Alan Vega, Suicide frontman and electronic music pioneer, dies aged 78

Henry Rollins broke news of influential singer’s death with statement from Vega’s family on his website

Alan Vega, Suicide frontman and electronic music pioneer, dies aged 78
Martin Rev and Alan Vega, the vocalist for the electronic punk band Suicide. Photograph: Ebet Roberts/Redferns

Alan Vega, the frontman of the American electronic musical duo Suicide, has reportedly died, aged 78.

The former Black Flag and Rollins Band vocalist Henry Rollins broke the news via his website, with a statement from Vega’s family.

“Alan passed peacefully in his sleep last night, July 16,” the statement said. “He was 78 years of age.

“Alan was not only relentlessly creative, writing music and painting until the end, he was also startlingly unique. Along with Martin Rev, in the early 1970s, they formed the two-person avant band known as Suicide.

“Almost immediately, their incredible and unclassifiable music went against every possible grain. Their confrontational live performances, light years before punk rock, are the stuff of legend. Their first, self-titled album is one of the single most challenging and noteworthy achievements in American music.”

The group recorded five studio albums, Suicide (1977), Suicide: Alan Vega and Marin Rev (1980), A Way of Life (1988), Why Be Blue (1992) and American Supreme (2002).

Their self-titled 1977 album, which was recorded in four days, was No 39 on online music publication Pitchfork’s greatest albums of the 1970s list and Rolling Stone placed it on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Vega and Rev’s music used synthesisers and primitive drum machines and they were renowned for their chaotic and often violent live shows. In 2008, Vega told the Guardian that, during a 1978 show in Glasgow supporting the Clash, “someone threw an axe at my head”.

Suicide’s aggressive synthesiser rock has been cited as an influence by bands such as Radiohead, U2, New Order and Depeche Mode, electronic acts such as Daft Punk and Aphex Twin, and Bruce Springsteen, who covered their song Dream Baby Dream on his 2014 album, High Hopes.

In September 2009, the group performed their debut LP live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow’s Parties-curated Don’t Look Back series.

The riff from their song Ghost Rider was sampled extensively in MIA’s 2010 single Born Free and LCD Soundsystem covered Vega’s solo song Bye Bye Bayou.

In 2012, Vega suffered a heart attack and a stroke, eventually undergoing surgery, which wasn’t initially thought to be viable. However, he recovered and the duo continued to perform.

“One of the greatest aspects of Alan Vega was his unflinching adherence to the demands of his art,” his family said on Rollins’ website. “He only did what he wanted. Simply put, he lived to create.

“Alan is survived by his amazing family, wife Liz and son Dante. His incredible body of work, spanning five decades, will be with us forever.”

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Categories: Show Biz


After decades in dire straits, Whitley Bay leads renaissance of northern resorts

Inspired by the reinvention of southern seaside towns, the pleasure beach immortalised by Mark Knopfler is enjoying a multimillion-pound revamp

After decades in dire straits, Whitley Bay leads renaissance of northern resorts
Whitley Bay beach and the Spanish City Dome. Photograph: Alamy

Dire Straits sang in 1981 about Whitley Bay’s Spanish City pleasure beach, where lead singer Mark Knopfler first heard loud rock music. Twenty years after the song, Tunnel of Love, hit the charts, Spanish City’s domed Edwardian concert hall closed and fell derelict. Now the seaside resort, like many of its northern contemporaries, is gearing up for an ambitious renaissance.

The site of Spanish City is teeming with workmen restoring it to its former glory – part of a masterplan to turn the dilapidated town’s fortunes around.

The past decade has seen a striking revival in the fortunes of southern English seaside towns, notably Margate, Hastings and Whitstable. That has made their northern counterparts, such as North Tyneside’s Whitley Bay, set their sights on their own renewal after decades of neglect that resulted from the collapse of the tourist trade in the 1980s.

Whitley Bay has an ambitious £36m regeneration plan for the seafront. Patrick Melia, chief executive of North Tyneside council, sits on a bench in front of the Spanish City dome, as diggers create the foundations for a hotel being built alongside it, and recalls going to Whitley Bay prom as a boy.

“It was very prosperous from the 50s to 70s, then deteriorated,” says Melia. “But we’re hoping that by investing and bringing the promenade back to life we bring the town back to life.”

Work on the dome will begin next month and Spanish City will reopen for summer 2018.

Soaking up the sun on the beach, on the first truly summery day of the year, Liz Aitchison, 67, a retired care services officer who has lived in Whitley Bay since 1981, says: “People don’t want to go into Whitley Bay because it’s scruffy. It’s a shame because it’s a beautiful coastline. But the council’s made a massive difference along the beach and if it draws more people in, I’ll be thrilled to bits.”

After decades in dire straits, Whitley Bay leads renaissance of northern resorts
CGI image of the Whitley Bay regeneration. Photograph: ADP Architects

The recent fall in the value of sterling has provided a boost for the domestic travel industry, and figures from VisitEngland show that in 2014-15 overnight visits to English seaside towns grew by 7% to 19.36 million. However, visits to northern seasides fell 11% to 1.77 million. Last week the British Hospitality Association called for a “seaside tsar” to oversee the resurgence in the country’s coastal towns.

If anywhere encapsulates how once-glamorous resorts have turned to poverty, it is Blackpool. The town that was a beacon of fun for half of England now has the highest proportion of neighbourhoods – one in five – in the most-deprived 1% in England.

As part of a three-year plan called Destination Blackpool, the town is doing its best to appeal to holidaymakers again. Margate’s regeneration has been largely attributed to the success of the Turner Contemporary gallery, opened in 2011, and the Dreamland theme park, reopened as a high-class heritage attraction last year. Blackpool is hoping to emulate those moves by promoting its own Grundy Art Gallery and creating a museum in the old Winter Gardens, dedicated to Blackpool’s history as a destination for entertainment. Next May English National Opera will perform Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado over 10 days – the company’s first performances outside London since 1982.

After decades in dire straits, Whitley Bay leads renaissance of northern resorts
Wayne Hemingway at the Vintage by the Sea festival in Morecambe. Photograph: Rahil Ahmad

The museum’s director, Belinda Betts, says the attraction will help renew a sense of pride in the town. “And it will be a major visitor attraction – a grownup museum, but with a sense of fun. We can’t go back to the past, but there are art installations on the sea defences, the museum, a Comedy Carpet [a huge artwork celebrating comedy catchphrases and writers] on the prom. Blackpool is evolving.”

The signs are positive, but it is a slow evolution – the museum will not open until 2020 – and it may yet fail, as other projects have done. Urban Splash, a leading architectural firm specialising in regeneration, failed to get its ambitious eight-year plan to renew Morecambe seafront off the ground.

Travis Elborough, author of Wish You Were Here: England on Sea, a history of English seaside towns, says: “The northern resorts have trailed behind those in the south, which have relaunched themselves as artistic hubs. It’s been slower because they don’t have the same dependency on London. But places like Scarborough, which I’m a huge fan of, have fabulous architecture, interesting history, and have had a lot of lottery money spent on their heritage, so there is artistic regeneration going on.

“On the other hand, Blackpool’s big draw for a long time was the stag crowd and to have the duality of places like it becoming a sophisticated, arty destination is not the easiest balance to meet.”

It will take skill to pull it off. One project that has managed this balance of past and present is Morecambe’s annual Vintage by the Sea festival, created by the designer Wayne Hemingway. On 3-4 September, for the fourth year running, festival goers will sport tweeds and dance the foxtrot, as their predecessors did in the 1950s. Hemingway was born in the town in 1961 and is immensely fond of it. “It was a very exciting place,” he says. “It always felt like a holiday – Bedlam in a good way.”

And after recent decades when the town’s overarching mood was “misery”, he feels more hopeful than he has for a long time: “Like a lot of seaside towns, it’s on the up, a renaissance – not at the pace of Margate, but it’s a Morecambe renaissance.” He points to new art installations and landscaping on the seafront. “If you invest in culture – like Margate did with the Turner and Dreamland – it brings people. It can never go back to the glory days but if you’re there on a day with a colourful sky you still fall in love with the place.”


Scarborough, North Yorkshire

The Alpamare water park opens on 28 July. It features a heated pool, waterslides, a spa and an outdoor pool overlooking the sea at North Bay.

Whitehaven, Cumbria

A £1.2m extension to the harbour Beacon Museum will allow major touring exhibitions to visit. Brick City, featuring 70 Lego models of famous buildings around the world, opened on Saturday and runs until 11 September.

Roker, Sunderland

The pier and the lighthouse on its tip will be reopened after a £1.35m restoration. For the first time, the public will be taken on tours through the tunnel that also connects it to the mainland.

Blyth, Northumberland

Blyth will host the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta from 26-29 August, with music and races.

Lytham, Lancashire

The Lytham festival has grown from a weekend gig to a seven-day festival, from 1-7 August, with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Bryan Adams.

Представителю Веры Брежневой пришлось прокомментировать ситуацию с декоммунизацией ее фамилии

Представителю Веры Брежневой пришлось прокомментировать ситуацию с декоммунизацией ее фамилииПредставитель певицы, Анастасия Драпеко, ответила на предложение украинского националиста Артема Скоропадского о декоммунизации фамилии Брежневой.

Вера Брежнева – посол доброй воли ООН, напомнила ее представитель, и ее имя не должно вызывать ни малейших ассоциаций с конфликтами и негативом, даже в тегах. Для Веры недопустимо примыкать к любому политическому лагерю. Такое заявление сделала Анастасия Драпеко, пресс-секретарь артистки.

Драпеко также пояснила, почему Вера Брежнева упорно избегает политической жизни. Пресс-секретарь артистки заявила, что у Брежневой сейчас встреча с Киану Ривзом, где они обсудят благотворительные мероприятия, связанные с ВИЧ. Такая «мерзкая возня» только навредит репутации Веры, добавила Драпеко.

В интернет – сообществах идея о «декоммунизации» Веры Брежневой молниеносно стала популярной. Многие предлагали сменить Вере фамилию на Бандера или на Меладзе.

Артем Скоропадский, автор инициативы сообщил, что с предложением прокомментировать идею, ему позвонили журналисты одного российского телеканала.

Рэпер Серега на «Славянском базаре» примерял образ Шарикова и поздравил публику с Новым годом

Рэпер Серега на «Славянском базаре» примерял образ Шарикова и поздравил публику с Новым годом
Серега на «Славянском базаре»

В Витебске в очередной раз состоялся фестиваль музыки «Славянский базар». Все участники этого концерта родились в Белоруссии. Наполи представила качественную композицию на английском языке, Алена Ланская показала зрителям добротный летний хит «День, ночь». Ирина Медведева спела с Русланом Алехно, а Тео взял в дуэт свою жену Ольгу Рыжикову.

Известный белорус, рэпер Серега стал Шариковым, главным героем известного произведения «Собачье сердце». В этом оригинальном образе он поздравил публику с Новым годом и заверил, что продемонстрирует новые композиции. Первая под названием «Харизма» с аллюзиями на творения Ремарка, вторая «Гелендваген», она продолжила традиции «Черного бумера». Рэперу аккомпанировал гармонист.

Рэпер Серега на «Славянском базаре» примерял образ Шарикова и поздравил публику с Новым годом
Серега в образе Шарикова

На концерте должен был выступить Борис Моисеев, но не смог, тем не менее порадовал зрителей ансамбль «Зорька», его помогал создавать Моисеев.

Певица Анжелика Агурбаш, кроме исполнения песен была соведущей концерта. Она остроумно рассказывала зрителям о своем участии на «Евровидении» и спела «Розу на снегу» и «Заново рождена».

Рэпер Серега на «Славянском базаре» примерял образ Шарикова и поздравил публику с Новым годом
Анжелика Агурбаш

Cult singer Ian Astbury apologises after telling festival crowd: 'All lives matter'

Astbury thanks his critics for ‘enlightening me that this phrase is offensive’

Cult singer Ian Astbury apologises after telling festival crowd: 'All lives matter'
Foot in mouth … Ian Astbury on stage at RBC Bluesfest on Saturday. Photograph: Mark Horton/Getty Images

The Cult’s singer, Ian Astbury, has apologised for using a phrase that has been employed to belittle the Black Lives Matter movement, the Ottawa Citizen reports. While performing with the Cult at the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa on 9 July, Astbury launched into a speech about the need to fight racism, environmental destruction and “dumbasses with guns”. He said of gun violence in the US: “It ain’t a race thing, it’s a people thing.” The phrase that caused offence, though, was: “All lives matter.”

All Lives Matter has become used as a counter to Black Lives Matter, despite the point of the latter being to point out that the disproportionate numbers of black people killed by police in the US suggests black lives are less valued. Many regard it as at best ignorant and at worst racist.

After the group’s performance, Astbury was called out for his remarks, with one person – who was then named in Astbury’s apology – writing: “#WhitePrivilegeMeans chanting ‘all lives matter’ at a music festival and not apologizing. Shame on you.”

Astbury tweeted from the Cult’s account: “I sincerely and deeply apologize to everyone I offended by using the phrase ‘all lives matter’ … I fully support #blacklivesmatter and wished to show my solidarity. So disheartened to know that I have offended people of color. Thank you for enlightening me that this phrase is offensive.”

Unfortunately, the apology had the effect of focussing the ire of Cult fans on those named in the tweet who had led the criticism of Astbury, and hundreds of tweets were aimed towards them, attacking them for being racist themselves or for being “SJWs”, or social justice warriors.

The Cult continued to stand by their apology, tweeting that “we must take responsibility at this time to recognise the importance of not marginalising black lives among all lives”, and addressing fans who had reacted angrily to those who had criticised the band: “To our fans: We will not condone racism or hate speech in ANY way on our socials. We have no problem deleting, banning, or reporting you.”

Prime directive: Amazon boss Jeff Bezos plays alien in Star Trek Beyond

Director Justin Lin applauds performance by CEO, who is a passionate Star Trek fan: ‘He just nailed it every time’

Prime directive: Amazon boss Jeff Bezos plays alien in Star Trek Beyond
Trekker and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has achieved every Trekker’s fantasy, by playing an alien in the new Star Trek film.

Bezos is listed, as “Starfleet Official”, in the credits for Star Trek Beyond, the third instalment of the rebooted sci-fi franchise. In interviews on Friday, producer JJ Abrams and director Justin Lin confirmed his appearance.

Lin said the billionaire arrived with plentiful security for a day of filming and waited patiently for crews to shoot the single tracking shot that includes his character.

“He was awesome,” Lin said. “It was like a president was visiting, you know? He had a big entourage. But it didn’t matter because he was so into it. He had to wait around all day because it was one day we were shooting like three different scenes and, it was also credit to Jeff because … he just nailed it every time.”

Bezos has spoken in interviews of his passion for Star Trek and said his childhood dreams of space led him to found his private space travel company, named Blue Origin.

Several musicians and actors made un-billed appearances in Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including the James Bond star Daniel Craig’s widely discussed appearance as a stormtrooper.

“Listen, you can’t keep people away,” Abrams said, laughing. “I saw it. I thought it was funny.”

Even for Hollywood actors accustomed to the red-carpet glitz, Bezos caused a stir with his appearance on set.

“I was there for the bit with his, like, nine bodyguards and three limos. It was really intense,” said Chris Pine, who stars in the film as Captain James T Kirk. “I had no idea who he was. Not a clue. But he was obviously very important.”

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Categories: Movies


Пелагея поздравила себя с днем рождения и написала трогательное послание матери

PelageyaРоссийская фольклорная исполнительница Пелагея недавно отметила 30  лет со дня рождения. В социальных сетях, певица поблагодарила свою мать, Светлану Ханову. Пелагея написала, что благодарна матери за поддержку, которую она чувствовала с первых лет жизни, за помощь в познании мира и за то, что мать вселила в певицу веру в себя. Знаменитость подчеркнула, что благодаря матери она смогла научиться радоваться жизни и быть настоящей женщиной.

Не секрет, что для Пелагеи ее мать долгое время является не просто родственницей, но и продюсером. Именно по инициативе матери, Пелагея начала серьезно заниматься музыкой и активно штурмовать вершины шоу-бизнеса.

В своем длинном послании к матери, Пелагея также упомянула, что они остаются лучшими подругами, которые всегда поймут друг друга. Мать, как никто другой, радуется победам певицы и грустит с ней в тяжелые минуты.

Чем старше становится Пелагея, тем больше видно, как они похожи с матерью. Теперь певица понимает, как сложно посвящать свою жизнь ребенку и прилагать все усилия, чтобы он добился успеха на музыкальном поприще. Даже, когда мать и дочь находятся на большом расстоянии, то всегда чувствуют состояние друг друга, подчеркнула Пелагея. Она также добавила, что будет всегда любить и благодарить свою мать.

В заключение сентиментального послания, Пелагея сама себя поздравила с юбилеем и дополнила пост радостной фотографией.

Лето 2016 стало для певицы очень насыщенным и важным. Как известно, в конце июня, певица вышла замуж за Ивана Телегина, нападающего ЦСКА. Соответствующее фото в стенах ЗАГСа появилось в аккаунте ее фан-клуба.

Несколько недель назад Пелагея еще раз удивила своих почитателей: ходят настойчивые слухи о беременности певицы, этим объясняют ее отказ участвовать в продолжении шоу «Голос».

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Categories: Russian Showbiz

Журналисты узнали, кто настоящая мать детей Филиппа Киркорова

Журналисты узнали, кто настоящая мать детей Филиппа Киркорова
Журналисты узнали, кто настоящая мать детей Филиппа Киркорова

С того времени, как у Филиппа Киркорова появились дети, пресса и поклонники знаменитого артиста находились в неведении насчет матери малышей. Так, некоторые уверяли, что матерью сына и дочери Филиппа является иностранка, живущая в доме певца. Данная версия не была подтверждена, поэтому вопрос о личности матери оставался открытым несколько лет.

29 июня 2016 года сыну Филиппа, Мартину исполнилось 4 года. Певец решил устроить ребенку масштабные именины, пригласив большое количество друзей семьи. На празднике присутствовала и 48-летняя Наталья Ефремова.

Некоторое время назад Киркоров называл эту женщину крестной матерью Аллы-Виктории и Мартина, но на днях журналисты выяснили, Ефремова это настоящая мать отпрысков артиста. Этот факт был подтвержден людьми из окружения Киркорова. Также в пользу данной версии говорит большое сходство детей с Ефремовой.

5 лет назад Киркоров сообщал, что встретил женщину, которая имеет все шансы стать матерью его детей. Он уточнил, что если дети появятся на свет, он будет всячески оберегать тайну их происхождения.

Некоторое время назад, в своем очередном интервью Киркоров подчеркивал, что очень благодарен некоей женщине за то, что спасла его от болезненного одиночества. Беседа с журналистами состоялась после рождения второго ребенка, Мартина.

Как известно, Филипп Киркоров после расставания с Аллой Пугачевой много лет страдал от неустроенной личной жизни. Он рассказывал, что женщина, ставшая матерью его детей, вдохнула в него новую жизнь, заставив посмотреть на все иначе. Благодаря таинственной даме, Киркоров познал, что такое быть отцом и заботиться о новом поколении. Интересно, что в одном из телешоу, Киркоров проговорился, что с ним в доме живут его дети и «мама Наташа».

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Categories: Russian Showbiz

Marvin Gaye’s family approve What’s Going On documentary

Motown stars will trace journey towards the album that challenged American attitudes to race, drugs and civil injustice – with the help of exclusive footage released by Gaye’s ex-wife and children

Marvin Gaye’s family approve What’s Going On documentary
Marvin Gaye. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features

Marvin Gaye seminal 1971 album What’s Going On is to be the subject of a documentary.


Marvin Gaye’s family approve What’s Going On documentary-2Centred around themes of poverty, police brutality, drug abuse and injustice in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination and with lyrics written from the perspective of a Vietnam war veteran, the film will document the making of a soul classic that “challenged America and the world to self-reflect, going on to inspire a generation of artists and music lovers”, the producers said.

“The relevance of [his] masterpiece … is as strong as ever.”

It is the first time his former wife, Janis Gaye, and his children, Nona, Marvin III and Frankie Gaye have approved a project such as this, with his family contributing previously unseen archive footage of the late artist to the film’s producers.

Including “exclusive interviews with some of Motown’s top stars and never-before-seen archive footage unearthed by Gaye’s children and former wife,” the documentary will be filmed in Washington DC, LA and Detroit.

“We look forward to participating and sharing what we can through friends, family, photos, footage and priceless stories that only those who knew our father up close and personal would know, as well as his contemporaries, purists and fans who have studied him and his art over decades,” the Gaye family said in a joint statement. “What’s Going On … something many of us find ourselves asking today, 45 years later. Peace.”

The film is scheduled for release in 2017.