Music

Tyler, The Creator: a homophobic menace? Photograph: Joseph Okpako/Redferns via Getty Images

Why is the Home Office giving in to illiberal youth by banning rappers like Tyler, The Creator?

28 August 2015 13:17

In a 2012 interview on Newsnight, foul-mouthed LA rapper Tyler, The Creator told a churlish Stephen Smith that the point of his music was to ‘piss old white people off… Continue reading

29 Comments
Sinatra at the London Palladium. Photo: Nobby Clark

I wish the cult of Frank Sinatra would end

3 August 2015 14:48

Walking around central London, I’ve been struck by how many shows Frank Sinatra has been performing in town recently. He played a string of concerts in July at the Royal… Continue reading

28 Comments
Slash in full flow. Photo: Jure Makovec/AFP/Getty Images

Slash at 50: why is this rock god so underappreciated?

23 July 2015 15:27

Saul Hudson, more commonly known by his childhood nickname ‘Slash’, turns 50 today. It is safe to say that the next 50 years of his life are unlikely to be quite as hectic… Continue reading

23 Comments
(Photo: Getty)

National Busking Day is an insult to real buskers

16 July 2015 15:53

This Saturday is National Busking Day, a series of events across the country proving that Britain’s arts establishment just don’t get it. The whole point of busking is that it’s… Continue reading

6 Comments
Still from Björk's Black Lake at MoMA, New York. Photo: MoMA/ Wellhart/ One Little Indian

MoMA’s new Björk exhibition cramps the singer’s style

6 March 2015 13:46

Was intimacy the goal of Björk at MoMA? Co-curated by the Icelandic musician herself and Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA chief curator at large, the exhibition allows for a closer look at… Continue reading

1 Comment
Getty Images Europe

How Kraftwerk did more to shape modern music than anyone since the Beatles

19 January 2015 9:00

Normally, few things in life are quite so tedious as listening to a bunch of academics discussing pop music. However this week’s Kraftwerk Konferenz at Aston University may be the… Continue reading

4 Comments
Band Aid 30

Like everyone else, I want to think Bob Geldof’s awful – but I can’t

19 November 2014 12:04

Band Aid 30 is officially the fastest selling single of 2014. Yet this attempt by successful musicians to heal Africa through song has not met with universal cheer. Instead, a… Continue reading

18 Comments
Album artwork for Pink Floyd's swan song, The Endless River

Pink Floyd’s new album: it’s not hip – but it is good

11 November 2014 13:02

Yesterday, I popped into Rough Trade West record store to purchase the new Pink Floyd album. That isn’t something I expected to say in my lifetime, but 20 years after their 14th album The… Continue reading

38 Comments
Chelsea Hospital Chapel

Pop stars at prayer – from Madonna to the Beatles, and jihadist Cat Stevens

3 November 2014 15:12

A spoof in the Israeli Daily recently had Eminem planning to convert to Judaism and move to Tel Aviv. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing that any time soon… Continue reading

56 Comments
Alasdair Gray: 'You can only learn to govern yourself by doing it'

A No vote will create a schism between the voters of Scotland and its artists and writers

18 September 2014 10:37

With the Scottish independence referendum drawing closer, two Newsweek Europe magazine correspondents and friends – Finlay Young (Scotsman), and Simon Akam (Englishman) – travelled the length of the United Kingdom… Continue reading

26 Comments
The Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Bavaria, shortly before its official opening in 1876. Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Spectator at war: Bayreuth on the eve of war

23 August 2014 8:00

The Spectator, 22 August 1914: Inter arma silent Musae; but Bayreuth on the eve of the war showed very few signs of the coming cataclysm. It is true that on… Continue reading

5 Comments
The poster for Incubator Theatre's 'hip hop opera' The City

Cultural boycotts are ineffective and wrong

25 July 2014 12:57

Scotland’s national poet Liz Lochhead has been at it again. Two years ago she was petitioning against a dance company from Tel Aviv, this year it’s an Israeli theatre company… Continue reading

190 Comments
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Three cheers for being miserable

10 July 2014 14:26

I prefer the music and lyrics of Pharrell Williams’s Happy to Morrisey’s Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (because I loathe the smug insincerity of Morrisey more than anything else) but –… Continue reading

2 Comments
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Crusties, trustafarians, Chris Martin and mud: the deadly predictability of Glastonbury

26 June 2014 13:47

Glastonbury weekend is upon us, and the bores are out in force. West London buzzes to the sound of hoorays buying drugs, and the army surplus stalls of Portobello Market… Continue reading

35 Comments
Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Is a Luis Suárez musical on the cards?

26 June 2014 13:29

For the moment we only have one genius song by Tom Rosenthal, Hey Luis Don’t Bite Me (hear it below), but surely a full-blown musical isn’t far away. In the meantime we… Continue reading

12 Comments
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The BBC’s music strategy is a shambles

17 June 2014 16:14

Tony Hall made some terrible music announcements yesterday. They come hot on the heels of some terrible arts announcements he made a few months ago. Among the most lousy is… Continue reading

16 Comments
michael-jackson-xscape

Michael Jackson’s back from the dead. Again.

13 May 2014 11:34

Pop humpty-dumpty Michael Jackson has a new album out today. If that statement seems odd, you don’t know the half of it; five years after his death, Jackson is only… Continue reading

10 Comments
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song 'Rise Like A Phoenix' after winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Photo: AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand

Eurovision: It was the beard wot won it

11 May 2014 11:10

I enjoyed Fraser’s preview of the Eurovision Song Contest; I had not known that he was such a fan. You work with someone for years, oblivious to their dark secrets,… Continue reading

68 Comments
Blur and Oasis at the height of their fame.

Britpop 20 years on: the Tory voters who love Oasis

17 April 2014 15:57

It’s twenty years since the height of Britpop, but does anyone still care about it? YouGov has carried out some polling on the subject today. Although 35 per cent stated… Continue reading

13 Comments
frankie-knuckles

House music is great music – or can be

8 April 2014 12:14

When Chicago DJ Frankie Knuckles died last week, a novelty number by a Brylcreemed Aussie pop punk group had just reached number one. It displaced Duke Dumont & Jax Jones’s… Continue reading

35 Comments
"The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles" - Roaming Show

Sir Paul McCartney’s media manipulation

27 February 2014 18:49

Having been whole-heartedly hacked off during the phone hacking scandal, one assumes that Sir Paul McCartney has always been an advocate of high standards in journalism. Not so. While collecting… Continue reading

4 Comments
Members of the punk group Pussy Riot staging a protest performance in Sochi. Photo: AP/Morry Gash

Is Pussy Riot’s music actually any good?

25 February 2014 6:30

Victims of state persecution, ambassadors for day-glo knitwear and wank fodder for beardy liberals the world over, the members of Pussy Riot have been filling both prison cells and column… Continue reading

37 Comments
David Cameron's state of the union speech was peppered with song lyrics. Why? (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

Lyrical Dave – PM’s union speech packed with song lyrics

7 February 2014 12:39

David Cameron’s speech on the union this morning prompted many questions. Why was he in London? Why were there so many empty seats in the Olympic velodrome? Etc, etc, etc.… Continue reading

15 Comments
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We’ve got to hold on…

27 November 2013 9:22

Hats off to the Duke of Cambridge for joining Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift on stage at Kensington Palace last night for a sing-along of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’.… Continue reading

3 Comments
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Old England died in 1963

21 November 2013 12:55

There is no better measure of the pivotal importance of 1963 than to recall what Britain was like in the early 1950s, as we slowly emerged from the shadows of… Continue reading

10 Comments