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Exile on Main St turns 50: how The Rolling Stones’ critically divisive album became rock folklore

<p>In May of 1972 the Rolling Stones released their 10th British studio album and first double LP, <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/exile-on-main-street-96177/">Exile on Main St.</a> Although initial critical response was lukewarm, it is now considered a contemporary music landmark, the best work from a band who rock critic Simon Frith once referred to as “the poets of lonely leisure.”</p> <p>Exile on Main St. was both the culmination of a five-year productive frenzy and bleary-eyed comedown from the darkest period in the Stones’ history. </p> <p>By 1969 the storm clouds of dread building around the group had become a full-blown typhoon. First, recently sacked member Brian Jones was found dead, drowned in his swimming pool.</p> <p>Then, as the decade ended in a rush of bleak portents, they played host to the chaos of the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-01/how-the-rolling-stones-killed-the-hippie-dream-at-altamont/11747188">Altamont Speedway Free Concert</a>, a poorly organised, massive free concert, which ended with four dead including a murder captured live on film.</p> <p>Yet amidst all this the Stones produced <a href="https://greilmarcus.net/2020/03/22/the-end-of-the-1960s-let-it-bleed-12-27-69/">Let It Bleed</a> (1969) and <a href="https://www.allmusic.com/album/sticky-fingers-mw0000195498">Sticky Fingers</a>(1971), two devastating albums that wrapped up the era like a parcel bomb addressed to the 1970s. </p> <p>Songs like Gimme Shelter, the harrowing Sister Morphine, and Sway, which broods on Nietzche’s notion of circular time, exuded the kind of weary grandeur that would define Exile.</p> <h2>Rock folklore</h2> <p>The story behind Exile on Main St. has become <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXcqcdYABFw">rock folklore</a>. Fleeing from England’s punitive tax laws, the Stones lobbed in a Côte d'Azur mansion that was a Gestapo HQ during World War II. </p> <p>Mick Jagger was largely sidelined, spending much of the time in Paris with pregnant wife Bianca. The musicians were jammed into an ad-hoc basement studio, a cross between steam-bath and opium den, powered by electricity hijacked from the French railway system. The house was beset by hangers-on, including the obligatory posse of drug-dealers.</p> <p>Yet with control ceded to the nonchalant, disaster-prone Keith Richards – the kind of person a crisis would want around in a crisis – they somehow harnessed the power of pandemonium.</p> <p>The result was a singular amalgam of barbed soul, mutant gospel, tombstone blues and shambolic country, as thrilling in its blend of familiar sources as works by contemporaries <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/sep/02/roxy-music-40-years">Roxy Music</a> and David Bowie were in the use of alien ones. </p> <p>Jagger shuffles his deck of personas from song to song like a demented croupier, the late, great drummer <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/24/arts/music/charlie-watts-dead.html">Charlie Watts</a> supplies his customary subtle adornments, and a cast of miscreants – most crucially, pianist Nicky Hopkins and producer Jimmy Miller – function as supplementary band members.</p> <p>All 18 tracks contribute to the ragged perfection of the document as a whole. Tumbling Dice and Happy are textbook rock propelled by a strange union of virtuosity and indolence. And there is an undeniable beauty to the likes of Torn and Frayed and Let it Loose, albeit a beauty that is tentative, hard-earned.</p> <p>The package is completed by its distinctive sleeve art, juxtaposing a collage of circus performers photographed by Robert Frank circa 1950 with grainy stills from a Super-8 film of the band and a mural dedicated to Joan Crawford.</p> <p>Exile confused audiences at first: Writer <a href="https://www.amazon.com/EXILE-MAIN-STREET-Rolling-Stones/dp/0028650638">John Perry</a> describes its 1972 reception as mixing “puzzlement with qualified praise”. The response of critic Lester Bangs was typical. After an initial negative review, Bangs came to regard it as the group’s strongest work. Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine <a href="https://www.allmusic.com/album/exile-on-main-st-mw0000191639">confirms</a> that the record over time has become a touchstone, calling it a masterful album that takes “the bleakness that underpinned Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers to an extreme.”</p> <h2>Inspiration</h2> <p>The roll call of artists inspired by Exile is extensive, from Tom Waits and the White Stripes to Benicio del Toro and Martin Scorsese. But two album-length homages stand out. </p> <p>In 1986, underground punks Pussy Galore concocted a feral, abstract <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHAEkWcgBD8">facsimile</a> of the entire double-LP. In 1993, singer-songwriter Liz Phair used the original as a rough template for her acclaimed <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW1nMJ4-2qM">Exile in Guyville</a>.</p> <p>Nonetheless, journalist Mark Masters notes that by the 1980s, the social and cultural circumstances that produced Exile were waning as acts such as Minutemen, Mekons, The Go-Go’s and Fela Kuti gave listeners access to fresh modes of rebellion.</p> <p>Circa 1972, the Rolling Stones deserved the title “greatest rock and roll band in the world.” That it is still claimed 50 years on shows how classic rock continues to overbear all that followed.</p> <h2>The grandfathers of rock</h2> <p>When in 2020 Rolling Stone <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/best-albums-of-all-time-1062063/">magazine</a> made a half-hearted attempt to tweak the classic rock canon – elevating Marvin Gaye, Public Enemy and Lauryn Hill alongside or above Exile and the Beatles – the response was predictably unedifying. </p> <p>One reader complained that the magazine was catering to “young people with no musical history and older people who don’t know anything.” Others raged that rap is not music and the list was proof of rampant political correctness.</p> <p>Such archaic, ignorant language is typical of gatekeepers of the classic rock tradition. It is a language of exclusion, ensuring that exceptional new music by, say, <a href="https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/fiona-apple-fetch-the-bolt-cutters/">Fiona Apple</a> (which sounds something like rock) or <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/culture/listening-booth/the-hypnotic-spell-of-groupers-shade">Liz Harris</a> (which sounds rather different) will always be rated below what came before.</p> <p>The Rolling Stones have an inevitable, if ambiguous, relationship to all of this. In terms of race, writer Jack Hamilton <a href="https://slate.com/culture/2016/10/race-rock-and-the-rolling-stones-how-the-rock-and-roll-became-white.html">argues</a> that they were always “fiercely committed to a future for rock and roll music in which black music and musicians continued to matter.”</p> <p>How they intersect with gender is perhaps more troubling, though also <a href="https://scholar.google.com.au/scholar_url?url=https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13619460801990104&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=GvplYvGUEpyO6rQP_qe3mAs&amp;scisig=AAGBfm2sqr4oKv5EoKYSmkitlR44etMXqA&amp;oi=scholarr">conflicted</a>. While eminent female musicians such as Joan Jett, Carrie Brownstein and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRPpCqXYoos">Rennie Sparks</a> continue to champion the Stones, their role as leading purveyors of an inherently masculine, increasingly archaic musical form cannot be avoided.</p> <p>Exile on Main St. is a significant album made by a bunch of haggard rebels whose heyday (and rebellion) is past but whose art lives on in complex ways. </p> <p>Along with Sly and the Family Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On and Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night, it fits snugly into an aesthetic of washed out, narcotic-smeared masterpieces from the early seventies.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/exile-on-main-st-turns-50-how-the-rolling-stones-critically-divisive-album-became-rock-folklore-181704" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

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Sir Mick Jagger slams comparisons to Harry Styles

<p>Sir Mick Jagger has slammed the comparison between the veteran rocker and pop superstar Harry Styles. </p> <p>Harry, a former member of One Direction whose solo career has seem him rise to the top of international music charts, has often been likened to The Rolling Stones frontman for their similar look and stage presence. </p> <p>While the 78-year-old rockstar can see the likeness in their looks, Jagger believes this is where their similarities end. </p> <p>Jagger told Sunday Times Culture magazine, “I like Harry — we have an easy relationship."</p> <p>“I mean, I used to wear a lot more eye make-up than him. Come on, I was much more androgynous. And he doesn’t have a voice like mine or move on stage like me; he just has a superficial resemblance to my younger self, which is fine — he can’t help that.”</p> <p>Harry Styles has long noted his love of The Rolling Stones, once calling Mick Jagger "the coolest man on the planet", and even impersonated Mick Jagger on 2017 episode of <em>Saturday Night Live</em>. </p> <p>While being historically dismissive of the pop star, he has been accepting of his influence, even dating back to the One Direction days; as Jagger said of Styles in <a href="https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/leisure/showbiz/14127163.harry-styles-has-got-it-going-on-says-sir-mick-jagger/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">a 2015 interview</a>, “He’s got it going on. I know him, he comes to see me in lots of shows. And yeah, I can see the influence. But I don’t say anything to him, I just tell him he looks nice. I like him. He’s very decent.”</p> <p>The Rolling Stones are preparing to embark on their "Sixty" tour in June, with Jagger admitting that the shows have become more "challenging" as the band ages. </p> <p>Mick said, “Rock’n’roll, or any kind of pop music honestly, isn’t supposed to be done when you’re in your seventies."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Taylor Swift receives honorary doctorate

<p dir="ltr">Grammy-award winner Taylor Swift has another achievement to her name, as she has received an honorary doctorate from the New York University.</p> <p dir="ltr">The pop music icon was honoured in the sector of fine arts in a ceremony at Yankee Stadium, as she addressed the graduating class of 2022. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sporting her signature red lipstick and newly awarded honorary robe, Swift joked to the thousands of graduates assembled, "I'm 90 percent sure the main reason I'm here is because I have a song called 22."</p> <p dir="ltr">"I never got to have a normal college experience per se. I went to public high school until 10th grade and then finished my education doing home school work on the floor of airport terminals," Swift said in her commencement speech.</p> <p dir="ltr">Swift went on to share worldly advice with the new graduates as they prepare for life outside of university. </p> <p dir="ltr">"You've worked and struggled and sacrificed and studied and dreamed your way here today. I won't tell you what to do because nobody likes that, but I will however give you life hacks for when I was starting out my dreams as a career," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Never be ashamed of trying. Effortlessness is a myth."</p> <p dir="ltr">Swift concluded her speech by telling graduates that making mistakes is inevitable but "when hard things happen to us, we will recover, we will learn from it, we will grow more resilient because of it."</p> <p dir="ltr">"As long as we are fortunate enough to be breathing, we will breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep and breathe out. I am a doctor now so I know how breathing works," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I hope you know how proud I am to share this day with you.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We're doing this together so let's just keep on dancing like we're the class of 22."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Piers Morgan slams Ukraine’s “sympathy” Eurovision win

<p dir="ltr">Piers Morgan has slammed the winners of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, claiming the act from Ukraine won on a “sympathy vote”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The rap group Kalush Orchestra were crowned winners of the annual contest for their song <em>Stefania</em>, with Morgan claiming that their musical talent was not considered in the voting process, but rather that their country is under attack. </p> <p dir="ltr">In a Twitter post, the 57-year-old broadcaster wrote, “Nobody who voted for Ukraine thought it was the best song because it obviously wasn’t anywhere near the best. Even Ukrainians don’t think it was the best song.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“They got the sympathy vote, which is fine as long as we drop the word ‘contest’ from Eurovision.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Morgan also suggested that the contest is a “rigged farce” and suggested Ukraine would have won due to the highly publicised invasion by Russia, regardless of their act.</p> <p dir="ltr">He added in a separate tweet, “The world’s most absurd, pointless, politically-motivated ‘contest’ excels itself. Ukraine could have sent one of its heroic bomb-sniffing dogs to bark the national anthem and still won. Happy for them, but please let’s stop calling #Eurovision a contest... it’s a rigged farce.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Kalush Orchestra frontman Oleh Psiuk thinks that their winning song, which pays tribute to his mother, has been redefined as a rallying cry for Ukraine amid the devastating conflict with Russia.</p> <p dir="ltr">He said, “After it all started with the war and the hostilities, it took on additional meaning, and many people started seeing it as their mother, Ukraine, in the meaning of the country.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It has become really close to the hearts of so many people in Ukraine.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Bon Scott’s brother discusses AC/DC frontman’s death for the first time

<p dir="ltr">For the first time since the rockstar’s untimely death in 1980, Bon Scott’s closest friends and family have spoken out about his success and reliance on vices.</p> <p dir="ltr">Bon’s brother Derek said while Bon’s devil-may-care attitude was a key part of his public persona as a rockstar, it would eventually lead to his downfall as his penchant for risk-taking would backfire.</p> <p dir="ltr">Bon Scott, lead singer of AC/DC, was found dead in a car in London in 1980 after a night of heavy drinking, drug use and partying at just 33 years old. </p> <p dir="ltr">Bruce Howe, a close friend of the rockstar, said he would rely on dangerous vices while on the road, specifically when boredom would set in. </p> <p dir="ltr">“That‘s when he would start taking risks, doing wild things,” Howe said on the ABC’s <em>Australian Story</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">“On days when he was bored, there was no future, there was only now.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“He didn‘t give a bugger about whether he lived or died the next day. He’d try anything — magic mushrooms, marijuana, alcohol — and he would take risks on his motorbike.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I said, ‘You are going to f***ing kill yourself. Do something about it!’”</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking for the first time on the death of his brother, Derek Scott said Bon’s alcoholism had always worried those closest to him.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He did get bored very quickly,” he said. “That was the biggest problem. When he got bored, he drank.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“He never worried about tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When Bon Scott joined AC/DC and rose to international fame, his stardom became another vehicle of self-destruction. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Within the next 12 months, they were expected to be one of the biggest acts on the planet,” Murray Engleheart, author of the book AC/DC Maximum Rock and Roll, said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The next album was going to be the one that was really going to kick them over the goalposts.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But after barely five years of AC/DC becoming a global act, the Bon Scott era was over.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Bon’s passing as he did, on his own in a car in the freezing cold, after all his hard work and all his heartbreak getting there, was just an incredibly sad, lonely and unglamorous way to go out,” Mr Engleheart said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Howe said he was gutted by the news of his death, but knew deep down that an early death was always a possibility for his friend.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He drank far too much,” Mr Howe said. ”I did wonder if he would push it too far one day. And sadly, he obviously did.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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How a song composed for the Sydney Olympics has been brought to life

<p dir="ltr">As Australia prepared for the Sydney Olympics in early 2000, composer Natalie Raab decided to create a uniquely Aussie song. </p> <p dir="ltr">Her hope was that the ballad, which celebrates Australia’s beauty, history and diversity, could be used somewhere during the Olympic ceremonies. </p> <p dir="ltr">After moving from Italy in 1960, Natalie fell in love with Australia and wanted to honour her new home in her own special way. </p> <p dir="ltr">"My wife was always very musical," her husband, Erich Raab said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"She wrote quite a bit of music for some well-known artists, she played the violin, the guitar, the piano, and she studied music from an early age.”</p> <p dir="ltr">"She thought, 'I better write a song that's for everybody and inclusive of Indigenous Australia and offer it as a gift'."</p> <p dir="ltr">Three months before the games, Natalie offered the song to the Sydney Olympic Committee. </p> <p dir="ltr">While they praised her work, the committee members said it was too late to incorporate it into the program. </p> <p dir="ltr">"After that, it disappeared in a drawer somewhere — forgotten," said Erich.</p> <p dir="ltr">The song stayed in its drawer for 20 years, until last year when Mr Raab found it during a clean-up of his home. </p> <p dir="ltr">Natalie died in a motorcycle accident in 2014, and her husband was keen to share the song with others. </p> <p dir="ltr">"When I found the music, I thought, 'This song in a few verses says everything that needs to be said about this country, its beauty, its natural history, its people history, and its emphasis on reconciliation for all'.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I thought, 'I have to hang on to this and see if I can get somebody interested'."</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Raab gifted the music to the Manning Valley Choral Society, who have performed the song, called <em>Till I Come Home</em>, as part of a concert series. </p> <p dir="ltr">"They immediately understood what the song was about, they loved the music and thought it suited them, and they loved the words."</p> <p dir="ltr">The Manning Valley Choral Society's Robyn Rankin said they gratefully received the music.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Erich asked us if we would take care of it and record it for him," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We are lucky enough to have it in our possession now … it's a tribute to Erich's wife."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Bono and The Edge perform in Kyiv bomb shelter

<p dir="ltr">U2 musicians Bono and The Edge has performed a secret show in a bomb shelter in Kyiv, after being personally invited by Ukrainian president Zelenskyy. </p> <p dir="ltr">The members of the Irish rock band shared photos of their performance on Twitter, as they were joined by Ukrainian band Antytila's lead singer Tomos Topelia.</p> <p dir="ltr">From a station platform, the duo performed U2 hits such as <em>Sunday Bloody Sunday</em>, <em>Desire</em> and <em>With or Without You</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom,” said Bono during a break between songs. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We pray that you will enjoy some of that peace soon.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">President <a href="https://twitter.com/ZelenskyyUa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZelenskyyUa</a> invited us to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and so that’s what we’ve come to do. -- Bono and The Edge <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StandWithUkraine?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StandWithUkraine</a></p> <p>— U2 (@U2) <a href="https://twitter.com/U2/status/1523264383065141250?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 8, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The performance had an emotional impact on Ukrainians, with members of the small underground crowd taking to Twitter to express their gratitude. </p> <p dir="ltr">One person said, “Thank you Bono and Edge for the music and for making the world a better place through art, Ukraine will win this war with the world's support.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Bono and The Edge were later seen in the Ukrainian towns of Irpin and Bucha, which are the sites of alleged Russian war crimes in the first weeks of the invasion. </p> <p dir="ltr">The pair were shown greeting locals amongst the ruins of buildings, and outside St. Andrew Pervozvannoho All Saints church - where a mass grave was found in April.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Twitter</em></p>

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"We lost our beautiful mother": Ashley Judd's heartbreaking speech

<p dir="ltr">The daughters of country music legend Naomi Judd teared up at an awards ceremony on behalf of their mother, a day after she passed away.</p> <p dir="ltr">Naomi Judd, one half of the duo The Judds, died at the age of 76 on Sunday following a battle with depression and mental illness.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday, Ashley and Wynonna teared up as they made an emotional acceptance speech at the Country Music Hall of Fame induction following their mother’s passing.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew mum would probably talk the most,” Wynonna said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m gonna make this fast, because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The sisters also quoted Psalm 23, a common hymn for funeral services.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XPaqAPywFcs" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">“My mama loved you so much and I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley began.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Your esteem for her and your regard for her really penetrated her heart, and it was your affection for her that did keep her going in the last years, and please come see Pop,” she continued in reference to her stepfather and Naomi’s husband Larry Strickland.</p> <p dir="ltr">“While this is so much about the Judds as a duo, I want to take a moment to recognise my sister, a GOAT.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Wynonna then jumped in: “Though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Naomi and daughter Wynonna, began singing together as a professional act in the early 1980s.</p> <p dir="ltr">They produced major hits loved by fans all over the world including "Mama He's Crazy" and "Love Can Build a Bridge”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The sisters announced their mother’s death in a statement on Sunday.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," the statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that, as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Pink Floyd reunite to record Ukraine protest song

<p dir="ltr">For the first time in 28 years, legendary rock band Pink Floyd have reunited to collaborate for an incredible cause. </p> <p dir="ltr">Band members David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Guy Pratt have recorded a protest song against the war in Ukraine titled <em>Hey Hey, Rise Up!</em></p> <p dir="ltr">The song is built around a spine-tingling refrain from Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the band Boombox.</p> <p dir="ltr">David Gilmour said the song is a show of “anger at a superpower invading a peaceful nation”.</p> <p dir="ltr">But the track can also be seen as a morale booster for the people of Ukraine, and a call “for peace”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Work on the haunting song began when Gilmour saw Khlyvnyuk's Instagram feed, with a video of the singer in Kyiv's Sofiyskaya Square, fully armed and ready to fight the Russian invasion.</p> <p dir="ltr">Facing the camera, the Ukrainian performer sang <em>The Red Viburnum In The Meadow</em>, a protest song written during the first world war, which has become a rallying cry in Ukraine over the last six weeks.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; 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font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cae5TydPAxh/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Андрій Хливнюк (@andriihorolski)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">"It just struck me that, as it is a capella, one could turn this into a beautiful song," Gilmour told BBC 6 Music's Matt Everitt.</p> <p dir="ltr">David Gilmour had played with the band BoomBox in 2015, and contacted Khlyvnyuk to seek permission to use his video. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I spoke to him, actually, from his hospital bed, where he had a pretty minor injury from a mortar," the star said. "So he's right there on the front line.”</p> <p dir="ltr">"I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line and he gave me his blessing."</p> <p dir="ltr">All proceeds from the song will be going towards the humanitarian relief effort in Ukraine. </p> <p dir="ltr">You can listen to <em>Hey Hey, Rise Up!</em> below.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/saEpkcVi1d4" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Ed Sheeran releases music video filmed in Ukraine

<p dir="ltr">UK singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has released his latest track <em>2step</em>, along with an emotional music video. </p> <p dir="ltr">The video for the song was filmed in Kyiv, Ukraine, just days before the deadly Russian invasion. </p> <p dir="ltr">Before the song starts, a written message from Sheeran appears on the screen in black and white.</p> <p dir="ltr">In it, the Grammy-winning singer explains he filmed the video in Kyiv before “the devastating acts of violence started.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It was my first time visiting the country and I felt so welcomed...” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Ukraine is a proud and resilient country and I’m grateful to have had the chance to film my video there.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I stand with Ukraine, and will be donating my record royalties from YouTube streams of the video to the DEC’s [The Disasters Emergency Committee] Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal,” the singer added.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video shows Ed Sheeran walking through the quiet and peaceful streets of Kyiv, as he performs the song about the stress and struggles of his personal life.</p> <p dir="ltr">The track <em>2step</em> is the latest from Sheeran’s album <em>“=”</em> (pronounced “equals”), which he released in 2021.</p> <p dir="ltr">Since the music video has been released, it has amassed over 9.5 million views. </p> <p dir="ltr">You can check out the video below. </p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z_MvkyuOJgk" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><em>Image credits: Youtube</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-a36fedf5-7fff-61e3-e994-e8d8a0c0212e"></span></p>

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George Michael documentary narrated by the late singer

<p dir="ltr">A new documentary detailing the extraordinary life and career of George Michael is set to hit theatres in June. </p> <p dir="ltr">The documentary, titled <em>George Michael: Freedom Uncut</em>, is described as the artist’s last work, with the late musician being credited as a co-creator on the project.</p> <p dir="ltr">George Michael was heavily involved in the making of the movie prior to his death in 2016, as he also narrates the film, which will offer new insight into his music career and private life. </p> <p dir="ltr">Freedom Uncut chronicles the tumultuous — yet creatively fruitful — period of Michael’s life and career following the release of his 1987 solo debut, <em>Faith</em>, then through the creation and release of his 1990 follow-up <em>Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1.</em> </p> <p dir="ltr">Along with documenting his creative efforts during this period, the doco will also explore his relationship with Anselmo Feleppa — who died from AIDS-related complications — as well as the death of Michael’s mother. </p> <p dir="ltr">The film will feature an array of archived footage, including photos from Michael’s private collection, as well as never-before-seen footage from the<em> Freedom! ’90</em> video, directed by David Fincher.</p> <p dir="ltr">The documentary also includes interviews with Michael’s peers and friends, including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Ricky Gervais, Mary J. Blige, Liam Gallagher, and Tony Bennett, as they recall some of their favourite memories with their late friend who changed the face of music. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Shania Twain makes surprise appearance on Coachella stage

<p dir="ltr">At the first Coachella festival since 2019, audiences on the first night of performances were shocked with a surprise performance from a music legend.</p> <p dir="ltr">During Harry Styles’ headlining set at the show, the crowd went wild as the intro to Twain’s iconic girl power anthem <em>Man! I Feel Like a Woman!</em> began to play. </p> <p dir="ltr">To the surprise of the 100,000-strong crowd, the Canadian songstress appeared on the stage, in a matching sequined outfit to mirror Styles. </p> <p dir="ltr">Together the pair performed the 1997 song, with the audience singing and dancing along to every word. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CcZ6Tu8Dtm8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CcZ6Tu8Dtm8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Harry Styles Updates ♡︎ (@harry_update)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Concluding the song, Styles spoke of his admiration of Twain and how she influenced his music tastes when he was growing up. </p> <p dir="ltr">“In the car with my mother as a child, this lady taught me to sing. She also told me that men are trash,” Styles said when introducing Twain.</p> <p dir="ltr">“To you, to the memories you gave me with my mother, I will be forever grateful. I’m so grateful you’re with us here tonight. This is very special for me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">In a stripped back acoustic number, the pair then sang Shania’s 1997 track <em>You’re Still The One</em>, before Shania left the stage to an overwhelming crowd reaction. </p> <p dir="ltr">The surprise guest appearance has delighted young and old music fans around the world, with many praising Styles’ expression of gratitude to the legendary singer. </p> <p dir="ltr">With Styles set to play another Coachella headlining show in the coming weeks, many are excited at the prospect of another high-profile guest performer on the global stage. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Music is the soundtrack to your life – what’s on your playlist?

<p>We all know music can move us emotionally. But how does it impact on our behaviour? That relationship’s not immediately clear. </p> <p>A YouTube clip was doing the rounds on social media a while ago – the music from one of the most chilling scenes in the 1975 film <em>Jaws</em> had been quite cleverly changed. Instead of the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9QTSyLwd4w">original hair-raising theme</a> that we all know by composer John Williams, the scene was accompanied by the delicate ballet music of Tchaikovsky. </p> <p>The effect was startling. It could have been a completely different film – one about a fun-loving dolphin. It’s a good example of what an incredibly powerful mood-setter music is. So many of our favourite films just wouldn’t have the same impact without the music.</p> <p>It’s the same outside of the cinema – a fact that has been instinctively understood by humans since written records began. In ancient China, more than 4,000 years ago, <a href="http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/8402699/The_sick_child_and_music_">flute music was prescribed</a> to calm an over-excited foetus.</p> <p>The Egyptians also seemed to use music for therapeutic purposes at least as early as 1500 BC. Then there is the much-loved biblical tale of King Saul being soothed by the playing of David’s harp in the Old Testament.</p> <p>Today, we often use music to “get into” a mood – using soft music and lyrics to set the scene for romance which, as a seduction tactic, can be quite effective. <a href="http://pom.sagepub.com/content/38/3/303.refs">Researchers in France found</a> that women who were exposed to love songs were more likely to respond to a request for a date than those who were in a control group and did not hear this music.</p> <p>At other times, we may use a fast, up-tempo piece of music at the gym to get us working harder. Music has also been used across the centuries to <a href="http://vimeo.com/72609411">pump up soldiers in the face of battle</a>, the same energising facets of the music being drawn upon, in this context to promote aggression (see famous Wagner scene from <em>Apocalypse Now</em> (1979) below).</p> <p>So does that mean that music can be both good and bad for you? Potentially, yes. </p> <p>But music exists within a socio-cultural context and it is how the music interacts with other factors that produces a particular result. </p> <p>So, at the gym it is how and why the music is framed that helps to promote its invigorating qualities for the desired work-out ends. Where it could lead to aggression, there are contextual factors that influence the way in which it’s processed and in turn how it affects us.</p> <p>Recent anti-noise bans that <a href="https://theconversation.com/live-music-in-australia-offensive-noise-or-good-vibrations-13530">prevented live music being played</a> in many Australian pubs connected loud music with aggressive behaviour.</p> <p>The truth is that rock music might indeed encourage patrons to move faster, be more pumped up, and perhaps drink more, be less inhibited, louder, and so manifest a whole range of behaviours than might be regarded as anti-social, leading to an aggression response. But, these are not generated from the music itself, rather in the context and the alignment of many interacting factors.</p> <p>Perhaps the most useful way to reflect on the positives of music is that it can be part of a “healthy process of self-regulation” as American music therapist <a href="http://mtp.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/2/69.abstract">Bridget Doak says</a> and, when negative, it may be part of an “unhealthy, distress-addiction cycle”. </p> <p><a href="https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/52950/EMR000125a-Garrido.pdf">Researchers have found</a> that people listen to sad music for a variety of reasons. Some may find that having a good cry while listening to a piece of music is a good way to let go of bad feelings. For others it may give them a chance to think through things that are making them feel sad in their own lives and reach a point of resolution. </p> <p>But some people do not have such effective ways of making themselves feel better. People with mood disorders, for example, often engage in behaviours that can make them feel worse, and music can be a part of that behaviour.</p> <p>Music can have such a powerful impact on mood. Whether or not our lives resemble a light-hearted ballet or a scene of terror in shark-infested waters may have much to do with the music that surrounds us on a daily basis. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/music-is-the-soundtrack-to-your-life-whats-on-your-playlist-26893" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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Police under fire for blasting Disney songs during arrest

<p dir="ltr">Police officers in a Californian town are being investigated after they were filmed blasting Disney songs late at night. </p> <p dir="ltr">In a video uploaded to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCisja0OfwWUCmhP_NPn0Kpg/videos">YouTube</a>, police are seen searching an allegedly stolen car in the town of Santa Ana around 11pm. </p> <p dir="ltr">After a few minutes, the officers notice the situation is being filmed, and one goes to a police car and turns on the speakers to loudly play <em>You've Got A Friend In Me</em> from the Disney film <em>Toy Story</em> in an effort to deter the filmer. </p> <p dir="ltr">Other songs from Disney films <em>Mulan</em>, <em>Encanto</em> and <em>Coco</em> play next, as nearby residents are awoken from the sound and ask police to turn the music down. </p> <p dir="ltr">They eventually do, but not before attracting the attention of one resident who is also a town councillor, identified as Jonathan Hernandez.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hernandez asked the police what the reason for the music was, with one officer responding, “copyright infringement” while pointing to the person filming the scene. </p> <p dir="ltr">This means if the video was posted online, it would be removed for playing the copyrighted Disney tracks. </p> <p dir="ltr">Police in the US have previously been accused of playing copyrighted songs when being filmed by civilians.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite their attempts to thwart the video, it remains on YouTube and has amassed over 46,000 views. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I'm embarrassed that this is how you're treating my neighbours," Mr Hernandez said in the video.</p> <p dir="ltr">"There's children here."</p> <p dir="ltr">Santa Ana Chief of Police David Valentin said in a statement that the police department was aware of the video, and that the incident was being investigated. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: YouTube </em></p>

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‘A gentleman with the mad soul of an Irish convict poet’: remembering Chris Bailey, and the blazing comet that was The Saints

<p>Inala in the early 70s was bleak. A Brisbane suburb of wide dusty streets, treeless and bland. A planned community, meant to grow over time. Austerity, accented by the cheap houses – weatherboard, red brick, concrete – stifled the suburb like a blanket on a hot February night. </p> <p>It was boring. Beyond boring. The only concession to communal childhood joy was the pool, and the crazy concrete skate rink. But if you wanted a creative outlet, you needed to search elsewhere. </p> <p>Ivor Hay, (future Saints drummer), was heading to the picture theatre in Sherwood one Saturday night in early 1971, "and I saw Jeffrey [Wegener – another Saints drummer] with these two longhairs, Chris [Bailey] and Ed [Kuepper]. They were off to a birthday party in Corinda and asked me along. That was our first night."</p> <p>Bailey was raised by his mum, Bridget, in a house alive with siblings – mostly girls, who looked after the kid. He got away with a lot. </p> <p>“None of us had a lot of money,” Hay tells me. "Both Chris and I were raised by single mums in reasonably sized families. Chris’ mum was pretty feisty, with this Belfast accent which was just fantastic. They all looked after ‘Christopher’, he could do all sorts of things and they would accommodate him. His mum would have a go at him about the noise, but we’d just go to his bedroom and rehearse and bugger everybody else in the house!"</p> <p>Kuepper taught Hay to play the guitar: Stones and Beatles and Hendrix. Hay passed the knowledge down to Bailey, who was keen to learn. Neither Kuepper nor Bailey learned to drive, so Hay became the driver in those wide suburbs where driving and cars were everything. </p> <p>There was politics in Bailey’s house – his sister Margaret chained herself to the school gates to protest uniform policy – but this pervaded the town. The conservative government had no time for the young, and the police force did their best to make life difficult. </p> <p>But there was a sense that these young men were making something new. As Hay says, "We used to sing <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Internationale">The Internationale</a> at parties. I don’t know if we were revolutionaries, but we had that sense that something was happening. [With the band] we were doing something that we thought was going to change something. Chris was particularly good at pushing things, at being anti-everything."</p> <h2>Out of Inala</h2> <p>To escape the suburb was to head north to the railway line. It was the lifeline to the centre of Brisbane – record stores, bookshops and other forms of life. </p> <p>Kuepper remembers going into the city with Bailey. "We had intended to steal a record, and we went into Myers […] both wearing army disposal overcoats […] these two long haired guys walking into the record department with these overcoats […] surprisingly enough, we were successful!"</p> <p>Like the railway line, Ipswich Road joins Brisbane to the old coal town of Ipswich. It slices through these western suburbs, carrying hoons in muscle cars and streams of commuters, the occasional screaming cop car or ambulance.</p> <p>On Thursday nights, the boys used to sit at the Oxley Hotel, overlooking Ipswich Road, “just sit up there having beers, we wouldn’t have been much more than 17 or 18 at that time. Chatting about all sorts of stuff,” says Hay.</p> <p>"Chris and Ed were comic collectors and Stan Lee was the hero […] there were political discussions, philosophical discussions. Those guys could talk underwater."</p> <p>They talked and played and sang. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5YP_tsPzmg&amp;t=905s">And Bailey had the voice</a>. It was a force, not just loud and tuneful, but full of snarl and spit. </p> <p>Soon they had songs, and in 1976 scraped the money together to record and release their first single on their own Fatal Records label. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpMwMDqOprc">(I’m) Stranded</a> took Bailey out of Inala, out of Brisbane and into the world. </p> <p>He never looked back.</p> <h2>A changed city</h2> <p>The Saints released three albums in as many years – (I’m) Stranded, Eternally Yours and Prehistoric Sounds – before Kuepper and Hay returned from the UK to Australia, leaving Bailey to his own devices. </p> <p>Bailey remained in Europe, releasing a cluster of solo albums and many Saints records over the next 40 years. He wrote some achingly beautiful songs. It is a testament to his talents as a songwriter that Bruce Springsteen <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ4a_tgJp4I">recorded a version</a>of Bailey’s Just Like Fire Would in 2014.</p> <p>There’s no doubt that Bailey and The Saints changed Brisbane forever. People around the world who love music know Brisbane exists because of The Saints, The Go-Betweens and bands like them.</p> <p>Peter Milton Walsh (The Apartments) was one of many who benefited from The Saints legacy, "They blazed through our young lives like comets. Showed so many what was possible – that you could write your way out of town."</p> <p>“Without The Saints,” Mark Callaghan of The Riptides/Gang Gajang told me, “we probably wouldn’t have started. ” </p> <p>"They just made it all seem doable. It was like, ‘Well, they’re from Brisbane!’ So we started our first band, and at our first gig we covered (I’m) Stranded! We even took a photo of the abandoned house in Petrie Terrace with (I’m) Stranded painted on the wall. But it never crossed our minds to stand in front of this. It would be sacrilege, you know? And we were trying to work out a way that we could get it off the wall intact, because we recognised it was a historical document."</p> <p>Chris Bailey isn’t the first of our creative children to leave this life behind and move on into memory. With their passing, like the returning comet, the past is freshly illuminated, allowing us to look back at our young lives. Back when the future was broad in front of us, urged on by voices like Bailey’s to open our eyes and see the world.</p> <p>And Bailey’s was a unique voice. Kenny Gormley (The Cruel Sea) remembers him singing <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYA5WdP47Y0">Ghost Ships,</a> "But ah, I’ll never ever forget seeing Chris pick that shanty, alone at sea in a crowded room, holding us sway, wet face drunk and shining, quiet and stilled in storm, cracked voiced with closed eye and open heart. And that was Bailey, a gentleman with the mad soul of an Irish convict poet.“</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared in <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-gentleman-with-the-mad-soul-of-an-irish-convict-poet-remembering-chris-bailey-and-the-blazing-comet-that-was-the-saints-181059" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Music

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John Lennon’s son performs Imagine for the first time

<p dir="ltr">Julian Lennon has performed his late father John Lennon’s legendary song <em>Imagine</em> for the first time. </p> <p dir="ltr">Taking to Instagram on Saturday, the singer-songwriter shared a video of him performing the 1971 hit song in a candlelit room accompanied by acoustic guitarist Nuno Bettencourt.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the caption, Julian explained that by delivering his own rendition of the song, he was breaking a vow that he would only perform the song "if it was the end of the world".</p> <p dir="ltr">He shared the video during a benefit for Ukrainian refugees, closing out a televised European Union pledge drive that raised $10.1 billion in grants and loans for the cause.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CcGJArDlNdK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CcGJArDlNdK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Julian Lennon (@julespicturepalace)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">"Today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad's song, <em>Imagine</em>," the 59-year-old wrote. "I had always said that the only time I would ever consider singing Imagine would be if it was the End of the World…”</p> <p dir="ltr">"The war on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy... As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could."</p> <p dir="ltr">Of the track, Julian said, "Within this song, we're transported to a space, where love and togetherness become our reality, if but for a moment in time...The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for."</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m calling on world leaders and everyone who believes in the sentiment of <em>Imagine</em>, to stand up for refugees everywhere!”</p> <p dir="ltr">The fundraiser drive, called Stand Up for Ukraine, closed on April 9th, however international humanitarian organisations are still taking donations to help with the ongoing crisis of the Russian invasion. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram @julespicturepalace</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-6e975720-7fff-2c99-f31d-f4dd8072848f"></span></p>

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Ed Sheeran wins huge legal case

<p dir="ltr">In a high-profile trial, Ed Sheeran has clinched a victory in a copyright infringement case over his 2017 song <em>Shape of You</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The British singer, along with his two co-writers Johnny McDaid and Steve Mac, were accused of plagiarising Sami Chokri’s 2015 song <em>Oh Why</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">In his ruling, the judge concluded that Sheeran “neither deliberately nor subconsciously” copied a phrase from <em>Oh Why</em> when writing <em>Shape of You</em>, as Sheeran emphasised during the trial. </p> <p dir="ltr">In a video statement <a href="https://twitter.com/edsheeran/status/1511631955238047751">posted to Twitter</a>, Sheeran said, “While we’re obviously happy with the result, I feel like claims like this are way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court. Even if there’s no base for the claim.” </p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry. There’s only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music. Coincidence is bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released every day on Spotify.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He continued, “I don’t want to take anything away from the pain and hurt suffered by both sides of this case, but I just want to say that I’m not an entity. I’m not a corporation. I’m a human being. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a son. Lawsuits are not a pleasant experience and I hope with this ruling it means in the future baseless claims like this can be avoided.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Chokri, who performs under the name Sami Switch, along with his co-writer, sued Sheeran over similarities in the songs in 2018. </p> <p dir="ltr">During the 11-day trial in London, Sheeran denied he “borrows” ideas from other recording artists, while saying he “always tried to be completely fair” when crediting his inspirations and contributors. </p> <p dir="ltr">In their testimony, Sheeran, McDaid and Mac all denied being aware of <em>Oh Why</em> prior to writing <em>Shape Of You</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Ukraine president appears at Grammy's from bunker

<p dir="ltr">Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise appearance at the Grammy’s from his bunker as war continues to tear into his country.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a pre-recorded video from his bunker in Kyiv, Zelensky delivered a powerful speech asking the audience and viewers to “support us in any way you can” as fighting continues between Ukraine and Russia. </p> <p dir="ltr">"The war. What's more opposite than music,” President Zelensky began.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children drew swooping rockets, not shooting stars.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. And we will never see them drawing."</p> <p dir="ltr">“Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning. In bomb shelters, but alive. Our loved ones don’t know if we will be together again. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He urged and encouraged musicians and viewers of the Grammy to “fill the silence with your music!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music! Fill it today to tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your social networks, on TV. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Support us in any way you can. Any — but not silence. And then peace will come. </p> <p dir="ltr">“To all our cities the war is destroying. Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others. They are legends already. But I have a dream of them living. And free. Free like you on the Grammy stage.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Zelensky’s speech served as an introduction to John Legend’s live performance, which then featured a backdrop of photos from war-torn Ukraine. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Music

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10 Best Original Score winners that are worth watching for the soundtrack alone

<p>Films move us in many ways, whether it’s from incredible performances, striking cinematography or great storytelling. But there’s one component that strikes a chord in all of us: great music. From the looming danger of deep strings as a massive great white shark closes in, to the swelling chorus of violins as two lovers part on a runway in <em>Casablanca</em>, the film score has the power to move us, terrify us and even make us weep.</p> <p>While the Oscar for Best Original Score has had a few name changes over the years, it’s always been about the same thing: recognising the movie industry’s best musical talent. Some winners might not be in your daily rotation, but their scores stand the test of time, and continue to enchant listeners generations over.</p> <p><strong>The Sound of Music (1965)</strong></p> <p>What’s more iconic than Julie Andrews as Maria twirling on a mountaintop? Maybe a family of singing children bidding you farewell, or perhaps a Do-Re-Mi lesson in the idyllic countryside? Released in 1965 to both critical and commercial acclaim, <em>The Sound of Music </em>quickly became a phenomenon – and it’s not hard to see why. </p> <p>The film is chock full of hit after hit thanks to the incredible songwriting of Rodgers and Hammerstein, along with the help of Irwin Kostal’s screen arrangements. Give it a watch and you’ll likely be humming the tunes for days to come.</p> <p><strong>The Wizard of Oz (1939)</strong></p> <p>A lion, a scarecrow, a tin man and a girl from Kansas walk into Oz. This Technicolor wonder needs no introduction; from Dorothy’s dazzling red shoes to the terrifying flying monkeys and everything in between, it’s an established classic that’s ascended into a league of its own. </p> <p>While songs like “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” and “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” have edged their way into the cultural zeitgeist – even for those unfamiliar with the source material – composer Herbert Stothart’s score helps flesh out L. Frank Baum’s fantastical world. It’s a beautifully moving and unabashedly classic Hollywood score.</p> <p><strong>West Side Story (1961)</strong></p> <p>Electrifying choreography, glorious set design and music that’s stood the test of time – Shakespeare, eat your heart out. This loose adaptation of <em>Romeo and Juliet</em> brings the Bard’s classic tragedy to 1950s New York City, freshly updated with prescient social commentary and enchanting work from Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal. </p> <p>Despite deserved criticism for its flagrant use of Brown-face, <em>West Side Story</em> has remained a landmark entry in the musical film canon, and even inspired a remake that’s nominated for seven Oscars this year.</p> <p><strong>The Last Emperor (1987)</strong></p> <p>What happens when you combine the talents of a Japanese electronic-music pioneer, a celebrated Chinese composer and one of the most influential musicians to come out of New York City’s new wave scene? A score worthy of accompanying Bernardo Bertolucci’s sprawling epic! </p> <p>The film follows the life of China’s last emperor, Puyi, from his coronation at the age of two through to the cultural and political upheaval of China in the 20th century. Ranging from grand and bombastic to soft and serene, this Best Original Score is an incredibly moving component of an already-impressive film.</p> <p><strong>The Little Mermaid (1989)</strong></p> <p>Back in the ’80s, Disney was a far cry from the entertainment powerhouse of the present. Coming off of one of their biggest box office failures with 1985’s <em>The Black Cauldron</em>, the company needed a hit. Corporate restructuring eventually led the team to two prominent members of the Broadway music scene: Alan Menken and Howard Ashman – both of whom had made a name for themselves with <em>The Little Shop of Horrors</em>. </p> <p>Despite being his first foray into film, Menken helped usher in the Disney renaissance of the ’90s, pumping out a score filled to the brim with magic and wonder – thanks in part to infectious lyrics by Ashman.</p> <p><strong>Midnight Express (1978)</strong></p> <p>The orchestral score goes hand in hand with the Oscars, but every now and then something a little more experimental breaks through. Case in point: Italian electronic-music legend Giorgio Moroder’s synthesizer-heavy score for the 1978 prison-drama, <em>Midnight Express</em>. </p> <p>Moroder’s work with artists like Donna Summer helped pioneer an iconic sound of the late ’70s and ’80s, filled with grooving synth hooks and infectious beats. Look no further than the track “Chase” for a taste of Moroder’s magic; the frenetic melody puts you right in the middle of <em>Midnight Express</em>’s most nail-biting scene. While other artists at the time had dabbled with electronic film scores – like fellow Italian group Goblin and their work with horror legend Dario Argento – few achieved Midnight Express’s critical acclaim.</p> <p><strong>Purple Rain (1984)</strong></p> <p>In 1984, the world found out what it sounds like when doves cry. A landmark entry in the musician-turned-actor film canon, audiences delighted in seeing the mononymous superstar in his first acting role. </p> <p>Not only did the film lead to one of Prince’s most iconic – and unabashedly purple – outfits, it would also go on to be his best-selling album – and forever shape his legacy. With hits like “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry” and the titular “Purple Rain,” it may not be the typical Best Original Score recipient, but it’s certainly well deserved.</p> <p><strong>The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)</strong></p> <p>Adapting one of the most celebrated fantasy series in the history of literature was a tall order for director Peter Jackson and his creative team. While it had been done in the past with varied success, Jackson’s efforts led to one of the most successful film trilogies of all time. </p> <p>A large part of that success was due to the masterful work of Canadian composer Howard Shore. At times quaint and idyllic, grandiose and menacing, Shore’s score effortlessly provided a sonic backdrop for Middle Earth and all its inhabitants. Shore would also go on to win the same award two years later for his work on <em>The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King</em> (2003).</p> <p><strong>The Social Network (2010)</strong></p> <p>If you went back to the ’90s and told moody teens that the guy from Nine Inch Nails would turn out to be one of the most exciting composers in Hollywood, they’d never believe you. Not only did <em>The Social Network</em>’s score mark an exciting development in Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s careers – the two having previously collaborated on a number of projects – the electronically driven tracks also helped carry the torch from Giorgio Moroder. </p> <p>This Best Original Score perfectly transplanted the sensibilities of Nine Inch Nails into a work that mirrored the story of Facebook’s contentious rise, and also gave a taste of the duo’s future success in Hollywood.</p> <p><strong>Star Wars (1977)</strong></p> <p>Ten words on a black background about a galaxy far, far away, followed by a brief pause. And suddenly, trumpets blaring triumphantly alongside two words in big yellow letters: Star Wars. It’s one of the most memorable intros in movie history, and one that still resonates with fans around the world. </p> <p>Taking inspiration from composers like Gustav Holst and his “The Planets” suite, alongside the swashbuckling scores of films like <em>The Adventures of Robin Hood </em>(1938), John Williams helped usher in a new era reminiscent of the golden age of Hollywood. These days, Star Wars is a cultural institution, and there’s no doubt that’s partly due to the unforgettable score.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/true-stories-lifestyle/entertainment/10-best-original-score-winners-that-are-worth-watching-for-the-soundtrack-alone?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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Encanto, TikTok and the art of social storytelling: why music is not just for listening anymore

<p>We need to talk about Bruno. The theme song from Disney’s hit movie <em>Encanto</em> (<em>We don’t talk about Bruno</em>) has become the <a href="https://www.billboard.com/music/chart-beat/we-dont-talk-about-bruno-encanto-number-one-hot-100-second-week-1235028035/">first song from an animated movie to top the US charts for multiple weeks</a>. How did this come about? The answer is, once again, TikTok.</p> <p>The short-video platform is <a href="https://mashable.com/article/encanto-bruno-tiktok-trend">again behind the creation of a hit song</a>. TikTok is changing the music industry, how hits are made and how the platform opens a new way to discover new artists and new music.</p> <p>At the heart of the phenomenon are viral challenges or trends, in which creators use short clips from a song that are re-used by thousands or millions of other users in their videos. </p> <p>While TikTok videos do not count towards the Billboard charts, activity on the platform directly drives music consumption on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Over <a href="https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/year-on-tiktok-music-report-2021">175 songs that trended on TikTok in 2021 charted on the Billboard Hot 100</a>, twice as many the year before.</p> <p>But how do trends, challenges, and memes make hits? The answer lies in how music has become creative material for social storytelling on TikTok, and how storytelling works when videos are only a few seconds short. </p> <h2>Social storytelling with music</h2> <p>Tom van Laer, associate professor of narratology at The University of Sydney Business School, explains what makes for good storytelling, "For a good story, you need three things. A story has a plot and a character… That’s the minimum for a story. For a good story you need a third thing, which is a dramatic curve."</p> <p>And this is where the music comes into play. When a challenge or trend emerges on TikTok, it always features the same clip from a particular song, which serves as a common story element across all those videos. As van Laer explains, "What you then get is a certain cultural capital or cultural knowledge that is already there. So then every new iteration is just added to that. And if you’re on the inside, if you in the know, then that is still something you could easily follow because you see the one video of 15 seconds only as another event in the bigger story."</p> <p>Because the clip is instantly recognisable by the audience it ties together all the videos that make up a TikTok challenge or trend. It acts as the meta-narrative that allows each creator to contribute their own interpretation of the story.</p> <p>This can take the form of imitations, such as in the <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@jamie32bsh/video/7058186727248235782">“Jamie Big” trend</a>, based on a original video that has been viewed more than 200 million times. It shows a man dancing to Nelly Furtado’s <em>Say It Right</em> in front of his bathroom mirror. </p> <p>Thousands of videos have <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@misskimnayoon/video/7069596684229102849">since imitated the original</a>, whereby a creator always films themselves in front of their bathroom mirror, switching to the original video on the beat change of the song.</p> <p>Other trends work by offering different interpretations of the same story line. A good example is the <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@scottyjames31/video/7061168649796717826">“Things that just make sense…” trend</a>, set to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9FMvfvkBro">Che la luna</a>, a version of a classic Sicilian folk song. In this video contributors film themselves showcasing the features of a particular location, each doing the same characteristic hand gestures. </p> <p>An example is Australian Olympian Scott James<a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@scottyjames31/video/7061168649796717826"> filming his room</a>at the Olympic village in Beijing.</p> <p>Because the audience always recognises the characteristic song, they are instantly familiar with the story’s plot; they know what to expect and can thus simply enjoy each interpretation of the theme. The music provides the glue that holds together a social story, collectively told across many videos. </p> <p>A challenge or trend is thus a form of social storytelling, with the music acting like shorthand to provide the context for all the videos.</p> <p><em>We Don’t Talk About Bruno</em> has provided material for a number of different trends, each driving its popularity. And besides the many Encanto fan edits featuring parts of the song, there is a <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@alex.berglund/video/7060618332025900334">particular clip </a>with a catchy hook that underpins a story-line in which creators try to do a task in the first take of the video and after the beat change reveal why the task is so difficult. This features dance moves from the Encanto movie.</p> <h2>Music as creative material</h2> <p>To understand what makes TikTok such a powerful platform for the music industry, we must “unlearn” music as something we just listen to. On digital platforms like TikTok music is rapidly becoming a material for creating, for self-expression, for storytelling.</p> <p>Virality is then a by-product of the use of music as creative material for collective storytelling - one that provides the canvas, or meta-narrative, for each creator’s interpretation of the emerging story-line. </p> <p>With the most popular songs sometimes exceeding <a href="https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/year-on-tiktok-music-report-2021">20 billion views on videos they soundtrack</a>, the scale of the phenomenon gives the platform its <a href="https://theconversation.com/love-it-or-hate-it-tiktok-is-changing-the-music-industry-171482">transformative role for the music industry</a>.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Disney</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/encanto-tiktok-and-the-art-of-social-storytelling-why-music-is-not-just-for-listening-anymore-178021" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Music