mon 10/08/2020

New Music Features

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Leaving Eden and Moving On

Kieron Tyler

Something falls with a clatter from one of Dom Flemons’s pockets. The Carolina Chocolate Drops’s banjo player, guitarist and all-round picker and plucker has a lot of pockets. Earlier, he’d produced a pipe from one, a tobacco pouch and tuning pipes from others, but what has just dropped on the table are his bones. His musical bones. The ones whose rhythms are rarely far from the heart of his band. “You never know when you’re going to need them,” he says. “Sometimes you just get bored."

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theASHtray: Whitney, bin men, and the NPG's 'incautious' acquisitions

ASH Smyth

Right, out with it: who else had their Valentine’s dinner-out ruined by 36 consecutive requests for Whitney Houston? Not even the entire back-catalogue, either: just “(And I-ee-I-ee-) I…”, over and over.

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Whitney Houston: The Legacy of an R&B Diva

Paul McGee

Of the many statements and tributes coming from peers and fans following the death of Whitney Houston last Saturday, perhaps the most unlikely of all was the one from the website of Diamanda Galás. One mightn't have imagined the most fiercely uncompromising singer of her (or any other) generation rushing to the defence of someone widely seen as the patron saint of the just-add-water divas of The X Factor age.

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theASHtray: Beyoncé, 'Bond', and Eddie Redmayne's lips

ASH Smyth

So, Birdsong is over, and for all the arts-crit ink spilled upon it I am still none the wiser vis-à-vis my three main points of concern. First: it is a truth universally acknowledged (I asked around) that the most memorable episode in the Faulks novel was the one about the blowjob. This scene was not so much absent from the TV version as, er... cunningly re-gendered. Why?!

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John Martyn: Three-Year Wake

graeme Thomson

Exactly three years ago, late in the morning of 29 January, 2009, the news began to circulate that John Martyn had died at the age of 60. I spent the following 24 hours or so talking to many of his cronies to help assemble a tribute feature for a music magazine. Chris Blackwell, the man who had signed him to Island in 1967, had just stepped off a plane in Jamaica. He sounded fuzzy and uncertain. He knew Martyn was dead but needed details. “What happened, I haven’t heard?” he asked.

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2011: The Rave Returns

joe Muggs

Against all the odds, I find myself going into 2012 with a strong sense of optimism. And the reason? I am a born-again rave zealot. I saw it at Outlook Festival in Croatia, I saw it at Sónar in Barcelona, and I saw it at the Big Chill where I was running a stage; participatory, constructive, creative partying, where the crowds go not just to be entertained but to plug into something bigger, to be part of something.

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2011: King Lear, Breaking Bad and Afro-Futurism

Peter Culshaw

The Mayans say 2012 is The End, so this may be the very last round-up of the year. I saw possibly the best Shakespeare I’ve ever seen – a chamber version of King Lear at the Donmar Theatre directed by Michael Grandage with Derek Jacobi as the mad old King, presenting a perfectly credible mix of vanity, vulnerability, craziness and tenderness.

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2011: Ladies With Ukuleles and Blockbusters With Bite

howard Male

2011 was an excellent year for highly original music from female musicians, two of whom brandished ukuleles yet found quite different ways of using them.

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theartsdesk Christmas Quiz

ismene Brown

You're going to test your stomach and sweet temper to the maximum today - test your brain and memory too with our monster quiz about the arts covered by theartsdesk in 2011. Every artform is represented here in 12 dozen questions. Settle down between courses, films and presents and see how many you and your near and dear can do.

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theartsdesk Christmas Quiz - Answers

theartsdesk

Here are the answers to our monster Christmas arts quiz of 12 dozen questions on the year past, as seen by theartsdesk writers. There are clues in all the questions in the main quiz page. If you don't want to know the answers just yet till you've grappled with them, close this page now.

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