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Placebo on pushing the boundaries of gender and sexuality in the ‘90s

Ahead of the band’s forthcoming eighth album, Brian Molko has looked back on Placebo’s efforts to bring queerness to the mainstream in the 1990s.

READ MORE: Placebo explain how they wrote their new album “backwards”

Speaking to The Guardian, Molko touched on his groundbreaking work to push the boundaries of gender and sexuality in a time when being queer was still taboo in mainstream media.

“We did what we could within the framework that existed,” he said, “and we rebelled against the framework that existed.”

Noting that the conversations around queer identity, gender expression and sexual fluidity are “much, much more complex now”, Molko continued: “If just by being ourselves in the ‘90s, we made people feel less alone – if we managed to, in any way whatsoever, increase the potential and capacity for freedom just by one per cent – then we’ve achieved something.”

The Guardian pointed to one Placebo’s earliest hits, ‘Nancy Boy’ – the band’s first Top Five single, and a bold rumination of themes of queer sex and drug use – and in particular its mind-boggling video, which in one shot has Molko’s head fuse with that of bandmate Stefan Olsdal.

“We had a great opportunity to let parts of us show that we hadn’t up to that point in our lives,” Olsdal said of the concept, which the outlet explained as being “symbolic of how a creative partnership, or music in general, has the power to liquefy the self”.

Expounding further on the band’s ambitions to be unapologetic with their image, Molko continued: “We were just kids who just wanted to make music. But we couldn’t do it without going onstage in a dress, without talking about our sexuality. It was very, very important for us to not be ashamed.

“And inadvertently, hopefully, we perhaps created something within people who listened to us where they felt that the necessity for shame was decreased.”

Placebo are due to release their eighth album, ‘Never Let Me Go’, on March 25 via Elevator Lady/Rise. Thus far, the band have shared the singles ‘Beautiful James’ and ‘Surrounded By Spies’, and announced a tour for the UK and Ireland which is set to kick off next November.

Speaking to NME in September, Molko explained that the band had finished work on their new album before the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020. “We had a lot of get-up-and-go, and then everything that happened, happened, so everything is sort of delayed by about two years now,” he said.

“I know it was frustrating for the fans. It was certainly very frustrating for us as well, the interminable wait to put out new music, but at least it was there. We knew we had it.”

Next summer, the band will perform their only UK festival date of the year at Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering.

The post Placebo on pushing the boundaries of gender and sexuality in the ‘90s appeared first on NME.

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Starbucks Has Its Own ‘Taylor’s Version’ With Taylor Swift Coffee Collab

Everything’s coming up red. In addition to Taylor Swift dropping the highly anticipated Taylor’s Version of her beloved Red album on Friday (Nov. 12) coffee emporium Starbucks announced an official deal with the singer on a red-themed holiday treat. After teasing a possible mochallaboraion earlier this week, Starbucks made it official with a number of ways to celebrate red cup season.

Beginning Friday, Swifties can enjoy’s Tay’s favorite drink, a Grande Caramel Nonfat Latte by telling their barista that they’re looking for “Taylor’s Latte” or “Taylor’s Version”; you can also go to the Starbucks app, tap the details in the Taylor app card and click “order now.”

But wait, there’s more. Starbucks also announced that you’re likely to hear Red (Taylor’s Version) and some other Swift hits at your local Starbucks store and you listen to their themed playlist anywhere starting today on Spotify.  You can also spread the love by sending a beverage to a friend with an exclusive Taylor-inspired Starbucks e-gift.

Earlier this week, eagle-eyed Swifties began to suspect something was up when the coffee chain tweeted out “It’s Red Season,” along with coffee, sparkle, scarf and heart emoji, parroting the same phrase the singer recently used in her first Instagram Reel video in which she declared this to be “Red Season.”

Coincidence? Not in Swiftland. The java giant doubled-down in replies with the Swiftie-baiting teases, writing, “We know all too well how exciting this time of year is, and we’ll forever & always love it. Our red holiday cups and drinks are back!” Starbucks traditionally rolls out red cups during the holidays, but their use of the Taylor song titles “All Too Well” and “Forever & Always” in their reply suggested there might be more than meets the eye.

Starbucks then tripled down, quoting lyrics from “Holy Ground” and “Begin Again” in other tweet replies and dropping more crumbs by quoting a Swift Insta caption with “We’re just in a holiday vibe right now, not a lot going on at the moment otherwise.” Swift got in on the action on Oct. 26 Insta, getting ready for fall by modeling a scarf and other fall fashions while gulping down some Starbucks.

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Taylor Swift Promises To Sing on ‘SNL,’ If Bowen Yang and Aidy Bryant Will Let Her

In the promo for this week’s Saturday Night Live, Taylor Swift promises to sing a song, if Aidy Bryant and Bowen Yang leave her enough time after performing their unreleased material. You see, Swift is appearing on the show just one day after the eagerly anticipated release of her Red (Taylor’s Version), a re-recording of the original 16 tracks with an additional 14 songs with new features from Chris Stapleton, Ed Sheeran and Phoebe Bridgers in the “From the Vault” section, as well as a long-awaited 10-minute version of the fan favorite “All Too Well.”

Which is all well and good, if there’s even time to sing anything from it on SNL. After guest host Jonathan Majors (Loki) introduces himself and nods to musical guest swift, Bryant announces, “and I’ll also be singing one song from a yet-to-be-released album,” which appears to be a surprise to Majors.

Castmate Yang doubles down on Bryant’s surprise musical news, adding, “I will also be doing a song from an album I haven’t even written yet,” leaving a worried Majors wondering if either comedian had cleared that with the show’s producers. “I’ll also be doing music… if there’s time,” Swift notes.

In the second promo, the quartet get a bit silly, taking turns saying one word each of Majors’ intro, ending with Taylor and Jonathan jumping into each other for a hearty chest bump. “Seven takes baby!” Bryant brags. And while it will be Majors’ first time hosting SNL, it will be Swift’s fifth go-round on the show.

Check out the promo below.

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New Arctic Monkeys album is “pretty much” finished and coming in 2022, says Matt Helders

Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders has revealed that the band’s new album is “pretty much” finished and likely to arrive in 2022 ahead of a summer tour.

READ MORE: Arctic Monkeys on the cover: “Science fiction allows you to explore the real world”

Fans have been eager for news on the anticipated follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino‘, with numerous reports and rumours around its recording emerging over the last year.

Back in January, the Sheffield band’s manager revealed that the group had been “working on music” and had initially planned to record last summer, before Helders confirmed that they were in the “early stages” of the album while trying to overcome obstacles brought on by the pandemic. Then, back in August, it emerged that the band had been recording new material in Suffolk.

Now, as part of the BBC’s Drumathon, Helders joined 5 Live Breakfast this morning to give a drum lesson and talk to presenter Rick Edwards.

Asked if the new album was “ready to go”, Helders replied: “Yeah, pretty much, yeah. It was a bit disjointed how we had to do it, and there are bits to finish off, but yeah, it’s all in the works.”

He went to say that he believed the album would be out in 2022, adding: “I think by the time we get everything together it’ll be next year. Hopefully we can get out and tour next summer.”

Arctic Monkeys live at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Credit: Jenn Five/NME.

The drummer also went on to tease the potential sound of the record.

“We tend to always move it on a little bit,” he said. “For us, because we’re so involved in it, it always makes sense. They always kind of pick up where the other one left off in a way. It makes sense when you think about it in the context of the last record. But we always do try and do something a bit different – it’s kind of hard to describe. You can tell it’s the same band.”

Edwards then asked the sticksman if he was “confident you’ll bring the fans with you when you know that you’re evolving the sound,” to which he replied: “No, and I think we got a bit of a wake-up call with that on the third album [‘Humbug’, 2009]. That was more of an intentional decision to do something different. That was one where we’d get weird back-handed compliments from the fans who stuck around for that one.

“They’d be like, ‘Oh, I actually like Humbug!’ Why? Did some people not?”

With a tour now likely in summer 2022, Arctic Monkeys fans will be eyeing up what festivals they could be due to appear at. Asked by NME if they’d be headlining Reading & Leeds next year, festival boss Melvin Benn replied: “Arctic Monkeys are a law unto themselves and when they decide next to play live is beyond me, if I’m honest.”

Meanwhile this year has also seen Helders jam with viral sensation Nandi Bushell, performing covers of the Monkeys’ ‘R U Mine?‘, ‘Brianstorm‘ and ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’.

The post New Arctic Monkeys album is “pretty much” finished and coming in 2022, says Matt Helders appeared first on NME.

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Fun Lovin’ Criminals announce departure of frontman Huey Morgan

Fun Lovin’ Criminals have announced the departure of frontman Huey Morgan.

Morgan formed the New York band in 1993 with Brian Leiser and Steve Borgovini, the latter of whom left in 1999. The group have released six studio albums – the most recent being 2010’s ‘Classic Fantastic’ – and continue to perform live.

READ MORE: Fun Lovin’ Criminals On The 20th Anniversary Of ‘Come Find Yourself’

Writing on social media today (November 12), Fun Lovin Criminals said: “Huey has officially confirmed his departure from the band. We wish him all the best with his endeavours.

“We will continue as Fun Lovin’ Criminals because of the love and dedication we have for our music and our fans. More details to follow.”

Morgan is yet to comment on the news. Fun Lovin’ Criminals now consists of Leiser (aka Fast) and Frank Benbini. You can see their statement below.

pic.twitter.com/xZFUGAjJ6B

— FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS (@funlovincrims) November 12, 2021

Huey Morgan is also well known for his career as a DJ and presenter on BBC 6 Music and beyond. The Huey Show currents airs on the station between 10am and 1pm on Saturdays, while he’s also hosted programmes on Radio 2.

Additionally, Morgan has made TV appearances on shows such as Question Time, Skins and Never Mind The Buzzcocks, which he has also guest-hosted.

Morgan made headlines in 2013 after he smashed a cup on Buzzcocks before storming off the set. He appeared annoyed during the ‘next lines’ segment of the show, during which he was asked to complete lines from ‘Fun Lovin’ Criminals’ songs.

“I just thought you guys might do something different for a change,” he told guest hosts Rizzle Kicks.

Morgan released his debut solo album, ‘Say It To My Face’, in 2012 under the moniker Huey And The New Yorkers.

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China finds first COVID-19 cases among foreign athletes at test events

BEIJING—China reported on Friday the first COVID-19 cases among foreign athletes at preparatory events for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Games, as stringent measures being put in place to control any outbreaks are put to the test. Two lugers of the same nationality tested positive, said Huang Chun, an official of the Games organizing committee. […]

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Listen to Code Orange’s raging new single ‘Out For Blood’

Code Orange have shared a new single called ‘Out For Blood’ – you can listen to it below.

The song marks the first release from the Pittsburgh band since their fourth studio album, ‘Underneath’, which came out in March 2020.

Speaking about the track, frontman Jami Morgan explained: “When they go right, we go left. Code Orange is OUT FOR BLOOD and we are just gettin’ started.”

Produced by Rob Cavallo (My Chemical Romance, Green Day), ‘Out For Blood’ arrives as a standalone single rather than a preview of a forthcoming record. It’s accompanied by a strobe-heavy, carnage-filled video.

Tune in here:

In a four-star review of ‘Underneath’, NME wrote: “This is a band that wants their records to make you feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Jami has commented that with ‘Forever’ they wanted to create an album that was ‘artful and thoughtful but that also hurt’.

“‘Underneath’ surely surpasses that vision. This record will draw blood and raise bruises, a game-changer that has raised the bar once again.”

The group showcased the album during a live-stream from an empty venue in Pittsburgh after the COVID-19 pandemic brought gigs to a halt.

Earlier this month, Code Orange performed as part of Slipknot’s Knotfest Los Angeles broadcast alongside Killswitch EngageFever 333 and more.

Code Orange will take to the stage at next summer’s Graspop Metal Meeting 2022, which is set to be headlined by Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Aerosmith. The “25th XL edition” of the event takes place in Dessel, Belgium between June 16-19.

The post Listen to Code Orange’s raging new single ‘Out For Blood’ appeared first on NME.

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Taylor Swift says 10-minute version of ‘All Too Well’ is the original version she wrote at 21

Promoting the newly minted redux of her 2012 album, ‘Red’, Taylor Swift made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to discuss one of its standout tracks: a sprawling 10-minute version of the song ‘All Too Well’.

READ MORE: Taylor Swift – ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ review: a retread of heartbreak

Swift explained that ‘All Too Well’ – a fan-favourite from the album, clocking in at 5:28 for its initial release – was first written as a cathartic exercise during a rehearsal session for her ‘Speak Now’ tour. “I showed up for rehearsals, and I was really upset and sad, and everybody could tell – it was like really not fun to be around me that day,” she said.

“And so I started playing guitar and just kind of playing the same four chords over and over again, and the band sort of joined in, and I started ad-libbing what I was going through and what I was feeling, and it went on. The song kept building and building and building in intensity, and the song just went on for about, you know, 10 to 15 minutes of us doing this.

She goes on to say that the version of ‘All Too Well’ written in that moment wasn’t intended to be saved, but her mother had salvaged it from the rehearsal session via Swift’s sound engineer. Noting that it’s become her favourite song on ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’, Swift said that ‘All Too Well (10 Minute Version)’ would be “the new standard version of what this song is”.

Have a look at Swift’s full chat with Fallon below:

Swift also spoke about the short film based on ‘All Too Well’, which is set to premiere today (November 12) and features Stranger Things‘ Sadie Sink and Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien. She touched on one particular “very tense scene” between Sink and O’Brien, wherein, according to Swift, “they were so electric and [improvising] a lot of what they were doing that we just couldn’t take the camera off [them]”.

‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ was released today via Republic. It features “all 30 songs that were meant to go” on the original album, as well as collaborations with Phoebe Bridgers, Ed Sheeran and more. It was initially scheduled to arrive on November 19, but was pushed forward by one week.

In a four-star review, NME writer Hannah Mylrea said: “It’s not an exercise of rethinking and tweaking old songs, but to take back ownership of her own music. The production here is a little sharper, with the instrumentation being brought further into focus: the opening percussion of ‘State of Grace’ is crisper, the soft-rock guitar of the title track a little brighter and the mandolin of ‘Stay Stay Stay’ lifted.”

Swift is remaking her first six studio albums – up to and including 2017’s ‘Reputation’ – following the controversial sale of her masters in recent years. The star released ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ in April before sharing a re-recording of ‘1989’ single ‘Wildest Dreams’ last month.

The singer-songwriter will also appear as a musical guest on tomorrow’s episode of Saturday Night Live.

The post Taylor Swift says 10-minute version of ‘All Too Well’ is the original version she wrote at 21 appeared first on NME.

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John Lewis deny copying ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ cover for Christmas advert

John Lewis has denied copying the low-key cover of ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ that soundtracks the department store’s new Christmas advert.

Released last week, this year’s edition of the annual festive ad – titled ‘Unexpected Guest’ – features Lola Young’s take on the 1984 Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder hit.

READ MORE: Watch Lola Young perform ‘Ruin My Make Up’, ‘Bad Tattoo’ and ‘Same Bed’ for NME Home Sessions

As the BBC reports, Somerset alt-folk duo The Portraits claimed that the cover bears a resemblance to the version they released last December for the Mind and Cruse Bereavement Support charities.

Last week, the group – comprising Jeremy and Lorraine Millington – shared a lengthy message on Facebook in which they claimed to have offered their spin on ‘…Electric Dreams’ to John Lewis’ marketing team back in March.

“We had a (perhaps naive) dream that we could use a future ad by the company with our soundtrack linked to it to maximise the funds going to those charities,” they wrote.

A REFLECTION ON JOHN LEWIS FROM THE PORTRAITSWe don’t mind admitting that we’ve struggled in recent times with the…

Posted by THE PORTRAITS on Sunday, November 7, 2021

“But instead, it seems John Lewis went with the idea and produced a version borrowing the ‘feeling’ and many elements of the arrangement of our version, without even letting us know they were planning to do so.”

The Portraits said the ’80s classic “had never been a Christmas song before December 2020”, adding that they would be “contacting John Lewis” and seeking advice on how to resolve the situation.

In response, a spokesperson for John Lewis said: “There’s no substance to the claims as the person contacted by email left at the start of the summer and had no involvement in this year’s Christmas ad.

“The music that accompanies the ad is always the final element to be added and this year was chosen at the end of October.”

They concluded: “The creation of advertising and music is carried out solely by our agency and we are unable to read or consider ideas from other external or internal sources.”

You can read The Portraits’ full statement above.

Discussing her involvement in the 2021 John Lewis Christmas advert, Lola Young said: “I feel super honoured to be a part of this, growing up I always watched the John Lewis Christmas adverts, they’re iconic and so it kinda feels surreal getting asked to be in one,” said Young.

“It also means a lot as an up and coming artist to be a part of something this special. Together In Electric Dreams is a very beautiful song. I love that era of music and I think Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder are incredible.”

 

Last year’s commercial was soundtracked by Celeste‘s single ‘A Little Love’, which featured on her 2021 debut album ‘Not Your Muse’.

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Taylor Swift Talks 10-Minute Cut of ‘All Too Well’ on ‘Fallon’: ‘I’m Just That Proud of It’

Today might as well be renamed Taylor Swift Day. The pop superstar is everywhere right now, with her recreated Red album, Red (Taylor’s Version), dominating the chatter on social media.

Just ahead of its release at midnight, Swift stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for a chat about the new, 10-minute cut of “All Too Well,” those Easter eggs Swifties love to hunt, and even play a game with the late-night host.

At the top, Fallon enthused about her pandemic-era work ethic, which has yielded five albums, a documentary and a Grammy Award. Opening the vault, she explained, created an opportunity to rekindle the flame with songs that didn’t originally make it onto an album.

What she’s most excited about is the extended, 10-minute version of “All Too Well.” “I was going through a bit of sad time,” she recounted. So she worked it out on the guitar, playing the same four chords over and over, the band joined in and “I started ad-libbing what I was going through and what I was feeling.”

The song grew in intensity and length, to something rather epic. The 10-minute version of “All Too Well” is what was originally written for the song before I had to cut it down to a normal-length.” Ten minutes is an “absurd” amount of time for a song, but she’s thrilled to finally get it out, at the length it was intended.

She loves it so much, she’s confident the extended version will become the new “standard version” for fans. “I’m just that proud of it,” she enthused.

No doubt she’s also proud of the “All Too Well” short film, which she wrote and directed. It drops Friday 7pm ET on YouTube. And the following night, she’s performing on Saturday Night Live.

Swift also opened up to Fallon about her years-long habit of burying Easter eggs for fans to find, and the pair played a round of “Box of Lies,” a game of cryptic clues and boxes containing secrets.

It all sounds like a situation made for Swift. Watch below.

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Skirmish ignited Pacers’ strong finish vs Jazz, says Carlisle

The Indiana Pacers bounced back from a narrow defeat at Denver with a 111-100 victory over the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, where a late-game scuffle between Pacers center Myles Turner and Utah’s Rudy Gobert saw both ejected — along with Jazz players Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles. The fracas started with less than […]

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Former La Salle setter Mika Esperanza now a licensed doctor

MANILA, Philippines—Mika Esperanza is now licensed to heal. Half a decade removed from her playmaking days, the De La Salle setter can now call herself Dr. Esperanza after she passed the 2021 Physician Licensure Examination. Esperanza took the exams on October 30 and the Professional Regulation Commission released the results Thursday. Sorry di ko macrop […]

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