Entries tagged with: Damon Albarn
Phoenix @ Barclays Center, 2013 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
As you may know, the 2014 Governors Ball happens at Randall's Island from June 6-8. Individual day line-ups have been announced with Outkast, Phoenix and TV on the Radio headlining Friday (6/6), Jack White, The Strokes and Skrillex headlining Saturday (6/7), and Vampire Weekend and Axwell ^ Ingrosso headining Sunday (6/8). You can check each day's full line-up (though set times are still TBA) below.
Additionally, individual day tickets go on sale this Friday (4/4) at noon, with a limited Citi cardmember presale beginning Wednesday (4/2) at 10 AM.
Daily Governors Ball 2014 lineups below...
Damon Albarn @ NPR SXSW (more by Tim Griffin)
Damon Albarn played the Fader Fort at SXSW last night (3/14), where he brought out some special guests to help him perform a pair of Gorillaz tunes. Del the Funky Homosapien and Dan the Automator joined Albarn for "Clint Eastwood"--it was the first time the original collaborators teamed up to perform it--and Snoop Dogg also came out halfway through the song to spit a verse of "Drop It Like It's Hot." Albarn also invited De La Soul out to do "Feel Good Inc." Check out some video footage of "Clint Eastwood" below...
photos by Tim Griffin
Damon, Annie, Kelis, Eagulls and Perfect Pussy at the NPR Showcase - SXSW 2014
"Damon Albarn hasn't played yet, has he?" we ask. The woman on the door shakes her head. Flushed with the thrill of absurd luck, we don't stop to wonder why.Damon Albarn presented much of his solo debut Wednesdaysday night (3/12) in SXSW at Stubb's as part of NPR's official showcase. (It was the same night and on the same street as Tuesday's tragic events, though most attendees were unaware.) St. Vincent played before him and went on a little late -- and maybe played longer than scheduled. Damon didnt go on until 1:20AM ish -- He was supposed to start at 12:30. It was cold. Damon apologized for having to pull some songs from his set list, but mentioned with so many acts and set ups it couldn't be helped. His set up took a while but he sounded great once it eventually got underway.
The venue inside is half empty. Damon takes to the stage almost an hour late, around 1.30am, and with his touring band runs us through a raft of wry, meandering art pop tunes. There are shades of Gorillaz when he pulls out the melodica, misguided chugs of rock'n'roll, bittersweet ballads. It doesn't sound great, but his presence is entertaining enough. He's still beautiful, if a little grumpy when the performance gets cut short. He apologises. "We got messed about this evening, I'm sorry," he offers. "It happens sometimes." - [The Music]
Albarn also played The Jimmy Kimmel Show (part of his SXSW Week) while in Austin, performing "Mr. Tembo" & "Lonely Press Play." You can watch video of that below.
The whole evening was pretty stacked, as mentioned, with St. Vincent delivering an electrifying performance, plus Kelis serving up Food songs and her first live show in three years. (You can stream audio of her full show below.) Eagulls and the bass-tossin' Perfect Pussy played too.
More pictures from NPR's SXSW showcase, plus Kelis stream and Damon Albarn videos, below...
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...
Bonnaroo 2013 (more by Katherine Hansen)
As mentioned, Bonnaroo 2014 happens June 12 - 15 in Manchester, TN. The fest has already been dropping hints as to who's going to play this year (Kanye and Elton John seem likely as headliners) but will finally spill the beans tonight via a web show called "Blam!" which airs at 9 PM EST on Bonnaroo.com (or an Xbox app). (Maybe you watched last year's with Weird Al Yankovich and Portugal the Man.) This year's announcement special is hosted by SNL's Taran Killam and Broad City's Hannibal Buress, with a "superjam" between The Flaming Lips and Ben Folds.
There's also a pre-Blam! web event from 7 - 9 PM EST featuring live cover song performances from Tenacious D, Kings Of Leon, Phish, My Morning Jacket, and others.
Or you can just check back here: we'll have the full Bonnaroo 2014 line-up in this post once its announced.
UPDATE (9 PM): Lineup now being announced and includes Kanye West, Elton John, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix, Mastodon, Frank Ocean, The Flaming Lips, Neutral Milk Hotel, Meshuggah, Damon Albarn, Disclosure, Broken Bells, James Blake, Lionel Ritchie, Jack White, Deafheaven, Janelle Monae, CHVRCHES, Darkside, Phosphorescent, Cloud Nothings, Danny Brown, Cut Copy, Typhoon, Sam Smith, Pusha T, Warpaint, Those Darlins, Cass McCombs, Lauryn Hill, Chromeo, Dr. Dog, The Bouncing Souls, Classixx, First Aid Kit, Fitz and the Tantrums, Chance the Rapper, Ice Cube, Caveman, Washed Out, Real Estate, Rudimental, Ty Segall, Polica, A$AP Ferg, Little Dragon, Omar Souleyman, Lucero, Goat, Okkervil River, Jonathan Wilson, Wiz Khalifa, The Avett Brothers and MANY more.
Tickets go on sale Saturday (2/22) at noon.
Full lineup (spoiler: no Outkast) below...
Perfect Pussy at NYU in 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Syracuse noise punks Perfect Pussy, whose upcoming debut LP, Say Yes to Love will now be more bloody, just played NYC opening for Total Slacker last week (2/12) as part of their ongoing tour, and now that that's in the past, they've tacked on a headlining NYC gig to the end of the tour happening April 5 at Mercury Lounge. To open that show, Perfect Pussy got two fellow upstate NY bands, both of which have something in common with parts of Perfect Pussy's sound. There's the punk attack of Green Dreams and the abrasive noise duo Tumul. Tickets for the Merc show go on sale Friday (2/21) at noon.
UPDATE: More dates were announced, including another NYC show on April 4 at Death by Audio, again with Total Slacker, and also with fellow Syracuse punks Friendless Bummer. No advance tickets for that show.
Many of the other dates are with Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (though they aren't on either NYC show), and they also announced they're playing the NPR SXSW showcase with Damon Albarn, St. Vincent and Kelis; and the Chaos In Tejas SXSW showcase with Destruction Unit and The Gotobeds. There's also a new video for "I" (shot and edited by BV contributor Lukas Hodge) which you can watch, along with the list of dates, below.
Speaking of Friendless Bummer, they just released a new EP, Militia (streaming below), and they'll be in NYC this weekend for Indie Pop Prom at Baby's (2/22) with Pity Sex, Places to Hide, Radiator Hospital, Bad Banana (reunion) and special guests "Traitor Bitches" (tickets).
Updated dates are listed, with streams and the new video, 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.
Governors Ball 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We already knew that Outkast would be headlining this year's Governors Ball music festival, which goes down on NYC's Randall's Island from June 6-8, and now, one day after the lineup of Firefly Fest was announced, and a few days after we found out who was playing Coachella, the full lineup has been announced. It includes Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Interpol, TV on the Radio, Julian Casablancas, Disclosure, Spoon, Broken Bells, Damon Albarn, James Blake, Neko Case, The Kills, Grimes, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, Washed Out, Earl Sweatshirt, Kurt Vile, Chance the Rapper, Deafheaven, Run the Jewels and many more.
UPDATE: The Strokes are playing too!
Tickets go on sale today (1/15) at 3 PM. Full lineup and flyer below...
photos by Stephanie Berger; words by Bill Pearis
Monkey: Journey To The West @ Lincoln Center - 6/28/2013
The centerpiece to this year's Lincoln Center Festival, Monkey: Journey to the West is a now a week into its run at David H Koch Theater. The show was created by Gorillaz partners Damon Albarn (music) and Jamie Hewlett (animation, design) and Chinese opera director Chen Shi-zheng, and comes off as a hodge-podge of Chinese opera (performed by Ensemble Signal), kung-fu, anime and Cirque du Soleil.
The story, about a wild monkey king who eventually attains spiritual enlightenment via the titular quest with a rag-tag group of friends, dates back to the Ming Dynasty and is one of China's most famous fables. It's been adapted numerous times on stage, film, television, and manga. Here, the plot is pretty reductive -- those familiar with the tale will get it, the rest will muddle through thanks to expository animated segments. But plot is really secondary to the general spectacle of it all.
Of that, some of the set-pieces -- involving scores of Chinese acrobats -- are indeed pretty dazzling. The highlight of the whole show involves the gang's tangle with seductive spider-women via silk acrobatics. It's beautiful and thrilling. There's also some amazing wirework, and even a sequence with plate-spinning (which is cooler than that might read). The episodic nature of the story drags a little but you are never lacking eye candy.
As for the music, Albarn does inject a little Gorillaz-style analogue funk, but mostly he aims for more traditional Chinese opera compositions. I can't say I left humming any of the songs, though, which were sung -- like the dialogue -- in Mandarin. (Subtitles are projected above the stage.) But some of the images linger.
Monkey: A Journey to the West continues through July 28. Tickets are still available. A few more pictures from the Lincoln Center production are below.
Deltron 3030 (aka Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Kid Koala) have been talking about their long-awaited second album, Event II, for some time now, and after revealing two of its singles, "Pay the Price" and "City Rising from the Ashes", they've finally officially announced the full album details. It will be out on October 1 via Bulk Recordings and features a ton of serious collaborators including Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn, Faith No More/Tomahawk/etc frontman Mike Patton, Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha, Emily Wells, The Lonely Island, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Aaron Bruno (of AWOLNATION), Black Rob, David Cross, Amber Tamblyn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Momofuku chef David Chang(!?), Casual, and Jamie Cullum. That's the album artwork above, and the tracklist is below.
The album will be preceded by the City Rising from the Ashes EP, due out on August 13, which features both previously released singles and a third album track, "The Agony."
Deltron 3030 also just released an album trailer, which includes the album's opening track, "Stardate," which is essentially a spoken word track from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Check that out, along with the other two singles and tracklist, below...
As mentioned, Chen Shi-Zheng, Damon Albarn, and Jamie Hewlett's musical, Monkey: Journey to the West is set to make its NYC debut as part of the 2013 Lincoln Center Festival. It will have 27 performances running from July 6 - 28, and tickets are on sale now.
In anticipation of its arrival, co-creator Jamie Hewlett (also the man behind the look of Gorillaz), is participating in a discussion about the project with NY Times writer David Itzkoff on Saturday (6/22) at Lincoln Center's David Rubenstein Atrium at 11 AM. The screening will be preceded by Hewlett's short film, Monkey Bee, and after the discussion they'll show episodes of '70s cult Japanese show, Monkey, which inspired Albarn and Hewlett's musical.
This program is free and open to the public. No tickets required. For the curious, the opening credits to the Monkey TV show (with its catchy theme song) and Monkey Bee are below.
Gorillaz at MSG in 2010
The shows include Monkey: Journey to the West, created by theater director Chen Shi-Zheng teamed up with Gorillaz members Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, which runs for the entire span of the festival from July 6-28. It also includes SInead O'Connor: The Gospel Sessions at Alice Tully Hull's Starr Theatre from July 26-27, and Zorn@60 in celebration of John Zorn's 60th birthday at Alice Tully Hall on July 18 and 20.
The festival also features the US premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Michaels Reise Um Die Erde with German ensemble musikFabrik on July 18 and 20 at Avery Fisher Hall, and Mongolia's Hanggai Band at Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse on July 16, and still more. Full program schedule HERE.
Monkey: Journey to the West
Damon Albarn has never had a problem proving his versatility. The Blur frontman's side projects have encompassed everything from cult animators to African drummers, so it seems apt that his latest attempt at a cross-cultural balancing act culminates in a teetering tableau of spinning dishes.Monkey: Journey to the West, created by Chen Shi-Zheng, Damon Albarn, and Jamie Hewlett will open the 2013 Lincoln Center Festival. It will have 27 performances running from July 6 - 28, which is also the span of the Festival.
Monkey: Journey to the West features music by Albarn with designs by Gorillaz collaborator Jamie Hewlett, and was conceived and directed by the Chinese opera specialist Chen Shi-Zheng. Co-commissioned by the Manchester International Festival, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and the Staatsoper Berlin, it's a high-octane, 90-minute rock'n'roll circus, performed in Mandarin and featuring over 50 Chinese acrobats, martial arts experts and a team of tiny contortionists so pliable they could have flown over as cabin luggage. - [The Guardian, June 2007}
The Festival also includes Sinéad O'Connor: The Gospel Sessions where the Irish singer explores the American gospel soul. That happens at Alice Tully Hall's Starr Theatre on July 26 - 27.
There's also Zorn@60, which celebrates John Zorn's 60th birthday with two concerts at Alice Tully Hall on July 18 and 20. The first night (7/18) features a female vocal quintet performing Zorn's Song of Song and his latest mystery play, The Holy Visions.The second night (7/20) features Zorn's complete string quartets performed together for the very first time.
Also at the Festival: the U.S. premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Michaels Reise Um Die Erde which features German contemporary music ensemble musikFabrik (July 18 & 20 at Avery Fisher Hall); and Mongolia's Hanggai Band at Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse on July 16.
Hell hath frozen over:
It was the bitter Britpop feud of the nineties - Oasis and Blur at each other's throats in the charts and out on the tiles.Good to see they've made up. Maybe Liam still holds a grudge? You can relive the legendary Britpop beef via video clips below.
Both rugged bands would threaten each other and the rivalry dominated both bands chart success, with record companies pandering to the division of teenage fans.
But despite Albarn, 44, saying in 2007 making up with Noel, 45, would be the end of Britpop the pair were happy to give each other a mellow squeeze at the BRIT Awards last night (2/20).
It seems Albarn had forgotten Noel Gallagher's famous wish he 'would 'get AIDS and die' and his own 2007 pledge: 'I can't make it up with Noel. Britpop would be over and heaven forbid that we'd ever admit we'd all grown up!' -[Daily Mail]
As for the BRIT Awards themselves, Mumford & Sons were named best British group; Coldplay was named best British live act; and Adele went home with Best British Single for "Skyfall." Full list of BRIT winners is here.
Blur will play their first North American shows in ages at Coachella 2013.
UK music magazine Uncut put out their list of the top 75 albums of 2012. The top ten leans pretty heavy on long-running '60s/'70s survivors who put out new albums this year, but plenty of the list-topping regulars from newer acts are on there too, along with a few interesting surprises (Sun Araw, M Geddes Gengras & the Congos!). You can check out the full list below.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Brooklyn in 2011 (more by Greg Cristman)
today in NYC
* Dala @ Joe's Pub
* ASSSSCAT 3000 @ UCB
* Gypsyblood @ 929 XPO
* The Luddites @ The Stone
* Stephanie Wrembel @ Barbes
* Hannibal Buress @ Knitting Factory
* Tift Merritt, Chris Mills @ City Winery
* The Famous Accordion Orchestra @ Barbes
* Appomattox, 3D Cosby, Suturee @ Cameo Gallery
* Eli Zoller and O, Pioneer Band @ Joe's Pub
* Metric, Half Moon Run @ Radio City Music Hall
* Gang Gang Dance, Prince Rama @ 285 Kent Avenue
* Young London, Elliot and the Ghost @ Littlefield
* Lil' Thief, Alice Cohen, Beach Arabs, Ian Drennan @ Zebulon
* EULA, Slothrust, Desert Sharks, Grass Is Green @ Shea Stadium
* Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Steve Bartolomei @ Mercury Lounge
* Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sinkane, Dre Skull @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Scott & Charlene's Wedding, Native Cats, The Estrogen Highs @ Cake Shop
* DJ Rashad, Total Freedom, Visionist, J-Cush @ 285 Kent Avenue
* Tiberius (covering Spaceman 3), Snowmine, ARMS, Spanish Prisoners @ Pianos
* Wishes & Thieves, Treasure Teeth, My Midnight Heart, Cold Blood Club @ Glasslands
* Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Make-Up, Hot Snakes, The Magic Band, Autolux, Thee Oh Sees, The Album Leaf, Braids, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Factory Floor, Tall Firs, Death Grips, Blanck Mass, Psychic Paramount, Endless Boogie, Demdike Stare, Jonathan Toubin @ Pier 36
Fiona Apple was arrested in Texas for possession of hash, was forced to postpone her Austin show on Thursday (9/20) but made it to her Houston show on Friday (9/21). On stage at that show, she discussed the arrest. Read what she wrote and watch a video of it HERE.
Dub Champions Festival continues tonight with Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sinkane, and Dre Skull at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It concludes tomorrow (9/24) with Kode9, Appleblim, and Francois K at Deep Space at Cielo (18 Little West 12 St).
There's a "special guest" at the DJ Rashad show at 285 Kent tonight.
If you can't make it to Metric's Radio City show tonight, you can stream it online.
NYC songwriter Alice Cohen, who sang in '80s new wave band The Vels and '90s alternative rock band Die Monster Die, has been keeping up a solo lo-fi career since 2008. She released her most recent solo album, Pink Keys, earlier this year via Olde English Spelling Bee. Catch her at Zebulon tonight.
R&B vet Bobby Womack performed "The Bravest Man in the Universe," "Jubilee," and "Whatever Happened to the Times" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Friday (9/21) with help from Gorillaz/Blur's Damon Albarn, XL Records' Richard Russell, Kwes, TV on the Radio's Jaleel Bunton, and Remi Kakaba, all of who he performed with at Apple Store SoHo last Tuesday (9/18). Check out videos of those performances below.
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photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Bobby Womack, Damon Albarn at Apple Store SoHo, 9/18/2012
R&B great Bobby Womack blessed the Apple Store in Soho yesterday (9/18), roping in Damon Albarn and XL Records exec Richard Russell, Kwes, and TV on the Radio's Jaleel Bunton and Remi Kabaka to perform a short, five-song set and Q&A. The teaming was in celebration of Womack's Albarn-produced The Bravest Man In The Universe, which features some of the cast of characters from last night's show.
Womack and his all-star backing band will play Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Friday (9/21). More pictures and the setlist from the Apple Store appearance are below.
Womack and Albarn
Bobby Womack, whose first new album in 18 years came out earlier this year, is performing a free show at the Apple's recently expanded and reopened SoHo Store on Tuesday (9/18). Making this a very special event are the album's producers -- Damon Albarn and XL Records exec Richard Russell -- who will be performing with Womack, along with Kwes, TV on the Radio's Jaleel Bunton, and Remi Kabaka. The short performance starts at 7 PM and will also feature a Q&A. It will be the first performance Womack will have played with this band. This announcement comes after Womack cancelled NYC shows a couple times over the summer due to illness.
If you can't make it to the Apple Store, Womack, Albarn and the rest of them will also be performing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Friday (9/21). You can check out reheasal footage of Womack with this all-star band from earlier in the week below.
The Vaccines at Webster Hall in April (more by Joe McCabe)
today in NYC
* Whiplash @ UCB
* Chica Libre @ Barbes
* Hot Tub @ Littlefield
* Wild Belle @ Le Baron
* The Quavers @ Barbes
* Strawberry Fields @ BB King's
* 13P's ImPlosion Party @ Joe's Pub
* Daniel Higgs, Mike Bones @ Zebulon
* The Gowanus All-Stars @ The Rock Shop
* Lemonade, Vacationer @ Stone Rose Lounge
* Jozef Van Wissem, Noveller @ Le Poisson Rouge
* We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Ollie's Point (Amityville)
* Primordial, While Heaven Wept, Cormorant @ Saint Vitus
* Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Neutron Drivers @ Maxwell's
* Tony Scherr Trio with Anton Fier and Rob Jost @ Living Room
* MNDR, Wildkat, Eli Makes Beats, Mysto & Pizzi @ Webster Hall CANCELLED
* Luke Rathborne, manicanparty, De Lion, Kenny Tudrick @ Pianos
* Jaill, Fergus & Geronimo, Home Blitz, Swearin' @ Mercury Lounge
* The Vaccines, Ryan Jarman's Exclamation Pony @ Bowery Ballroom
* Kristeen Young, Blind Benny, Nonstop to Cairo @ The Bowery Electric
* Anna Lunoe, Zak Matic, Florent, surprise guest @ Home Sweet Home
* Hugh Laurie with The Copper Bottom Band @ Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom
* Lakutis, Pegasus Warning, Safe, Quinn Walker, Carrie Wilds, Peaceful Solutions, Cult Days @ Glasslands
BrooklynVegan is hosting another FREE movie screening of at Knitting Factory tonight. This time it's "Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best". Check out the trailer below.
Sonic Youth is announcing some "news" at noon.
The Vaccines play their first of two sold out NYC shows tonight. Tonight's show is at Bowery Ballroom and support comes from The Cribs frontman Ryan Jarman's new outfit, Ryan Jarman's Exclamation Pony. Ryan played his first-ever solo show at Cameo last month with a slew of guests, including Jen from Here We Go Magic, Jeffrey Lewis, Devin, and Penn Badgely from Gossip Girl. Wonder what he's got in store this time.
Grace Jones tickets are now on pre-sale.
Paul McCartney, who just announced four random North American dates, performed with Damon Albarn's Africa Express (and John Paul Jones and more) in London over the weekend. Watch a video below.
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Flying Lotus posted an unfinished Frank Ocean remix that you can listen to below.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Blur/The Specials/New Order, Hyde Park 8/12/2012
Blur's frontman and driving force, Damon Albarn, had said this might be the band's final performance. But then Albarn has always been a competitive soul, and you wonder if he's just trying to outdo the culmination of the Olympics for significance.Blur headlined the official post-Closing-Ceremony concert in London's Hyde Park, a capper to the last two weeks of Olympics mania. The two-hour set had all the big singles (except "There's No Other Way"), their new song "Under the Westway," and a nice selection of deep cuts (what, no "Blue Jeans"?) that few could really grumble with. Grumbling about the sound was prevalent, however, as Hyde Park noise ordinances kept the volume a little too low for some in the back.
For a while tonight, that appears to be a losing battle. Blur are preceded by the BBC's closing ceremony coverage, shown on a giant screen. As union flags flutter, the 80,000-strong crowd bellows along to the national anthem and cheers as Prince Harry takes his seat. When Madness kick off the entertainment in the stadium, Hyde Park dances along, and you wonder whether everyone's forgotten they've paid £55 to see Blur.
Then, abruptly, Madness are cut mid-song and the screens withdraw to reveal our headliners, under a replica of Albarn's beloved Westway. The band launch into an incendiary Girls and Boys, and, for the next two hours, Hyde Park is theirs. - [The Guardian]
Of course, it wasn't just Blur, as the concert also featured sets by The Specials, New Order (who have North American shows coming up) and youngsters Bombay Bicycle Club. Photos and setlists of all the band's from Sunday night's Hyde Park concert are below.
In case you missed the stream. The new songs (and their lyrics) are below....
photos by Chris La Putt
Kimbra @ Mercury Lounge
Like Rostam, Best Coast & Kid Cudi did in 2010, and more recently Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000, Mark Foster, Kimbra and A-Trak have teamed up, on Converse's tab, to create a new song as part of the shoe company's "3 Artists 1 Song" program. Says a press release:
"I had such a good time diving into the creative process working with two incredible artists to create a sound that is uniquely our own," said Mark Foster of Foster The People. "This project has given me a new found appreciation for the power of collaboration which is something that Converse really understands."The song and video won't be available on Converse's website until April 5th, so we don't know how perfect that pop really is yet, but you can watch the video for the Gorillaz/LCD/Outkast collaboration below.
"Warrior" is a new genre-bending collaboration that weaves together Mark Foster, Kimbra and A-Trak's individual musical styles to create 4 minutes of pop perfection. Recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks studios in Brooklyn, NY and remotely while on tour, "Warrior" blends the best parts of each artist's contributions and personalities for the latest Converse Three Artists. One Song collaboration.
Last night (3/26), one night after she played with Gotye at Terminal 5, and one night before she plays with Gotye at Webster Hall (tonight), as part of a tour that continues to Coachella, the just-turned-22-today (the crowd sang her Happy Birthday) New Zealander Kimbra headlined her own early show at Mercury Lounge in NYC. An excited 'According 2 G' was there, and says, "She's going to be HUGE!.... One of the songs she performed tonight was 'Plain Gold Ring,' a Nina Simone cover and this girl can SANG, as they say. Wow! She blew the roof off Mercury Lounge and the crowd erupted in screams when the song was finished." Here are some pictures and a video from the small NYC show. More below...
Blur are set to appear in an exclusive NME feature piece to talk about their future. Speculations are that they're going to make a new album with producer William Orbit.Blur are also playing Hyde Park, Way Out West, Smukkeste, and probably other European festivals this year. Stay tuned for more dates (thanks Hiro).
The news about Blur headlining the London Olympics 2012 Closing ceremony concert came on midnight yesterday, just a day before the Brit Awards at 8:00pm tonight at the O2 Arena....
...Speculations for the NME announcement tomorrow is best summed up by dannn, a forum member, who said:
My take on recent developments:
• Blur are active again and that's what we have been craving for years.
• The new song sounds really good and a studio version may not be a piano based ballad and could well be in the same vein as For Tomorrow.
• The gig is a unique opportunity for the band to be part of history. I am sure if it wasn't for the Olympics they wouldn't be going anywhere near Hyde Park.
• Expect some intimate warm up gigs.
• The intention at the Brits (and the Olympics gig) could be to put a line in the sand and celebrate the band's past, whilst looking towards the future as Blur Mark II. I think the band have the desire to continue and produce new music, but I guess we'll find out tonight / tomorrow.
We couldn't agree more - with William Orbit on board, what else can happen? Here's our best guess -
- Under the Westway is the Record Day promo
- They're back "in full" as the article says
- Playing Olympics with some intimate warm up gigs
- Then possibly an album towards December with Orbit
Last night was the Brits (the UK version of the Grammys), and though the winners weren't that exciting (Adele, Lana Del Rey, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars), Blur did perform. Videos of their performance, video of Graham & Damon Albart playing a new song two nights earlier, with the full list of Brits winners and some Graham Coxon dates, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Little Dragon @ Le Poisson Rouge in 2009 (more by Matthew Taplinger)
Little Dragon announced an early 2011 US tour promoting the release of their upcoming third full length album. The tour makes two stops in New York at Music Hall of Williamsburg on January 20 and Bowery Ballroom on January 21. Tickets are on sale. No openers mentioned yet.
Little Dragon are currently on an international tour (Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand) supporting the Gorillaz, whose most recent album Plastic Beach features Little Dragon on two tracks; "Empire Ants" and "To Binge." LD vocalist Yukimi Nagano also performs both songs live with the band (you may have seen her do it at MSG or on Letterman).
Speaking of Gorillaz, Damon Albarn has announced not only an upcoming Gorillaz album, but two other albums as well. According to an interview with Stuff, Albarn has plans for a second album by The Good, The Bad, & The Queen, and for an album by a new band he's a part of. The new band features Tony Allen (also of The Good, The Bad, & The Queen), Flea, and some of Albarn's "favourite African musicians will be involved also."
Stuff also asked Albarn if Blur, who released a DVD documentary this year, have any plans for a world tour or new album. Albarn responded, "There won't be another world tour for me - for anything - for five to six years; it would seem unlikely. I have a young daughter and it's just not feasible, it's too long away from home. This has been great, but it's too much after a while and so, no, there won't be any tours for me for a while, I should think."
Albarn has also been recording a new Gorillaz album on tour with his iPad. He told NME "I've made it on an iPad - I hope I'll be making the first record on an iPad," he said. "I fell in love with my iPad as soon as I got it, so I've made a completely different kind of record." Albarn wants to release the album "before Christmas."
Gorillaz recorded a new single "Doncamatic" with British R&B singer Daley which will be officially released on November 22 in three formats. The CD version also includes a Joker remix of the song, the iTunes EP adds the third track "Album Mix Tape," and the 7 inch single is "Doncamatic" with the Paul Harris remix of "Empire Ants" on side B. All three formats are currently available for pre-order. There's also a video for the song. You can watch it below.
Little Dragon also recently collaborated with Dave Sitek on one of the tracks off this year's Maximum Balloon release. Sitek more recently remixed the track "Be Africa" by France's Bibi Tanga . It has nothing to do with anything really, but it's being offered as a free download, so grab that mp3 above.
The Gorillaz video and all tour dates below...