sun 28/02/2021

New Music Buzz

Birthdays on the Tube: 28 February-6 March

Peter Culshaw Lou Reed: Happy Birthday, you old curmurgeon

Our ongoing series celebrating musicians’ birthdays. This week’s include Lou Reed, in action in a stupendous version of "Venus in Furs" with the Velvet Underground, Chopin played by the wonderful Martha Argerich, archive footage of Miriam Makeba, Brian Jones and bottle-neck blues maestro, Furry Lewis. Videos below.

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The name of this band is Atoms For Peace

Peter Culshaw Commemorative Stamp issued before the band have even played a gig

The blogs are alive with the sound of Thom Yorke of Radiohead's new band, which he told us today had the name Atoms For Peace. "It seemed bleedin' obvious," said Yorke of the name on the Radiohead website Dead Air Space. Nerdy, pacifist, retro, ironical: the name ticks all the boxes. An antique phrase of "super-group", once used to describe bands like Blind Faith, has been dusted down to...

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Plastic People vs the Ministry

joe Muggs The diverse and switched-on crowd on Plastic People's dancefloor

Two London clubs currently appear to be under threat. The Ministry of Sound, one of the most successful brands in club music's history, is kicking up a fuss because new housing block planned opposite it may make it vulnerable to noise complaints. Meanwhile, rumours have flown around over the last 48 hours that police are lobbying Hackney Council against Plastic People in Shoreditch...

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Headbanging against repressive regimes

Peter Culshaw The heavy metal magazine Painkiller has been published in Beijing since 2000- pic of Chingui, faces blurred for safety

A new report from Freemuse, the organisation which campaigns against music censorship, describes the oppression of heavy metal musicians in numerous countries. From the underground to the mainstream, heavy metal is a global phenomenon attracting millions of fans – but along the way it has gained many enemies too. “Long-haired music”, as it has been described in Malaysia and China, has been banned by both governments.

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Birthdays on the Tube: 21-27 February

Peter Culshaw Johnny Cash

This week’s birthday videos include guitarists Andrés Segovia playing a fandango, Japanese heavy metal hero Akira Takasaki and George Harrison. Then there’s Johnny Cash and murdered Afghan singer Nusrat Parsa. It's also the birthday of the mighty Handel. Videos below.

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Brit Awards 2010, Earls Court

Adam Sweeting

And so to the windswept hangar of Earls Court, and the 30th Anniversary Brit Awards. Except it wasn’t, because as any pedant knows the very first Brits (then mystifyingly entitled the British Record Industry Britannia Centenary Awards) occurred in 1977. No matter.

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Double standards for music blogs?

joe Muggs

It has been reported today that Google - via its Blogger and Blogspot services - has been closing down popular music blogs and wiping their archives without warning, citing copyright violation by those blogs who post downloadable mp3s of the tracks they review. While hosting copyright material may not by the letter of the law be legal, it seems that this heavy handed approach completely ignores the subtlety of the "grey economy" that exists between bloggers and a music industry which knows full...

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Alex Ross gives RPS lecture on re-inventing the concert

Peter Culshaw

Should we be silent in classical concerts?  Alex Ross, the classical critic of the New Yorker and writer of the superb panorama of 20th Century music The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, an “unlikely mass-market proposition” which has been a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic will be giving this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Lecture. His talk is entitled Inventing and Reinventing the Classical Concert and will be given on 8 March at the Wigmore...

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Music for Seven Ice Cream Vans

Peter Culshaw Mivvi time

Mine's a Strawberry Mivvi, if you are buying, thanks. Suburban Counterpoint: Music for Seven Ice Cream Vans is a deliciously intriguing work by composer Dan Jones that does what it says on the tin. It will be performed as part of this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival in May, before being reprised in London.

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South Bank goes Brazilian for the summer

Peter Culshaw

As Jude Kelly put it today, the Southbank Centre’s Festival Brazil this summer is about a country "living its future now" (link here...

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