Damon Albarn

Last bow for Blur at Brit awards?

Blur star Alex James says there is a feeling that the band may be about to take their "last bow", ahead of their reunion at tomorrow night's Brits.

Album: Menomena, Mines (City Slang)

Recorded in much the same way as previous efforts (jamming, recording, looping, cutting and pasting), the biggest surprise about the latest from this Portland, Oregon, trio is how darn traditional it sounds.

Rock's Faustian pact with the theatre

From Mamma Mia to Jersey Boys, the stage is awash with kitschy jukebox musicals inspired by pop bands. But Damon Albarn's Monkey kicked off a credible age for the rock musical, as new works from Tori Amos, Fela Kuti and Sparks now show. Andy Gill reports

Album: Bill Frisell, Disfarmer (Nonesuch)

Even Damon Albarn and Jack White have some distance to go to equal the genre-bending achievements of Bill Frisell, not just the outstanding jazz guitarist of his era but also the most diversely prolific, equally at home providing accompaniment to Buster Keaton movies as he is collaborating with Elvis Costello.

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Album: The Black Ghosts, The Black Ghosts (Southern Fried)

Simian and The Wiseguys, the previous bands respectively of Black Ghosts duo Simon Lord and Theo Keating, both had tracks used to soundtrack car commercials, so it’s no surprise to find their debut album brimming with the kind of smooth, rolling technopop that gets wheels turning and wallets emptying.