July 14, 2013

New Blur Book: England, Damon Albarn and the Art of Melancholy

For die-hard music fans, there’s nothing more enjoyable than being able to find out more about your favorite band and it’s members. Whether it is the lead singer, the roadies, groupies, bodyguards, managers, producers, spouses or the other band members’ high-school classmates, the roadies, groupies, girlfriends, boyfriends, wives-husbands-kids, the list can go on to include all the people who have been part of a musician’s career.

Music is people-orientated – we create the music. However, one thing that is often overlooked is the importance of physical places that influence a band’s musical style. Geography matters- whilst The Beatles launched into a new musical direction after visiting India, Blur’s front man Damon Albarn similarly experimented with new sounds depending on his geographical location.

England, Damon Albarn and the Art of Melancholy (By Dylan Moore)

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Kindle Price: $6.99 (£3.96)

A new Blur book titled England, Damon Albarn & The Art of Melancholy is the first full-length study and analysis of one of Britain’s greatest talents. 

The book is a combination of geographical analysis, cultural commentary and biography, exploring each of Damon Albarn’s bands, collaborations and projects (Blur, Gorillaz, Mali Music, The Good, The Bad and The Queen, Dr Dee).

About the Book  

In the summer of 1995, Damon Albarn seemed to have Britain at his feet. Blur had been awarded a record four Brits, Parklife had sold a million records and new single ‘Country House’ had won a much-publicised chart battle with rivals Oasis.

But within months, relationships within the band and Albarn’s personal life had begun to fray. Blur’s subsequent change of direction, a new relationship and subsequent fatherhood, and a trip with Oxfam to Mali were to mark the beginning of an artistic renaissance that was to see Albarn emerge as one of the most critically-lauded musicians in the world. Gorillaz, a cartoon concept band, were to sell more than Blur ever did, while The Good, The Bad and The Queen – a song-cycle about London – confirmed Albarn owed as much to William Blake as to David Bowie.

England Damon Albarn and the Art of Melancholy, England Damon Albarn and the Art of Melancholy Dylan Moore, Dylan Moore, author Dylan Moore, Blur book, Bit of a Blur, Damon Albarn biography, britpop bookIn the summer of 2012, Damon Albarn appeared in his own Dr Dee, an English Opera, and travelled around Britain on a train called the Africa Express. At Hyde Park, Blur returned to the stage, closing the London Olympics with songs that still capture the unique atmosphere of a nation that has never quite been sure what to think of itself.

Framed by the events of England’s glorious summer, what Albarn has called ‘the golden twilight’ of Queen Elizabeth II, England, Damon Albarn & The Art of Melancholy traces the decline of the English seaside town and the disappearance of the village green, documents the boredom, binge-drinking and violence of suburban commuter-belt towns, explores the layered histories of London’s music halls and examines how even Albarn’s globetrotting sojourns – to Iceland, America, China and Mali – always seem to evoke a very English melancholy.

The book is available on Amazon (US) (UK) on Amazon's Kindle Store, Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle, iPad, iPhone and Android. 

An exclusive interview with the author talking about why and how he was inspired to write the Blur book will be available soon. 

June 25, 2011

"LIKE" BlurBalls on Facebook !

Please support BlurBalls by clicking the "Like" button on Facebook below! The new BlurBalls fanpage is awesome and really colorful, and hopefully it'll make more people connected to our little world of Blur, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon and Gorillaz. Please do check it out, and feel free to add me on Facebook.

Remember to LIKE! Please! It means the world to me!

June 1, 2011

Damon Albarn ranked 24th in The Music Power 100 - Guardian May 2011

Damon Albarn features in the Guardian's 'The Music Power 100'  (the most influential people in music today), at a rank of 24. The article writes, and I transcribe directly:

24 Damon Albarn
Artist: Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, the Bad and the Queen
Label Executive: Co-founder, Honest Jon's

Far from the knowing, ambitious rock frontman he was in the early days of Blur, Albarn has revealed himself to be one of British music's most invigorating renaissance men. As well as his involvement in Gorillaz and The Good, the Bad and the Queen, the Honest Jon's label he co-founded has brought African, Caribbean and obscure black American to young, hip audiences, and his experiments in opera are helping to dismantle the barriers between "high" and "low" art.  

Click on the picture below to read the scan full sized (credits to damon4president for the scan). 

I would say it's a pretty accurate and honest description. But he should have been ranked even higher, some of the rankings seem a bit sketchy. And Damon Albarn is definitely help breaking barriers in many many different areas, not just whatever "high" and "low" art is ! Any opinions ? 

April 5, 2011

Some news and updates

1) Beady Eye covers Blur for Record Store Day  

Beady Eye have recorded a version of Blur's 'Country House' – the song that once charted ahead of Gallagher's old band Oasis in their infamous 1995 chart battle. 

That year Oasis' 'Roll With It' went in at Number Two behind 'Country House' amidst a war of words between the two bands.

3,000 copies of the new single have been pressed. Half will be available in record stores in Gallagher's hometown of Manchester and the other half in stores in New Cross, London, where Blur formed.

Gallagher said: "The chart battle was only a bit of a fucking laugh and secretly 'Country House' was always my favourite Blur song. Especially the bit in the video when Alex James rides the pig."

Scroll down and click below to watch the video in question.

The Beady Eye mouthpiece added: "I'm saying all this bad blood between us should be put in the past and everyone should come together to help out Record Store Day for the good of music."

The limited-edition singles, already being tipped as the collectors' items of 2011 by music auction experts, will cost £50 each. Proceeds will be split between Beady Eye and Albarn.

2) Rants, moans and actual blogging
So it's time for some actual blogging on Blurballs, since it's called a Blur "blog" - it can't just feature static news about Blur all the time!

I've been hit with a turn in life - I get a chance to spend 2 years in Europe if I study, study hard and get a gpa of around 3.3 and above. That's tough - especially in law school, but I aim to meet that offer and surprise everyone. So that's my explanation for not blogging so much these few weeks, and the next few too, until final exams. 

I want YOU guys to tell me what you have been up to, Blurring or not, these few weeks. Discovered anything? 

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

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
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?