Edward Droste – The founder of the band Grizzly Bear reflects on his musical education, songwriting and the band’s history.

Ed Droste

Ed Droste frontman of Grizzly Bear





More than a decade ago, Edward Droste started Grizzly Bear as a bedroom recording project after college. Today, Grizzly Bear is a four-piece act renowned for its shimmering brand of harmonic, experimental pop, with an international fan-base and four albums to its name (the most recent, “Shields,” came out in 2012). In the second installment of the “What Made Me” video series by Poppy de Villeneuve, Droste reflects on his childhood musical education on Cape Cod, how he began writing songs as an adult and what it’s like for a band to grow up together.

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.


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:

INXS Michael Hutchence’s hauntingly prophetic words, days before his death

Michael Hutchence

Michael Hutchence

This story was published 18 days ago February 08, 2014 9:36PM by news.com.au

MICHAEL Hutchence battled many demons but, for the first time, he felt close to winning the war.

“I have dealt with many demons in my life, but nothing compares to what I’ve had to face over the past few years,” Hutchence told me over the phone, in what would be his last interview.

“It would be so easy for me to say that I hate what I’ve become, but then, what I’ve become, certainly in the public eye, I’ve had no control over.

“I don’t like that.

“It concerns me a great deal that every move that I make is looked at, photographed, and made into gossip, some f—ing sound bite that doesn’t resemble the truth.”

Hutchence had called to promote a homecoming tour with INXS. It was November 18, 1997, and he was about to board a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney.

Four days later, he took his own life in a Sydney hotel room. Upbeat about coming home, the open and obliging frontman broadened our interview to include his lover British broadcaster Paula Yates, pride at their daughter Heavenly Hirani Tiger Lily, and his seething contempt of Yates’ former husband, Sir Bob Geldof.

Geldof and Yates, who had three children together, split in 1995, a year after her affair with the Australian rocker was uncovered.

That rift sparked a vicious slanging match and bitter custody battle. In our interview, he was increasingly angry and hurt at the picture the British press painted of him, especially after his fling and subsequent relationship with Yates.

“I’d say it was much worse for Paula – but I’m a realist, I just do my best to confront these things and hope I come out of it stronger and wiser and a better person,” he told me.

“The truth has hardly ever survived in our case. I get to see some of what is written, hear what is said. I try not to because some of it, no, most of it, is hurtful and it does me no good to think that it is out there. I hate the fact that people’s perception of you is just fodder. Every move you make is just used to sell newspapers.

“I don’t want to be exposed like that all the time. I don’t want to be known as someone that’s just a shallow sound bite. I have worked too long and too hard for that.

“I have always just carried on my life the way I see fit. If that ruffles feathers, and it becomes tabloid fodder, then so be it. I’m not going to lock myself away or change my lifestyle to suit somebody else’s set of rules. I think that’s immoral.

“People should just remember: I am a musician. I am a singer. That’s it.”

He continued: “I’m not complaining about the life I’ve got. I’m a dad, I sing, I travel, I get into most of the clubs for free. I have freedom and freedom gives you a certain amount of power.”

Then eerily: “I can lose all of this whenever I want to.”

Earlier that month, Hutchence had met with major studio and indie filmmakers in New York and Los Angeles to resurrect his acting career.

In that time, Hutchence did a cameo role in Limp, a low-budget movie shot in Seattle. He auditioned for the part, got it, and played a jaded record company executive. “It was directed by this hot-shot kid, this 26-year-old guy, and his energy, just seeing how this guy works with ideas, it has inspired me to work in films again,” he told me.

Hutchence was excited by the rise of quality, independent Australian film, and had set up meetings with local filmmakers during the INXS tour.

“I am the biggest fan of anything Australian, especially when I’m away from home,” he told me.

“I just rant and rave because I know what it takes to get it out there on the world stage.

Hutchence was in love, but said he had not discussed marriage with Yates.

“Every year, some columnist tells us we are going to get married somewhere. Last year it was in Queensland, the year before, it was in Italy,” he told me.

“Marriage is a very personal thing and to deny it, well, you don’t want to deny it because it sounds like you don’t want to do it.”

Did Hutchence want to do it?

“To be honest, yes,” he replied.

“I think there is a part of me that truly wants that. But in reality, we haven’t even discussed it. Some gossip columnist just thinks it’s pretty funny to tell us when we should.”

After Hutchence’s death, an understandably distraught Yates struggled to cope.

In September 2000, she was found dead in her London home from a heroin overdose. Geldof took foster custody of Tiger Lily, so she could be raised with her older half-sisters. He formally adopted Tiger Lily in 2007.

Hutchence, caught in the vitriol between Geldof and Yates, once described Sir Bob as “an evil man” and said the public had been fooled into siding with “Saint Bob”.

He told me: “It is an easy contrast. A convenient one. Saint Bob and (a) wild boy rock star. You pick the one who people are going to believe?

“One day, the truth will be told,” Hutchence sighed. Did he want to give his side of “the truth” for our interview?

“No,” he answered flatly.

“The ones who lie should be made to tell the truth.”

According to the coroner’s report, Hutchence called Geldof twice in the early hours of November 22, 1997, begging Sir Bob to let Yates bring her children to Australia. Geldof told authorities Hutchence’s tone was “abusive, hectoring and threatening”.

A desperate and distraught Hutchence placed further calls, and left voicemail messages with his former girlfriend, Michelle Bennett, and manager, Martha Troup.

Bennett rushed to the hotel, but was unable to rouse Hutchence by knocking loudly on his door, and calling repeatedly.

At 11.50am, a hotel maid found him, dead, and naked behind the door to his room. He had apparently hanged himself with his own belt.

Earlier that week, Hutchence was optimistic about being able to telling the truth his way.

“Are you comfortable in your skin?” he asked in Building Bridges.

“Some days I am everything that I hate. There’s nothing if the truth won’t survive.”

In essence, Hutchence’s songs let him have the last word.

“That I can create, that I can write, that I can express,” Hutchence told me, “that is the light at the end of the tunnel. That is how you win the battle.”

Watch Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker plays gig with disco side-project.

Kevin Parker frontman of Tame Impala

Kevin Parker frontman of Tame Impala – Photo: David Edward

Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker has begun work on a disco side-project – click below to see fan footage of the group, who are called AAA Aardvark Getdown Services, playing live.

The outfit includes Parker plus Tame Impala and Pond members Jay Watson and Cam Avery and former The Chemist singer Ben Witt. Speaking to The West Australian about the group, who performed at Australia’s Festival Gardens over the weekend (February 22), Watson said: “Kevin’s been writing all these disco, Michael Jackson mega-hits that he wouldn’t use for Tame because he’d be too sheepish about it but i’m trying to convince him to because they’re all next-level ‘Thriller’-pop.”

He added: “It’s pretty much Kevin’s home recordings, kind of electronic but with Ben Witt who plays guitar and maybe another guy and Cam playing with Kev.” According to Perth Now, meanwhile, their set was filled with songs which were influenced by the likes of Daft Punk, Chic and Blondie.

Speaking in December last year, Parker revealed that he is currently working on Tame Impala’s next album. Commenting on its progress, he said: “The way I do it is there’s never recording ‘sessions.’ One finishes, the next one starts. It’s just continuous. I write songs everyday, but I don’t necessarily get to record them. I just record whenever I can, whenever I’m home, whenever I have access to something that can make music.”

Tame Impala are set to play this summer’s Latitude festival. They will join headliners Two Door Cinema Club and Damon Albarn on the bill, with Agnes Obel, Jungle, Damien Jurado, Julia Holter, Valerie June, Koreless, East India Youth, Kwabs, Eagulls and Fat White Family also included on the line-up.

Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story – Trailer

Gatling Pictures’ “Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story” Collector’s Edition DVD/CD box set is available since July 3, 2012, at gatlingpictures.com.

It was scheduled to be released on digital platforms worldwide in August 2012 by FILMBUFF filmbuffondemand.com.

Gatlin pictures along with TUGG tugg.com continued getting the film to select theaters in the United States throughout 2012.

Watch the trailer below.

Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story – Trailer

Rock Legend Lou Reed died aged 71

R.I.P. Lou Reed

Today is a sad day for those who appreciate and love good music. Rock legend Lou Reed died.

Lou Reed, who took rock ‘n’ roll into dark corners as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist for the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist, died Sunday, his publicist said. He was 71.

“It is now officially confirmed that Lou Reed did pass away several hours ago,” said Peter Noble.

Noble didn’t disclose details of Reed’s death.

Reed was a rock pioneer who went from record label songwriter to a member of a short-lived, but innovative and influential band.

“Lou Reed’s influence is one that there are really only a tiny handful of other figures who you can compare to him,” said Simon Vozick-Levinson, a senior editor at Rolling Stone, which first reported Reed’s death.

“He spoke incredibly frankly about the realities of being an artist, being a person who lived life on one’s own terms. He didn’t prettify things. He didn’t sugarcoat things. He showed life as it really is and that’s something that made him a true original, and one of our great all-time artists,” he said.

Reed, violist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker played their first show as the Velvet Underground in 1965.

Photos: People we lost in 2013

“The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet. I’ve lost my ‘school-yard buddy,’ ” Cale wrote on Twitter.

The Velvets tackled taboo topics like drug addiction, paranoia and sexual deviancy.

Rock mythology has it that even though they were around only for a few years, everyone who went to a Velvet Underground concert went out and started a band.

Rolling Stone ranks the group’s debut album, “The Velvet Underground and Nico” as the 13th greatest of all time.

And performers from David Bowie to R.E.M. and U2 have cited them as inspiration.

Reed “was one of the first artists to experiment with guitar feedback on record and to show that sort of ugly noise can actually be quite beautiful and moving. He also, lyrically, wrote about all kinds of topics that were taboo before he started exploring them,” said Vozick-Levinson.

Reed gave a voice to gay and transgender people in a way that had never been done before by a popular artist, which made his work incredibly important to many people, he said.

In 1970, Reed left the Velvets for a long solo career turning out classics like “Walk on the Wild Side” and “Sweet Jane.”

“People say rock ‘n’ roll is constricting, but you can do anything you want, any way you want. And my goal has been to make an album that would speak to people the way Shakespeare speaks to me, the way Joyce speaks to me. Something with that kind of power; something with bite to it,” Reed told the New York Times in 1982 while promoting his album “The Blue Mask.”

Reed’s wife, Laurie Anderson, told The Times of London this summer, that Reed had a life-saving liver transplant in May.

“R.I.P. LOU REED….A LEGEND,” the Pixies wrote on their Twitter page.

Iggy Pop wrote simply: “Devastating news.”