Damon Albarn's first solo album proper 'Everyday Robots' is almost here. Profound, subtle and haunted by sparse electronics, it confirms what we've long suspected - that the Londoner has come a long way from his heady days as frontman in bombastic Britpoppers Blur. How much do you know about the band that began it all for Albarn? Put your Blur knowledge to the test with this week's Quiz is It, NME's weekly trivia challenge.
OK, so it’s no ‘Chinese Democracy’, but it feels like the return of nu rave pioneers [a]Klaxons[/a] has been a long time coming. Having picked up the Mercury Prize in 2007 for debut ‘Myths of the Near Future’ with the most hilariously dilated pupils the ceremony has ever seen and scooped NME’s album of the year a few months later, the trio seemed untouchable. Then the curse of the second album struck with voodoo force.
Bob Dylan has done it all. He's hosted his own weird, wonderful radio show. He's written novels. He's won acclaim from the art world for his unique expressionist paintings. I think I remember hearing somewhere he's even written a decent tune or two in his time, too.
Wordsworth was famously rather good at writing about nature. "The ocean is a mighty harmonist," he said, for example. Nice. He was born this week in 1770, the same week British conservationists are celebrating an important victory. The critically endangered population of young elvers - or young eels - has dramatically increased. Authorised fishermen caught over a million eels recently to move them upstream for a better chance of survival. Wordsworth would surely be glad.
Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins has a new band called Birds Of Satan with Wiley Hodgden and Mick Murphy. You can stream their debut album exclusively below. It's a frenetic blast of sick guitar riffs, epic guitar solos and propulsive drums that was recorded in less than a week. Produced by John Lousteau, The Birds are joined by a bunch of guest artists including Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters and Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear and keyboard player Rami Jaffee. Enjoy.