News of a planned Billie Holiday hologram last week was bad enough.
Now it seems truly nothing is sacred, after Hologram USA – the same company behind Holiday’s creepy incarnation – announced a Whitney Houston hologram. When Houston’s sister-in-law Pat Houston called the hologram a “great opportunity for her fans to see a reinvention of one the most celebrated female artists in history”, I think she may have meant: “a great way to traumatise Whitney fans.” It is set to tour the world next year, for those of you who are keen.
Libertines fans may have known better than to expect reliability from Pete Doherty and co. Punters planning to attend a London gig promoting the once-tumultuous indie band’s new album were left disappointed when the show was cancelled – two hours after it was due to start. The venue cited a “medical situation”, before the band later posted an apology on Facebook. Both the London date and a cancelled Manchester gig are due to be rescheduled, while the rest of the band’s arena tour will go on as planned next year.
Someone better tell Flavor Flav that clocks now have the potential to be confused for bombs. After 14-year-old Texan boy Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that officials mistook for a bomb, musicians rallied to support him. Pharrell Williams, Questlove, John Legend, Talib Kweli and Janelle Monáe were among those who shared their solidarity online, joining the likes of US president Barack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. This may be a bandwagon that automatically gets people brownie points, but must feel rather lovely for Mohamed anyway.
CDs were fun, weren’t they? In the eyes of the people at Tidal, they haven’t gone out of style. The artist-owned music streaming service is charging about £22 for Prince’s new album, HITNRUN, on CD, which premiered on Tidal and has since been made available to buy on Amazon and iTunes. Just close your eyes, pretend it’s 1992, then hit “buy”.
This story has been painful to follow. Elton John went from saying he’d like to speak to Russian president Vladimir Putin about LGBT rights to being tricked into thinking he’d spoken to Putin over the phone. He then realised he’d been duped and publicly humiliated after audio from the hoax call had been broadcast on Russian TV and shared online. Chin up Elton, at least you didn’t really have to chat to a dictator who recently honoured an anti-gay politician.
Early on Friday morning, Gaga shared a frank and harrowing music video about sexual assault on university campuses. The video was for song Til It Happens to You, which appeared on the soundtrack of a campus rape documentary released in February. Gaga has spoken about being a survivor of sexual assault aged 19, and dedicated the video to other survivors around the world.
Under normal circumstances, the Last Night at the Proms feels celebratory. This year, the mood in Royal Albert Hall last Saturday was lifted further, thanks to a show-stealing banner hung from one of the venue’s grand boxes. It simply read: “refugees welcome,” and was displayed on the evening following both Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership win, and an afternoon during which tens of thousands marched through central London in solidarity with refugees currently seeking asylum in Europe.
I wasn’t joking when I said Morrissey makes an almost-weekly appearance in this column. This time round he seems to have missed the memo about DIY music, saying he couldn’t imagine touring new material without being able to release said material on a record label. For those who didn’t know, Mozzer’s not been signed since Harvest records dropped him in 2014. Mate, just set up a Bandcamp and get a booking agent. You can do this.
The US presidential campaign wouldn’t be complete without Trump doing something to piss someone off. This time, the aggrieved was former Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters. The offence? Trump being Trump. In a Rolling Stone interview, Waters said Trump “stands for everything that is not admirable in American society”, after calling the Republican presidential candidate “pig-ignorant”. I think it’s safe to say Waters will not be endorsing Trump’s run.
If journalists keep asking Chrissie Hynde about rape, she’s going to keep talking about rape. Over the past few weeks, the Pretenders singer has gone from appearing to blame herself for a sexual assault that took place when she was 21 to being chided as a victim-blaming anti-feminist. Since the Sunday Times magazine interview that kicked this all off on 30 August, Hynde clarified to Good Morning America that her comments on a woman’s responsibility for rape were only related to her own experience as a survivor of sexual assault.
This article was written by Tshepo Mokoena, for theguardian.com on Saturday 19th September 2015 09.00 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010