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March 23, 2011

Damon Albarn turns 43 ...and he's still as creative as ever

Before the clock strikes midnight, I would like to dedicate this post wishing Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz, a happy 43rd birthday! 


Now what's BlurBalls without crazy memes and pictures and captions?




And how can I put up pictures of Damon without adding something like this:


Good night readers! What do you want to give Damon for his birthday? Think he even celebrated at all or did he go out drinking all night ?

Food for thought.


March 22, 2011

Song Review: Snoop Dogg feat. Gorillaz - Sumthin Like This Night

RATING: 


So the song "Sumthin Like This Night" from Snoop Dogg's latest album Doggumentary is out on youtube.

The song features Snoop Dogg's signature drowning rap and clever lyrics, then Damon Albarn does the vocals, or the first part of the chorus "but you never tried it... something like this night...somethin like this night....". The second part of the chorus doesn't sound like Damon, it sounds like someone else, but we can still hear the Damon Albarn backing vocals all through out.

Listen below and keep reading on for a bit more reviewing.



The tune is much like Doncamatic (All played out), Gorillaz's non-album single released a few months ago. That was because Damon felt Plastic Beach didn't have a single that was "pop" and synthetic enough, so he created the song for the sole purpose of it being a non-album single that can sell. Anyways, in Doncamatic (listen below) there is an electronic trumpet instrument that blares the sounds all through the song. The rhythm is basically constructed of the electronic trumpet item blaring the tune of the song. In Sumthin Like This Night, similar sounds were used, and I think it worked better in Doncamatic to be honest.



I would say this isn't good single material. It's catchy but rather repetitive, and definitely not dance floor material (usually those get to top the charts, admit it) and the song's rather mellow and down key. I do hope it will chart if it gets released as a single from Snoop Dogg's album, though I somehow have doubts about that.

I just wish Gorillaz would make a more single worthy song like 19/2000 or Clint Eastwood soon! And release their b-sides.


Blur's Alex James to sort out Libya crisis - and his crazy career

Another episode of the Alex James sequel, of the strange things he's been up to since the Blur hiatus and their last album...read on to find out...the suspense! 


***


Blur bass player, Alex James, has confirmed that the UN has asked him to take a lead role in searching for a 'just, peaceful and ultimately cool' solution to the crisis engulfing Libya.


Alex James, cheese-maker, classical musician, newspaper columnist, panel show host and fete-opening radio-presenting former bassist with Blur, has confirmed that the UN has asked him to take a lead role in searching for a ‘just, peaceful and ultimately cool’ solution to the crisis engulfing Libya.


James, who reportedly did a GCSE history project on Rommel’s North Africa Korps, caught the eye of Ban Ki Moon when he came second to David Platt from Coronation Street on the BBC reality show ‘Diplomat’ last year in the challenge to reunite Korea.
‘His agent gave us a good deal,’ said Moon. ‘All he needs to do is keep talking to Gaddafi until he capitulates. And he’s free to write about it in the Telegraph, publish a book, write a song – whatever.  
After all, as he told me, Jesus himself said ‘Blessed are the cheesemakers’.’
***
Well, well well, looks like Alex James has been, er, expanding his career! Now he's to save Libya by being totally Mr. Alex James himself. Great. 
Lets recap on all the things he's been up to since 2003:
Cheese making Alex
Breast milk with Gordon

Bit of a Blur - letting us into the world of Blur
Raising kids, animals and his wife
Hosting food shows
Getting ridiculous haircuts
Modeling 
Cocaine Diaries series
Glastonbury 2010 with Blur
Blur reunion ! 
Advertising corned beef
And of course, much more involving beautiful women, celebrities, money making, more cheese making, farming, vegetables and all things natural. Not to mention, the occasional jamming with his bass guitars and the rare award show appearance. Radio shows, music, blogging, writing on his weekly column and even plans for a 2nd Blur book. 
I leave you, dear readers, with Alex James on the joys of cauliflower


What do you think of Alex's "career" ? Have I left out a significant thing he's been involved with since the last Blur album? 


March 20, 2011

Damon Albarn's new opera 2011 - Doctor Dee


Damon Albarn has written and will star in a stage show about 16th Century alchemist, astrologer and spy John Dee.
A musical work based on Elizabeth I's medical and scientific adviser, Doctor Dee will have its premiere in July at the Manchester International Festival.
It will then be staged at the home of the English National Opera as part of London's Cultural Olympiad programme.
The Manchester festival will also feature the debut of Bjork's new show during a three-week residency.
Other original productions will be created for the event by immersive theatre company Punchdrunk, film-makers The Quay Brothers, comedian Victoria Wood and performance artist Marina Abramovic.
Manchester International Festival director Alex Poots said the event, which started in 2007 and takes place every two years, was "a home for major artists to realise their most ambitious projects".
Albarn's Chinese opera Monkey: Journey To The West was a highlight of the first Manchester International Festival four years ago and the Blur and Gorillaz singer will present his next production at the city's Palace Theatre.
Albarn did not appear in Monkey but will perform in Doctor Dee.
The show has been co-produced by the English National Opera and the London 2012 Festival and will be staged at the London Coliseum next year.
It will be directed by Rufus Norris, who staged Don Giovanni at the ENO last year and whose Broadway revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses was nominated for five Tony Awards in 2008.
"It will be a big, spectacular show," Mr Poots said. "I know that Damon's passionate about it and he's already written some incredibly beautiful songs, some anthemic songs."
Bjork will launch the Manchester International Festival on 30 June with a show based on her new album Biophilia.
The project combines her interests in music, science and nature and is billed as a "multi-media project encompassing music, apps, internet, installations and live shows".
There will be an app for each song and the singer has invented a range of new instruments for the shows, including a 30-foot (nine-metre) pendulum that harnesses the earth's gravitational pull to create musical patterns.
She will perform six times over three weeks at the Campfield Market Hall.
Punchdrunk will return after creating the acclaimed theatrical experience It Felt Like A Kiss with Damon Albarn at the last festival. Their new show, The Crash of the Elysium, will be the company's first for children.
Elsewhere, the Quay Brothers, celebrated for their dark, disjointed films and animations, will team up with Russian-born violinist Alina Ibragimova to stage chamber music in a promenade setting.
Amadou & Mariam
Amadou & Mariam will play a show in total darkness
Amadou and Mariam, a blind musical duo from Mali, will attempt to stage the world's first concert in total darkness, while comedian Johnny Vegas will present a new theatre show.
Victoria Wood is writing and directing That Day We Sang, about the 1920s Manchester Children's Choir, which will open at the Manchester Opera House.
'Artistic powerhouse'
Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe is to star in The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic alongside the Serbian-born performance artist. The production will feature music written and performed by Antony Hegarty from the Mercury-prize winning Antony and The Johnsons.
The festival will also involve rapper Snoop Dogg, singer Sinead O'Connor, artist John Gerrard, the Halle Orchestra and French composer Mark Andre.
Manchester City Council's executive member for culture and leisure, Councillor Mike Amesbury, said the festival "makes a massive contribution to the cultural offering of our great city and has helped establish us on the world stage as a leading artistic powerhouse".


March 15, 2011

BlurBalls Caption Contest 4

TUESDAY NIGHT, people, time for another weekly BLURBLOG CAPTIOCONTEST! Apologies for the erratic times, tough times call for a bit more flexibility on the postings. I've been up to drawing more pictures of Blur, going to the gym a few times per week, and generally doing what I do best - procrastinate. This week I present to you:



Come on guys! This one is A PIECE OF CAKE (or should I say bananas) ! Damon, Graham, two bananas, matching outfits, black shirts, damon's expression. You got a caption/ comment? Leave it below. 

The awesome winner for Blurball Caption Contest 3 is my amazing reader Rose  who didn't technically submit a caption, but committed Blur blasphemy by uttering Franz Ferdinand in a Blur website (gasp, horror!) with her comment mentioning how the line "Do you want to ? " was stuck in her head.


Really appreciate the long flowing comments, Rose. Keep posting. You get this awesome GIF as a prezzie. 

Thanks Rose. You can keep Damon! 
And for all you who are new or just stumbled upon this cozy little Blur blog across cyberspace, please leave a comment below!


Blur - 100 gigs you should have been at (NME)

This week NME features reviews of a 100 famous gigs. 

NME this week featured the top 100 gigs you should have been at. Seems pretty random to me, but Blur appear twice: with Suede at #63 at Town&Country Club, London, July 23, 1992 - and at #12 with, of course, Hyde Park, London, July 2-3, 2009.



Pic of the day - beautiful drawing of the boys
SUEDE/BLUR - TOWN & COUNTRY CLUB, LONDON, July 23, 1992

"We're so fucking shit you might as well go home now. This could be the worst gig you've ever seen." So said Damon Albarn as a ridiculously pissed Blur - having spent the afternoon drinking in Camden - took the stage for the charity Gimme Shelter gig in their 'Modern Life is Rubbish' phase.
They proceeded to deliver either the best or worst (depending who you ask) set ot their career, barely able to see their own instruments, falling over and trying to shoulder a speaker stack off the stage. It was as punk as Britpop would ever get, but in its aftermath, Food Records gave them a month to clean up or they'd be dropped. And out of the wreckage, immaculate rising supposrt act Suede, shimmied gloriously into the big time, having utterly outstaged the headliners. The first Battle of Britpop was on..
.



Town and Country Club - 1992
BLUR - HYDE PARK, LONDON, July 2-3, 2009

They may not have been the final shows of their ecstatically received 2009 reunion tour, but Blur's two night at Hyde Park were arguably their pinnacle as a live band, and if they're on/off studio potterings never come to a new album, it's how they should be remembered: with Damon rolling around the stage in wild, punk-rock paroxysms, an esqusitely chosen, cereer-spanning setlist, and Alex James with one foot on the monitor and a cigarette drooping from his lips, as though the noughties, cheesemaking and the TV talent show judging had never happened. It was pure nostalgia, obviously, but after six years away, that hardly mattered. A timely reminder that not everything about Britpop was bollocks.



Blur finished Hyde Park on a high note

Wonder who is No. 1 ? And I've decided to postpone the "Caption Contest" postings till later this week, so stay tuned for more blurry news, fun and caption contest excitement. 


March 12, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GRAHAM COXON

Happy birthday Graham Coxon, guitarist, twitterer and legend. Hope you have a great 42nd birthday and have some eccles cake! 


Warning: This post contains material
unsuitable for children under 18!

-DISCLAIMER-

You must be over 18 to view this post.


    When entering, you acknowledge that you are 18 or over. And you also acknowledge that BlurBalls cannot be held liable if your children read the next section of today's post.


    That means you parents are responsible for your kids' internet activities, NOT us! Don't blame us if you are (an) irresponsible parent(s)! I am a parent myself, so therefore, I know better to monitor my child's internet surfing! SO... it is no excuse for you to accuse me of running such a site!



What's up with all the dog memes? Then again, I always thought Graham looked a bit like a lost puppy with big brown eyes and floppy hair. Woof! 


March 11, 2011

Aped out?

I did another impression sketch... I don't know what's up with me these days! I'm feeling quite creative with the computer! Perhaps it's the Blur news that just keeps coming that's kicking me off?

It's the face. It's in the eyes...It's...GORILLAZ.

I'm "Aped"!


Graham Coxon to play for Summer Sundae Festival

The first acts have been announced for this year’s Summer Sundae Weekender. 


The Maccabees, Graham Coxon and Newton Faulkner are among the first few artists to be confirmed for the August event. Summer Sundae Weekend 2011 will take place at De Montfort Hall and Gardens in Leicester on 11th – 14th August. 




Other acts announced for the festival include The Bees, The Cuban Brothers, Wilko Johnson and John Cooper Clarke. 

Following the success of their 2009 Top 20 album ‘Wall of Arms’, London rockers The Maccabees should prove to be a popular headliner at this year’s festival. 



With a third album expected soon, their set will almost certainly feature some new material. After his brief return to Blur, Graham Coxon is reviving his solo project for this year’s Summer Sundae. 


Graham Coxon to return playing live!
Summer Sundae Weekender has taken place every year since 2001 and last year celebrated its 10th anniversary with performances from Mumford and Sons, Tinchy Stryder and Seasick Steve. 


The festival has grown to feature over 100 acts across six stages, attracting more than 6000 people. 


Go to Summersundae.com for more information! The line-up confirmed so far is:


The Maccabees

Graham Coxon 
Newton Faulkner
The Bees
Bellowhead
The Cuban Brothers
Wilko Johnson
John Cooper Clarke
Little Comets
CW Stoneking
Liam Bailey
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Mama Rosin
Raghu Dixit
Skinny Lister
The Black Atlantic
Dizraeli And The Small Gods
Various Cruelties 





Hmm, wonder if Graham will play some new tracks off his new album? Are you guys going to go ? Leave a comment below! 


March 10, 2011

Spur of the moment drawing

I had this little burst of creativity and decided to draw the Blur boys using an online paint software....

Thinking this can be my new logo or something. Do they even look like who they're supposed to be? Can you guys guess who is who ? 

And FIY, the Blur demo tape that's being sold on eBay has closed and reached a crazy price of GBP 217.12! Hope that new song "Us" gets shared soon, I'll post it up if it comes out! 


A new Blur album "in progress" ?

Hooligan from the Blur Forums sends news that:

"I was out drinking with a friend who was accompanied by someone who was intimately involved in the making of NDLTR. We were talking about Fool's Day & its relative merits & he let slip that 'it doesn't sound like anything on the new album.' Obviously we pounced on him for more info to which he furiously back-pedalled but the cat was out the bag. So there is a new album on the way, people. Rejoice."


The other forumers and myself included reacted accordingly.



As damon4president puts it, now all we need is for Alex to say something along the lines of, oh, I dunno, 'it was like putting the A Team back together for one last job. We had to bust Rowntree out of law school' for me to consider it confirmed...


Plus, the Summersonic lineup of 2011 features a special secret guest. Could it be Blur ? Would Blur play a few songs at this year's music festival?




Exciting times! I'm impatient and thirsty for more solid news. How about you ? 


March 7, 2011

BlurBall Caption Contest 3 !

Last Friday night was spent spilling blood and tears over an essay. Now that that's over, I will dedicate this post (a tad late!) to announcing the winners of the BlurBall Caption Contest 2 and to kick start a NEW competition for this week! 

Ladies and Gentlemen (or neither)....time for the Monday morning BLURBLOG CAPTIOCONTEST! 


Thanks to Caitlin from the forums for putting up this hilarious picture. Damon and Jamie, partners in crime, partners in business and partners in goofing around. Can YOU think of something funny that was going on the minds of those two when the picture was taken? How about an awesome one-liner that goes with the monkeying around ? 

Speaking of which, Damon and Jamie kind of look alike here. Maybe it's the hair. Or the suits. Love them. 

The winner for Blurball Caption Contest 2 is NoWhereNoHow  who suggested the caption "With Prestige, there comes a foreboding burden..." with inspiration from the lyrics in Advert (Modern Life is Rubbish)! Congratulations!


Now that's one serious caption there. It's DEEP! You get a milky postcard as a token of extreme gratitude.

Aren't they the sweetest couple?
Dear readers, please leave a comment below on any suggestions/ comments and CAPTIONS for the new picture! Be sure to check out the Gallery for past contest winners. 

What's up with you guys? 


March 6, 2011

Oops

Sorry guys, I didn't post anything in the past few days because I was buried under this.


You got that right - it's a huge mountain of laundry on my bed. I promise to update as soon as I get rid of the pile, and the Tort Law essay I got to hand in tomorrow.

Nothing exciting has been happening in the Blur-sphere anyways!


March 2, 2011

Alex James reviews kitchen gadgets !

Thanks 2-J for this article (Click to enlarge):



Oh Alex, are you out of your head? Too much time on your hands, living on a farm and hosting festivals?

I guess its not only the media lapping Alex up, but Alex really really needs the cash!


March 1, 2011

Gorillaz news - The Fall to be released in physical CD

Several online retailers, including Amazon.co.uk here and Amazon.com here are now listing a release of The Fall on CD, due out 18th April in the UK, on Parlophone, and 19th April in the USA, on Virgin Records. 


No news on the track listing or any packaging details yet, but I'm looking forward to it! 




Rumors of a vinyl record being released to coincide with Record Store Day is also hot on the news. More on this as more news are out! 


Speaking of which, I still haven't completed my The Fall review (BlurBalls style!)... Will do, I promise. Keep reading! 


Would you buy The Fall when it's out? 


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