A lock of John Lennon‘s hair has sold for $48,000 at auction in London. (Page Six)
Billy Bragg is at it again: in today’s Guardian, he criticizes Morrissey for suing NME. “Had Morrissey claimed freedom of speech in his own defense, I would have supported his stance. Instead, we have the unedifying possibility that a man who once skilfully wielded his dazzling wit to confound his detractors and delight his audience has been reduced to relying on a writ in order to stifle his critics.” Or perhaps we’re also seeing a man who once skillfully wielded his dazzling wit to bring about political awareness reduced to snarking at a bigger and more revelant artist.
Kate Nash tells NME that she’s working on a collection of short stories, including a tale about “a 12 year-old boy called George, who meets a seven-foot cross-dresser called Roy.”
It’s the sound of the underground: Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding gets by with a little help from her vibrator.(NME)
Klaxons had the best album (Myths of the Near Future) and best track (“Golden Skans”) of 2007, according to NME. Idolator has NME’s complete lists.
The Guardian‘s Leonie Cooper looks at the women who made 2007 a banner year for British music.
Leona Lewis‘ “Bleeding Love” will likely see its No. 1 run end this week: it’s being outsold by “What a Wonderful World,” Kate Melua‘s “duet” with the late chanteuse Eva Cassidy, currently available in a popular UK supermarket chain.(Gigwise)
Alan McGee has written a nice piece on Lawrence, frontman of cult band Felt. “He was conflicted about his talent and desire for fame. A true British eccentric, he wanted to be renowned in the underground like Andy Warhol, but simultaenously felt he should be writing hits for Cliff Richards [sic]. Lawrence wanted Felt to be high art and low art at the same time. He wanted Felt to be in the singles charts and screamed at like a boy band, and was truly mystified as to why it hadn’t happened yet.”(Guardian)
Days after Alex James was selected to judge the Costa Book Awards, Lily Allenhas been asked to help select the winner of the 2008 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. The Guardian‘s Nicholas Lezard thinks the celebrity-as-literary authority trend is a load of bollocks: “It’s patronising, both to the authors being judged, and to the public, who are seen as not smart enough to be interested in anything unless a famous person is involved. And as for the celebs themselves – they don’t come out of it looking too good either: they’re saying, in effect: ‘I have hidden depths! I can read!’ Well, bully for them. The best thing you can say about exercises like this is that they expose the whole prize-giving business as the folly it is.”
Is Radiohead the new Kraftwerk?: Several rap artists are contributing to an In Rainbows remix compilation.(Guardian)
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself—he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri—he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.