Solidarity for Christmas

The now annual fight between the X-Factor winner and people with taste for the Christmas No.1 spot in the UK charts was something of a damp squib last year. Following the first failed mobilisation in 2008 (the battle of the Hallelujahs) and the glorious RATM victory in 2009, the uncoordinated multiple attempts last year failed badly.

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Remembering black metal

I’ve recently rediscovered black metal. No, not the silly facepainted Nordic screaming nonsense, but the late 80s/early 90s scene featuring bands with black people in them playing rock and metal music heavily influenced by funk and soul. The three main bands were actually a big part of the scene as the underground started to come into the mainstream – just as grunge was bursting through and a weird and wonderful mix of music was suddenly available to me in Dublin.

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