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Tag: Damon Albarn (1-6 of 6)

Hear The Clash's virtual reunion with EW's homemade Clash 'Black Album'

In one of the best and most talked-about sequences in Richard Linklater’s instant classic film Boyhood, Ethan Hawke gives Ellar Coltrane a homemade compilation he calls The Black Album. It consists of solo tracks from each of the four Beatles, sequenced in a way that captures the magic the band were able to make when they were still a cohesive unit. “Basically, I’ve put the band back together for you,” Hawke wrote in the liner notes.

It’s such a good idea that EW decided to steal it. There are countless bands who have broken up and never circled back around to a cash-grab reunion, and we’ve begun with one of my absolute favorites: The Clash. The group didn’t officially stick a fork in it until 1986, but the bloom was well off the rose by the time drummer Topper Headon left the group just prior to the release of 1982’s Combat Rock. The relationship between co-leads Mick Jones and Joe Strummer were hopelessly strained by the end, and by the time the group released the disastrous Cut the Crap in 1985, Jones was already deep into his second life as the frontman for Big Audio Dynamite.

Like the Beatles before them, the members of the Clash did make up and collaborate on an individual basis after they broke up, but they never got the band back together (and once Strummer suddenly passed away in 2002, that door was officially closed for good). Still, here are 19 tracks (the same number that appeared on the watershed London Calling) from the post-Clash lives of the core four that re-capture the spirit of what made them sonically and philosophically revolutionary.  READ FULL STORY

Damon Albarn stops by a bar, sings 'Parklife' with patrons -- VIDEO

So the seminal Britpop album Parklife by Blur turned 20 on Friday. To celebrate the occasion — or just for some spur-of-the-moment fun while grabbing a pint — frontman Damon Albarn decided to surprise the patrons of an East London pub by singing the title track with the bar’s house band.

Albarn was in the area practicing for a gig — his solo album, Everyday Robots, drops April 28 — when he stopped by the Red Lion. The Gents serve as backing band, with astounded pub-goers contributing a raucous chorus. Check it out: READ FULL STORY

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.

READ FULL STORY

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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Bobby Womack diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer's

Image Credit: Dave M. Benett/WireImage

Soul singer Bobby Womack has been diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer’s, the BBC reports.

Womack, 68, told Gilles Peterson on BBC 6 Music, “The doctor said you have signs of Alzheimer’s. He said it’s not bad yet but it’s going to get worse.”

The diagnosis follows close on the heels of last year’s bouts with pneumonia and colon cancer.

READ FULL STORY

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

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