Public memorial for DMX to take place in Brooklyn next weekend

DMX live in 2016 CREDIT: Noam Galai/Getty Images

DMX will be honoured at a public memorial in Brooklyn next weekend, the late rapper’s manager has confirmed.

The hip-hop legend died last week (April 9) after suffering a heart attack on April 2 that was reportedly caused by an overdose.

Speaking to TMZ, DMX’s manager Steve Rifkind said fans would be able to pay their respects to the star at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center arena next Saturday (April 24). The event will take place one day before DMX’s funeral, which will take the form of a private service held at a church in the New York City area.

At present, further details have yet to be confirmed, including how ticketing will be organised and how many fans will be allowed to attend. Barclays Center is open, but can currently only have 10 percent of its usual capacity inside due to New York’s coronavirus restrictions.

DMX CREDIT: @shotbyjacques

Yonkers mayor Mike Spano offered DMX’s family the use of the outdoor Yonkers Raceway for a memorial event, but they chose to hold it at Barclays instead. The rapper grew up in the city which lies just north of Manhattan and The Bronx.

According to TMZ, Spano still plans to commemorate the rapper in some form, with possible plans including a permanent statue or naming a street after him.

A new song featuring DMX, French Montana and Swizz Beatz was released earlier today (April 16). ‘Been To War’ was written for the series Godfather Of Harlem and found DMX rapping on the chorus: “You tried to catch me motherfucker, I’ma burn this shit here.”

Following his death, streams of the star’s music rose by 928 percent in the US. On April 9 and 10, his songs racked up a total of 75.7million streams across audio and video, compared to 7.36million on April 7 and 8.

Evanescence to hold livestream concert hosted by Alice Cooper

Evanescence Amy Lee Alice Cooper
Evanescence’s Amy Lee and Alice Cooper CREDIT: Getty Images

Evanescence are set to hold a new livestream concert that will be hosted by rock icon Alice Cooper.

The band released their latest album ‘The Bitter Truth’ last month (March 26), marking their first record of new material in a decade.

Now, the group will perform tracks from that album and from across their back catalogue at the new virtual gig. Taking place on May 13, the show – dubbed ‘Driven To Perform’ – will kick off at 9pm ET (2am BST, May 14) and will be free to stream.

Evanescence will be supported by the winner of a battle of the bands-style competition. Three groups are in the running to claim the spot, including Suspect208 – the band formed by the sons of Guns N’ RosesSlash and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo.

To be in with a chance of winning, the competing bands had to perform a cover of Alice Cooper’s 1971 song ‘Under My Wheels’. Also hoping to secure the slot are Columbus, Ohio’s South Of Eden and Illinois’ Ashland.

In a press release, Cooper said: “This garage band contest and the concept of being ‘Driven to Perform’ strike a chord with me because I started out in the music business really young.

“I began my career the same way so many of these bands did. I was driven to someday get up on stage and perform. It is in garages across the country that so many musicians find their sound and get their start.”

Meanwhile, Evanescence postponed their UK and European tour to 2022 earlier this week. The band will now bring the co-headlining run with Within Temptation to the UK next April, hitting up arenas in Leeds, London, Glasgow and Birmingham.

So long, Aunt Polly: remembering ‘Peaky Blinders’ star Helen McCrory

Helen McCrory as Polly Shelby in 'Peaky Blinders'. CREDIT: BBC

It’s a gross failing of Britain’s entertainment industry that there’s a time of life when women fall off our screens. There’s no absence of roles for twenty, thirty and forty-somethings. Turn 60 and, if you’re lucky, you can navigate the journey to retirement via the sort of roles Helen Mirren or Dame Judy Dench have made their own. But in your fifties? Not so much. If you’re a woman in your fifties who likes sex? Drinking? Y’know, an authentic representation of a woman in middle age? No chance.

It would be wrong to say that Helen McCrory – who has died aged 52 from cancer – changed this. But her role as Peaky Blinders’ chain-smoking matriarch Polly Gray has made such an impact that it will surely lead to future change. Her casting as Aunt Pol in the interwar crime drama went under the radar in 2013; the show’s lead, Cillian Murphy was a far bigger name. But it was far from undeserved. Anyone who has three Harry Potter movies on their resumé, an acclaimed West End career, has worked with the great Martin Scorsese (in 2011’s Hugo) and played her part in making 2012’s Skyfall the best Bond movie of the modern era is worthy of a punt.

Aunt Polly was the formidable matriarch of the Shelby crime family. CREDIT: BBC

And yet nobody could have predicted just how snuggly McCrory came to inhabit the skin of the aforementioned Polly. Aunt of the Shelby Brothers, treasurer of their criminal enterprise, Murphy might have been the show’s leading man, but McCrory as Polly was the series’ beating heart. It’s tempting to think of her portrayal of Polly as akin to the conductor of an orchestra, with every note at her disposal being an emotion innate to the human experience. Conceived by series creator Steven Knight, we cried with Polly, ached with her, invested in her frequent fury and unparalleled sass. There’s a trope in drama of strong women, a phrase circulating in tributes penned today to the brilliance of McCrory’s alter ego. But the song of strong women is often played by one instrument in that aforementioned orchestra. Polly’s strength rang out, strength emboldened by the pain of life.

We learned, in time, that this pain had come from the trauma of abortion, a procedure forced upon her too young; being torn from her son, Michael (Finn Cole) and the death of her unknown daughter. But even without such intricacies of her story being revealed to us, we knew that Polly’s burden was one of womanhood and the era in which she inhabited. While the boys run around with their guns and their silly little feuds, she’s forced to comply with the standards imposed upon her. When Major Campbell attacks and rapes her, while negotiating the release of the imprisoned Michael, she suppresses the natural and understandable desire to maim and to kill. When this spills over and she shoots him dead at the climax of season two, we don’t judge her for this deed. 1922 or 2021; women like Polly are dealt shitty hands ever day.

Helen McCrory in 2019. Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Ronnie Scotts.

Polly takes her strength from family – keeping the unit together, more or less, through a tumultuous third season. She’s, to a degree, spiritual; depressed, she turns to a medium in season two, and a season later, prays to God with the clock ticking towards the time of her scheduled execution. But the rod that runs through her resolve is her birthright as a Shelby and the knowledge of what that name means. None of the Shelby boys are strong like Polly is. Arthur is too wild. Tommy has his own struggles – Polly telling her nephew to “shake hands with the devils and walk past them” demonstrates an understanding of mental illness for the ages. John is, eventually, too dead. McCrory plays her part with the ferocity of a pit bull, the heart of a lion and the grace of a swan.

Because Polly is a lover and a fighter. Be that Ruben Oliver, her late, great love Aberama Gold, or whoever – as she pledges to find during a conversation with niece Ada – “someone unsuitable to sleep with” is. It’s delightful to see her living it up in Monte Carlo at the start of season five; this is the life Polly always deserved. McCrory’s portrayal was salt of the earth, yes, but perhaps salt lifted from Hollywood’s glamorous Golden Age. Tributes will flow in for McCrory’s immense talent for weeks to come – her passing seems both cruel and impertinent; much, you suspect, was still to come. But when you think of Aunt Polly, when you’re looking for an image to remember this great British television icon, think of her living it up under the blazing Monaco sun.

Thanks for everything Pol. What will those boys do without you…

Duff McKagan’s pre-Guns N’ Roses band The Living share video for ‘Live By The Gun’

Duff McKagan
Duff McKagan CREDIT: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Duff McKagan’s pre-Guns N’ Roses band The Living have shared the video for their song ‘Live By The Gun’ – scroll down to watch it now.

The band, which formed in Seattle when the bassist was 15 years old, put out a record of previously unreleased songs ‘The Living: 1982’ earlier today (April 16).

‘Live By The Gun’ is one of those tracks, and features McKagan on guitar. “Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot the gun/ Kill, kill, kill, kill your friends,” the song goes. “Live by the gun.

In the video, footage of former US President Ronald Reagan, vintage footage from punk shows and more come together to accompany the punk track. Watch it below now.

Drummer Greg Gilmore told Consequence Of Sound: “What I can say right now is that I just watched the video and was struck by how unbelievably fucking great that song is. Ronald Reagan bad. Punk rock good!”

Gilmore is the one who found the recordings that make up ‘The Living: 1982’, which was released on Loosegroove Records, the label run by Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard.

Speaking previously about The Living, McKagan said: “Would this even ever get out of our basement? We had something magical then, and it was ours, so who gives a fuck!”

Gilmore added: “The Living was the beginning of all things Seattle for me — a turning point in my life. I joined a band and a community. These guys are still my brothers. I’ve cherished these recordings since the days we made them. This record is a fantastic document of a loaded moment. I love it.”

Meanwhile, Duff McKagan opened up to Lily Cornell last year about his addiction struggles. During his appearance on the mental health podcast run by Chris Cornell’s daughter, the GN’R star said at one point he was drinking “up to a full gallon of vodka a day”.

Viola Davis says Black actors are treated like “leftovers” in Hollywood

Viola Davis
Viola Davis (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Viola Davis has said that Black actors are treated like “leftovers” in Hollywood.

The actress, who recently starred in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, shared her thoughts on inclusivity and casting in a new interview with Variety.

“It’s so hard to get films made that don’t fit a certain box of how they see us,” Davis said on the publication’s Awards Circuit Podcast.

“Inclusivity cannot be a hashtag. You’ve got to write roles for people of colour that are culturally specific – that is just as thought out as our white counterparts’ roles, to get to the point of excellence, so that we can be considered for awards.

“But a lot of time with inclusivity, it’s a second thought. We’re the leftovers.”

Ma Rainey
‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’, starring Viola Davis. CREDIT: Netflix

Davis became the most nominated Black woman in Oscar history this year, when she was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The actress has been nominated a total of four times so far, making her just one of two Black women to win an Oscar and then be nominated again, alongside Octavia Spencer.

“The only reason I’m breaking records is that no one has been recognised,” Davis went on to say. “That ‘honour’ is a sort of limited honour. The problem is with the moviemaking business itself, not the awards.”

Viola Davis added: “You cannot nominate anyone for awards if there are no films being made.”

In a four-star review of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, NME said of Davis’ performance: “She imbues the battle-hardened singer with brassy glamour and an indomitable charisma.”

‘Why Are You Like This’ review: chaotic Aussie satire sends up Gen Z idealism

Why are you like this
CREDIT: Netflix

TThe problem with making a modern-day satire is that it’s hard to figure out whether you’re laughing at those who haven’t caught up, or the ones who are taking it too far. Netflix‘s Why Are You Like This follows three twenty-somethings in Australia navigating friendships, hookups and workplaces with a painfully self-aware brand of comedy about political correctness and allyship that’s more abrasive than it is interesting.

Writer and star Naomi Higgins plays Penny, a peppy, hyper-aware young woman trying desperately to be a good ally and friend – in turn sweet and exhausting, opposite her best friend Mia (Olivia Junkeer) and their housemate Austin (Wil King). Mia tells her boss that he can’t fire her because she’s the only woman of colour in the business (when, crucially, she just hasn’t been doing her job), while we first meet Austin as he performs a drag set dressed up as murdered child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey.

Those initially daring introductions give way to a fast-paced comedy filled with bizarre scenarios: Mia loses her menstrual cup in her vagina; Austin is dealing with a closeted older man he’s hooking up with who won’t come out of his bedroom; Penny is forced to take “sensitivity training” at work after screaming at a gay colleague.

The sketches can be individually amusing, but after the first 20-minute episode it’s hard to get a sense of where the overall narrative is going – and whether the frenetic pace is sustainable. The dialogue is very internet-friendly (“Breathe in, breathe out, I am an ally”) but can feel like part of one big, vague joke with no proper punchline.

Higgins’ premise is commendable, poking fun at antiquated gender roles in the office while also making her character, Penny, take a long hard look at her excessively enthusiastic and often performative politics. But it also grows tiresome – Penny, really, should break character and learn when to listen, rather than speak, and the series needs a structured story for the jokes to land.

Still, some lines earn huge laughs: “He sucked the first dick at Stonewall,” Austin says of his house guest, while Mia, committed to stopping having casual sex with mediocre white men defends her latest conquest by saying: “He’s Sicilian, they’re oppressed.” This, and spirited performances from Higgins, Junkeer and King, keep Why Are You Like This fun – if little more than that.

‘Why Are You Like This’ is streaming now on Netflix

Alfred Molina on reading ‘Promising Young Woman’ script: “What the fuck!”

Alfred Molina Promising Young Woman
Alfred Molina in 'Promising Young Woman' (Credit: Focus Features)

Promising Young Woman star Alfred Molina has recalled his experience reading the script for the first time.

The actor, who makes a cameo appearance in Emerald Fennell’s debut feature as a lawyer called Jordan, said he was “shocked and intrigued” when first reading.

“When I read the script, I was shocked and intrigued, and it made me laugh — it scared me! But the scene itself struck me very hard,” Molina said in an interview with Variety.

In his scene of the film, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) visits Jordan as he was the lawyer who ensured the man who raped her best friend, Nina, got off free.

Molina continued: “When I read the lines when Jordan says, ‘Have you come here to hurt me?’ And she says, ‘Do you want me to hurt you?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, I think I do.’ When I read that I just went, what the fuck!

“I can’t think of a scene where a man — a male character — has begged for a woman’s forgiveness for a whole way of life,” he added of Promising Young Woman‘s impact. “For being part of a whole system. And that struck me as very powerful.

“Not that his apology, or his acknowledgement of his complicity, makes things any easier for her. But just the act of doing it, I suddenly thought, this is rare!”

In a four-star review of Promising Young Woman, NME said: “From the opening bars of ‘Boys’ to Cassie’s distinctive nurse costume and candy-coloured wig, Fennell has delivered an aesthetically astute directorial debut that’s packed with verve – and hides an important message just beneath its pastel-coloured shell. ”

Promising Young Woman is available to watch on NOW and Sky Cinema in the UK now.

My Chemical Romance “deeply sad” to postpone 2021 tour dates to 2022

Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance performs live. CREDIT: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images

My Chemical Romance have moved their 2021 tour dates to 2022 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The band said in a statement that they are “deeply sad” to reschedule their touring plans. “But those emotions are only a fraction of the depth of feeling we have all experienced watching the suffering and loss of the past year. We just want to be as sure as we can be that everyone is safe.”

All tickets will be honoured for the new dates and refunds are available at point of purchase.

The band added that some refunds are available for a limited window. All New Zealand refund requests must be submitted by May 20, while the North American refund window ends on May 16.

For cities with multiple nights, tickets will be honoured as follows:

Milton Keynes, UK – Stadium MK
June 17, 2021 > May 19, 2022
June 19, 2021 > May 21, 2022
June 6, 2021 > May 22, 2022

Bonn, Germany – Kunst!rasen
July 6, 2021 > June 21, 2022
July 7, 2021 > June 22, 2022

Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
September 9, 2021 > September 20, 2022
September 22, 2021 > September 21, 2022

Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
October 11, 2021 > October 11, 2022
October 12, 2021 > October 12, 2022
October 14, 2021 > October 14, 2022
October 17, 2021 > October 15, 2022

Organisers of events where new 2022 dates are yet to be announced will update ticketholders directly.

Last December, members of My Chemical Romance reflected on their reunion show the year prior in December 2019 – one year on from the event.

The emo icons played their first show in seven years on December 20, 2019 at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles, grossing a record $1.5million – the most in the venue’s history.

Marking the anniversary on Instagram, guitarist Frank Iero remembered it as the last live show he played before the pandemic, and posted a tattoo marking the occasion.

“Throughout 2020 i have been incredibly fortunate to be able to play a few live streams and collaborate remotely with some ridiculously talented individuals,” he said. “But as much fun as that has been, i really can’t wait for it to be safe enough to be able to play real shows again. take care of one another. wear a mask, stay safe, and keep the faith.”

My Chemical Romance’s last album was 2010’s ‘Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys‘.

Apple Music tells artists it now pays double than Spotify per stream

Apple Music
Apple Music CREDIT: Chesnot/Getty Images

Apple Music has sent a letter to artists and labels saying that it now pays double what Spotify does per stream on average.

According to figures from last year, in the US Spotify paid $0.00437 per stream on average while Apple Music paid $0.00735 on average.

In the letter, which was sent to labels and publishers and posted on the platform’s artist dashboard, Apple Music said it now pays one cent per stream on average. However, it adds that rates vary according to subscription plans and the country listeners are streaming in.

“As the discussion about streaming royalties continues, we believe it is important to share our values,” the streaming service said in the letter. “We believe in paying every creator the same rate, that a play has a value, and that creators should never have to pay [for their music to be promoted by Apple].”

Spotify (Picture: Getty)

The note added that 52 per cent of subscription revenue is paid to record labels. Apple Music last confirmed its subscription base to be at 60million users in June 2019, but industry figures estimate that number has now risen to around 72million.

Spotify, on the other hand, has 155million paying subscribers and 345million users in total. Last month the platform launched a new website called Loud & Clear, which is designed to increase transparency around how it pays artists.

However, artists and members of the music industry criticised the website, saying it doesn’t provide the answers they’d been asking for from Spotify. “Musicians demanded one penny per stream from @Spotify and in return they made some convoluted website called “loud and clear” to try to gaslight musicians into thinking it’s somehow their fault,” Zola Jesus tweeted at the time.

Last year, musicians told MPs that streaming payments are “threatening the future of music” at the first evidence session for the economics of music streaming inquiry.

Speaking ahead of the inquiry, Department of Culture, Media And Sport Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said: “While streaming is a growing and important part of the music industry contributing billions to global wealth, its success cannot come at the expense of talented and lesser-known artists.

“We’re asking whether the business models used by major streaming platforms are fair to the writers and performers who provide the material. Longer-term we’re looking at whether the economics of streaming could in future limit the range of artists and music that we’re all able to enjoy today.”

‘Peaky Blinders’ star Cillian Murphy pays tribute to Helen McCrory

Peaky Blinders Helen McCrory Cillian Murphy
Helen McCrory and Cillian Murphy (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

Peaky Blinders Cillian Murphy has paid tribute to his late co-star Helen McCrory.

The actor, who plays Tommy Shelby in the series, starred opposite McCrory as matriarch Polly Gray.

“I am broken-hearted to lose such a dear friend,” Murphy said in a statement to the PA news agency obtained by the Evening Standard.

He continued: “Helen was a beautiful, caring, funny, compassionate human being. She was also a gifted actor – fearless and magnificent. She elevated and made humane every scene, every character she played.

“It was a privilege to have worked with this brilliant woman, to have shared so many laughs over the years.”

Helen McCrory (Polly Gray) in ‘Peaky Blinders’ | Series Five (BBC One) | Episode 02

Murphy ended his statement by saying: “I will dearly miss my pal. My love and thoughts are with Damian and her family.”

McCrory’s husband Damian Lewis first shared the news of her death today (April 16) on Twitter.

“I’m heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family,” he wrote.

“She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives.

“She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”

McCrory was also known for her role as Narcissa Malfoy in multiple Harry Potter films, and starred in ITV miniseries Quiz last year.

BAFTA said of McCrory: “We’re sad to hear of the death of actor Helen McCrory. As well as fearless Polly Gray in BAFTA-winning Peaky Blinders, she was in 2007 Best Film BAFTA winner The Queen, amongst many other films and TV shows.”