Gorillaz (formed 1998)
Gorillaz is a music & animation project, created by Damon Albarn of the band Blur and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, the creator of Tank Girl. In addition to the music itself, Gorillaz also consists of a 'virtual' band of 2-D members, named 2D (vocalist and keyboardist), Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar and vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion).
Musically, Albarn is the primary contributor, with a rotating cast of musicians feeding in to the music.
Creation: The Gorillaz project was created in 1998 when Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett shared a flat in Westbourne Grove, London. The first song that they wrote together was 'Ghost Train', which was eventually released as the B-side to 'Rock the House'. The original trio of musicians consisted of Albarn, Dan the Automator and Del the Funkee Homosapien. Albarn and Dan the Automator had previously worked together on Deltron 3030's debut album.
Career: The debut release from Gorillaz was their Tomorrow Comes Today EP, released in 2000. This was followed by the single 'Clint Eastwood', released the following year. In March 2001, Gorillaz's debut, self-titled album was released. The band also created a half-hour mockumentary, entitled Charts of Darkness, which featured Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
Later in 2001, Gorillaz's collaboration with D12 (minus Eminem) and Terry Hall was released. '911' was a track about the September 11th attacks.
At the 2002 BRIT awards, Gorillaz performed via 3D animation, accompanied by Phi Life Cypher. Despite being nominated for six awards, they finished the evening empty-handed.
Laika Come Home, a dub remix album courtesy of Spacemonkeyz, was released in 2002. Later that year, Gorillaz released a DVD entitled Phase One: Celebrity Take Down. It contained the Charts of Darkness mockumentary, as well as the band's promotional videos.
2004 saw Gorillaz release a video entitled 'Rock It', as well as announcing the release of a new album, to be produced by Danger Mouse. The lead single from the album was 'Feel Good Inc.' and the album, Demon Days, was released in May 2005. The album reached number one in the UK and although it began to drop down the charts, the release of the next single, 'DARE', featuring Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays. The third single was 'Dirty Harry' and the last single from Demon Days was 'Kids with Guns' / 'El Manana'.
A planned tour in which 3D holograms of the band would be employed was eventually called off due to the expense. In October 2006, a DVD entitled Phase Two: Slowboat to Hades. A few months later, Gorillaz' illustrated autobiography was released, entitled Rise of the Ogre. Another documentary film about Gorillaz - Bananaz - was released on the Babelgum website in April 2009.
Plastic Beach was the title for Gorillaz's next studio album, which hit the shops in March 2010.The album featured a number of guest performers, including Snoop Dogg, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of The Clash, De La Soul, Lou Reed, Mark E. Smith and Bobby Womack.
Blur frontman Damon Albarn set to unveil folk-soul 'empty club music' solo album.
Damon Albarn is finally set to go solo as he unveils his long-anticipated debut album Everyday Robots on April 28th 2014.
Blur is still an ongoing project
The Blur frontman is definitely a workaholic of the music industry, with his solo project being unleashed while his newly reunited Britpop band and his virtual band with Jamie Hewlett, Gorillaz, are still ongoing. Little has been revealed about the album as of yet, though in 2011 he told Q magazine that it would a record of 'empty club music' and last year he revealed in an interview to Rolling Stone that it would be 'sort of folk soul'.
Continue reading: Damon Albarn Finally Going Solo With Upcoming Debut 'Everyday Robots'
Hiphop artist Mos Def, AKA Yasiin Bey, has undergone force feeding in order to campaign against the treatment of hunger strikers in USA's Guantánamo Bay detention camp.
Some celebrities lend their name to campaigns and will occasionally 'retweet' a good cause but singer Mos Def, more recently known as Yasiin Bey, has taken political rallying to the extreme by volunteering to undergo the same force feeding procedure that is used in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. In a video released by the human-rights organisation, Reprieve, Bey is shown with his limbs and head tightly restrained in a chair whilst medics force a tube through the rapper's nose and towards his stomach. Directed by the BAFTA-winning Asif Kapadia, the video makes for hardcore viewing and is certainly not for the faint-hearted as Bey is seen writhing and struggling against his restraints and crying out as the uncomfortable process is carried out.
Rapper Mos Def Has Been Force Fed In Solidarity With Hunger-Striking Prisoners.
According to Sky News, when the strategy is used in the military prison it can last up to 30 minutes but Yasiin can be heard pleading with the doctors "stop, please stop" in the four minute video.Speaking after the ordeal, the 39 year-old Gorillaz collaborator and campaigner described his experience: "The first part of it is not that bad, but then you get this burning and it starts to be really unbearable, like something is going into my brain and it reaches the back of my throat. I really couldn't take it."
Continue reading: Mos Def Is Force Fed In Solidarity With Guantánamo Detainees [Video]