Hello and welcome to the rockin’ start of a brand new week! You know, I usually like to use this space for showcasing an indie or lesser-known band that doesn’t have major label backing behind it; but in the sprit of the weekend-morning cartoons of my long lost youth, an animated clip always gets preferential treatment. This week let’s all turn on to “Tranz” from Gorillaz, who are also making their debut on The’Gig. Marking the band’s first ever live performance video — and only live performance since 2010’s highly memorable MTV EMA performance — this visually eye-popping clip sees Gorillaz’ charismatic front man2D command the stage against a backdrop of mind-altering visuals. Joining him are bandmates Noodle and Russel Hobbs, with Gangreen Gang’s Ace on bass standing in for the temporarily incarcerated Murdoc Niccals. “Tranz” can be found on the band’s latest album, The Now Now, which is out. . . now. Tour dates starting in October are below. Enjoy!
There were a number of years in the early to mid-nineties when British Pop band Blur were my very favorite band in the Universe and, in fact, I got quite obsessed and silly over them. But I don’t regret any of that, because back when Blur and their perceived musical nemesis, Oasis, were duking it out in the British press for Band of the Century or whatever, Blur were undeniably the shit. There are tracks off of Park Life that I’d put up against anything in The Beatles‘ catalog any day of the week. Just being serious.
Well, the big news is that, after years and years of being broken up, Blur have recorded a new album together, which is called The Magic Whip, and it is quite good. A few videos for various songs are already on the YouTube, but I like this one for the song “Lonesome Street” which features what could become a viral dance craze as far-reaching as that pony dance they do in the video for the mystifyingly popular “Gangnam Style,” but that is just my opinion. The Magic Whip is released April 27th, 2015. Enjoy!
The BRIT Award statue designed by British artist Damien Hirst has been revealed for the first time today (January 10). Hirst is the third iconic British artist to be let loose on the BRIT statue, following fashion designer Vivienne Westwood in 2011 and Sergeant Pepper artist Peter Blake last year. Hirst has adorned the statue with his trademark spot painting aesthetic. You can see a larger image of the statue below. Speaking about his role with the BRITs, Hirst said: “I am honoured to be asked to design this year’s statue, it has become such an iconic award, I love the BRITs.”
Meanwhile, BRITs Chairman David Joseph added: “Damien is truly one of the most important British artists and his reimagining of the statue will make winning a 2013 BRIT an even more special proposition.” A recent retrospective of Hirst’s work at London’s Tate Modern attracted 463,000 visitors.
The nominations launch for The Brits will take place today (January 10) at The Savoy in London, and will be hosted by BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw. Highlights from the nominations launch will be hosted on the official Brits YouTube channel directly after the event. Critics Choice prizewinner Tom Odell will perform live, as will Jessie Ware.
The 2012 BRIT Awards saw Adele and Ed Sheeran pick up multiple awards and Blur perform live as well as accept the lifetime achievement prize. This year’s BRIT Awards take place on February 20th, 2013 and will again be hosted by James Corden.
It’s been 21 years since the release of their debut album Leisure in 1991, and due to popular demand British Pop band Blur’s body of work has been personally compiled by the band and gathered together in one box, due for release by Parlophone in North America on July 31st, 2012. Blur 21: The Box collects all seven studio albums with over 5½ hours of unreleased material, including 65 previously unreleased tracks and more than twice as many rarities, 3 DVDs, a collector’s edition book featuring rare and unseen photos and a new and exclusive interview with the band. The set also includes a special limited edition 7-inch vinyl disc featuring a track recorded under the band’s original name, Seymour. The Blur 21 box will also include a digital download code for the albums and all bonus material.
This awesome collection – which sees the first 5 albums re-mastered by Frank Arkwright in Abbey Road Studios – has been fully overseen by Graham Coxon and producer Stephen Street. Highlights of the box include early versions of tracks recorded for Leisure, bare bones early demos of the classic singles “For Tomorrow” and “Beetlebum,” previously unheard songs “Saturday Morning” and “Hope You Find Your Suburbs” and never released sessions with Bill Laswell and the legendary session with XTC’s Andy Partridge. Other rarities are “Don’t Bomb When You’re The Bomb,”“The Wassailling Song” and “Fools Day,” which appear on CD for the first time. DVD material includes Live at Alexandra Palace 1994 and Live at Wembley ‘The Singles Night’ 1999.
In addition to the 21-disc Deluxe Box Set, all 7 studio albums will be available individually, each with a second disc of b-sides, previously hard-to-find tracks and exclusive bonus material. A vinyl box set will also be released, with six of the seven albums on double-vinyl, highlighting iconic artwork and visuals from Banksy, David Shrigley and Graham Coxon among others. The vinyl box set will include a download code to access all of the bonus material digitally. Each of the 7 LPs will also be available separately on heavyweight vinyl.
Blur’s 7 studio albums are: Leisure (1991), Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993), Parklife (1994), The Great Escape (1995), Blur (1997), 13 (1999) and Think Tank (2003). For full track-listing and a complete list of all bonus material and rarities please visit www.blur.co.uk/blur21.
Blur’s Parklife and New Order’s Power, Corruption and Lies Shown Above
On January 7, 2010, Britain’s Royal Mail will launch a collector’s-minded Album Cover Stamps series featuring a set of ten 1st class stamps designed by Studio Dempsey. The remarkable series celebrates classic album covers by some of England’s most famous and enduring rock bands including Led Zeppelin, Blur, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, New Order, Pink Floyd and Primal Scream. Each stamp will be uniquely shaped, as shown in these images, adding a glimpse of a vinyl disc poking out of each record sleeve – very cool! Read more of the story behind these very rockin’ stamps at this link.
Rolling Stones Let It Bleed, David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust Shown Above
15 Albums That Changed My Life is one of the more interesting notes that are going around on FaceBook right now, and I felt compelled to share it on the ‘Gig. What you’re supposed to do is make a list of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re over 40) that had such a profound effect on you that they, literally, changed your life. It wasn’t hard for me to think of that many. In fact, it was hard to limit it to just fifteen. The glaring omission of any album released after 1987 certainly says something about the lack of vital, ass-kicking, earth shaking rock released since that time. Sometimes it’s advantageous to be an old fart. Here’s my list, kind of in chronological order but undoubtedly with MANY omissions.
1. The Beatles – Help!(Original Soundtrack)
2. Led Zeppelin 4
3. ELP – Welcome Back My Friends
4. The Who – Who’s Next
5. Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive
6. Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
7. Peter Gabriel – Wet Windshield (First Solo Album)