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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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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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.
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 »
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.”
“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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