Electric & Musical Industries was formed in 1931, initially releasing classical music, but went on to launch the Beatles, who changed the record label's operations and funded the company for years and years. The label's recording rules were further broadened by Queen and Pink Floyd. EMI ushered punk into the mainstream with Sex Pistols, and then embraced the New Romanticism and the polished excesses of Duran Duran. They made music videos big with Pet Shop Boys and made Brit Pop a thing with Blur, and were home to Radiohead. This is the inside story of EMI, one of the greatest British brands in recording history, as told by people involved with the record label's storied history, augmented by company and performance footage. [more inside]
Damon Albarn talks about each track on Everyday Robots. Damon Albarn has released Everyday Robots (reviews here, here, and here), his first "official" solo album (I guess Democrazy doesn't count). He talks about every track on SoundCloud.
Damon Albarn has released a video for the title track from his upcoming (and first-ever!) solo album, Everyday Robots. Rolling Stone has asked him questions about it. He recently performed a few new songs and some old ones at the Sundance Film Festival. Aitor Throup, a London-based menswear designer, is the album's "creative director."
What can we really tell about these tracks’ place in a world where the common consensus has airbrushed the Outhere Brothers and Robson & Jerome into a parallel world? Track one: Parklife by Blur. Track two: Cigarettes and Alcohol by Oasis. So began Polygram's series of Shine compilations, ten double CDs issued between April 1995 and August 1998 - an imperfect document of a timeframe that includes a battle for number one making the news bulletins, and Jarvis Cocker invading Michael Jackson's Brit performance. The Shine Years, by Simon Sweeping The Nation, is recapping the Shine compilation albums chronologically, track by track.
"The Beatles and the Rolling Stones rule pop music, Carnaby Street ruled the fashion world...and me and my brother ruled London." Reginald "Reggie" Kray and his twin brother Ronald "Ronnie" Kray were the foremost perpetrators of organized crime in London's East End during the 1950s and 1960s. [more inside]
The 2010 Glastonbury Festival begins on the 23rd June at Worthy Farm in the village of Pilton, Somerset. [more inside]
"I don't distinguish the difference between work and play," says Liz Diller. "My husband and I are very obsessed with our work, and it's contiguous with our personal lives." Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio aren't only some of the most visible architects of contemporary urban public space; they're also married to each other. Perhaps the most high profile couple in a profession that seems to be particularly conducive to this kind of working marriage, Diller and Scofidio (and, now, their partner/tie-breaker Charles Renfro) have in recent years collaborated on projects including heavy-use public structures like the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston (review), and Alice Tully Hall (review) and the High Line park (review) in New York, as well as more whimsical projects like the Blur building for Swiss Expo 2002 at Lake Neuchatel, and Arbores Laetae ("Joyful Trees") at the 2008 Liverpool Biennial. The architects talk to FLYP magazine about their marriage and to Charlie Rose about their work.
In his autobiography, published in 2007, Blur bassist Alex James admitted to blowing a million pounds on champagne and cocaine. This confession led to an invitation from Colombia's President Uribe to visit the country and see the damage being caused by the drug trade. He went, and the BBC filmed it (one, two, three).
Damon Albarn’s career reads like a roadmap to some musical no-man's land: start a pop band, turn into an indie/hip-hop/dub “virtual” group, followed by a supergroup featuring Tony Allen and Paul Simonon, and throw in an album of Malian guitar music for good measure. [more inside]
Damon & Jamie's Excellent Adventure is a documentary following the Gorillaz' boys - Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett - as they attempt to make an opera based on classic Chinese novel Journey to the West [or for them - the 70s television show Monkey]. The documentary follows the two year process with a decent section on Albarn's approach to learning a new form of music.
Parkspliced. Blur's Parklife remixed/bootlegged/mashed-up a la London Booted (and while you're in the mood: Hanzo Steel).
Attack of the Disco Furball! The cute animated character has become something of a staple for alterno-pop videos - from the runaway milk carton in Blur's Coffee and TV to the big-nosed moper in Moby's Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad. But new heights of weirdness are reached on this Flash video called Jive County which shows a be-stetsoned one-legged bundle of hair bouncing to an electro beat.
The Blur Building. Now you can spend your day in a literal fog.
Love and Poison tells the story of BritPop's love triangle -- Blur's Damon Albarn, Suede's Brett Anderson, and Elastica's Justine Frischmann. These articles from The Guardian are an excerpt from John Harris' "The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock."
blur are back. My favourite band since seeing them play in a pub in Leicester, blur release their 7th album next month. They "invented" Britpop, then reinvented themselves when the backlash began, and it's lovely to still have them around. Something I've grown with and recognise as I stare at another edition of Top of the Pops, understanding nothing of the karaoke-cover-pap in the charts today. If you're going to see them in London next month, I'll be the one at the back with a pint in my hand and a contented smile on my face (too old for this jumping around at the front lark)...
World's Greatest CEO? Comparison shopping site MySimon.com had its namesake character animated by Blur studios, and placed into a live-action commercial where he goes to a party and tells everyone how much cheaper they could have gotten various items in attendance. Apparently Frank DiMauro of Chapel Hill, NC didn't like the commercials and told the CEO of the animation studio who really could've cared less what Frank thought. I wish all CEO's had the nutz to reply to jerks like this guy. (Thanx to the Digital Pimps at BadAssMofo for this story and link).