Noel Gallagher

The Oasis pop star Noel Gallagher announced his suspicion of masks last week proclaiming - “There’s no need for it… They’re pointless”. Former Stone Roses singer Ian Brown declared: “NO LOCKDOWN NO TESTS NO TRACKS NO MASKS NO VAX”. Tommy Scott of Space, did not disappoint. “I do not believe in any germs. If they are real, and there’s loads, why don’t they have a smell?”. Guardian tries to explain the "reasoning" behind - "it is asking a lot of the Britpop stars of yesteryear to believe in laws. Dominic Cumming’s [chief adviser to UK prime minister] lockdown drive to Barnard Castle, undertaken to 'test his eyesight', eroded the rules". Plus, it's not really their field of specialties...

Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny performed outside on a moving, lit-up bus, which took him through the streets of New York on Sunday, Sept 20. At one point, he literally stopped traffic as fans chased after him, Hollywood Life reports. He streamed this event to his YouTube channel.

YoungBoy Never Broke Again landed on top of Billboard 200 with his new album 'Top', which garnered a total of 126,000 equivalent album units, Billboard reports. It's his third album in 11 months to reach the top of Billboard - '38 Baby 2' was the most selling album in the US in May 2020 and 'AI YoungBoy 2' in October 2019. Another new release in the Top 10 this week - Marilyn Manson scores its 10th top 10 album as 'We Are Chaos' bows at No. 8 with 31,000 equivalent album units earned.

Photos showing singer Brian Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd back in AC/DC were briefly posted on the AC/DC website last week before quickly being removed, accidentally confirming their comeback, Louder reports. They appear to have been taken during a video shoot and show drummer Phil Rudd playing with guitarist Stevie Young for the first time. Vocalist Brian Johnson is also shown - after he departed the group in 2016 following extensive hearing loss. The good news comes it was claimed that AC/DC have already recorded their next album.

Deftones are back in shape with their atmospheric and heavy newest single 'Genesis'; Aimee Mann covered Leonard Cohen’s ‘Avalanche’ for HBO’s true-crime docu-series 'I’ll Be Gone In The Dark', it's a changed song, richer, sang differently; Jamila Woods' 'Sula' is accompanied by an erotic video with the singer as the star of it; another "different" cover - Lykke Li plays Gloria Gaynor's disco anthem 'I Will Survive' as a haunting piano ballad.

Canadian rock musician Daniel Romano has released nine different albums this year. His latest, 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' is a baroque-pop/indie-rock album, and the first one released in a physical format since the live album 'OKAY WOW' from March (listen to 'How...' on Bandcamp; which PopMatters thinks highly of). Most of his releases this year have wrestled with specific genres, like punk, power-pop, or prog - for that one, a 22-minute song 'Forever Love's Fool', he got a hand from Danny Carey of Tool.

A new model for large scale festivals - Good Day Sunshine in Western Australia will feature a rotating stage and four distinct, individually ticketed areas for patrons divided by a fence, the Fader reports. The 5000-capacity fest is set to take place on October 31st. Performers will play in the single, rotating stage, while each separate area will be treated as its own 1250-capacity sealed-off event space, with no overlap of staff or patrons.

Transgender metalhead satanist Aria DiMezzo has won the Republican nomination for Cheshire County Sheriff in Keene, New Hampshire, in an attempt to prove the political paradox at hand, Loudwire reports. “I went into it expecting that I would lose the primary, because I didn’t think that so many voters were just… completely and totally oblivious about who they are voting for” she wrote in a blog post, but they did. She decided to run "because I oppose that very system, and the sheriff has the most hands-on ability in Cheshire County to oppose that system". Her official slogan is “F*** the Police". DiMezzo is the High Priestess of the Reformed Satanic Church, an anarchist, a metalhead who plays in the band FUD, and she’s using Trivium’s 'The Heart from Your Hate' is her official campaign song.

"'Untitled (Rise)' hardly yields highlights because the quality never wavers... It manages to be as lyrically unflinching as the music is compelling... You’d call it the album of the year if its predecessor wasn’t just as good" - Guardian's Alexis Petridis writes in a review of Sault's new album, anonymous neo-soul-funk band's second double album in just over 12 weeks, and their fourth in 18 months. The new album is "more obviously dancefloor-focused – its influences shifting from house to disco, from the perspiration-soaked post-punk funk to smooth 80s boogie, from sorrow and soothing to empowerment and resistance".

The Poland government is arguably one of the most conservative in Europe, recorded acts of homophobia happening on a weekly basis in the country, and there were also recorded incidents of police brutality. How systemic homophobia is can be read from the fact that a third of Polish towns have declared themselves “LGBT-free zones”. Guardian brings a story about Polish DJs and musicians fighting for the rights of the minority.

The seven siblings of the Kanneh-Mason family - Konya, Jeneba, Sheku, Braimah, Aminata, Mariatu, Isata - play classical music together, and now they've recorded their first album as a family, 'Carnival', which will be released by their record label Decca on 6 November. Written by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, the musical suite of movements is dedicated to animals including lions, elephants and fish, because "we feel there should be more classical music aimed at children", as Isata says to the BBC.

“I am that person. The one that wasn’t supposed to make it out of Hell’s Kitchen, who was supposed to end up being a prostitute, a young mother at 16 years old, or addicted to drugs" - Alicia Keys says in a Guardian interview about her new album. "And what the fuck is a dream? A dream is a luxury, if you have to pay all these bills and put food on the table for your kids... All the songs I’ve ever written that have been considered empowering or uplifting, I’ve written them at my lowest point. Because I needed to remind myself: don’t forget that”.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross won an Emmy for their score for HBO’s 'Watchmen', and now only lack a Tonny for EGOT status - they won an Academy Award for 'The Social Network' and a Grammy for their score for 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo', Deadline reports. British singer-songwriter Labrinth was honored for his song 'All for Us' from the finale of HBO’s 'Euphoria', Billboard reports. Composer Laura Karpman won her first prime-time Emmy in the documentary score category for 'Why We Hate', a six-part Discovery Channel series about hatred around the globe, Variety reports. All the nominees and winners - here.

An amusing article on the Messy Nessy blog about ABBA's outlandishly-designed stage-clothes. It's all about the money - according to the Swedish law regarding costumes, as long as the outfits were too impractical for everyday wear and couldn’t be worn outside a performance, they were tax-deductible. The legal loop hole thus encouraged ABBA's designer Owe Sandström to make ABBA’s costumes as colourful and unwearable as possible. And did he!

“What you’re about to embark on will be the greatest adventure of your young life” - Bruce Springsteen told the Boston College Class of 2024 via a Zoom call from his New Jersey home studio as the featured speaker of the school’s annual 'First Year Academic Convocation'. Springsteen continued - “You can waste it, you can half-ass your way through it, or you can absorb every minute of what you’re experiencing, and come out on the other end an individual of expanded vision, of intellectual vigor, of spiritual character and grace, fully prepared to meet the world again on its own terms”. Students also had some questions for Springsteen...

The majority of concerts is moving online, and hopefully, the number (and production quality) of these will grow, so Spotify is adjusting. This week the streaming service had added all those virtual concerts to its "On Tour" listings. Spotify is working on it in partnership with Songkick.

"Their hypnotic orchestral folk songs 'come howling after' an unfathomable god" - the Guardian writes about singer-sogwriter Anjimile's debut LP 'Giver Taker'. Paste Magazine says "Anjimile’s story is an uncommon one, but an uplifting one nonetheless: A trans person—in the midst of battling his own demons—excavates the most troubling parts of his past and ultimately seeks out catharsis". The Line of Best Fit says Anjimile "channels the hurt through extraordinary delicate songs where harmonies wrap around each other with a spectral quality, and the dripping rain of picked guitar strings decorate the walls".

The Beatles were falling apart as they were making their latest album 'Let It Be', and the new documentary 'The Beatles: Get Back' is going to tell the story of those last days, Guardian reports. It is drawn from over 120 hours of transcribed conversations from the band’s studio sessions. The book will be accompanied by Peter Jackson’s feature documentary of the same name. Both are coming out in August 2021. In related Beatles news, Canadian filmmaker Paul Saltzman has released a documentary 'Meeting The Beatles in India' about how he met the fab four at an ashram on the Ganges. Narrated by Morgan Freeman and produced by David Lynch, the film, among other things, contains rare images of the band taken by Saltzman. They are wistful vignettes of the rock stars in their prime, unguarded and relaxed, BBC reports.

Canadian indie-rock musician Rich Aucoin made a simply great video for his new song 'Walls' with a simple idea - he recreated 20 of the most iconic music videos of all time, including Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', Prince's 'When Doves Cry', Jamiroquai's 'Virtual Insanity', Beyonce's 'Single Ladies', Radiohead's 'Just', Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody', Alanis Morissette's 'Ironic', Run DMC & Aerosmith's 'Walk This Way' and other. At first, they're separate, but by the end of the video Beyonce ends up with OK Go, Madonna with the Beastie Boys etc.

Still Corners

Arcade Fire's Will Butler released 'Bethlehem', full of anger and energy, plenty of food in the video also; Still Corners' 'The Last Exit' is a big sounding simple folk-rock song; Tino Contreras is 96-year-old Mexican jazz veteran releasing an album full of new songs, 'El Sacrificio' is the promising teaser; pop-industrials Health released a haunting 'Cyberpunk'; Suuns combine noise and dance on 'Pray'; melodic doom metallers Fires in the Distance released their new album this week, 'Reflections in the Ice' is the stand-out track from it.

Kanye West has uploaded photos of his recording and publishing deals to Twitter, and is demanding to be released from his contracts, Variety reports. "I need every lawyer in the world to look at these," he told his followers, while referring to the music industry as "modern-day slavery". West says he won't release new music until he is released from his deals. PDF document of the contracts - here.

Also, the first slow core and drone

Enya - an unlikely influence on today's pop music

Pitchfork's writer had two surprises with Enya in the last year. The first: her music proved itself perfect in the time of isolation - "maybe it is because her atmospheric compositions are full of imagination, of openness, each note like a new horizon coming into focus. Maybe it is because her many-layered catalog is so sad and healing at once, or because it makes the complex work of being indefinitely alone sound easy". The second - list of musicians she has influenced: Weyes Blood, FKA twigs, Nicki Minaj, Grimes, Angel Olsen, Perfume Genius, Brandy, Blood Incantation...

Luke Combs was awarded the album of the year accolade for 'What You See Is What You Get' at the Country Music Awards. He also won at the Male artist of the year category. Entertainer of the year award was split between Thomas Rhett and Carrie Underwood - the first ever entertainment tie, Female artist of the year awards went to Maren Morris, while Dan + Shay won at the Duo of the year category. Old Dominion are group of the year, Billboard reports. A small step toward equality and reason has happened - Mickey Guyton performed at the show, as the first black woman to do so. List of nominees and winners - here.

Madonna will co-write and direct a movie about her rise to fame, with the help of Oscar-winning 'Juno' screenwriter Diablo Cody, Entertainment Weekly reports. The script is expected to chart Madonna's rise from Michigan, to the slums of New York City, to global superstardom - via songs such as 'Like A Virgin' and 'Vogue'. “The focus of this film will always be music. Music has kept me going and art has kept me alive" - Madonna said in an announcement of the movie.

Sufjan Stevens says 'Sugar' is "about the desire for goodness and purity", and the hypnotics quality of the song makes a case for it; Amanda Ong is a singer-songwriter on the rise, her beautiful voice promises a lot - 'Leave Me Alone'; it's hardly a new song, but Brandi Carlile's version on 'Mad World' sang from the bottom of her lungs ads a new dimension to it; Slowthai's 'Feel Away' is, well, different - it's gentle and mellow, with a video of James Blake singing from rapper's uterus!; Death Valley Girls sing for love and joy on 'Under the Spell of Joy'; Small Bills is a new project, made of rapper Elucid and producer the Lasso, their first single 'Safehouse' goes from afro-beat to funk, from discomfort and uncertainty.

The plastic crown worn by the Notorious B.I.G. at his last photo shoot sold for $594,750 at Sotheby's auction, New York Post reports. The crown was originally purchased for $6 at a novelty store, and Brooklyn-based photographer Barron Claiborne made pictures of Biggie wearing the crown for the cover of Rap Pages magazine in 1997, just three days before rapper's death. Biggie's publisher Sean 'Puffy' Combs didn't like it, “he said it would make Biggie look like Burger King”. The auction also included love letters written by Tupac Shakur at 16 - a total of 22 handwritten letters sold for $75,600, BBC reports.

The new documentary 'Sleep' by Natalie Johns is about what many consider Max Richter's magnum opus - an eight-and-a-half-hour composition 'Sleep' with 204 movements in a plangent, ambient and mellow vein, designed to be listened to while the audience is asleep. This new docu focuses on an open-air event in the Grand Park in Los Angeles. Guardian's Peter Bradshaw says the docu on "this toweringly quixotic work" is a "beguiling film" and "anything but a snooze".

Moroccan-French quartet Nadya! released their debut album - a "fusion of contemporary rock and funk and ancient traditional Moroccan musical forms including gnawa and chaabi", the Quietus says in their review of fresh sound on ancient music on 'Bab L' Bluz'. "And while influenced by music from across North Africa there is a fluid thread... to what they describe as the origins of the music, gnawa trance, and Malian blues".

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Words of hope from Dayna Frank, the president-CEO of the famed First Avenue club in Minneapolis, in Variety: “After the Spanish flu of 1918-20, we had the roaring ‘20s, and that’s really what I foresee when we come out of this and it’s safe to do so. It’s just gonna be a celebration — hopefully a decade long, maybe just a few years. We just want to make sure the right people are still in business and able to make that celebration happen”.

Loudwire lists 26 bands from the metal/rock realm that sound nothing like they did on their first albums. Incubus started as a funk/hip-hop rock band, and turned to alt-rock early in their career. Opeth were Iron Maiden lovers before turning to prog-metal. Ministry were a synth-pop band, a la Depeche Mode, before stepping to the side with industrial. In Flames started as a death-metal band before discovering melody...

"It's becoming a sort of respect thing" - singer-songwriter Gordi, now a practising doctor in hospitals in Australia, told BBC about face-masks. "As someone that is going to work in these places everyday, where health workers are putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones at risk - to wear a mask is not asking you to do a great deal," the 27-year-old says. This spring, after putting her doctor's career on hold, she moved to London and was supposed to start a tour with Bon Iver. When corona started she turned back home and to her patients...

"Khadifa Wong’s new documentary, 'Uprooted', reveals that the popular image of jazz obscures the true history of a dance form of African descent, born of slavery and enmeshed with the African American experience – from cakewalk to Charleston to Lindy hop – but then dominated by a series of white mem" - Guardian says in a review of the new documentary about jazz dance. It covers Marilyn Monroe’s choreographer Jack Cole, Patrick Swayze’s mum, Patsy, the only teacher in Texas who took black students alongside white, JoJo Smith, who was John Travolta’s dance consultant on 'Saturday Night Fever' etc.

Hey, Mr. Father, what s mistake!

'Please Mr. Postman' co-author dies

Georgia Dobbins Davis, the founding member of the Marvelettes - one of the pioneering female vocal groups, and co-author of 'Please Mr. Postman', has died, Soul Track reports. 'Please Mr. Postman' was not only a 1961 hit, it was Motown’s first #1, and help set the label up for a decade of radio dominance in the 60s. Dobbins’ father forced her to leave the group because he was worried about the teens playing in nightclubs...

Rolling Stone has revised their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, the first time since 2012. The electorate this time includes Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish. There are also rising artists like H.E.R., Tierra Whack, and Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail. Veteran musicians are represented by Adam Clayton and the Edge of U2, Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, Gene Simmons, Stevie Nicks, and others. Check out all the albums from Arcade Fire's Funeral' to Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' here.

Everyone from Massive Attack and Hot Chip to Animal Collective and Caribou has sung their praises, and now This Heat’s remastered catalogue is available to download and stream on various platforms. The band themselves described their music saying the people willing to listen to them were fuelled by “a desire to commit violence to accepted notions of music”. Guardian brings the story of the band, and talks to the surviving members.

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