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Neil Young says he won’t perform at Farm Aid because of COVID concerns

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Neil Young has said he won’t perform at this year’s Farm Aid event because of his ongoing concerns over COVID-19.

Young confirmed the news in response to a fan letter on his Neil Young Archives site that said: “I am not ready for that yet. I don’t think it is safe in the pandemic,” he wrote, adding, “I miss it very much.”

The veteran artist co-founded the yearly benefit concert to support American farmers. He also pulled out of last year’s event due to his ongoing concerns about the pandemic.

This year’s event takes place on September 24 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The line-up includes the likes of Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews Band, Margo Price, Sheryl Crow, and more.

Neil Young. Credit: Matthew Baker/Getty Images

Young has not performed in public since 2019. His latest comments echo ones made in December of last year, when he said he wouldn’t be returning to touring until COVID-19 was “beat” and the pandemic was over. “I don’t care if I’m the only one who doesn’t do it,” he said during an interview with Howard Stern.

Last year, Young also called on promoters to cancel “super-spreader” gigs while a pandemic was still ongoing. “The big promoters, if they had the awareness, could stop these shows,” he wrote in a blog post on his site. “Live Nation, AEG, and the other big promoters could shut this down if they could just forget about making money for a while.”

Recently, Young and Crazy Horse shared a first preview of their album ‘Toast’, with single ‘Timberline’.

The album was originally recorded by Young and the band in 2001 before being shelved. It was then finally announced for a July 8 release date earlier this year.

According to Young, ‘Toast’ is “an album that stands on its own in [his] collection”. He cited the record’s melancholic tone as a reason why it never left the studio, explaining in last May’s aforementioned blog post: “Unlike any other, ‘Toast’ was so sad that I couldn’t put it out. I just skipped it and went on to do another album in its place. I couldn’t handle it at that time. 2001.”

He went on to say that the record was “about a relationship”, chronicling a particularly bleak point in its dissolution. He continued: “There is a time in many relationships that go bad, a time long before the break up, where it dawns on one of the people, maybe both, that it’s over. This was that time.

“The sound is murky and dark, but not in a bad way. Fat. From the first note, you can feel the sadness that permeates the recording… These songs paint a landscape where time doesn’t matter – because everything is going south. A lady is lost in her car. The dark city surrounds her – past present and future. It’s a scary place. You be the judge.”

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Daryl Hall to support Billy Joel at this year’s BST Hyde Park

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Daryl Hall is set to perform at the 2023 BST Hyde Park festival later this summer, as a special guest headliner Billy Joel.

The Hall & Oates singer will join the singer-songwriter onstage for his live appearance at the London Festival, which is set to take place on July 7. Tickets are available now.

As previously announced, BLACKPINK will make their UK festival debut headlining their own day at British Summer Time, as well as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band playing two nights, alongside headline appearances from Guns N’ Roses, Take That and P!nk, supported by Gwen Stefani.

Daryl Hall. Credit: Scott Legato/Getty Images

Alongside his guest appearance with Joel, Hall is also set to perform at a newly-announced headline show in London. Taking place at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo on July 9, the show will see the singer perform alongside his House Band and special guest, Todd Rundgren. Tickets go on sale at 10 am this Friday – available here.

Last year, Elton John performed at the event as part of his ongoing Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, as well as The Rolling Stones, who returned to the event for two sold-out shows and paid an emotional tribute to late drummer, Charlie Watts.

Adele, Eagles and Pearl Jam also appeared as part of the line-up, as well as Duran Duran, who treated the London crowd to a run of their greatest hits.

Duran Duran at BST Hyde Park 2022
Duran Duran at BST Hyde Park. Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Last year, Daryl Hall also confirmed that he was once asked to sing for Van Halen – as a potential replacement for frontman David Lee Roth.

“I knew those guys really well,” he said. “David [Lee Roth] had just left the band, and Eddie [Van Halen] asked me, ‘Do you wanna join Van Halen, man?’

He continued: “He was half-joking, but I think he was serious. I really do believe he was serious, and I took it seriously. I said, ‘Man, I think not. I think I’ve got my own shit going on.’”

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Radiohead to release new material in “next couple of years”

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Radiohead‘s drummer Philip Selway has said that the band will release new material “of some sort” in the “next couple of years”.

  • READ MORE: Radiohead’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ – The Biggest Talking Points

In January, Selway said that he and his bandmates would be meeting up early this year to start putting things in motion. “We’re going to get together at the start of [2023], and I’m sure we’re going to start looking at other ideas for what comes next,” he said.

Now, the drummer has told Prog Magazine [via MusicNews]: “We’re always talking about stuff. But in terms of an actual kind of collective project, beyond the ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac’ stuff that we’ve been doing [2021’s ‘Kid AMnesia’ reissue project and interactive exhibition], it’s kind of further down the line for us when that will happen. We’re talking about that, but at the moment everybody’s doing their own thing.

“When the pandemic happened, we’d always planned to take a veer off from Radiohead around that, so we could get on with other stuff. But that just meant that those other projects kind of grew, so we’re allowing time for all of those projects to go where they need to. But yeah, we’ll get together soon and in the next couple of years there will be something there, of some sort.”

Philip Selway. CREDIT: Phil Sharp.

Radiohead’s last album was 2016’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool‘.

Elsewhere, the drummer, who recently released his second solo album under his own name, ‘Strange Dance’, revealed that he’s already working on its follow-up.

Asked if the next record is taking shape, he said: “It is, actually. You get to the end of one project and can’t see beyond that for a little while, but it’s led by the ideas that you’ve got coming as well. To do a solo record you need songs and they are starting to happen a bit more now. So yeah, I would love to.

“When I first started doing the solo stuff, I was just thinking of it as a trilogy of records and didn’t really project beyond that.

“I certainly didn’t think I’d end up doing soundtrack work or any of the other stuff. And in some ways, I guess ‘Strange Dance’ feels as though it’s completing that initial cycle. And it feels wonderful to be at that point.”

Phil Selway and Thom Yorke of Radiohead (Photo by Andy Sheppard/Redferns via Getty Images)
:Phil Selway and Thom Yorke of Radiohead (Photo by Andy Sheppard/Redferns via Getty Images)

Last summer, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien discussed the band’s future, saying: “It might happen, but the other thing is… it might not. And does that matter?

“There’s no Radiohead at the moment,” he added. “There’s a truth to what we do, so we’re not going to be one of those bands that gets together for the big payday.”

In other news, a mash-up of tracks by Ice Spice, PinkPantheress and Radiohead has gone viral after being shared on Twitter.

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iKON’s Bobby drops music video for moody new solo track ‘Cherry Blossom’

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iKON’s Bobby has released a new solo song titled ‘Cherry Blossom’ and its music video.

Today (March 20), the K-pop idol unveiled the music video for ‘Cherry Blossom’, a track from his upcoming single album ’S.i.R’. The project, which will feature the title track ‘Drowning’, will be released tomorrow (March 21) at 6pm KST.

In the ‘Cherry Blossom’ music video, Bobby wakes up in a dim bedroom, before getting up to sing and dance to the upbeat new track as he is haunted by memories of the past. The idol grows more sullen towards the end of the visual, eventually returning to his bed in the darkness.

You were more beautiful than cherry blossoms / You lasted longer than cherry blossoms / Like cherry blossoms, you took spring away with you / More cherry than cherry blossoms, you more than cherry blossoms,” he sings in the chorus.

‘Cherry Blossom’ marks Bobby’s first solo release since he and his iKON bandmates left longtime agency YG Entertainment in December 2022. All six members of the boyband have since signed with 143 Entertainment, and will reportedly release a new album this April.

Earlier this month, iKON announced that they would soon be embarking on their ‘Take Off’ world tour, which will take place from May to September. The group will be touring East and Southeast Asia, Europe and North America as part of the tour.

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