Artists have been heading down to Tennessee to avail themselves of crack session musicians and rootsy ambience since Bob Dylan and Neil Young almost 50 years ago. Nashville is both a thriving music industry hub and an abstract ideal; a factory that turns out myths as well as hits. “When a major artist comes (or comes back to) this region, it’s not just an act,” says Ann Powers, a critic and author who lives in Nashville. “It also usually signals a genuine attempt to tap into a rich musical resource.” At this stage, the extent of Timberlake’s interest is unclear. When he solemnly claims that Man of the Woods is inspired by “where I’m from”, he isn’t whistling Dixie. He was born in Memphis and now owns a decent chunk of Leiper’s Fork, an hour outside of Nashville. But the snow-covered landscapes in the video suggest Montana, where he owns a ranch, rather than Tennessee. By eliding the deep south with the old west, he … [Read more...] about Stetsons, beards and good, honest sweat: why pop stars are going back to basics
90s pop star
Perhaps the way social media have shaped our culture of self-expression, and moved it forward, has fundamentally changed pop’s mood. Having initially provided an open platform on which pop stars could speak for themselves, before the trolls tried to stop them speaking, this new appetite for self-expression could not be put back in its box, so it found other, bigger outlets. What’s more, lovers of music – and of other culture – responded to it. Take the shifting success of Albertine, who may not have released another album, but her memoirs sold brilliantly, and other books and music featuring more honest, free perspectives have followed in its wake.Tracey Thorn’s Record, full of turbo-charged disco about contraception and conception, and being on a dancefloor, at 55, “with some drinks inside of me”. Robyn’s Honey, clearly made by a woman struggling with grief and the need for human connection at 39, but siphoning the glittery power of … [Read more...] about ‘We were sad of getting old’: how pop stars are growing up gracefully
2. Debussy: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor (1915) The great thing about the way we can now access music is how quickly you can move from one time and place to another, which really suits the hundreds of years of classical music and the way it moves in all directions at once: all those composers, conductors, orchestras, ensembles, versions, repertories, programmes, voices and connections can now be held more or less in one place and, astonishingly, inside your phone. You can call Schubert, Stravinsky, Bartok, Lutoslawski and they get right back to you. If you find one piece of classical music you like, you can very quickly move out and about into a world that once seemed hermetically sealed off and controlled by mean, dismal and/or arcane forces. You can make your own way into a world that is new because it is new to you; a collection of responsive, connected and mutinous individuals in their own amazing world; a vital representation of spontaneous thought. … [Read more...] about Paul Morley: ‘Pop belongs to the last century. Classical music is more relevant to the future’
But, as further proof of how difficult it is to have a relationship in the house, things got tough for Holly and Kyle. So much so, that their cast mates sat them down in series 11, when they were no longer together, and said one of them had to go, admitting they couldn't handle the tension. … [Read more...] about Who is reality TV star Holly Hagan – and why is she worth a whopping £400,000?
Smoldering: She cuddled up on the red carpet to her dashing husband Eddie Cibrian, whom she famously began her romance with while they were both married to other people … [Read more...] about Kesha unleashes her animal instinct in see-through leopard print stockings as she leads the stars at MusiCares tribute to Aerosmith