Madonna's Instagram account confirms she's back in the studio with a dozen Scandinavian writers and producers including Avicii, plus British singer songwriter Natalia Kills... After two fan-dividing albums, Madonna's next record will be make-or-break for many of us exasperated followers.
I'm breaking my own rule this week, and starting with a story that very much made the front pages - the front page of Time magazine to be precise. Earlier this week, Beyoncé was crowned queen of the US title's 100 Most Influential People In The World list, or the Time 100 as it's more generally billed, and consequently pictured looking her usual stunning self on the front of the magazine. So far, so good. The socialsphere, however, didn't take long to react and when it did, the reaction wasn't pretty.
Thank you for representing the ideal role model for young women; a strong female who doesn't insist on jutting out her collar bones at every photo opportunity. You say what you think without any qualms and you're able to make fun of yourself.
Broadcaster Paul Mason put it best: the first law of sociology is that all youth subcultures eventually come back. First it was a post-punk revival in the mid-noughties, then nu-rave later in the decade and lately we've been reminiscing the nineties. Is it now Northern Soul's turn for a revival?
Bob Dylan's song and his persistent campaigning for Carter during the Rolling Thunder Revue tour meant that Rubin Carter's case was brought to the attention of mainstream America. Just two months after the Hurricane II show the New Jersey Supreme Court overturned the Lafayette convictions, ruling that the trial's prosecution withheld evidence favourable to the defendants
Two-piece The Midnight Barbers are loud. Self-assuredly, gleefully loud; the kind of sonic expansiveness that can bring a room of people to shocked attention.
Yes, I'm an ambassador for Record Store Day (that's even official). Yes, I have a single out on Record Store Day. Yes, my label is releasing a long lost track of Dub Sex (recorded by the legendary Martin Hannett, available in participating outlets). Yes, I have a list of records that are out that day that I'd like for my own collection. But does this make me biased? Yes, of course it does but it doesn't mean I can't have my say. I've heard the grumbles about there being too many releases, even conspiracy theories about major labels clogging up the schedules of pressing plants so that small labels can't get their stock in time. But, for me, these are good problems to have.
We've only just started this project, I'm dead excited about this one, its the sequel to an English movie called 'Monsters'. It's really not what you'd expect from that title, it's beautiful and dark, a powerful movie that deals with the acceptance of that which is alien to us (the West specifically, it was filmed in the Sudan).
You may have seen the heartbreaking sixty-second story: an old man takes his lovely little fluffy white dog for a walk to deliver a bunch of flowers. It transpires he is delivering the flowers to the graveside of lost loved one. The dog comforts him with a lick and they eat dinner together, with the man preparing the dog's favourite meal, Cesar.
Where did you first come across London Grammar? Perhaps on the radio, though of course you could also have found it on Spotify, or via a shared link on Facebook. Where did you first get an earful of German Whip? It might have been on DAB, but equally it may have been Tumblr, or via Playlister, or on YouTube. However, ask anyone who can remember Britpop where they first heard the anthems of that era, and the answer is usually a great deal simpler: Radio 1.
When I first interviewed Bolywool in 2010, they were one of a slew of Swedish bands who were spearheading a revival of psychedelic rock.
Did you know that 92% of the UK music industry is white? Does that matter? Who cares? Does it matter when you consider that it's totally unrepresentative of the music scene's artist's, promoter's, record label's worker's and fan's? It does matter.
When, Pensylvania punk quartet, The Menzingers get called a bar band you don't find yourself questioning it. There anthemic and rootsy on classic punk rockis the perfect accompaniment to a Saturday with your friends and several hundred pints.
Merrymouth's follow-up LP, Wenlock Hill, will be released on 5 May with Simon singing and writing, backed up by Dan Sealey of Ocean Colour Scene, Adam Barry and a host of distinguished collaborators.
You want to be at the front of the gig? Good. Get to the venue early and queue up like everyone else. Don't wait until the gig has started and then push your way through the crowd to the front - especially if you end up hurting people, knocking them over and splitting up people who want to be able to enjoy the gig together.
I have been asking listeners to share their memories of that time and specifically, when they realised they were part of the 90s movement which became known as Britpop. One listener in particular had the most incredible reason for vivid memories of that time - his wedding day. A day immortalised on the iconic cover of Pulp's album, A Different Class.