News

Behold! The body part being compared to the self-comparing rapper

Album: Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Def Jam)

Recorded in Hawaii at a rumoured cost of some $3 million, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of pop's gaudiest, most grandiose efforts of recent years, a no-holds-barred musical extravaganza in which any notion of good taste is abandoned at the door. Echoes and samples of everything from Gil Scott-Heron to King Crimson are littered amongst these tracks, along with myriad vaunting string and choral arrangements.

Caught In The Net: Walk the online tribute to Cash

Recently I happened across a video being created for the title track of Johnny Cash's final studio album, Ain't No Grave, which was released posthumously this year. The video is a collective effort at www.thejohnnycashproject. com. All comers are invited to upload their portrait of Cash to the site – the images are then woven into a video for the song. They've already made versions, but it will continue to evolve as more images are submitted. It sounds gimmicky, but on the version I watched it was quite impressive and moving – it helps that the song is great.

Caught in the Net: Test your classical remix skills

We've seen lots of rock bands offer up the "stems" of their music as online downloads to allow all-comers to remix; now classical music – of the distinctly modern, minimalist kind – is getting involved.

Taylor Swift: 'Maybe I should just lighten up'

She's the all-American country-pop superstar whose idea of letting rip is baking cookies. But, with a straight-talking new album and her 21st birthday imminent, is Taylor Swift about to reopen an old war of words with Kanye West?

KT Tunstall, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Diminutive Scottish-born singer K T Tunstall sprang on stage at the Shepherd's Bush Empire wearing skin-tight leather leggings and a baggy T-shirt, immediately invigorating the audience with her firecracker presence.

Mark Steel: That's right, it was all a Muslim plot

You might think that a plot to blow up the Pope would be news for a while. Popes don't get blown up all that often, and this one's enough of a celebrity that if he fell over drunk at the MTV awards with Kanye West it would be in the papers for a few days, so it's strange that a plot to blow him up was only of interest for one day.

Caught in the net: A pleasure to treasure

Last year's collaboration with Scarlett Johansson was probably more aesthetically pleasing, but music fans will likely be more excited by Pete Yorn's latest hook-up with Frank Black, aka Black Francis.

Stop following me, says Kanye's Twitter friend

When the rap superstar Kanye West decided to make Steven Holmes his first and only Twitter friend, the 19-year-old from Coventry was as gracious as you might expect a student unexpectedly befriended by an A-list celebrity to be.

Kanye West follows only one – but who is Steven of Coventry?

Making friends on Twitter can often be a thankless task.

Digital Digest: 02/08/2010

The Best of the Web

Suge Knight and Kanye West face off in NYC over lawsuit

Battle-scarred rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight and volatile hip-hop star Kanye West faced off yesterday over an argument involving a bullet — with a conference table between them.

Caught in the Net: Be an expert, do your own remix

While known for blurring the lines between music, performance, video and sculpture, on her new album, Homeland, Laurie Anderson homes in on the music and lyrics.

Album: Kid Sister, Ultraviolet (Downtown)

A whiff of Partridgean "People like them, let's make some more" thinking surrounds the distinctly Kesha-like Kid Sister – aka 29-year-old Melisa Young from Chicago – but the Kanye West-affiliated crunk diva (West appears on the single "Pro Nails", and the whole thing's exec-produced by his DJ A-Trak) has enough in her locker to justify her existence.

How the Oscars suffered their very own 'Kanye West moment'

Long-running animosity between film-makers spills over into acceptance speech

Album: Various Artists, Glee: The Music, Volume 1 (Columbia)

As apparently the only person in the western hemisphere not to have seen an episode of Glee, it's hardly surprising I found myself neither angered nor elated by the karaoke-pop repossessions of rock history that comprise this soundtrack album.

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