tue 29/09/2020

New Music Features

Steve Strange, 1959-2015

Bruce Dessau

The death of Steve Strange, aged 55, was both a surprise and not a surprise to me. His adult life in and out of the spotlight had been something of an unpredictable rollercoaster ride where anything could happen.

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theartsdesk in Aalborg: Northern Winter Beat 2015

Kieron Tyler

It’s the kind of care-worn venue that’s obviously seen some history. The walls are plastered with handbills for uncompromising bands like Billy Childish’s The Headcoats and America’s God Bullies. Some nosing reveals that it opened in 1983 and Green Day played here in 1993 while paving the way to conquering the world. 1000FRYD – “tusanfrid” if you’re Danish – is low-ceilinged, narrow, tiny and has a stage which would struggle to hold a band with more than five members.

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PJ Harvey: Recording in Progress, Artangel at Somerset House

mark Kidel

Artangel continues to instigate extraordinary events in extraordinary places. Over the past two decades and more, directors Michael Morris and James Lingwood have helped generate major and ground-breaking work by Rachel Whiteread, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Roni Horn, Jeremy Deller, Steve McQueen, Matthew Barney, Gregor Schneider, Francis Alÿs and many others. It's a long list.

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The Story of The Beatles' Last Song

james Woodall

Summer was nigh. In May 1969 the Lennons bought Tittenhurst Park, an 85-acre estate in the same stockbroker belt as John’s first Beatles home, Kenwood. It needed work and a while would pass before they moved in. At EMI, John and Yoko busied themselves with their resistible third LP, The Wedding Album. Heroin intake was vigorous.

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Best of 2014: World Music

Peter Culshaw

The most extraordinary bunch of global musicians I met this year were the groups who were singing on the barricades during the Ukrainian Revolution on the Maidan Square, foremost among them the all-female Dakh Daughters, who describe themselves as "freak cabaret". The video below is well worth a look as they sing in front of massed ranks of police and army to an exhilarated crowd (the music comes in after five minutes):

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Ian McLagan, 1945-2014

Kieron Tyler

The news that keyboard player Ian McLagan had died of a stroke at 2:39pm today at a hospital in his adopted home of Austin, Texas is tremendously sad. McLagan outlived his former Small Faces bandmates Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott, and it seemed as though he would be around forever. Drummer Kenney Jones is the only Small Faces member left with us.

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Sci-Fi Week: Space Rock

Kieron Tyler

In 1971, the British rock group UFO released their second album. Titled One Hour Space Rock, its cover bore the subtitle Flying and, yes, images of UFOs in the form of flying saucers and a bald, naked and pink humanoid with claw-like fingernails. Musically, although the album had its freaky sections and sported the lengthy tracks "Star Storm" and "Flying", what was on offer was mostly day-to-day blues-rock.

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CD Special: The Basement Tapes Complete

Tim Cumming

Earlier this year, bobdylan.com posted “Full Moon & Empty Arms”, a song associated with Sinatra and the popular music of America before rock'n'roll. Dylan’s new version seemed to presage an album of tunes of similar vintage titled Shadows in the Night, featuring the likes of “Melancholy Baby”, “On a Little Street in Singapore” and “Stormy Weather”.

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Annie Lennox: The Jazz Singer

Peter Culshaw

Annie Lennox is a far more fascinating artist than she’s often given credit for. Perhaps because she has been around for decades (she’s now 59) and hasn’t self-destructed like her friend Amy Winehouse or gone into exile for ages like Kate Bush, or Patti Smith, she has less of a fierce mystique and feels more a familiar part of the landscape.

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Robert Wyatt: Different Every Time

Marcus O'Dair

As the presenter of a regular music podcast for a national newspaper, I used to be in the happy position of interviewing one or two artists of my choice per month, provided they were signed to an independent label. So when Domino released a Robert Wyatt box set in 2008, I spent a glorious afternoon with Robert and his wife and creative partner Alfie, in their Lincolnshire garden. I enjoyed myself so much, in fact, that I set out to find an excuse to do it again.

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