Massive Attack have released a new EP called 'Eutopia', featuring Algiers, Saul Williams, and Young Fathers, tackling three of the most immportant issues of our time - climate emergency, tax haven extraction and Universal Basic Income. The songs also feature three political speakers: Christiana Figueres, who wrote the UN Paris Climate Agreement; universal basic income theorist Guy Standing; and Gabriel Zucman, the professor behind the “wealth tax” policy in America.

Iggy Pop is taking his song back - he shared the music video to ‘The Passenger’, 43 years after the song has been released, and covered numerous times since. In the visuals, black and white photos of a young Iggy Pop fade into view over vignettes of night-time motorway driving (watch below). ‘The Passenger’ was the B-side to Pop’s song ‘Success’, the first single released from his second solo studio album ‘Lust For Life’ (1977).

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.

Corona-death
July 09, 2020

Funny: Death metal song 'Wear a Mask'

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.

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”.

Less sunday service, more Kanye
July 01, 2020

Kanye West is back, with a - good song, 'Wash Us in the Blood'

Kanye West has shared a song 'Wash Us in the Blood', mixed by Dr. Dre and features Travis Scott, with video directed by Arthur Jafa. It goes back to West's raw sound, but it keeps the Christian narrative and gospel undertones. The video features plenty of protest footage, and some from West’s Saint Pablo Tour and Sunday Service rehearsals. The new track is set to feature on an album presently titled 'God’s Country'. Vulture has an interesting perspective on the song - "On one level, the song is a return to form and a smoother pairing of West’s newfound faith and existing politics. It’s also motivational boilerplate. But that’s to be expected. The sneaker man does not want you so free that you stop wanting sneakers”.

K-pop girl band Blackpink has set a new record for the biggest music video premiere on YouTube with a total of 1.65 million fans tuning in for the unveiling of their new song 'How You Like That'. They broke a record set by fellow K-pop stars BTS in February, Soompi reports. Last year, the Blackpink became the first K-pop group to have a video reach a billion views on YouTube.

Twenty One Pilots have released a new video that bears the promise of being endless - 'Level of Concern (Never Ending Video)' starts the music anew every three minutes and 40 seconds, but there’s a constant stream of new imagery submitted by fans of the duo, interspersed among occasional shots from Twenty One Pilots’ original 'Level of Concern' music video. The group has a submission page for fan footage of anywhere from 3-30 seconds up at https://loc.twentyonepilots.com/.

When Johnniqua Charles, 27, was detained in front of a strip club for, as she believes, no reason at all, she sang the officer "You about to lose your job", while dancing. Her detaining routine was taped, released on social media, and has inspired several remixes, memes and dance videos. It has since become a chanting regular at protests. Charles told the NBC "It feels so overwhelming to me. It’s just heartwarming to know that my song is being used for something so powerful". But it has also changed her quality of life for the better - Charles' sister, Andrea, created an Instagram account for her and is helping her trademark "You About to Lose Your Job". Charles, who has a 3-year-old son, said that she was struggling with homelessness and addiction before the video went viral, and that she is planning to use the money people have donated to her via GoFundMe to rent an apartment and start her own business.

The third episode of Drillosophy - video blog where philosophy meets drill-rap - covers the topic of surveillance. Authors Ciaran and Reveal explain how English philosopher Jeremy Bentham's "panopticon" design can be used to understand systems of control in modern society. They also dissect the lyrics of M1llionz and M Huncho to explore why some UK rappers cover their faces. This episode features drill artists S1, F2 Anti, and RoadWorks ambassador, Demetri Addison.

In recognition of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Pearl Jam released the uncensored version of their 1992 video for 'Jeremy', one of their most chilling and affecting, and popular songs, based on the real-life suicide of high school student Jeremy Wade Delle, who shot himself in front of his classmates in January 1991. The uncensored version includes the haunting final scene with Jeremy putting a gun in his mouth. “The increase in gun violence since the debut of ‘Jeremy’ is staggering” Pearl Jam wrote in an accompanying social media post, adding - “We can prevent gun deaths whether mass shootings, deaths of despair, law enforcement, or accidental,” the band added".

Freedom? Justice? Equality? For All?!?
June 03, 2020

A powerful protest song - 'Pig Feet' by Terrace Martin

Terrace Martin has made a powerful protest song with an equally strong video, recorded in reaction to George Floyd’s murder and the protests that have happened afterward. "Someone asked, how do I feel? I told them hurt, fearless, angry, aware and fully ready to protect me, my family & my people at all cost” Martin said about the song. Denzel Curry, Daylyt, Kamasi Washington, and G Perico joined him on it. The song’s equally powerful video begins with a message - “the video to this song is happening right outside your window” - and features footage from the protests. It ends with a long list of black men and women who have been killed by the police.

Original docu material
May 30, 2020

The Streets' new documentary: How to make a mixtape

The Streets have shared a new documentary on the making of their upcoming mixtape ‘None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive’, NME reports. The new documentary features a number of the mixtape’s collaborators, including Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker, IDLES, Slowthai and more. Mixtape, The Streets’ first full-length project since 2011 album ‘Computers And Blues’ and mixtape ‘Cyberspace And Reds’, is out July 10.

Directors without borders
May 28, 2020

How to make music videos in times of lockdown?

Drake's 'Toosie Slide' features the singer in a black balaclava, moving through the mostly empty Toronto mansion. Haim sisters perform solemn choreography at a safe distance from each other on a cracked outdoor basketball court in 'I Know Alone'. Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande’s charity duet, 'Stuck With U', intermixed pixelated visions of teenage fans dressed for the proms they will never go to with glimpses of celebrities like Chance the Rapper and Gwyneth Paltrow slow dancing in their immaculate houses. In Squarepusher's 'Detroit People Mover' a wireless printer on the floor of the actual Detroit People Mover -a monorail that travels a nearly 3-mile loop around downtown - spit out photographs that were shot in the city during the late 1970s and ’80s, when the mass transit system turned tourist attraction was built.

Billie Eilish has released a short film 'Not My Responsibility' with a spoken-word track addressing public perception and opinion of her body and clothing choices. The video, premiered at the start of her American tour this spring, features Eilish slowly removing layers of clothing before sinking into a dark, viscous liquid that consumes her. “Do you have opinions?” she asks in a voiceover. “About my opinions? About my music? About my clothes? About my body?... Is my value based only on your perception? Or is your opinion of me not my responsibility?”.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have shared a video of a remote performance of their track 'Phenomena'. The camera focuses on Karen O in a darkened closet while Nick Zinner plays guitar on a laptop in front of her. For added effect, Karen decorated her closest with streamers, strobe lights, and even a smoke machine.

Owen Pallett has surprise-released new album, 'Island', made differently than usual - Pallett wrote the nine songs on acoustic guitar and then worked out orchestrations for them, and recorded with the London Contemporary Orchestra at the legendary Abbey Road Studios (listen here). The lead single is 'A Bloody Morning' which comes with a very striking music video - it features dancers, who range in age from 6 to 72, filmed entirely through windows and doorways with no contact. Pallett says it's "cathartic".

Jimmy Fallon has gathered a dozen artists for the latest edition of his "classroom instruments" segment for an elaborate virtual performance of Bowie/Queen song 'Under Pressure'. Tonight Show host, Panic at the Disco's Brendon Urie and The Roots covered the ‘80s classic with (mostly) home “home instruments" - Questlove played the butter knife/wine glass, bottle, jar and bowl, Black Thought worked the frosting spatula and toaster, and Dave Guy was on frisbee - and the song turned out GRRREAT!!! Watch below.

What's in a name
May 09, 2020

Funny: A bunch of seals sing - Seal

Video editors Real Big Boys have created a funny short video masterpiece that sees a bunch of seals as they belt out the melody of Seal's song 'Kiss From a Rose'. The seals are singing somewhat in key. Seal joins them in the end.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau used a cringy phrase while giving one of his daily press conferences amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which made for a banger hit. During the address, while he was outlining the benefits of wearing a mask while traveling in public, Trudeau used an unfortunate - and now infamous - choice of words to describe the way in which COVID-19 spreads: by "speaking moistly". A YouTube user named anonymotif has remixed his speech with emphasis, of course, on "speaking moistly", and it's a club hit now.

Prog-metallers Baroness are keeping up the spirits performing together while each of the members is alone in quarantine - they made a video of each member playing 'Tourniquet' from their own homes. The message of it is "no matter what situation we face, we are still able to enjoy friendship, family and community through something as simple as a song. Isolated but never alone". Similarly, members of Testament, Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies have recorded-in-isolation video cover of 'YYZ' by Rush, while Green Day‘s Billie Joe Armstrong released a cover of Prince-written Bangles hit 'Manic Monday', with the help of Bangles' own Susanna Hoffs.

A group of Chicago-based stand-up comedians shot a lo-fi video inspired by this year’s Icelandic entry to Eurovision, Daði Freyr’s funny 'Think About Things'. Garrett Williams and his four housemates shot the video in a couple of hours, edited it and posted on Twitter. The video attracted more than 7m views by now. The ironic take on the ironic original inspired some un-ironic hommages.

Stephen Colbert shared a previously-unreleased performance video of folk singer John Prine, who is recovering from COVID-19 infection. Colbert introduced the four-year-old duet saying - “I’d like to share with you right now one of the happiest moments I’ve had on my show or any show. And that’s when John and I sung a duet in 2016 that we never broadcast, but we’d like to now. Happy enchilada, John". In a prophetic opener to their performance, Colbert said to his audience - “We’ll probably do this for the Internet. Unless, you know, something terrible happens and we have to cheer up the world on the TV show”.

The Tallest Man On Earth has been uploading solo acoustic videos to Instagram from isolation, including Bob Dylan‘s 'Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again' and Wilco‘s 'Jesus, etc'. He rearranged both songs to fit his usual complex fingerpicking style, but the vocals stay faithful to the originals. Ben Gibbard played his last daily live stream show yesterday after a two-week run. It was all covers, as usual - Neil Young, The Cure, Simon & Garfunkel, Spiritualized & more. Watch it - here. Starting this Thursday he'll be doing a weekly show.

Amazon Music is celebrating 25th anniversary of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s landmark debut solo album 'Return to the 36 Chambers' with the 'Unique: 'Return to The 36 Chambers' 25 Years Later' documentary. ODB's family, RZA, Raekwon, and others provided commentary for the 17-minute short film that traces ODB’s rise from unsigned hype to household name, exploring key moments in the rapper’s life and the music that defined his debut solo record – from ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ to ‘Brooklyn Zoo'.

English singer-songwriter Ralph McTell wrote a new verse of his legendary 1969 hit 'Streets of London', something he'd always previously refused to do. He changed his mind, as he's explained to the BBC, because of the "huge" threat posed by the coronavirus epidemic. With its focus on the homeless, the new verse calls for help for thousands of rough sleepers across Britain.

Skinfest
March 23, 2020

Dozens of nudes in new Jada video

Danish pop star Jada released a new song 'Nudes' accompanied by a video in which she recruited dozens of people - women and men - to share intimate and revealing videos of themselves. So, a lot of nudes, but all of them subtle, nothing over the top. Jada told Fader it's "about that strength and liberation that comes with expressing your most shameful feelings".

Imagine there's no virus
March 19, 2020

Nice try: Movie stars sing John Lennon's 'Imagine'

Gal Gadot

Actress Gal Gadot took to Instagram on the sixth day of her self-imposed quarantine, for a star-studded sing-along to John Lennon's 'Imagine'. Gadot enlisted fellow superheroes Natalie Portman (Thor) and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), as well as Will Ferrell, Amy Adams, Kristen Wiig, Sia and Cara Delevingne and others to sing a line from Lennon's classic. Gadot said she had chosen the song for its "powerful and pure" message of unity during the coronavirus pandemic.

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