Have we got music news for you: The 25 strangest NME stories of 2018

The truth is in there. Somewhere

Lena Dunham goes deep on Noel and Liam!

The former Girls star is no stranger to making headlines but the special Oasis discussion she hosted may be her weirdest news-making moment yet. In November, the actor and writer brought together a bunch of famous mates, including Brad Pitt and Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan, for a “psychological analysis” of the Gallagher brothers through their music and readings of past interviews. How very LA.

Lil Xan hospitalised by Cheetos!

He may be named for the prescription drug Xanax, but it was it was something a little more readily available that put Soundcloud rapper Lil Xan in the ER – the spicy snack treat Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. “I just want to let everybody know that I was in the hospital not due to any drugs, but I guess I ate too many hot Cheetos and it ripped something in my stomach open a little bit and I puked a little blood,” he told followers in an Instagram Live video.

Robot writes song in the style of The Strokes!

You’ll be aware by now that the robots are coming for us – our jobs, our love lives, everything else in between. Not even rock stars are safe after a tech and music collective wrote the lyrics for a song in the style of The Strokes using AI.

I Don’t Want To Be There (Strokes predictive text) by Botnik

Lyrics written using a predictive text keyboard trained on the lyrics of The Strokes. From Botnik’s album of algorithmic music (preorder at http://thesongularity.com) featuring: Matt Powers (guitar) Devin Schiff (bass) Jamie Levinson (drums) Jamie Brew (guitar and vocals) Tim Joyce (recording)

Spotify can make playlists from your DNA!

If you’re one of the many people who’s sent off a sample of cheek lining to a bunch of strangers in a lab in the hopes of discovering some exotic heritage in your bloodline, you can now turn your results into a soundtrack. Spotify teamed up with AncestryDNA earlier this year to generate playlists based on users’ genetics and family tree.

The KLF build pyramid of dead person dust!

More fool you who ever expects The KLF to do anything normal. Their latest bizarre stunt came in November, when the group celebrated the “Toxteth Day Of The Dead” by building a pyramid from the ashes of 34,592 dead people. Admission was free to locals but anyone else wishing to attend was only allowed in if they brought a supermarket shopping trolley with them. Obviously.

Play it, don’t spray it: Massive Attack reissue album as can of paint!

Reissuing classic albums as brand new, limited edition packages is nothing new. But Massive Attack gave the marketing ploy a new spin earlier this year when they revealed the format of their ‘Mezzanine’ reissue. Eschewing the usual vinyl and CD box sets, they opted instead for cans of black spray paint containing DNA-encrypted audio.

Machine Head shaggers ejected!

We all know music can sometimes make you lose your inhibitions, especially in the setting of a gig. But have you ever gotten so caught up in the moment you’ve started full-on banging in the front row while the band plays? One San Diego couple did when Machine Head came to town. Their behaviour might have gotten them ejected but it seems to also have earned them the eternal respect of the band.

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San Diego! HOLY… FREAKIN… SH*T!!!?? When a guy and gal get ejected for having sex during "Davidian" (in the front row no less!?) you know it's gonna complete insanity! *no joke!*… WOW, what a welcome back you gave us, we are blown away! ⠀ Epic circle pits, the jumping was crazy, boobies, sing-a-longs, crowd-surfing-mania, couples having sex!!? ⠀ ⠀ San Diego, after an 11 year break from each other, you are officially "un-fired"! Hands down the best show we have EVER played in your amazing city, and one of the wildest and rowdiest of the entire tour! Thank you all so much for an UNFORGETTABLE night of raging!! ⠀ ⠀ MACHINE HEAD NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES!!⠀ 11/23 Anaheim, House of Blues ⠀ 11/24 Santa Cruz, The Catalyst ⠀ ⠀ #freaksandzeroes #machinehead #eveningwith ⠀ #metal #catharsis #metalhead #nuclearblast #mhcatharsis #headcases #concerts #robbflynn #phildemmel #davemcclain #jaredmaceachern #headcase #theblackening #locust #burnmyeyes #vodka #weed #numetal #thrasher #circlepit #headbanger #metalgirl #theburningred

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Celine Dion in league with devil!

It’s unlikely Celine Dion has ever been accused of being in cahoots with the devil before but a US priest broke new ground with his claims this year. When the Canadian warbler launched a range of clothing that was “stereotype-free”, Monsignor John Esseff accused her of promoting Satanism by erasing gender differences.

Brett Kavanaugh mistakes man for UB40 singer; punches him!

Amid all the stories about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his treatment of women came a revelation of a lighter kind. According to an old police report, Kavanaugh had once gotten into a fight with a man in a bar after he mistook the anonymous pub-goer for UB40’s Ali Campbell. Why he would want to get in a fight with Campbell remains unclear.

Post Malone cursed by “most haunted object in the world”!

Old Posty had a bit of a rough spell this summer after being the target of a house robbery and being involved in an emergency plane landing and a car crash. You might assume those unfortunate incidents were just that – unfortunate – but Ghost Adventures’ Zak Bagans had another explanation – Malone had been cursed by the “most haunted object in the world”. The rapper had been in the same room as the apparently very haunted box while visiting Bagans’ Haunted Museum in Las Vegas, and had touched the paranormal investigator while he was touching the box.

Hi, his name isn’t Eminem!

Police in Rochester, New Hampshire were forced to confirm they were not hunting for Eminem in connection with a trespassing incident after fans began to point out similarities between the rapper and a man featured in footage from the crime scene. The police force’s Facebook post requesting help from the public quickly went viral, with fans flooding the comments section with the star’s lyrics.

Azealia Banks lands Elon Musk in hot water!

After her visit this summer, we’d imagine Azealia Banks isn’t going to be invited back to Elon Musk’s house any time soon. There to collaborate with Grimes, who began dating the Tesla boss earlier this year, the rapper alleviated her boredom after her fellow musician failed to show by sharing screengrabs of text conversations and details of her experience at Musk’s house with her social media followers. Among the titbits: the size of his dick, how his house was like the “sunken place”, and how his fascination with 420 culture led to him setting Tesla share prices at $420, and catching the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the process.

We can wank it out!

File this one in things you never needed to know about the world’s favourite band. While promoting his new album ‘Egypt Station’, Macca strayed into stomach-churning territory when he gleefully answered a journalist’s question about fabled tales of the Fab Four indulging in group masturbation sessions. “It wasn’t a big thing”, according to the star, although he did admit it was quite “raunchy”.

A cigarette stopped Lemmy losing a toe

You might usually think of cigarettes as things that harm you but, while that’s true, a love of smoking actually helped late Motorhead frontman Lemmy. In a story that emerged in 2018, it was revealed that his refusal to stub out the Marlboros in the doctor’s office actually saved him from having his toe amputated. When the medical team refused to treat him unless he stopped lighting up in the practice, he stormed out. Luckily, his blackened toe healed and remained attached to his foot til the very end.

Slaves told to leave Phil Collins alone… But seriously!

If you want Phil Collins to star in one of your music videos, here’s how not to make it happen: harass him multiple times until he orders you to leave him alone. That’s a lesson Slaves learnt when finding people to feature in the video for ‘Chokehold’ – luckily they were able to find several other musicians who weren’t quite so crabby about it.

Biffy help DIY SOS’s Nick Knowles get a record deal!

Possibly the most indie revelation come out of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Here came from the mouth of DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles. While in the jungle, he revealed he’d landed his record deal after jamming on the roof of a bar in Soho with Biffy Clyro. The hashtag #BiffyClyroNotEmbarrassedTheyJammedWithNickKnowles started trending soon after.

Some might bray: Liam Gallagher rides jockey Frankie Dettori!

You can always rely on Liam for an odd story or two. He shared a summer holiday tale from 10 years ago in a recent interview, in which he said he’d ridden jockey Frankie Dettori around a swimming people after downing several shots of tequila. Dettori’s people later confirmed the story was absolutely true.

Can’t stand up now: Pete Doherty eats a really, really, really big breakfast!

You might think your holiday breakfasts, when you squeeze as much as you possibly can out of that buffet, are impressive. Pete Doherty would scoff at them. In August, the Libertine took on a breakfast challenge at a café in Kent, where he polished off our rashers of bacon, four eggs, four sausages, hash browns, onion rings, bubble and squeak, two slices of thick bread, and a quarter-pounder burger and chips in under 20 minutes. The pictures alone are enough to make you skip lunch.

Nicki Minaj shouts out Margaret Thatcher!

Nicki’s Apple Music show Queen Radio is almost always headline gold, not least in summer when she first compared herself to civil rights hero Harriet Tubman and then, in the very next breath, gave Conservative Prime Minister and milk snatcher supreme Margaret Thatcher a shout out.

Fake band play to no one!

Threatin, the brainchild of an LA musician named Jered Eames, made headlines this year for booking a UK tour and playing to absolutely no one. Perhaps they were just overly optimistic about the demand to see an unknown US act? Or, maybe, Threatin didn’t really exist. It turned out the latter statement was true, with Eames having duped venue owners and promoters into booking his “band”, then hiring musicians who had no idea what was really happening to fly across the pond and play to depressingly empty rooms. Eames says he is now planning to record an album and tour with Threatin as a real band after pulling off the cunning publicity stunt.

Mmm, what?! Smashing Pumpkins and Hanson collaborate!

Of all the bands you might expect Smashing Pumpkins to work with, former child stars and ‘Mmm-Bop’ terrors Hanson would likely never be on that list. And yet! Billy Corgan and co teamed up with the brotherly trio in their hometown of Tulsa on a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Landslide’. Truly bizarre.

K-Pop fans cause aeroplane chaos!

There are many stories of obsessive fans (known in Korea as 사생팬 or sasaeng fans) within K-Pop but the latest to make headlines is quite strange. A trio of fans spotted the group Wanna One after boarding their flight to Seoul from Hong Kong and proceeded to mob the band. When asked to take their seats, the fans said they no longer wanted to fly to Seoul and demanded to be let off the plane. Aviation laws meant all passengers would have to disembark but this didn’t change the group’s mind. To rub salt in the wound, they then demanded a full refund from the airline, which they were fully entitled to.

Twitter CEO sends beard clippings to Azealia Banks!

Another old story that was confirmed this year – and possibly the best one – came from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who Azealia Banks had once claimed had sent her his beard shavings. Why would the boss of one of the biggest social media platforms in the world do that? So she could make him an amulet to protect him from ISIS, obviously. Dorsey himself hasn’t confirmed the reports, but a colleague of his has in a new profile.

Gimme Water: Keith Richards quits drinking!

In life, there are many things that seem like they will likely never change – the pope being Catholic, the sky being blue, Keith Richards liking a drink. Except, in the last few days, everything we know has been put in doubt as the Rolling Stones guitarist has announced he’s stopped touching the hard stuff over a year ago. Why? He’d just gotten “fed up with it”, apparently.