Entries tagged with: Blur
Blur @ MHOW 5/1/2015 (more by PSquared)
If you follow Blur on Instagram you may have seen them, over the weekend, post little mini-films about each track on their new album The Magic Whip. Turns out those were snippets from a half-hour documentary on the making of the album that Blur have now released in full. You can watch it below.
Blur played their first live show since The Magic Whip's release on Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg here in NYC and you can check out pictures, video, setlist and review, if you haven't already.
photos by PSquared; words by Bill Pearis
Blur @ MHOW 5/1/2015
Blur played Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (5/1), a free surprise show sponsored by Converse Rubber Tracks which marked a number of firsts: it was Blur's first live show since the release of their new album The Magic Whip, their first NYC show since 2003 and their first in even longer with guitarist Graham Coxon back in tow. (It was also the first time this writer had seen them since The Supper Club in 1997.) Along with frontman Damon Albarn, drummer Dave Rowntree and bassist Alex James, Blur were augmented by a chorus, extra percussionist and keyboardist. Pictures, video and setlist from the show are in this post.
Damon Albarn was in a very good mood the whole time, sporting a mischievous grin for most of it, and spent a lot of time trying to crack up guitarist Graham Coxon when not continuously dousing the audience with water. Like in London in March, Blur played almost all of The Magic Whip, in order, and it all sounded pretty great. You do notice live the fast song / slow song / repeat nature of the record but that was alright. Especially good: the very Blur-esque opener "Lonesome Street," thoughtful "There Are to Many Of Us," the '70s funk lite of "Ghost Ship" and sing-a-long "Ong Ong" (which they played on The Tonight Show.) The best part for me was watching Graham Coxon, still an amazingly inventive guitarist, play. At one point he either pushed up his glasses or scratched his face with his knee while still playing guitar. It seems impossible now that they existed those years without him. The only Magic Whip song they didn't play was Gorilaz-esque "Ice Cream Man," and when an audience member shouted for it, Damon said "If you'll have us back, we promise to play it next time."
Blur came back for a three song encore, doing "Beetlebum," Parklife deep cut "Trouble in the Message Center," and then, because it's America, "Song 2" which basically sent Music Hall into hysterics. Great show. As for the line, it was long but folks were behaved and from what I could tell, it seemed like everyone got in. They made you print out your tickets (no mobile apps) which sent some people in search of an internet cafe, but they weren't checking IDs against tickets and once they opened doors the line moved quick. The only craziness was people trying to get the very nice free show posters after the gig, which was a bit like Black Friday at Toys R Us.
Opener Honduras, who were chosen after being involved in the Converse Rubber Tracks program (which provides bands with recording time at Brooklyn's Rubber Tracks studio), really lucked out with a packed captive audience. They did pretty well with their vaguely Brit-pop-meets-Strokes guitar pop. They actually play MHOW again tonight, opening for Twin Peaks. Pictures from their set, and lots more from Blur, below...
by Bill Pearis
Blur are in NYC and played The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday (4/30), their first US television appearance in over 15 years. They performed the rousing "Ong Ong" from The Magic Whip and sounded very good. (They all look pretty much the same, too, right down to Dave Rowntree's Fred Perry shirt.) Watch it below.
Blur will be playing The Magic Whip in full today at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It's an early show -- doors at 5 PM with Honduras on at 5:45 and Blur around 7 PM. If you were lucky enough to score tickets, remember, "Fans who receive a confirmed 'ticket' will be allowed to enter the venue on a first come, first serve, with admission based on capacity day of event." Ticketmaster says: "Please print out your tickets at home and arrive early."
Tickets for the FREE Blur show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, their first in NYC with Graham Coxon since 2000, become available today at noon. "Fans who receive a confirmed 'ticket' will be allowed to enter the venue on a first come, first serve, with admission based on capacity day of event." Good luck.
The show happens this Friday (5/1) at Music Hall of Williamsburg before the late Trail of Dead show at the same venue. Honduras are opening.
UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, tickets "sold out" in about a minute. Did you get through in time?
As mentioned, Blur are playing The Tonight Show on Thursday and we wondered if they might do a show while here...and yes they are. Blur will play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (5/1). It's an early show (Trail of Dead got moved to the late show you may remember) and sponsored by Converse Rubber Tracks and is a free show. Honduras are opening and it's all ages. You do have to claim free tickets through Ticketmaster which will be available Wednesday (4/29) at noon.
Blur will be playing The Magic Whip live in full, with some older favorites as well hopefully. This will be Blur's first NYC show with Graham Coxon since 2000. Poster for the show is below...
Blur's new album, The Magic Whip, is out this week and the band will be here in NYC to play The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night (4/30). That will mark the band's first US appearance since Coachella 2013 and their last NYC appearance in much, much longer. (Their last tour here was 2003.) Seems a long way to travel for just one or two songs on TV...might there be a show while in New York?
Meanwhile, Blur just appeared on UK show Later With Jools Holland, playing "Go Out" and "My Terracotta Heart" from The Magic Whip. You can watch both those performances below.
Blur have released a video for "Lonesome Street," the new single from The Magic Whip, the band's first album in 12 years. It stars the Phoenix Fly Line Dancing Group of San Francisco and you can watch their charming choreography at work below.
You can also watch guitarist Graham Coxon and longtime collaborator/producer Stephen Street talk about the making of the new record, below.
The Magic Whip will be out April 28 in the US.
by Bill Pearis
photo: Blur @ Mode, London 3/20/2015 (via @stokesie1978)
Blur have released another track from their new album, The Magic Whip, and "Lonesome Street" seems like the kind of bouncy song a lot of fans were hoping the band hadn't given up on. There's whistling and it sounds to these ears like Graham Coxon gets to sing a little on this one too. There's a video coming for this one, so perhaps it's the official single. Stream it below. The Magic Whip is out April 28.
As mentioned, 300 fans got to hear The Magic Whip live on Friday (3/20) when Blur played it front-to-back at West London club Mode. They encored with "Trouble in the Message Center" from Parklife which they hadn't played live in 20 years. You can watch video of that, and clips of a few other songs, below...
by Bill Pearis
Blur have shared another track from their new album, The Magic Whip, which is out April 28. With stabbing strings and a martial beat, "There Are Too Many of Us" is a glam-ish stomper, albeit one with a rueful outlook. You can stream it below.
A lucky few will get to hear Blur play The Magic Whip live in its entirety tonight (3/20) at a secret West London location.
Woohoo! Blur have just announced The Magic Whip, the band's first new album in 12 years, and their first in 16 years to feature guitarist Graham Coxon on the whole thing. It's out April 27 via Parlophone. The band recorded most of the album in Hong Kong and then finished it with their longtime producer Stephen Street. That's the cover art above and you can stream "Go Out" from it (and check out the tracklist) below.
Blur will also play the British Summer Time Festival in London's Hyde Park on June 20. Poster for that show is below.
Damon Albarn may be having a busy year, because supposedly Gorillaz are coming back too.
You may have heard/seen that last week it became a thing on the internet to follow anything comedian Russell Brand said with a cry of "Parklife!" It's a jab at his hyper-verbose way of speaking, especially on social/political issues (to which he speaks a lot these days) and how in his accent it kinda sounds like Phil Daniels on Blur's 1994 UK hit. Video mashups were made.
Russell Brand has now offered up his own take on "Parklife," hitting back at those making fun (and his critics) while getting in a bunch of politics as well. You can watch it, Blur's original and one of the mashups, below...
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
by Bill Pearis
Damon Albarn is in NYC currently, getting ready to play Governors Ball tonight (6/6) and Irving Plaza on Sunday (6/8), both part of his current tour. While here, he stopped by The Tonight Show last night to perform "Lonely Press Play" from his new solo album, as well as an old Blur nugget: the gorgeous "This is a Low" from Parklife, which turned 20 years old in April. Videos of both are in this post.
While some artists, like Jarvis Cocker, keep their solo sets free of songs from previous bands, Albarn has been peppering his sets with cuts from Gorillaz, The Good, the Bad & the Queen, and Blur. A recent setlist is below. Tickets are still available for Irving Plaza.
Videos from The Tonight Show below...
by Bill Pearis
Damon Albarn @ SXSW 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
We mentioned earlier today that Damon Albarn would be playing Irving Plaza on June 8, one of the official Governors Ball afterparties. He's playing Governors Ball proper, too, and doing a string of dates between that fest and Bonnaroo. All dates are listed below.
Album's solo debut, Everyday Robots, comes out this week (4/29) and features appearances by Brian Eno and Bat for Lashes' Natasha Khan. It's by far the most sedate, wistful record of his career though. If you're familiar with songs like Blur's "Tender," Gorillaz's "Broken" or The Good The Bad & the Queen's "The Bunting Song," you mostly know what to expect. You can still listen to the album for free via iTunes and a few track streams, videos (including the new one for "Heavy Seas of Love") and a "track by track" commentary from Albarn, are below.
In other news, Albarn happened by London's Red Lion pub last week (4/23) and joined the house band for a rendition of Blur's Britpop classic "Parklife." Video of that is below too.
One of last year's coolest reissues was Who Is William Onyeabor? which collected many of the cult Nigerian funk singer and synthesizer pioneer William Onyeabor's best tracks. For more on who he is, this past week a new Onyeabor documentary, titled Fantastic Man, premiered online, featuring interviews with Damon Albarn, Dan Snaith of Caribou, the Human League's, Martyn Ware (The Human League), Femi Kuti and many more. It's well worth watching and you can do so in this post.
There is also a remix album, titled What?, that was commissioned by Moog and will be released on Record Store Day (April 19) featuring reworkings by Hot Chip, The Vaccines, Justin Strauss & Bryan Mette, Joakim ft. Akwetey (Dragons of Zynth), JD Twitch (Optimo), Daphni, Javelin, David Terranova, Policy and Scientist.
And last but not least there will be a series of tribute concerts happening in cities around the world this spring, including two in NYC on May 2 & 3. Details have not been announced yet, so stay tuned.
You can listen to Who is William Onyeabor? via Rdio, and watch the Fantastic Man documentary below...
by Bill Pearis
We just wrote about Damon Albarn's forthcoming solo debut, Everyday Robots, which will be out April 29 via Warner Bros. The video for the title track has since been released. Directed by artist and designer Aitor Throup, the clip uses CGI software and actual cranial scans and facial reconstruction techniques to slowly build a portrait of Albarn. As for the song, it's a pretty, downtempo track and unmistakably from the man who gave us "To the End" and "Clint Eastwood." As it should be. Watch it below.
Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn has been talking about releasing a solo album for a while now, and it's finally officially been announced. Damon posted to his Facebook page...
Damon's new and first solo studio album titled Everyday Robots is out 28th April. It's his most soul-searching and autobiographical yet, explores nature versus technology and features guests Brian Eno and Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes), and is produced by XL's Richard Russell.The video for the title track will be released today so stay tuned for that. (UPDATE: Watch it HERE.) That's the album artwork above and you can check out the tracklist below.
Damon will be in NYC this June to play Governors Ball.
by Bill Pearis
In the downtime from Blur, bassist Alex James channeled his creative efforts into his love of food by becoming a successful, award-winning cheesemaker which he's detailed in his second book, All Cheeses Great and Small. One of his cheeses is called "Blue Monday" btw. He's branching out into soft drinks, as City AM notes that James has applied for a trademark for a fizzy line called -- wait for it -- "Britpop." How has no one done this before? What do you think it will taste like?
by Bill Pearis
There are too many super-specific Tumblrs to keep track off -- many doing clever riffs of other people's art -- but Dangerous Minds tipped up to the LEGO Albums that renders classic LP art in building block form. They aren't done with real LEGOs, it's pixelated art where those pixels are then turned into LEGO pegs, but it's still kinda cool. Especially on a cold and wet Friday like today.
Some of the choices are questionable -- why would you choose to do Best of The Smiths over The Queen is Dead or Meat is Murder -- but I did laugh when I saw they'd done Death Grips' NO LOVE DEEP WEB. Check out a few below and peruse the entire collection at LEGO Albums.
photos by Dylan Johnson
On the heels of their excellent third album, Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend brought their tour to Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Friday (9/20) -- the day after Yeah Yeah Yeahs played the same big venue -- for what was their largest headlining NYC show yet. VW split the set pretty evenly between all three of their albums, playing tons of highlights like "Giving Up the Gun," "Cousins," "Unbelievers," "A-Punk," and many more in their 23-song set, plus a cover of Blur's "Song 2." Opening the show was two pop singers with a Dev "Blood Orange" Hynes association, Solange and Sky Ferreira. Pictures of all three artists are in this post.
The show also streamed live on Sirius XM's Alt Nation, and if you missed it (or want to listen again), it rebroadcasts today (9/23) at 8 PM ET.
More pictures, plus VW's setlist and videos (including one of "Song 2"), below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Blur / Pet Shop Boys
Berlin's aptly named Berlin Festival went down over the weekend (9/6-7). The first day included sets from Blur, Pet Shop Boys, Mike Patton's experimental alt-metal band Tomahawk, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's new band Bosnian Rainbows, The Sounds, Capital Cities, Big Black Delta, and more. Pictures of those bands and more, plus Blur and Pet Shop Boys' setlists, are in this post.
Day 2 pictures coming soon. More day 1 pictures below...
The big festival season may be coming to a close now that Labor Day is behind us and it doesn't really feel like summer anymore, but of course that doesn't mean there aren't any to still look forward to (though many are in warmer places than here in the Northeast).
One festival that will take an airplane ticket and a passport to get to from the US, but has a lineup that might make it worth it, is the Berlin Festival in -- you guessed it -- Berlin. It goes down this weekend from September 6-7 and includes Blur, Bjork, Pet Shop Boys, My Bloody Valentine, Klaxons, Savages, Justice (DJ), John Talabot (live), and more. Tickets for the festival are on sale now. Full schedule here.
In October, Austin gets the previously discussed Austin City Limits Festival for two weekends (10/4-6 & 10/11-13) with Depeche Mode, The Cure, Atoms for Peace, Phoenix, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, The National, passion Pit, Queens of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar, Franz Ferdinand and more. Weekend passes for weekend 2 and VIP options for both weekends are still available. Check out the schedule here. If you'll be in Austin for the festival, don't forget to catch some of the official late shows too.
Later on in the year, Austin gets the previously discussed Fun Fun Fun Fest (Nov. 8-10) which includes Descendents, Quicksand, Television, Deerhunter, MGMT, M.I.A., Snoop Dogg, Cut Copy, The Walkmen, Kurt Vile, Body Count, Cloud Nothings, Title FIght, White Lung and more. Tickets are still available. Check out the full lineup.
Around that same time, New Orleans hosts the previously mentioned Voodoo Experience festival (11/1-3) with Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, The Gaslight Anthem, Desaparecidos, Cults, Rudimental and more. Tickets are still available. Check out the full schedule.
Though it's not quite a "festival," NYC will be bombarded by a whole slew of bands this fall when a big portion of the music industry heads our way for the 2013 CMJ Music Marathon, which runs from October 15-19. Confirmed artists include The Dismemberment Plan, Pelican, Jacco Gardner, Good Riddance, Godflesh, Eagulls, Courtney Barnett, The Long Winters, Savages, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Eleanor Friedberger, Kevin Drew, Obits, Fuck Buttons, Quadron, Speedy Ortiz, Lawrence Rothman and more. Badges are on sale now.
Right before CMJ, NYC will be getting the 2013 CBGB Music & Film Festival which goes from October 9 to 13 across various venues and includes Andy Shernoff, Arto Lindsay, Bass Drum of Death, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Ginger Baker, Hanni El Khatib, Meat Puppets, Obits, The Spits, Tommy Ramone, and more. Badges are still available.
And right as CMJ is ending in NYC, San Francisco will be getting its two-day Treasure Island Music Festival (10/19-20). That festival includes Atoms for Peace, Beck, Animal Collective, James Blake, Japandroids, Disclosure, Tricky, Little Dragon, and more. Tickets are still available. Check out the full schedule.
photos by Wei Shi
Passion Pit / Alt-J / Purity Ring & Danny Brown / crowd
Coachella 2013 is currently going down in Indio, CA for its second weekend after kicking off this past Friday (4/19). We've already posted pics of day 1 (HERE and HERE), day 2 (HERE) and day 3 (HERE) from weekend 1, and now we've got pictures of day 1 from weekend 2 in this post. This time around we caught sets by Passion Pit, Earl Sweatshirt, Polica, Youth Lagoon, Purity Ring, (who were joined by Danny Brown, whose new album they appear on), Foals, Modest Mouse, Alt-J and more.
Check out more pictures from 4/19, along with a "Coachellavated" video of the festival filmed from the top of director Chris Crutchfield's head and a video of Passion Pit's full set from weekend 1, below...