Writers on their worst festival moments

From stolen contact lenses to Friendly Fires-related injuries, its not always a camp classic In the morning my contact lenses had been stolen. I would be blind for two days I have never fought harder with my parents than I did the summer I was 14. My need to go to Glastonbury felt physical, something heavy I wore roughly, and I have had worse festival experiences than the time they eventually let me, but this was the first. The first worst. I was at that oily, ungrown age when my obsession with music intersected uncomfortably with an interest in love, so my friends and I were confused about whether we wanted Glastonbury. It started raining as we set off, and …

Madonna gives rousing speech on why she fought for change at Glaad awards

Pop icon accepted the advocate for change award and gave both a playful and emotional speech, bringing the audience to its feet LGBT equality. Why have I always fought for change? Thats a hard question to answer. Its like trying to explain the importance of reading or the need to love. Growing up I always felt like an outsider, like I didnt fit in. It wasnt because I didnt shave under my armpits, I just didnt fit in, OK? she said. The first gay man I ever met was named Christopher Flynn. He was my ballet teacher in high school and he was the first person that believed in me, that made me feel special as a dancer, as an …

John Singleton: maverick director with a radical edge

Boyz N the Hood sent audiences reeling and marked the start of an uneven career for a writer-director whose films were rooted in lived experience Hollywood wasnt ready for Boyz N Mean Streets or Fellinis Snowfall Singleton arguably did not have the fully realised directorial career that others had. Imperious debut Ice Cube in Boyz n the Hood. Photograph: Allstar/Columbia But most other directors couldnt boast of anything approaching the ferocity of his Boyz N the Hood, a masterpiece that seems to thump, judder and pulse with police helicopter rotor blades, or semiautomatic gunfire, or music in the streets. Cuba Gooding Jr plays Tre; Ice Cube is his troubled friend Doughboy and Morris Chestnut is Doughboys brother Ricky. Tyra Ferrell …

Someone Great review – another run-of-the-mill romcom from Netflix

Despite fine performances from Gina Rodriguez and Lakeith Stanfield, the debut film from Jennifer Kaytin Robinson never strays from the genres cliches Someone Great, a new Netflix original comedy written and directed by the first-time film-maker Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, is the kind of movie thats both undeniably of its time and still curiously rote. At times it plays like an uninterrupted torrent of memes and millennialisms, as though its attention to the parlance and particularities of contemporary urban life might disguise the fact that its otherwise a standard, paint-by-the-numbers buddy-romcom, in which three girlfriends two are on the heels of a breakup; the third has sworn off committed relationships ring in their sisterhood and their sorrows at a trendy music …

Madame X: Madonna’s new alter-ego is both anonymous and well-trodden

From a Sargent painting to a miffed DJ, Madonna is just the latest woman to adopt the moniker Madonna announced the name of her new album today along with a new alter-ego: both are called Madame X. In a minute-long video teasing the record, Madonna fleshes out her character. If you feel like youre struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance, spare a thought for the Madame who is apparently a secret agent, traveling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom, bringing light to dark places. She is a dancer, a professor, a head of state, a housekeeper, an equestrian, a prisoner, a student, a mother, a child, a teacher, a nun, a singer, a saint, a whore. Its …

Leather and lace: how Stevie Nicks created a new musical language

A career-spanning box set documents the Fleetwood Mac singers influence as a solo artist, starting with her 1981 debut Bella Donna and its beguilingly witchy, feminine energy The original vinyl insert of Bella Donna features just one photo of Fleetwood Mac members solo career. In the liner notes of a deluxe 2016 reissue, Nicks recalled that the Bella Donna sessions started with her, Celani and Perry in the living room of a rented oceanside home, working out harmonies and singing together while the albums musical director, Benmont Tench (keyboardist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), added accompaniment. Once these sessions moved into the studio, this carefree camaraderie continued. The women sang together live and recorded live with the other musicians, …

The Coachella experience: California heat and millennial cool

Childish Gambino leads the global pop survey for the lucky and wealthy patrons at the USs premier music festival At Glastonbury, you pray for the ground to dry out; at The 1975 perform with a glowing rectangle behind them a totemic image for this portrait-format generation and is gently, fondly satiric: frontman Matt Healy is clearly as beholden to ego as much as anyone here. Earlier on the main stage, Kacey Musgraves has a slot at golden hour, reflecting the title of her Janelle Mone later on, who proudly announces her queerness and tells us not to give a fuck about pissing off this administration. With the occasional gaps in her songwriting papered over with majestically heavy arrangements and Janet …

The Beat singer Ranking Roger dies aged 56

Roger Charlery also performed with members of the Specials and Dexys Midnight Runners Roger Charlery, the vocalist of the Beat and General Public better known as Ranking Roger, has died aged 56. Charlery died on Tuesday at home surrounded by his family, according to a statement on the Beats website. It said: He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter. Sadly Roger passed away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family. Rogers family would like to thank everyone for their constant support during this tough time. More to follow in the coming days. RIP ROGER! It was revealed in January that the Birmingham-born singer had been diagnosed with two brain tumours and lung cancer. …

Barbra Streisand apologises for comments on Michael Jackson’s accusers

Singer, 76, condemned for saying Wade Robson and James Safechuck were thrilled to be there and that Jacksons sexual needs were his sexual needs Barbra Streisand has apologised over her remarks about Michael Jackson and two men who have accused him of sexual abuse, saying she should have chosen her words more carefully and that she admires the accusers for speaking their truth. Streisand had been strongly criticized for her comments about two men who accused Jackson of sexual abuse in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland. Dan Reed, responded on Twitter, asking: Did you really say that? On Saturday morning, died in 2009, at the age of 51. Leaving Neverland has caused tremendous controversy. For many viewers, it was a …

‘It will rock your house!’ Inside the Iranian electronic underground

Ten years ago, electronic music in Iran was suppressed by the government. But now these strange, often punishing sounds are finding their way into the world Ten years ago Bahman Ghobadis film holed up in underground studios, but today a new story is emerging: of a visionary music community now able to openly share its strange creations. Increasingly, Iran is becoming recognised as a hub for some of the worlds most vital, forward-thinking experimental music. Its affable prime mover is Ata Ebtekar, a long-celebrated figure in electronic music under his alias Sote, meaning sound in Farsi. His last album, 2017s Parallel Persia, led by the breathtaking single His first attempt to break Irans electronic music out of the country in …

DJs of the Future Don’t Spin RecordsThey Write Code

Renick Bell is standing in front of his computer at a small table in the middle of the dance floor. The stoic, bespectacled musician types quickly and efficiently, his eyes locked to his computer screen. Around him in a wide circle, the crowd bobs to his music. Sputtering tom rolls, blobby techno synths, and crystalline cymbal taps blossom and spill out of the theater's massive surround-sound system. All the lights are off, and the only illumination in the big room is the glow of Bell's monitor, the soft red LED backlight on his mechanical gaming keyboard, and a live view of his PC monitor projected on a wall-sized screen. Peter Rubin Fortnite's Marshmello Concert Is the Future of the Metaverse …

Solange: When I Get Home the Snapchat album

Solange Knowless tantalising fourth album conjures fragments and fleeting impressions that get inside your head Frank Ocean to Beyoncs caught on murky CCTV attacking Jay-Z, as a docile Beyonc stood by. The viral clip upped Solanges album streams by 200%, but her career route has never been clear cut: she once released a track called Fuck the Industry (Signed Sincerely) before When I Get Home, but blink and youre halfway through them, your mind fizzing with fluttery choruses and half-riffs. The introverted UK electronic producers James Blake and Time (Is), one of the albums most modest tracks. Some of the albums most snippety bits such Way to the Show is essentially one exquisitely pretty line with an underlying coolness, like …

How we made Booker T and the MGs’ Green Onions

It was originally called Funky Onions but to laced-up, deep-south America, that sounded like a cuss word, so we had to retitle it Booker T Jones, organist I grew up in Memphis and by the time I was 17, I was learning saxophone, piano and Hammond organ, paid for by my paper round. I started going over to Billie Lee Riley, but something hadnt worked out. Hed packed up and left, so we had the studio to ourselves. We started playing around with a piano groove Id been performing in the clubs, trying to emulate Ray Charles. It sounded better on the organ, so I kept on playing that. Stax owner Jim Stewart liked what we were doing and wanted …

Taylor Swift vows to be politically active and speak out against ‘disgusting rhetoric’

Pop singer writes in magazine essay: Im going to do more to help. We have a big race coming up next year Taylor Swift has vowed to become more active in politics ahead of the 2020 US presidential election, saying she feels it is her responsibility to speak out against disgusting rhetoric. Invoking racism and provoking fear through thinly veiled messaging is not what I want from our leaders, and I realized that it actually is my responsibility to use my influence against that disgusting rhetoric, the pop singer wrote in an endorsed two Tennessee Democrats in Novembers midterm elections. A bombing at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena killed 22 people, and a stalkers trying to break into …

Solange: When I Get Home review lose yourself in Knowles’ hazy vision

Pharrell Williams, Sampha and Tyler, the Creator are among the guests on Knowles fourth album but they cant always prevent it from floating away The credits for Pharrell Williams to Gucci Mane to actor Debbie Allen. Those old enough to remember the early 80s may recall Allen sternly informing Bruno, Doris, Leroy et al that Right heres where you start paying in sweat every week during the intro to Fame on BBC One. One track alone features a group of backing singers involving Animal Collective and

‘I feel like I’ve been had’: Morrissey’s collaborators respond to his politics

The former Smiths singers new album features guest spots from Billie Joe Armstrong and Grizzly Bears Ed Droste. Are they not put off by his increasingly unpleasant right-wing stance? Given the left-wing values of his former band the Smiths, Morrisseys embrace of the right over the past decade has been uncomfortable for some fans to stomach. He has expressed support for Nigel Farage, the For Britain leader Tommy Robinson, suggested that Londons muslim mayor labelled Grizzly Bear, among those backing the controversial singer. Broken Social Scene. She received a call from the American producer organised an anti-racism party to coincide with Morrisseys scheduled shows in his home city last July, in response to Morrisseys divisive views, and his support for …