Guardian music
today at 11:59. Facebook
What a great top 10 singles from the Official Charts Company. A leading solo artist at No 1, a great British group at No 2, Radio 2 favourites at three, three hot young acts, one veteran band propelled there by fanbase sales, one beloved pop institution, and one proper wildcard. Admittedly, that’s nine, and the 10th song is by the bloke who’s at No 1, but never mind, because it’s David Bowie...
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There's a great singles chart out there – it's just not the one we use as the Top 40

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Guardian music
yesterday at 09:52. Facebook
“These days it’s so polarised. You have 6 Music which is so serious, and then you have Radio 1, which just sounds like a bunch of people having the time of their lives in Ibiza. We want to have songs that a massive amount of people are singing along to, but we’re never ever being idiotic about it.”

'People will hate us': why the Rhythm Method are braced for derision

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Guardian music
03/19/2017 at 14:31. Facebook
It was Berry who presented kids still going to school on a bike or in a trolleybus with the exhilarating details of a battle on the open highway between a Cadillac Coupe de Ville and a V8 Ford, and with lascivious descriptions of girls like the immortal Little Queenie: “There she is again, standing over by the record machine / Looking like a model on the cover of a magazine / She’s too cute to...
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Chuck Berry: the rock'n'roller who wrote the soundtrack for teen rebellion

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I still don’t really know what I’m doing. If someone says do that second chorus, I’ll go: “Nooo, I don’t know what that second chorus is.” I call it “going to the blackboard”. If you leave me alone, I’ll do my best. But if you start saying read this, my whole stomach will go and I get off track. Peter said: “You’re perfect for playing the blues because you feel shit, you’re like a big fucking...
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Mick Fleetwood: 'I’m 70 years old and I play harder now than I used to'

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10 of the best time for Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix – 10 of the best

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“COUM were never confrontational,” she shrugs. “People might think we were, but we weren’t, we were just … sharing something, if you like.”

Oh, come off it. It was an exhibition full of used tampons and photos from porn mags. You must have realised it was a provocative thing to do? “No. Strange isn’t it? That’s the bubble, I suppose. It was what we did every day in the studio, it was just...
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Cosey Fanni Tutti: 'I don’t like acceptance. It makes me think I've done something wrong'

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I am totally not a feminist. I don’t know why they call me that. I guess because I broke the mould and kicked down the door for women to play rock’n’roll – but that doesn’t make me a feminist. It’s just not who I am, I’m just a musician. I wanted it to be OK for girls and women to play. But it wasn’t like, “God dammit, why isn’t there a girl on this bill? There should be a girl supporting me...
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Lita Ford: 'I chose to be sexy – and sex sells'

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Over the course of an hour, he tells me about the time an acid trip gave him x-ray vision (“I could look through me to my bone, everything in life living inside of me”), recalls the time he saw a spaceship in the Cherry Gardens area of Kingston (“It was there for five hours”) and recounts a version of The Well to Hell hoax – in which Siberian oil miners were alleged to have drilled down into...
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Spaceships, vegan food and branches of marijuana – in Jamaica with reggae's legends

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One of the interesting things about the visible new diversity in UK rap music is that a lot of the time there’s a sense that the artists aren’t necessarily looking for acceptance. Yes, there are artists such as Malone or Aystar who look set for recording careers. But elsewhere, especially among the dozens of YouTube channels dedicated to music from individual cities, where MCs are filmed in...
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Why doesn’t everyone rap in scouse? How British hip-hop broke free of London

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These four characters – one was my boyfriend, one was his boyfriend and the other was the boyfriend’s boyfriend. We were a love rhomboid. It was all very dramatic. One of them had got out of jail – I don’t want to be specific because I don’t want any problems. We had a squalid apartment which I spent my time trying to get out of. The bugs were the big problem, cockroaches. The kitchen was...
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‘From the inside, it sure felt like a cult’ – Stephin Merritt’s life in songs

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"The relationship you have with a band runs deeper than just the business. I had to take Kip from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart to the doctors because he had a severe case of bed bugs from being on tour. We had to burn all of his clothes and buy him new ones. Over the years I’ve had lots of bands staying in my flat. It can get a bit much."

A walk down memory lane, featuring Allo Darlin',...
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Bed bugs, Brexit and goodbyes: 20 years of indie, as told by Fortuna Pop!

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There’s something to be said for pop music – a product historically dictated by rules, plans, forecasts and second-guessing – that makes things up as it goes along. Steps’ debut single was the questionable novelty line-dance effort 5, 6, 7, 8, but it was such a success that they were granted a second single. From that point on, the band found themselves in the same position as a surprising...
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Steps back in time: why the pop group's return is cause for celebration

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“Everything’s about sex, I believe,” says Marling, sitting on a sofa in a homely Hackney recording studio and explaining why she decided to write about her friend’s vulva.

Laura Marling: 'I had no identity. I was socially bankrupt'

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That Sheeran is a star who considers the best way to make a commercial impact with his music is hardly the revelation of the century (and merely marks him as no more and no less calculating than his peers at the very top level of pop stardom). He is, after all, a consummate professional who would happily thank his accountant, marketing strategist, broadband provider and the concept of gravity...
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Ed Sheeran: ÷ review – everybloke charm fails to mask Divide's calculating soul

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You can see why people thought Sleaford Mods’ moment might be fleeting: a flash of scourging, cathartic anger destined to burn itself out quickly. On the evidence of English Tapas, that’s not what’s happened at all. There’s an argument that circumstances have conspired to make them sound even more vital now than in the days when every review of them felt obliged to use the phrase ConDemNation.

Sleaford Mods: English Tapas review – a bruising, brilliant post-Brexit tirade | Alexis Petridis' album of the week

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This is a slick, potent album – one that reeks of nostalgia and comfort, campfires, scented candles, spilt pints of Guinness and, for those not enthralled by his algorithmic songcraft, the sharp stench a salesman’s cheap cologne.

Ed Sheeran: ÷ review – everybloke charm fails to mask Divide's calculating soul

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Hurray for the Riff Raff's new album is terrific. This is why she made it.

Hurray for the Riff Raff: ‘Trump is trying to convince us we have no rights’

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Legendary soundclash DJ and reggae aficionado David 'Ram Jam' Rodigan talks to Kate Hutchinson about his five favourite records.
Leave your own questions for David in the comments below