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Tag: Blur (1-7 of 7)

SXSW: Damon Albarn brings out Snoop and De La Soul, puts on mini Gorillaz reunion

How big is Damon Albarn in America? It’s a question that comes up unusually often at the EW offices, partly because we suspect that the answer will disappoint us.

Obviously people know of the man’s work, but mostly in a backwards sort of way. In terms of Stateside popularity, his multiplatinum animated rap group Gorillaz far eclipses Blur, the legendary Britpop act he fronted for more than a decade — though even they have a mainstream foothold thanks to their alt-radio hit “Girls and Boys” and the woo-hoo anthem “Song 2.”

But Albarn himself never really became a household name in the U.S. It doesn’t help that his strongest work — those early Blur records, considered classics across the pond — was very deeply and decidedly British, literally by design. But now that he’s got his debut solo album (out in April) to promote, it’s natural to wonder whether his name alone can lure a large American audience.

According to his SXSW set at the Fader Fort on Friday, he can — with a little help from his friends. The annual event’s east-of-center venue was packed for Albarn’s performance, but since the bill promised he’d have “special guests” with him, fans were able to deduce that they’d get to see either Blur or Gorillaz play live. They got the latter: Del the Funkee Homosapien, De La Soul, Dan the Automator, and Snoop Dogg each had a chance to hop on stage and bring the cartoon group’s trippy songs to life.

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Blur's Damon Albarn teases new music: 'It would be a good time to try'

We have good news, if you’re a fan of on-again/off-again Britpop stalwarts Blur: The band might be making new music. “We were supposed to be playing in Japan next week. Due to unforeseen circumstances we were unable to go there, although we will go there at some point,” frontman Damon Albarn reportedly said at a show in Hong Kong yesterday. “So we have a week in Hong Kong, and we thought it would be a good time to try to record another record, so we’re going to make one here in Hong Kong.”

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Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Blur and Stone Roses in Coachella lineup

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Blur and The Stone Roses are set to headline Coachella 2013.

The Postal Service, Wu-Tang Clan and Vampire Weekend are among the other acts scheduled to perform. Click below for the full lineup or check out Coachella.com. READ FULL STORY

Muse will play Olympics closing ceremony

U.K. rockers Muse will play the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, the band’s drummer told music magazine NME Wednesday. Muse, who also wrote the song “Survival” in honor of the Olympics, will perform the song at Saturday’s event.
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Blur unveil two new songs 'Under the Westway' and 'The Puritan': Hear them here!

How English do you feel right now? Even if you’re scarfing down bangers and mash while sucking down a pint of cask ale and watching cricket, you could probably use just a dash more Britishness in your day.

Luckily, Damon Albarn is happy to oblige. After years of not being together, months of speculation, a handful of actual reunion dates, and at least one vow to bury the band forever, Albarn and his Blur cohorts have released a pair of new songs put together in honor of the 2012 London Olympics. Unlike the near-disaster that is that official Muse tune, Blur’s tracks are far less bombastic (though it’s hard to imagine using them as a soundtrack to a steeplechase).

For those of you who miss the reflective side of Blur, there’s “Under the Westway” (a song that has been knocked around live for a while). Feeling slightly bouncier and in a synth frame of mind? Try “The Puritan” on for size. They’re both available in all their lyric video glory below.

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Damon Albarn says Blur and Gorillaz both likely done, still has 27 bands to tend to

With ’90s Britpop stalwarts Pulp about to play their first show in the United States in something like 15 years, the next great hope among stateside Anglophiles was Blur. Easily the most esoteric of U.K. chart-toppers, Blur cranked out seven albums’ worth of constantly evolving music that morphed from measured pop to sprawling genre-hopping art rock (especially on those last few albums).

The band called it quits after the release of 2003′s Think Tank, only to reunite a few years later for a handful of one-off shows and festival appearances (with Albarn still devoting equal time to Gorillaz-related projects and that wacky band with a guy from the Clash), and they even found time to record a pair of new songs (2010′s “Fool’s Day,” and the approaching release “Under the Westway”). With a big show coming up as part of the closing ceremonies at this summer’s Olympics, surely this meant the next step for a new Blur album, right?

Sadly, wrong. READ FULL STORY

Lily Allen calls out Adele's Brit Awards interruption, says it's industry sexism

The Brit Awards have already sent their “deepest apologies” to a bird-flipping Adele for cutting off her big moment to make time for a reunited Blur performance, but some people still aren’t having it. Lily Allen is one of them.

The English pop singer came to her countrywoman’s defense on Twitter, writing “I’d rather hear adeles acceptance speech.”

Fair enough — after all, not everybody has to like Blur. But Allen then went on to suggest that the move represented larger issues of sexism at play:

“I can’t say I’m surprised. It was like the music industry’s attitude to women played out as a metaphor.”

An interesting allegation! But does it hold water? The Brit Awards organizer, for their part, pointed out in their statement that “the live show overrunning,” adding: “We don’t want this to undermine her incredible achievement in winning our night’s biggest award. It tops off what’s been an incredible year for her.”

A representative from ITV, which aired the ceremony, backed them up in a separate statement: “Unfortunately the programme was overrunning and we had to move on.”

Which sounds legitimate. We’ve certainly seen stars of all genders get played off the stage early, here and abroad. And when you watch the incident in question, the guy tasked with interrupting Adele looks far more terrified than he does anti-woman.

What do you guys think of Allen’s interpretation? Is Adele the victim of industry-wide chauvinism, or just poor planning? Take another look at the video below and let us know.

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