Watch Blur Perform Their New Album ‘Live’

BLUR LIVE

BLUR LIVE

UNDER THE WESTWAY has been a productive area for Blur in recent times, so it’s not surprising they returned to a space beneath the A40 in West London to preview their new album The Magic Whip live.

Last Friday (March 20) Damon Albarn and co. performed their new recording full and in order at London club Mode – which is nestled below the iconic elevated roadway – for 300 competition winners.

The show, which also included Parklife track Trouble In The Message Centre right at the end, was filmed by streaming service Beats By Dr. Dre and you can watch footage below for one night only from 8pm (GMT) this evening.

‘The Magic Whip’ is out on April 27.

The stream is no longer live, but you can watch full-song clips from the performance below.

The Magic Whip Tracklist:
01. Lonesome Street
02. New World Towers
03. Go Out
04. Ice Cream Man
05. Thought I Was A Spaceman
06. I Broadcast
07. My Terracotta Heart
08. There Are Too Many Of Us
09. Ghost Ship
10. Pyongyang
11. Ong Ong
12. Mirrorball

Blur “Lonesome Street”

Blur “Go Out”

Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

Damon Albarn - Photo Linda Brownlee

Damon Albarn – Photo Linda Brownlee

 

Everyday Robots Parlophone | CD DL LP

Damon Albarn takes a rare look inwards in his most reflective, traditional songwriting since the Blur era.

Damon-Albarn-Everyday-Robots-433

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR ONE OF ROCK’S MOST famous figures, and, with Noel and Liam, the classic face of ’90s Britpop, Damon Albarn still remains something of a puzzle. Such an extraordinary life, such a wealth of musical adventures, yet so many facets of the man have often felt veiled. His music, though stamped with his personality, has rarely dealt directly with the detail of his emotional life – though when he has diarised traumatic personal events, notably on Blur’s No Distance Left To Run, written in 1998 about the end of his relationship with Elastica’s Justine Frischmann, the results have possessed extraordinary power.

Albarn’s decision to retreat, post-Blur, from a life lived in the public gaze and to launch Gorillaz as a ‘cartoon group’ in 2001, behind which he could enjoy a protective semi-anonymity while still selling millions of records, has done little to bring the ‘real’ Damon any closer. Nor has his torrent of millennial side-adventures, exploring interesting musical avenues and fusions – the self-explanatory Mali Music (2002); The Good The Bad And The Queen album (2006); the soundtrack for the Chinese opera Monkey: Journey To The West (2011); the DRC-inspired Kinshasa One Two (2011); his Afro-beat/white funk jam Rocket Juice And The Moon(2012); the Dr Dee stage musical (2013); his Africa Express tour – but giving little of himself away.

Albarn, it seems, has been so busy investigating the world outside himself that he’s neglected – or maybe simply postponed – looking inwards. Until now, that is. But Everyday Robots is not quite what you’d expect, or even perhaps want, from a Damon solo record. It probably won’t tell you too much about him that you hadn’t guessed already. But it is rather good.

The cover of Everyday Robots shows the artist in desert boots and green mod parka, seated on a stool, head bowed, looking forlorn. It is, wittingly or not, the antithesis of Modern Life Is Rubbish’s cocky, faux-yob iconography. Its dour mood of reflective middle-aged melancholia isn’t something an initial foray into the album will dispel. The over-riding first impression is of quiet, tick-tock percussion, minimal thud-thud bass, tinkling piano, mournful strings and, high in the mix, Albarn’s wistful tenor unfolding another slow, hazy rumination on something yet to be fully understood by the listener. Only the joyful gospel lilt of Mr Tembo – a story about a baby elephant Albarn met in Africa – sticks out from the glassine mist. That, and last track Seven Seas Of Love, an unlikely ‘80s pop throwback that sounds a little like an acoustic Heaven 17 covering The Monkees’ Daydream Believer.

What’s abundantly clear is that Everyday Robots has no intention of coming to you; instead, its songs gently insist that you come to them. And patience and perseverance is bountifully rewarded.

 

 

 

 

Damon Albarn opens up about drug use

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

As Damon Albarn makes the rounds in support of his forthcoming solo debut, Everyday Robots, he’s speaking candidly about his past drug use.

In a new interview with Q magazine (via The Independent), Albarn said that he began using heroin “at the height of Britpop” and found it be “incredibly productive”.

“I hate talking about this because of my daughter, my family. But, for me, it was incredibly creative,” Albarn explained. “A combination of [heroin] and playing really simple, beautiful, repetitive shit in Africa changed me completely as a musician. I found a sense of rhythm. I somehow managed to break out of something with my voice.”

Albarn has been clean for several years and stressed that drugs are ”cruel, cruel thing.” He continued, “[Heroin] does turn you into a very isolated person and ultimately anything that you are truly dependent on is not good.”

Albarn also addresses his drug use on Everyday Robots, specifically in the song “You and Me”. Below, watch footage of him performing the song at this month’s BBC 6 Music Festival.

Damon Albarn unveils ‘Lonely Press Play’ video

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Click above to watch the promo, which was shot by Albarn himself on a tablet in locations as varied as Tokyo, London, Dallas, Utah, Colchester, North Korea, Iceland and Devon. The song is taken from Albarn’s forthcoming solo debut, ‘Everyday Robots’, which is released on April 28.

Following an appearance at SXSW in Austin, Texas next month, Albarn will play with his backing band The Heavy Seas at two special shows in London, at the Rivoli Ballroom on April 30 and The Great Hall at QMUL on May 1. He will then headline Latitude Festival on July 19.

Damon Albarn collected the Award For Innovation at the NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas (February 26) and said that he would “love” to collaborate with Noel Gallagher in the future. Albarn and Gallagher were given the Music Moment Of The Year prize for performing together at a Teenage Cancer Trust show in May of last year. The Blur singer also later admitted that the band had written 15 new songs for a new album, but said they won’t see the light of day for years.

Albarn also was on hand at last night’s ceremony to present Beatles legend Paul McCartney with the Songwriter’s Songwriter Award, while other big winners included Blondie, who were the recipients of this year’s Godlike Genius title, and Arctic Monkeys, who took home five gongs.

Enjoy.

Setlist for Damon Albarn’s first solo performance, plus watch it in full

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On Friday night, Damon Albarn delivered his first live, public performance in support of his debut solo album Everyday Robots, appearing at BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in Manchester. Accomapnied by a full band, which he’s dubbed The Heavy Seas, Albarn performed six songs from Everyday Robots, as well as material from his various other projects.

Highlights included the live debut of Blur’s “All Your Life”, the world premiere of “The Selfish Giant”, “Mr. Tembo”, “Heavy Seas of Love”, which are set to appear on Everyday Robots, and performances of Gorillaz’s “On Melancholy Hill”, “Tomorrow Comes Today”, and “El Mañana”, and The Good, the Bad, and the Queen’s “Kingdom of Doom”.

Watch the full replay at BBC 6′s website. Below, you can watch his performance of set opener “Everyday Robots”.

Details of Damon Albarn’s long-awaited debut solo album have been revealed on Warner Music’s webstore. Entitled Everyday Robots, the 12-track effort will see release on April 29th. The album’s title track also serves as the lead single and is due out on March 3rd digitally and on 7-inch vinyl.

The album itself is available in a variety of configurations, including as an HD digital album and as a deluxe CD/DVD package featuring live performance footage from Fox studios in Los Angeles.

In an interview Rolling Stone late last year, Albarn described the album as a “sort of folk soul” that he made alongside longtime collaborator and XL Recordings head Richard Russell. “Richard does the rhythmic side, and I do everything else,” Albarn explained.

Update: According to Albarn’s Facebook page, the album also features Brian Eno and Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan are also featured on the album. It’s described as “his most soul-searching and autobiographical yet” and “explores nature versus technology.”

Below, you can preview a short snippet of “Everyday Robots” in a new trailer for the album. The album’s full tracklist and the single’s artwork follows.

Everyday Robots Tracklist:
01. Everyday Robots
02. Hostiles
03. Lonely Press Play
04. Mr Tembo
05. Parakeet
06.The Selfish Giant
07. You and Me
08. Hollow Ponds
09. Seven High
10. Photographs (You Are Taking Now)
11. The History Of A Cheating Heart
12. Heavy Seas Of Love

Everyday Robots DVD Tracklist:
01. Track x Track Video (Bundle Only)
02. Everyday Robots (live from Fox studios Los Angeles)
03. Hostiles (live from Fox studios Los Angeles)
04. Lonely Press Play (live from Fox studios Los Angeles)
05. Hollow Ponds (libe from Fox studios Los Angeles)

“Everyday Robots” single artwork:

20 Best-Selling Vinyl Albums Of The Last 20 Years

20.2013_TheBeatles_Anthology_281013

The Official Charts Company has announced the 20 best selling vinyl albums in the last 20 years, and here they are from 20-1. At number 20 we have the The Beatles’ ‘Anthology 1’ Released in 1995, it was the first instalment of a trilogy set of albums by the Beatles. Comprising a mixture of 60 tracks of live performances and unreleased sounds.

19.2013_DjShadow_Endtroducing_281013

In 1996 the face of hip hop changed with the release of DJ Shadow’s ‘Endtroducing’ . The American studio album was produced under the label Mo’Wax and comes in 19th place. Despite the basic production and the high use of samples, this album is considered to be a landmark album.

17.2013_Oasis_BeHereNow_281013

Described as the second coming of The Beatles, Oasis was at the height of their fame 15 years ago. Released in 1997 ‘Be Here Now’ became Oasis’ third album and had been a highly anticipated album by their fans and critics. Being 17th top seller in vinyl comes as no surprise.

18.2013_Pulp_DifferentClass_281013

Pulp were seen to be pioneers in the Britpop movement and in 1995 ‘Different Class’ propelled the group to fame. The 5th studio album bought two singles: ‘Common People’ and Disco 2000’ both being in the top 10 in UK charts.

16.2013_NeilYoung_Harevest_281013

Canadian musician Neil Young’s ‘Harvest’ was the best selling album in the US in 1972. Doing something different within the rock genre he used London Symphony Orchestra, which helped him top the Billboard 200 album chart for two weeks.

15.2013_Prodigy_MusicForTheJiltedGeneration_281013

In 15th place Prodigy released ‘Music for the Jilted Generation’ in 1994. Focusing on electronic dance music the group remastered this album in 2008 including bonus tracks.

14.2013_Nirvana_UnpluggedinNewYork_281013

Nirvana recorded live album ‘MTV Unplugged In New York’. This was the first album released by the band since Kurt Cobain passed. This album is 14th in the countdown to number 1. It won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music album in 1996.

13.2013_Blur_Parklife_281013

Blur’s Parklife was the album that bought the band back to the forefront of the Britpop movement in 1994. Certified four times platinum in the UK, Blur fought off competition from Oasis with hit singles like: ‘Girls and Boys’ and ‘To The End’. Frontman Damon Albarn said Parklife was “the travels of the mystical lager-eater, seeing what’s going on in the world and commenting on it.”

12.2013_StroneRoses_SecondComing_281013

‘Second Coming’ was the second studio album by the Stone Roses. It took the band 2 years to record the album, released in 1994. At number 12 the band sold 1 million copies. The album has an unusual track listing with 99 tracks, 77 of which are silent after the song ‘Love spreads’.

11.2013_PaulWeller_StanleyRoad_281013

The third studio album by Paul Weller: ‘Stanley Road’ is at number 11. The album took its name from a road where he grew up in Woking. Paul told the BBC he hopes he can one day create an album as perfect as this one.

10.2013_Prodigy_TheFatOfTheLand_28101310.

As of 2012 the Prodigy’s ‘Fat Of The Land’ has sold 10 million copies worldwide despite being released in 1997. Drawing inspiration from the old English phrase, the band will definitely be living well. The album comes in the countdown at number 10.

9.2013_Queen_MadeInHeaven_281013

‘Made In Heaven’ released by Queen in 1995 was the 15th and last album that featured the late Freddie Mercury. The album debut at number one in the UK and went four times platinum, selling 20 million copies worldwide.

8.2013_MassiveAttack_ProtectionNoProtection_281013

Massive Attack’s Protection/No Protection is the second album remixed by British producer Mad Professor. This album bought a fusion of different sounds and genres together.

7.2013_Beatles_Liveatthebbc_281013

‘Beatles Live At The BBC’ is rated 7th highest selling vinyl. Made in 1994 it is an album dedicated to performances by the Beatles which were originally broadcast by the BBC in 1963 to 1965.

6.2013_Leftfield_Leftism_281013

Leftfield’s Leftism is the first album by electronica musicians Paul Daley and Neil Barnes. Released in 1995 by Columbia Records the album features reworked songs and some new original pieces.

5.2013_Radiohead_KingOfLimbs_281013

The King of Limbs by Radiohead was a self-released album in 2011. With it being their 8th studio album the band let little information out before its release. The album was originally released as an MP3 download followed by a CD. It’s 5th in the best-sellers list.

4.2013_TRAVIS_TheInvisibleBand_281013

The Scottish indie pop band Travis released ‘The Invisible Band’ in 2001. The name of the album refers to the band having famous and influential songs but not being regarded famous themselves.

3.2013_Portishead_dummy_281013

‘Dummy’ is Portishead’s debut album. Based in Bristol the group made the album in 1994 and later won the Mercury music prize in 1995.

2.2013_OASIS_DefinitetlyMaybe_281013

With ‘Definitely Maybe’, Oasis went straight to number one in 1994 in the UK, gaining positive commercial and critical success. Oasis helped revitalise the Britpop genre along with other groups like Blur.

1.2013_OASIS_WHATS_THESTORYMORNINGGLORY_281013

What’s The Morning Story Glory’ by Oasis is the number one selling vinyl in the last 20 years. Released in 1995 won the award for the Best British album in the last 30 years at the 2010 Brit Awards.