You could wake up this morning, read the music headlines and be forgiven for thinking Y2K had never happened (though doesn't that seem like the quaintest of notions now?) and that Michael Jackson is bound for a comeback any second.
Various stories across the interwebs are noting activity from a bunch of names deeply familiar to 90s-era Britpop fans, namely popsters James, two members of Blur (plus singer Damon Albarn's latter-day combo Gorillaz) plus Gaz Coombes, singer/songwriter with guerilla pop trio Supergrass, and even eerily long-lasting 80s stalwarts Duran Duran.
Let's break it down, shall we?
England's CMU reports that Manchester's James have signed a catalog deal with BMG for all their hits including 'Sit Down' and 'She's A Star.' BMG Chrysalis UK VP of A&R Ben Bodie says: "This is an outstanding catalogue of songs, and we are delighted that James have entrusted their catalogue to BMG Chrysalis." Can re-issues be far behind?
Also hitching his wagon to BMG Chrysalis publishing is former Blur guitarist and noted solo artist (and painter!) Graham Coxon for his latest solo album, A+E. He joins fellow Blur bandmate Damon Albarn, who is already part of the BMG Chrysalis roster.
Speaking of Blur – who are slated to play the Olympics closing show at London's Hyde Park in August - it might be too early to issue the epitaph. Albarn has apparently clarified in an interview that neither Blur nor Gorillaz are quite finished, despite recent quotes published in the Guardian suggesting that he was through with both acts.
Of Blur, Albarn says (via Rolling Stone): "We want to put on a great performance, but nothing’s been said between us about the beginning or the end."
As for the future of Gorillaz, Albarn muses of he and co-conspirator Jamie Hewlett: "We've just fallen out like mates do sometimes. I'm not the only person to fall out with mates and then make up again – everyone does it." Mmm… so even cartoon characters endure rifts? Who knew?
Meanwhile, Vintage Vinyl News reports that arena-rock fashionistas Duran Duran will release a new live set on July 2 in the UK (North American release TBD) called A Diamond in the Mind that will include a Blu-Ray, DVD, CD and booklet in the deluxe edition. The release captures a concert filmed last December in Manchester, England.
Finally, the UK's Stereoboard confirms that fabulously side-burned former Supergrass honcho Gaz Coombes will issue his debut solo album Gaz Coombes Presents… Here Come The Bombs on May 21.
Phew. Much to anticipate. Now if you'll excuse us, we're going to go and play some Doom on the PC.