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Music(A)

Ahead of Hong Kong show, Sting talks about new album, the deaths of fellow pop icons, and what he loves about the city

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Sting says that I Can’t Stop Thinking About You, the first single off his latest album, is about “the obsession of a writer who every morning faces a blank page and wonders what on earth he’s going to fill it with”.
While it might be hard for many of his fans to believe he would have to deal with writer’s block, the Grammy- and Brit Award-winning artist, who has sold more than 100 million albums – both as former frontman for The Police and as solo artist for…

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East-West fusion concert explains Dragon Boat Festival’s origin for Hong Kong children

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Premiere Performances of Hong Kong will stage two East-meets-West fusion concerts on May 28 to celebrate this year’s Tuen Ng Festival. The Beat of the Dragon Boat is part of the promoter’s ongoing effort to stimulate young Hongkongers’ interest not only in music but Chinese traditions.
The family concert programme featuring live chamber music and storytelling involves a sextet of local musicians playing Eastern and Western instruments: Born Lau (viola), Masami Nagai (double…

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Sting goes back to his rocking roots, but can’t escape the boredom

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Sting
57th & 9th
A&M

From the jangly guitars and the driving urgency of Sting’s vocals on I Can’t Stop Thinking About You, the punchy opening track of his 12th solo album, it seems Mr Sumner has returned to his rocking roots, following 2013’s The Last Ship, an album that became a Broadway musical. “This record is a sort of omnibus of everything that I do, but the flagship seems to be this energetic thing. I’m very happy to put up the mast and see how…

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Fans beg Justin Bieber to cancel tour dates in wake of Manchester bombing as fear grips pop’s youth

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Fans of Justin Bieber are pleading for his upcoming British tour dates to be cancelled, underscoring the potential repercussions to music acts with a young fan base following the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, northern England.
Canadian heartthrob Bieber, 23, is due to play an open air concert at London’s Hyde Park in July. But fans flooded social media saying his appearance should be axed for the safety of both fans and the singer himself.
“Cancel Justin…

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Soundtracks from video games are the latest vinyl trend

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The pursuit of rare, unreleased music has carried record geeks and reissue labels to every corner of the globe, from dusty attics to cobwebbed basements.
What used to be called “digging in the crates” for unheralded sounds, however, has recently shifted to less tangible realms, as archivists, devoted fans and boutique vinyl labels such as Ship to Shore PhonoCo, Data Discs and the LA-based Iam8bit shine their lights at more virtual worlds.
By transferring vintage video game scores…

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At the Drive-In still burn on first studio album in 17 years

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At the Drive-In
in*ter a*li*a
Rise

At the Drive-In, post-hardcore punk rockers from El Paso, Texas, have never made things easy. From their off-kilter time signatures to their often incomprehensible lyrics, they have always been a bludgeoning assault on the senses that threatens to spin gloriously out of control. Now, five years after their first reunion, guitarist Jim Ward has departed for a second time (relations within the band have ever been volatile), to be replaced by Keeley Davis,…

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After Manchester attack, Ariana Grande cancels Dangerous Woman tour dates in Europe

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Ariana Grande has called off two London concerts and five in Europe after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at her performance in Manchester, the US pop singer’s representatives says.
Monday’s bombing, which also wounded 64, also resulted in the cancellation of next week’s London premiere of the superhero film Wonder Woman and increased security for a music festival this weekend featuring pop star Katy Perry in the northern English city of Hull.
‘I am so sorry’:…

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Feist’s stripped-back sound highlights her soulfulness

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Feist
Pleasure
Interscope

With dirty jagged stabs of guitar permeating the eerie soundscape of the opening title track of her fifth studio album, Canadian indie-pop musician Leslie Feist takes another step away from the quirky folk of her 2006 breakout hit, 1234. Pleasure is a song of slow-burning intensity that brings to mind the rawness of early P.J. Harvey, especially with the handclap finale, a vibe that continues through the intimate, acoustic-driven I Wish I Didn’t Miss You and…

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British comedian Russell Howard on a ‘very weird’ Hong Kong gig and his upcoming show in China

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Russell Howard’s last gig in Hong Kong was one he fondly remembers as being “very weird”. While working one of the smaller venues at last year’s Udderbelly festival, the British comedian was surprised to see a female fan on the front row had brought a giant stuffed teddy bear along. The mute, hirsute audience member was immediately incorporated into the routine – and ended up becoming the star of the show. It’s these unplanned moments of fun that Howard looks…

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50 years strong: 10 albums from 1967 that have stood the test of time (and we’re not counting Sgt. Pepper)

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The music world is now celebrating the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which came out 50 years ago in June. But 1967 was an unusually rich year for music overall, with acclaimed work from artists old and new, from Jimi Hendrix and the Velvet Underground to Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington. Here are 10 other notable albums:
Are You Experienced

Jimi Hendrix wasn’t the first guitar hero, but he was the greatest and most visionary. Are You Experienced, his debut…

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