"We're home, Chewie." With three words, J. J. Abrams yesterday sent shivers down the spines of hundreds of thousands across the globe. People who, still haunted by the horrors of those prequels, are daring to dream. Hopes weren't high for the upcoming Disney-released Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, after George Lucas' childhood-destroying early '00s trilogy. An 88-second teaser, released late last year, however, changed all that. Dark, enigmatic and pacey, it was everything that trilogy wasn't.
“With our next album we wanted to make something that sounds amazing next year and then terrible in 10 years,” Vaccines frontman Justin Young told NME at the start of this year. It may be too early to judge just how successful they’ve been in that regard, but what is for certain is working with producers Dave Friddman and Cole MGN on 'English Graffiti' in upstate New York has helped craft a Vaccines record that rips up the template of their previous two LPs.
Here's one we didn't see coming. Stewart Lee has contributed to a new compilation album featuring covers of folk singer Shirley Collins, released for Record Store Day (April 18). The record also features Blur's Graham Coxon, Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, Bonnie Prince Billy, Johnny Flynn and Trembling Bells, to name a few. How'd Lee come to be involved in 'Shirley Inspired' then? We caught up with the comedian to find out. You're more known for your love of The Fall than folk music. When did you first get into Shirley Collins and what attracted you to her music?
It’s really great news that Ringo Starr is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this month. Everyone always remembers when John Lennon said that Ringo wasn’t “even the best drummer in the Beatles.” That line just reflects the stereotypical way that a lot of musicians and people in bands talk about drummers. The truth is, Ringo’s work in the Beatles has actually had a huge influence on alternative rock’n’roll drumming. He coined a style of his own. Back in the day, before Ringo was playing, it was the era of jazz drummers - people like Elvin Jones and Philly Joe Jones.
Seinfeld is straight up the greatest sitcom of all time. A self-proclaimed “show about nothing”, the pop culture juggernaut mixed observational comedy, wacky surrealism and frequent self-referencing, while almost entirely focusing on the trivial minutiae that occurred in the lives of its four main characters in the cushy setting of nineties Upper West Side Manhattan. Plus, the series had a deliciously mean-spirited undercurrent that was at odds with the hugging, learning and sharing that typically went on in Frasier, Friends and other US sitcoms of the day.