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SXSW Announces The 1975, Against Me!, And More

sxsw_2012-300x118Hard to believe, but SXSW has announced yet another round of new artists, bringing the total to an amazing 2,000-plus acts. But after seeing that the new additions include The 1975, Against Me!, and St. Vincent we have to admit it’s worth expanding an already enormous lineup. Also performing will be Kelis, Damon Albarn, Chromeo, Ingrid Michaelson, Kylesa, Speedy Ortiz, SZA, Lucius, Jacques Green, together PANGEA, Women’s Hour, Betty Who, and Lost in the Trees. You can view the full lineup here (warning: it’s going to take you a while to sift through), and catch SXSW from March 7-16 in Austin, TX.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Blur!

Damon Albarn has been playing with our emotions lately, first claiming that both Gorillaz and Blur were done for, then backing away from so definitive a final judgement.

Seems that he was right to do so, as today Blur has confirmed speculation (resulting from an extended teaser campaign) and debuted two new songs, “Under The Westway” and “The Puritan.” The band announced the live stream and then digital availability of the tracks via their official Twitter, @blurofficial. Check out the performances here with links to buy the tracks.

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Damon Albarn: Blur and Gorillaz are NOT done

Last month The Guardian released an interview that devastated Blur and Gorillaz fans everywhere, as Damon Albarn revealed that it was the end of the line for the two iconic bands. Well, in a recent interview with Metro the musician once again addressed the issue, saying, well… maybe not.

Blur is still set to perform at London’s Hyde Park for the Olympics closing ceremony in August, but what happens after that is anybody’s guess, says Albarn. “Some days I feel one way and other days I feel the other….We want to put on a great performance, but nothing’s been said between us about the beginning or the end.” As for the Gorillaz, it seems that Albarn is feeling a little more optimistic than before, leaving future prospects up to co-creator Jamie Hewlett. When Jamie [Hewlett] and I have worked out our differences, I’m sure we’ll make another record,” he says, in reference to a falling out between the two musicians.

Damon Albarn Announces The End of Blur and The Gorillaz

According to RollingStone, Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz has provided clear indication that both bands are reaching their end. In an interview with The Guardian, Albarn was asked if Blur had planned any performance dates after their upcoming and anticipated Olympic closing concert. Albarn responded with, “No, not really. I hope that’s the truth and that that’s how we end it.” The singer also said that “Under the Westway,” a new stand-alone single recorded by the band, is likely to be the last studio recording by the band. “I don’t really see any more recordings after this,” says Albarn. “So it’s nice to have finally done one song where we did it properly.”

Albarn indicated that the different priorities of his bandmates played a part in bringing Blur to an end, stating, “One thing I’ve learned, and I’m sure you’re exactly the same, is that everything I think I’ve got totally sorted out, and I know exactly what’s going to happen, it never works out that way,” he says. “I find it very easy to record with [guitarist] Graham [Coxon]. He’s a daily musician. With the other two, it’s harder for them to reconnect. You know what I mean? It’s fine when we play live “ it’s really magical still “ but actually recording new stuff, and swapping musical influences, it’s quite difficult.” Rolling Stone reports that the group had been slowly writing and recording new material over the past few years, but only the one-off singles “Fool’s Day” and “Under the Westway” were completed and released in that time, according to Albarn.

Albarn didn’t let up on the bad news, as he began to doubt on the future of Gorillaz as well, claiming a future for the band is “unlikely” due to a disagreement with his collaborator on the project, artist Jamie Hewlett: “Jamie [thinks Gorillaz is finished], which is fair enough. I think we were at cross purposes somewhat on that last record, which is a shame. So until a time comes when that knot has been untied…”

Continuing, he claimed that the tension between Hewlett and himself initially began when the artist didn’t provide much new art for the tour in support of their 2009 album Plastic Beach. “The music and the videos weren’t working as well together, but I felt we’d made a really good record, and I was into it. So we went and played it.”

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Lourdes Leon launches Material Girl blog

Madonna and Lourdes Leon

Lourdes Leon and her somewhat famous mother are launching a fashion line together. It’s called Material Girl, naturally. Leon introduced the line with a blog entry that is as adorable as one might expect from an excited 13-year-old. I am totally obsessivo [sic] about ˜80s shorts ¦ you know the kind that makes your butt look kinda big, she says. Look out Women’s Wear Dailywe’ve got a fashion writer on our hands. Leon goes on to extol the greatness of My Chemical Romance (They are so awesome it hurts) and reveal that come October and her 14th birthday, she’ll finally get to dye her hair (THANK YOU MOTHER!!) The blog entry is richly rewarding “ take a look at it here.

The Bad

Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas subject of badly-timed Teen Vogue cover

Lovato and Jonas

Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas’s cover for this month’s Teen Vogue is a mix of denim and awkward. Lovato and Jonas shot the cover and inside photo spread whilst still dating. Alas, their chaste love ended but two days later. Teen scandal! Read the issue and remember the way they were.

The Ugly

Woman buys MJ’s star-studded glove for $190,000

Marking the year anniversary of the King of Pop’s death, $1 million worth of memorabilia went up for auction, including the iconic Swarovski-studded glove Jackson wore on his 1984 Victory Tour. That item alone was expected to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000, but ultimately sold for $190,000 to Wanda Kelly of Los Angeles. Her hand must have looked fierce waving goodbye to all that dough. Hope it was worth it.

Chris Brown cries through MJ tribute performance

Chris Brown

During his four-minute dance tribute to Michael Jackson for Sunday night’s BET Awards, Chris Brown broke down in tears and was unable to finish performing his set. And it wasn’t because he lost the auction for the glove. So which song reduced the troubled performer to a sobbing wreck and delivered a big dose of schadenfreude to his haters? Was it (A) The Way You Make Me Feel, (B) Billie Jean or (C) Man in the Mirror? We’ll give you a hint it’s C.

Miscellany