fantastic. To study something in the typical empirical way a science would, you don't understand much of what makes life actually work by just pulling it to pieces. The mystery and magic of life is something else, and the way we actually
"02.05.2016 16:04:09" theguardian.com All surprises: Radiohead and the art of the unconventional album release As the rumours of an imminent Radiohead LP grow, we look back at some of the novel ways in which the band have previously put out their music It's rumoured to be Radiohead time. So we considered how the band had gone about releasing and promoting their previous albums …
"29.04.2016 12:20:30" theguardian.com Philip Kives of K-tel – the man who invented the compilation album By applying the principle of pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap to music, Philip Kives revolutionised the industry Towards the end of 1966, he put out K-tel's first record – 25 Country Hits. At the time, the idea of a multi-artist compilation was a rarity, because record companies were not keen to have their artists on the same LP as artists signed to competitors. “I
"29.04.2016 09:28:47" theguardian.com Billy Ocean on Frank Ocean: 'At least he didn't say I was his dad' Back with a new double album, the Caribbean Queen singer discusses Savile Row suits, the joys of herb and London property values Is Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car about a frustrated taxi driver? The line “get on the back seat” is a clear giveaway.
"It's about talking to A GIRL!"
Wouldn't you want the girl in the front seat, next to you? Why make her sit in the back?
"29.04.2016 08:31:46" theguardian.com Richard Ashcroft: 'I wouldn't trade what Coldplay have achieved for any of my songs' From careering around Wigan in his mate's Mini to posing with a drip in his arm, the former Mad Richard has had a breakneck ride. He may now be living a quieter life but he still wants to be 'bigger than the Verve' “You have a few bad days and suddenly it's a 'condition'. It's a multibillion business with the meds. But I'm fortunate that instead of brooding and going downhill, there is an outlet. It's not primal-scream therapy but get in a room with a guitar and two
"29.04.2016 06:35:24" theguardian.com How Drake become the all-pervading master of hyper-reality rap The Canadian artist's success at spreading both his sound and self far and wide owes much to his desire to be everything to everybody – not to mention his ability to diffuse the explosive content once at the core of hip-hop Simon Reynolds works out what has made Drake what he is.
"28.04.2016 10:47:39" theguardian.com J Dilla – 10 of the best In a short career, the Detroit rapper cemented a reputation as a cult great with underground strip-club jams, Beatles-inspired psychedelia and joyous neo-soul J Dilla gets the 10 of the best treatment …
"28.04.2016 10:45:35" theguardian.com YouTube: 'No other platform gives as much money back to creators' In a series of articles on Guardian music this week, artists have demanded more money from YouTube. One of the company's executives says they have got it wrong – YouTube is actually supporting the music industry YouTube answer their musician critics …
"27.04.2016 12:33:44" theguardian.com ABC's new video for Viva Love: return of the band who dreamed in Technicolor Three decades after The Lexicon of Love, ABC are releasing a sequel album. Alongside our premiere of Julien Temple's video, one fan explains their greatness Watch the new ABC video – their return to the Lexicon of Love – and read Andrew Harrison on why they were the greatest …
"26.04.2016 17:35:03" flipboard.com Prince: the Purple One remembered on Flipboard By The Guardian | The Guardian celebrates the musical icon who died aged 57 The best of our Prince coverage in one place …
"26.04.2016 12:41:41" theguardian.com Debbie Harry: 'Music matters. YouTube should pay musicians fairly' The Blondie singer outlines why she's joining the crusade to demand better payments for musicians from the video streaming service Art and music have helped change and sculpt our culture. As someone who performed at seminal clubs like CBGB, and had a part in shaping the punk music scene, I know first-hand how we can influence the world. Music matters. Musicians matter. We artists
"26.04.2016 11:07:46" theguardian.com 'He was a level above genius': Hot Chip, Azealia Banks, Peaches and more pick their favourite... Musicians and DJs discuss all the unforgettable moments, musical inspiration, career guidance and lifelong joy provided to them by Prince “The thing that comes to mind when I recall amazing Prince moments is a memory of one tiny second when I saw his playful smile flash across his face at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in 2014. My wife and I had queued up for five hours, drunk champagne and
"25.04.2016 16:51:25" theguardian.com Ramones: 'They were outcasts who had contempt for those who rejected them' From 1975 to 1980, Danny Fields managed the Ramones, and photographed them constantly. He shares those photos here and remembers his time with the New York punks I'm so glad he became what he did, when truck drivers going through New York would wind down their windows and shout “Hey! Joey Ramone!” It was like watching something hatch – this was not a kid with a silver spoon and long, straight, blond hair and a
"24.04.2016 13:11:12" theguardian.com Beyoncé – Lemonade review: 'A woman not to be messed with' Beyoncé's imperious sixth album sees her turn her attention to her marriage, with witheringly powerful results Given the amount of lurid media speculation about the Knowles-Carter union, you could have reasonably expected Beyonce to step discreetly around the subject of what you might call Hova's legova, for fear of giving the gossip mags further fuel: perhaps a
"22.04.2016 06:29:09" gu.com I would hide 4 U: what's in Prince's secret vault? The stash in the basement of Paisley Park contains a legendary collection of unreleased songs – reputedly enough material for Prince to keep... Last year, one writer went in search of the secrets of Prince's vault, the collection of songs that means we could yet be in for a fiesta of his music.
"21.04.2016 19:48:44" gu.com The Crosley generation: the record player that has the kids in a spin Crosley's stereos are compact, convenient and cheap: no wonder they're flying off the shelves. But are they any good? Three writers explore the... Why on earth has the world gone mad for Crosley record players?
"21.04.2016 19:32:34" gu.com Prince - a life in pictures The legendary performer, with a string of classic records to his name, has died aged 57. Here are images from the extraordinary life of the... Here's Prince, in pictures …
"21.04.2016 19:31:57" gu.com Prince in his own words: 'You have to live a life to understand it' Prince was famed for his gnomic utterances, but when he opened up, his remarks could be startlingly candid Here's Prince in his own words …
"21.04.2016 14:10:20" www.theguardian.com A$AP Ferg: Always Strive and Prosper review – more than just Rocky's... He may seem destined to stay stuck in the role of doughty lieutenant to his chart-topping A$AP teammate, but Ferg deserves his time in the spotlight Let us pause for moment and consider hip-hop's supporting characters, its second-stringers, the doughty lieutenants of rap. Their story is always the same: hoisted to a weird kind of semi-fame by the best-known member of their crew's success, they launch
"21.04.2016 14:08:18" www.theguardian.com Gruff Rhys: Hear his song I Love EU – and find out why he wrote it Think of Europe as a megaclub with lots of different rooms. Sure, not all of them are good. But isn't better than the fights when a dozen clubs all... My new song genuinely came to me in a daydream, while I was trying to tune in my faulty DAB radio. I heard a snippet of news about this badly timed referendum* on staying or leaving the EU and suddenly it hit me hard how much I'd miss it if the UK, true
"21.04.2016 13:57:33" theguardian.com Cheap Trick: 'We got asked to play for the Republicans – we would have got swastika guitars made' The power-pop legends are among the latest inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They reveal all about their love of weird English radio, Gary Glitter records and the strained relationship with their 'jerk' of a drummer Things Cheap Trick don't like: Bun E Carlos, the Republican party.
Things Cheap Trick do like: the Move, winding up the Republican party.
"21.04.2016 12:35:16" www.theguardian.com Win 1 of 20 pairs of tickets to Glastonbury Festival 2016 Tickets for Glastonbury 2016 were sold out just hours after they went on sale. But we've kept 20 pairs of tickets back for our Members and you have... Get to Glasto!
"19.04.2016 10:55:50" theguardian.com Metallica – the band who reinvented metal Their first album Kill 'Em All introduced exciting, spikily abrasive thrash, but it was their second, Ride the Lightning, that changed the game completely Metal's detractors might be reluctant to admit it, but songs like Creeping Death and For Whom the Bell Tolls boasted hooks that would make Moby Dick flinch. There were even moments, most notably on grandiose semi-ballad Fade to Black, that even embraced
"19.04.2016 10:38:04" theguardian.com 'An act of genius' – Alan Rusbridger the editor on Alan Rusbridger the album The Guardian's former editor was a little baffled to find himself the inspiration for a new album by German band Woog Riots. But what did he make of the music? I am an album. I am on vinyl and I am a CD. I am a tour. If you don't believe me you can search for me on Spotify or seek me out in Frankfurt. It seems not to be a joke, though for some time I assumed it was. Or, if it is, it is a very elaborate joke.
"19.04.2016 10:37:15" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Mary Margaret O'Hara – the genius for whom one album was enough The Canadian's 1988 debut Miss America is a spellbinding classic. But even as O'Hara returns to public view this year, a long-awaited follow-up looks no closer Naysayers often dismiss her as “kooky”, “ditzy” and all those other gender-skewed pejoratives, but there is a hard and unswerving centre to O'Hara's music. As beautiful as much of it is, there is something fearful about Miss America, an aura of exorcism.
"15.04.2016 14:16:59" theguardian.com Don't assault your fans: the gig etiquette guide for bands and venues After a musician flying-kicked a fan back into the crowd, we're here with a handy guide to how artists and venues can make life better for their audiences Three and a half years ago, after some predictably wearying experience at a gig – I forget what, but something must have roused my ire – I wrote a 10-point guide to gig etiquette. It was aimed at gig-goers, but events this week suggest the people on the
"15.04.2016 13:13:07" theguardian.com Bands who bemoan their 'teenage girl' fans are missing the point of music As a reviews editor, I've lost count of the times writers have referred derisively to female fans in the crowd. It's high time we recognised that it's not only men with extensive vinyl collections who are the bearers of good taste As a reviews editor, I've lost count of the number of times writers have – while bemoaning a gig's drawbacks – referred derisively to the amount of “teenage girls” in the crowd. It's as if that phrase itself is a code that needs no further explanation, no
"15.04.2016 09:08:16" www.theguardian.com PJ Harvey to the Beatles: five songs that accidentally started a scrap Her new single has angered residents of Washington DC, but PJ Harvey's not the first artist to have caused a scandal without trying. Here are the... Sometimes musicians create a controversy without even trying …
"15.04.2016 06:22:26" www.theguardian.com Jean-Michel Jarre records with Edward Snowden – after the Guardian... When we interviewed him last year, the French electronic pioneer asked for our help in putting together a track with the NSA whistleblower These days we help put together electronica albums. Sort of.
"14.04.2016 14:14:16" theguardian.com Deftones: 'It took a tragedy for us to really reconnect' The alternative metallers have made it through their 'dark days', with new album Gore expected to go top five. But could their singer's electicism lead to more trouble ahead? “At that time, '99, 2000, a lot of more aggressive rock bands were actually becoming sort of mainstream,” Moreno says. “But we didn't want to be confined by some kind of a scene we were already being placed in.” Yet the reason the band were so nuanced in
"14.04.2016 07:42:38" theguardian.com Pixies – 10 of the best Sample the band's Samson and Delilah for the stoner college crowd, spectral lyrics of bizarre bodily physics, and emotionally tense alien road-traffic accidents It's 10 of the best time for Pixies!
"12.04.2016 15:33:01" theguardian.com Yes, Led Zeppelin took from other people's records – but then they transformed them Life as a Zeppelin fan would be much easier if they had come up with every idea themselves. But they always turned their borrowings into something greater than the source The lazy assertion would be the old line that talent borrows, but genius steals. Let's be honest: theft is theft. It's appropriate that instance of plagiarism are dealt with. But Zeppelin's sins don't diminish their greatness. Rock'n'roll was built on a
"11.04.2016 14:03:59" theguardian.com Anderson Paak: 'If Dre had called five years ago, I don't think I'd have been ready' The US rapper and singer spent his 20s on the fringes of the music industry. Now, with his dazzling second album, Dr Dre's latest protege is equipped to address his turbulent youth The US rapper and singer spent his 20s on the fringes of the music industry. Now Dr Dre's latest protege is equipped to address his turbulent youth... and a stint working on a weed farm
"11.04.2016 06:44:37" theguardian.com Anohni: 'There's something broken about humanity. We're cannibalising our home' The artist once known as Antony Hegarty has returned with a new name and a new album denouncing Obama and climate change. She explains how pop is her political vehicle “I was never going to become a beautiful, passable woman, and I was never going to be a man,” she says. “It's a quandary. But the trans condition is a beautiful mystery; it's one of nature's best ideas. What an incredible impulse, that compels a
"08.04.2016 08:58:43" theguardian.com The 50 most amazing moments in pop history (that never actually happened) Bowie producing Elvis, Pharrell saving Jacko, Kanye and Lady Gaga's Fame Kills tour. The history of music is littered with what-might-have-beens. Here are some of the best ... Bowie producing Elvis, Pharrell saving Jacko, Kanye and Lady Gaga's Fame Kills tour.
"07.04.2016 14:18:32" theguardian.com #indieamnesty: how a hashtag revived the last great pre-social media music scene After #indieamnesty took us down a mid-noughties wormhole of anecdotes, Spector's Fred Macpherson reflects on the scene that was as unglamorous and idiotic as it was majestic It's not over. Yet.
"06.04.2016 15:13:13" theguardian.com Odd futures: how hip-hop shook off its macho image and got weird From ecstasy-guzzling language-mangler Young Thug, to the many alter egos of Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar's experimental jazz affiliations, these days it pays to be strange From ecstasy-guzzling language-mangler Young Thug, to the many alter egos of Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar's experimental jazz affiliations, these days it pays to be strange.
"05.04.2016 07:04:39" theguardian.com How we made Chumbawumba's Tubthumping Our neighbour would come home drunk every week, try to get into his house, fall over, and shout for his wife – it was a ritual "Everyone said the single was going to be big, but the first time I realised that was when I was in Burnley football club having a piss and it came up on the Tannoy. I almost fainted."
"01.04.2016 10:46:03" theguardian.com ‘Heir to Hendrix’ Shuggie Otis: ‘I could have been a millionaire, but that wasn’t on my mind’ The R&B survivor released three acclaimed albums before his 21st birthday and turned down David Bowie and Stevie Wonder. Then he disappeared. Forty years of addiction and menial jobs later, he’s back with a new record “I was drinking for 30 years straight,” he says. “I used to have it for breakfast. When I wasn’t working, I’d just stay home and drink.”
"31.03.2016 15:04:53" theguardian.com Ellie Goulding: ‘Can people stop thinking I’m boring, please?’ Amid rumours of plans to quit the music industry following her split from McFly’s Dougie Poynter, the 29-year-old talks about why David Cameron is avoiding her – and reveals that Noel Gallagher is a secret fan of her music Amid rumours of plans to quit the music industry following her split from McFly’s Dougie Poynter, the 29-year-old talks about why David Cameron is avoiding her – and reveals that Noel Gallagher is a secret fan of her music.
"31.03.2016 12:01:01" theguardian.com The bestselling albums of all-time – reranked by streaming stats Who’s bigger: Adele or the Beatles? We rewrote the record books using Spotify figures and found that the bangers top the chart Who’s bigger: Adele or the Beatles?
"29.03.2016 07:31:01" theguardian.com LCD Soundsystem, Skepta and ZZ Top added to Glastonbury lineup Festival organisers announce a lengthy list of bands â€“ from rock and pop to grime and blues â€“ to play this yearâ€™s event A little something for everyone.
"25.03.2016 13:30:25" theguardian.com Zayn Malik: Mind of Mine review – downbeat sex jams drive assured rebrand The former One Direction member’s debut, with its Frank Ocean-like falsettos, hazy production flourishes and sad-eyed sentiment, is no box-ticking exercise Zayn Malik's management/label/whoever refused to send his album out before release. So we are only reviewing it now, based on Michael Cragg listening to it since last night. Here you go.
"24.03.2016 18:09:56" theguardian.com 'People started punching the air': how Primal Scream, the Cult and Misty Miller reinvented their... Bobby Gillespie, Ian Astbury and Misty Miller recall the key moments when their bands changed direction “They even had the Thompson Twins call me personally at my house in Chicago, to tell me to play ball. So I acquiesced. I was Milli Vanilli before Milli Vanilli. The label took me to a stylist, cut my hair, picked out my producer. They even wrote lyrics.
"24.03.2016 18:08:46" theguardian.com Parquet Courts: ‘Winning is the whole point’ On Human Performance, the Brooklynites have found the lyrical intensity to match their breathless live act. But, with pop – from Beyoncé to Kendrick – as political as ever, do they think rock music can still have something to say? Parquet Courts talk sports …
“The more I watched [American] football, and learned how fucked up it was, the less I could responsibly even watch it.” He rails against the pro game, and against college football, a multibillion-dollar industry “where
"24.03.2016 16:37:25" theguardian.com A drink at the Zayn Malik Arms? Why music stars build bars at home It’s easy to mock musicians with more money than sense, but the superstar pub phenomenon is more tragic than simple rock-star hubris When you reach that upper echelon of fame – when you’re in one of the world’s very biggest bands, such as One Direction or Iron Maiden or the Who – it becomes all but impossible to do the ordinary things that most people take for granted. Pop out for a
"24.03.2016 15:42:34" theguardian.com The Last Shadow Puppets: Everything You've Come to Expect review – more a smirking in-joke than... For all its sophistication and songwriting nous, Alex Turner and Miles Kane’s second album together is not a thing of any great charm Even leaving aside the interview during which Kane apparently made a pass at Spin magazine’s Rachel Brodsky – he subsequently offered a written apology, which understandably didn’t stop Brodsky writing at length about how uncomfortable and objectified the
"24.03.2016 09:38:10" theguardian.com The Flaming Lips – 10 of the best In 33 years of sonic experimentation, Wayne Coyne’s band has lost members, won Grammys and released a catalogue of soaring, magical pop songs. Here’s our favourites, what are yours? It's 10 of the best time for the Flaming Lips.
"23.03.2016 16:56:36" theguardian.com Phife Dawg: the socially conscious rapper who gave 90s hip-hop its good vibes A Tribe Called Quest represented scholarship, lyricism and philosophy, but the rowdy, bawdy, ever-quotable ‘5ft assassin’ never forgot his duty to entertain While Chuck D hailed him a “true-fire social narrator”, Phife was never a rapper to let seriousness take over anything. For all the reverence that is rightly given to ATCQ, especially from ageing rap bores who hold them up as exemplars of meaningfulness
"23.03.2016 16:48:11" The reason we have not yet published anything about Phife Dawg is that there has still been no confirmation he has died. We've been unable to get anything. Though Rolling Stone and Billboard say they have confirmed his death, neither publication has cited
"23.03.2016 16:24:53" theguardian.com The life and death of DJ Derek, an unlikely reggae legend Derek Serpell-Morris gained cult status as a cardigan-wearing ex-accountant who played reggae into his 70s, inspiring Don Letts and Massive Attack. After going missing in July 2015, his body was finally discovered earlier this month. This is the story of Derek’s friends became used to his quirks and rituals. They remember him as gentle, good-humoured and scrupulously well-mannered, but prone to complaining loudly when his routine was disrupted. The former accountant remained methodical and frugal in every
"23.03.2016 08:05:04" theguardian.com Whitesnake, the Bluetones, Joy Division: these were our first gigs – tell us yours You always convince yourself your first gig is special – even if it involves a 10-minute bass solo, or watching the Bluetones smoke backstage in Cambridge. Here are our writers’ first gig memories – tell us yours You always convince yourself your first gig is special – even if it involves a 10-minute bass solo, or watching the Bluetones smoke backstage in Cambridge. Here are our writers’ first gig memories – tell us yours
"19.03.2016 17:07:45" gu.com Pop, rock, rap, whatever: who killed the music genre? Skrillex produces Bieber, Rihanna covers Tame Impala, and the genre-bending 1975 top the charts. The people making and consuming music are more... If my kids one day ask my what I did in the genre wars I’ll have to admit that there’s blood on my hands, too. Earlier in 2000, I’d set up Popjustice, a blog that I hoped would fight the corner for decent pop music. And early on this was pitched as a
"19.03.2016 17:05:37" gu.com The Guardian on Beats 1: listen to a new radio show with Metronomy's Joe... On the next of the Guardian’s takeovers on Apple Music’s radio station, Joe Mount from indie-pop band Metronomy and Guardian critic Alexis Petridis... The Guardian's takeover of Beats 1 continues at 7pm GMT with guest Joe Mount of Metronomy. http://gu.com/p/4hkyd/stw
"18.03.2016 16:17:34" youtube.com NTS: The Guardian w/ Stewart Lee Stewart Lee joined the Guardian Radio Hour to connect the dots between the UK's comic and punk scenes during the eighties. You can listen back to the full au... Watch comedian Stewart Lee draw the connections between standup and punk...
"17.03.2016 15:51:06" theguardian.com Various Artists: Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music review – beautiful country rock from... This terrific collection of country-rock obscurities shows another side to the sound that dominated 1970s American rock The cast list is a cavalcade of blank stares and search-me shrugs, occasionally with tragic tales attached: Sandy Harless, who funded his own album via his “27-tank fish-breeding business” but then seems to have been duped into signing to a scam record
"16.03.2016 12:14:28" theguardian.com ‘It became me, that was all I was’: can the man who made the Harlem Shake escape its shadow? It was the viral hit that broke YouTube records.But for its creator Baauer the Harlem Shake soon became a burden. We meet a reluctant EDM superstar “I mean, I hated it for a bit,” he concedes. “It became me, that’s all I was. There was a long stretch of time where that’s all anyone would want to hear when I played gigs. I would purposefully not play it and sometimes I’d overhear people being like:
"16.03.2016 11:48:59" theguardian.com Aerosmith – 10 of the best ‘You’ve got to lose to know how to win’ went an early, prescient lyric by the band who became the biggest unit-shifting, power-balladeering rock behemoth of the 90s Time for Aerosmith to get the 10 of the best treatment …
"15.03.2016 10:46:03" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Fountains of Wayne – slacker songsmiths with a knack for melody When they are in full flow, there’s no more tuneful and witty a group at work I feel slightly conflicted about Fountains of Wayne. I adore the group, but I think they’re so wonderful they could do better. I sometimes feel like a slightly disappointed school teacher writing an exasperated comment on a pupil’s report. I’ve seen them
"14.03.2016 14:26:41" theguardian.com Keith Emerson's playing was in stark contrast to my troglodyte brutality Even in the 70s, with Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, James Sclavunos was in awe of the ELP man’s showmanship. Here, the Bad Seeds’ drummer makes the case for Keith Often cast as the epitome of everything the punk revolution railed against, the trio’s epic, virtuosity-driven music was the antithesis of the nuts-and-bolts, three-chord, garage-inspired rock I’d hear while hanging out at CBGBs. ELP’s superhuman
"14.03.2016 07:42:17" theguardian.com Me and the muse: Bobby Gillespie on his inspirations In the week that Primal Scream release their new album, Chaosmosis, their frontman looks back at the tracks and times that shaped him I was a child of Top 40 pop radio – Sweet, Slade, Bolan, Bowie, Mott the Hoople. Great glam rock. The first single I bought was Hell Raiser by Sweet. I moved to a new school and this guy stood up for me in a fight. I went back to his house and he had
"13.03.2016 12:00:00" theguardian.com Underworld: ‘It doesn’t matter where music comes from – it’s how it connects’ Karl Hyde and Rick Smith talk about creativity, longevity – and why their new album could be their most satisfying yet “It’s quite interesting how it works, us two, because we’re polar opposites, really. People ask us why we’ve been together so long, and it’s certainly not because we’re all loved up all the time.” He peers through his spectacles comically. “That’s not to
"13.03.2016 11:23:39" theguardian.com All Saints: ‘We’re more confident now’ Back in the 90s you couldn’t move without hearing their chart-topping singles or reading tales of clubbing, breakups and makeups. Two decades on, All Saints are back with a new album. They talk about friendship, lessons learned and how maturity has We never turned up, smiles and professional: “Hi, lovely to meet you.” We never did that and sometimes it was the wrong thing to do, but we were never fake and we never pretended to be anybody that we weren’t. I’m still proud of that about us and I think
"12.03.2016 12:24:08" theguardian.com The Guardian on Beats 1: listen to a new radio show with Lady Leshurr On the next of the Guardian’s takeovers on Apple Music’s radio station, grime star Lady Leshurr and music writer Sam Wolfson unearth and discuss the best new music The Guardian on Beats 1: listen to a new radio show with Lady Leshurr tonight at 7pm GMT.
"11.03.2016 09:41:24" theguardian.com Shooter Jennings: Countach (For Giorgio) review – keeping it weird with a Moroder tribute The country music outlaw goes bizarrely off-piste once more with a potent, muscular celebration of the Italian electronic pioneer Welcome to the world of Shooter Jennings, a man who gives every impression of being on a singlehanded mission to keep country music as weird as possible. His discography is a bizarre alternate universe in which songs called things like Daddy’s Farm and
"11.03.2016 07:18:46" theguardian.com Don't ride on: why it's time for AC/DC to call it quits Singer Brian Johnson has had to pull out of the rockers’ tour or risk losing his hearing. His departure is one loss too far Tthere comes a point where the trade-off between going home with large amounts of money and offering fans a show to delight seems skewed too far in one direction. And that point would seem to me to have arrived with the notion that a stand-in singer take
"11.03.2016 07:16:37" theguardian.com ‘We’re all in debt to him’ - Mark Ronson, Arthur Baker, Butch Vig and others on the genius of... The Beatles studio guru invented the concept of the modern producer. Ten of his successors reveal the lessons he taught them Today's star producers on what they learned from George Martin.
"10.03.2016 10:10:29" theguardian.com Steve Davis: 'Call me DJ Thundermuscle!' The six-times world snooker champion is about to do the big Bloc weekender. Over a korma, he chats about bankrolling a Magma residency, his jerky dancing – and John Prescott on the sewing machine “Take Frank Zappa – the complex stuff he did with a Synclavier that was apparently unplayable by humans. I can’t understand why other people don’t like it. They all think I’m fucking mad.”
"09.03.2016 15:32:42" theguardian.com George Martin: the man who changed pop forever (with a little help from his friends) The music came from the Beatles – but it was George Martin’s willingness to step outside the boundaries of what was acceptable that helped make them special "However unlikely a figure George Martin cut at the cutting edge of 60s pop – with his hair oil and his tie and his Royal Navy background – he was every bit as inquisitive, brave and mischievous as they were when it came to music. He was bold enough to
"09.03.2016 15:29:02" theguardian.com Teenage Fanclub – 10 of the best With the beloved Scottish band newly announced for this year’s End of the Road festival, we cast an eye over their delicious back catalogue If you don't love Teenage Fanclub, you have a heart of stone.
"09.03.2016 11:27:18" theguardian.com George Martin – five great productions, from Bernard Cribbins to the Beatles The producer will always be remembered for his relationship with the fab four, but that shouldn’t obscure the great work he did on other records You need to know more than the Beatles to appreciate the scope of George Martin's talents …
"09.03.2016 09:11:24" theguardian.com Remembering Jeff Buckley: 'People would listen with their mouths open' With the release of You & I, an album featuring tracks from 1993, three of his closest creative collaborators remember the late musician The people who worked with Jeff Buckley remember him …
"09.03.2016 08:21:42" theguardian.com Lucius: 'Dressing like twins gives us a giggle' They’ve backed everyone from Mavis Staples to David Byrne. Now the women behind Lucius are seizing the limelight. As their album Good Grief is released, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig talk cat food jingles – and the power of matching outfits "We get a giggle from walking down the street and seeing people’s reactions. ‘Are you twins? You must be!’ If you know any twins, unless they’re three years old, they just don’t dress the same. Even if it’s an interview, we are dressed for our part.”
"09.03.2016 08:20:27" theguardian.com George Martin obituary ‘Fifth Beatle’ was a talented musician and producer who oversaw landmark albums and helped the band to stretch the boundaries of sound recording RIP Sir George Martin.
"07.03.2016 11:29:57" gu.com Nathaniel Rateliff's Stax playlist: Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and more The Night Sweats frontman selects a soul-baring slice of blues, a magical dance track and one of the most recognisable instrumentals recorded Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats are as brilliant a live band as you can see right now. So here's Nathaniel's Stax playlist.
"07.03.2016 11:28:10" gu.com Josh Homme on Iggy Pop: ‘Lemmy is gone. Bowie is gone. He's the last of... At 68, the punk icon has recorded a new album with the Queens Of The Stone Age frontman. In a frank conversation, the pair discuss sex, death and... How did you two first meet?
Iggy: We met at the Kerrang! awards in 1912, or whenever it was. I was getting a lifetime achievement award. Did you get anything?
Josh: I got drunk, that’s about it.
"05.03.2016 11:13:26" gu.com Breaking good: the Guardian takes over Beats 1 Radio with new music show The Guardian is hosting a show on Apple Music’s radio station, dedicated to unearthing and discussing new music, starting on Saturday What do you get when you mix Guardian Music and Apple Music? Find out on our new radio show, on Beats 1 at 7pm GMT, with guests Andrew Weatherall and David Holmes.
"04.03.2016 15:31:18" theguardian.com Kendrik Lamar's Untitled Unmastered: 'The work of someone who's in it for the long haul'... Kendrick Lamar’s surprise release doesn’t compromise on his artistic vision, but suggests he’s viewing the world even more bleakly In the opening eight minutes alone you get a burst of Isaac Hayes-ish pillow talk (disturbingly directed at someone the protagonist calls “little lamb”), some distinctly free playing on sax and piano, a concentrated burst of brilliantly turned apocalyptic
"04.03.2016 14:11:21" gu.com The Coral return: 'Success was like a runaway train – chaotic with no... After a breakneck run of hits, the wheels finally came off for the Wirral psych-pop oddballs. Then, just as they were ready to regroup, their... “There was only one thing to do: stop and see if we even wanted to do it any more. At which point the industry people all went: ‘Stop? You can’t stop!’ They all had a million opinions of what we should do. ‘Go into TV! Make a film!’ But none of it
"04.03.2016 13:30:24" gu.com The story of Teenage Kicks: how a punk classic was born In an extract from his new book about the Undertones, bassist Michael Bradley describes the fruition of their John Peel-pleasing debut I never really liked the title Teenage Kicks. It’s the “kicks” bit that still jars with me – not a word that we ever used and one I thought a bit too corny to put in a song. But then we never really expected much of it when John O’Neill played it for us.
"04.03.2016 13:00:32" gu.com Låpsley: ‘I don’t have to say I love the kind of music I make’ She was raised on techno in the clubs of Liverpool, but it’s the singer’s Radio 1-friendly electronica that has catapulted her from her bedroom to... “I crave being asked questions that are challenging or intellectual; instead, people talk about who’s following you on Twitter, or what it’s like being a woman. Jesus Christ.”
"04.03.2016 12:04:22" www.theguardian.com The Guardian Radio Hour with Stewart Lee – listen live at 12pm Comedian and Observer columnist Stewart Lee joins the next show on east London radio station NTS, joining the dots between standup and punk Live now: Stewart Lee rounds up his favourite funny punks
"04.03.2016 11:55:17" theguardian.com How tropical house’s dreamy escapism took dance music by storm Since emerging from the bedroom of Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll – AKA Kygo – in 2013, the genre has gone global and made a superstar of its creator. With upbeat tunes and an everyman appeal, perhaps it’s no surprise As a form of house minted by affluent Europeans rather than inner-city Americans, tropical house’s dreamy escapism speaks to a lifestyle that’s idyllic but affordable, if only for a fortnight in the summer. It evokes a vague but potent feeling of
"02.03.2016 13:13:51" gu.com David Holmes: 'It was a modern day Wrecking Crew' Ahead of his appearance with Andrew Weatherall on Guardian Music’s first show on Beats 1 this Saturday, David Holmes explains how new project... Holmes is on the phone from Belfast, playing a track named Screw You, by Ram and Sel, down the line. “I’m gonna … SCREW … YOU …” it scrawls. “Do you know it?” Holmes asks. This track, he says, was the one he chose for the finale of his first night
"02.03.2016 10:43:40" theguardian.com Beth Orton – hear Moon, from her forthcoming album Kidsticks The singer-songwriter decamped to California, and has worked with Fuck Buttons’ Andrew Hung on a new album that once again incorporates electronica We've got a brand new Beth Orton track for you …
"01.03.2016 15:26:42" theguardian.com Cult heroes: the Pastels – quirky outfit at the heart of Glasgow's music scene Stephen McRobbie’s cult favourites have spent 35 years rewriting the rules, inspiring subsequent generations – and finding unlikely stardom in Japan "My sister's lover has a sense of humour / That has been compared to Frankie Howerd." All hail the Pastels!
"01.03.2016 12:54:45" theguardian.com Kiran Leonard: the art-rocker challenging the indie-lad stereotype From reanimating dead octopuses in his videos to singing about Mongolian giants, the singer-songwriter isn’t your average Manchester rocker “I fucking hate it when a musician says: ‘Oh, the songs just sort of come to me,’” Leonard says, giving short shrift to the Gallagher-subscribed notion that music has to be simple and unconscious in order to connect with people. “That’s cowardly. It’s
"01.03.2016 08:59:56" theguardian.com Adele review – a lesson in control from the end of the pier SSE Arena, BelfastThe world’s biggest-selling singer delivers a solid, if unsurprising show on the first night of her tour You can see why those responsible for the staging might have worried Adele’s brand of between-song banter would puncture the moment. No sooner does she start talking than she acquaints everyone present with the state of her colon. “I’ve been fucking
"01.03.2016 08:57:47" theguardian.com Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue – in pictures When Bob Dylan took his travelling caravan of musicians – among them Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn and Mick Ronson – out on the road in autumn 1975, the photographer Ken Regan was on hand to document it all. Now his revealing shots are published in Rolling These photos really are something …
"26.02.2016 17:33:15" theguardian.com Muse to headline Glastonbury 2016 Theatrical galactic-rock trio will play the Pyramid stage on Friday night, joining Coldplay and PJ Harvey on the lineup Bringing drones, pyrotechnics and general spacey operatics to Somerset this year are Muse - who become the first band to headline the stage on all three nights of the festival.
"26.02.2016 15:54:50" theguardian.com Talking pineapples and 200-hour sets: what EZ can expect as he joins the extreme DJing ranks The UK garage great is spinning for a solid day in aid of cancer research – which is fine, but it doesn’t touch the blistering feats attempted by the titans of the form UK garage great DJ EZ is spinning for a solid day in aid of cancer research on Saturday. But which other DJs have successfully completed a marathon set? And, more importantly, what happens when he needs to go to the loo?
"25.02.2016 18:18:15" theguardian.com Kano: 'Grime is a battle culture... we shouldn't dumb ourselves down' The MC’s new album, Made in the Manor, is full of ‘olive branch tracks’ and forensic self-analysis. He talks about why it’s time for grime to evolve “I’m always working out how people perceive me, and that’s a hard thing to navigate sometimes,” he says. “I’ve got a friend who went to jail in 2004 just before my first album came out. I’m on TV, and they’re inside, looking at me like I’m 50 Cent. They
"25.02.2016 18:13:34" theguardian.com Andrew Weatherall: ‘We’re at the apex of the punk-rock dream. Anyone can make music. What a... After three decades as a disco maverick, the acid-house DJ tells us why he’s still got an ear for ‘full-knacker panel-beaters-from-Prague-’ere-we-go techno’ I’ve been in Andrew Weatherall’s company for about five minutes, and he has, a little unexpectedly, got on to the subject of the Albigensian crusade of the 13th century, in which the papacy ordered the extermination of the Cathar sect in southern France.
"25.02.2016 15:04:42" theguardian.com The 1975: I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It review – great... A severe case of the Serious Artists can’t dispel the fact that the 1975’s second album is packed full of fantastic pop songs and smart lyrics "Most of the time Healy gets away it. That’s sometimes because his observations are sharp – as a skewering of celebrity #squad culture, “you look famous, let’s be friends / And portray we possess something important / And do the things we like” is pretty
"25.02.2016 08:18:23" gu.com 10 things we learned from the 2016 Brit awards The music industry’s annual celebration of itself took place in London last night – but what were the talking points? Why can't the Brits reflect the fact that pop doesn't have to be light entertainment?
"25.02.2016 08:17:12" gu.com Those Bowie tributes rated – from the Brits to Springsteen, Madonna to Iggy The Brits kept it classy; Springsteen threw in an organ; Iggy added a concert hall – and a harp; Lady Gaga went to Pontins and Rick Wakeman did... We've watched and rated 10 of the biggest tributes (spolier: Lorde's was the best.)
"24.02.2016 22:50:11" gu.com Coldplay, Adele, the Weeknd and more – every Brits performance reviewed Here’s your handy roundup of every performance at this year’s Brits, reviewed as they happened Ben Beaumont-Thomas reviewed every Brits performance as they happened.
"24.02.2016 18:11:43" gu.com #BritsSoWhite: why this year's nominees need to take a stand For too long white award-winners have denied the inherent racism in the music industry. If you draw from music of black origin, it’s time to... The argument often goes that “people shouldn’t get rewards simply because they are black”. But when will we finally realise that in the business of making “black music”, musicians are continually rewarded simply because they are white?
"24.02.2016 17:59:29" gu.com Brit awards 2016 with Adele, Coldplay, Justin Bieber and more – live Follow all the action from this year’s Brit awards at the O2 Arena in London OUr fashion desk are practising their best Blue Steel faces as they kick off our Brits liveblog with a look at the Red Carpet …
"24.02.2016 13:41:40" theguardian.com Cocteau Twins – 10 of the best They emerged fully formed from the post-punk shadows and developed a sound that would become the gold standard for enigmatic, ethereal indie-pop. Here are their 10 greatest moments We've been building a sonic cathedral of sound for you.
"23.02.2016 18:03:23" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Deniz Tek – Stooges fan and fighter pilot who took punk to Australia The Radio Birdman co-founder sold a guitar to Keith Richards and filled the dive bars and venues of Sydney with high-energy rock’n’roll, but still found time to train as a surgeon You know what? Deniz Tek has had a life and a half.
"23.02.2016 15:41:44" theguardian.com Here come the Brits: and thank God I'm not writing the script As the Brits loom, I remember the perils of trying to get mismatched speakers to engage an uncaring audience while ripping my carefully honed jokes to shreds But whatever Wyclef Jean and Mel B saw fit to do to my work, it was nothing to the serial maltreatment it received at the hands of the individual awards presenters. The problem with writing these bits is largely institutional. The presenters want to
"23.02.2016 13:37:43" theguardian.com Welcome back, All Saints, you're my kind of girl power With a new single, One Strike, written to exorcise the demons of divorce, the 90s girl band have resettled straight into their laidback groove. And one fan is excited In defence of All Saints …
"23.02.2016 12:32:32" theguardian.com Is Tidal sailing steadily, or headed for the rocks? Rihanna and Kanye West’s album launches were the big events the streaming service was waiting for – so how is it faring a year after the Jay Z takeover? The idea behind Tidal was sound – artists would seize control of the means of distribution of their work – but the execution was, for the most part, abysmal. Its focus at launch was on the collective power of an elite of impossibly wealthy stars, all of
"23.02.2016 09:40:29" theguardian.com Yoko Ono: 'I thought my music was beautiful all along' She was subjected to decades of vilification. Now everyone from Gaga to Sparks are lining up to pay tribute. How does the 83-year-old artist feel about the world catching up to the Yoko Ono sound? For years, her music was, at best, viewed as a mammoth indulgence on the part of her husband, or at worst greeted with derision and anger: “In the beginning I didn’t understand it, but then I said: ‘Maybe that’s the reaction because people aren’t used to
"23.02.2016 09:38:09" theguardian.com Brit awards: 10 things to look forward to From Adele’s surefire success to Justin Bieber and the much-dreaded all-star Bowie tribute, here’s what to watch out for at Wednesday’s ceremony It's the Brits tomorrow. Calm yourselves!
"22.02.2016 15:05:51" theguardian.com Not talkin' bout a revolution: where are all the protest songs? From anti-Vietnam war ballads to miner’s strike songs, folk artists have long voiced countercultural anger. With so much ammunition today, could folk music be about to wake from its recent docility “While I’d prefer protest songs to come from the left, I accept that every political option can produce them since folk is music of the people”, Carthy says. “We’re clearly seeing a widening out of political debate, so I don’t see why this tradition
"19.02.2016 09:23:42" theguardian.com The Guardian Radio Hour with Richard Dawson – listen live at 2pm The cult Geordie avant-folk musician is the sixth guest in our radio series on east London station NTS, with a distinctly leftfield playlist dedicated to unaccompanied singing Richard Dawson joins us today at 2pm!
"19.02.2016 09:22:24" theguardian.com Miami police union calls for boycott of Beyoncé's show in the city Javier Ortiz, president of the city’s Fraternal Order of Police, says the singer ‘does not support law enforcement’ Javier Ortiz seems like a man of firm opinions, even if his grasp on the facts isn't 100%.
"19.02.2016 07:17:30" theguardian.com No such thing as bad PR: Is social media saving or damaging the music industry? With major artists taking control of their social media outpourings, their PRs increasingly exercise damage limitation. But how far can they court controversy? Artists hold all the power. Labels don’t have the control they once did and plenty of managers live in fear that when their artist gets successful, they won’t hesitate to drop them when they go against their wishes. So you get a culture of yes men, even
"19.02.2016 07:09:12" gu.com Jack Garratt: Phase review – Jack of all trades Garratt’s debut is a little bit Ed, a little bit Sam, a little bit EDM. Once he digs out his own ideas and adds them to his ability with a melody,... It feels a little overwrought: it may be that Garratt has suffered an unbearable amount of emotional turmoil in his life, but something about the slightly strained nature of his lunges for poeticism – “Don’t feed the solace within you and allow it to
"19.02.2016 07:06:52" theguardian.com Party politics: why grime defines the sound of protest in 2016 From Skepta’s anarchist tattoo to Stormzy’s takedown of David Cameron, it’s tempting to see 2016 as the year that grime finally got political – but the truth is that it always has been Grime might be more visibly political than it has been for some time, but that’s more a reflection of the attention brought to the genre over the past few months by Skepta, JME, Stormzy, Novelist and others. Grime has always been political, but its
"18.02.2016 16:56:49" theguardian.com Quiz: how well do you know your music award-show speeches? After this year’s Grammy’s and ahead of the Brits, see how many of these famous speeches you can match to the probably sozzled winner as we plough into the heart of awards season Blessed be the speechmakers!
"18.02.2016 16:22:00" theguardian.com ‘I treated working with Paul McCartney as art’ – Youth on his five favourite albums The producer and Killing Joke bassist has produced everyone from Alien Sex Fiend to Bananarama. Here he picks the best five albums he has worked on, from Pink Floyd to the Orb When David Gilmour invited me to his farmhouse, I thought I would be working on his solo album, but as he played me all these outtake tapes from The Division Bell sessions, I gradually twigged, with some delight and trepidation: “Is this going to be a
"17.02.2016 16:41:24" theguardian.com Fat White Family on outsider ballads - the Guardian Radio Hour podcast Saul and Lias from the great unwashed Fat White Family play us an hour of their favourite weird and woozy outsider ballads In case you missed it live last Friday …
"17.02.2016 15:50:06" theguardian.com Huey Morgan: 'Some artists could do with a dose of Huey bootcamp' The Fun Lovin’ Criminal on his new conservatory, joining the aristocracy, and his beef with Clive Anderson "I love dogs. My dogs saved my ass from a lot of nefarious stuff I could have got into when I was first coming up."
"17.02.2016 15:19:06" theguardian.com Scat, scrapping songs and screaming: a guide to being the next Beatles Beatlemaniac David Rowley believes the amateur rock world can be revolutionised with a few pointers from the Fab Four. In an extract from his new book, he gives a forensic breakdown on how to prosper in the world of writing stone-cold rock classics Now you, too, can be the Beatles!
"17.02.2016 12:13:38" theguardian.com Thin Lizzy – 10 of the best Frontman Phil Lynott’s biographer charts the band’s rapid progress from melodic heartfelt ballads to raw, thunderous rock’n’roll It's Thin Lizzy week in 10 of the best …
"16.02.2016 14:41:23" theguardian.com Cult heroes: Betty Wright – soul's golden agony aunt She has proffered hard-won wisdom to girls and boys for four decades, but beware: Wright can administer a scolding along with tissues and gin This week's Cult Hero is the peerless Betty Wright.
"16.02.2016 12:06:27" www.theguardian.com The grudge-match Grammys: why music awards should copy pro wrestling The real interest in music awards shows is not in the winners – it’s in the prospect of stars such as Taylor Swift and Kanye West fighting. So... I want to propose something radical that’s sure to end the music awards show’s struggle for viewers: let’s just dispense with the awards completely. Let’s just give the people what they want: a series of confrontations between musical acts that hate each
"16.02.2016 10:28:11" theguardian.com Grammy awards 2016 – 10 things we learned Even great singers like Adele can have a bad night; David Bowie is maybe not best memorialised by turning his songs into a megamix; and Taylor Swift and Kanye West will never, ever get back together What happened at the Grammys last night? Here's what you need to know.
"15.02.2016 11:51:04" theguardian.com Barry Adamson: 'I've been called the outsider's outsider' The Bad Seeds and Magazine bassist on writing music for David Lynch, being ignored by Morrissey and moving to Moss Side to recuperate after the 80s "I still impersonate people, but you’ve got to watch it. I did Nick Cave in front of him and he sorta looked at me, knowing I was getting it right and mortally offended at the same time."
"15.02.2016 09:05:17" theguardian.com Kanye West claims to be $53m in debt, and asks Mark Zuckerberg for help West says tech entrepreneurs Zuckerberg and Larry Page listen to hip-hop, but are more interested in opening schools in Africa than helping celebrity rappers File under: "He really doesn't help himself."
"14.02.2016 12:22:34" theguardian.com Julia Holter: ‘I tend to feel like everything I’m doing is crazy’ The singer-songwriter, whose Have You in My Wilderness, was a fixture in 2015 best-of lists, talks about her aversion to being labelled literary Ask a roomful of critics what they think of Julia Holter and you’ll be submerged in breathless adoration; ask a random person in the street and you’re likely to get a blank stare. This suits her perfectly well. “I prefer this; I’m happy that way. You
"14.02.2016 12:20:50" theguardian.com Kanye West – The Life of Pablo review: 'You can see why his immodesty rubs people up the wrong way' When Kanye West’s album is good, it’s very good. So why does he spend so much time trying to show the world what a thundering plonker he is? Now The Life of Pablo is finally done, Alexis Petridis has his review in … "Listening to Famous, you do find yourself wondering if anyone else has ever managed to seem so brilliant at what they do and such a thundering cock and balls of a man at exac
"12.02.2016 14:53:27" gu.com School of rock – the excuses music can offer for bunking off school One parent excused his child’s lateness by explaining she had been at a Bruce Springsteen show. But that’s not the only plausible rock-related... Want to explain your kid's absence from school through the medium of rock, like that dad who took his kid to a Springsteen show? Read on.
"12.02.2016 14:49:54" gu.com Kanye West claims Taylor Swift came up with Famous diss lyric ‘I called Taylor and had a hour long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings,’ says the rapper This one's going to run and run.
"12.02.2016 13:29:10" gu.com No surprises: how unexpected album drops became the norm Rihanna, Beyoncé, Pixies, Bowie and Radiohead all sidestepped industry traditions by dropping albums with no warning. But now we all expect the... No surprises: how unexpected album drops became the norm http://gu.com/p/4gj67/stw
"12.02.2016 13:28:14" theguardian.com Kanye West's The Life of Pablo launch: the view from the Vue While thousands gathered in Madison Square Garden, dozens gathered in a cinema in north London. How did Yeezy Season 3 feel from the multiplex? We told Ben Beaumont-Thomas we wanted him to cover the Kanye album launch. He looked at flights, New York hotels, made plans to make a long weekend of it in Manhattan. No, Ben. Just get the No 73 bus – you're going to Islington Vue.
"12.02.2016 12:28:10" gu.com Kanye West bingo: a party game for The Life of Pablo The release of the rapper’s much anticipated (and much-revised) seventh album is upon us. Markers at the ready ... Join us for a game of Kanye lyrical bingo (supply your own prizes)
"12.02.2016 11:15:40" theguardian.com Mavis Staples: ‘I often think what would have happened if I’d married Dylan’ Her raw, rasping voice made the Staple Singers a household name in the 50s and 60s and icons of the civil rights movement. She talks about the time she met David Bowie, her relationship with Bob Dylan and her love of Pharrell Williams’s Happy It is David Bowie that she is desperate to talk about today, surprisingly. “I’ve been thinking of him. He was the ultimate gentleman and musician. I was opening for Prince, when he came into the dressing room, and said: ‘There she is, that beautiful
"12.02.2016 09:15:17" gu.com The Guardian Radio Hour with Fat White Family – listen live at 2pm The next in our 10-week live radio series on east London station NTS sees ramshackle rockers Fat White Family explore their love of outsider ballads It could get messy with this week's guests on The Guardian Radio Hour.
"12.02.2016 08:42:33" gu.com Kanye West faces new Taylor Swift controversy after claiming 'I made... Swift’s spokesman said she was unaware of the line from West’s new song Famous, but that she had warned him not to release a misogynistic song Following the playback of The Life of Pablo at Madison Square Garden in New York, Swift’s spokesperson issued a statement saying West had asked Swift to share Famous on her Twitter account. “She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with
"12.02.2016 08:33:28" gu.com What's it like to win a Grammy? From raining on Slash’s parade to rubbing shoulders with Stevie Wonder, past winners of the coveted gongs tell us their stories of success There was a lot less drinking than at something like the Brits. Luckily I was hanging out with Disclosure and Sam Smith, who were up for Best Dance Album. We were a little bit like Brits abroad, desperately searching for a bar when no one else was dr
"12.02.2016 07:36:18" gu.com King's fever dream R&B: where video game soundtracks meet Cocteau Twins Paris Strother of the acclaimed US trio explains how they arrived at their unique take on R&B Previously, you could hear King only in isolated, digestible units, and the effect of the full album is all but overwhelming. It’s music that builds its own world, like a video game soundtrack. “I’ve always been inspired by Nintendo and Sega Genesis,
"12.02.2016 07:09:43" gu.com No surprises: how unexpected album drops became the norm Rihanna, Beyoncé, Pixies, Bowie and Radiohead all sidestepped industry traditions by dropping albums with no warning. But now we all expect the... Anyone feel surprised anymore when someone releases a surprise album?
"12.02.2016 07:07:30" gu.com Kanye West drops new album The Life of Pablo at elaborate, 'ramshackle'... The crowds (and the Kardashians) were out in force for the launch of Kanye West’s seventh solo album at an affair that melded music, fashion and ego Our man Lanre Bakare was at Madison Square Garden for last night's Kanye album launch …
"11.02.2016 17:20:19" gu.com Readers Recommend returns with a new topic: songs about overturning the... Reader power has triumphed, and RR returns this week in a slightly new format with a new host A victory for reader power …
"11.02.2016 17:19:17" gu.com Phil Collins returns: ‘I got letters from nurses saying, “That’s it, I’m... He was one of the planet’s biggest stars, selling 100ms of records. He talks about the madness of fame, that threat to leave the UK and whether he... Like his songs, Collins is disarmingly direct. Far from the haunted, Alamo-obsessed figure depicted in a Rolling Stone profile five years ago, he’s friendly and drily funny, but there’s an unmissable undercurrent of bruised melancholy and a residual
"11.02.2016 15:47:45" theguardian.com White Denim's playlist: Cass Mccombs, 10cc and more Bassist Steve Terebecki of the Austin group shares the music that keeps the band’s tour bus rocking, including Cass McCombs, Mayo Thompson, Lee Dorsey and 10cc’s Worst Band in the World – is there a message there? What are White Denim listening to right now? Here's what.
"11.02.2016 15:47:00" theguardian.com Animal Collective: Painting With review – psychedelic playmates inspire and infuriate Baltimore’s most admired and reviled band deliver a new album that is undoubtedly inventive, and at times weirdly satisfying – but almost supernaturally annoying as well We really do appear to be inches away from Yes recording an album based on the shastric teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda in a studio filled with hay bales and a model of a cow.
"11.02.2016 08:32:21" theguardian.com Mark Wigglesworth: ENO needs to innovate to survive, not reduce English National Opera plans to slash wages and jobs after a £5m cut. Its music director believes this would be a betrayal of everything the company stands for The Arts Council’s recent decision to cut ENO’s subsidy by £5m a year and the financial crisis that that has created demands that we rethink and reassess what we do and how we do it. How we respond to this challenge will determine our future success.
"10.02.2016 15:28:28" gu.com Outkast – 10 of the best From an impromptu audition over an Atlanta car stereo to production that coalesced from an aural mist, the questing duo redefined music as we knew it This week, Outkast take their place in the 10 of the Best pantheon, in many ways the most profound tribute an artist can achieve, as they would doubtless agree.
"10.02.2016 15:03:32" theguardian.com 'Donald Trump makes me want to eat my shoes': Slipknot's Corey Taylor answers your questions From his thoughts on racism in metal to wearing that mask, Slipknot’s frontman is typically outspoken when answering readers’ questions To this day I’m kind of shocked by the success we’ve had. If you do the math, none of this should have happened. Think about it: nine guys in masks and coveralls from Des Moines, Iowa, playing crazy heavy metal music – there’s no way that works on pa
"10.02.2016 13:34:20" gu.com What's the point of music? Ask Peter Gabriel Whether releasing sadness or sending shivers down our spines, the songs in our ‘emotional toolbox’ can transform daily life … if we learn how to... Alain de Botton writes: "Music is so much a part of almost all our lives that it seems peculiar to stop and ask what it might be for. It just appears straightforwardly to benefit us in ways that are too diverse and ineffable to start to take apart; t
"09.02.2016 15:36:23" gu.com I'm tired of being around people who feel intimidated by my blackness In our society, black is seen as negative and white as successful, leading many to reach for a cultural mask. It’s time we stopped trying to fit in I have often been in a room in which everyone can’t help but notice the colour of my skin. It strangely becomes an issue. People see my culture as intriguing – almost a commodity. In some circles, conversation turns to hip-hop or something “slightly
"09.02.2016 11:35:00" theguardian.com Jonas Kaufmann performs Tosca's Recondita Armonia –exclusive video Watch Jonas Kaufmann singing Tosca’s Recondita Armonia in an exclusive clip from a film of a gala concert coming to cinemas from 11 February Watch a great singer tackle a great piece of music …
"09.02.2016 09:25:18" theguardian.com Amanda Palmer's playlist – Michael Nyman, Beck, Górecki and more To mark the release of her EP of Bowie covers featuring a string quartet, the musician picks five of her favourite classical-leaning tracks What's Amanda Palmer listening to right now? Here's what.
"09.02.2016 09:24:25" theguardian.com How we made Dancing in the Street Martha Reeves: ‘Marvin Gaye saw me ogling him and said: “How about we try Martha on this song?” It became the Motown anthem’ At first, I didn’t like it. But then I thought about my neighbourhood and how we’d stay up all night, dancing in the street. The vocal is the second take – when I first sang it, they didn’t have the tape running. The song caused me all kinds of troub