If 2008 saw Facebook take over the world, 2009 will be the year Twitter goes mainstream. Bands are starting to get involved, too. The Maccabees and Sonic Youth, to name two, are keeping fans updated with the recording and mixing of their new albums. To receive regular NME updates, find us at twitter.com/nmemagazine.
Fans of Bruce Springsteen are in for a treat this year. Not only did The Boss play for Obama’s inauguration this week, but he’s back with a new album, has written a song for the brilliant new film ‘The Wrestler’ and is even rumoured to be playing Glastonbury. Oh, and he’s giving away songs free through ‘Guitar Hero’. Check out nme.com/artists/bruce-springsteen for all the details.
According to Phil Schiller’s keynote speech at Apple’s MacWorld exhibition, all songs in the iTunes store are set to be DRM-free by this summer. That means you’ll be able to download tracks from the store and stick them on any MP3 player, even if it isn’t an iPod. It also makes copying these MP3s easier than ever but, of course, we’re not suggesting you should do that.
‘Telstar’, the film about the life of legendary producer Joe Meek, is set for release in Spring 2009. The film stars Kevin Spacey – as well as Dirty Pretty Things’ Carl Barat and former Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins. Barat plays the part of ’50s rocker Gene Vincent, while Hawkins plays Screaming Lord Sutch.
Pic: Tom Oxley
Hotly-tipped duo Empire Of The Sun have announced the UK release details of their debut album. The band, which features The Sleepy Jackson’s Luke Steele, release ‘Walking On A Dream’ on February 23. The album is preceded by a single, also called ‘Walking On A Dream’, on February 16. The band made NMEâ
With all the hype surrounding Little Boots (she topped BBC’s Sound Of 2009 poll), it’s easy to forget that the Blackpool-raised synth-pop star has yet to release a ‘proper’ single. However, she is currently holed up in Hollywood recording her debut album, which is due for release in the Spring.
Pic: Tom Oxley
Bestival Festival – Isle of Wight
The Specials are reuniting for a 2009 tour to celebrate their 30th anniversary. The legendary ska band have announced they are getting back together to play a series of UK gigs next April. The gigs will mark the first time all members of the Coventry band have worked together since 1981 (bar songwriter Jerry Dammers, who didn’t want to take part). To check the availability of Specials tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/GIGS now.
Pic: PA Photos
Kate Nash has demoed 14 songs for her new album, the follow-up to her 2007 debut ‘Made Of Bricks’. Although none of the songs are definitively named yet, Nash says one of the key tracks, provisionally titled ‘Kiss That Girl’, has a "’60s girl-group" feel. See the new issue of NME, an in-the-studio special, for more details.
Pic: Danny North
Vampire Weekend intend to waste no time in following up their self-titled debut album. In addition to stop-gap track ‘Ottoman’, which emerged in September 2008, they unveiled a number of new songs on their November/December UK tour. Expect a second album to emerge in time for the festival season.
Pic: Sonia Melot
Morrissey was forced to delay the release of his new album ‘Years Of Refusal’ from 2008 until early 2009 (February 16 to be exact) after record label problems, but it will be with us soon. The record is raw and ragged, having been mostly recorded live. The star will be coming to the UK in May for live dates, including a show in Manchester on his 50th birthday, May 22.
Pic: PA Photos
austin powers 3
Seven years after the release of ‘Goldmember’, Mike Myers is set to release the fourth film in the ‘Austin Powers’ comedy series. This time around the plot apparently focuses more on Powers’ nemesis Dr Evil than the British super-spy. No firm release date is yet in place.
Pic: PA Photos
Diesel Party at Matter, featuring collaborations from Archie Bronson, Cocknbullkid, Drew McConnell, Ebony Bones, Ed Harcourt, Floreence and the Machine, Friendly Fires, Lethal Bizzle, Mark Ronson, Metros, New Young Pony Club, Ox.Eagle.Loin.Man, Patrick Wo
Florence And The Machine have already featured on the cover of NME this year, being one of strongest tips to break through in 2009. You can check her out on the Shockwaves NME Awards tour, which kicks off on January 29 at Liverpool University. Go to www.nme.com/gigs for ticket details.
Pic: Richard Johnson
The next instalment of the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ series is out on March 20, and is only available on Nintendo DS. In ‘Chinatown Wars’ you play the part of a young Triad member who must recover a ceremonial sword and avenge his father’s death in Liberty City. You can also recruit new Triad members and tattoo them using the DS’s touch screen. Nice.
Tenacious D live at the Hammersmith Apollo – London.
Jack Black is the star of a forthcoming video game, ‘Brutal Legend’, set for release in late 2009 on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Black has also written songs especially for the heavy metal-themed game, which includes thinly veiled references to the likes of Metallica, Motorhead and Judas Priest. Geek heaven.
Pic: PA Photos
The Enemy are currently in Wales recording the follow up to their 2007 debut ‘We’ll Live And Die In These Towns’. New songs include ‘Elephant Song’, a Led Zep-style rock beast, and ‘Time For Tears’, which boasts bouncing keyboards and a Prince-like guitar solo. As yet, there is no firm release date.
Why put up with rainy British festivals when you can book a cheap flight to a sun-soaked foreign bash. We recommend EXIT in Serbia, which runs from July 9 to 12. Or you could jet off to California’s Coachella (April 17-19), which if rumours are to be believed may feature a reunion performance from Pavement.
OASIS // Liverpool Echo Arena
If you like your guitars loud and your rock down-to-earth, then we bet you’re already pretty excited about the summer, when Oasis hit stadiums around the country. As well as tracks from ‘Dig Out Your Soul’, and the usual suspects, Oasis are bringing along a bunch of their worthy disciples, including The Enemy, Kasabian, Twisted Wheel and The Hours.
Pic: Danny North
‘Flight Of The Conchords’ returns to our screens in 2009 for a second series. Bret and Jemaine have described the writing of the apparently final series as akin to the writing of a "difficult second album", and put the smaller number of episodes down to the pursuit of "quality not quantity". In the first episode the duo fire Murray as their manager and get asked to write an ad jingle.
if you thought Kings Of Leon were everywhere in 2008, they’ll be unavoidable in 2009. In addition to bringing some much-needed rock and roll to next month’s Brits, they’re also playing arena shows in London and Manchester in June, and are heading out to Benicassim festival in July. Pic: Tim Cochrane
Boxing Day represents the longest possible time until another Christmas – but it also means the halfway mark between Glastonburys, and we’re way past that now, thundering towards another wild weekend in Pilton to mark the start of the festival season proper. Whether you go for the bands (this year offers a stunning line-up let us assure you), the raves, the films, the healing, the balloons in the Green Fields or even the mud, it won’t be long now. Pic: Danny North
The Coachella Festival has been christened ‘Bunse’-fest in the NME office due to the amount of bands that have reformed to play shows there, lured by the offer of a big payday. Jesus And Mary Chain, Rage Against The Machine and Pixies all played their first major shows back there, and this year it looks like Pavement (pictured) might follow suit.
Brit Awards 1995 – Alexandra Palace
Blur are set to reform in the summer – the legendary four-piece, who haven’t performed together since 2000, will play two massive shows at London’s Hyde Park on July 2 and 3, and have said they’ll play a number of top secret warm-up shows around the country before that. Unsurprisingly, Glastonbury rumours have also been flying around. Whether the old chemistry will return remains to be seen, though. Pic: PA Photos
Skins Group Shot
Series Three of ‘Skins’ begins next week, with a whole new class descending on Roundview College for another few terms of chaos. Leader of the girls Effy (pictured front) sets the lusty boys a series of challenges to win her affection in the first episode and they rise to it in style. Check out nme.com/skins for more.
Following on from last year’s excellent triumvirate of headliners (Kings Of Leon, The Verve, Jay-Z), this year’s Glastonbury festival looks to be topped by an equally cast – if the rumours are anything to go by. Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Blur are all tipped to top the bill this year. The festival takes place from Wednesday 24th June to Sunday 28th. Pic: PA Photos