Entries tagged with: Damon Albarn
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, 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...
photos by Bao Nguyen
"If anyone tells you the Gorillaz show at MSG on Friday was anything less than incredible, they're lying to you. Some bands you wish to see in their earlier stages, but now is the time to see Gorillaz. They have never been better, and there's no guarantee they can top this. This is their prime time, and the brilliance of their collaborative musical geniuses was amplified in concert. Not only did we see Damon Albarn in flesh - a personal idol - but he was accompanied by the incredible artists that were featured on Plastic Beach: Mos Def, Lou Reed, Bobby Womack, De La Soul, Little Dragon, members of The Clash, etc. Co-creator of Gorillaz, visual man Jamie Hewlett also peeped out from backstage to say hello - to whom Damon planted a big ol' kiss. The entire show was almost too epic to be true... You know when all your favorite superheroes get together and form a league? That is what this was. And this 'league' leader, frontman Damon Albarn, was clearly having the time of his life. He was constantly dancing, jumping around, running around the stage, hugging people - never keeping still unless he was playing the piano. Reminded us of his good old Blur days, sigh. They played almost all of their latest album and included old time favorites like "Clint Eastwood" and "Feel Good Inc."" [morningafterpills]After launching their tour in Boston, Gorillaz and N.E.R.D. played the giant NYC room that is Madison Square Garden on Friday night (10/8). As the quote above points out, there were many special guests in the house, some of whom are on the whole tour and some who just stopped by for the New York show (like Jay-Z though he was just there to watch).
More pictures, some videos and the full show setlist, below...
Gorillaz @ Coachella (more by Rachel Carr)
"With blown minds still reeling from a record-breaking one-off headline appearance at this year's Coachella festival, Gorillaz have confirmed that their worldwide "Escape To Plastic Beach" tour will begin in North America with a 20 date stretch commencing October 3 at Montreal's Bell Centre and including the band's first ever performance at Madison Square Garden on October 8."Press release continued, with tour trailer video, below...
Gorillaz @ Coachella (more by Rachel Carr)
Videos from last night's episode of Colbert, below...
Trip-Hop legends Massive Attack have released their new video for "Paradise Circus" (ft. Hope Sandoval) in support of their album, Heligoland, set to release February 9th via EMI's Virgin Records. The Toby Dye directed video features former porn star, Georgina Spelvin, and her candid look on filming the infamous adult film, The Devil in Miss Jones. Original shots of the '73 hit (NSFW) are interlaced with Spelvin's honest take on her physical and emotional state during the production of the film nearly forty years ago.It feels like forever that I've been waiting to hear the new Hope Sandoval-contributed Massive Attack track and it's well worth the wait though I could do without the distracting commentary by Georgina. I hope there's a version without her. I don't really think that The xx sound like Hope Sandoval, but this song definitely sounds a little like The xx. Listen/watch (NSFW) the video with the album art and tracklist, below...
Heligoland, Massive Attack's highly-anticipated 5th studio album, will feature guest vocals from Damon Albarn, Marina Topely-Bird, Guy Garvey and Tunde Adebimpe. Longtime cohort, Horace Andy, is also set to return alongside Massive Attack founding members Robert Del Naja (3D) and Grand Marshall (Daddy G). The prelude to Heligoland, the Splitting the Atom EP, is available now.
"Legendary trip-hop duo Massive Attack have announced the release of their first new material in three years - an EP of four new tracks due for release on October 6th from Virgin Records. The lead song "Splitting The Atom" features Robert Del Naja (3D), Grant Marshall (Daddy G) and Horace Andy, while TV On The Radio frontman Tunde Adebimpe guests on "Pray For Rain". The EP also has remixes of two new tracks; "Psyche" featuring Martina Topley-Bird is given the re-rub by Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid who have recently remixed Bat For Lashes and The Big Pink, while the Guy Garvey fronted "Bulletproof Love" is stripped back to a minimalist reworking by Christoff Berg, who alongside Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid produced the Fever Ray eponymous album.In related news, Hope Sandoval has a new Warm Inventions album and is touring, and says Mazzy Star will be back.
Massive Attack will release their much anticipated fifth studio album In February, 2010. This time around sees collaborations with Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, Martina Topley-Bird, Guy Garvey and Tunde Adebimpe.
Over the last three years Robert Del Naja has written and produced soundtracks for a number of films and documentaries, including 'Trouble In The Water', '44 Inch Chest', 'In Prison My Whole Life' and 'Gamorra', the latter for which he won the David Di Donatello Award for Best Song. Earlier this year, Massive Attack won the Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award at the Ivor Novello Awards. Massive Attack will headline this year's Bestival on Friday, September 11th ahead of their first full UK tour in three years that begins on September 17th in London."
STREAM: Amadou & Mariam - Sabali (produced by Damon Albarn) (MOV)
STREAM: Amadou & Mariam - Welcome to Mali (MOV)
Back on November 21st I asked, "What is the best album of 2008?" In that post I listed the top ten albums according to Metacritic's aggregated critic-rating statistics. At the time, The Bug held the number one spot for his album "London Zoo".
Amadou & Mariam's Welcome to Mali was released on November 17th in the UK and hadn't even been listed on Metacritic yet. It appeared on the site a week or two after that, and it in turn knocked The Bug down to the number two spot. To this day "Welcome to Mali" holds the title of best rated album of 2008... even though it doesn't come out in the U.S. until March 24, 2009.
In June A&M will visit our country again, to give us some more of their great live shows...
The singer Mariam Doumbia and her husband, the guitarist/vocalist Amadou Bagayoko, have been making music together since they first met and fell in love at the Institute for Young Blind People in Bamako, Mali's capital, three decades ago. Over the last few years, they have achieved remarkable critical and popular acclaim in Europe and North America.Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for a June 8th headlining date at Webster Hall in NYC. Last time they were here was for All Points West.
Amadou & Mariam are especially beloved for their live shows - they recently performed in the Africa Express event that was part of the BBC Electric Proms festival; the concert also featured Johnny Marr, The Magic Numbers, Damon Albarn, and Hard-Fi as well as numerous African artists. They will be headlining a Spring tour and will be opening for Coldplay in July.
All dates below...
Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett stated in an interview with CBC News on 17 September 2008 that they will be doing another Gorillaz album. Hewlett says that from their work on Monkey, "we just learned more about what we do, musically and artistically. That's a great place to come at when we come to another Gorillaz album. It doesn't have to be animation and music." Hewlett also expressed annoyance at having to draw the band members again, "I'm so fucking bored of drawing those characters. But then we had a moment where we had a new angle on it... I'm gonna adapt them." In a later interview Hewlett said, "they'll be the same characters, but a little bit older and told in a different way." An article by the Toronto Star stated that the duo hope to begin work on the album in January 2009. Albarn also said that he wants "to work with an incredibly eclectic, surprising cast of people." On January 14, 2009, Damon Albarn made an appearance as a guest DJ on BBC Radio 1, premiering demos of new Gorillaz songs.Thighs Wide Shut is streaming the three new tracks.
In related news, Damon's other band, Blur, is also keeping busy again.
Blur will play a live show in Hyde Park in Summer 2009. Graham Coxon will join Alex James, Dave Rowntree and Damon Albarn onstage for this first time since their Royal Festival Hall performance in 2000. The concert will take place at London's Hyde Park on Friday 3rd July 2009, and tickets will be on general sale from 9am Friday 12th December 2008 at www.livenation.co.uk. [BLUR] (thx cmandel)
Making his Lincoln Center Festival debut former Blur frontman Damon Albarn, is joined by a host of diverse musicians from the UK, Africa, and the United States, for The Honest Jon's Revue, a musical "chop up" (Nigerian slang for "feast"). Albarn, co-founder of the virtual band Gorillaz, has gathered musiciansfrom his label, Honest Jon's, named in tribute to the landmark London record shop of the same name thathas been selling rare and obscure music to discerning buyers for 30 years. Under Albarn's musical stewardship, a wonderfully eclectic group of musicians--the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Simone White and Malians Kokanko Sata, Afel Bocoum and Lobi Traore--will play together and separately, for one show only on Saturday, July 12, in Avery Fisher HallTickets are on sale (thx Bao). More details below....