Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine goes on anti-mask rant at New Jersey concert

“Listen, it starts with this kind of a sensation that we build right now. We feel together, we feel like [there’s] strength in numbers. We feel like we are invincible. People will not be able to stop us.”

He continued: “Right now, what’s going on is tyranny. This is called tyranny. Look it up when you get home. And tyranny isn’t only in government. Tyranny right now is in the schools and tyranny is in the medical business.

“We have the power, especially us … heavy metal fans, we have the power to change things.”

The frontman previously confirmed Megadeth’s 16th studio album will be called ‘The Sick, The Dying And The Dead’.

A release date for the album has not yet been confirmed.

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Meanwhile, Megadeth will perform at Slipknot’s upcoming one-day festival, Knotfest Iowa 2021.

Set to take place at the National Balloon Classic Field in Indianola, IA on September 25, Megadeth will join the likes of Faith No MoreLamb Of God, and of course Slipknot on the line-up.

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Deaf mothers win legal case against Little Mix concert promoters

But Ms Reynolds instructed lawyers to apply for a court injunction to force the promoter to provide a BSL interpreter.

Whilst an interpreter was provided for the Little Mix show, she was not present for the warm up acts.

Ms Reynolds told the BBC in 2018 that she “felt that we were really part of the Little Mix experience,” but that the group “missed out” on the first two acts.

Little Mix at the BRITs – Credit: Getty

“It was very much a disparity of experience compared with everyone else,” she added.

LHG issued the following statement in response at the time: “We received a request from Sally Reynolds to supply an interpreter. We consulted with her recommended agency and agreed to provide the professional interpreter of her choice for the Little Mix show. This included specific staging and lighting, and a set list in advance.”

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Now a judge has rejected the promoter’s claim that there was insufficient time to deal with the issues which arose, reports BBC News.

District Judge Ian Avent said it was “slightly surprising” LHG Live, which has changed its name to Live in the UK, had not previously been asked to provide a BSL interpreter at a concert.

He said: “A considerably greater concern was the fact that Live appeared to have given no thought whatsoever to the possibility of deaf people attending one of their concerts and, therefore, to have given any consideration to what reasonable adjustments might need to be made.”

The promoter viewed Ms Reynolds’ request “more as a nuisance than something which they should have been proactively pursuing”, Judge Avent added.

He found that it sought to impose solutions in a “rather high-handed manner” and in a “vacuum of ignorance and understanding” as to any of the women’s disabilities and needs.

Following the ruling the women were awarded damages of £5,000 each for injury to feelings.

The NME has contacted the promoters for comment.

Meanwhile, Little Mix recently announced details of a new greatest hits album titled ‘Between Us’.

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Lars Ulrich on a new Metallica album: “We’re on that path”

He continued: “We’re engaged. And we are creating at some level. It’s way too early to talk about a record or a timeline or anything. But we’re staying busy. And it’s exciting to just think of the possibilities.

“Right now we’re so rejuvenated and just ready to get back in.”

Lars Ulrich (L) and Jason Newsted of Metallica perform during day three of the band’s 30th Anniversary shows at The Fillmore on December 9, 2011 in San Francisco. CREDIT: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

Back in July, guitarist Kirk Hammett had talked up the new Metallica album’s arrival, saying he hopes it will “cut through the division” in the world.

The band have been working on new music during the coronavirus pandemic, with James Hetfield confirming that the band wrote 10 songs together over Zoom in quarantine.

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Yesterday it was confirmed that Metallica will headline the first-ever German edition of Download Festival when it takes place in 2022.

The inaugural Download Festival Germany will take place at the motor racing circuit Hockenheimring in the Rhine valley on June 24 next year. Also confirmed for the line-up so far are Nevada band Five Finger Death Punch and Swedish power metal outfit Sabaton.

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Alt-J tease new release ‘U&ME’ arriving next week

Last year members of Alt-J, as well as various other musicians, contributed to a Bob Dylan cover in aid of the MusiCares and Help Musicians UK coronavirus relief funds.

The band said they were “really happy to be involved in this project,” adding: “It’s lovely to get to play music with musicians on the same label as us; some of whom we know, some of whom we don’t.”

In a four-star review of Alt-J’s last album, NME wrote: “‘Relaxer’ flits between two sides. Sweet romanticism – the lyric “I just want to love you in my own language”, the decision to have the group’s girlfriends sampled – is juxtaposed with the unsettling cover art of what appears to be a bloodied murder victim. This shouldn’t be all that surprising from a band that once made a video about killing one’s partner in the bath.

“By the time you get to the cinematic, religion-nodding album closer ‘Pleader’, you’ve had the pleasure – if an often uneasy one – of listening to a tight 40 minutes of music that builds a very modern wall of sound. Great album, if not entirely relaxing.”

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Nicki Minaj hits back at White House after they deny invitation claims

“As we have with others, we offered a call with Nicki Minaj and one of our doctors to answer questions she has about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine,” a White House official said in a statement via Newsweek.

Now Minaj has taken to her Instagram stories to hit back claiming that she was invited to the White House.

The White House has invited me & I think it’s a step in the right direction. Yes, I’m going. I’ll be dressed in all pink like Legally Blonde so they know I mean business. I’ll ask questions on behalf of the ppl who have been made fun of for simply being human. #BallGate day 3 https://t.co/PSa3WcEjH3

— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 15, 2021

“We’d like to offer Nicki an invitation to come to the White House to speak with two people,” she said, before recalling that one person was Dr. Fauci and the other was the surgeon general.

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A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj)

“You know what I said? I said, ‘Well, I would rather not have to travel, can we do something like a Live,’ and they said that they’re open to me choosing a platform to do a Live, but they never have taken that off the table for me to come to the White House.”

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It comes after the rapper hit the headlines this week after claiming in a tweet on Monday (September 13) that her cousin’s friend in Trinidad had been left impotent after being vaccinated against the virus. “His testicles became swollen,” she added.

Since Minaj’s comments, a host of health officials have debunked her claims, with comedians and entertainment figures satirising the comments.

In a press conference yesterday (September 15), the Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh, Trinidad & Tobago’s Minister of Health, said the country’s officials had looked into Minaj’s claims.

“It is, as far as we know, at this point in time – there has been no such reported either side effect or adverse event,” he said, while Dr Anthony Fauci refuted Minaj’s claims, telling CNN that “there’s no evidence […] nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would” cause fertility issues in men or women.

The UK’s Professor Chris Whitty also said the rapper “should be ashamed of herself” for spreading misinformation.

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Sharon Osbourne says death threats were made against her family after leaving ‘The Talk’

In a new interview with Daily Mail TV (per Consequence), Sharon said she went through “three months of therapy” to overcome the trauma of receiving the death threats.

“I had ketamine treatment and I got it all out. All the tears and everything that I felt, you know. All of that, it’s gone,” she said. “I definitely went through a difficult patch at the beginning. I found it embarrassing. The humiliation that people would think that I might be a racist.”

Sharon Osbourne. CREDIT: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Sharon went on to detail the death threats that she and her family received since the controversy began. “They were going to kill the family,” she explained. “They were going to come at night with knives, cut all our throats and the animals. So I had all of that, all the threats, and we had to have 24 hour guards.”

She added: “It’s like, listen, ‘It’s about me, not about [Ozzy], not about my kids. Anything you got to say about me, I can take it. Do not start on my family.’ I mean, you can’t get any lower.”

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Sharon also offered an update on Ozzy’s Parkinson’s disease. “He’s fine, he’s got it under control,” she said. “It breaks your heart that he wants to get back. He misses his friends, his musicians, they’re his partners. He misses that life.”

Touching on the forthcoming biopic exploring her relationship with Ozzy – including “all the fights, all the make-ups, all the fights, all the arrests, all the everything” – Sharon added that she would like an unknown actor to play Ozzy.

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Kehlani shares cinematic video for ‘Altar’ ahead of new album ‘Blue Water Road’

The video for ‘Altar’ features much of the imagery shown in the album teaser, showing Kehlani with a bloody and bandaged leg, and later dancing around a house in the countryside. “So I put you on the altar, stay just a little bit longer/ Laid it out for ya’, thought I felt you before/ Now you’re closer,” she sings on the track.

Watch the full clip below.

 

Earlier this year, Kehlani discussed the idea of privilege while coming out as a lesbian. “Wanna know what’s new about me?” the singer asked in an Instagram Live video alongside photographer Jamie-Lee B. “I finally know I’m a lesbian.

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“I think a lot of artists who we talk about and say, ‘Oh, they had to come out or they had to do this,’ a lot of them can’t hide it,” she said. “A lot of it is very [much] in how they present. It’s tougher for them. It’s tougher for trans artists. It’s tougher for Black gay men. It’s tougher for Black masculine gay women.”

The singer was also called on by Nicki Minaj with a view to working on new music together alongside a number of other artists last week, including Jhené Aiko.

Kehlani’s second album ‘It Was Good Until It Wasn’t’ came out last May. In a three-star review of the album, NME wrote: “It’s understandable for an artist to want to change their sound, but the problem with ‘It Was Good Until It Wasn’t’ is that it loses sight of the sheer brilliance Kehlani has demonstrated on previous releases.

“The dark and sexy new songs shine their brightest when coated with a layer of her previous sparkle; which makes the artist’s second album a fine but frustrating release.”

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Bring Me The Horizon tell us about the addiction-tackling “future emo” of new single ‘DiE4u’

“I’m tackling the song as if this unhealthy obsession I have is a relationship – almost like a mistress,” said Sykes. “I’ve learned over the past year while I’ve been recovering that when you’re in it, addiction is like you’re having an affair. You’re doing this thing behind everyone’s back, it’s a secret and it feels like you’re cheating and betraying people. I never saw it in that way. I just thought I was harming myself and not other people. I didn’t realise how much it can fuck up people’s trust.

He continued: “This song is triumphant for me in a way because it’s me finally accepting that I’m not someone who can drink alcohol, smoke weed or do any of these things because I just have a problem with it and it always goes down the same road. That’s not something that I’ve been able to admit to myself. This song is a defiant stamp of me saying, ‘No, I’m making a choice now. I can’t keep doing this for the rest of my life because it’s only going to end up one way’.”

Sykes also explained how this theme fed into more new material. “The topic of the next record is going to be about how as I’m getting older, to ask what are the life lessons that I’ve learned?” he said. “What can I give to the next generation or younger people looking up and listening to us? What is it that I can teach? What are the truths I need to learn and accept myself?

On a more macrocosmic level, Sykes said that the idea of self-worth also allowed for the song to relate to environmental issues too.

“With the things that we do, are they worth losing our livelihoods for, our quality of life or the planet?,” he said. “Before we can change the world, we’ve got to change ourselves. Before we can have compassion for other creatures, we’ve all got to find compassion for ourselves. That’s not something I had for myself. So many people are in this place where they don’t think they’re good enough or worth better.

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“Even though this song is quite personal, it can also mean something on a bigger scale if you can conquer that part of your life.”

With ‘DiE4u’ retaining BMTH’s trademark heaviness but driven by what could perhaps be their most pop-driven sound yet, Sykes explained how the rest of the upcoming record would be exploring these two extremes.

“As we’ve evolved since [2013 album] ‘Sempiternal’, we kept pushing ourselves with more mainstream tracks that took us into arenas,” he said. “Like with a lot of rock bands, when you start doing that you’re so focussed on making more palatable music that you naturally start watering down what you do as well. The screaming goes, the heaviness goes and you’re more focussed on that.

“Everyone does it. You’re so into pushing yourself musically that rarely does a band carry on retaining their extreme parts. I thought, ‘What would it be like if we did that? If [our music] still had the intensity and heaviness of our older stuff but we’re still pushing ourselves in similar ways of [2019 album] ‘amo’ – in terms of making the melodies really pop. That’s what I love about music, and that’s where we’ve divided fans.

Sykes went on: “I come from a heavy background and rock music was my first obsession, but at the same time I’ve always loved pop music. How do we blend those two worlds completely and not just make pop-y rock music but make extreme pop music? That was the goal of this record.”

Bring Me The Horizon return with new single ‘DiE4u’. Credit: Press

Ultimately, Sykes revealed that their next EP would see them chasing “more contemporary melodies” to find a sound influenced by the emerging hyper-pop scene to create what he describes as “future emo”.

“Pop music and music in general has evolved so much over the last five years,” he told NME. “Melodies are a lot more intricate and a lot quicker. They’re more obscure than they used to be and you can’t really put your finger on what the next huge song is going to be. Whereas ‘POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR’ was definitely very nu-metal-influenced, this one is very emo.”

He continued: “That was a challenge in itself – to take those kinds of influences and make them feel modern and contemporary; not just some throwback shit. For ‘SURVIVAL HORROR’, it was a little bit easier to do because it’s what we do anyway. We knew we wanted to reinvent ourselves for each record. I got into rock music through nu-metal and Linkin Park. With emo and screamo and American hardcore, bands like Blood Brothers, Norma Jean and Glassjaw were how I got completely obsessed with it. That’s what we wanted to pay homage to with this next record. Making it feel contemporary and modern was much more of a challenge than last time.

Sykes added: “It’s hard to not make it feel like some weird, old, crap music. We were doing stuff that sounded like My Chemical Romance and vampire emo bands. It took us a while to get the balance right until we had something that feels emo as fuck but super contemporary. We had this term ‘future emo’ in our heads, plus we were taking a lot of inspiration from this shit that’s popping up called ‘hyper-pop’.

“We wanted to take some of that intensity, craziness and the unhinged-ness of that world and bleed it into our song. It took a little while, but now that we’ve got that first song we know what direction we’re heading in.”

Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes (Picture: Zoe McConnell for NME)

‘DiE4U’ comes with a cinematic video shot in the Ukraine – telling a small part of a longer story that Sykes hopes to continue either through more videos or perhaps even a comic series. Beyond that and their upcoming live shows, Bring Me will be hard at work on the rest of the ‘POST HUMAN’ EP series – with three more in the pipeline.

“I know what I want [the whole project] to do,” Sykes added. “We’ve got a clear direction that the third one will take, and also the fourth one. All I’ll say is that it’s quite asymmetrical and the fourth one is going to be quite a curveball.

“Each one is going to pay a homage to the music we listened to growing up, the music we were and the music we are.”

Watch our full video interview above, where Sykes also tells NME about what to expect from their upcoming live shows, and plans to tour in an environmentally friendly way.

‘DiE4u’ is out now. Bring Me The Horizon’s UK tour kicks off this weekend. Check out tour dates below.

SEPTEMBER 2021

20 – Hull, Bonus Arena
21 – Glasgow, The SSE Hydro
22 – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
24 – Sheffield, FlyDSA Arena
25 – Birmingham, Utilita Arena
26 – London The O2 Arena

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Gen Z buy more vinyl than millennials, new study finds

It comes after sales of vinyl records in the UK in 2020 were the highest on record since the early 1990s.

The figures by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) revealed that nearly one in five (18 per cent) of all albums purchased last year were vinyl, with 4.8 million LPs being purchased. The new numbers were up on 2019’s figures, and the highest since the Britpop boom of the early 1990s.

Lana Del Rey; Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters; Celeste. CREDIT: Jim Dyson/Getty Images; Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia; Rodolfo Sassano / Alamy Stock Photo

Campaigns such as LoveRecordStoresRecord Store Day and National Album Day also helped rally sales for independent record shops and specialist chains.

Last year also saw vinyl outsell CDs for the first time since the 1980s. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), vinyl contributed a staggering $232 million (£181 million) to total physical sales of $376 million (£278 million) in the first half of 2020.

Meanwhile, the best selling vinyl sales in the UK in the early part of 2021 saw Lana Del Rey‘s ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club‘ top the list with 17,300 copies, according to Official Charts‘ year-to-date vinyl albums chart.

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Foo Fighters‘ ‘Medicine At Midnight‘, came in second, with Bicep‘s ‘Isles‘ at number three.

Celeste‘s debut album ‘Not Your Muse‘ came in at number four, followed by Arlo ParksMercury Prize winning debut ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams‘ at number five.

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Trinidad & Tobago Health Minister shuts down Nicki Minaj’s vaccine claims

“And what was sad about this is that it wasted our time yesterday, trying to track down, because we take all these claims seriously, whether it’s on social media or mainstream media. As we stand now, there is absolutely no reported such side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad or, I dare say, anywhere else. None that we know of anywhere else in the world.”

Previously, Dr Anthony Fauci refuted Minaj’s claims, telling CNN that “there’s no evidence […] nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would” cause fertility issues in men or women.

The UK’s Professor Chris Witty also told the rapper she “should be ashamed of herself” for spreading misinformation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: “I am not as familiar with the works of Nicki Minaj as I probably should be. But I am familiar with Nikki Kanani, a superstar GP of Bexley who has appeared many times before you, who will tell you vaccines are wonderful and everybody should get them. That’s why I prefer to listen to Nikki Kanani.”

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Minaj later responded to Johnson, saying: “I love him even tho I guess this was a diss? The accent ugh! Yassss boo!!!”

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IDLES offer free tickets to NHS workers for huge Cornwall gig

A maximum of two tickets per person can be applied for via Tickets For Good.

The band’s gig was originally postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Original tickets remain valid for this weekend’s new date and any remaining tickets can be purchased here. The band will be supported by Spectres and Black Honey.

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As a condition of entry for all Eden Sessions shows, the venue will be introducing COVID status checks upon arrival.

Before entry to the venue, all ticketholders aged 11 and over will be required to demonstrate their COVID status in one of the following ways:

  • Proof they have completed a full course of vaccination (at least 14 days before the show)
  • Proof they have received a negative PCR or lateral flow test result (within 48 hours of the start of the Session)
  • Proof they have natural immunity based upon a positive PCR test (within 180 days of the show, but following the 10-day self-isolation period)

You can find out more information on The Eden Project’s COVID entry requirements here.

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This isn’t the first time IDLES have offered NHS workers free tickets to their shows. In July, the band announced that they’d be making 2,000 tickets available for free to local NHS workers for their show at Bristol’s Clifton Downs which took place earlier this month.

Meanwhile, IDLES have been announced as one of the main headliners of Creation Day Festival 2022.

The festival is being curated by Creation Records co-founder Alan McGee, and had been set to debut this year before coronavirus-enforced restrictions forced its cancellation.

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Dave Grohl reflects on writing a book in ‘The Storyteller’ trailer

“When the lockdown happened, I suddenly had nothing to do. I never have nothing to do. I’ve always been creatively restless. So I spent my time writing these short stories for an Instagram page, @davestruestories. And in doing that, I fell in love with writing. I thought, ‘You know what, maybe I’ll just write a book’, without realising how gargantuan of a project it would be.”

The Foo Fighters frontman continued to say that the biggest challenge he faced when collating the book was narrowing down what stories to include. “I could write an entire book about the band Scream,” he said. “I could write an entire book about my time in Nirvana. The idea was to choose the stories that best described what it’s like to be behind the curtain and on the inside of the music, from the drum stool looking out.

“To play music, have this beautiful family, travel the world, meet people from all walks of life – I never take any of this for granted, believe me. I’m so proud that I wrote this book and I hope that you enjoy it.” Watch the trailer above now.

In an excerpt shared last month, Grohl detailed how he became a punk. “I was now determined to begin my new life as a punk rocker,” he wrote in the passage, telling a story of an experience that led him to punk music and into adult life.

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“I had finally shed that outer layer of fragile adolescent insecurity and begun to grow a new skin, one that would form into my true self, and I couldn’t wait to show it to the world.”

Meanwhile, in a new interview, the musician hinted at the direction that Foo Fighters’ next album could go in. “Every album that we’ve made is a response to the one we made before,” he said. “So now there are whispers of making an insane prog-rock record.”

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Dionne Warwick says she wants to get in the studio with Taylor Swift

She then adding Swift to her list of superstar collaborations, saying: “I’ll be speaking to them about how they feel about going into the studio with me.”

Dionne Warwick. CREDIT: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Of her Chance The Rapper collaboration, believed to be called ‘Nothing’s Impossible’, Warwick divulged: “[We] recorded a duet and it’s lovely. It probably won’t be out until the first of the year, [we’re] getting it ready now.”

Last year, Warwick roasted both Chance and The Weeknd on Twitter. “Hi, @chancetherapper,” she wrote in one tweet. “If you are very obviously a rapper why did you put it in your stage name? I cannot stop thinking about this.”

“I will be whatever you wanna call me Ms. Warwick,” Chance said. “God bless you.”

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Of The Weeknd, she said: “The Weeknd is next. Why? It’s not even spelled correctly?” The star replied: “I just got roasted by Dionne Warwick and I feel honoured! You just made my day.”

In an interview after Warwick’s viral moment, Chance said: “She shouted me out on Twitter, and I freaked out for a while, and I hit her back, and then she started contacting me in real life.”

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Bugzy Malone found not guilty in 2018 assault case

The ‘M.E.N’ rapper said: “You know you are going into a volatile situation. I was nervous driving back.”

Upon his arrival home, Malone said he saw Potter with two men “in what was clearly a confrontation”. “I jumped out of the car and ran over to the confrontation and straight to Paul. I was concerned the men were going to do something to Paul,” he told the court.

He continued: “I then asked Paul ‘Are these the guys who broke into the house?’ and, as I said that, one of the men had come towards me – he was kind of on a side angle to me – and he threw his arms in front of him.

“I stepped back as he stepped towards me and, reflex really, I hit him.”

Bugzy Malone. CREDIT: Ryan Saradjola

Malone said the man he hit fell into his neighbour’s van and then onto the ground. “His friend came round the back of the van and was clearly attacking me, and I hit him.”

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He added: “It all happened very quickly. The closer I got to the situation I could tell these guys were not interested in talking.” Malone said he did not inflict any other injuries to the men.

Prosecutors argued that the rapper was consumed by rage and broke the men’s jaws as “retribution” after wrongly believing they were attempting to break into his home.

One witness told the court they saw Malone kick the man on the ground’s head “like a football”.

The incident occurred after a teenage girl – who cannot be named due to legal reasons – said she called her parents from the nearby black pudding throwing festival and requested to be picked up, because she and her friends were allegedly being chased by Malone. She added that she saw a boy climb Malone’s fence and shouted the rapper’s name.

The court heard that the teenage girl’s father, a family friend, and the boy’s father went to Malone’s house to get his side of the story.

The boy’s father threw a brick at the gates to Malone’s house, before forcing his way into the courtyard, the court heard. The rest of the group walked away before encountering Malone. The man who threw the brick has since been convicted of causing criminal damage.

Malone denied chasing the teenagers in his car, saying he did not mean to scare them but rather “motivate them” to stay away from his home.

Malone’s not guilty verdict was a unanimous decision, after which he was discharged from the dock following a week long trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Last year, Malone was hospitalised after crashing his motorcycle into the side of a car in Bury, Greater Manchester.

CCTV from a nearby home showed the moment an Audi reportedly pulled out of a T-junction, with the rapper unable to stop his bike as he ploughed into the driver’s door.

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Mac Miller’s 2014 mixtape ‘Faces’ coming to streaming for first time

“The track felt very visual to me – like it had its own world,” Mason said of the video. “This atmospheric nighttime place that was sometimes dangerous, sometimes comforting, then I saw a picture of [Mac Miller’s dog] Ralph and a story emerged.

“To build it out I asked Malcolm’s family to send me bits and pieces from his childhood, scenes from the town where he grew up, objects, toys from his room – little pieces of his life that I extrapolated outwards and used to inspire the story. In the abstract, it’s meant to be a video about childhood – growing up as an artist and the highs and lows of that experience. It’s sort of a look at the emotional and difficult and perilous but noble path of an artist.”

Watch the video for ‘Colors And Shapes’ below:

‘Faces’ will be made available on vinyl and to stream on October 15. You can pre-order it here and see the original tracklist below.

‘Inside Outside’
‘Here We Go’
‘Friends’ (featuring Schoolboy Q)
‘Angel Dust’ (featuring King Ralph of Malibu)
‘Malibu’
‘What Do You Do’ (featuring Sir Michael Rocks)
‘It Just Doesn’t Matter’
‘Therapy’
‘Polo Jeans’ (featuring Earl Sweatshirt and Ab-Soul)
‘Happy Birthday’
‘Wedding’
‘Funeral’
‘Diablo’
‘Ave Maria’
’55’ (featuring Thundercat)
‘San Francisco’
‘Colors And Shapes’
‘Insomniak’ (featuring Rick Ross)
‘Uber’ (featuring Mike Jones)
‘Rain’ (featuring Vince Staples)
‘Apparition’
‘Thumbalina’
‘New Faces v2’ (featuring Earl Sweatshirt and Dash)
‘Grand Finale’

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Mac Miller (real name Malcolm McCormick) died on September 7, 2018 at the age of 26. A coroner’s report later revealed his cause of death to be “mixed drug toxicity”, with fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol found in his system at the time of his death.

Meanwhile, Vince Staples has revealed that Mac Miller refused to take royalties from him for one of the early projects they worked on together.

During a recent appearance on N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s Drink Champs podcast, Staples opened up about how the late rapper inspired him to take rap much more seriously after they were introduced by Earl Sweatshirt.

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Parcels announce second album ‘Day/Night’

The record will be comprised of 19 tracks, including previous singles ‘Free’, ‘Comingback’, and the track ‘Somethinggreater’. In a press release, the band said of the latter: “In early 2020, Noah [Hill, bassist] showed us a demo that contained a chorus line that had us all particularly excited. It had an anthem-like quality and felt really fitting to what we were channelling through the albums.

“We jammed out the track in our rehearsal room in Berlin and fell upon the chorus groove all at once, a special instantaneousness that seems to be only achieved in a live jam, and as a result, we proceeded to play it for hours.

It continued: “Anatole [‘Toto’ Serret, drummer] began to cry with the tears that usually come from when you are lost in a nightclub, alas, we felt we had hit something really special. With the song’s clear message of search and discovery, it felt absolutely right to record ‘Somethinggreater’ first upon entering La Frette studios.”

Themes set to be tackled on ‘Day/Night’ include opposing ideas of identity and anonymity, family and independence, belonging and isolation, nostalgia and projection, and more.

The album will be released on November 5 via Because Music. The tracklist for ‘Day/Night’ is as follows:

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Day

‘LIGHT’
‘Free’
‘Comingback’
‘Theworstthing’
‘Inthecity (Interlude)’
‘NowIcaresomemore’
‘Somethinggreater’
‘Daywalk’
‘Outside’

Night 

‘SHADOW’
‘Neverloved’
‘Famous’
‘Icallthishome’
‘LordHenry’
‘Thefear’
‘Nightwalk’
‘Reflex’
‘Once’
‘Inside’

In 2018, NME awarded Parcels’ debut album five stars, saying: “In a time when new acts are pressured into releasing as much music as possible, it’s commendable that Parcels have taken control of their destiny with a project that’s well-thought-out and engaging from start-to-finish. It feels both timely and from a different era – a very rare feat.”

Since that record’s release, the five-piece band have also put out a live album, called ‘Live Vol. 1’, which was recorded live on tape at the iconic Hansa Studio in Berlin. Before that, they also shared the EP ‘IknowhowIfeel’.

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Lana Del Rey, U2, Fleetwood Mac lead Record Store Day Black Friday releases

See the full list of Record Store Day Black Friday releases below:

A Place To Bury Strangers – ‘Hologram – Destroyed & Reassembled (Remix Album)’ LP
Aerosmith – ‘1971 – The Road Starts Hear’ LP
All Them Witches – ‘Live On The Internet’ 3x LP
Angelo Badalamenti – ‘Blue Velvet – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition)’ LP
Belle and Sebastian – ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister (25th Anniversary Edition)’ LP
Ben Watt – ‘Storm Shelter’ 12”
Ben Watt – ‘Storm Shelter’ CD
Big Brother & The Holding Company – ‘Combination Of The Two: Live at the Monterey International Pop Festival’ LP
Bill Evans – ‘You Must Believe In Spring’ LP
Blackberry Smoke – ‘STONED’ LP
Bobby Rush – ‘Chicken Heads 50th Anniversary’ 12” single
The Boo Radleys – ‘A Full Syringe And Memories Of You’ 12” EP
Carole King – ‘In Concert, Live at the BBC, 1971’ LP
Chet Baker – ‘Albert’s House’ LP
Chick Corea & Lionel Hampton – ‘Live At Midem (Remastered)’ LP
Cranes – ‘EP Collection Volumes 1 & 2’ 3x LP (Coloured Vinyl)
Crobot – ‘Rat Child’ fluorescent green 12”, one-sided etched disc
Crosby & Nash – ‘Wind On The Water (Remastered)’ LP

RZA, 2021. Credit: Press.

Dave Davies – ‘Kinked’ LP
Dire Straits – ‘Encores’ 12” EP
Dusty Springfield – ‘The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971’ 2x LP
Émoi – ‘Willy’s Wonderland (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)’ 2x colour LP
Evanescence – ‘Evanescence’ LP
Fleetwood Mac – ‘The Alternate Live’ 2x LP
Ghostpoet – ‘Dark Days + Canapes’ LP
Grateful Dead – ‘Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA 3/1/1969’ 3x LP
The Grouch – ‘Show You The World’ 3x LP
Hall & Oates – ‘The Philly Tapes’ LP
High Pulp – ‘Mutual Attraction Vol. 3’ LP
The Jacka – ‘Tear Gas’ 2x LP
Jackson Conti – ‘Sujinho’ 2x LP
Jan Akkerman – ’75’ 2x LP
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit – ‘Georgia Blue’ 2x LP
Jay Wheeler – ‘La Curiosidad’ 12” single
The Jim Carroll Band – ‘Catholic Boy (Deluxe)’ LP
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – ‘Paris 1967’ LP
Joe Strummer – ‘Johnny Appleseed’ 12” EP
John Carpenter – ‘Ghost Of Mars’ LP

Joe Strummer. CREDIT: Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns

John Hicks Trio – ‘Is That So?’ 2x LP
John Powell – ‘How To Train Your Dragon – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’ LP
Kali Uchis – ‘Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞’ LP|
Lana Del Rey – ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club’ LP
Leonard Cohen – ‘Songs Of Love & Hate’ LP
Little Feat – ‘Electrif Lycanthrope: Live at Ultra-Sonic Studios, 1974’ 2x LP
Little Feat – ‘Electrif Lycanthrope: Live at Ultra-Sonic Studios, 1975’ CD
Lou Reed and Kris Kristofferson – ‘The Bottom Line Archive Series: In Their Own Words: With Vin Scelsa’ 3x LP
Louis Armstrong – ‘Original Grooves: A Gift To Pops’ 12” LP
Magma – ‘BBC 1974 Londres’ 2x LP
Matata – ‘Independence’ LP
Maxwell – ‘Now’ LP
Michael Kamen – ‘Iron Giant’ LP
Miles Davis – ‘Live – Evil’ 2x LP
Mobb Deep – ‘Free Agents’ 2x LP
Motörhead – ‘The Lost Tapes Vol. 1 (Live In Madrid 1995)’ 2x LP
Mr. Big – ‘Lean Into It’ LP
The Munsters – ‘At Home With The Munsters’ LP
Nancy Wilson – ‘You And Me’ 2x LP
Nick Lowe – ‘Wireless World’ transparent green with black swirl LP

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Kali Uchis (Picture: Jora Frantzis / Press)

Olamide – ‘Carpe Diem’ LP
Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘Renditions I’ 10”
Os Brazoes – ‘Os Brazoes’ LP
Ozzy Osbourne – ‘No More Tears’
Rich Brian – ‘Amen’ 2x LP
Rob Dickinson – ‘Fresh Wine For The Horses’ 2x expanded and limited red and yellow ‘seahorse’ vinyl edition LP
Roy Buchanan – ‘The Prophet – The Unreleased First Polydor Album’ 2x orange and black ‘fire’ vinyl edition LP
RZA as Bobby Digital – ‘Digital Bullet’ 2x LP
Saigon Kick – ‘The Lizard’ limited reptilian green marble vinyl edition LP
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – ‘My Little Shop Of Horrors’ LP
Shakin’ Stevens – ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ 12” single
Shocking Blue – ‘At Home – The Singles’ 10”
Smith/Kotzen – ‘Better Days’ 12” EP
Sons of Kemet – ‘African Cosmology’ 12” LP
The Staple Singers – ‘The Twenty-Fifth Day Of December’ LP
Stray Cats – ‘Live At Rockpalast’ 3x LP
Tank & The Bangas – ‘The BIG Outside’ 12” single
Thelonious Monk – ‘Monk’s Music (Stereo Mix, Remastered)’ LP
Thundercat – ‘The Golden Age Of Apocalypse (10 Year Anniversary Edition)’ LP
Tink – ‘A Gift And A Curse’ LP
Todd Rundgren – ‘Healing 40th Anniversary’ 2x LP plus 7”
Tricky – ‘Blowback’ LP
U2 – ‘Gloria (40th Anniversary)’ 12”
Various – ‘Tickets For Doomsday: Heavy Psychedelic Funk, Soul, Ballads & Dirges 1970-1975’ LP
Various – ‘You Got The Power: Cameo Parkway Northern Soul 1964-1967’ 2x LP
Various – ‘You Can’t Sit Down: Cameo Parkway Dance Crazes’ 2x LP
Various – ‘Americana Railroad’ 2x LP

You can find out more information on the official Record Store Day website.

The standard Record Store Day event took place across two months, June 12 and July 17, this year, with 250 stores across the UK taking part. The latter increased vinyl LP sales in July above 100,000 units.

In July, the owner of HMV said the chain of record stores would “love to play a part in Record Store Day”. “There are plenty of areas in the UK where our participation in Record Store Day would be advantageous to those people, because we’ve got stores in a lot of places where there aren’t independent shops,” Managing Director Phil Halliday added.

“I think it would be great for the [music] fan if we were part of Record Store Day. The Canadian stores participate and it is something that we would like to do.”

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Watch the trailer for Coldplay’s archive ‘Amsterdam Sessions’ performance from 2000

The intimate live performance sees Coldplay playing such tracks as ‘Trouble’, ‘Don’t Panic’, ‘Shiver’ and ‘Yellow’. Footage of the 2000 performance has never been seen outside of the Netherlands – and you can see a trailer for Coldplay’s ‘Amsterdam Sessions’ below.

In other Coldplay news, the band are set to release their BTS collaboration ‘My Universe’ on September 24.

The track will feature on Coldplay’s forthcoming new Max Martin-produced album ‘Music of the Spheres’, which is set for release on October 15.

“Thank you for listening, or coming to shows, or any way we have met through music,” the band said in a note to their fans when announcing ‘Music of the Spheres’.

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Coldplay will be among the acts that will perform live as part of Global Citizen Live later this month.

The charity gigs will take place in numerous cities across the world during a 24-hour broadcast and livestream on September 25.

The band will also play the opening show at the newly renamed Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington next month.

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2Pac’s nephew is an actor, but says he has no desire to play his legendary uncle

“It’s funny because there’s two pictures on my mother’s fridge in her house and one of them is me in Atlanta at a protest to the killing of Trayvon Martin, and the other is ‘Pac, a little bit over 18,” Malik said. “In the photo I think he’s [2Pac] in Baltimore or something and he’s at a protest … yeah he’s protesting Apartheid I think, and we look just alike. We’re making the same fist … I guess he gave me that bone in my body.”

He added: “When I hear stories like that about him being a card-carrying member of the communist party or I hear about him fighting apartheid before any celebrity … that’s really relatable to me now. These stories tell me what he felt was important to him back then.”

2Pac and Snoop Dogg. CREDIT: Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage

Besides his activism work and making music, 2Pac starred in numerous movies, most notably 1992 hip-hop classic JuicePoetic Justice, the 1993 film which co-starred Janet Jackson; and basketball film Above The Rim (1994).

Malik has starred in a couple of short films, including 2020 Sundance film Buck and this year’s Homegoing, however, he revealed he doesn’t want to use his acting talents to play his late uncle.

“I think there’s a lot of talented actors that could do that,” he said. “Well, at least a brother that looks a little bit more like him … but I would love to be a part of the process of writing that story. I think a huge thing me and my family talks about is being able to tell our own stories, especially when it comes to not only Pac but the Shakur family [as a whole].

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“So yeah, I’d love to be a part of that process, I just don’t know if I’d be the actor though.”

Meanwhile, Jada Pinkett Smith has shared a never-before-seen poem written by 2Pac in celebration of the late rapper’s 50th birthday earlier this year.

2Pac would have turned 50 on June 16, and Smith chose to share the poem, titled ‘Lost Soulz’, that he wrote while he was incarcerated.

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Joey Jordison was “shitting bricks” while performing with Metallica at Download 2004

“And Joey was shitting bricks. I mean, he [had] his mask on, but every time he’d come back and he would pull his mask off, he would just be, like, ‘How am I doing? How am I doing?’ I’m, like, ‘You’re fucking killing it.’

“Me, Paul [Gray], Clown, we were all standing there fucking cheering him on. And they ended up throwing different songs at him that they hadn’t rehearsed. They threw all the Misfits shit at him, and he fucking knew it. They would have probably kept him up there all night if they could have. He played the majority of the set.”

Taylor continued: “That, to me, was such a fucking amazing moment for him that it was cool to be back there sharing that with him.

“It was a special little fucking – almost like that’s the moment you know you’ve made it. You’re seeing this reflection of respect from arguably your biggest influence, your biggest peer. Them signing off on you like that had to have been fucking massive for him.”

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When Jordison passed away, Metallica shared a picture of James Hetfield playing alongside Jordison, with the caption: “R.I.P. brother…”

Jordison left Slipkot in 2013 later citing health reasons for his exit.

“I got really, really sick with a horrible disease called transverse myelitis, I lost my legs,” he told the audience at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in 2016.

“I couldn’t play anymore. It was a form of multiple sclerosis, which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I got myself back up, and I got myself in the gym and I got myself back in fucking therapy, to fucking beat this shit.”

Meanwhile, Taylor recently praised the impact of Metallica‘s ‘Enter Sandman’, saying the track was “our generation’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’.”

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New Guns N’ Roses song ‘Hard School’ reportedly “coming soon”

Yesterday (September 13), a photo of a Guns N’ Roses fan with Axl Rose was reportedly shared (per Blabbermouth) in a since deleted tweet, with the caption: “A fan met Axl Rose after the second Guns N’ Roses show in Atlantic City, NJ last night.”

It continued: “She said he invited her backstage and they had a beer together. She also said she asked him about Hard Skool. He played the song for her and said they are releasing it soon.”

Slash and Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses. CREDIT: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

If the track does get released, it will be the second new Guns N’ Roses record to be released in the last few weeks, following ‘Absurd’ – a reworked version of a previously unreleased song called ‘Silkworms’ – which arrived in August. The band debuted the new song during a show at Boston’s Fenway Park.

It came after Guns N’ Roses celebrated their return to the stage with a cover of The Stooges‘ debut single ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’.

The first date of the band’s much-delayed stadium tour of North America took place at Pennsylvania’s Hersheypark Stadium on July 31, performed to a reported capacity of 30,000.

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Meanwhile, Guns N’ Roses have hit a new milestone with their legendary single ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ reaching a billion streams on Spotify.

Taken from the band’s 1987 debut album, ‘Appetite For Destruction’, the record officially passed the one-billion-streams threshold on Spotify in August, more than 34 years after its release, according to Forbes.

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St. Vincent shares cinematic ‘The Nowhere Inn’ film title track

It is described as “a metafictional account of two creative forces banding together to make a documentary about St. Vincent’s music, touring life, and on-stage persona. But they quickly discover unpredictable forces lurking within subject and filmmaker that threaten to detail the friendship, the project, and the duo’s creative lives”.

A trailer for the film was released last month with St. Vincent saying: “Me and my bestie made a bananas art film…it was supposed to be a music doc but somewhere along the way, things went terribly wrong.”

Co-written and produced by – and starring – the two musicians, the collaborative project was first announced in April 2019 after the pair joined forces on a series of mock interview segments in promotion of St. Vincent’s 2017 album, ‘MASSEDUCTION’.

Meanwhile, St. Vincent recently kicked off her live shows in support of ‘Daddy’s Home’ in Portland, Maine.

The tour will hit the UK and Europe next year, in addition to previously announced festival appearances at Mad Cool in Madrid and NOS Alive in Lisbon. You can find the full dates here.

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Speaking to NME about what fans can expect from the shows, she said: “I’m thinking less in terms of digital and more in terms of practical – and I mean that in the theatre-craft sense.

“The band are so killer and at the end of a day it’s a show. In the past with what I’ve been it’s been like you might love it or might hate it but you won’t forget it. In this go-round, I want people to be like, ‘What the hell just happened to me?’ If people walk away going, ‘Oh, that was a nice show’ – then I’ve failed.”

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Eminem praises Jack Harlow during “special” phone call

“We didn’t get to meet, but we had a phone call that meant the world to me,” he told Billboard. “I haven’t shared it with the world yet, but I can’t wait until the world hears it. He gave me a lot of props that any artist would love to get.”

He continued: “Sometimes, the best gem is just somebody you admire, letting you know who you think you are. He let me know, ‘You’re that. You’re dope.’ I’ve waited a decade to hear that. So it was special.”

Elsewhere at the VMAs, Harlow took the stage with Lil Nas X for a performance of their recent collaboration ‘Industry Baby’.

For the set, Lil Nas X entered the stage with a full marching band behind him, before taking off his shirt and performing in front of a Montero Prison backdrop. Harlow joined him on stage for his verse after stepping out of a prison cell. Shortly before they wrapped up the performance, the track transitioned into ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’.

The performance comes days before the arrival of Lil Nas X’s debut album, ‘Montero’ on September 17. The 15-track LP will include the title track, ‘Industry Baby’ and ‘Sun Goes Down’. In addition to Harlow, the tracklist also features collaborations with Megan Thee Stallion, Elton John, Miley Cyrus and Doja Cat.

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Meanwhile, Harlow has explained why he stopped drinking alcohol in 2021, telling his fans he hasn’t had a single sip all year.

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Todd Rundgren says he was “frustrated” working with “dilettante” Kanye West on ‘DONDA’

“I didn’t mind working on his gospel stuff. If you want to sing about Jesus, go ahead, I don’t care. I’ll help ya do it, you know? If you want to sing about your troubles with your wife, go ahead and do it. I don’t care,” he said of the early sessions.

But over time Rundgren said he grew frustrated with West. “When it got into the homestretch in July, I just said, ‘That’s enough for me. I have no idea whether any of this is being used.’ You don’t get much feedback from him regarding what it is,” he told Ultimate Classic Rock.

“If I can contribute something, fine. If I can’t, just let me know. I’m out of here… There is a possibility that I’m actually in there somewhere. There’s so much junk in that record!”

Kanye West and Drake. CREDIT: Jeff Kravitz/Prince Williams/Getty Images.

He also criticised West for rush-releasing the album so he could release it before Drake‘s ‘Certified Lover Boy’.

“He was too afraid that Drake would one-up him, so he hurried up and released the album the weekend before Drake could get his out,” Rundgren added. “And in the end, Drake ate his lunch anyway.” ‘Certified Lover Boy’ outstreamed ‘DONDA’ in just three days in the US.

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He continued: “He’s just a dilettante at this point. Nobody would regularly make records like that unless they had stupid money to throw around. Nobody rents a stadium to make a record in. Nobody flies in the entire world of hip-hop just to croak one syllable, just so you can say that everybody was on it.”

Read NME‘s three-star review of West’s ‘DONDA’ here.

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Nicki Minaj told she “should be ashamed” by Chris Whitty over vaccine impotence tweet

According to the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is currently no evidence showing that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause problems with fertility in women or men.

When questioned about the claim at today’s (September 14) Downing Street press conference, Whitty said Minaj “should be ashamed”.

“There are a group of people who’ve got strange beliefs… and they make their own choices”

But people who try to discourage others from taking life-saving vaccines “should be ashamed," Prof Chris Whitty says

Latest: https://t.co/VLQcdlQXgi pic.twitter.com/adX5XUdyo2

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 14, 2021

“There are a number of myths that fly around, some of which are just clearly ridiculous and some of which are clearly designed just to scare. That happens to be one of them,” he said.

He also went on to say there are “people that go around trying to discourage other people from taking a vaccine which could be life-saving or prevent them from having life-changing injuries to themselves”.

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“Many of those people I regret to say will know they are pedalling untruths but they still do it,” he added. “In my view, they should be ashamed.”

Omfg. My #cousin who has #TheFriend just texted me telling me to call him. *Bites Nails* Ugh! You idiots!!! If he saw this on the news it’s all your fault!!! It was supposed to be a secret 🤐🥴😫.

If either of them ask, u ain’t heard it from me. Okay?

*stares @ text

😭😂

— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 14, 2021

I love him even tho I guess this was a diss? The accent ugh! Yassss boo!!!
😍😍😍😍😍😅😂🥴 https://t.co/kXdKteVc7j

— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 14, 2021

🇬🇧 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧 send this to the prime minister & let him know they lied on me. I forgive him. No one else. Only him. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/ZmJ2sST8Es

— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 14, 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson then said: “I am not as familiar with the works of Nicki Minaj as I probably should be. But I am familiar with Nikki Kanani, a superstar GP of Bexley who has appeared many times before you, who will tell you vaccines are wonderful and everybody should get them. That’s why I prefer to listen to Nikki Kanani.”

This prompted an immediate response from Minaj, who joked: “Omfg. My #cousin who has #TheFriend just texted me telling me to call him. *Bites Nails* Ugh! You idiots!!! If he saw this on the news it’s all your fault!!! It was supposed to be a secret Zipper-mouth faceWoozy faceTired face. If either of them ask, u ain’t heard it from me. Okay? *stares @ text.”

In response to Johnson’s response, she also added: “I love him even tho I guess this was a diss? The accent ugh! Yassss boo!!!”

The rapper then followed up with a separate tweet containing a jovial message and the caption: “Send this to the prime minister & let him know they lied on me. I forgive him. No one else. Only him.”

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Dave Grohl on Foo Fighters’ commercial appeal: “I don’t know if we’ve ever felt cool”

He went on to say that during the band’s earlier years he felt like he was fighting a perception that the Foos shouldn’t even exist, that it was somehow inappropriate to have another band after Nirvana.

“I was thinking, ‘It’s inevitable: People will not want me to do this.’ And there were people, even friends, that were offended,” Grohl revealed. “And I just thought, ‘How dare they? This is how I’m going to get through life!’

He added: “And then, I would sit in an interview, and they’d say, ‘With all the crashing cymbals and distorted guitars and the screaming, did you intentionally want to sound like Nirvana?’”

Foo Fighters at Madison Square Garden in June 2021. CREDIT: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

As different musical trends prevailed across the course of Foo Fighters’ career, before rock dropped out of mainstream favour, the band responded in different ways. When nu metal was on top, the Foos unleashed their most melodic album, 1999’s ‘There Is Nothing Left To Lose’.

“And then, all of a sudden, everyone’s got fucking skinny ties and listening to fucking Joy Division,” Grohl said. “Where do we fit into that? We don’t! We’re just the fucking dudes who make funny rock videos. Whaddayagonnado?”

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Last month, Foo Fighters announced a run of UK stadium shows for next summer. They’ll take to the stage in Manchester, Birmingham and London with rotating supporting acts St. VincentCourtney BarnettShame and more.

Speaking to NME about the Foos’ return to these shores, Dave Grohl said: “I’ve always loved playing the stadiums in the UK.

“It’s the first place we did a stadium of our own after we played that Live Earth benefit [at London’s Wembley Stadium in 2007] and then came back for a couple of nights at Wembley. That trip was our introduction to playing gigs that large.”

Meanwhile, on Sunday (September 12), Foo Fighters performed a medley of songs at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, where they were also were the recipients of the VMAs’ first Global Icon Award.

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James Righton on putting together ABBA’s new live band: “They had to be as good as the originals”

Speaking to NME, Righton explained how “trying not to say anything to anyone is quite hard when you’re working with such a legendary act like ABBA”. The multi-instrumentalist explained how he’d been part of the “amazingly well-kept secret” for two years ever since Johan Renck (who directed David Bowie’s videos for ‘Blackstar’ and ‘Lazarus’) got in touch and asked him to help out with the project.

“He gave me a call and said, ‘I’ve got this project that I’m working on’,” said Righton. “He said the word ‘ABBA’ and my jaw dropped. Whenever you hear an ABBA reunion rumour it just feels so unbelievable.”

Former Klaxon James Righton has been working with ABBA. Credit: Supplied by James Righton

From there, Righton was put in touch with producer Svana Gisla (who produced JAY-Z and Beyoncé’s On The Run Tour) and ABBA’s Benny Andersson before being tasked with helping to put together the live band for the project.

“I had to go through my mental memory bank of musicians that I’d played with or that I’d known,” Righton told NME. “I’ve been making music and involved in it for quite some time now, so I know a lot of musicians who’d be able to play this music. I had to put the feelers out very tentatively and confidentially for people who’d be up for the task of being in ABBA’s band.”

Asked about what it took to make the cut, Righton replied: “You not only have to be an incredible musician and professional, but you also need feel, character and groove. It’s really important to find a band of personalities and people with style. When you look back at ABBA footage from the ‘70s, they were always brilliant and had amazing players – like if you go see LCD Soundsystem now, for example.”

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He continued: “It was a challenge, but a fun one. I care as a fan of their band. If I was going to be a part of it, I wanted to get it right. This band had to step up as being as good as the original line-up.”

ABBA are back with new album and “revolutionary” live experience, ‘ABBA: VOYAGE’. CREDIT: Baillie Walsh

While remaining tight-lipped about who else was part of the band, Righton explained how Little Boots (real name Victoria Hesketh) was “perfect” for the role.

“I’ve known Vick since the start of Klaxons, and I’ve always known how much of a huge fan she is of ABBA’s music – but she can also play,” he said. “She’s a brilliant piano player and vocalist. When I put it to her, it was a no-brainer. She did amazingly at the audition, and the standard was really high. Benny and Bjorn were really impressed by the standard of the musicians.

He went on: “It was incredible to hear this band play for the first time and do these songs justice. To see Benny jump on synth and piano and play along – it was so moving. We did a rendition of ‘Eagle’ that went on for 30 minutes because it was so much fun and we didn’t want to stop.”

Would he be appearing on stage with the band at all?

“No, I don’t think I’m a good enough musician – to be honest!” Righton replied. “You have to be really good to play these songs, and that’s not the level I’m at. Maybe I’ll strum a few chords to something one night, but the band we’ve got are amazing.

Righton also explained how his love of ABBA ran deep, and only got deeper as his music career unfolded when the Mercury-winning Klaxons emerged in 2005.

“I remember when Klaxons had a MySpace, among our ‘likes’ were KLF, ABBA and some random choices,” he said. “I don’t know who hasn’t grown up listening to ABBA. You don’t have to have gone out and bought their records to know their songbook – it’s just part of our shared culture.

He continued: “Even the most muso or alternative-minded person probably has a soft spot for ABBA. Everyone knows the classics, but you can dig deep into their catalogue and find so many gems and interesting pieces of music with so much detail. If you like groove you’ve got disco, if like melody you’ve got tonnes of it, if you’re a geeky person who’s into production then you’ve got some of the most interesting sounds and different elements at work.

“You’ve got such a rich body of work to delve into. You get older, go deeper, find more gems, and get more into their songwriting process and production. Before I met the band, I was very much into their music and had gone into it.”

Describing the live production and stage show as “tasteful”, “ambitious” and “something that’s never been seen before”, Righton said it all added up to something that’s “about much more than a band getting back together” – but it hadn’t inspired him to reunite Klaxons.

“I’m really busy at the moment,” said Righton. “Every few years there’s a question about a reunion, and it’s never crossed my mind. I don’t know how I’d find the time. I also struggle to find the point right now, apart from some kind of memory lane thing?

“Going back to the ABBA reunion, it’s so amazing that they’ve come back with new material. It’s not like they’re trying to just flog nostalgia. There’s a relevance to what they’re doing. I have so much love and respect for the Klaxons guys and what we did as a band, but we did it. I don’t know how pleasing it would be.”

While making soundtracks for movies (including Simon Amstell’s Benjamin in 2019), Righton has also spent recent years working under the moniker of Shock Machine as well as releasing debut solo album ‘The Performer‘ last year and working with Soulwax members David and Stephen Dewaele for his recent dance single ‘Release Party‘ – which he described as a taste of things to come.

“I’ve made an album over the past year through lockdown, which actually started at the ABBA studio,” Righton revealed. “There are a couple of tracks from my forthcoming record that were made there. After our sessions, I asked Benny if I could mess around on his rare GX-1 synth and some songs came out of it.

“I made an album over the internet and Zoom with Dave and Stef the Soulwax guys. It was all made using interesting and weird analog synths and drums. It’s very strange electronic and references Japan and David Sylvain.”

He added: “I got into a good spot, creatively. I had a lot to say and the songs came very easily. It’ll be out on DEEWEE Records early next year, but I’m sure there will be more new music soon. ”

Check out NME‘s interview with the producers and directors on what to expect from the ABBA live show here, along with details on how long it might run for.

ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ concerts will run from May 27, 2022, following the accompanying album which will be released on November 5, 2021, on Universal Music. Visit here for tickets and more information.

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Lars Ulrich’s sons’ band Tapei Houston play first live show

The band opened for Earth guitarist Dylan Carlson and also played a bill that included Not A Friend and DJ Dove Armitage.

See a clip from Tapei Houston’s debut gig below.

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A post shared by Taipei Houston (@taipei_houston)

The group’s next show is on Wednesday (September 15) at The Mint in Los Angeles with Left Of The Slash, Zach Lewis, and Nautical Front.

They haven’t confirmed any firm dates for new music but they did tease on social media two weeks ago that they will put out “new music soon”.

Last April, Ulrich’s sons shared a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’, though not under the name Taipei Houston.

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Lars described the cover as an “insane, three-minute Blue Cheer, crazy, garage-rock version” to Rolling Stone. “You know what, boys? You done me proud,” the drummer added.

Layne and Myles Ulrich aren’t the first children of a Metallica member to follow in their father’s footsteps and form a band. Bassist Rob Trujillo’s son Tye plays bass in OTTTO and Blu Weekend alongside the late Scott Weiland’s son Noah.

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Watch Blossoms and Rick Astley team up to cover The Smiths

“Since it’s London we thought why not do something special? So we’re going to do some songs by one of our favourite bands with a friend of ours. Welcome our friend Rick Astley.

“Do you want to tell them what band it is, Richard?” asked the band, to which he replied:
“The Smiths.”

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RICK ASTLEY AND BLOSSOMS😭 pic.twitter.com/OPLw63n8AL

— Jay 🇨🇴🦇 (@JGomezMorales) September 13, 2021

The band and Astley performed ‘Panic’ and ‘This Charming Man’. Later, Blossoms frontman Tom Ogden played an acoustic segment of Astley’s classic ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

Astley is no stranger to such surprise rock n’ roll antics, having turned up to join Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl on stage at Club NME at London’s Moth Club in August 2019 to run through some Foos classics and a rendition of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ – before doing the same at Reading Festival.

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Blossoms’ tour continues with another show at The Forum tomorrow (September 14) and Wednesday(September 25) before performing at Newcastle’s This Is Tomorrow Festival and at Manchester’s AO Arena, as well as supporting Courteeners with Johnny Marr and Old Trafford. More headline shows in Europe and the UK will follow in 2022. Visit here for tickets and more information.

News is expected soon of the band’s new album after they teased details of it in a recent interview with NME.

“I’m not sure what I can actually say,” frontman Ogden told NME, before Donovan, laughing, jumped in and said: “Fuck it, it’s an album. No band just releases a random single. It’s usually followed by something.”

“OK, we have done an album,” Ogden went on to admit, “we’re just working out the fine details.” Asked whether he had any idea when it might arrive, Ogden said it would “probably be next year”.

“I fucking hope so,” Donovan added. “I feel like we’ve been sitting on it for ages now. I purposely haven’t listened to [‘Care For’] in ages. I just try not to listen to your new stuff because by the time you come to actually playing it live you’re kinda bored of it and you’re onto the next.”

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