The Week in Music: Morrissey adds his velvet tones to the Lou Reed love-in
We've had covers of songs by the late Lou Reed from My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, Arctic Monkeys and Twin Shadow (with a woozy version of “Perfect Day”).
Now Morrissey’s take on “Satellite of Love”, recorded live at the Chelsea Ballroom in Las Vegas in 2011, is to be released digitally on 2 December, three days before the audiobook of his autobiography, while the vinyl (with extra songs) will follow in January. Morrissey’s straight-up delivery fits the song perfectly.
Tis the season for quirky takes on Christmas
As Christmas albums start pouring onto my desk, with the compulsory punning titles - Kim Wilde’s Wilde Winter Songbook, Mary J Blige’s A Mary Christmas – there is one that stands out, with its sombre monochrome cover: Bright Eyes’ A Christmas Album. The 11 covers of traditional Christmas songs, performed and arranged by Conor Oberst and Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor, are some of the most bittersweet you’ll hear this season.
Indeed, Christmas albums are no longer just a novelty or the well-mined preserve of divas. Last year we had new material from Tracey Thorn, indie couple Tim Wheeler & Emmy the Great, Tom Smith & Andy Burrows and the Christmas Rules compilation, featuring The Shins and Rufus Wainwright. This year, Erasure join in with Snow Globe, which is out now.
Never fear: Lily’s back with a vengeance
No one in pop tells it like it is quite as blatantly as Lily Allen. So it’s good to see her tackle the woeful culture of sexism in the music industry, and one of the current examples of that – Robin Thicke – with typically cutting lyrics on her new single, "Hard Out Here”. Allen’s first single in three years is being released on Sunday. It’s much more inspiring than her insipid cover of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” for John Lewis’s Christmas shopping advert.
Manic Street Preachers had rave reviews for their album Rewind the Film. They’re back on tour in Spring, starting 28 March in Leeds and culminating at Brixton Academy on 11 April. Tickets are on sale today. Also on sale today are tickets for Metronomy’s one-off show at Brighton’s The Old Market on 29 January.
Gig of the week
Sigur Ros shows are generally somewhere between classical and heavy rock, hair-raising and beautiful – and always thrilling. Their short tour opens tomorrow at Dublin and ends at Wembley Arena on Thursday.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
JK Rowling pens new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians