fri 07/05/2021

songwriters

Album: Ted Barnes - 17 Postcards

Ted Barnes is an outsider by design. Not in the sense of being wilfully awkward or outré – the music on his first solo album in almost 13 years years is gentle, harmonically rich, extremely accessible – but in that he has sidestepped standard career...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Daryl Hall

Writing something people want to stream one billion times is inconceivable for most of us. But then, most of us aren't Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Daryl Hall. Alongside John Oates, he is behind some of the greatest pop songs of all time: "Maneater...

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Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche review - memorialising her mother

There was always something a little diffident about teenage Marion Elliott-Said, who created her on-stage persona Poly Styrene after putting together her band X-Ray Spex from a small ad in the back pages of the NME in 1977. Male fans and the music...

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Britney Spears (1998-present): The Video Special

Interest in Britney Spears has not waned. The #FreeBritney movement, the new documentary Framing Britney Spears, and the ongoing controversy around her father’s legal conservatorship have served to put her back in the public eye over the last year....

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Album: Willie Nelson - That's Life

“That cat’s a blues singer,” Frank Sinatra famously said of Willie Nelson. “He can sing my stuff but I don’t know if I can sing his.” The two men sang together, on stage and on record, and Nelson, 87, is now older than Sinatra when he took his final...

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Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: the level playing field

Theartsdesk is a labour of love. Bloody-mindedly run as a co-operative of journalists from the beginning, our obsession with maintaining a daily-updated platform for good culture writing has caused a good few grey and lost hairs over the years. But...

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Album: Passenger – Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted

The tears of a clown is a familiar enough metaphor – a cliché, perhaps – and as an image it adorns the sleeve of the latest album by Mike Rosenberg, better known as Passenger, the platinum-selling former Brighton busker. Scheduled originally for...

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Filmmaker Frank Marshall: 'People don’t understand what geniuses The Bee Gees were'

Frank Marshall might not be the biggest household name, but his footprint on Hollywood is unrivalled. He has produced hits ranging from Indiana Jones and Back to the Future to Jason Bourne and Jurassic World. He also takes occasional forays into...

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10 Questions for Singer/Pianist Joe Stilgoe

Singer/pianist/songwriter/entertainer Joe Stilgoe responded remarkably rapidly to the new circumstances of March 2020. Even before the first nationwide lockdown was declared, he had started doing a series of daily performances on YouTube: “Stilgoe...

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Album: Sparks - A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip

Apparently a freaky, brilliant novelty in 1974, Sparks have proved eternally invincible: the synthpop duo template, glam and disco avatars, chasing the pop grail across the globe as their latest mode hit the local chart mark. Lightly worn resilience...

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Album: X – Alphabetland

It’s 35 years since the original and best loved line up of X last released any new material: the less than special Ain’t Love Grand. Somewhat unexpectedly then, a new album, Alphabetland has appeared out of the ether and it’s certainly up there with...

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Album: Joan as Policewoman – Cover Two

Glorious Joan is back! Eleven years after her first covers album, with that very cheeky artwork, comes Joan Wasser’s celebration of "songs I adore" – 10 tunes that she’s been working on ever since 2009.Those lucky enough to have caught her in...

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