The week in music: Taylor Swift on misogyny, bankrupt Blue and more

Our weekly music news roundup, featuring Swift’s feminist statements in Maxim magazine, Blue’s total bankruptcy and Marina Abramović’s brief spat with Jay Z

Taylor Swift said misogyny is ingrained in people

Speaking to Maxim magazine about feminism – and yes, your cognitive dissonance sensors ought to be twitching – Swifty talked about misogyny being ingrained in people from birth. She made a few statements about gender double standards, and how she had grown up with a limited understanding of the meaning of feminism. Then, at Sunday’s Billboard music awards, she released a video that showed women dressed sex-shop latex garb worth thousands of dollars. Could Swift be a bit of a second-wave, sex-positive feminist?

The Game of Thrones musical parody is spectacular

Coldplay and a host of main characters from HBO’s bloodthirsty, sex-obsessed TV show came together for a Red Nose Day US special: a behind-the-scenes video about a Game of Thrones musical. Alas, it doesn’t actually exist, but after watching this you might wish that it did. Watch one of the trailers below, and click through to the article for the full 12-minute video – it’s worth the time, I swear it.

Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj tried to release a Tidal exclusive

Maybe Nicki and Bey missed the memo, but every single high-profile Tidal release makes its way on to the internet elsewhere. Minaj’s video for Feeling Myself was no different, ending up duplicated and streamed beyond the safe confines of the music service’s subscription paywall. If you’ve not seen the full video and still want to do so, there are enough gifs out there to do 70% of the job.

An LGBT festival came under fire for their headliner choice

Iggy Azalea, fresh off a dead-eyed Billboard music awards performance with Britney Spears on Sunday, is the subject of a heated disagreement centred an LGBTQ event in Pittsburgh. Non-profit organisation the Delta foundation has faced an online backlash for choosing the rapper to headline weeklong Pittsburgh Pridefest’s outdoor dance party, Pride in the Street.

At fault are Iggy’s past (and since-deleted) tweets about gay people and what the protestors perceive to be her general fondness of cultural appropriation. For those not familiar with her music, Australia-born Iggy raps in a thick American accent – and no, it’s not parody.

“Iggy Azalea is headlining Pittsburgh pride”

— ortuist (@ortuist) May 15, 2015

Woah! Iggy Azalea is headlining the Pittsburgh Gay Pride Parade. That's kinda big.

— Griffin Conley (@Griffin1994) May 15, 2015

Lee Ryan became the last Blue member to file for bankruptcy

Oh Blue, we never thought it would come to this. Boyband members Duncan James, Simon Webbe and then Antony Costa all filed for bankruptcy between September 2013 and August 2014, and on Monday Ryan’s representatives confirmed that his finances were also on the rocks. At least they’ll always have those noughties memories of strolling through nightclubs in music videos and learning fist-pumping dance routines.

Marina Abramović said Jay Z ‘completely used’ her

The performance artist said her involvement in Jay Z’s Picasso Baby video, shot in the style of her The Artist is Present museum installation didn’t end up benefitting her. Awkwardly, it turns out that Jay Z didn’t just place her in the video, and then moonwalk out of the room clutching his gold chain: he made a “substantial donation” to Abramović’s as-yet-unbuilt performance art institute. Abramović just hadn’t been told that minor detail by her various assistants, before she said her piece. Communication is key, guys.

Pete Townshend released a song about Guantánamo Bay

Just call it one of the least cheerful, but most political, recent birthday celebrations. Townshend shared track Guantanamo on his 70th birthday, incorporating the usual festive messages about an American prison on Cuban land that employs interrogation methods classed as torture, force-feeds prisoners and has been known to detain people without charge for years. Not quite a light-hearted ditty about cake and balloons, but an important topic nonetheless.

Song Guantanamo by Pete Townshend

Bruce Dickinson was declared cancer-free by his doctor

The Iron Maiden frontman was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour on his tongue late last year, but seems to have fought his way through this bout of illness. A combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimen has done the trick, and just about surpassed expectations that Dickinson would have kicked the disease by late May.

It seems Dickinson is getting stuck right in again – though not with touring, as Iron Maiden won’t be on the road again until at least 2016. Instead, in his role as Cardiff Aviation chairman, Dickinson is going to help launch a new national carrier for Djibouti’s flag-carrying airline, Air Djibouti.

Drummer Ross Dawson’s death was confirmed

Dawson, a former member of indie band Late of the Pier and drummer for acts such as Misty Miller and Zibra, died after what his label have called a “sudden and tragic accident” on Friday 15 May. The news of his death was announced on Thursday.


Tshepo Mokoena

The GuardianTramp

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