Guardian Culture

Culture news, comment, video and pictures from The Guardian
  1. As she prepares to take Glastonbury by storm, the country star opens a bottle of red wine and talks about the personal tragedy that coloured her new songs

    Saturday night on the banks of the Ohio River, and the most American of scenes is unfolding. At the Ball Park, the Cincinnati Reds are playing the Texas Rangers, while at the US Bank Arena next door Carrie Underwood is making the latest stop on her global tour. Fans spill together through the muggy streets, a mingling of scarlet baseball jerseys and tan cowboy boots.

    This is Underwood’s first tour since 2016, a huge two-hour, 60-date monolith of a show in support of last year’s album Cry Pretty. Reaching UK arenas on Friday, it features a hydraulic stage, multiple costume changes and fearsome pyrotechnics, and it will carry her from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Detroit, Michigan, via the Glastonbury festival this weekend.

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  2. Bewildered by the hundreds of acts at Glastonbury? The Guardian’s music editors pick the best names from lower down the bill

    The must-see musical experience of the weekend is this brand-new stage from the Block9 crew, whose club spaces routinely provide the festival’s best after-hours moments. IICON will have artists playing from a giant sculpture of a head, and they’re a who’s who of cutting-edge electronics: galaxy-cartographer Larry Heard, dub geniuses Raime, thunderously angry poet Moor Mother, junglist poet Lee Gamble, South African pairing Okzharp and Manthe Ribane, and tons of forward-thinking techno: Bruce, Zenker Brothers, Karenn and more. Sleep all day, bring a carrier bag of falafels, and you could happily spend your entire weekend here.

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  3. Linda Eastman was the award-winning photographer who captured a generation of rock stars before marrying a Beatle. He discusses how her work changed his life

    ‘I always used to joke that I ruined Linda’s career,” says Paul McCartney, sitting on a sofa in his office in Soho, London, with a selection of his late wife’s photographs spread on the table before him. “She became known as ‘Paul’s wife’, instead of the focus being on her photography. But, as time went on, people started to realise that she was the real thing. So, yeah, she eventually did get the correct reputation, but at first it was just blown out of the water by the headline-grabbing marriage.”

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  4. Paul Thomas Anderson directs the Radiohead singer in a short, dialogue-free moodscape that’s unsure of its final destination

    To emerge alongside his new solo album Anima, Thom Yorke has released this short film for Netflix, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson; they are playfully calling it a “one-reeler” in homage to the silent movie era. But of course, nothing could be more digital and 21st century than this: a sleek piece of luxury content, designed to synergise with another piece of content, streaming on your tablets and smartphones. This elaborate dystopian moodscape, which is without dialogue, is a cross between a pop video and an expensively upholstered film school graduation project – or indeed an ad for cologne: “Anima, by Chanel”.

    Yorke himself acts and even dances the lead role; and as executive producer and musical star, it is a prerogative he can exercise in parallel with not giving up the day job. The choreography is by Damien Jalet, who worked on Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake, and the piece showcases three new songs: Not the News, Traffic and Dawn Chorus.

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  5. From bucolic source to marshy lower reaches, London’s mighty river has inspired great writing

    The Thames is 215 miles from source to sea, and for centuries writers of all kinds have been inspired by it, returning to its banks again and again to explore what it can tell us about memory, history and landscape. It’s one of the most written-about parts of Britain – there’s something irresistible about the river that makes it a perfect background to all kinds of storytelling.

    My introduction to this wealth of river writing began at the end: I grew up sailing on the Thames estuary – the muddy, sometimes smelly, coastal area downstream from London where the famous river finally joins the North Sea. My parents arrived here after sailing thousands of miles from South Africa in a boat they had built themselves. By the time I was born a few years later, the estuary had ceased to be just a point of entry for them. It was home.

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