Shunkan was an eleventh century Kyoto monk who, according to Japanese mythology, was exiled to remote island Kikai-ga-shima after taking part in a failed uprising against the rule of military leader Taira no Kiyomori. He later committed suicide by refusing food till he starved to death, having sunk into a deep despair alone on the island. 20-year-old New Zealand newcomer Marina Sakimoto, who takes her stage name from the fabled holyman, sounds like she can identify on debut EP 'Honey, Milk and Blood'.
Will the good ship Albion sail to Arcadia again? If the rumours are to be believed, it's looking likely. The tortoise of The Libertines is stirring after four years of hibernation. Clues on the band's official Facebook and comments made by both Pete and Carl suggest a reunion could happen this summer in London's Hyde Park. Speaking to Israeli news website Ynet, Pete said he'd agreed to a Libs reunion this year in London and with typical frankness said he needed the money.
The punk scene in and around Copenhagen is one of the most vibrant on the planet, and now we've got a new band to join the likes of Iceage, Communions et al. Gäy are a bunch of stupidly young kids based in Denmark's countryside, and while they're not on Posh Isolation (the label at the center of all things great there) they definitely share an affinity with those acts mentioned above. 'Blue Blue Heart' is a gloriously caustic slice of lo-fi brilliance, recalling Television Personalities' late 70s work.
Soundgarden's grunge classic 'Superunknown' turned 20 in March. To celebrate, it's getting re-released in two deluxe formats on June 2, complete with demos, rehearsal recordings and B-sides that lift the lid on the album's making. Hot on the heels of their original, rough-'n'-ready recording of single 'Black Hole Sun', which was posted online last week, NME can share with you now the unreleased demo of the record's epic title track to enjoy.
Barack and Michelle Obama have written a letter to the friends and family of Frankie Knuckles, the dance music revolutionary who died on March 31. The couple spent most of the late 80s and 90s in Chicago, at the time the house music Knuckles' pioneered was enjoying its golden age. Superstar DJ David Morales posted the letter from the couple after Knuckles' "emotionally special" memorial service.