First of all, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as the Russian Police Choir, much less that they were fans of Daft Punk‘s hit, “Get Lucky.” (Where was I when they covered the track last November?) But Friday night at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, the Ministry of Internal Affairs Choir got all gussied up in their dark green and yellow uniforms just before letting Daft Punk’s music take over and spending the next five minutes boogying away for thousands of live audience members. Two lead singers stole the show (I mean, they were really into it) while others gave noteworthy bobs and sways, grooving to the music in the background. To be honest, it was kind of endearing. Check it out below or at NBCOlympics.com. (more…)
Good news. In a goodwill maneuver, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an amnesty for a slew of prisoners, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, and Maria Alyokhina, 25, both of the punk rock band Pussy Riot.
The women were sentenced to two years in prison for staging a protest performance in a Russian church. Over the last several months, Tolokonnikova, known as Nadia, has been the subject of intense international concern, first for her health as she staged a hunger strike, and then for her safety as she disappeared for several weeks during the course of a transfer. She later turned up in a Siberian prison colony.
It’s easy to see this move as a public relations tactic in advance of Russia’s hosting of the Winter Olympic Games, and the president was very clear that amnesty was not granted because of the specifics of the cases (30 Greenpeace activists will also be freed), but rather in honor of the 20th anniversary of Russia’s post-Soviet constitution. He said, “I was not sorry that they (the Pussy Riot members) ended up behind bars. I was sorry that they were engaged in such disgraceful behavior, which in my view was degrading to the dignity of women.”
Lawyers for the Pussy Riot members hope the women, who were scheduled for release in March 2014, will be freed within the next few days. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was convicted along with her bandmates but had her sentence suspended on appeal.
More like this:
Pussy Riot Declared Guilty Of Hooliganism, Receive Two Years In Prison, Remain Punk As Hell
Pussy Riot Member Reportedly In Serious Condition, Family Denied Access
Russian Officials Address Reports Of Missing Pussy Riot Member
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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.
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.”
S Club 7 is ready for a comeback. Among the plans for the pop group are a summer tour, a new album and the possibility of a Greatest Hits album. Members Hannah Spearritt, Paul Cattermole, Rachel Stevens, Jon Lee, Tina Barrett, Jo O’Meara and Bradley McIntosh have already reportedly signed a seven-figure deal to begin their tour across the U.K., which also coincides with such events as the Olympics and Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.
The group, who rose to fame in 1999 with their television series Miami 7, split up in 2003 to pursue their own careers. Despite many rumors of them reuniting in the past, it seems that this could be the real deal. Let’s just say that for old fans, this news is a “dream come true.”
According to Rolling Stone, British icons Blur are set to be the headliners of this year’s Olympic closing ceremony, which will take place at London’s Hyde Park later this summer. The band, who split up in 2003 and eventually reunited in 2009, says that this performance for the BT London Live shall be even better than their reunion show. What’s more, they shall be receiving the Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the BRIT awards tonight.
Other bands scheduled to join Blur at the closing ceremonies are New Order and the Specials, making the event an iconic night for British music.
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