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October 14, 2019

Best Occasions for Popular Blur Songs

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Photo by Eric Nopanen / The Unsplash License

Finding the right song for the right activity can really transform your mood and make your day that much better. Below, we’ll pair specific Blur songs with specific activities (sort of like pairing the right wine with the right meal). Here are our picks:

“Girls and Boys”

Looking for the perfect Blur song to dance your heart out to? Then “Girls and Boys” needs to be on your dance party playlist. Whether you’re throwing a party with friends or dancing on your own like Robin, you can’t go wrong with “Girls and Boys.” Its throwback 80s vibes will get you up and grooving like no other. Because of the nature of the song, this would also be a good track to choose if you’re getting ready for a date or a night out.

“Coffee and TV”

Despite what the title suggests, this song isn’t best paired with coffee and TV. Even though it has an upbeat tune, it’s a good choice to listen to if you’re feeling overwhelmed or burned out by various obligations. It’s also a good choice if you need some time to yourself away from everyone and everything. This is because the lyrics discuss feeling “kicked around, bored,” being “virtually brain-dead,” and wanting to get away, perhaps to the country, where it’s calmer. Combining these lyrics with a poppy tune will allow you to relate to the lyrics without the song bringing you down. 

So, when should you listen to “Coffee and TV”? Turn it on when you want to lie down and take a break from the world. Or listen to it when you need to unwind after a particularly long work day. It would also be a good choice for painting if you’re the type who likes to take out your frustrations by making art.

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Photo by Jenny Hill / The Unsplash License

“Song 2”

This song is best for when you need to amp yourself up or get yourself motivated for movement. If you want to amp yourself up, “Song 2” is the must-have song for every type of gaming, from long video game sessions to high-stakes poker. When gaming, the music you choose to listen to will greatly affect your performance. It can clear your mind, reduce stress, and help you get in a competitive mood.

“Song 2” is also a great choice if you have to get moving, be that exercise, chores around the house, or getting yourself ready in the morning so you’re not late for work. Its faster pace will literally help you to move faster. This is great for running or pushing yourself during a workout at the gym because you’ll be able to get a more intense workout in.

“There’s No Other Way”

Heading on a long road trip? Make sure “There’s No Other Way” is on your playlist. This is a particularly good option if you’re in the mood to listen to music with a strong 90s vibe, too. And even though it’s not as fast-paced as “Song 2,” it would also be a good option for some mild exercise like hiking or walking. Like most of Blur’s songs, “There’s No Other Way” has some fairly moody lyrics, but focus on the upbeat tune instead for this one and you’ll be on your way to the perfect pace for your low intensity workout.

“Parklife”

This song discusses the basic routines of daily life, like waking up and getting dressed. But it also discusses the narrator’s love of feeding birds (particularly pigeons and sparrows) and how he observes others going about their daily rituals. Whether you choose to interpret the song’s meaning in a positive or negative light doesn’t really matter when it comes to the best time to listen to it. And the best time is any time you’re going about some sort of daily routine. This includes commuting to your 9 to 5, doing chores, paying bills, or running errands. It would also be a good choice to listen to while cooking or baking, because food is another aspect of a daily routine that we all share.

Looking for more Blur to listen to? Good news: There will be a lot more Blur in your future.


October 2, 2019

Damon Albarn Has A New Project for 2019 and it's Big!

Damon Albarn has announced details of new project ‘The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows’, which he’ll be taking on tour in May 2020.

The Blur and Gorillaz frontman’s new work is inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, and will see him take it on the road with an ensemble and ambitious visuals by Icelandic filmmakers in the Spring. One date at The Barbican in London will Albarn team up with conductor André de Ridder.⁣

“The land of the midnight sun, Iceland is a unique country, filled with an abundance of natural beauty; glaciers, volcanoes, thermal springs, mountains and stunning headlands,” a synopsis reads. “Stretching across two continents; it’s a land where North America and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. What can be more fascinating than the signs of the passage of time and the fragility of nature.



“This new piece from Albarn, a frequent visitor to Iceland for almost three decades, will see the musician perform this new, very personal piece with an ensemble of orchestra instrumentation, electronics, vocals and piano. The title is taken from a John Clare poem entitled Love and Memory.”


Full tour dates are below. Visit here for tickets and more information.

MAY
17-18: Brussels, (Bozar)
20: Budapest, (Mupa)
21: Eindhoven, (Muziekgebouw)
23-24: Paris, (Philharmonie)
25: Lyon, (Auditorium – Orchestre National de Lyon)
26: London, (Barbican)
27: Nantes, (Cité des Congrès)
29: Luxembourg, (Philharmonie)
31 – June 1: Dublin, (National Concert Hall)

This comes after Albarn appeared to announce the end of The Good, The Bad & The Queen this summer. The band, which also features The Clash’s Paul Simonon, The Verve’s Simon Tong, and Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, reunited last year for their second album ‘Merrie Land’. “This is our last gig,” Albarn told the audience at the Netherlands festival. “This is our last gig. After this, poof. Done.” 


August 2, 2019

The Best Gifts You Can Buy A Music Fan

Music fans; they’re two a penny, because who doesn’t love getting lost in the transcendental bassline of your favourite song and a rift that makes you want to stand up and lose control of your limbs? In other words, music inspires so many and picks you up when you’re most in need. There’s nothing quite like putting in your headphones, shutting out the rest of the world, and blasting out your most cherished songs – at sensible volumes, of course. 

It’s not all too hard to try and find music-related gifts for the diehard fan in your life, providing, of course, your loved one’s taste in music isn’t so niche and obscure that no one else seems to have ever heard of it before. Let’s hope, for your sake, that this is not the case. Buckle up and prepare to find out how best to shop for a music fan in four easy steps. 

What Do They Like? 

Figure out which bands they like before even entertaining the idea of getting them a musically inspired gift. This should go without saying, but just because Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, and Cardi B are all the rage and dominating the charts right now, doesn’t mean that they’re universally popular. Always, always be sure of their music tastes before making your next move. 

Tickets To See A Performance

Nothing is better than seeing the musicians you love perform in front of you live, so endeavour to get some of the best seats in the house by using TicketSales.com to secure them. Getting tickets to see their favourite artists will bowl them over with joy and excitement, so if you’re eager to see the face of the music lover you love light up, you should definitely look at the upcoming events. 

Stay Away From Tat

You know what’s being referred to here, and as fun as themed gifts can be, they’re also a bit rubbish and end up cluttering up the home. Steer away from doing this by getting gifts that no one else will have purchased before and ones that are a little bit more personal, practical, and most of all, thoughtful. 

Resist the urge to buy plastic goods that will only contribute to landfill in the end, and instead opt for a gift that’s original and communicates the care and thought that you put in to selecting it. Consider the likes of a framed and signed copy of a vinyl, a CD, or a sketch of the artist made in black and white rather than just a poster. 

Lessons

Chances are that the music fan in your life might know their way around a musical instrument pretty well, but if they don’t and you know they’d like to, then invest in a music lesson or two for them. With this said, you’ll need to find out which instrument they’d most like to learn, so delve into their interests or just come out and ask. You want to get this present right, so resist the urge to guess. Piano and guitar lessons can be easily found online, so have a cursory search to locate the most highly rated and reviewed teachers in your area and get the music fan you know on their list.


May 1, 2019

Would Blur Exist Without The Beatles?

Would Blur Exist Without The Beatles?



“No Beatles means no Britpop, which means no Blur, which means no Song 2, which causes air guitar to disappear as an art form.” This was the answer of The Ringer’s Michael Baumann when he was asked what sounds at first like a simple question: “What is the farthest-reaching consequence of the erasure of the Beatles?” Go ahead and give that question a couple seconds to sink in. And if you’re like us, prepare to basically see your own brain’s gears going into overdrive.

Even those who are even just a little bit familiar with music history will know just how influential The Beatles were in shaping modern rock. And if you’re wondering what spurred this discussion to make the rounds online, look no further than the trailer for the upcoming Yesterday, a film that postulates a world in which the entire planet forgets about The Beatles overnight. According to the trailer, only one man remembers the greatest British pop-rock band in the world, and he uses it to get famous as hell. The man’s rise to stardom replicates Beatlemania in the modern era – a strange combination of pandemonium and mass amnesia, and an unexpected twist on the typical Beatles-inspired movie musical. Again, it makes perfect sense, until you think about the ramifications of The Beatles having never existed at all.



CREDIT: By Roy Kerwood - Photo by Roy Kerwood. Previously uploaded to en: with same image name May 11 2006., CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44119817



For starters, Baumann was right when he said that Blur wouldn’t exist – as confirmed by Damon Albarn. According to Albarn, John Lennon’s Imagine was what inspired him to take up songwriting in the first place, adding that he would’ve loved to work with Lennon, if only he wasn’t shot when Albarn was still stuck in school. Meanwhile, Lottoland’s list of the top influential rock songs, point out how the classic I Wanna Hold Your Hand was essential to sparking the musical revolution of the 60s. Without The Beatles, a decidedly different sound would have come out of that revolution, creating further waves in the evolution of British rock. Another instant casualty would be Graham Coxon’s work on the re-recording of the Beatles’ debut albumPlease Please Me. These are just some of the more horrific possibilities posed by the upcoming Yesterday.



While early criticism of the movie points out how the trailer doesn’t seem to address these historical implications, we have to admit that the very concept has spurred a renewed interest in The Beatles and just how far their influence extends, The idea of Yesterday happening would definitely mean no Britpop as we know it. If Blur did still exist, they would definitely sport a different sound, which is a concept we’d rather not get further into. In short, The Beatles defined what rock was, is, and will be. Not bad for a couple of lads from Liverpool.


March 31, 2019

Blur just played their first surprise gig in 2019!

Head's up! Blur played a surprise gig on March 30th 2019 in an unexpected turn of events at the frontman's Africa Express gig. The band assembled on stage during Albarn's performance and performed 3 songs: 1) Song 2, 2) Clover over Dover and 3) Tender.

This marks the first time that the band has played together in 2019, and also the first time that the song Clover Over Dover has been played live in the history of the band's performances. The songs were greatly enjoyed by the audience, who had no idea what they were in stall for.

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However, for those of you who know, Damon's gigs have always been full of surprises. Previous performers at the show include Paul McCartney, Paul Weller and Johnny Marr alongside famed African musicians including Baaba Maal, Oumou Sangaré and Fatoumata Diawara. It is definitely another pleasant surprise that we get to see the great band in action.

Take a look at some of the videos of the band playing these songs below.


March 23, 2019

Happy Birthday to Damon Albarn!

Another day, another year! The Blur frontman turns 51 today on March 23 2019. To celebrate, we've compiled a series of photos featuring Albarn throughout the years. Enjoy!

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March 20, 2019

Watch the Best Live Damon Albarn Performance of 2018

It's that time of the year again where we re-live all that Damon Albarn has done. Whether it be Gorillaz or Blur, he has sure achieved a lot. Now, we recently stumbled across some live footage of Gorillaz's acoustic performance at KROQ, and we were extremely impressed with Damon Albarn's upbeat mood and amazing singing. He was, to put it simply, outstanding in his vocals, pitch, tone and energy.

Take a look below and let us know what you think!


March 7, 2019

Blur- the 20-year challenge

Here's the 20-year challenge for Blur- the band that will forever live on in fans' hearts as the 90s, youthful Britpop wonder that changed British music for a whole generation. Note- we couldn't do the 10-year challenge as Blur is not active in 2019 and we could not find any group photos!

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Did they change at all?


February 20, 2019

3 times Gorillaz foreshadowed Brexit, and all it's consequences

Let's face it- Gorillaz is a political band. They've always sung about society- from guns, drugs to presidential elections. Damon Albarn's a man who loves social commentary, and he feels strongly for the recent turn of events in the world, including the US elections and of course, the infamous Brexit incident that everyone in the UK is anxious to talk about.

Here's a roundup of the 3 best Gorillaz songs that talk about all things Brexit, even if it isn't immediately obvious.

1) Humility

Given the references to loneliness and isolation in the lyrics ("Calling the world from isolation 'Cause right now, that's the ball where we be chained And if you're coming back to find me You'd better have good aim Shoot it true I need you in the picture") it's not surprising that many fans have inferred that Gorillaz has spoken to us about Brexit. The UK leaving the EU invokes fears of isolation, nationalism and extremist attitudes, not to mention that the UK will well and truly be lonely- in every sense of the word.



2) Clint Eastwood

Gorillaz's biggest hit may uncover more than you think- the lyrics are apt, chilling and telling ("My future is coming on It's coming on It's coming on It's coming on It's coming on") and invokes feelings of uncertainty, confusion and...chaos amidst the tripping, happy tune. It may not be obvious, but this Gorillaz tune may be darker than you think.



3) Hallelujah Money

This is the most politically-drive, statement-making song from The Now Now, Gorillaz's latest spine-chilling album. This song features singer Benjamin Clementine and explores the themes of power, big business and humanity. Legend has it that it was inspired by Donald Trump and most definitely Brexit- it's a true foreshadowing of the future, and all of it's negative effects on humanity.


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