Punk world loses a legend
Punk fans everywhere were grieving this week with the sad news of Poly Styrene's death from cancer. She was 53. As leader of X-Ray Spex, the mixed-race, brace-wearing Poly provided a refreshing antidote to the white and male-dominated UK punk scene in late 1970s.
She wasn't prolific -- there was just two X-Ray Spex albums, 1978's Germ Free Adolescents and 1995's Conscious Consumer. And there were two solo albums, Translucence (1981) and Generation Indigo, released last month. Poignantly, she did promotional interviews for that album from her bed in the cancer ward of her local hospital.
Poly is the second high-profile musician to die from cancer in less than a week, following the passing of TV on the Radio bassist Gerard Smith. He was just 34. Fittingly, his devastated bandmates have cancelled forthcoming dates on their US tour. Their latest album, Nine Types of Light, was released to glowing reviews earlier this month.
- You've got to hand it to Adele (right). She just keeps breaking records. After 11 weeks atop the UK album chart with 21, she was finally ousted by the Foo Fighters but, like a combative pugilist, she's regained the number-one position this week.
21 has now sold 2.3 million copies in the UK alone since its January release and her debut album, 19, continues to sell healthily. Not only did she break Madonna's record for the longest consecutive run at the top of the album charts but she's also the first artist since the Beatles to have two top-five singles and two top-five albums in the charts at the same time -- matching a feat set in 1964.
There's no doubt about Adele's talent -- her soulful voice and singing range is the envy of many -- but what's most remarkable is how she has managed to transcend all boundaries. When my 96-year-old grandmother mentioned her to me the other day, I really got a sense of her catch-all appeal.
- 50 Cent is Waterford bound. The rapper is the star turn at the city's Music Fest 2011 at the Regional Sports Centre on July 30. The bill is eclectic, to put it mildly, featuring as it does Flo Rida -- responsible for one of the very worst albums of the year to date -- former reality TV product Shayne Ward and a new Louis Walsh-sanctioned girlband Wonderland.
Sounds like a thoroughly miserable day on the banks of the Suir. Tickets priced €54.80 are on sale now.
- Fifteen years after it was first published, Philomena Lynott's My Boy has become an unlikely publishing sensation in 2011. Now, Thin Lizzy fans can meet this quintessential Irish mammy at the Philip Lynott exhibition, Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, today and tomorrow at 12.
The exhibition runs until May 2, and is open from 10am every day.
- Good news for Bon Iver fans: a new album is set to be released on June 17. Simply titled Bon Iver, it has 10 tracks -- each called after a place-name in the US -- and is expected to offer quite a different sound to its understated, acoustic-driven predecessor, 2008's For Emma, Forever Ago.
Day & Night