Happy New Year from your friendly neighbourhood music hack, still occupying the last stronghold of defence in the war against Ed “Charisma of a Puddle’ Sheeran’s monopoly on pop. I’ve opted for a new gambit to start off this year by running down the most commented, #hashtagged and think piece-ed music stories of the last week.

Tom DeLonge Quits/Unquits/Consciously uncouples from/Who Knows? Blink 182

Over this past weekend, news broke that founding member of pop-punk elder statesmen Blink 182 split from his bandmates Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, who labelled DeLonge “disrespectful and ungrateful” for his alleged refusal to record another album. The news was Taylor Swiftly followed by DeLonge taking to Instagram to deny his dismissal from the band – all despite Hoppus and Barker already drafting Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio for the band’s next scheduled concert. Ouch – Tom DeLonge is Tom DeGone. While the guitarist lamented via Facebook post that such immature drama was being played out in public, CERN scientists in Switzerland were celebrating the recent success of their long-in-the-works time machine which achieved its goal of transporting us all back to 1999, the last time that anyone seriously thought about Blink 182.


RihRih, Yeezus and The Guy Who Did The Frog Chorus Song Collaborate

Hot on the heels of Kanye and Macca’s sneak release of the swelling “Only One” at the tail-end of December last year, the duo have prompted more rumours of a full-blown collaborative album between the pair (Watch The Armchair?) by dropping a new threeway with Rihanna, “FourFiveSeconds”. The vulnerable, melodic tone suggested by these two tracks so far is a wild diversion from the imperial yet raw pomp of Yeezus. However, the collaboration also hints at an exciting new vein of introspection on Kanye’s part brought on by fatherhood. And #R8 cannot come fast enough.


The Royalties ‘Stay With Me’

Morose crooner Sam Smith has settled out of court with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, paying back royalties and a 12.5% songwriting credit for Smith’s “Stay With Me” for its accidental similarity to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1989 single “I Won’t Back Down”. This means payday for Petty since the song has already sold nearly four million copies worldwide and is up for both Best Pop Performance and Record of the Year at this year’s Grammy Awards.


6Music Festival Announces Headliners for 2015

The Best Radio Station In All The Land has booked The War On Drugs, Interpol and the reformed Sleater-Kinney to play their sophomore festival in Tyneside. The gigs will take place across three nights from Friday, February 20th to Sunday, February 22nd and will also boast the likes of Royal Blood, Jamie T, The Maccabees, Kate Tempest, Father John Misty, Edinburgh’s finest, Young Fathers and former St Andrews headliners, Hot Chip – anyone else remember Eye O’ The Dug in First Year?


Bjork Does Something Uncharacteristically Left-field

Bjork has pre-empted, um, herself. After announcing only last week that her new album, Vulnicura, would be released physically in March, the Icelandic chanteuse dropped the LP on iTunes for download without warning. I haven’t yet been able to hear the work, but two things are already certain. One: track 1, entitled “Stonemilker” is already the most Bjork-y song title of all time. And two: Pitchfork writers will gush over this.

Alex Mackay