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Weekly Roundup: 18th January 2009

By on Sunday, 18th January 2009 at 11:13 pm

This week has certainly been jam packed with music news – here’s a roundup of the hot headlines hitting the press this week!

Russell Brand (side)Pete Doherty has announced his forthcoming solo album will be released on March 16th and will be titled ‘Grace/Wastelands’. A debut single from the twelve-track album will be released March 9th, called ‘Last of the English Roses’. Blur guitarist, Graham Coxon, and singer-songwriter, Dot Allison, are just some of the names Doherty has collaborated with on the new album.

Boy George was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Friday after being charged with false imprisonment. The former Culture Club singer is said to have handcuffed and beaten a male escort at his East London flat in April of 2007. Boy George, real name George O’Dowd, denies all charges.

Katy Perry (pictured top) and her smash hit ‘I Kissed A Girl’ were incorrectly awarded the gong for Best International Song at the NRJ Awards in Cannes. The trophy was actually intended for Rihanna and her hit song ‘Disturbia’, but Perry was mistakely announced as the winner at the famous French award show.

Famous London music venue, The Astoria, closed it’s doors for good this Friday to make way for the new Crossrail transportation project. The famous venue, which will be completely demolished, has hosted a range of iconic gigs from The Rolling Stones, to Nirvana, to Radiohead.

Lady GaGaRussell Brand (pictured top right) is rumoured to be releasing a novelty one-off single with the help of music mogul, Simon Cowell. The song, titled ‘The Chugga Chugga Song’, even comes complete with a supposed dance routine. Syco Records were apparently made aware of the song after Russell played the track on his now defunct Radio 2 show.

Damon Albarn has expressed concern over the upcoming Blur reunion gigs at Hyde Park this July. Following his playing of a 1997 live Blur session on Radio 1 this week, Damon said “I’m going to have to work hard to get back to that standard.”.

Lady GaGa (pictured left) is number one for the second week in a row this Sunday with hit track, ‘Just Dance’. The New York songstress is proving a big hit with music fans – her album, ‘The Fame’ is also notching at an impressive number three in this week’s album charts.

And finally, check out the new music video for the week – ‘Fonz’, by the brilliant Eugene McGuinness. The track, which is taken from his acclaimed self-titled album, is set to be released next month (February 23rd).


Russell Brand photo is taken from The Street Circus’ flickr stream under the Creative Commons license.


New Album: Royksopp

By on Tuesday, 6th January 2009 at 9:21 pm

RoyksoppIt’s that time of year again when the music business gets back on its feet after the excesses of the holidays and the end-of-year parties. What better way to get over those hangovers, get rid of the excesses and feel a little bit better than a spot of dance / electro from the kings of all things electronic in Norway, Röyksopp.

The duo, known to their friends as Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland, are about to release their third album, Junior, on 23rd March, and along with their usual mainstream-friendly anthems they’ve added a few very famous guest singers in the shape of the gorgeous Lykke Li and Robyn.

As a special taster, they’re giving away a free MP3 they made about their birthday (below).

MP3: Röyksopp: Happy Birthday

The 11 track CD is out in just over two months, but expect a fair bit more about this duo from us soon – whilst it took me a while to come across their first album, once I had it was one of those “oh, that song’s by them too!” moments. Their second album (The Understanding) whilst not as commercially successful was still amazing, and one that has a special place in my collection.

Side image comes from Roboppy’s flickr stream under the Creative Commons License.


And Christmas Number One Goes To…

By on Sunday, 21st December 2008 at 11:46 pm

Jeff BuckleyIt’s that time of year again when the race to the top of the charts is at it’s most competitive. But who has managed to win this year’s festive contest to Christmas number one? Well, despite a considerable campaign to knock her off the top spot, X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke has still managed to claim the coveted position with her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’.

Burke’s version sold over half a million copies this week, making it the fastest-selling single by a female solo artist, ever. Entering on download sales alone, the late Jeff Buckley (pictured right) followed closely behind Burke at number two with his version of the same iconic song. But which ‘Hallelujah’ do you prefer? Check out the videos to both versions, below!

Alexandra Burke –


Jeff Buckley –


Other vintage tracks experiencing a revival in this week’s chart battle include The Pogues and Kirsty Maccoll’s ‘Fairytale of New York’, reaching number twelve and Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ at seventeen. Here is the complete Christmas top twenty :

  1. Alexandra Burke : Hallelujah
  2. Jeff Buckley : Hallelujah
  3. Leona Lewis : Run
  4. Beyonce : If I Were A Boy
  5. Geraldine : Once Upon A Christmas Song
  6. James Morrison/Nelly Furtado : Broken Strings
  7. Kings Of Leon: Use Somebody
  8. Beyonce : Listen
  9. Take That : Greatest Day
  10. Britney Spears : Womanizer
  11. The Killers : Human
  12. The Pogues featuring Kirsty Maccoll : Fairytale of New York
  13. Bandaged : Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth
  14. Katy Perry : Hot ‘N’ Cold
  15. X Factor Finalists : Hero
  16. Alesha Dixon : The Boy Does Nothing
  17. Mariah Carey : All I Want For Christmas
  18. Akon : Right Now (Na Na Na)
  19. Girls Aloud : The Promise
  20. Beyonce : Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)

I personally was gunning for Status Quo’s track, ‘It’s Christmas Time’, but as you can see that didn’t even reach the top twenty (sigh..).

Meanwhile, Take That reached the top of the album charts this week with ‘The Circus’. The album reached the headlines this week after selling over a million copies in just eleven days. Consequently, the album has become the fastest-selling of the 21st century! Wowza! Certainly a record-breaking and generally exciting week for the music industry! Merry Christmas!


Rock My Baby

By on Friday, 19th December 2008 at 10:17 am

Ok now I have heard everything. Guns N Roses seem to always be in the news for some odd reason or another but I would never expect the rock legends to be a popular substitution for a bedtime lullaby. A recent surveyor, who had a lot of time on their hands, found out that modern mums are more likely to sing material from bands like Oasis and Guns N Roses rather than traditional lullabies to get their young offspring to drop off.

A website dedicated to babies polled 2000 mothers and found some absolutely crazy results. Songs like Take That’s “Patience” and Robbie Williams’ “Angels” are among the most popular choices which is weird but I suppose they are suitable. However, the top 20 from the survey included tracks like “I kissed a girl” by Katy Perry and “Dance Wiv Me” by Dizzee Rascal which don’t seem the most appropriate for our little ones.  I don’t know what the world is coming to.

The top 20 are shown below:

1. Take That – Patience
2. Robbie Williams – Angels
3. Katy Perry – I Kissed A Girl
4. James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
5. Elvis Presley – Love Me Tender
6. Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
7. Duffy – Warwick Avenue
8. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
9. Oasis – Wonderwall
10. The Sugababes – Girls
11. That That – Back For Good
12. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
13. Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do it for You
14. Adele – Chasing Pavements
15. Girls Aloud – I’ll Stand By You
16. Dizzee Rascal – Dance Wiv Me
17. Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U
18. Westlife – Flying Without Wings
19. Corinne Bailey Rae – Put Your Records On
20. The Spice Girls – Mama


Change is Coming to Hip-Hop

By on Tuesday, 16th December 2008 at 5:05 pm

barack20obamaoa8Barack Obama and hip-hop seem to have a lot in common so let’s get political. Well that is what rapper Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr (otherwise known as Common) believes. Tuesday 16th December sees the hip-hop star release his 8th album and having inspired many artists himself, Common has predicted that president elect Barack Obama will “change hip-hop for the better”.

Sure enough, Common’s music has a habit of picking up what is going on in the world and Barack’s presidency is set to flood many new and rising hip-hop artists with optimism. Having seemingly suffered a George Bush campaign, it is not hard to find an American rapper whose lyrics display their horror at old George’s regimes. Well that is apparently going to end and soon we shall see the thousands of American hip-hoppers sounding bright and sunny.

Earlier this week Common said “I think hip-hop artists will have no choice but to talk about different things and more positive things, and try to bring a brighter side to that because, even before Barack, I think people had been tired of hearing the same thing,” But do you agree? I personally find it hard to believe that hip-hop will be rapping about how great the government is. I am sure there will be plenty of ammunition and global problems that we will here being expressed instead.

However I hope that Common is right about hip-hop becoming stronger as there seems to have been a lack of new stars coming through from this year and I would welcome some freshly inspired artists as I am sure you would.


Idlewild announce new album, with a twist…

By on Monday, 24th November 2008 at 3:01 pm

You may well have guessed that I love Idlewild. The Scottish rockers have been around for almost as many years as I have, and have just announced details of their seventh studio album to be released next summer hopefully.

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Bloc Party, Radiohead and others, they’re doing something a bit more unique and offering fans a chance to see behind the scenes of the recording of the album early next year. All you have to do is go over to their website and sign up and pay £16.50, for which you’ll get:

  • A limited edition CD album (with free download version) in exclusive packaging & including at least one bonus track. This will be shipped within weeks of completion & before any standard release.
  • You can get your name to appear in the CD booklet with the album and on a roll-call on the web site.
  • Access to download 15 free tracks from live recordings at the King Tuts “album by album” shows In December ’08 & access to a members only section of the web site with album progress updates, exclusive photo and video content from the recording and preproduction process with diaries/blogs by individual band members and lots more.
  • Signing up will also automatically enter you into draws for special prizes, which include:
    • Get two 5 night passes for the King Tuts “album by album” shows. (Closing date – December 10th, 2008)
    • Receive special prints of the album cover, signed by all the band.
    • Have your special edition album signed by the band.
    • Get a special set of screen printed posters for each night of the King Tuts shows.
    • Get admission for 2 to sound check at any choice of gig on a forthcoming tour with passes to remain in the venue for the show.
    • Stand on stage with Idlewild’s guitar tech for a prime view of the show at any choice of gig on our own tour dates (2 tickets included).

Sounds good? Well, if this is the future of the music business, then I’m all for it – it’s always fascinating to see how bands work behind the scenes. By paying a bit more for the album you’re paying money direct to the band and getting to see far more than you normally would.


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