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"27.04.2017 16:42:26" theguardian.com Return of the KLF: 'They were agents of chaos. Now the world they anticipated is here' Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty hijacked pop in the 1980s and 90s with outlandish antics involving lasers, house music, a Viking longship and a million-pound bonfire. Andrew Harrison revisits the chaos – and talks to their former partners in crime “You would hear them say: 'Let's get a submarine!' But the thing was, they would actually make it happen.”
Here's the story of the KLF, as told by their former partners in crime.
"27.04.2017 13:49:34" theguardian.com Little Dragon: the Swedish psych-pop stars show off their songs – and weightlifting bruises The band behind Ritual Union are back – with a new album and a baby on board. We catch up with them at Coachella The joys of speedskating and babies discussed with Swedish electro band Little Dragon.
"27.04.2017 08:37:03" theguardian.com Sgt Pepper: listen to an unreleased outtake of the Beatles' classic To celebrate 50 years since the release of the Fab Four's masterpiece, we have an exclusive recording from the legendary sessions An exclusive recording from The Beatles legendary sessions.
"26.04.2017 14:05:26" theguardian.com King Crimson – 10 of the best Arriving at the back end of the utopian 60s, Robert Fripp and co launched a scorched-earth assault on rock that left a lasting mark on music history King Crimson get the 10 of the best treatment.
"25.04.2017 12:06:24" theguardian.com Incubus on nu-metal: 'It always made me cringe' The most derided genre in rock turns 20 this year, but the bare-chested originators have moved on. Now they're embracing EDM – with a little help from Skrillex The nu-metal band on Skrillex, nipples, misogyny and making a comeback.
"25.04.2017 07:51:47" theguardian.com Send us your questions for Liam Gallagher… Got something to ask the former Oasis singer? Here's your chance, ahead of his summer tour and debut solo album Got something to ask Our Kid?
"24.04.2017 14:38:00" theguardian.com All killer: why The Big Little Lies soundtrack is its secret weapon Rethinking the role of songs in TV drama, director Jean-Marc Vallée gives each character in his HBO miniseries their own relationship to music, revealing their secrets to the keen listener We may be entering a golden age of TV music, from the 80s synthscapes of Stranger Things to the eerie player-piano cover versions on Westworld, but only Big Little Lies reminds us that we're all the DJs and music supervisors of our own lives.
"24.04.2017 09:18:58" theguardian.com Paramore: 'I've wanted to quit this band so many times' A revolving door of members, bitter legal disputes and public spats – will the rock sensations be able to keep it together as they release their biggest album yet? A revolving door of members, bitter legal disputes and public spats - welcome back Paramore!
"21.04.2017 15:03:03" theguardian.com Prince, one year on: what have we learned about the singer since his death? Phone hacking, false names and a first-class omelette recipe are just some of the details to have emerged about the legendary musician in the past 12 months Phone hacking, false names and a first-class omelette recipe are just some of the details to have emerged about the legendary musician in the past 12 months.
"21.04.2017 09:20:10" theguardian.com Aidan Moffat on vinyl: 'Records are sexy – you can't undress an MP3' To mark Record Store Day this weekend, the former Arab Strap musician describes his lifelong fling with vinyl – from the eroticism of a record sleeve to whether the format will die with his generation of old romantics Aidan Moffat writes about his love affair with records:
"Maybe they're more like sex than I thought: now that I'm a bit older, I might not get them as much I used to, but my passion burns undimmed."
"21.04.2017 06:30:00" theguardian.com Attack the block: how grime's visuals went pop The rough, grainy style of early grime videos made perfect sense for a genre that prided itself on gritty realism. But why are Charli XCX to Dua Lipa suddenly getting in on the act? And what do the originators make of it all? With grime's recent and unexpected acceptance into the mainstream, it's no surprise that stylistic accoutrements and cash-ins followed. In 2017, you can buy T-shirts in H&M with “GRIME” emblazoned on them, catch Ghetts popping up on your Instagram feed in
"20.04.2017 16:29:41" theguardian.com Stevie Parker: 'Everyone is ultimately scared of oblivion' The 'Kristen Stewart of music' explores depression and heartbreak in her debut record. She talks about her 'X Factor backstory' and explains how pop music changed her life What better way to start an interview with an up-and-coming pop star than to sit for two hours in complete darkness, thinking about the end of the world?
"20.04.2017 15:39:35" theguardian.com Moor Mother: 'We have yet to truly understand what enslavement means' Hip-hop powerhouse Moor Mother fought her way out of the projects – and is now using poetry, music and 'DIY time travel' to build a better future for black America Hip-hop powerhouse Moor Mother on using poetry, music and 'DIY time travel' to build a better future for black America
"19.04.2017 13:21:28" theguardian.com The passion and soul of Laura Nyro Twenty years after her death, the rhythmic and shifting life of a songwriter who composed for the stars – but sidestepped celebrity herself – is still tangible in the melodic convolutions of her songs More than anything, Nyro's lyrics always felt lived. “Everything seemed exotic and heightened in her songs,” Bette Midler said in the speech she made to posthumously induct Nyro into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. “She could make a trip to the
"18.04.2017 14:45:03" theguardian.com Mika Vainio's quiet influence on electronic music was deafening Vainio, who has died aged 53, made his mark in the 1990s as one half of Pan Sonic, and went on to collaborate with everyone from Björk to Suicide's Alan Vega. A tribute to a soft-spoken artist whose music spoke volumes "Music producers are described as writing beats, but Vainio's beats weren't beats at all, they were the sound and feeling of a black hole opening up in the centre of your chest."
"18.04.2017 09:58:20" theguardian.com Mod, soul and rock'n'roll: New Street Adventure are a band out of time Their music couldn't be more out of step with trends, but Nick Corbin's songs pull off the Dexys trick of squeezing classic soul into the guitar-group format You can see why New Street Adventure have called their second album Stubborn Sons. In a musical world made up of woozy hip-hop, postmodern pop and lonely laptop boffins, they're an indie rock group obsessed with the soul music of the late 1960s and early
"18.04.2017 07:20:23" theguardian.com The extraordinary life of Ethiopia's 93-year-old singing nun She sang for Haile Selassie and then retreated from the world, living barefoot in a hilltop monastery and perfecting her bluesy, freewheeling piano. Our writer describes how she came to make The Honky Tonk Nun, a documentary about Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam With Emahoy, nothing is regular. No fixed metre, no pulse that can be set in notation, no strict adherence to any one scale system. Her melodies flit between traditions; they float on their own axis.
"17.04.2017 16:16:35" theguardian.com Best of Coachella 2017: Lorde returns and Lady Gaga gets in formation – in pictures California's annual desert party in pictures.
"17.04.2017 09:56:39" theguardian.com Kendrick Lamar Coachella 2017 review – hip-hop opera of the highest order Brilliant, confounding and challenging, Lamar's closing set at the festival's first weekend pushed at the limits of what a headlining act can look like Kendrick Lamar closes Coachella 2017. Here's our verdict.
"15.04.2017 20:00:00" theguardian.com Radiohead's opening night headline gig at Coachella 2017 – review Technical problems made for a stop-start affair, but even then everything was almost in its right place for the band "Five minutes later Radiohead were, launching into The National Anthem. Fittingly, that was followed by Let Down"
"15.04.2017 16:27:30" theguardian.com Coachella 2017: Friday acts The xx, Father John Misty and more reviewed California's annual music and arts festival kicked off its first weekend — and our writers found the sets that sweltered and soared in the desert heat Father John Misty "was given the coveted sunset slot and proceeded to make it his own with a full orchestra and a theatrical performance that saw him transform into a manic street preacher, albeit one dressed in a tailored suit, wayfarer sunglasses and
"13.04.2017 16:42:57" theguardian.com Actress: AZD review – a brilliantly twisted, introverted take on dance music | Alexis Petridis' album of the week The fifth album from one of electronic music's most admired producers comes with a lot of high-concept baggage, but the music speaks for itself Darren J Cunningham cuts an intriguing figure in dance music. He's not the only former professional footballer to try his hand as a DJ, but the West Brom striker is presumably the first one to subsequently establish himself in the world of cerebral
"13.04.2017 13:43:38" theguardian.com Thundercat on breakout album Drunk, laughing at racism – and his 'sexy cat', Tron The bass maestro and jazz extraordinaire has collaborated with everyone from Kendrick Lamar to Pharrell Williams. But his greatest inspiration may be his cat, Turbo Tron Over 9000 Baby Jesus Sally “Everyone tells me: 'Stop calling your cat sexy.' But I'm like: 'Why would I stop calling Tron sexy? She's a sexy cat!'”
"13.04.2017 12:04:49" theguardian.com Grimes against nu-metal – can Stormzy make Linkin Park cool? The veteran band's brand of rap-rock may be dated, but they're attempting a refresh with the help of the British star. Shut up! The question on everyone's lips.
"12.04.2017 10:47:14" theguardian.com Miles Davis – 10 of the best The trumpeter started recording more than 70 years ago and altered the course of jazz many times. Here are 10 key tracks from his extraordinary career 10 key tracks from the man who altered the course of jazz.
"11.04.2017 10:38:09" theguardian.com Brian Matthew: the real voice of the 60s Matthew, who has died aged 88, entertained generations: he was a tangible connection with the 1960s, a charismatic storyteller – and generous company When Brian Matthew got his first broadcasting job for forces radio in Hamburg in the late 1940s, the chief announcer there – future Tomorrow's World presenter Raymond Baxter – gave him two pieces of advice: don't go on air drunk, and don't swear. “Of
"10.04.2017 13:17:51" theguardian.com Korn recruit Metallica bassist's 12-year-old son Metal band Korn have drafted in Tye Trujillo to fill in for regular bassist Reginald 'Fieldy' Arvizu for a series of South American dates What were you doing when you were 12? You weren't going on tour through South America with a Grammy award-winning, platinum-selling metal band, were you?
"08.04.2017 11:00:00" theguardian.com From Charlotte Church to David Byrne: the musicians making covers bands cool The Welsh singer's Late Night Pop Dungeon favours joy over authenticity – but she's not the only one paying tribute to her heroes For the past 60-odd years we've assumed that most of the people who wrote and performed our favourite songs were still out there playing them. The deaths of Bowie, Prince and Chuck Berry remind us of the great inevitable. One day, not long from now,
"08.04.2017 08:00:00" theguardian.com French pop star Jain: an electropop journey from Congo to Colbert The UK and US are catching on to the synth-playing singer, whose explosive sound blends global influences in a multicultural rebuke to the likes of Le Pen “I've never been inspired by a politician in France, and I think a lot of my own generation think that way. We never trusted anybody, actually.”
"07.04.2017 11:00:00" theguardian.com Harry Styles debuts Sign of the Times. Is he really the new Bowie? The ex-One Direction star's solo turn has drawn frenzied whispers of Freddie Mercury and Ziggy Stardust. This crashing ballad swaps boyband for bombast Styles has revealed his first solo single to be a bombastic slice of bombastic piano pop that builds bombastically to a bombastic ending.
"07.04.2017 10:00:00" theguardian.com Father John Misty: Pure Comedy review – wonderfully uneasy listening Josh Tillman's dark pronouncements, set to luscious, 70s-style orchestration, update the idea of the confessional singer-songwriter for the post-truth era The lyrics teem with flashes of black humour (in the post-apocalyptic world conjured in Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution, where humans are hunted down as they scavenge for food, “we're all still pretty good at eating on the
"07.04.2017 08:30:01" theguardian.com Depeche Mode's Martin Gore: 'The alt-right liking us is baffling' The band are battling back against an endorsement from right-wing extremist Richard Spencer, says their songwriter Q: Have you ever burst into a room and shouted “GORE BLIMEY!”
A: Have I what? Er… No. I don't think I have.
"06.04.2017 16:55:51" theguardian.com Post-Brexit punk and austerity anthems - 2017's political rock resurgence Angry about the new US president, transgender rights, Europhobia, the NHS? Musicians are once again finding the voice to protest and inspire the next generation of activists "When Britain's youth faced an uncertain post-Brexit future thanks to the votes of their gullible Middle England grandparents and when America voted in WWIII in a bad wig, the frog suddenly woke up to the fact that the water was beginning to boil."
"06.04.2017 13:44:30" theguardian.com How cruising, graveyards and swan songs inspired Arca's new album Alejandro Ghersi – AKA Arca – gained fame as a child star in his native Venezuela, and later as a collaborator with Kanye West, Björk and FKA Twigs. Now the ambitious producer says he's ready to get personal “Most of the men that cruise at Abney Park are older, from a different generation, before you could hook up with apps. It's just so beautiful, looking someone in the eye. I have such beautiful interactions with all kinds of men that I would never meet
"05.04.2017 13:11:07" theguardian.com Girls Aloud – 10 of the best No one expected a manufactured band from a TV reality show to amount to much, but Girls Aloud rewrote the UK pop rules, with 21 hits over 11 years 10 of the best from the manufactured girl group who went on to make hits with kinetic energy and a gonzo spirit sorely lacking in pop's current climate.
"04.04.2017 11:22:15" theguardian.com Has the holiday-camp indie festival had its day? Safe as Milk, which was set for Prestatyn Pontins, was cancelled last week. In the wake of All Tomorrow's Parties's demise, what is the outlook for such leftfield events? Safe as Milk, which was set for Prestatyn Pontins, was cancelled last week. In the wake of All Tomorrow's Parties's demise, what is the outlook for such leftfield events?
"04.04.2017 07:10:33" theguardian.com How we made Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy 'Every label turned us down. Our booking agent sacked us when he heard it' "In America, “I'm too sexy for school” became the most commonly used excuse for truancy. A politician in the House of Representatives actually said, “I can't comment on this, I'm too sexy.” In Texas, there was a fight in a bar because some girls played
"03.04.2017 12:00:00" theguardian.com Why the sound of Ed Sheeran helps sell fries Swedish researchers have found that specially selected songs played in a fast-food chain increased takings The science of sound and selling.
"03.04.2017 11:00:00" theguardian.com Stefflon Don: 'I'm not going to compromise, or not say what I want' East London meets Jamaica via Rotterdam in charismatic rapper Stefflon Don. And now she's working with Drake… “I used to love Ladies Night by Lil' Kim so much that I performed it in school, without really knowing what it was about. I just knew that she was getting at a guy and winning.”
"03.04.2017 08:49:52" theguardian.com Portraits of a young Bob Dylan – in pictures Photographs of Dylan on the cusp of international fame.
"31.03.2017 12:37:51" theguardian.com Kidz Bop: 'It's not for everybody' It's a pre-teen phenomenon in the US and now it's is coming to sanitise the UK charts Since 2000, the US phenomenon has shifted 17m units across 34 largely unlistenable albums, in which children recreate pop hits (plus strange choices such as Modest Mouse's Float On and a hilariously bleak take on Kanye's Heartless). The results are, let's
"30.03.2017 15:28:37" theguardian.com Goldfrapp: Silver Eye review – a decent but unsurprising return to synthpop | Alexis Petridis's album of the week Their first few years saw a series of radical transformations, but as the duo return to synthpop, another big shift – and adventure – is overdue Goldfrapp's seventh album seems fascinated by the subject of transformation. A song inspired by a documentary about transgender children – “become the one you know you are,” urges its chorus – rubs shoulders with a song in which a man turns into a tiger.
"30.03.2017 15:27:52" theguardian.com Father John Misty: 'I get sick pleasure out of reading about how much people hate me' Josh Tillman says he has given himself permission to self-destruct again. He talks about turning his latest album, Pure Comedy, into an 'insane' musical – and why Trump's victory was like the Gen-X humour he was weaned on 'having a cruel orgasm' in his “I'm not bamboozled by the fact that people are disgusted by me,” he says. “I'm not my biggest fan either. The criticisms that people have of me now are the same criticisms that my teachers, parents and pastors had of me as a child: that I talk too much,
"29.03.2017 09:01:31" theguardian.com Pet Shop Boys – 10 of the best Beneath the bright pop surface, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe's long career of anthemic dance music fizzes with personal reflections, political ideas and cultural references Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe get the 10 of the best treatment.
"28.03.2017 13:32:44" theguardian.com DJ Octo Octa on coming out as transgender: 'Everyone was confused, then it was OK' Maya Bouldry-Morrison's first album since publicly transitioning presents her confident self to the world – and the new tracks mirror her progression from past anxiety to upbeat present “For a long time I never took pictures of myself because I didn't like my body,” she says. “It's only been a couple of years now, especially since publicly transitioning, that I've finally felt OK with how I look.”
"28.03.2017 07:36:35" theguardian.com 'I crawled on my knees to Kylie' – the inside story of Stock, Aitken and Waterman To mark the publication of a pictorial history of the songwriters Mike Stock talks about the 'Hit Factory' years We didn't just write the songs – Matt Aitken and I were the band. We played drums, guitars, pianos, did string arrangements, everything. A lot of people don't realise that we were actually the band, and therefore the most successful band there's ever
"24.03.2017 08:29:24" theguardian.com Macca's banjo, Mellotron and a Monkee: the story of George Harrison's Wonderwall Music Almost 50 years ago, the Beatle stepped aside from the planet's biggest band to create the soundtrack to Joe Massot's movie Wonderwall. With the help of India's finest musicians, he invented the idea of the world music crossover "Let's call it the Riddle of the Dark Horse: what do you get if you cross a Monkee, two Beatles, the man they called God, Paul McCartney's banjo, India's musical elite and a film about a mad professor spying on a Biba girl called Penny Lane?"
"24.03.2017 07:48:33" theguardian.com Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night review | Alexis Petridis' album of the week This 1987 classic is a blend of solid-gold pop and super-slick production, interwoven with the sound of a band sliding into chaos Tango in the Night seems even more deserving of the “flawed masterpiece” tag than Tusk. The gloss can't hide the turmoil, no matter how thickly it's applied. As with Roxy Music's Avalon, you're struck by the sense of an album with something far darker and
"24.03.2017 07:47:28" theguardian.com The Jesus and Mary Chain: 'Pop is dreadful. Switch on a radio, I guarantee it'll be garbage' Jim and William Reid have been back in the studio for the first time in two decades – and just about survived each other to make new album Damage and Joy. They talk about being trapped in the desert, playing the Haçienda and the horrors of Heart FM “Was I ever happy, full stop?” frowns Jim Reid. “In the Mary Chain, I guess, as in life, happiness is just fleeting.”
His brother goes further: “Is anybody ever really happy? I mean, isn't the whole world just stressed out? We're all going to die and
"23.03.2017 11:59:27" theguardian.com There's a great singles chart out there – it's just not the one we use as the Top 40 The Official Charts Company's physical singles chart, based on CD and vinyl sales, paints a very different picture to the 'real' Top 40 – and a much more attractive one What a great top 10 singles from the Official Charts Company. A leading solo artist at No 1, a great British group at No 2, Radio 2 favourites at three, three hot young acts, one veteran band propelled there by fanbase sales, one beloved pop institution,
"22.03.2017 09:52:26" theguardian.com 'People will hate us': why the Rhythm Method are braced for derision They sing wonkily infectious songs about pubs, gentrification, Cherie Blair and George Best – and they want to be the biggest band of their generation “These days it's so polarised. You have 6 Music which is so serious, and then you have Radio 1, which just sounds like a bunch of people having the time of their lives in Ibiza. We want to have songs that a massive amount of people are singing along to,
"19.03.2017 14:31:26" theguardian.com Chuck Berry: the rock'n'roller who wrote the soundtrack for teen rebellion Berry's style permeated rock music so completely that you could hear his influence in everyone who picked up a guitar for decades afterwards It was Berry who presented kids still going to school on a bike or in a trolleybus with the exhilarating details of a battle on the open highway between a Cadillac Coupe de Ville and a V8 Ford, and with lascivious descriptions of girls like the immortal
"16.03.2017 16:06:01" “I was talking to [Mumford & Sons'] Ben Lovett last night,” she explains, “and I told him I don't have any memory of this event, and he was like: 'So you're telling journalists what you think you were supposed to feel, right?' And I was like: 'Yeah!' I
"15.03.2017 11:49:13" theguardian.com Mick Fleetwood: 'I'm 70 years old and I play harder now than I used to' The co-founder of Fleetwood Mac talks the glory days of the band, touring as a septuagenarian and what the swinging 60s were really like I still don't really know what I'm doing. If someone says do that second chorus, I'll go: “Nooo, I don't know what that second chorus is.” I call it “going to the blackboard”. If you leave me alone, I'll do my best. But if you start saying read this, my
"15.03.2017 10:58:02" theguardian.com Jimi Hendrix – 10 of the best It may be almost 50 years since his death, but watching Hendrix playing, even on film, is still electrifying. Here are 10 key songs by a musician never equalled 10 of the best time for Hendrix.
"15.03.2017 10:57:34" theguardian.com Cosey Fanni Tutti: 'I don't like acceptance. It makes me think I've done something wrong' As a member of COUM and Throbbing Gristle, Cosey Fanni Tutti made art that was so shocking, the police ran them out of Hull. But now they're being invited back – and celebrated in galleries. Here she talks about how they survived “COUM were never confrontational,” she shrugs. “People might think we were, but we weren't, we were just … sharing something, if you like.”
Oh, come off it. It was an exhibition full of used tampons and photos from porn mags. You must have realised it
"10.03.2017 14:03:10" theguardian.com Lita Ford: 'I chose to be sexy – and sex sells' The metal star and former Runaway on why she's not a feminist, her feelings about former manager Kim Fowley and banned album covers I am totally not a feminist. I don't know why they call me that. I guess because I broke the mould and kicked down the door for women to play rock'n'roll – but that doesn't make me a feminist. It's just not who I am, I'm just a musician. I wanted it to be
"10.03.2017 10:14:11" theguardian.com Spaceships, vegan food and branches of marijuana – in Jamaica with reggae's legends Greats including Cedric Myton and Ken Boothe teamed up with a new generation of musicians to record the Soul of Jamaica album the old way – unplugged and outdoors Over the course of an hour, he tells me about the time an acid trip gave him x-ray vision (“I could look through me to my bone, everything in life living inside of me”), recalls the time he saw a spaceship in the Cherry Gardens area of Kingston (“It was
"10.03.2017 09:02:29" theguardian.com Why doesn't everyone rap in scouse? How British hip-hop broke free of London Aystar, Bugzy Malone and Levelz are some of the names that have helped the UK scene flourish. The biggest regional talents explain why each city has its own voice One of the interesting things about the visible new diversity in UK rap music is that a lot of the time there's a sense that the artists aren't necessarily looking for acceptance. Yes, there are artists such as Malone or Aystar who look set for recording
"10.03.2017 07:46:39" theguardian.com 'From the inside, it sure felt like a cult' – Stephin Merritt's life in songs On the band's new album, 50 Song Memoir, Merritt dedicates one song to each of his years on the planet so far. Here are some of the pivotal years – and the stories behind the songs These four characters – one was my boyfriend, one was his boyfriend and the other was the boyfriend's boyfriend. We were a love rhomboid. It was all very dramatic. One of them had got out of jail – I don't want to be specific because I don't want any
"08.03.2017 13:31:38" theguardian.com When did you last hear live music? Stand up and be counted The first ever UK Live Music Census is surveying a day's worth of live music across the country. In a digital world with ever more ways to listen, is being there still the biggest thrill? Does live music still matter? Have your say.
"08.03.2017 09:32:27" theguardian.com Bed bugs, Brexit and goodbyes: 20 years of indie, as told by Fortuna Pop! The legendary indie label, which gave the world Allo Darlin', The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Joanna Gruesome and Let's Wrestle, closes its doors this month. Here its founder, Sean Price, takes us through the lessons he's learned "The relationship you have with a band runs deeper than just the business. I had to take Kip from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart to the doctors because he had a severe case of bed bugs from being on tour. We had to burn all of his clothes and buy him
"07.03.2017 14:49:50" theguardian.com Steps back in time: why the pop group's return is cause for celebration Music snobs be damned – there's an uncomplicated reason why Steps had so many hits. It's that people like really good tunes, and they had them There's something to be said for pop music – a product historically dictated by rules, plans, forecasts and second-guessing – that makes things up as it goes along. Steps' debut single was the questionable novelty line-dance effort 5, 6, 7, 8, but it was
"07.03.2017 09:20:41" theguardian.com Chance the Rapper praised by Michelle Obama after announcing $1m gift to Chicago schools The rapper has decided to help fund the city's school system himself, after criticising the Republican governor of Illinois for blocking a $215m payment to Chicago's education system Fair play to Chance the Rapper.
"07.03.2017 07:25:42" theguardian.com Laura Marling: 'I had no identity. I was socially bankrupt' At the height of her success, Laura Marling quit music and became a yoga instructor. But now she's back. She talks about falling in love with friends – and why everything's about sex “Everything's about sex, I believe,” says Marling, sitting on a sofa in a homely Hackney recording studio and explaining why she decided to write about her friend's vulva.
"03.03.2017 11:32:39" theguardian.com Ed Sheeran: ÷ review – everybloke charm fails to mask Divide's calculating soul Hopping from pant-flinging ballad to Gaelic rap, the former sofa surfer has created a suspiciously slick album that aspires to appeal across the board That Sheeran is a star who considers the best way to make a commercial impact with his music is hardly the revelation of the century (and merely marks him as no more and no less calculating than his peers at the very top level of pop stardom). He is,
"03.03.2017 11:30:22" theguardian.com Sleaford Mods: English Tapas review – a bruising, brilliant post-Brexit tirade | Alexis Petridis' album of the week The speed at which they work makes Sleaford Mods' albums feel more topical than almost any other band's – and their first post-referendum album finds them on typically furious, funny form You can see why people thought Sleaford Mods' moment might be fleeting: a flash of scourging, cathartic anger destined to burn itself out quickly. On the evidence of English Tapas, that's not what's happened at all. There's an argument that circumstances
"03.03.2017 11:11:22" theguardian.com Ed Sheeran: ÷ review – everybloke charm fails to mask Divide's calculating soul Hopping from pant-flinging ballad to Gaelic rap, the former sofa surfer has created a suspiciously slick album that aspires to appeal across the board This is a slick, potent album – one that reeks of nostalgia and comfort, campfires, scented candles, spilt pints of Guinness and, for those not enthralled by his algorithmic songcraft, the sharp stench a salesman's cheap cologne.
"03.03.2017 08:38:53" theguardian.com Hurray for the Riff Raff: 'Trump is trying to convince us we have no rights' The band's leader, Alynda Lee Segarra, is defiantly Puerto Rican, but she wants to stand up for all America's marginalised voices. Now, with a new concept album, she is doing just that Hurray for the Riff Raff's new album is terrific. This is why she made it.
"02.03.2017 14:42:46" The Guardian Legendary soundclash DJ and reggae aficionado David 'Ram Jam' Rodigan talks to Kate Hutchinson about his five favourite records.
Leave your own questions for David in the comments below Legendary soundclash DJ and reggae aficionado David 'Ram Jam' Rodigan talks to Kate Hutchinson about his five favourite records.
Leave your own questions for David in the comments below
"02.03.2017 13:36:20" theguardian.com Ed Sheeran: 'I got hammered and cracked Justin Bieber in the face with a golf club' As he releases his third album ÷, the biggest male pop star on the planet talks about his most surreal moments of fame, being mobbed on EasyJet and why he built a pub in his garden “I did what any bloke would do – sorted my family out, bought a sports car that I never drive because I look like a tit in it, bought a house and built a pub in my garden. I spoke to every dude I know and I was like, 'What would you do in the same
"01.03.2017 10:38:26" theguardian.com Depeche Mode – 10 of the best Last week, they were forced to deny being the official band of the alt-right. In fact, from synthpop to sleaze rock, Depeche Mode are a vital band 10 of the best time comes to Depeche Mode.
"28.02.2017 13:59:21" theguardian.com 10 years of SBTV: the YouTube channel that undercut the music industry With a grainy recording of a college rap battle, Jamal Edwards started an £8m empire that released the talent of British estates and emboldened a generation of black British artists Before Zoella had sold her first product or PewDiePie had narrated his first Call of Duty, Jamal Edwards was at the frontline, unboxing talent on his estate for SBTV.
"27.02.2017 11:36:32" theguardian.com Angst, anthems and teen heartbreak: a super-producer on how to write a pop-punk hit Green Day and Blink-182 producer and Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann's pointers for penning a moshpit classic "I can't think of a harder time in life than between the ages of 12 and 16. There's something about the hormones and growing up in that part of life that is so difficult. And a lot of times these pop-punk songs say: “This isn't so bad.” Pop-punk spreads a
"24.02.2017 13:17:50" theguardian.com Blur, Radiohead, Missy Elliot and more: readers share their favourite albums turning 20 To mark the 20th anniversary of some key releases from 1997, here are 20 albums, from Sleater-Kinney to Super Furry Animals, that made a lasting impression on you "My brother gave me a tape to listen to while doing my paper round, and it had the Bends on one side and OK Computer on the other. My world turned upside down. I consistently go back to OK Computer and, even after listening to it for all these years, I'm
"24.02.2017 08:38:03" theguardian.com Spoon frontman Britt Daniel: 'I wanted to be a musician, not a rockstar' The Austin act may not be famed for their wild exploits – but they're one of the finest bands of their generation. They explain how a love of new wave and the Young Ones gave them a pop-culture education “I didn't get it that Rick in The Young Ones was not cool. I knew he was the obnoxious one, but I would imitate him, because I thought he was so funny and just right, you know?”
"23.02.2017 14:36:24" theguardian.com Reggae DJ David Rodigan: 'My name was adopted by a Kingston gangster. He's dead now' He may look like 'a bank manager', but after 40 years immersed in the genre, the DJ is respected from Jamaican dance halls to London superclubs. As he releases his memoirs, he recalls his criminal namesake and reggae's rebel roots "There's something about meeting Rodigan in person that brings home rather forcefully what a deeply improbable state of affairs this all is. He looks, as he cheerfully admits, “like a bank manager”. He also speaks in the perfectly modulated RP tones of a
"22.02.2017 22:59:02" theguardian.com Robbie Williams, Skepta, the 1975 and more – every Brits 2017 performance reviewed Who rocked the house, and who made a mess of the carpet? Here's the verdict on every Brits performance All 10 of the Brits performances reviewed …
"22.02.2017 19:07:53" theguardian.com Brit awards 2017 with Katy Perry, Skepta, Little Mix, Ed Sheeran and more – live! As the music industry congregates at the O2 Arena in London, we'll be documenting the winners and losers of this year's curvy steel statuette It's music's "most exciting" night of the year. Yes, the Brits. And we're going to be liveblogging ourselves to tears to bring EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of PULSATING EXCITEMENT to you. Because the one thing we love more than life itself is waiting to see if
"20.02.2017 08:12:52" theguardian.com Stormzy: 'Respect me like you would Frank Ocean or Adele' With debut album Gang Signs & Prayer on target for No 1, the south London rapper talks of his turbulent youth and standing up for young black British men "The main thing with me is my young black kings. And this ain't to ostracise young black women or old white men, or Asians, it's not to ostracise anyone, it's just to say, 'OK, young black men in my country, when it comes to who is going to achieve, you
"17.02.2017 08:49:55" theguardian.com Basil Kirchin: the first painter of music Long before Brian Eno and others realised it was possible, Basil Kirchin was manipulating sounds to create a new and pioneering form of music “Basil realised long before the rest of us did that sound could become a malleable material,” says Brian Eno. “He was like a painter. That idea of music as painting was something that became very important to me."
"17.02.2017 08:49:03" theguardian.com From Aretha to Beyoncé: the black artists snubbed by the Grammys Adele apologised when she beat Lemonade but, for over 40 years, while the likes of Christopher Cross were winning, the Temptations, Chic and just about all rap acts have been overlooked One year, one overlooked album – that might not be a problem. The issue for the Grammys is that in an era when R&B and hip-hop have been going through a period of massive creativity – matched by huge commercial success – the album of the year prize at the
"16.02.2017 15:31:20" theguardian.com Syd: Fin review – subtly tearing up the R&B playbook With spellbinding complexity, the former Odd Future star inverts the genre's norms in a debut that is sensual, soulful and astonishingly accomplished Like her Odd Future compatriot Frank Ocean, Bennett's queerness – something hinted at by her shaven-headed, skatewear-clothed appearance and confirmed in lyrics, videos and interviews – is relevant in the context of R&B, the genre in which she and Ocean
"16.02.2017 12:11:08" theguardian.com Fleetwood Mac – hear an unreleased version of Seven Wonders We've got an early version of one of the standouts from Tango in the Night for you. Have a listen and let us know what you think Hear an unreleased version of Seven Wonders, pop fans.
"16.02.2017 12:10:23" theguardian.com Michigan Republicans consider Kid Rock as candidate for US senate Songwriter's name came up during discussions at party convention, according to newspaper of Capitol Hill End times.
"16.02.2017 10:06:13" Timeline Photos Kate Hutchinson will be chatting to artist and musician Frank Carter about his work and inspirations on The Guardian Facebook page today at 2pm GMT
Toggle your 'Following' notifications at the top of our Facebook page to 'All On' to be notified when the
"16.02.2017 08:45:57" theguardian.com Master blaster: the woman making Björk, Aphex Twin and Eno sound so good How did sound mixer Mandy Parnell make it to the top in such a blokey industry? The former homeless runaway reveals all “You put lots of men in a studio and it's that 'Who's going to be top dog?' pack mentality. You've got to be able to deal with that,” she says. “I've found that I needed to understand technology a lot more than some of my peers. I'd get a producer really
"14.02.2017 07:05:42" theguardian.com My first love song: musicians remember the soundtracks to their teenage crushes A shaggy Texan, a firebreathing dancer, Liz Taylor … stars relive their first loves – and the tunes that bring them back "A year and a half ago I was on my laptop and this song came on. I had to run over to my laptop, close it and have a cold shower. In the corner crying, that kind of thing."
"13.02.2017 14:14:21" The Guardian Indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara are currently touring the UK. They join Kate Hutchinson for a live chat about their work and inspirations. And they want to hear from you, so leave your questions and comments below Indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara are currently touring the UK. They join Kate Hutchinson for a live chat about their work and inspirations. And they want to hear from you, so leave your questions and comments below
"13.02.2017 11:19:46" Timeline Photos Join Kate Hutchinson and indie pop duo Tegan and Sara, for a live stream on the Guardian's Facebook page today at 2pm GMT. They will take your questions, discuss the duo's LGBT+ influences, current tour and projects, and much more besides.
"13.02.2017 08:11:55" theguardian.com Grammys 2017: Adele reluctantly beats Beyoncé for top prizes as politics flares The British singer swept the top awards of the night after a performance mishap as A Tribute Called Quest and Busta Rhymes called out 'President Agent Orange' Everything you need to know about the award winners and political protests.
"10.02.2017 10:25:15" theguardian.com Dirty Projectors' Dave Longstreth: 'The new album says yes to love' The band's latest record is a journey through heartbreak, from anger and grief to despair and liberation. Is it about Longstreth's split with former bandmate Amber Coffman? It's a metaphor, he says “I was thinking about art and fame and truth and I wanted to set up an equation where those things were in conversation,” he says. “Stripping away my prejudiced indie rock values with respect to fame and material success – fame and art feel symbiotic to a
"10.02.2017 10:24:16" theguardian.com Jesca Hoop: Memories Are Now review – restlessly strange and full of ideas Tom Waits' former nanny is an exceptionally talented, compellingly unique singer-songwriter who should be more than just a cult concern Memories Are Now's strangeness and flux feel like authentic expressions of an individual talent. The distorted thud and swooping vocals of Cut Connection sit alongside The Lost Sky's beautiful but agitated acoustic backing and extended astronomy
"09.02.2017 16:54:47" theguardian.com The tiny town that builds show-stopping sets for Beyoncé, Kanye and Madonna Deep in Pennsylvania's Amish country lies Lititz, the unlikely centre of the stadium-tour business, where the props for the greatest shows on earth are designed and made Welcome to Lititz, a small town in Pennsylvania's Amish country, with a population of 9,400.
"06.02.2017 09:55:06" theguardian.com Sampha: 'I was like: “Mum! Drake wants my beat!” And she was like: “Who?”' He was tipped to be the next big thing – until family tragedy stalled his career. But Kanye West and Frank Ocean got him back on track Unlike most artists' rudimental first attempts at songwriting, even his earliest songs were loaded with melancholy messages. He recently found some childhood lyric sheets that surprised him. “I was going through stuff at home, and was like: 'What the
"03.02.2017 08:37:48" theguardian.com Michael Chapman: the man who connects Elton, Bowie, Nick Drake and Sonic Youth This cult guitar great's career stretches from smoking joints with Drake to inspiring Thurston Moore to form a band – plus at least one gig with a drunk bear “Elton wanted me to join his band, but never asked me directly,” says Chapman, still bemused today. “Instead, Gus said: 'Know any good young guitarists who play acoustic and electric?' I recommended Davey Johnstone. Years later, I realised they were
"03.02.2017 07:48:30" theguardian.com 'The music industry is brutal': Rag'n'Bone Man and RAY BLK on being 2017's most hotly tipped They're both facing the pressure of massive expectation – so what can the winner of the BBC Sound of … and the Brits Critics' Choice learn from each other I remember going and getting my hair cut in Brighton and he was like, “No no no, Rags, you don't pay in here, it's fine, I'll cut your hair for free.” I mean it was a whack haircut, he made me look stupid, but I got it for free and that was pretty cool.
"02.02.2017 09:24:44" theguardian.com Decoding Beyoncé's pregnancy pic: a remix of rococo and Flemish influences It references European decadence, religious iconography and Latin American funeral traditions, painting her as a modern symbol of virtue and authority The photo is forward-thinking but with traces of historical art traditions from the past – conjuring an appealing remix of rococo excesses, Flemish portraiture and Latin American funerary symbols.
"01.02.2017 10:32:33" theguardian.com 'I sing for the love of music': reggae legends record outdoors in Kingston The Inna De Yard project invites legends of the Jamaican reggae scene, including Cedric Myton and Ken Boothe, to rework classic songs in the great outdoors Take a look at Kiddus I performing Jah Power, Jah Glory and explaining the roots of The Inna De Yard project.
"27.01.2017 09:06:49" theguardian.com Cate Le Bon: 'Guitars were inspired by female bodies. Why are they uncomfortable for women to play?' St Vincent got so sick of her instrument not suiting her, that she designed a new guitar with room for 'a breast or two'. Good for her, says Le Bon I wonder why it has it taken so long for the anatomy of a woman to be considered when designing a guitar? Maybe it is the fear that it would immediately adopt the stigma of an inferior instrument, while suggesting its player's gender is a handicap.
"27.01.2017 09:03:57" theguardian.com Rae Sremmurd on Black Beatles and why Up Like Trump made them 'prophets' The Mississippi brothers' hit became a global 'epidemic' when it became the soundtrack to the mannequin challenge. They explain how they kicked in the music industry's door “We dropped a lotta heat in a short period,” says Lee, who is half on his phone, half grinning into the distance and speaks hazily, in slogans. “It was an epidemic – like, the world started doing it and putting our song behind it.” His words weave around
"25.01.2017 09:42:38" theguardian.com McCartney, techno and the Spanish civil war – what keeps UK music venues alive? All this week, clubs and stages are hosting special gigs for Independent venue week. Here, the people who run some of the best small venues in Britain describe what keeps them special All this week, clubs and stages are hosting special gigs for Independent venue week. Here, the people who run some of the best small venues in Britain describe what keeps them special
"24.01.2017 18:00:00" Preview: Jose Gonzales live from the Royal Festival Hall Tonight we bring you Jose Gonzales live from the Royal Festival Hall. Watch this exclusive stream from 7:30pm over on the Guardian's main Facebook page: fb.com/theguardian
Jose will be playing with The String Theory, as part of the Southbank Centre's
"24.01.2017 10:36:54" theguardian.com Wiley: the enigmatic Godfather of Grime The Long Read: After more than a decade of being fetishised and then written off, grime now dominates British pop culture. To understand why, you need to understand the man who created it The whole east London scene lived in that studio during the summer, 40-odd MCs and producers hanging out from 9am each morning, eating, drinking, smoking weed, and using the on-site games room. Making Roll Deep's debut album, In At the Deep End, was a
"24.01.2017 10:07:53" theguardian.com Pills, thrill and maracas … Bez and the great dancing mascots of pop explain their craft When Bez started bouncing around with Happy Mondays, no one could believe their eyes. But is there more to it than popping pills and shaking a tambourine? Three legendary dancers reveal all “We're middlemen between the band and the audience,” says Joel Gion, who's played tambourine and maracas for Brian Jonestown Massacre since being invited on stage when the San Francisco psychedelic rockers played a party in his apartment building in 1994.
"23.01.2017 10:40:55" theguardian.com Philip Glass: 'My problem is people don't believe I write symphonies' About to turn 80, the composer talks about his slow, taxi-driving road to success, and why he is anything but a minimalist… The problem is no one is doing minimalism now. It's music we wrote in the 1970s. It's over 30 years out of date. It's a crazy idea to use a description made up by journalists and editors to cover all kinds of music. It's more confusing than descriptive.
"23.01.2017 10:17:52" theguardian.com Brian Eno: 'We've been in decline for 40 years – Trump is a chance to rethink' The revered producer has been at the centre of pop since the days of Roxy Music. But don't ask him about the past – he's more interested in how to reorder society I don't understand, I say – I don't even know what is so “fucking boring” that you are refusing to talk about.
“I just don't want to talk about history. All that shit! You can find all this in other interviews I've done. I've been 40 years talking about
"20.01.2017 17:57:19" theguardian.com Michael and Emily Eavis: 'The Variety Bazaar won't be like Glastonbury – it'll be unique' The Glastonbury organisers give details of their new 'sister festival', and discuss urban myths, ticket costs and confirming Kris Kristofferson for 2017 "There was a shop in our local town, Shepton Mallet, years and years ago, run by three sisters, which sold all sorts of stuff – everything from knitting to books to cream cakes. And the name of the shop was the Variety Bazaar. I mentioned it to Emily and
"20.01.2017 12:44:35" theguardian.com Loyle Carner: Yesterday's Gone review – melancholy vignettes for rainy afternoons Carner's domestic-flavoured rap works because of its modest scale, non-accusatory vulnerability and its perfect matching of music to lyrics It's meant as no reflection on his abilities to say that, a decade ago, the absolute best Loyle Carner could have hoped for was critical acclaim and a degree of cult success: a deal with an indie label, gigs at the Jazz Café in London. But in the current
"20.01.2017 11:23:01" theguardian.com Post your Glastonbury questions for Michael and Emily Eavis The Glasto head honchos have agreed to answer your queries about what's happening with the festival – post away! We want your Eavis questions! Post beneath the article, not here!
"20.01.2017 09:27:32" theguardian.com 'It feels like it's about to implode': Japandroids on their favourite garage punk records The Vancouver duo are one of the most exciting guitar bands on the planet. They explain how Iggy Pop, the Who and a 70s Zambian psych band inspired their sound Japandroids pick the best garage punk albums ever …
"20.01.2017 09:12:14" theguardian.com How Jack Your Body began house music's squelching electronic revolution Steve 'Silk' Hurley only made his 1986 track to amuse his friends – then it burst out of Chicago's clubs and became a No 1 hit Jack Your Body's story begins in Chicago in 1983, where an 21-year-old DJ from a middle-class family is moving away from home because his father won't let him play clubs. “I'd spent my teens making pause-button tape edits of songs in my bedroom, working
"20.01.2017 09:10:52" theguardian.com Ty Segall on Black Flag, T Rex and why the Kinks made so much sense in 90s California He may be the reigning king of slacker rock – but Ty Seagall is as prolific as they come. He explains why the Kinks made so much sense to a kid in 90s California “Look at the Stones or the Beatles back in the day – they put out two albums a year,” he says. “Neil Young has, like, 35 studio LPs or something. I just don't feel like making 10 songs a year is that crazy or fast, you know what I mean? I'm not making
"17.01.2017 15:26:14" theguardian.com Remembering Trash: the London club night that defined the rock'n'rave era Erol Alkan, LCD Soundsystem, 2ManyDJs and Bloc Party were all regulars at the feted Monday night party destination, which shut its doors 10 years ago this month. They recall an eclectic, eccentric event that reshaped UK nightlife It's hard to imagine that a club night like Trash would be able to exist in 2017. That's not to say that young people aren't still looking for a place to share the same music and subvert culture. But what with club closures and the sharp rise in living
"16.01.2017 16:20:05" theguardian.com Wiley – five landmarks in the godfather of grime's career From MCing over drum'n'bass DJ sets in the 1990s, to his dramatic return last year, here are the crucial tracks by the hardest working man in grime Between the legions of scoop-necked DJ bores and the sub-Sheeran mopers it's easy to get disheartened about the lack of personality in modern British pop. But at least we have Wiley. Even within grime's playpen of extroverts, he is a wildcard, a high
"13.01.2017 13:39:34" theguardian.com Flo Morrissey and Matthew E White: 'Grease is a lot more than kitsch disco' The duo's album of lushly soulful covers, Gentlewoman, Ruby Man, is full of surprises – including the Bee Gees' theme tune to the 1978 musical Flo Morrissey and Matthew E White are enough to make you sick. They radiate pleasure in each other's company and are both very much in the ascendant after recording an album of covers so good you don't want to go back to the originals. To make matters
"13.01.2017 13:31:23" theguardian.com Bruce Springsteen: 'This is the only thing I'm qualified to do. It matters how I do it' Ahead of his shows in Australia, the Boss explains the art of performance and never taking an audience for granted "You go out on stage each night as if, one, it's the most important thing in your life you can do, two, it's only rock'n'roll. You've got to be able to keep those conflicting points of view in your mind at the same time without letting either of them
"12.01.2017 15:38:58" theguardian.com The xx: I See You review – stepping out of their own shadow Their last album carried the sense of a band unsure where to go after the success of their debut, but now they seem to have cracked that problem You don't need to know that Brave for You addresses Madley-Croft's late parents to feel its emotional weight, nor do you need to be up to speed on Sim's issues with alcohol to empathise with A Violent Noise's weary, troubled attitude to hedonism.
"12.01.2017 13:19:18" theguardian.com How Buzzcocks invented indie (with help from the Sex Pistols, a Renault and the Quo) It's 40 years since the Manchester band's first release reshaped pop music. With no industry support, they pressed and sold the EP themselves, and kickstarted a revolution “It just shows what can happen if you're stupid enough to believe that you can do something,” Pete Shelley says. “History is made by those who turn up.”
"12.01.2017 09:34:45" theguardian.com Jack White – 10 of the best He gained fame with the blues and garage-rock group the White Stripes and has since worked with everyone from Loretta Lynn to Beyoncé. Here's a tour of White's eclectic catalogue 10 of the Best time for Jack White.
"12.01.2017 09:33:56" theguardian.com The Flaming Lips: Wayne Coyne talks Miley Cyrus, LSD and A$AP Rocky The eccentric psychedelic rockers have found a new but no less bizarre pop direction A$AP Rockay had "just got a new set of gold teeth, braces things, and he was talking about taking acid,” says Coyne. “In between, Miley was whispering: 'He's never really taken acid. He's just saying that because he wants to write music about taking
"10.01.2017 10:03:16" theguardian.com David Bowie remembered by two of his biggest fans – video Musician Gary Kemp, a lifelong fan, and Nicholas Pegg, author of The Complete David Bowie, reflect on life without the Starman as they take a tour of some of Bowie's London haunts One year ago David Bowie's death stunned the world. Musician and actor Gary Kemp, a lifelong fan, and Nicholas Pegg, author of Bowie bible The Complete David Bowie, reflect on life without the Starman as they take a tour of some of Bowie's London haunts.
"10.01.2017 07:46:51" theguardian.com Upper reaches of music industry 'a man's world', diversity study finds UK Music taskforce finds that women make up 59% of entry-level business roles, but only 30% of senior executives In the survey, conducted by a diversity taskforce, women made up 60% of interns, 59% of of entry-level business roles, but only 30% of senior executive positions.
"06.01.2017 17:31:27" theguardian.com Ray BLK's BBC Music Sound of 2017 win recognises diversity of British pop At last, one of the new artist awards goes to someone who isn't another safe, milquetoast offering She sings about chicken shops and “caffs not a cafe” on the streets of Lewisham, teenage pregnancies and benefits. Her rasping soul voice has been compared to that of Lauryn Hill – and she shares Hill's fondness for reminiscing about youthful golden days.
"05.01.2017 15:29:45" theguardian.com The KLF are back (sort of) – and it's exactly what 2017 needs The rumours that Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty are reforming after 25 years appear to be true. If we ever needed someone to shake up a staid music industry, it's now Bradley Walsh was the biggest-selling new British artist of last year and Rag'n'Bone Man is being touted as the saviour of this year. Yes, 2017 needs the KLF. And if not the KLF, at the very least *a* KLF.
"05.01.2017 15:28:37" theguardian.com Flo Morrissey and Matthew E White: Gentlewoman, Ruby Man review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week On a wildly eclectic set of cover versions – everything from the Velvets to the Bee Gees – the duo warp the originals into something new, strange and wonderful There's a sweet moment during Look at What the Light Did Now where, before Morrissey's vocal comes in, White – by some distance the better-known of the pair – introduces her by her first name, to an overdubbed round of applause. It's presumably intended
"04.01.2017 15:02:19" theguardian.com AC/DC – 10 of the best From the overlooked lyrical brilliance of Bon Scott, via riffs that defined rock, to the triumphany comeback with Brian Johnson, here are 10 AC/DC classics AC/DC get the 10 of the best treatment. Warning: No Highway to Hell.
"02.01.2017 14:15:21" theguardian.com Musical highlights of 2017: Peter Hook, Ellie Rowsell, Shirley Collins and more share their tips From next-generation morris dancers to a psyche-pop comeback and Toronto's rising urban music scene, artists share their top picks on the musical calendar From next-generation morris dancers to a psyche-pop comeback and Toronto's rising urban music scene, artists share their top picks on the musical calendar.
"29.12.2016 14:56:55" theguardian.com 'Life goes on – try dancing': our writers' favourite music moments of 2016 From the loss of friends and family to the celebration of marriage and parenthood, our writers recall the times when music hit home this year Here are the ways music affected us in 2016 …
"26.12.2016 16:08:28" theguardian.com In scandal, George Michael turned out to be completely, revealingly human Superstar assignations or heroin with an entourage were not George Michael's style – instead it was cruising Hampstead Heath, smoking weed, and a career that faced his personal life honestly Early in his career, he was much taken by a photo of David Cassidy in his pomp, in which the 70s star was standing on the roof of London Weekend Television, looking hundreds of feet down at knots of frantic fans. That was Michael's idea of perfect fame:
"26.12.2016 14:16:58" theguardian.com George Michael was so talented, the template to his success was unique Scores of artists have tried to follow the Wham! singer's route from teen idol to adult artist. Few have managed it the way he did Michael had clearly been laying the groundwork for a solo career that was very distinct from Wham! The transition from teen pop star to adult artist is one of the trickiest moves to pull off successfully. He made it look bizarrely painless: Michael seemed
"26.12.2016 12:28:54" theguardian.com Why Wham! were positively the most misunderstood group of the 1980s They wore their hearts on their sleeves and sand about being on the dole, so how did Wham! come to be regarded as the musical embodiment of Thatcherism? So when they wore their hearts so obviously on their sleeves, how were Wham! ever seen as Thatcherite? Their second album was called Make It Big, and the imperative title alone seemed to cement an “if you can't beat them, join them” embrace of excess and
"26.12.2016 12:04:24" Francis Rossi of Status Quo has just issued a statement about the death of his friend and bandmate Rick Parfitt.
"I was not ready for this. Rick Parfitt had been a part of my story for fifty years. Without doubt the longest relationship of my life: this
"26.12.2016 11:55:00" theguardian.com Why George Michael was the greatest pop star of the MTV era Jackson had the moves, Madonna had the moxie, Prince had the sex – but George Michael had the voice … and thrilling songs like spinning tops The bar down the block from me uses George Michael's Careless Whisper as a sign that it's time for everyone to start gathering up their things – its saxophone blast is a hell of a way to snap the variously inebriated to attention. It's also a very
"26.12.2016 02:41:39" theguardian.com Encounters with George Michael – 'His publicist thought I was tabloid scum' … but George himself was perfectly happy with Simon Hattenstone, who produced two memorable, soul-baring interviews with the star. He remembers a man who was generous, brilliant, honest – and who made you want to parent him Hi Simon,
I'm sure the right time for another interview will come. In hindsight you may consider me a little less paranoid than you thought I was the last time we met. I considered joining the Leveson inquiry fiasco but decided against it, partially
"26.12.2016 02:16:44" theguardian.com Five great George Michael performances, from Young Guns to Jesus to a Child George Michael started as half of a band whose purpose was to 'believe in joy', but as a solo artist he possessed a gift for expressing pain RIP George Michael.
"24.12.2016 16:26:35" theguardian.com Status Quo: Britain's most underrated rock band The power of the latest reunion from Quo's 'Frantic Four' line-up makes you wonder why so many people still think of them as laughable Status Quo's guitarist, Rick Parfitt, has died aged 68. Two years ago our Michael Hann described them as "Britain's most underrated rock band"
"23.12.2016 11:58:22" theguardian.com 'Don't eat the kebabs' – Tupac, Kurt, and the best musician-to-musician letters Laura Jane Grace's autobiography remembers a letter Bruce Springsteen wrote to her – another addition to the rich catalogue of revealing notes stars have penned each other The thrill we feel when we're able to eavesdrop on our favourite musicians is a special sort of vicariousness; it reminds us that stars are fans, too, just like the rest of us.
"22.12.2016 17:06:12" theguardian.com It's Christmas! The best festive songs, chosen by Slade, Neil Diamond, the Waitresses and more Slade, Loretta Lynn, Run-DMC and Mike Batt have given us some all-time Christmas classics. But what's the one Christmas song they couldn't get through the holidays without? They – and other festive hitmakers – give us their picks Slade, Loretta Lynn, Run-DMC and Mike Batt have given us some all-time Christmas classics. But what's the one Christmas song they couldn't get through the holidays without? They – and other festive hitmakers – give us their picks
"22.12.2016 15:54:05" theguardian.com Moonface and Siinai: My Best Human Face review – strangeness and charm Take one admired Canadian rock auteur, add a Finnish Krautrock band and the result is an inventive blend of supercharged songs Take one admired Canadian rock auteur, add a Finnish Krautrock band and the result is an inventive blend of supercharged songs - and one of the most overlooked albums of 2016
"21.12.2016 11:45:43" theguardian.com Mel B: 'You get to laugh your pants off at people who are delusional' The woman once and for always known as Scary Spice discusses the upcoming mini-reunion, having her car broken into and her ethics on nudity "There's no reunion set in stone. Until there is, there's not really much I can say about it."
"20.12.2016 15:57:53" theguardian.com Destruction, daydreams and dystopia: the music videos that summarised 2016 From Grimes' cyber-goth takeover to Radiohead's ominous animation, crying supermodels to dictator politicians, music videos this year have mirrored a disruptive world From Grimes' cyber-goth takeover to Radiohead's ominous animation, crying supermodels to dictator politicians, music videos this year have mirrored a disruptive world.
"20.12.2016 10:53:55" theguardian.com Chris Rea: how we made Driving Home for Christmas 'The first time we played it live, we hired 12 cannons and put three feet of snow in the stalls. The clean-up cost me £12,000' My wife got in our old Austin Mini, drove all the way down from Middlesbrough to Abbey Road studios to pick me up, and we set off back straight away. Then it started snowing. We had £220 and I was fiddling with it all the way home. We kept getting stuck
"20.12.2016 09:01:10" theguardian.com The best albums and tracks of 2016: how our writers voted You've seen our end of year list (and our track of the year) – now it's time to look behind the scenes and discover the favourite albums and tracks of the Guardian's music critics• More best culture of 2016 And here's how we all voted.
"19.12.2016 18:06:18" theguardian.com The 15 greatest mixtapes of 2016 From Chance the Rapper to Future to Noname it's been a vital year for hip-hop, and the lines between mixtape and album have blurred These are the best mixtapes of year.
"16.12.2016 12:57:42" theguardian.com Swedish psychedelic enigmas Goat: 'Our ancestors ate mostly heron. I mean herring' What is Goat? A centuries-old collective from a remote part of Sweden, thousands strong, whose existence would stop if ever their masks fell off Let us start with something easy. Can he tell me more about Goat's famous costumes?
“Well, you know, they're made of cotton. Most of them,” he says.
It's going to be a long 18 minutes.
"16.12.2016 09:54:49" theguardian.com R&B is in a golden age – and 2016 was its most potent year yet From Beyoncé and Frank Ocean to Dawn Richard and Laura Mvula, there was a sense that artists saw success as a means to an end, whether that was speaking out or pushing boundaries Ever since the term rhythm and blues was coined, 75 years ago, the genre has been way out ahead, with the rest of popular music operating under the sway of its innovations. Consider the impact of Arthur Crudup, Wynonie Harris et al on Elvis Presley; the
"16.12.2016 07:38:47" theguardian.com Best albums of 2016: No 1 Lemonade by Beyoncé Beyoncé's vivid discourse on infidelity and race – with equally brilliant film accompaniment – was lacerating, astute and emphatically disruptive, turning her from mere pop superstar into an avenging angel I was wrong. Ultimate Painting wasn't the No 1 album of the year.
"15.12.2016 15:08:46" theguardian.com Lou Reed: The RCA and Arista Albums box set review – a long and winding road This 17-CD set gathers together a hefty chunk of Reed's solo output, from 1972's Lou Reed to 1986's Mistrial. It tells quite a tale The guy tentatively reworking unreleased Velvet Underground tracks on 1972's Lou Reed sounds like a completely different person to the one who released Transformer six months later, perhaps because the guy on Lou Reed was the former frontman of a largely
"15.12.2016 08:31:19" theguardian.com Best albums of 2016: No 2 Blonde by Frank Ocean The R&B trailblazer's second record attempted nothing less than living up to the pan-racial, genre-straddling reality of 21st-century youth culture. No wonder we had to resize our imaginations to match If this is our No 2 album of the year, it can surely only mean Ultimate Painting is our No 1, right?
"14.12.2016 16:39:59" theguardian.com Mogwai – 10 of the best Glasgow's post-rock behemoths have been mesmerising listeners for 20 diverse and prolific years. Here's our pick of their tracks Mogwai get the 10 of the best treatment …
"14.12.2016 12:04:51" theguardian.com Best albums of 2016: No 3 Blackstar by David Bowie Whether or not David Bowie was reading his own runes, his final album was an incandescent flare of creativity that stands with his very best Yes, it's the third best album of the year …
"13.12.2016 15:32:27" theguardian.com Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker – the duo who annoy men with beards called Brian Meet the darlings of the folk world who found themselves criticised for wanting to do something different A wider audience has been gradually assembling, including celebrity fans: take the man who approached Walker at the 2015 Shirley Collins birthday gig at London's Cecil Sharp House. “This bloke from Wolverhampton went: 'Hello, I'm Robert, I thought you
"12.12.2016 10:02:25" theguardian.com The Japanese House: 'Coming to terms with what pop actually means' Like the xx, the mysterious muso makes sad synthpop for modern times. Here she explains how to write a bleak banger It's May 2015, and Instagrammers are commenting on a picture of a stormy sky uploaded by mysterious musician the Japanese House. “The 1975, that you?” asks one. “The Japanese House is the 1975, solved,” posts another. Amber Bain laughs as she recalls the
"12.12.2016 09:53:37" theguardian.com Best albums of 2016: No 5 A Seat at the Table by Solange The younger Knowles sister needed to get something off her chest. What came out was an album billowing with hope and sadness for blackness in the US Fifth best album of the year? One of the Knowles sisters.
"09.12.2016 16:07:59" theguardian.com Best albums of 2016: No 6 Hopelessness by Anohni The musician formerly Antony Hegarty returned with staggeringly beautiful protest songs that are escapist as well as subversive Complex, rich and formidable, Anohni's masterwork proved that political music in 2016 need not be hackneyed and earnest. Instead it could be galvanising and confrontational. Just imagine what she has in store for Trump.
"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?