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Knickerless races, and other Olympic failures
To some they're just the stars of the 'New Boring' but Adele, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay took the major awards last night
Whitney Houston, who has died at the age of 48, was a dazzling performer who blazed a trail for a new generation of black female singers, from Beyoncé Knowles to Mary J Blige.
Much will depend on what the words "Laurel Canyon" mean to you. For this is an updating of the late-'60s model of golden, folk-inflected pop so associated with that storied gulch. And a world already saturated with Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver is primed. Wilson's music is meditative, quiet, stretched. The melodies barely move, sung by a voice as soft as mousse, while tempos seldom stir above a flip-flopped stroll. Themes? Well, here are some titles: "Canyon in the Rain", "Ballad of the Pines", "Magic Everywhere", "Woe is Me". And can that be an authentic mellotron we hear on "Waters Down"? There is always a temptation with these things to play the reference game – "CS&N meet Quicksilver over veggie cutlets round at Neil's" – but that might be a way of avoiding a higher truth, which is that Gentle Spirit is impressively inert.
You'll either get what Amidon does or you won't.
At an age when most of us would be happy if we could still get a spoon in our mouths, 82-year-old saxophonist Konitz took his young band into New York's Village Vanguard.
There's nothing wrong with this third album by the likeable NCT but all the principal ingredients – pianism in the grand manner, catchy hooks, minimal improvisation – were already present in the previous two, and it's hard to say they've really been improved upon.
Irish X Factor hopefuls John and Edward Grimes will be performing the Ghostbusters theme song on Saturday night, it can be revealed.
It's probably just me but a certain type of US TV drama is increasingly spoiling my love of a certain type of US music. So you're watching, say, Grey's Anatomy, when there, in the background of the sad reflective scene, is an artist you thought of as your own: a Jason Molina or a Maria Taylor. Inevitable, I guess, and Taylor's polished pop fits the bill perfectly – all Carole King meets Lone Justice. And just in case Mr TV Dude's not listening, Michael Stipe pops up on the final track.
One member down, Brandon Curtis's Secret Machines roll along in fairly familiar shoegaze-meets-prog style.
What makes this 65-year-old Angolan veteran's music so compelling is that he effortlessly mixes Brazilian samba with the melancholy yearnings of Cape Verdean morna.
This band have been around for a while; since 1991, in fact. In that time they always seem to have skirted the edge of the public’s consciousness.