Tag Archives: Damon Albarn

New video from The Good, The Bad & The Queen: Gun To The Head

Video: The Good, The Bad & The Queen -- “Gun To The Head”

The Good, The Bad & The Queen - Gun To The Head (Official)

From Merrie Land, out now on Studio 13.

It’s been eleven years since the last album from The Good, The Bad & The Queen, the band featuring members of The Clash, Blur, The Verve and Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat (which is also the name of Allen’s autobiography). And man…what an eleven years it’s been.

Just as America is struggling in the Trump years with questions of patriotism vs. nationalism and democracy vs. authoritarianism, the United Kingdom is facing a very public break up with the European Union that would make Pete Davidson cringe. The Good, The Bad & The Queen explores the very question of what it is to be English in this modern world and the answers are anything but easy.

“Gun to the Head” sees a return for the creepy ventriloquist dummy who reintroduced us to the band in the lead-off video for “Merrie Land” (after the jump). If the the truth comes from the mouths of babes, what can we expect from a dummy? It turns out that it’s maudlin carnival music and a  hard dose of reality.

I was a dedicated follower of Oasis back when Albarn was warring with the Gallaghers in the 90s, but have really taken to the bookish pop sensibilities he’s brought to pop music. The first album from The Good, The Bad & The Queen is still in frequent rotation around my house and if the first two singles represent the album, then I’ll be listening intently to the continuation of the story. And taking notes…

The Good, The Bad & The Queen: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Gorillaz video: Humility

Video: Gorillaz -- “Humility”

Gorillaz - Humility (Official Video)

From The Now Now, due June 29 on Parlophone/WMG.

It’s June, y’all. Officially unofficially summer, which means the race for Summer Jam is on! Gorillaz submit their entry with a breezy number and video with shots of the band’s animated characters roller skating, playing chess and menacing basketball players along Venice Beach. Jack Black shows up because…why not?

“Humility” featuring George Benson is the lead off single from the new album THE NOW NOW, the sixth studio album from the virtual band created in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett.

In other Damon Albarn news, the singer told Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 show that a new album from his other project with the Clash’s Paul Simonon, the Verve’s Simon Tong, and drummer Tony Allen is also completed. This will be the second album from The Good, The Bad and the Queen, following on the band’s 2007 debut that was produced by Dangermouse and was on heavy rotation in my house for what seemed like a decade…and I guess probably was.

Gorillaz: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Gorillaz - Plastic BeachGorillazPlastic Beach (Virgin)

There is something strange going on in the alternative pop world. Everyone from the Flaming Lips to MGMT to Gorillaz are running away from the pop song construction and melody like they’re on fire. After two albums of club music you could actually listen to, Damon Albarn and Co. drink their own Cristal and come back with an album the leaves the listener with a pop-junk hangover, which I suppose is the point.

After a brief orchestral intro—yes, an orchestral intro—the Dogg Father welcomes one and all to the Plastic Beach. What the plastic beach is may be anyone’s guess and we’re betting Snoop Dogg didn’t bother to ask, lest he drop a blunt and ruin yet another pair of sneakers. “Yo man, your Jordan’s are FUCKED up!”

But I digress…much like this album.

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Gorillaz – Stylo

Facing the same issues as OK Go regarding embedding videos, the official YouTube version of this song is unavailable for embedding but we got this version from a “friend” in the know.

Video: Gorillaz – “Stylo” (ft. Mos Def & Bobby Womack)

From the album Plastic Beach, streaming now on NPR and available in the USA on March 9.

Gorillaz: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Gorillaz Documentary Trailer

I love me some Gorillaz. I’ve been a fan of Damon Albarn‘s music since the early 90s when Blur was still mistakenly associated with “shoegazing” and “madchester” by music rags when in fact they were creating something entirely different and uniquely British.

Blur crumbled (and are now slated to reform) and Albarn flew off in a variety of directions. The most commercially successful is the fictional cartoon pop band Gorillaz he formed and fronted with Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the comic book Tank Girl. They’ve gone on to sell some 11 million albums and inspire pasty white English kids to grind they hips like krunked up Souljah Boys.

Now comes a documentary on the band and their following. According to the press release, “Bananaz is an un-sanitised, free-wheeling documentary film, taking down the virtual walls of Gorillaz in an intimate, honest and often hilarious account of the working relationship between Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett and their extraordinary creative process.”

The film will debut online on April 20, prior to the film’s subsequent theatrical release. (Secret: You can also catch a special screening at the Soho Apple Store in New York TONIGHT, March 24, 2009 at 6:30 PM. Shhhhh!)

Dig the Trailer…

Gorillaz Documentary: Bananaz Trailer

Blur to Reunite

I’ll be damned if The NME hasn’t done it again: Blur is reuniting.

According to Billboard, the band will reform for “an open air show in London’s Hyde Park next summer.” The show is booked for July 3 and will be promoted by Live Nation, so I would bet they’re getting phat cash for this gig.

According to the article, guitarist Graham Coxon is on board for the show. Coxon quit the band in 2002. There are rumors that the band could also headline next years Glastonbury festival, but there’s been no official word.

This marks the latest in a string of bands British music tabloid The New Musical Express has pushed for reunion only to see their prodding actually work. Recent successes include the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Verve, My Bloody Valentine and the Faces most notably.

I will once again submit a formal request for the NME to focus all efforts on reuniting The Libertines. Once that is complete, we can discuss the Stone Roses and the Smiths (for shows only, no new recordings).

UPDATE:

Damon Albarn talks to The NME:

“It just felt it was right again,” declared Albarn of Blur’s return. “It somehow feels like there’s something for us to do again, we’re not completely useless or pointless, we’ve got a reason to exist.”

Gorillaz in the Mist – Cartoon group to disband

The ever busy Damon Albarn tells the NME there will be no more Gorillaz records. A planned film with Terry Gilliam is to be the group’s swansong.

“We’re trying to make a film next, starting in September hopefully,” said Albarn. “It will be a film score. There won’t be another pop record.”

Both Gorillaz albums are a big hit around my house when I am trying to keep the Boy entertained. Hipster parents: Buy these records. Great hooks, unforgettable melodies, and CARTOONS! Everyone’s happy!

I wonder if this has anything to do with the constant rumors of Graham Coxon rejoining Blur???

Previously on GLONO: Review: The Good, the Bad and the Queen; Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop; THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMIN’!

The Good, The Bad, and the Queen – The Good, The Bad, and the Queen

The Good, The Bad, and the QueenThe Good, The Bad, and the QueenThe Good, The Bad, and the Queen (Virgin)

Not to state the obvious, but we’re living in troubled times. Wars spreading and the heavy hand of government and commerce coming down with impunity to crush anyone who stands in the way make for an uneasy populace. I don’t know what it would take to kick the public into revolt but Damon Albarn clearly hopes it comes soon and he’s prepared the soundtrack.

Teaming with ex-Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Verve guitarist Simon Tong, and Nigerian percussionist Tony Allen, Albarn once again stretches his musical legs with an album that is one part Gorillaz pop, one part old school dub, and more than a pinch of subversive politicing.

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Blur to Reunite?

Rumors of a reunited Blur seem to be heating up again. Guitarist Graham Coxon left the band in 2002 and so far has refused to rejoin the band despite public requests from his former band members. The NME is reporting (second hand, now THIRD hand on GLONO!) that Blur bassist and Coxon have been in contact and that a reunion was possible. Keep in mind, the NME has claimed countless Stone Roses and Smiths reunions over the years, so…