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22 февраля, 22:19

Brit awards 2017: the George Michael tribute, the 1975, Little Mix and more – as it happened

Ed Sheeran and Skepta stole the show and Chris Martin did his best George Michael, but not a single grime artist took an award … we followed the winners and losers at this year’s Brit awardsBrit awards winners 2017 – the full list 10.09pm GMT Across the periodic table from the inert gases that most British male singers are formed from (eg James Bay, Ben Howard, even Rag’n’Bone Man), Robbie Williams is made from a violently unstable element, his charisma doing tequila shots with his ego and id until they come up with genius or Rudebox. This performance can draw from 20 years of solo material – and a host of Take That hits perhaps. Much of it is guff, of course, so does he control his volatility and pick out the pearls? Quite emphatically not. Underwear models parade past him to the strains of Welcome to the Heavy Entertainment Show as if TFI Friday never happened. He promises us that we can go home soon, but not before submitting us to songs that only the most craven performer would include in a lifetime achievement segment. He segues into I Love My Life, a 12-step affirmation bolted onto a Coldplay B-side; like Jeff Goldblum in Annie Hall, his is a mantra that is instantly forgettable. He then channels Jon Bon Jovi’s nasal wondering for Mixed Signals, a guitar anthem so anti-anthemic it’s evaporated from my head mere seconds after hearing it. In the crowd, five people point fingers to the sky while the rest stand stock still like characters contemplating their imminent death in a Roland Emmerich movie. It ends. Angels, She’s the One, Let Me Entertain You … all remain ignored by a performer who, for better but more often for worse, is at least convinced of his own unwavering brilliance. 9.58pm GMT Rob, mate. What happened there? We wanted the hits and you gave us some bemused gurns and a saggy rendition of some new songs nobody knows yet. What I said about British music being in rude health earlier, I take back. This is truly Brexit Britain. Let’s celebrate the complacency of mediocre white men forever!Robbie winning a Lifetime Achievement and doing a medley of the new album is the most punk thing that happened all night. Continue reading...

11 февраля, 01:51

How The Grammys Gloss Over Great Indigenous Music Being Made Today

Chimes like raindrops ripple across a soundscape of vaguely spiritual chanting, made ethereal by digital remastering. The sound is inoffensive ― calming, even. A cedar flute, a traditionally Native American instrument, introduces itself and flits off. Recorded in 2000, “If I Could Tell You” is one of Yanni’s many contributions to New Age, a musical genre that was given an official Grammy category in 1987 and is still around today. The label ― like so many others in the ever-evolving world of music ― is hard to define. Since its inception it’s been wedded to the New Age spiritual movement, a Western mashup of non-Western cultural practices. And while there are exceptions ― Native American musicians who work within the genre, and others who do their best not to override the cultures their work draws from ― artists like Yanni, who lightly brush over a wide swath of indigenous musical traditions, are regularly rewarded for their efforts. On the cover of his live album “The Dream Concert,” an image of Yanni holding up an index finger in a “number one” sign is transposed over Egypt’s ancient pyramids, where the project was recorded. Blue and red fireworks burst in the background, in an all-too-literal image of colonization and Western triumph.  Yanni ― a Greek musician who’s been combining keys and synth with older instruments like the bouzouki since his 1984 album “Optimystique” ― doesn’t set out to appropriate, but to blend different traditions under an overarching philosophy of “one world, one people.” His efforts have raised funds for NASA and PBS.  It’s an artistic approach that subjects itself to parody. The bad exes in rom-coms such as “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Serendipity” rock long locks and well-meaning, earth-loving ethos. But it’s also an extant reality in the music industry. In 2012, when a number of Grammy categories including Native American, Tejano and Regional Mexican were axed, New Age remained. This year’s New Age nominees include White Sun, a group that performs yogic mantras, lead by Santa Monica-based vocalist Gurujas; Vangelis, the composer whose work falls under the more orchestral side of New Age, and who’s scored films including “Blade Runner” and “Chariots of Fire”; John Burke, a pianist whose latest album emulates the formation of mountains by tectonic shifts; Enya, who draws on Celtic traditions; and Peter Kater and Tina Guo, who recorded an improvised album, harmonizing piano and cello. In previous years, the New Age umbrella also often covered artists using traditionally Native American instruments in inventive ways. Since then, those musicians have been siloed into a separate category called Regional Roots, one that is meant to honor North American indigenous music, including Polka, Hawaiian, Mexican and Cajun. The culturally crowded category is one of the few avenues for these artists to get recognition; although other genres like pop and rock may draw from their influences much in the way New Age does, nominations in those categories are typically awarded to more mainstream artists.  So, how can we make sense of New Age — its beginnings and what the genre has become? In a 1988 article about the genre, the Los Angeles Times wrote, “rock and avant-garde enthusiasts who are generally learning that whatever their musical interests may be ― from Third World music to John Cage ― there is something about the adaptability of new-age music to different sensibilities that makes it a force to be reckoned with.” It’s a potent description, one that recognizes that genres serve a marketing purpose but don’t always align with artists’ intentions. New Age appealed to listeners who wanted to relax and to immerse themselves in cultures different from their own. As New York Times music critic Jon Pareles wrote in 1985, as the genre was emerging, “New Age music shows up at restaurants because it doesn’t distract anyone from the food; it’s just there, oozing along.” The production of such music often comes at a cost, though: by blending and softening sounds like the Tibetan drum or the cedar flute, band leaders, often white men, can distort the original meaning or intention rather than honoring it. Although his records are sold in its bins, Yanni has spoken out against the New Age label, which he says implies placidness, whereas he hopes his music encourages more active engagement. He’s not alone in shunning the classification. Several artists who’ve won or been nominated for New Age Grammys describe their work in different terms. Paul Winter, a saxophonist and band leader who’s won Grammys in Traditional Folk, World Music and New Age, categorizes his work as “Earth Music.” His discography includes such album titles as “Wolf Eyes” and “Spanish Angel.” Other artists reject the New Age label because their work rigorously builds on their own cultural traditions, rather than merely slipping another culture’s influence in, regardless of its history or relevancy to the project. R. Carlos Nakai, a musician of Navajo-Ute heritage whose accomplishments with the Native American flute earned him an honorary doctorate from the University of Arizona, prefers the label of Contemporary Indigenous to New Age. That didn’t keep him from earning 11 Grammy nominations across four genres, including eight in New Age. Of his placement in the genre, Nakai told The Huffington Post, “I was more technically involved than just making melodies and putting them out there. There was a whole teaching philosophy that came with it. Of course the Grammy situation’s not involved very much in that.” A producer at Nakai’s long-time record label Canyon Records, Stephen Butler, elaborated. “It was when the Native American flute came along, and it was perceived to be a very relaxing sound, something that was conducive to meditation, yoga, massage. These were things that were embraced by the New Age community, and that’s how Native American flute music then became embraced,” he told HuffPost. “There’s this fascination with Native Americans as being an ancient tribal people. So from the side of some of our Native American musicians, who of course don’t create music with that motivation ― they’re creating it as an expression of their culture ― it’s painful.” Another musician who’s worked with Canyon Records, John-Carlos Perea, who self-identifies as Mescalero Apache, German, Irish and Chicano, voiced his criticisms of the New Age genre as employed by the Grammys. Although Perea’s won a New Age Grammy for the work he did as part of Paul Winter’s consort, he regarded the project not as a New Age album, but as a tribute to Native American saxophonist Jim Pepper, whom he was writing his dissertation on at the time. About his fellow bandmates, Perea told HuffPost, “they were all jazz musicians, they were all working musicians, they were trying to play. The genre label didn’t come into it until after, so I guess that’s why I say I wouldn’t necessarily support [the genre]. From my experience, it’s at that level of commodification that the appropriation does become problematic.” “New Age doesn’t cut it,” he continued. “The associations people have with that are justifiably problematic, and we should be critical of them [...] If you’re not seeing diversity in terms of the band leaders, then there’s a problem.” And indeed, most of the New Age Grammy winners who draw upon Native American, South American, African and Eastern influences are not members of these communities. But, Butler, Nakai and Perea agree that cross-cultural collaborations needn’t always take the form of appropriation. “I know of some New Age musicians who’ve made at minimum a reasonable effort to connect with the communities of the music that they’re drawing upon,” Butler said. “But those people are in a minority. And I think it’s because it’s so easy to [appropriate]. There’s a precedent for musicians to do that.” The precedent is already showing signs of impacting the future of the genre, which has seen a recent resurgence. Artists such as Matthewdavid ― a musician from Atlanta, Georgia, whose work blends hip-hop with ambient and even spiritual electronic sounds ― regard “the new new-age community as a refuge for people who once might’ve identified as punk.” “Weird desert hippie mamas,” he continued in an interview with Pitchfork. Nakai, who considers himself an outlier in terms of his opinions on the matter, doesn’t take issue with cultural mashups. In fact, he’s headed a few up himself, leading bands that incorporate Tibetan and Hawaiian instruments. But, he emphasizes that his projects are about harmonizing, rather than diluting disparate sounds. “Much of why I do that is to engage the people that I meet in a kind of dialogue vocally about how connected they are to their own cultural community. And then try to gain an understanding of how they do what they do in this moment of time in music,” Nakai said. “Rather than looking back, I’m more interested in looking forward into the future and seeing what the possibilities are, especially with instrumentation and electronics.” Perea agrees that collaboration has the potential to be constructive. In addition to making music, he’s an educator ― an associate professor at the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. At the beginning of each semester, he encourages his students to consider stereotyping and appropriation afresh. They discuss the Washington Redskins; they consider cowboy-and-indian movies. “I think a lot more students are interested in American Indian music right now because they’ve seen the Standing Rock protests in the news, and so they’re trying to increase their soundscape. I think as tragic as it is that that protest is still ongoing ― if left unaddressed ― as bad as it is that people are still having to fight that fight, it’s bringing people to ask questions,” Perea said. And this, he says, is a positive development. “When it’s objectified, when it’s cold and separate, then you can do whatever you want with it,” Perea said. “But when you try to get people to understand how these symbols circulate in their world, all of a sudden there’s that closeness that gets people to be a little more willing to have a conversation and to think about changing.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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05 февраля, 15:46

Busted review – all grown up and not so much fun

Hammersmith Apollo, LondonWall-to-wall screaming greets the trio’s return, but 13 years on their infectiously exuberant punk-pop has been replaced by cloying, synth-heavy soft rockIt’s difficult to overstate the scale of Busted’s success at the start of the millennium. The effervescent pop-punk trio knocked out two triple-platinum albums in a little over 12 months and sold out 11 nights at Wembley Arena in 2004 before singer Charlie Simpson broke hundreds of thousands of adolescent hearts and split the band, declaring himself bored with the strictures of playing teen pop.Simpson spent the following decade playing heartfelt but essentially unremarkable post-grunge rock in Fightstar while bandmates James Bourne and Matt Willis pursued solo careers. Willis, in particular, reinvented himself as an actor, TV presenter and reality-show regular, winning the 2006 series of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Continue reading...

04 февраля, 04:45

10 Musicians Poised to Break out in 2017

These musicians have been around a while, but 2017 may be the year audiences finally hear their talent for themselves.

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24 января, 02:34

10 Worst Led Zeppelin Songs of All Time

Led Zeppelin ventured into unknown territory again and again, but the worst Led Zeppelin songs find themselves struggling to find something interesting.

23 января, 09:30

Brian Eno: ‘We’ve been in decline for 40 years – Trump is a chance to rethink'

The revered producer has been at the centre of pop since the days of Roxy Music. But don’t ask him about the past – he’s more interested in how to reorder society Brian Eno’s new album is called Reflection, and what better time to reflect on an astonishing career? Or careers. There’s the first incarnation of Eno as the leopardskin-shirted synth-twiddler who overshadowed the more obviously mannered Bryan Ferry in Roxy Music. With his shoulder-length hair and androgynous beauty, there was something otherworldly about Eno. He was as preposterous as he was cool. So cool that, back then, he didn’t bother with a first name.After two wonderfully adventurous albums he left and Roxy became more conventional. There followed a sustained solo career, starting with the more poppy Here Come the Warm Jets, progressing to the defiant obscurity of his ambient albums and on to commercial Eno, the revered producer behind many of the great Bowie, Talking Heads, U2 and Coldplay records. Continue reading...

18 января, 14:30

William Onyeabor, cult Nigerian musician, has died aged 70

The enigmatic electro-funk pioneer, who released nine albums between 1977 and 1985 before distancing himself from music, has died peacefully at homeWilliam Onyeabor, groundbreaking synth funk musician, has died at the age of 70.The Nigerian artist died on 16 January, according to a statement released by David Byrne’s record label Luaka Bop. Describing him as “the great Nigerian business leader and mythic music pioneer”, the statement explained that Onyeabor died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Enugu, Nigeria, following a short illness. Continue reading...

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15 января, 12:10

Dunkirk migrant camp 'inhumane and unacceptable' - charity

Care4Calais says migrant camp Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, is in an 'inhumane and unacceptable' condition.

12 января, 18:30

La La Land review – Gosling and Stone sparkle in a gorgeous musical romance

Damien Chazelle’s paean to Los Angeles is funny, romantic and utterly charming, with captivating performances from its two starsIt was a film I couldn’t wait to watch again, and when I did, the epiphany I should have had the first time presented itself. Is Ryan Gosling the new Debbie Reynolds? In Singin’ in the Rain, Reynolds plays Kathy, the would-be stage star who gets a bit hoity-toity with Gene Kelly about favouring legitimate theatre over his silly old movies: then she is hugely embarrassed, on jumping out of a cake at a Hollywood party as part of the entertainment, to see Kelly in the audience grinning cheekily at her.Fast forward 60-odd years to 2017 and Ryan Gosling is Seb, in the comparably gorgeous musical romance La La Land, a struggling jazz musician who has just boorishly refused to accept congratulations on his performance from smart, pretty Mia, played by Emma Stone. Later, at a Hollywood poolside party, she is vastly amused to see super-serious Seb humiliatingly earning a buck as part of an 80s-style cover band, and mischievously calls out a request for A Flock of Seagulls’ I Ran, thus forcing Seb to play the lengthy synth break. Yet the humbling of Seb is more akin to Gene Kelly’s sudden aghast sense that he has gone too far in mocking Reynolds. Continue reading...

11 января, 10:23

David Bowie: Ranking His Albums From Worst to Best

With dozens of albums and hundreds of great songs, we take on the impossible task of ranking David Bowie's entire discography.

05 января, 18:00

Flo Morrissey and Matthew E White: Gentlewoman, Ruby Man review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week

On a wildly eclectic set of cover versions – everything from the Velvet Underground to the Bee Gees – the duo warp the originals into something new, strange and wonderfulGentlewoman, Ruby Man is an album born of a moment of serendipity. Virginia-based auteur Matthew E White first encountered 21-year-old London singer-songwriter Flo Morrissey when the first track taken from his 2015 album Fresh Blood was reviewed next to her debut single, Pages of Gold, in this newspaper. Intrigued by the writer comparing her to, as he put it, “all the right people” (Karen Dalton and Jackson C Frank, among others), he sought her out. An email correspondence turned into an appearance together at a Barbican tribute concert for the late Lee Hazlewood, and that duet has now turned into an album’s worth of covers.Given that they started out singing Some Velvet Morning, you might reasonably expect the shadow of Hazlewood and his muse Nancy Sinatra to hang heavy over subsequent proceedings. For one thing, Hazlewood’s lush, heady “cowboy psychedelia” is among the influences on the sound that comes out of Spacebomb – the studio, complete with house band, that White co-founded in 2010. And for another, if you’re going to do an album’s worth of duets, you could do worse than take your cues from the intriguing, witty relationship Hazlewood and Sinatra projected on their late 60s and early 70s collaborations. There’s certainly a vague hint of Nancy and Lee about Gentlewoman, Ruby Man’s opening take on Look at What the Light Did Now (previously a stark and fragile acoustic track by US indie singer-songwriter Kyle Feld, who records as Little Wing) and, especially, the brilliant reimagining of Frank Ocean’s Thinkin Bout You, with the original’s groggy synths replaced by a gorgeous 12-string guitar figure and its yearning, love-lost lyrics recast as a dialogue. You can hear the ghost of Hazlewood’s hangdog persona in White’s morning-after whisper, slipping from bravado to self-doubt in the face of Morrissey’s airy disinterest. But for the most part, the album avoids what you might call conversational duets. Indeed, its version of James Blake’s The Colour in Anything is virtually a solo performance by Morrissey, with White in the background providing spectral, wordless backing vocals. Continue reading...

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04 января, 21:57

Sex, suicide, torture: are arthouse films really so sophisticated? | Catherine Shoard

Despite their image, many of today’s highbrow movies are merely the cinematic equivalent of exploding fireworksNorth Korea is not a regime whose choices one is generally eager to endorse. Yet my sympathies were with that country at the start of the year, when its New Year’s Eve firework display was universally pooh-poohed. What’s with all the flickering, cackled other nations. You call that a spectacle, scoffed Sydney, merrily lighting the fuse on £4m-worth of sparklers.Fireworks can, obviously, be spectacular. Their cultural origins in seventh-century China, where they were intended to scare off evil spirits, are to be respected. And yet an understated display – Pyongyang went for sporadic bangs with synth soundtrack – is not something to dismiss. Rather, one goggles at the hubris elsewhere, where millions in public funds are sent up in smoke; this at a time of spiralling homelessness, massive spending cuts and instructions that we all mug up on first aid lest we fall victim to rather more malevolent blasts. Continue reading...

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03 января, 21:38

Parekh & Singh, the pop princes at the forefront of India's new wave

Nischay Parekh and Jivraj Singh are making a name for themselves – with not a sitar or tabla in sight. We go to Kolkata to meet the pastel-suited neo-psychedelic duoSomething is buzzing, so Jivraj Singh unplugs a wire from one box and plugs it into another. “Try that?” he says. A note plays, but the buzz can still be heard, and so more wires need to be replugged, until all unwanted scratches of sound vanish. “We spend around 95% of our time trying to eliminate noises,” says Nischay Parekh, sitting behind the synths.Together, they are Parekh & Singh, a dream-pop duo from the eastern Indian city of Kolkata. Ocean, the pair’s debut album, features none of the stereotypical sitars and tablas that dominate India’s music scene. Instead guitarist, vocalist and synth-player Parekh and percussionist Singh produce music that sounds distinctly un-Indian, as though it could have been produced in any part of the world. Continue reading...

28 декабря 2016, 13:00

Football quiz: the 1980s

The second of a series of quizzes tracing footballing decades from the 70s to now. Away from the stadiums, it was a decade of industrial decline, synth-pop, bangles and brand clothing but what do you remember of events on the pitch?Football quiz: the 1970sWhich player was Brian Clough talking about before the 1980 FA Cup final when he said he "floats like a butterfly … and stings like one"?West Ham's Trevor BrookingArsenal's Liam BradyWest Ham's Paul AllenArsenal's Alan SunderlandBobby Robson won the Uefa Cup with Ipswich Town in 1981. Which Dutch side did they beat 5-4 on aggregate?FeyenoordAZ AlkmaarPSV EindhovenAjaxAnd who is this Ipswich Town stalwart posing at home in 1982 with the Uefa Cup? Clue: he missed both legs of the final due to injury …John WarkKevin BeattieMick MillsAlan BrazilThe Swedish manager Nils Liedholm guided which Italian club to their second Serie A league title in 1983?SampdoriaRomaTorinoMilanLiverpool won the English First Division title in 1984. Who finished second?SouthamptonManchester UnitedQPREvertonGary Lineker scored 24 goals for struggling Leicester City in 1984-85. Who did he share the First Division golden boot with?Mark Hughes (Manchester United)Ian Rush (Liverpool)Kerry Dixon (Chelsea)Graeme Sharp (Everton)Diego Maradona scored twice in the quarter-finals against England on his way to winning the World Cup with Argentina in 1986. Which side did he score twice against in the semi-finals?BelgiumItalyFranceSpainCoventry City beat Tottenham 3-2 in the 1987 FA Cup final. Who scored the deciding goal?Keith HouchenGary MabbuttDave BennettCyrille RegisMarco van Basten scored a stupendous volley as Holland beat USSR 2-0 to win the 1988 European Championship. Who scored the other goal?Ronald KoemanRuud GullitFrank RijkaardErwin KoemanIan Rush came off the bench and scored twice during Liverpool's 3-2 victory in the 1989 FA Cup. Who came off the bench and scored twice for Everton?Tony CotteeStuart McCallPat NevinKevin Sheedy Continue reading...

14 декабря 2016, 20:26

'Fashwave': synth music co-opted by the far right

Fascist bloggers and musicians have expressed their liking for an 80s-obsessed variant of instrumental electronicaIt didn’t take long for the fascists to come out of the woodwork. On Tuesday, Buzzfeed published a long piece by Reggie Ugwu, looking at how a variant of instrumental electronic music had become the favoured soundtrack of the “alt-right”, the US-based far-right movement. Within hours, a website whose strapline declares it is “destroying Jewish tyranny” had picked up on the piece. “The Jew-owned Buzzfeed blog has done an article about how fashwave has become the musical soundtrack of the alt-right,” the piece said. “The fact that sites like these are covering this sort of thing reveals how the alt-right and anything associated with it is quickly becoming the trendy counter-culture of this era. There is no question about this. We have become the cool ones rebelling against a tyrannical system. This will become more and more alluring to the younger generation who is coming of age as time moves on. Especially considering we live in societies polluted with political correctness and all sorts of nonsensical bullshit.” Continue reading...

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12 декабря 2016, 11:00

New band of the week: CaStLeS (No 132) – psychedelic, shimmery guitars

Welsh indie-pop trio channelling psych, baggy, west coast pop and krautrockHometown: Llanrug, north Wales. The lineup: Dion Hamer (drums, vocals), Cynyr Hamer (vocals, synth, guitar), Calvin Thomas (bass, synth). Continue reading...

05 декабря 2016, 17:30

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Zimmer Biomet and Nxstage Medical

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Zimmer Biomet and Nxstage Medical

26 ноября 2016, 03:19

Senegal Leading Economic Index

Leading Economic Index in Senegal increased to 3.10 in December from 2.90 in November of 2016. Leading Economic Index in Senegal averaged 3.36 from 2012 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 11 in October of 2013 and a record low of 0.10 in February of 2014. In Senegal, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Senegal Leading Economic Index- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.

25 ноября 2016, 13:22

Togo Leading Economic Index

Leading Economic Index in Togo increased to 0.70 in December from 0.60 in November of 2016. Leading Economic Index in Togo averaged 0.81 from 2012 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 5.10 in November of 2013 and a record low of -4.50 in December of 2012. In Togo, the Economic Outlook Synthetic Indicator - ISC (Indicateur Synthétique de la Conjoncture) - summarizes the activity of different economic sectors in a given month, including industrial production, construction, internal trade and services, anticipating future movements in GDP. A higher indicator signals an increase in economic activity. This page provides - Togo Leading Economic Index- actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news.