Can you believe 2014 is more than halfway through already? Seems like only yesterday we were all nursing NYE hangovers and swearing never to drink again. Anyway, as we dash past the midway point, here's 2014's 30 biggest stories so far, starting with Damon Albarn claiming in April he could release a new Gorillaz LP "next week". C'mon Damon, we're waiting.
In February, Miley Cyrus covered Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?', to the delights of the Arctics' Matt Helders. "She did some bits in there I wish we'd have done,” said the drummer, who presumably wasn't referring to twerking in a silver spangly jumpsuit surrounded by men in furry shark suits.
In February, Josh Homme made his feelings on the Grammys known: “Fuck everything. Fuck the man. Fuck Imagine Dragons and fuck the Grammys,” he tweeted after QOTSA lost out to Imagine Dragons in the Best Rock Performance category. Later that week, he was filmed pushing a stage invader offstage and calling him a “fucking douchebag.” Lesson learnt: DON'T FUCK WITH THE HOMMENATOR.
Makers of The Simpsons were made to apologise for having described Judas Priest as a death metal band in an episode earlier this year. “The ‘Heavy Metal’ tag is far more appropriate”, snorted one disgruntled internet commentor, presumably from the dark of his mother’s basement. A later episode saw Bart write "Judas Priest Is Not Death Metal" on his school blackboard.
Dave Grohl proclaimed in January that the Foo Fighters' incoming album (due in November) is “unlike anything we’ve ever done," labelling the record "a love letter to the history of American music." The band has also revealed 8 collaborators from 8 different cities, and an 8-part HBO documentary about the recording process. So will you film that on a Super 8, Dave?
In March, ten days after Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 went missing, in a landmark display of conspiracy theorising, Courtney Love claimed to have solved its disappearance, posting a Microsoft Paint annotated photo of a patch of sea on Twitter, scrawled over with the words “oil”, “plane?” and various nonsensical arrows. Surprisingly, the search is still ongoing.
Liam Gallagher also found time in the first half of this year to urge Oasis fans not to buy the new reissue of the band's debut album 'Definitely Maybe'. “HOW CAN YOU REMASTER SOMETHING THATS ALREADY BEING MASTERED.DONT BUY INTO IT.LET IT BE LG X" Tell it like it is, LG.
In June, 50 Cent was filmed throwing a baseball pitch so poorly, it become an internet sensation. Don't worry though, the rapper had a totally viable excuse - an injury caused by "excessive masturbation." What a tosser (what?! he tossed the ball badly! Oh, you thought we meant- ah nevermind...)
Neil Aspinall, the CEO of The Beatles' record company Apple Corp, left the label in Spring. Aspinall was at Apple Corp for 40 years, and was close friends with the band. No reasons were given for the departure and a short statement read, “He has decided to move on.” As Lennon might say, “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”. Err... Yes John.
Morrissey announced a new album earlier this year, 'World Is None Of Your Business'. Promoting the record, he filmed a series of spoken word short films - including one starring fellow animal rights campaigner and Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson. Who saw that coming? Nope, us neither.
Macaulay Culkin's pizza themed Velvet Underground covers band, The Pizza Underground, had pints of beer thrown over them and stormed off stage. The formerly cherub faced Home Alone Star, now complete with facial hair, pleaded: “Why are you throwing those? I’d rather drink them!” Word is a cackling Joe Pesci hell bent on revenge was spotted lurking around the bar.
Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison was announced as having left the Iowa band in December last year, waiting till January to "make it very clear that I DID NOT QUIT SLIPKNOT,” instead suggesting he'd been "blindsided" by his former bandmates, the naughty tykes. People really do = shit, eh Joe?
Sorry feminists, but Lily Allen couldn't give two shits about the sisterhood. "Feminism. I hate that word because it shouldn't even be a thing anymore," she said. "We're all equal, everyone is equal. Why is there even a conversation about feminism?” Lily Allen creating controversy? WHATEVER NEXT?
After Metallica were announced as Glastonbury headliners, Mogwai's Barry Burns dismissed the San Fran group as "unbelievably bad." "I can't wait to hear that guy play the drums again," he said of drummer Lars Ulrich. "He's terrible." How about a cage fight to settle it at Glasto, fellas? Mogwai look like they've been in a cage once or twice before in this promo photo...
Arctic Monkeys played two sold-out shows at Finsbury Park in May, to 45,000 fans each night. Turner and co described the event as a "party" to NME and provided a bar named The Parrot’s Beak – straight out of the shady stories of ‘Cornerstone’. Support came from Royal Blood, Tame Impala and Miles Kane and it didn't piss it down. Result.
In February, on the set of her video for ‘G.U.Y. (Girl Under You)’, Lady Gaga was bit by a slow loris. No, really. She was reportedly "a good sport" about the affair, but the creature was sent away "in disgrace" according to the NY Post. Gaga continues to subvert traditional gender roles despite the filthy guerrilla tactics of bastard patriarchal slow lorises.
Pete Doherty admitted in June that drugs have ruined his life. "It's no longer fun. On the contrary, it's just shit and kills all my creativity. But it's difficult to stop. My past life is a fucking mess, a real mess,” he told the Daily Star. Here's hoping July's Hyde Park bonanza can mark a turnover for the lad.
The already-very-rich Dr Dre became even richer in May when his Beats By Dre headphones were bought by Apple for $3m. Asked to comment on the deal, Dre said NOTHING YOU IDIOTS, DR DRE'S DEAD, HE'S LOCKED IN MY BASEMENT! Sorry, couldn't resist.
Arcade Fire were on the unfortunate receiving end of one of the crimes of the century in March, when one of their 'Reflektor' tour bobbleheads was stolen. Who'd do such a thing?
Into the top 10 now... The big news of April was the Libertines summer reunion show at Hyde Park. But be warned - it could get messy, warned a newly hirsute looking Carl Barat. “It could be the most boring show anyone's ever seen. Or it could be breath-taking and everyone could lose their minds and their bowel control.” Better pack a box of wet wipes, just in case.
After scooping 5 Grammys back in January, Daft Punk were disappointed to discover that gossip website TMZ had revealed their identities as they queued in LAX airport. The mysterious French duo became the most high-profile masked figures to be exposed since The Stig outed himself in 2010. Now the only secret identity that remains to us is The Body from The Cube. Great.
MORE fighting, although not of the physical kind this time - Chicago indie whippersnappers The Orwells got on the wrong side of Alex Turner in April accusing tour mates Arctic Monkeys' show of being “synchronised”. Turner responded adroitly: “They should have been out trying to get laid instead of watching us every night." Touche.
When Manchester City won the Premier League title in May, City mega fans Johnny Marr, Liam and Noel Gallagher (seperately, obvs) were on hand to take part in the celebrations. Sounding like a troubled teenager, Liam declared: “I love [manager Manuel Pelligrini] I want him to adopt me.”
Jonny Greenwood revealed to NME that Radiohead will be "meeting up at the end of the summer" to "make a plan" for their ninth studio album. "But, you know, we're a slow-moving animal, always have been," he said. "I guess we'll decide then what we do next." Here's hoping the Radiohead animal doesn’t have any natural predators because it sounds lazy and indecisive and therefore easy prey.
Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was named as the greatest song of all time by NME in January, even though Kurt Cobain himself hated the track. "I can see it's a good record from a commercial point of view but it's too slick for my tastes," he complained in 1993. We were too head-banging to that drum intro to listen.
In February, Chili Pepper Chad Smith challenged his doppelganger Will Ferrell to a drum battle after comments made by Ferrell in a Reddit AMA: “A lot of people think that it's me playing for Red Hot Chili Peppers... The truth of the matter is there is no Will Ferrell. Only Chad Smith." The battle took place in May but it sadly was impossible to tell which of them had won.
Liam Gallagher sent Oasis fans' imaginations into overdrive in April when he spelt “O-A-S-I-S” letter by letter in separate tweets on his Twitter account. Was he signalling a reunion? Had he and Noel finally buried the hatchet? Nah. According to Bonehead, they had simply been in the pub. What a T-E-A-S-E.
Word of warning - don't mess with Solange. Leaked footage of the 'Losing You' singer thumping several shades of shit out of brother-in-law Jay Z in an elevator understandably did the rounds online in May, before a statement describing the fight as an “unfortunate incident" attempted to draw a line under the scrap. Better do what Solange says, guys.
Beyonce received criticism from NASA in January for including a clip of the 1986 Challenger disaster on her track ‘XO’. The space organisation labelled the move ‘inappropriate in the extreme’, with Angry Internet People (you know the sort) comparing it to featuring audio footage of the JFK assassination or 9/11. Bey has since apologised.
The most popular story of the year so far was Seattle police releasing previously undeveloped photos from the scene of Kurt Cobain's death, 20 years after his suicide. Police described the photos that included personal affects, sunglasses, cigarettes and a lighter to try to quell calls to reopen the investigation into his death.