If rock’n’roll could be turned into flesh and made to walk the earth, it would look and sound a lot like Keith Richards. It’s not the skull ring, the elegantly wasted appearance or the chemically-enchanced bloodstream that does it – although that all helps – but the fact that he has an unerring knack of hoovering up pretty much all of the greatest guitar riffs ever written. In last year's Christmas issue of NME, the man himself told us exclusively about The Rolling Stones’ triumphant 50th anniversary shows, his plans for the New Year and reveals which of his many, many riffs is his favourite. On the day he turns 70, cheating death improbably for another year, here’s a dozen of my own personal selections. Believe me, it’s only the beginning:
NME's albums and tracks of the year are something of an institution, and you can read all about who the staff here voted for in 2013 here and here. What we didn't include in that list, however, was the really new music that's pricked our ears over the past 12 months. The 50 songs below all fall into that category.
We don't really believe in guilty pleasures - you can like whatever you like - but even so there's still the odd song that comes along each year that you love that you wouldn't exactly post on your Facebook page and announce as your all time favourite. The song that sits uneasily in your immaculate collection, but keeps drawing you back for a love affair that the Germans would call VERBOTEN.
Ever looked at picture of [a]Kanye West[/a] and thought "You know what this is missing? A pug". Well, dreams, no matter how unnecessary, can come true. An company from Barcelona known as 'Meet The Pugs' has put together a calendar of pictures of Kanye West hanging out with the tiny pups. More than 1000 fans pledged a total of $22,706 (almost £14,000) for the calendar on Kickstarter.
Ensuring 2014 gets off to a shimmering start, Manchester spectral pop specialists Patterns release their debut album 'Waking Lines' on January 6 via Melodic. You don't have to wait till then to enjoy its shoegazey synths, electronic loops and gauzy ambient chill though, as we've got an exclusive stream of the record below.