Here's to you Ennio

Ennio Morricone's best works

LA Times made a selection of Ennio Morricone's 10 "mind-blowing" scores (it's actually 12, since 'The Dollars' trilogy is listed as one, although it's three movies - 'A Fistful of Dollars', 'For a Few Dollars More' i 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'). It's some of his most famous works. On the other side, here's a list of Morricone's lesser-known, but equally fulfilling works - 'Come Maddalena', 'Here's to You', 'La Bambola', 'Alla Luce del Giorno', 'Un Amico', 'Come un Madrigale'.

British singer/songwriter A.A. Williams ha released her debut 'Forever Blue', with guest vocals from Cult of Luna members Johannes Persson and Fredrik Kihlberg and Wild Beasts' Tom Fleming. Critics from all sides like it: "It’s a debut of richness, depth and genuinely shattering emotional engagement – pure melancholic majesty" - Beats per Minute; "Ambitious blend of post-rock, folk, goth, metal, and classical ingredients" - All Music; "A classically trained cellist, pianist and multi-instrumentalist, Williams’ blending of post-rock and post-classical elements has a hypnotising quality, that slowly lulls its listeners into an exquisite fervour" - The Line on Best Fit; "A stunning, haunting work" - American Songwriter.

Julia Jacklin / Tones And I / Sampa the Great

Tones And I has three nominations for 2020 AIR Awards - her international hit 'Dance Monkey' is up for independent song of the year, her debut EP 'The Kids are Coming' is in the running for independent pop album or EP and she’s nominated for breakthrough independent artist of the year. Australian Music Prize winner Sampa The Great is nominated in three categories as well as Julia Jacklin and Stella Donnelly, Scenestr reports. Scoring multiple chances for this year’s ceremony is Flume, Angie McMahon, Stella Donnelly, The Teskey Brothers, Ainslie Wills and more, while Nick Cave, Cub Sport, Pnau, Confidence Man and Paul Kelly are among the big names with one nomination. All the nominees in all the categories - here.

DJ Flight

Women currently only make up 5% of artists signed to records labels or publishing deals in drum & bass - Beat Portal writes in their praiseworthy article about women in drum & bass and jungle. But, at the start of the genre there were plenty of ladies. DJ Rap released one of the best-selling drum & bass albums of all time with 1999’s 'Learning Curve'. DJ Flight mixed drum & bass dubs on BBC Radio 1Xtra for five years - from its launch in 2002 until 2007 - while touring the world as a Metalheadz resident. Empress and Reid Speed have been playing drum & bass at raves in America and around the world for over 20 years. Metalheadz is widely considered one of the most influential imprints in drum & bass, with Goldie being the symbol of it, but it was Kemistry & Storm who actually introduced Goldie to jungle before the three of them founded and ran Metalheadz together.

The prolific singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Charlie Daniels died on Monday at the age of 83, in a Nashville hospital after a haemorrhagic stroke, Tennessean reports. His hit, 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia', is an American classic and won his only Grammy Award in 1979. Daniels was best known for his fiddle playing, as well as his outspoken brand of conservative patriotism. Country guitarist Brad Paisley wrote a lovely text about the violinist: "When you watched Charlie Daniels with that fiddle, the dust was flying off the strings. He would flip that bow around like it was freaking Harry Potter’s wand. Same with on the guitar when he would play. He just looked so intense. He was going into battle when he played and you would follow him anywhere. He was like a general up there".

All of tQ's editorial staff and columnists have voted for their essential 2020 albums of the year so far, and it's a slightly left-field choice, as it is to be expected from the Quietus.

So, the top 10:

1. The Soft Pink Truth - Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?

2. Einstürzende Neubauten - 'Alles In Allem'

3. Squarepusher - 'Be Up A Hello'

4. Beatrice Dillon - 'Workaround'

5. Jeff Parker - 'Suite for Max Brown'

6. Sex Swing - 'Type II'

7. Nadine Shah - 'Kitchen Sink'

8. Lyra Pramuk - 'Fountain'

9. Perfume Genius - 'Set My Heart On Fire Immediately'

10. Nazar - 'Guerrilla'

The UK government has pledged £1.57bn of help for country’s museums, galleries, theatres and music venues, hit hard by the big lockdown caused by the Covid-19. The biggest one-off investment in UK culture is welcomed as "surprisingly ambitious" by the industry, Guardian reports.

Tom Meighan is leaving Kasabian due to “personal issues that have affected his behaviour for quite some time", and in order "to concentrate all his energies on getting his life back on track", as the band has announced. The Leicester rock band he co-founded as a student in the late 90s described the decision as one taken by mutual consent.

Elton John becomes the first solo artist to be celebrated with an official U.K. coin, created by The Royal Mint. The commemorative edition is launched this week and features Elton iconography from a 50-year-plus career, BBC reports. Across the range in gold, silver and in non-precious metal, designer Bradley Morgan Johnson uses musical notes to create an image of Elton’s trademark glasses, topped with a hat and bow-tie on a Union Jack background. The cheapest coins have a face value of £5 and sell for £13 while the most costly, a one-kilo gold proof coin (above), carries a whopping price tag of £64,950.

The ecstasy of movie music

Ennio Morricone dies aged 91

Ennio Morricone, the Oscar-winning Italian film composer whose credits include the "spaghetti" Westerns that made Clint Eastwood a star, has died in Rome aged 91, the New York Times reports. He died in hospital having fractured his femur in a fall some days ago. Morricone scored more than 500 films over seven decades, including 'Once Upon a Time in America', 'The Untouchables', and 'Cinema Paradiso', and Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' which got him an Oscar. BBC calls him "the composer who changed the sound of cinema".

Time-space-music continuum

The next big thing in audio - 3D

Geeks & Beats podcast talked to Audeze founder Sankar Thiagasamudram who is convinced that the next big thing in audio is - 3D headphones. The headphones of the future will be spatially aware, and adjust to your listening preferences using artificial intelligence.

Charlie Perrière

Narratively published an amazing article about Imperial Orchestra, a group of talented musicians who were forced to play for Jean Bédel Bokassa, a despot who started as president and then declared himself the emperor of Central African Republic. Bokassa is often caricatured as one of Africa’s most tyrannical dictators, a ruler who fed his opponents to crocodiles, adored diamonds and women, and - music. Bokassa believed music would be an effective tool to consolidate and aggrandize his power and influence both at home and abroad, so he assembled Imperial Orchestra. One of the members of Imperial Orchestra, Charlie Perrière remembers the violent years and singing for the tyrant.

Lanxess Arena

Cologne's 20,000-capacity Lanxess Arena has been reconfigured to allow for live audience events while social distance rules are still in place, Pollstar reports. The Arena will feature so-called Cubes, boxes with four seats, with each box separated from the other by 1.5 meters. 1,400 people will be allowed inside the 20,000 capacity building. In Paris, 300 guests will have the opportunity to buy tickets for an extravagant picnic at the Hippodrome PraisLongchamp, where the Lollapalooza Paris festival usually takes place. Ticket holders will have access to a menu for two with a bottle of champagne Veuve Clicquot, goodies by the fashion brand Balmain, and a DJ set/concert. In Frankfurt, shopping mall MyZeil was to be transformed into a club with five floors, with guests allowed to mingle while adhering to the correct distances.

“Pop music tends to smuggle in a lot of contraband lyrically. Words that would cause outrage if spoken often get a pass or go unnoticed when sung" - Record producer Ian Brennan told Rolling Stone about racially violent songs. He pointed out 'Brown Sugar' by The Rolling Stones - "almost undoubtedly, the majority of their audience would claim to be ‘liberal’ and ‘not racist,’ but 60,000 people singing along to those words is not an entirely innocent act. That it is tolerated or dismissed is yet another smaller, but nonetheless meaningful example of systemic racism”. Brennan, who’s written several books about racism and inequity, says The Rolling Stones’ well-known track glorifies slavery, rape, torture and pedophilia.

The Hanging Stars

Idles released a powerful remix of Sex Swing's 'Passover', minimalist and atmospheric, a new song; 'A New Kind of Sky' is timeless psych-folk by the Hanging Stars; Rider Shafique and The Bug collaborate on dark industrial hip-hop 'Burn'; Porridge Radio find a different angle to themselves on Lala Lala collaboration 'Good For You'; industrial trap meets grindcore on Luma's 'Lionsblood', it sounds strange and it is strange; Manonmars' 'Pidgeon' is psychedelic hip hop gem; Monte's 'Mirla' is the sound of bird dying.

Kiss The...

Guardian's Mark Beaumont made a collection of strange band names, that have not really much in common with how those bands sound. So, there's Skullcrusher with a perfect name for thrash metal band, whereas in fact, the nice girl plays alt-folk. On the other side there's Candy, seemingly a teen-pop band, but actually, they're a skate-core quartet. Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat do have a horrible name, but the music is actually quite nice, Belgium dark-folk.

"The sound of art-punk, industrial, ambient, techno, and glam imploding on themselves. It’s vicious and physical" - Pitchfork defines new album 'The Passion Of' by the New Orleans quartet Special Interest. That's the sound. The lyrics are "consistently ablaze, whether writing about sex and longing at end times or gentrification and the militarization of cities". In general - "punk offers a moment of ignition. But for Special Interest, there is also a horizon".

Virgin Money Unity Arena features 500 individual viewing platforms for each household of ticket-holders overlooking an outdoor stage, allowing for a maximum of 2,500 attendees. According to Evening Standard, each platform is spaced two metres apart from the next. It is to be installed at Newcastle Racecourse in Gosforth Park, and it will open from August until mid-September.

Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda has made his new album 'Dropped Frames, Vol. 1' entirely on Twitch, with the album featuring 12 tracks that were all created with input from fans, Spin reports. Viewers participated in the creation of these songs by communicating through live chats and giving feedback. As fans continued to give feedback, they earned points called “ShinodaBucks” which they could spend on various musical genres including mariachi, “Bollywood hip hop” and more. Shinoda would then mash all of the selected genres together during the streams to form one track. The album’s opening track 'Open Door' is the only song to feature vocals.

Jason Isbell has a great new album out, and he might be at the start of something new and big. So, next week (July 7, Tuesday), he'll stage a $100-per-ticket interactive livestream in which he and up to 150 fans will be able to watch each other, Tennessean reports. A company called Topeka is providing the tech. A taped replay is scheduled for July 23 for $25.

The average gender pay gap as of April 5, 2019 at Sony Music UK was 26.0%, at Warner Music UK it was 31.5%, at Spotify UK it was 9.9%, and at Live Nation UK it was 44.5%, Music Business Worldwide reports. That's bad news, but still, it's less bad than in previous years. In 2017, the average gender pay gap across all three companies was 33.8% – with 29.8% at Universal, 22.7% at Sony and 49% at Warner.

After a 13-week run, Radiohead have concluded their quarantine concert series with a recording of July 4th, 1997 performance at Les Eurockéennes in Belfort, France, in support of the band’s 'OK Computer'. The 12 previous installments in the band’s quarantine series — including festival sets at Coachella and Bonnaroo as well as In Rainbows From the Basement and The King of Limbs From the Basement — are collected in a YouTube playlist.

Radiohead, Nick Cave, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, PJ Harvey, Johnny Marr, Dizzee Rascal, Primal Scream, Paul McCartney, Dua Lipa, The Cure, are among the huge list of over 1.500 artists who have signed an open letter to the UK government for the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign – demanding immediate action to prevent “catastrophic damage” to the music industry in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, NME reports. The Music Venue Trust has penned a letter signed by over 560 of their venues calling for a £50 million cash injection to save the “world-beating £5.2billion per year music industry”, allowing these spaces to “hibernate” until October and prevent their permanent closure. If the artists were to add the same amount - which would cost them £30,00 each - those venues would have music easier period ahead of them, right?

Tom Morello / Dan Reynolds

"When I was a kid, someone hung a noose in my family's garage... On June 6 of this year, there was a Black Lives Matter rally and march in that same town that drew over 1,000 people" - Tom Morello explained the inspiration behind his new song 'Stand Up', which he wrote after that rally, it features Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds, Shea Diamond and the Bloody Beetroots; 'Into Strangeness' by Fear of Men is tense indie rock with a touch of sax; 'Time To Walk Away' is a lovely come-back song by the underappreciated Washed Out; Sasami made a psych-folk cover of System of a Down's 'Toxicity' - to say it's cool is an understatement; 'This is What You Did' by This is the Kit is a relaxed panic attack song; piano-heavy 'River Dreams' by Beverly Glenn-Copeland is atmospheric and rich.

Comedy Central is reviving the beloved 'Beavis and Butt-Head' series for two seasons plus additional spinoffs and specials, Vulture reports. A “reimagined” 'Beavis and Butt-Head' comes as Comedy Central mounts a major expansion to build on the long-running success of 'South Park' by increasing its adult animation output. 'Beavis and Butt-Head', about two metal-head couch-potatoes talking about music videos, was a pop-culture juggernaut during its original run on MTV from 1993 to 1997. It was last revived for one season back in 2011.

Curtis Waters was in a bad mood, "trying to make some stupid shit and cheer up", and made 'Stunnin'', a moody song with a laid-back, appealingly shabby dance routine. It suddenly picked up hundreds of thousands of views overnight, and last week, 'Stunnin'' became the fastest unsigned record to go into Spotify’s flagship playlist, Today’s Top Hits, since Arizona Zervas’ 'Roxanne'. But unlike Zervas, who inked a deal with Columbia Records, Waters is choosing not to sign with a major label - "I felt like I was being treated like a commodity, like I was just a product”. So he wrote another song, 'System', a brittle, declamatory punk missile with a blunt message - “I’m boutta fuck the system up”.

Bay Area rapper Young Curt (27) - born Curtis Denton Jr. - lost his life in a car accident this week, KTVU reports. The accident, "a rollover crash”, happened in Contra Costa County, California early Monday morning. All Hip Hop sums up all the higher profile tragedies that hit hip-hop this year: rapper Pop Smoke was murdered; Lexii Alijai and Chynna Rogers, two beautiful starlets in the twenties, died of alleged accidental drug overdoses; Jordan Groggs of the Injury Reserve, has died aged 32; 5th Ward Webbie, Tre Koast, Dee Dave, Big Booda, Nick Blixky, Mac P Dawg, Kj Ball, and just the other day, Huey add to the dark list.

The most interesting artists right know, as selected by editor and journalist Matthew Schnipper for Music Journalism Insider: Dean BluntLara SarkissianJohn BeltranJabu and Daniela DysonDJ PythonMariah the ScientistAkasha SystemYdegirlCelia HollanderRod WaveMIKEDuval TimothyYu SuYoung JesusNkisi, The Weeknd. Best song in the last 12 months - 'Hope Road' by Anne Clark; best music journalists: Cat ZhangMina TavakoliBen Dandrige-LemcoMankaprr ContehHubert Adjei-KontohArielle GordonOlivia Horn, and Jenzia Burgos.

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Lady A / Lady Antebellum

"You don’t get to just come and take because you have that privilege" - blues singer Lady A, real white Anita White, told Vulture about a lawsuit that the country band Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum) had brought up against her. The band claim that White's attorneys "delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand" of $10 million. The lawsuit they've now filed does not ask for monetary damages, but an official declaration that the band are lawfully using the Lady A trademark. White also told Vulture (via Exclaim) that while the band Lady A's presence grew in the public eye (and on search engines, Spotify and Apple Music), hers shrank. When she tried to upload her new independent single via independent distribution service DistroKid, she couldn't verify her name. She believes it's a thing of racism - "here we go again with another white person trying to take something from a Black person, even though they say they’re trying to help. If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing. And that might require you to give up something because I am not going to be erased”.

Fugazi in 1987

Sohrab Habibion, staple of post-hardcore, punk, and indie rock for over 30 years, filmed dozens of punk and hardcore shows in the DC area in the 1980s. With the help from Roswell Films and the DC Public Library's Punk Archive, many of those classic videos have been digitized and are now available to watch on YouTube, including full '80s-era sets by FugaziDag Nasty, Government Issue, Moss Icon, Shudder To Think, Scream, 7Seconds, Descendents, Marginal Man, Gray Matter, One Last Wish, Soul Side, Half Japanese, Fire Party, D.O.A., Saccharine Trust, Doughboys, GWAR, Gang Green, Jerry's Kids, The Lemonheads, and whole lot more. Watch the videos at Sohrab Habibion's YouTube channel.

Thanks to the United States’ current perfect storm of dire and radical socioeconomic conditions, the country music industry must immediately broaden its social perspective. For both the genre’s economic preservation and, more importantly, to highlight an intrinsic, industry-wide acceptance of the empathetic kindness needed to define America's future, it's necessary - The Boot argues in a brave text about unity.

He likes his stuff black - clothes, wine, metal...

Satyricon frontman sells his wine business for $5 million

Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven, frontman for Norwegian black metal group Satyricon, has sold 90 percent of his wine business, Wongraven Wines to Norwegian alcohol manufacturer and distributor Vingruppen, for NOK 51.3 million (roughly $5.4 million or €4.8 million). Satyr had been producing wine since 2010, and In recent years, the brand has become an industry leader in the singer's home country.

Five people have been arrested in connection to the murder of Brooklyn rapper, Pop Smoke. So far, three adults and two juveniles, 15 and 17 years, were charged for their roles in the deadly shooting. The three men were identified as Jaquan Murphy, 21, Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre D. Rodgers, 18, all of Los Angeles. The news of the arrests comes on the heels of the release Pop Smoke's posthumous album 'Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon'. The 20-year-old rapper was fatally shot and killed at a rented Hollywood Hills home on February 19. Authorities believe Pop Smoke was shot and killed after his social media posts led five suspects to the house he was renting.

Americans are increasingly interested in returning to live events in the near future, music sales have picked up significantly as stores reopen, audio and video streaming also have rebounded following a significant dip at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, a new survey has shown. The majority of concerts-goers is willing to accept new rules at gigs - empty seats around each group, wearing masks, temperature checks, limited number in bathrooms...

YouTuber Vance Kotrla has made a hilarious black metal song 'Wear a Mask' that explains why everybody needs to wear masks. The video starts out with him holding an acoustic guitar standing, saying he is in a folk band, so he decided to write a song encouraging people to wear masks. So he did - a short and funny black metal banger, with lyrics like "Wear a mask / Over your nose and mouth / Wear a mask / To stay above the ground". Watch below.

Ugandan electronic music festival Nyege Nyege will take place this year as well, from September 3 - 6, as both physical and online celebration, Fact reports. Nyege Nyege Tapes and Hakuna Kulala will be throwing a party in full compliance with COVID safety measures, featuring a stacked lineup including Afrigo Band, Jose Chameleon and East African dancehall queen Cindy, as well as a full Nyege Nyege roster including Kampire, Slikback, MC Yallah, Fulu Miziki, Nilotikaa and more. Digital edition will involve live reports from the site, 360 degree live cameras, virtual stages, an industry-focused “artists only” area, with international crews joining the party from Portugal, Canada, Spain, Palestine..

Some of the biggest acts in music - including Eagles, Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Tool, Nickelback, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Chainsmokers, and Chris Stapleton - have received funding from the US government to support their crews for any current and future tours postponed due to coronavirus. The Eagles, Pearl Jam and Disturbed took out some of the larger loans among the listed touring musicians, being granted somewhere between $350,000 and $1 million. American government helped some small labels as well - Sub Pop Records, Third Man Records, and Knitting Factory Records each received a minimum of $350,000. J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, Light in the Attic, ATO Records, Dim Mak, Rostrum, Cleopatra, and Stones Throw Records each received at least $150,000.

Behemoth bandleader Adam "Nergal" Darski was in court this week to defend his band's "The Republic of the Unfaithful" logo, which takes its inspiration from the white eagle on Poland's coat of arms. Nergal explains - "They think that copyrights of white eagle is solely owned by Poland and every other interpretation of the bird is a blasphemy. My antagonists seem to be sooo desperate to nail their favorite scapegoat to their rotten moral cross that they missed all the common sense in the narrative".

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