TIME Music

Kanye West’s Glastonbury Show Disrupted by Stage Invader

kanye west Simon Brodkin
Oli Scarff—AFP/Getty Images English comedian Simon Brodkin, playing his character Lee Nelson, interrupts American singer Kanye West has he performs on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm near the village of Pilton in Somerset, South West England, on June 27, 2015.

British comedian Simon Brodkin crashed Kanye's Saturday night headline slot

The stage invader who interrupted Kanye West’s headline Glastonbury performance on June 28 has been identified as Simon Brodkin, a British comedian best known for his character Lee Nelson, who had a TV show, Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show, in 2010.

Brodkin ran onstage in a “Lee-zus” T-shirt and carrying a mic during ‘Black Skinhead’, the fourth song of West’s set. Though he was quickly apprehended by a security guard, Brodkin’s actions disrupted the rapper’s debut headline show, and he was forced to restart the track.

Tweeting from his Lee Nelson account, the comedian wrote: “Some people were saying Kanye shouldn’t headline Glasto so I thought I’d give him a hand.”

Brodkin has form, having previously taken to the pitch at Everton’s football ground Goodison Park in an attempt to warm up with Manchester City in March 2013, an incident for which he was arrested. Brodkin claimed at the time that he was filming a prank for new BBC Three series. West’s Glastonbury set was being broadcast live on BBC networks. He was arrested a further time in 2014 for attempting to board a flight to the World Cup in Brazil with the England football squad.

Reaction to Brodkin’s stunt on Twitter was mixed, with some considering it a “taste of his own medicine” after West’s famous on-stage interruptions of Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs and of Beck at this year’s Grammy’s. One Twitter user wrote that Nelson was “getting a taste of his own medicine”, but another commented “imagine being Lee Nelson & so irrelevant that the only way to remind people you exist is to crash a headliner at glasto.”

Kanye West’s headline slot proved controversial, and an online petition calling for the artist to be replaced by a rock band attracted more than 133,000 signatures, and festival booker Emily Eavis received death threats over Twitter. West labelled the petition “an insult to music fans all over the world”.

In spite of the controversy, the rapper drew a huge crowd to his Glastonbury performance.

This article was originally published at NME.com

TIME movies

Watch a New Clip From Avengers: Age of Ultron

The film hits theaters on May 1

Marvel has revealed a new clip from Avengers: Age of Ultron ahead of the film’s release later this month.

The clip shows Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man squaring up to Ultron, the villainous artificial intelligence program whose voice is provided by former Boston Legal star James Spader.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers, which raked in over $1.5 billion (£1 billion) at the box office worldwide to become the third highest-grossing film of all time. Joss Whedon returned to serve as writer-director on the sequel.

Alongside Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) all reprise their roles from The Avengers, joined by newcomers Paul Bettany (The Vision), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver) and Elizabeth Olsen (the Scarlet Witch). Earlier this month (April) it was revealed that Julie Delpy and Linda Cardellini also appear in the film in unknown roles.

Marvel’s official plot synopsis for the sequel teases: “With S.H.I.E.L.D. destroyed and the Avengers needing a hiatus from stopping threats, Tony Stark attempts to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program with Ultron, a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence.

“However, his plan backfires when Ultron decides that humans are the main enemy and sets out to eradicate them from Earth, and it is up to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, along with support from Nick Fury and Maria Hill, to stop him from enacting his plans. Along the way, the Avengers encounter the powerful twins, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, as well as the familiar Vision.”

The superhero sequel is set to open in U.K. cinemas on April 23—eight days before it arrives in U.S. theaters.

This article originally appeared on NME.com

TIME Music

One Direction Fans Ask for ‘Compassionate Leave’ From Work After Zayn’s Exit

Zayn Malik at the BBC Music Awards 2014 in London, England on Dec. 12, 2014.
Lia Toby—AP Zayn Malik at the BBC Music Awards 2014 in London, England on Dec. 12, 2014.

But they may want to double-check the meaning of 'compassionate leave'

A number of One Direction fans have reportedly requested “compassionate leave” from work, after they were left distraught following singer Zayn Malik’s recent departed from the pop group.

Malik left the boy band on Wednesday (March 25), after he had previously pulled out of the group’s Asian tour with stress.

Now The Independent reports that the Employer Advice Service has received more than 220 calls from One Direction fans.

“While I sympathize with One Direction fans, I hardly think this qualified as compassionate leave,” Employment law director Alan Price told the newspaper. “If employees feel strongly about the issue then request that they take days off as a holiday, but compassionate leave is what you allow if a close relative dies, unless the employer is unaware of family ties with Zayn Malik then I hardly think that this qualifies.”

He added: “Abusing compassionate leave is inconsiderate to fellow colleagues who may genuinely need the time off.”

Rumours about Malik’s future in the band were abound after he recently pulled out of the group’s Asian tour (March 19) so he could fly back to the UK to be with his family after pictures emerged of him with a mystery girl in Thailand. Malik is currently engaged to Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.

Malik recently spoke for the first time since his exit. He said: “I feel like I’ve let the fans down but I can’t do this anymore. It is crazy and wild and a bit mad but, at the same time, I’ve never felt more in control in my life.

“And I feel like I’m doing what’s right – right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good. You know, I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of maybe other people’s happiness. And that was mainly the fans. And I only ever tried to do it for the fans, and it was only ever for them.”

“I’m only upset [because] I feel like I may have let them down in some sort of way. It’s not that I’ve turned my back on them or anything, it’s just that I just can’t do that anymore because it’s not real to me.”

Meanwhile, Malik suggested that while One Direction will continue without him, it may not be for long. “They still want to do it for a while,” he said. “So they’re going to carry on doing what they want to do and I think they’re going to do okay for a while.”

This article originally appeared on NME.com.

TIME Music

REVIEW: Gaslight Anthem Switch Up Sound With Get Hurt

The Gaslight Anthem
Island The Gaslight Anthem, Get Hurt

Brian Fallon's band loses the Americana but keeps the lovelorn anthems

This post is in partnership with NME.

Singer Brian Fallon’s revelation that the Gaslight Anthem’s new musical direction was instigated by the 1975 set alarm bells ringing. Would the band known for its greasy heartland rock trade burly riffs for shiny guitar pop? Thankfully not. Rather than swiping the 1975’s style, they enlisted their producer, Mike Crossey, whose CV also boasts the meatier likes of Foals and Arctic Monkeys.

For all Fallon’s talk of a massive switch-up, his band’s fifth album doesn’t shift too much from their usual lovelorn, jagged melodies. That said, opener ‘Stay Vicious’ is as brutal as they have ever dared be. “I feel just a like a stranger / I feel just like a murderer,” growls Fallon, like he’s been gargling broken beer bottles. Here, he briefly recaptures the rawness of their 2007 debut Sink Or Swim, before the song slides into a delicate twinkle.

Get Hurt is stuffed with anthemic moments, but its crowning glory comes in the barreling, tortured chorus of “Selected Poems,” with major-to-minor chord shifts and Fallon’s fervent croak. Though not one of their most technically perfect songs, it emphatically stakes his claim as one of the most passionate singers in contemporary rock.

His dramatic vocals might be in full force, but conspicuous by their absence are the Gaslight Anthem’s usual lyrical canvases of Americana, save for a couple of brief glimpses of the old dive bar-dwelling, jukebox-thumping badasses in the pair of back-to-back weepies that close the album. During the harrowing acoustics of “Break Your Heart,” Fallon sings “If I played you my favorite song,” offering a flashback to the vinyl obsession that inspired “45” from 2012’s Handwritten LP. “Dark Places” is equally earnest, set in a car, with Fallon playing the role of depressed road hog and threatening to drive it into the sea.

In largely ditching diners, AM radios and the rest, the Gaslight Anthem have crafted a more universal album, mirroring Kings of Leon’s move from rodeo-stomping Southern pride to a more general take on love, relationships and shagging on 2008’s Only By The Night. Yet in doing so, they might just have lost something intrinsic to their identity.

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TIME Music

Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O Gets Intimate on Her Solo Debut

The lo-fi sounds of "Rapt" are disarmingly charming

This post is in partnership with NME.

“Love’s a f-cking b-tch / Do I really need another habit like you?” coos Karen O over creaky acoustic guitar in this first glimpse at her upcoming debut solo album. “Rapt,” along with the rest of Crush Songs was written way back in 2006, a time when life, not just romance, was proving a “f-cking bitch” for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman. Following a failed tryst with film maker Spike Jonze (“I wasn’t sure I’d ever fall in love again,” she later explained), the New Yorker was also facing up the prospect of loneliness in other areas of her life: “I really contemplated quitting. Things had gotten pretty bad between us,” the singer told NME of her working relationship with YYYs guitarist Nick Zinner soon after the release of 2006’s Show Your Bones. “The future felt completely unwritten.”

All the uncertainty and melancholy of that period simmers noticeably under the hushed lo-fi sounds of “Rapt.” A heart-crushing vignette about trying to break up with a lover you know is bad for you, fans hoping for the post-punk grandeur of YYYs favorites “Maps,” “Gold Lion” or 2013’s “Sacrilege” will feel let down. Instead, this is Microphones-esque bedroom folk so intimate it’s claustrophobic and disarmingly charming. Remember “The Moon Song,” the stirring, stripped-back track Karen wrote for Spike Jonze’s 2013 Oscar winner Her? This is more of the same: a haunting, simple campfire ballad.

Why wait till now to release “Rapt” and the upcoming Crush Songs? It’s hard to say. With Karen now married to music video director Barnaby Clay, who shot the clip for the YYYs’ “Zero” as well as this song’s underwater video, maybe this release is a form of closure for the singer. Or maybe the tracks on “Crush Songs,” written during that period of uncertainty for YYYs, began life as demos for a big solo career launch when the NYC trio disbanded? Karen might have thought they were too good to sit at home on a computer hard drive after the group’s second wind following last year’s “Mosquito.” Or maybe it’s just a favour to the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, whose new Cult Records label is releasing the album and could do with a blockbuster name on their roster. Who knows and, frankly, who cares? “Rapt” is a warming glimpse at another side to the raucous, screaming figure Karen cuts in YYYs. It’s a side we’ve seen in short bursts via soundtrack work (Her, 2009’s Where The Wild Things Are) but never across a whole album. The future feels unwritten again for Karen O – but this time in a good way.

‘Crush Songs’ is released on September 8.

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TIME Music

REVIEW: Tom Petty’s New Album Hypnotic Eye Stays Red, White and Blue

Hypnotic Eye
Warner Bros.

The veteran's latest critiques modern America while embracing the heartland rock of their early years

This post is in partnership with NME.

For almost 40 years, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers have been channeling the red blood and blue collars of the USA into their radio rock. Yet Petty has rarely come across more overtly American than on this, his 13th studio album. Through the gritty rumble of opener “American Dream Plan B,” the honky-tonk blues of “Burnt Out Town” and the vigorous “Full Grown Boy” and “Shadow People” especially, these 11 songs see Petty harness the grand ol’ USA more than ever before. It’s not patriotic, though. Rather, this album critiques modern America while embracing the heartland rock of Petty’s early years. It won’t convert the unconvinced, but Petty sounds as inspired as ever.

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TIME Music

David Bowie’s Isolated Vocal Track For ‘Ziggy Stardust’ Will Give You Chills

Hear the iconic artist's vocal take

This post is in partnership with NME.

Thanks to Brain Pickings for posting the isolated vocal for David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust.’ It’ll give you goosebumps… and make you even more excited for the upcoming “new music” announced this week.

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TIME Music

REVIEW: 2 Chainz Returns to Form on Freebase EP

Freebase EP
The Real University

The rapper's new E.P brims with menacing swagger and ferocious beats

This post is in partnership with NME.

2 Chainz is back with a bang. Compared to his last two overcooked albums, 2013’s B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time and the 2012’s Based on a T.R.U. Story, Freebase is solid southern hip hop. ”I keep shitting on the competition, so I’m put me out a shittape” he brags on the title track; and the rest is equally hubristic. Though the themes are over-familiar hustler fare — “Trap Back” is about drug dealing, “Crib in My Closet” has him and A$AP Rocky boasting about their ”designer shit” and “Cuda Wuda Shuda” is a diss track to all his envious rivals — the EP brims with menacing swagger and ferocious beats. Lyrically 2 Chainz knows he’s no street Shakespeare, but as this EP shows, he certainly knows his way around an arresting tune.

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TIME Music

12 Amazing Songs With Just Three Chords

From "Rock Around the Clock" to "Judy is a Punk"

This post is in partnership with NME.

Perhaps nothing epitomized the accessible DIY nature of punk more than what iconic fanzine Sideburns quipped in its first issue back in 1977: ‘This is a chord. This is another. This is a third. NOW FORM A BAND’. Both literally and figuratively, it shouted at a generation gripped by punk to give it a go themselves, and follow in the footsteps of bands such as the Ramones, the Clash and the Sex Pistols. Of course, it’s a misconception that everything punk was just three chords syringed with a whole lot of distortion and anarchy. But, it’s also true to say that swathes of songs from all genres have compressed an incredible amount of sonic goodness out of three chords, crafting anything from the most poignant to the most punchy of tracks. From the 1950s to the present day, here are 12 songs that wring the most out of a trio of chords or less.

1954 – ‘Rock Around the Clock’ by Bill Haley and the Comets (E, B, A)

With frenetic instrumentation and oodles of slickness, ‘Rock Around the Clock’ propelled rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream, and ultimately changed music forever. Using just three chords (E, A and B major, with the odd 7th thrown in) in the simplest of structures, it squeezed-out a catchy-as-hell hook and a couple of fizzing solos. It’s pretty mind-blowing to think that it was released 60 years ago, considering it’s still one hell of a catalyst for unadulterated hip-swinging, showing that rather fittingly, it’s pretty timeless.

1965 – ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ by Bob Dylan (G, A, D)

Before The Byrds gave it a varnish and took the track to the top spot of the charts, Dylan released ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ in April 1965. Mixing three sparse chords and some brilliant but equally simple lyrics, it was one of several now-classic tracks on Dylan’s fifth studio album, ‘Bringing It All Back Home’. Apparently, it is Bruce Langhorne’s electric guitar countermelody that gives the track its wistful and nostalgic quality, elevating three simple chords into something special.

1967 – ‘Heroin’ by the Velvet Underground (Db, Gb)

Making Sideburns look like they were advocating full-orchestra symphonies, Lou Reed once famously said: ‘One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz’. By his standards, he was therefore pushing-it for ‘Heroin’ with its mere two chords; but for everyone else, it’s downright ridiculous to consider writing a track with only a two chord rocking-back-and-forth structure that lasts a whopping seven minutes. Somehow, with the pendulum-swinging beat that twisted-and-turned from tempo to tempo and the most visceral of lyrics (“Heroin, it’s my wife / And it’s my life”), ‘Heroin’ saw two chords being made into one of the most potent rock songs of all time.

1969 – ‘No Fun’ by the Stooges (A, E, D)

Sure, Iggy Pop may be making his dough now by flogging car and home insurance to the least punk of audiences, but fast-forward over 40 years ago and the Stooges were making some of the fiercest, gnarliest and snarliest proto-punk headbangers around. ‘No Fun’ was the standout track of their eponymous debut LP (with the toxic-waste headbutt of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ a close second), taking the three-chord rule years before it became the flagship technique for the budding punk-virtuoso, and running with it at a blistering pace.

1971 – ‘Get It On’ by T. Rex (E, A, G)

Undoubtedly one of the defining tracks of the 70s, ‘Get It On’ transported a devilishly simple blues riff into a glimmering masterpiece. The guitar solo manages to sound godly – even if it is just a few notes rather slowly executed – and the odd twinkling of piano gives a shimmering of magic to its star-spangled rock.

1976 – ‘Judy is a Punk’ by The Ramones (Eb5, Bb5, Ab5)

Who needs anything other than three chords? And, hell, while we’re at this, who even needs three notes in a chord when you can have two-note chords, eh? That was certainly the mantra of Johnny Ramone, whose arsenal was eternally filled with magazine after magazine of shotgun power-chords. ‘Judy is a Punk’ is stupidly simple in its three chord rhythm and fuzzed-out vocals, but it’s still nothing short of an absolute belter. Sure, complex can be good, but simple’s often best when you have barrels of distortion and enough leather to befall an entire herd of cattle.

1980 – Atmosphere by Joy Division (A, D, E)

There’s a damn good case for ‘Atmosphere’ being Joy Division’s best track. It exploits the accessibility of a few chords to create something universally anthemic, as well as a soundscape filled with empty space that lingers on the ear. It’s ineffably beautiful and moving in its poignancy – “My illusion / worn like a mask of self-hate / confronts and then dies” – and richness of tone; from Ian Curtis’ distinctive baritone vocals to the expansive synths that bridge the verses.

1985 – ‘Just Like Honey’ by Jesus and the Mary Chain (G#, D#, C#)

Twisting the expansive back-and-forth chords of ‘Atmosphere’ into something lush and lifting, ‘Just Like Honey’ is a pretty much perfect metaphor for the track: it’s viscous in its pools of distortion and fuzz and it’s swarm of sugary melodies create a killer pop tune.

1995 – Common People by Pulp (C, G, F)

Apart from the fact that ‘Common People’ is rib-achingly hilarious, its sonic structure is the perfect example of the perfect pop song. With just the three major chords in the simplest scale of all, Jarvis and co. squeezed out one of the most uplifting, funny and genuine songs that Britpop blessed us with.

2007 – ‘505’ by Arctic Monkeys (Dm, Em)

Acting as a rather neat precursor for the darker direction the Sheffield four-piece would take on Humbug, ‘505’ closed their second album on an ominous and brooding note. With only two chords – both minor – to its name, it is pretty crafty that such a catchy and (relatively) poppy track is the result.

2010 – ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ by The National (A, F#m, D)

‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ is an example of how nuanced indie-rock can be; even with the simplest and most laid-back of instrumentation. By having a minor chord as one of the three in the track – a different move to most three-chord songs – it’s given a new sense of poignancy, with minor and major chords playing off each other to create a swinging pendulum of emotions.

2011 – ‘If You Wanna’ by The Vaccines (C, F, G)

For as long as music exists and the human race has ears, they’ll always be an uppity group of critics that look-down on the old I-IV-V Three Chord Rule. Sure, it’s laughably simple. But frankly, who cares? Considering almost all of the Vaccines’ debut album consists of the same chord trick, they work wonders in creating distinct and infectious tunes brimming with more hooks than a pirate playing synth. ‘If You Wanna’ is the track that cemented The Vaccines’ status as indie-rock heroes, giving the Ramones punk-pop a good old scrub-up and polish with copious amounts of spaced-out reverb.

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