Thursday, September 22, 2016

Liam Gallagher to take part in livestream Q&A before first screening of Oasis documentary

Liam Gallagher is to take part in a livestream Q&A before the first screening of new Oasis documentary Supersonic next month.

The film's director Mat Whitecross will join Gallagher in answering questions for fans watching in cinemas all over the country when the documentary debuts on October 2. Cinema chain confirmed the news on Twitter last night.

The film, which was co-produced by Amy director Asif Kapadia, will be released fully in UK cinemas two weeks later on October 14. It will then be released on Blu-Ray and DVD in the UK on October 31.

Supersonic documents the band's rise to fame over a period of three years from 1993-96, up to their career pinnacle at Knebworth. It features new interviews with Noel and Liam Gallagher, their mother and members of the band and road crew.

"It [Supersonic] could have easily been over seven hours long," he said. "We did 12 interviews with Noel and the same with Liam. We did about 20 hours with both of them. We'd talk to Noel and Liam and it was like we'd created a conversation between them even though they weren't in the same room.

"Noel was like 'I don't want it to be a bunch of grey haired middle aged rockers talking about how good things were in the old days'. But we kept it in the present by doing these audio interviews."

He also said despite the ongoing feud between the Gallagher brothers, they were both very honest about each other during the interviews.

“We did separate screenings for Noel and Liam," Whitecross explained. "But in the interviews with Liam I said, 'Well obviously you started the band' and Liam would say 'Yeah but Noel would never admit to that' and I would go 'No that's what Noel told me last week' and he'd be like 'Really? Alright, OK'.

"I realised they were both trying to be as honest as possible about it. Noel was very open. It's pretty amazing some of the things he says about Liam. He said Liam was better looking than me and funnier than me and he wore better clothes than me but he wants my talent."

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week review – moptops conquer the world

Blink and you’ll miss it, but Ron Howard’s intensely enjoyable documentary about the Beatles’ touring years has a great surreal moment at the very beginning. The moptops are getting out of the plane in New York, on their way to a date with destiny on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the newsreel camera briefly catches a couple of placards held up in the huge airport crowd. “Beatles Unfair 2 Bald Men” reads one, and another says: “England Get Out of Ireland.” The images vanish, and their atypical sentiments are in any case drowned by the global scream of unironic adulation. Yet both echo other undercurrents in Beatlemania: a fear of these weirdly attractive aliens, a hatred of youth culture and youth itself, and perhaps mixed feelings in New York and the US about this extraordinary new British invasion. Maybe Paul McCartney even saw that second placard and modified it as a song title for Wings.

Is there really anything more to say about the Beatles? Well, Howard gives us a movie conceived on similar lines to his non-fiction features such as Apollo 13 or Frost/Nixon, real people tested in the fire of publicity, with the same classic narrative arc of personal growth. Yet he persuades you that there might be something new to say, in a film that includes interviews with the two surviving members McCartney and Ringo Starr, archive material with Harrison and Lennon, and intriguing conversations with present-day fans such as Elvis Costello, Whoopi Goldberg and Malcolm Gladwell (whose 2008 book Outliers brings the Beatles’ Hamburg years into his theory that greatness takes 10,000 hours of practice).

Howard’s film has a different emphasis from, say, Ian MacDonald’s critical classic Revolution in the Head, which was explicitly about the Beatles’ recordings. This is about the Beatles as live phenomenon, and the fact that their music was all the more remarkable because it had to be heard above the scream – that ambient sound of sex, excitement and modernity, mixed in with a thin chirrup of press envy. The scream was an important part of it. There are many familiar scenes of the Beatles being unsure, in venues such as Shea Stadium, as to whether they could even be heard at all. And the film demonstrates that the sound system, such as it was, was just the stadium’s PA speakers. What the fans heard was a thin and tinny travesty. But that was hardly the point.


Can you hear us? … the Shea stadium concert. Photograph: SubaFilms

  Eight Days A Week: how Ron Howard brought the Beatles back to life

Eight Days a Week is about what amounted to an almost unbroken four-year, semi-improvised multimedia performance for which there was no pre-existing template – not simply the music but the giant public spectacle and public scrutiny, the theatre of arriving at airports, hotels, posing for incessant photographs, and most challengingly of all, talking to journalists. With wit and good humour far in advance of anything being shown by the press corps, the Beatles came up with snappy but good-natured replies to the questions. Eddie Izzard interestingly comments on their style. All too clearly, with pointed questions about how long the group expected all this to go on, the press was waiting for a comeuppance. Eventually it came, with John Lennon’s remarks about the Beatles being bigger than Christianity. Not in the US Bible belt they weren’t. (A more accurate blasphemy would be to say they were bigger than Shakespeare.) The row soured the exhausted Beatles’ already darkening mood and it was time to quit touring.

With George Martin at Abbey Road studios. Photograph: Apple Corps

In an age before social media, the Beatles could do and say almost anything they wanted to without it rebounding. A wave of euphoria and happiness pours from the screen, and Howard’s movie surfs that wave. If there is a flaw in the film, it is that it somehow fails to notice the Beatles’ wives. Three of them were married or got married in this period, and Linda Eastman met Paul towards the end of this time. Surely their domestic lives were part of what complicated their brotherhood and made their eternal boyhood on the road untenable. There is a lot of simple, moment-by-moment pleasure to be had here. Howard dishes up familiar archive footage but new material as well: in particular, their final performance in Candlestick Park, San Francisco. The Beatles’ cherubic faces are strangely compelling: they did indeed look like intergalactic creatures who found a home on our planet

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Rest in Audio: Company Will Turn Your Ashes Into Vinyl

Now your friends can scratch you into the afterlife

Figuring out how you want to be memorialized after your death is often a lifelong question, some artists spend their whole lives trying to commit one act that may resonate beyond their mortal coil, yet for the deepest (and somewhat laziest) of audiophiles there is a convenient new answer: having your ashes pressed onto vinyl.

Founded in 2009 by Jason Leach, And Vinyly is a pun-obsessed UK-based service that allows customers to press their remains onto a vinyl record. What began “just for fun” is now a bustling business for Leach, as people can use the skull and crossbones mouse icon to choose from a selection of different packages.

You can get album artwork portraits by James Hague (of the National Portrait Gallery) or street artist Paul Insect (or just choose your own art). You can hire musicians through the company who will write and record a track at £500 (about $650) a pop (or maybe you want to write your own song?). And for those who have a hard time making decisions, you can have parts of your body cremated and committed to vinyl while the rest of your body is buried (but why not just have a Viking funeral and save everyone the confusion?).

Yet some do take this option more seriously than the website’s “Live on beyond the groove!” type candor. Aeon’s Hearing Madge documents one And Vinyly customer’s process of making a record of his deceased mother. It does make one think, what song would be on your death record?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Frank Ocean goes ‘Blond’

Anticipation for new Frank Ocean studio material has been so frenzied that somehow it seems longer than just four years since his celebrated 2012 debut “Channel Orange” heralded his arrival as a major creative force.

That brilliant soul/hip-hop hybrid includes the heartrending ballad “Bad Religion,” about forbidden, unrequited love that a closeted young man feels for a male friend. The track, in tandem with Ocean’s startling public candor about his attraction to men, created a stir for both his bravery in a sub-genre often viewed as being less than tolerant toward homosexuality (although support for Ocean far eclipsed any negative outcry) as well as for its riveting honesty. The genre-tripping collection, also highlighted by marvelous gems such as “Pyramids” and “Monks,” was hailed by critics and fans as a masterpiece and it landed on many year-end “best of” 2012 lists.

Speculation over Ocean’s next move has been almost obsessive. Every hint, comment and potential clue about the follow-up to “Channel Orange” launched a mixture of feverish anticipation and consternation by fans battling impatience while salivating over the prospect of hearing what Ocean would turn out next. Ocean finally ended the long wait with a pair of strong projects: a visual album called “Endless” that dropped on Aug. 19, and the breathlessly awaited new studio release, “Blonde,” on the following day. Despite being defiantly non-commercial in every sense of the word — there’s not a strong pop radio hook to be found — “Blonde” has already achieved massive success, shooting straight to No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.

It’s interesting to note that Ocean surrounds himself with a bevy of diverse collaborators on “Blonde” and, despite this, the album has been almost universally acclaimed by critics and revered by “serious” music fans since its release. Early this year BeyoncĂ©’s similarly vast list of contributors on “Lemonade” was viewed by some vocal critics as tacit proof that the singer is merely a pop diva propped up by those with the “real talent.” This double standard is curious, and yet not so — obvious sexism, with men often afforded more respect for their talent, has been rampant in popular music from the beginning. “Lemonade” and “Blonde” couldn’t be more different sonically and thematically, but both are bold and uncompromising works that challenge listeners and raise the bar on what standard popular music produced for mass consumption can be.

Let there be no doubt, “Blonde” is a triumph. Although the endless perfectionism that led to its long gestation may be frustrating for fans, it’s difficult to argue that the end result does not justify Ocean’s meticulous attention to detail. His downtempo, idiosyncratically structured compositions fall between the cracks of any traditionally definable genre. The overall vibe is that of fragmented dreams, an intimate night of mind travel that’s languid and shrouded in smoke, mellow and contemplative but also immediate and emotionally potent.

Frank Ocean is one of those rare artists with a singular voice, a unique and immediately identifiable sound that is boundlessly original yet wears its influences and forebearers on its sleeve (think R&B greats like Prince, Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo and Bill Withers merged with hip-hop pioneers like De La Soul punctured with other sonic excursions as diverse as the Beatles and Radiohead). His hypnotic tone poems wander in unexpected directions, looping a kaleidoscope of sounds, samples and vocal effects with complete disregard for the confining lines of standard pop, R&B or hip-hop. “Blonde” is not a flashy album — it’s low key, personal and obviously a work of intense importance for the artist. It’s deeply absorbing and rewarding, with tracks like lead single “Nikes,” “Pink + White,” “Self Control” and the epic closer “Futura Free” among the high points. It’s hardly about the individual tracks, though. “Blonde” is an experience, a continuous journey that’s fascinating to hear unfold. It rewards repeated and careful listens, great headphones and a wide open mind of musical curiosity.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Liam Gallagher says ‘Oasis will sail again’ and Noel should get back to ‘his side of the stage’

Liam Gallagher still holds out hope that Oasis will ‘sail again’.

While discussing plans to release new music in 2017 during an interview with Q Magazine – his first since the split of Beady Eye – Gallagher nevertheless had thoughts for his first and biggest love.

“I believe that Oasis will sail again and it will be glorious,” he said. “In the film (Supersonic) Noel says that Knebworth wasn’t really about Oasis, it was about the fans because you can book the biggest venue, but what if nobody had come?”
“And if it’s really about the fans Noel let’s do it, because they want it. One year. A tour for a year. We’d smash it. My bags are still packed from my last tour, so I’m ready.”

Gallagher also re-stated his belief that Noel left Oasis primarily to scratch his frontman itch, but that in the middle of the stage he presents more of a Don McLean vibe than the Steve Jones of his lead guitarist role.

“He’s a great guitarist, our kid,” Liam said. “He looks like Steve Jones when he’s over there on that side. Be happy over there. But out front he looks like Don McClean. If he thinks he’s Lee Mavers he needs to have another look at himself because Lee Mavers is dark and mysterious and you don’t know what’s going to happen with Lee Mavers.”

“You know what’s going to happen with Noel. His sleeves rolled up. It’s like Dermot O’Leary with a guitar. He needs to f**k back over his side of the stage and strike a pose.”

In the feature, Q described the forthcoming Supersonic movie, which charts Oasis’ rise from Manchester to Knebworth, as a ‘masterpiece of a rock documentary’, containing key footage from the band’s early days such as Noel Gallagher first discovering his younger brother had joined a band and the aftermath of their now legendary gig in Glasgow in the presence of Creation boss Alan McGee.


Museum Dedicated to Founding Member of The Wailers and Prolific Solo Artist Will Be Located at the Re-Named ‘Peter Tosh Square’ at the Pulse Centre in New Kingston, Jamaica

This October, late Reggae Legend Peter Tosh will be honored with the opening of a new museum dedicated to his life and impact on the music industry and the world. A founding member of the groundbreaking reggae group The Wailers along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer- his work with the group, later solo career, social activism, and advocacy of the Rastafarian religion have left a lasting mark on not only Jamaican culture, but the world at large.

The project comes on the 40th anniversary of the commercial release of Tosh’s 1976 hit single “Legalize It”, and is promised to give fans a fascinating and introspective look into the life of one of Jamaica’s most celebrated figures. Many prominent artists/entertainers who have been majorly impacted by his life and music have also been invited to attend.

When the Peter Tosh Museum officially opens its doors, Jamaicans and visitors from around the world will be able to see a large collection of never-before-seen Tosh memorabilia, as some of the treasures will be displayed to the public for the first time. Visitors will also be able to relive aspects of the non-conformist, futuristic and abundantly creative Tosh experience through sizzling audio and video recordings featuring the superstar, as well as iconic artifacts including his M16 guitar and beloved unicycle that became one of his favorite means of transportation. Also available will be exclusive merchandise for sale to the public.

Museum Launch Itinerary:

Wednesday, October 19th: Launch VIP Cocktail Event (7PM)

Thursday, October 20th: Symposium (6PM)

Friday, October 21st: Press Conference (10AM)

Saturday, October 22nd: Museum Benefit Concert (8PM)

Sunday, October 23rd: Peter Tosh Memorial Garden Excursion (9AM)

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness (Right) with Niambe McIntosh (Center, holding her Father’s M16 guitar) and Chairman of Pulse Kingsley Cooper (Left) at Jamaica House

A self-taught guitar and keyboard player, Tosh and The Wailers became pioneers of the burgeoning reggae scene in the late 1960’s, and together they toured the world for over ten years. He left the band in 1973 to pursue his solo career and earned huge success with “Legalize It” and later solo releases. The project is promised to give fans a deeper look into the man behind the music. Tosh died at the age of 42 in 1987 during a tragic home invasion.

“This is an important turning point in the preservation and advancement of my father’s legacy, and the museum will allow my father’s message of equal rights and justice to be heard by generations, both young and old,” Niambe McIntosh, daughter of the Grammy winner and administrator of the Peter Tosh Estate has recently said.

Tosh with Fellow Wailer Bob Marley and Mick Jagger, with Whom He Collaborated on 1978’s “Walk and Don’t Look Back”

The Museum project is a joint-venture collaboration between the Peter Tosh Estate, Pulse Investments Ltd, and Andrea Marlene Brown.

Pulse Chairman Kingsley Cooper, who produced the 1983 Pulse Superjam concert which became Tosh's last ever performance, and who led the initiative for the museum’s establishment, said he was pleased that the lengthy negotiation had finally borne fruit and he is looking forward to this game-changing project. “The great Rastafarian campaigner for equal rights and justice, for the abolition of apartheid and for the legalization of marijuana, who did not get his due in life, will now be duly honoured by this important addition to his legacy,” Cooper said.

Tosh left behind a legacy that included countless hits, collaborations with artists such as Mick Jagger (“Walk and Don’t Look Back”) and Keith Richards, and a family who have worked diligently in recent years on the Museum project and preserving his legacy.

The Peter Tosh Museum, opening this October, will help to further solidify Peter Tosh as a founding father of reggae, and an abounding social activist who accomplished so much in a short time.

For More Information on Peter Tosh and His Legacy, Visit:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Primal Scream + Anton Newcombe 12"

Primal Scream + Anton Newcombe

"We gave Anton an ecstatic depressive post punk blue eyed soul song to remix and he gave us back a paranoid crushingly heavy claustrophobic 9 minute dub of medicated dread psychosis and we love it" - Bobby.

'100% or Nothing' feat. Big Belly Nothing 100% Dub (Bobby Selassie and Primal Jah). Out Friday August 19th on clear vinyl. 


Frank Ocean: Endless first-listen review – brilliantly confounding

And so, after all the delays and rumours and teasers and the DIY-themed live streams, Frank Ocean’s new album is finally here! What, I hear you ask, is Boys Don’t Cry actually like?

Erm, we don’t really know. Because Frank Ocean being Frank Ocean, the album he has put out isn’t Boys Don’t Cry. At least we don’t think it is. Instead it’s billed as a “visual album” called Endless. Apparently, it is one big teaser – the teaser to end all teasers, if you will – before the real thing, with a brand-new title, arrives this weekend. Although haven’t we heard that before?

So what, I hear you ask – perhaps with a slightly less patient tone than before – is Endless like? And what the bloody hell is a “visual album”?

To answer the second question, the 18 tracks here have been released as one long video in which Ocean appears to get back on the home improvements game. We see him building a spiral staircase in his warehouse, while rocking various outfits – from an impressively baggy Jesus and Mary Chain sweater to a protective suit – as the music drifts by. And it really does drift, with brief instrumentals such as Ambience 001: In a Certain Way and the Daft Punk-sampling Hublots acting as segues. They also double up as palette-cleansers throughout what is a rich, varied and – at times – challenging musical feast.


Because Endless isn’t always an easy listen. There are computerised voices (arty curtain-raiser Device Control), hazy electronic shimmers (In Here Somewhere) and the odd snippet of conversation littered across Endless, the latter providing a pleasingly lo-fi counterbalance to what is overall a rather futuristic and lush aesthetic (the London Contemporary Orchestra provide a variety of sumptuous strings). Song structures are often free-form, especially through the second half of the record, where the point at which one song ends and another begins is difficult to keep track of. Strangest of all is the final track, Higgs, which seems to be a spoken-word advert for a Samsung Galaxy phone, read aloud by German artist Wolfgang Tillmans over pulsing electronica. It must have thrilled the execs at Apple Music.
Endless feels like an artistic statement before a pop album, even if it’s ultimately an impressive merging of the two

But the idea that this is a singularly avant-garde statement would be wide of the mark. There are clearly songs here, as proved by the swooning synth lines on Commes Des Garçons, or the reggae-tinged Slide On Me, staged over a skittering rhythm and acoustic guitar. It’s just that these tracks have the tendency to dissolve into cut-up voices, or pitch shifts, or electronic bleeps. That’s certainly the case on Alabama, but that shouldn’t discount the fact it also features Sampha’s gorgeously plaintive question: “What can I do to love you more than I do now?”

In fact, soulful melody is in no short supply throughout Endless, and Ocean’s voice ensures it’s delivered more passionately than any other mainstream pop star is managing right now. You realise how much you’ve missed that devastating falsetto the second it hovers into view on a cover of the Isley Brothers’ 1976 hit At Your Best (You Are Love). As Ocean gets busy with a circular saw (those stairs won’t build themselves, you know), the track embodies the merging of R&B and sadboy electronica that’s been developing ever since Ocean first emerged. (Hardcore Frankophiles will have heard a slightly different version in a 2015 tribute to Aaliyah.) The influence of James Blake, Sampha and Jonny Greenwood would have been heavily present here even if those artists hadn’t appeared on Endless.

Of course, your view of Endless may well depend on how you approach it. If you’re expecting a conveyor belt line of hits, then you will be somewhat disappointed as much of this album floats by hazily and with no clear direction. Endless feels like an artistic statement before a pop album, even if it’s ultimately an impressive merging of the two. You might wonder at times – perhaps as beats flicker by and Ocean starts sanding down a particularly rough piece of wood – what on earth is going on. But surely the whole point of Frank Ocean is that he likes to confound, and this really does feel like a brilliantly confounding, unique piece of work.

And besides, the full pop Frank will undoubtedly be unveiled when whatever Boys Don’t Cry is now called emerges. Probably. Possibly. Who knows with this most mysterious and intriguing of artists? All we can say for sure is that there are rumours that an image of Ocean’s face is gradually being projected on to the John Lewis store in Peterborough, along with a countdown clock to a date in March 2018, when etc etc etc.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Kanye West Surpasses Michael Jackson With His 40th Top 40 Hit

Kanye West has always been pretty forthright with his wish to be the biggest name in music since Michael Jackson. It’s a desire he first made clear way, way back in 2004 on his debut The College Dropout, and it’s a claim he has continued to make in each one of his albums ever since. But now it seems like Kanye has truly made it, as he has officially surpassed Michael by earning his 40th Top 40 Hot 100 hit on mainstream radio.

This record-breaking moment came courtesy of Ye’s feature on ScHoolboy Q’s single “Hhat Part,” which moved up to the 40th slot on the Hot 100 this weekend, just nudging Kanye in amongst the top 10 highest charting male artists ever. But he still has a long way to go if he plans on claiming that number one spot, which is currently held by Elvis with a whopping 80 hits. He’ll also have to pass the likes of James Brown, Stevie Wonder and his mentor/best friend Jay Z along the way.

But regardless of the obstacles ahead, he’s done it. Expect any future references to MJ to be served with a good deal more shade.

For the full statistics on the highest-ranking male artists of the Hot 100, head over to Billboard.

Sick Feeling, Diet Choke, Nani, Chorizo at Bowery Electric, August 10

Monday, August 8, 2016

Warpaint 2016 North American tour

Warpaint were one of the highlights at last October’s III Points Festival in Miami, their set described as “hypnotizing and reassuring,” and offering both “chemistry and sonic fidelity.” The California dream pop outfit will look to impress more audiences on its newly announced North American fall tour. The outing commences in late September and runs through mid-October. Consult the full schedule below.

Revisit Warpaint standout “Love is to Die” The band’s last album was 2014’s acclaimed self-titled LP. Warpaint 2016 Tour Dates:
09/19 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
09/20 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial Vancouver
09/21 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
09/23 – Oakdale, CA @ Symbiosis Festival
09/24 – Long Beach, CA @ Music Tastes Good
09/25 – Las Vegas, NV @ Life is Beautiful Festival
09/27 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
09/29 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
09/30 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
10/01 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
10/03 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
10/04 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10/06 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
10/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
10/08 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
10/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
10/12 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
10/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
10/22 – Bristol, UK @ Simple Things Festival
10/23 – Edinburg, UK @ Queens Hall
10/24 – Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall
10/26 – Liverpool, UK @ The Dome
10/27 – London, UK @ The Roundhouse
10/29 – Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Festival
10/30 – Cologne, DE @ Live Musik Hall
11/01 – Berlin, DE @ Astra
11/02 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
11/04 – Reykjavik, IS @ Iceland Airwaves