Today’s breaking news – Thursday 1st March 2012

The five stories worth knowing today, packaged into one quick list.

01.03.12

Words by: Charlie Jones

Erykah Badu banned from playing in Malaysia
The neo soul singer’s tattoos landed her in hot water in Malaysia yesterday. In the advert for her forthcoming Kuala Lumpur date, Badu is depicted with skin art of the word for Allah, which constitutes a security risk in the majority Muslim country. Malaysia’s Information minister Rais Yatim told AP these temporary tats were “an insult to Islam and a very serious offense” and that the material “triggered public criticism that could jeopardise national security and cause a negative impact to the government’s image.”

Santogold confirms Earl Sweatshirt collaboration
Last week, the missing Odd Future rapper’s new Twitter feed hopped with suggestions that he was working with Santogold, Tweeting “@Santigold the track is ridiculous..i’ll send it soon”. She wrote back: “@earlxsweat Sick! Can’t wait…”. The LES Artistes-singer confirmed via Pitchfork that the pair were working on music, saying “If it turns out dope, you’ll hear it!”

10 million people voted in the NME Awards, and Florence is among the people who won them
Noel Gallagher won Godlike Genius, Pulp got Outstanding Contribution to Music, Florence + The Machine won Best Solo Artist and Best Track for Shake It Out. Among the good descisions were Best Album for The Horrors’ Skying and Katy B’s Broken Record bagged Dancefloor Anthem. More questionable desicisions include _Kasabian taking Best Band, and the Foo Fighters winning Best International Band. Matt Bellamy was Hero Of The Year, while, rather meanly, Justin Bieber was declared Villain.

Oddly, too, for the New Musical Express, The Stone Roses reunion tour was declared Greatest Music Moment. It’s worth considering what this means – given that their best work was written 24 years ago – this is the equivalent of the NME in their late 70s heyday worshipping an artist who emerged before Elvis Presley. Full details of the night can be found here; Simon Reynolds and any readers of a modernist disposition are advised to look away.

Festival roundup
More worthy names to look out for in anticipation of yet another Festival season wild with activity. Lancashire’s Beat Herder festival, to be held in Ribble Valley June 29th to July 1st, is featuring legendary names in electronic music like Orbital and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, along with more atmospheric ambience from The Orb Sound System, Nathan Fake and Pariah. Heavier beats come from James Holden and D&B producer Goldie, as well as notorious europop band Black Lace.

For those more inclined to the pop end of things there’ll be Lana Del Ray added to the London Festival line-up with the likes of Azealia Banks, Hot Chip, Friendly Fires and Kelis, June 15th to 17th. The Saturday set should be most enticing in the realms of hip hop and R&B with Skream, Booka Shade, Benji B and Redlight, along with Ms Dynamite, Nextmen and Dread MC at the ‘Decade Of Love Lovebox Spectacular Set’ on the Saturday.

Whitney Houston’s death to be ruled accidental
Despite the self-destructive streak some might have read into the late-diva’s tumultuous public history, Whitney Houston’s death is set to be ruled as accidental, according to sources close the investigation. A police spokesman has stated that the presence of prescription drugs of the Beverly Hills hotel room where the singer’s body was found are the result of “rumours and speculation”. They have also refused to comment further until they receive toxicology reports but the source claims that there is no evidence suggesting suicide or the involvement of a third party. Houston passed away February 11th at age 48.