Albums of Note... Paul Simon's seminal 1986 album 'Graceland' has been reissued, with the bonus addition of Joe Berlinger's documentary film 'Under African Skies.' The documentary explores the political tensions that provided a backdrop to the recording of 'Graceland' as well as containing both archive and more recent footage of the music of Graceland being performed in concert. "When viewed as a collaborative effort between two disparate cultures, the politics fade away momentarily and reveal a masterpiece."
Born and Raised is the first of John Mayer's albums that he will be unable to promote with a live tour, due to having to rest his throat so he'll be relying on positive reviews to boost the attention it receives. He's got one here; full of praise for the album that takes a rose-tinted look back to the music of his youth. "It's relaxed and pleasantly familiar as it harks back to the Californian sound of the seventies, without sounding like a pastiche of his musical heroes."
Live Review of the Week... Tareck Gonheim visited Amon Tobin's compelling performance at Manchester Academy. Not one to give his audience an easy ride, Tobin's music was "challenging, provoking and seriously heavy at times," but the Brazilian soundscape specialist created an event that "was inspiring and a real treat to witness."
Interview... Joe Wilde spoke to Blood Red Shoes about their third album, 'In Time To Voices.'
Laura Mary Carter talks to Joe about DIY ethics, stepping up a rung on the festival festival stage ladder and the disappointment of feeling let down by your musical heroines (Courtney Love, she's looking at you.) "when I was younger and the first two Hole records came out they had a major impact on me. She's not a great guitar player or anything but what she opened me up to and her attitude and style, it made me feel that I could be in a band and go on stage wearing a dress and scream it was liberating at the time."
The Week in Video... Blood Orange's latest single 'I'm Sorry We Lied' is accompanied by a dark and intense video, replete with bloodshed, late night motorcycle rides, seedy motel rooms, sex, violence and deceit. And if that's not enough for you, the song's pretty sweet, too; a laid-back, broody pop number, with Devonte Hynes' going for a retro vibe that wouldn't feel out of place on the 'Drive' soundtrack.
'Rocky Ground' is the third single to be released from The Boss' latest album, 'Wrecking Ball.' A slow and sultry ballad, complete with gospel singers and an undercurrent of a hip-hop feel to it, courtesy of Michelle Moore's vocals. The video, shot in black and white is equally emotive, drawing attention to Bruce's lyrical content, with shots of the words being scrawled out in different handwriting.
Audio Highlight... A chance to take a peek at The Vaccines' latest track, 'No Hope.' Justin Young & co. have mixed up their sound a little, this time, losing some of the bombast and replacing it with a touch of a Dylan-esque vibe. The content lives up to the title, as Young drawls lazily about self-obsession and a lost generation.
Music in the News... It's been a dramatic week for Justin Bieber, after he was accused of assaulting a photographer, busted his hip on tour and then, to top it off, walked into a glass wall and briefly lost consciousness. His beliebers can rest assured, there's no permanent damage.
Plan B's new movie 'Ill Manors' was released last week and the rapper turned filmmaker reveals that the film almost never made it to completion, following a break-in at the studio where it was made.
Seven songs to take you to victory, or seven songs to dry your eyes to.
Idris Elba has unveiled his new indie imprint 7Wallace Music.
It's that time of year again. 'Today we celebrate our Independence Day!'
We could watch this guy all day.