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Monthly Archives: September 2018

The hit podcast turns its attention to the Ohio city and everyday cases that highlight just how flawed the American justice system can be

Picks of the week

Dr Death

The makers of last years disturbing hit Dirty John have come up with another dark podcast about a dangerous doctor. Laura Beil tells the story of spinal surgeon Dr Christopher Duntsch, who botched operations and killed two people. The six-parter unfolds quickly, from tiny clues such as surgical scrubs that remain unchanged to the doctor going missing mid-operation. Add the mental image of a screw being inserted into a spinal canal, plus sounds effects and its shaping up to be even more horrifying than Dirty John. HV


The podcasting blockbuster returns on 20 September, and for season three, queen of storytelling Sarah Koenig turns her attention to Clevelands criminal court system. She and Emmanuelle Dzotsi spent a year observing cases and their time delivers a rich variety of crimes, set in a world where theres pressure to plead overworked attorneys, dozing jurors. There are no big mysteries this time around, but what seem like ordinary cases illuminate the way the justice system works and where it fails. HV

The Art of Now: Inbox

The actor and comedian Jo Neary helms a woozy experiment, patched together using listeners home recordings: sounds, music, poems, serious musings and comic monologues, most of them captured by pressing Record on a smartphone and all of them tending towards an air of bemused introspection and a delight in oddness. As a format, it is confused by including occasional contributions from professional comedians but, then again, pleasant befuddlement is the aim. JS

Your picks

Oh No! Lit Class Photograph: Megan Hesse

Oh No! Lit Class

Its like listening to your two funniest friends who just happen to be having a brainy conversation about literature. They are actively democratising academia by breaking down these books and providing a fascinating historical context in an approachable and hysterical way.

Recommended by Matt Sanderson

The Spark

The Spark explores the mind at work through the personal stories of Philips employees. My favourite episode was The Runaway Intellect, which features someone telling his story of fleeing war-torn Angola and starting a new life and a new job.

Recommend by Adolfo Cazanga

Guardian pick: Beyond the Blade

Beyond the Blade Photograph: Guardian Design Team

A vital, creative response to the award-winning Beyond the Blade series led by Gary Younge. From 2017, we have been investigating the impact of knife crime upon Britains young people and exposing the myths that surround it with the Beyond the Blade project. The story of knife crime among the young isnt one of angels and demons. Its a story of kids, some of whom have made bad choices. Choices that may have left other kids just like them dead, and families and communities to mourn. Trying to understand why they made the choices they did is not an indulgence its a necessity.

In this new series of podcasts, we visited groups of parents, key support workers and young people from around the country – real people doing real work across the country to turn back the tide. They have allowed us to listen to, and record, conversations theyre having within their own communities about knife crime. Rather than report on these conversations, we let people speak for themselves.

If youve got a podcast that you love, send your recommendations to

Your picks are compiled by Rowan Slaney

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Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption “Apparently dusk is an exciting time for noises in zoos,” said Radio 3 controller Alan Davey

A symphony of lions, monkeys and llamas will help send Radio 3 listeners into a state of “quiet mindfulness,” the station’s controller has said.

The broadcast, recorded at dusk in an unnamed zoo, will be part of a new, regular “slow radio” show.

“You’ll hear the sounds of lions going to sleep,” said Radio 3’s Alan Davey. “Dusk is an exciting time for noises in zoos – as it is in most places.”

He said Radio 3 should be an antidote to “the frenzy of everyday life”.

“We feel strongly about offering the public a mindful experience, a place, a haven, where they can lose themselves in audio.”

As well as hearing the sounds of animals settling in a zoo, listeners will be treated to the hushed environment of Durham Cathedral in the still of the evening.

And on Remembrance Sunday, the station will present a series of “sonic memorials”, capturing the contemporary sounds of battlefields from the First World War, allowing listeners to reflect on how the world has changed in the 100 years since the war ended.

The station has made several forays into “slow radio” in the past, broadcasting the chanting of Benedictine monks and the soft trudges of a walker travelling 200 miles through the countryside.

Image copyright Alexandra Heybourne
Image caption Slow radio “takes you out of the world for a time” says Radio 3’s controller

A regular feature on the weekend breakfast programme – Sounds of the Earth – includes contemplative recordings of everything from rice fields in Japan to the dawn chorus in Curacao.

But the new monthly series will be the station’s first regularly scheduled slot for slow radio, with individual episodes available to download as podcasts.

Other slow radio commissions include Walking Through Time – a recording of clocks and other timepieces in Upton House in Warwickshire; and Burren Cattle Blessing – featuring the sounds of cattle being driven to pasture in County Galway.

And on Christmas Eve, Radio 3 will also present another three-hour walk; with broadcaster Horatio Clare soaking up the sounds of the Black Forest in Germany.

The birthplace of slow broadcasting is arguably Norway, where a seven-hour train journey from Bergen to Oslo became an unlikely TV hit in 2009. It was followed by an eight-hour knitting epic and a 12-hour broadcast of a crackling fireplace.

BBC Four has also dabbled in the phenomenon, with languorous programmes featuring the making of a glass jug and a narrowboat journey along the Kennet and Avon canal.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionPioneered in Norway, so-called Slow TV has featured an eight-hour knitting epic, as Jenny Hill reports

Radio 3’s slow radio strands were announced as part of the station’s autumn season launch; which featured a raft of new commissions and world premieres.

Professor Brian Cox will guide listeners through a centenary performance of The Planets, contrasting what was known about the solar system when Holst wrote his masterpiece with the current scientific perspective.

October will see the world premiere of Alice Wharton’s recently rediscovered play The Shadow of a Doubt.

Written in 1901, long before Wharton achieved fame with her novel The Age Of Innocence, the drama tackles the topic of assisted suicide, but was abandoned during rehearsals in New York for unknown reasons.

Image caption Martin Freeman will star in a voice-activated drama production

Elsewhere, Radiohead drummer Phil Selway will provide the soundtrack for Sea Longing, a drama “investigating man’s relationship with seals”; and Martin Freeman will star in a production of BS Johnson’s novel The Unfortunates, adapted for Amazon’s voice-activated Alexa speakers.

The original novel was designed to be read in a random order, an experience which the radio play will build upon by allowing listeners to choose how they hear the production.

The station will also broadcast Sir Simon Rattle’s opening concerts in his first full season with the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as performances from Jacob Collier, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote and a weekend-long memorial to Hector Berlioz, marking the 150th anniversary of his death.

Davey added that the station would present a “New Artist Day” in 2019, where the next generation of young artists would take over the network for a day, curating and presenting shows.

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Want it? You gotta buy it.
Image: Apple

Fresh from the “you gotta be kidding me!” department: the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR don’t have headphone jacks, and they don’t even come with a 3.5mm-to-lightning dongle. 

Yes, that goes even for the nearly-$1,500 512GB iPhone XS Max

That means if you want to use wired headphones or any other gadget that has a 3.5mm plug with your iPhone, you’ll have to buy the dongle separately, for $9. 

I’ve lived in dongle hell for a year now, with the iPhone X as my main phone and a 2017 MacBook Pro as my main computer, and I can tell you that dongles are still must-have items. And that’s even if you primarily use wireless headphones. I literally used the headphone dongle today, to plug my iPhone X into a music player at the gym — just because your iPhone is up to date doesn’t mean the rest of the world is.

The new iPhones only come with the following items: 

  1. The iPhone itself (phew)

  2. EarPods that connect via the Lightning port

  3. Charging cable

  4. USB charger

  5. Documentation

Hopefully Apple keeps the charger in the box next year. 

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Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sing in the latest iteration of "A Star is Born"
Image: Allstar/Warner Bros

At this point, it takes a lot to get critics raving over a remake (of several other remakes). 

But it looks like Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, in which he stars alongside Lady Gaga, achieved the impossible. It not only made reviewers go goo-goo for Gaga, but it also seems to have reminded them that unabashedly heartfelt melodramas still have a place in the world in 2018.

The movie, which releases in theaters on Oct. 5, had an early screening for critics and audiences in attendance at Venice Film Festival. And it seems to have lived up to the hype that’s been brewing ever since the first trailer debuted.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

All hail Queen Gaga, long may she reign

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

Exaggeration is key—a tasteful, sensible melodrama is no melodrama at all—and you need a star who can radiate the nobility of suffering with Kabuki-level grandeur. Someone like Lady Gaga. 

…But what’s surprising about Gaga is how charismatic she is without her usual extreme stage makeup, outlandish wigs and inventive costumes. It’s such a pleasure to look at her face, unadorned, with that extraordinary, face-defining nose—it’s like discovering a new country

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Cooper is arguably prettier than Lady Gaga, but she is the one who commands your attention: that sharp, quizzical, leonine, mesmeric face – an uningratiating face, very different from the wide-eyed openness of Streisand or Garland. (Weirdly, she rather more resembles Marta Heflin, playing the groupie-slash-interviewer who went to bed with Kristofferson in ’76.) Her songs are gorgeous and the ingenuous openness of her scenes with Jackson are wonderfully sympathetic.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Ally, makes no mistake, has sass to spare (later that evening, when Jackson is confronted at his favorite cop bar by a man he cuckolded, she gives him a punch), but Gaga, in an ebullient and winningly direct performance, never lets her own star quality get in the way of the character. Or, rather, she lets us see that star quality is something that lives inside Ally but is still waiting to come out (the way it was in the young Streisand of “Funny Girl”).

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

The arc that carries the drama through humiliation, atonement, tragedy, heartbreak and a final, very public reaffirmation of Ally’s love for Jackson is pretty much indestructible, even if some dawdling in the mid-to-late action softens the emotional impact. It’s in the closing scene also that Gaga’s skill as an actor isn’t at the level of her impeccable vocals.

Living for the melodrama

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

You come away feeling something for these people, flawed individuals who are trying to hold their cracked pieces of self together—or to mend the cracks of those they love. 

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

She takes off as he slowly crashes — that’s the soapy tragic “Star Is Born” concept. But what the movie does is to take this fabled melodramatic romantic seesaw and turn it into something indelibly heartfelt and revealing.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Cooper directs and co-stars in this outrageously watchable and colossally enjoyable new version, supercharged with dilithium crystals of pure melodrama. He appears opposite a sensationally good Lady Gaga, whose ability to be part ordinary person, part extraterrestrial celebrity empress functions at the highest level at all times.

Cooper shines behind the camera too

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

Cooper makes some smart plot choices, too. (The screenplay is by Eric Roth, Cooper and Will Fetters.) Jackson’s demise is sensitively handled—nothing like Kris Kristofferson crashing his car just so Streisand can rush to the scene and cradle his lifeless head with sorrowful gusto. (Who thought that was a good idea?) And he keeps the filmmaking straightforward and unvarnished. It’s wonderful to see a first-time filmmaker who’s more interested in effective storytelling than in impressing us; telling a story effectively is hard enough

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Cooper and veteran screenwriter Eric Roth are clearly inspired most directly by the Streisand/Kristofferson film. But in those closeups that Cooper awards himself, and his huge moments of emotional agony … well, he’s channelling a bit of Judy. He certainly de-machos the role, and creates a backstory of vulnerability.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Cooper directed the movie himself, working from a script he co-wrote with Eric Roth and Will Fetters, and to say that he does a good job would be to understate his accomplishment. As a filmmaker, Bradley Cooper gets right onto the high wire, staging scenes that take their time and play out with a shaggy intimacy that’s shorn of the usual “beats.” The new “Star Is Born” is a total emotional knockout, but it’s also a movie that gets you to believe, at every step, in the complicated rapture of the story it’s telling.

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Cooper turns out to be a good fit, with an efficient, straightforward handle on directing duties and an actor’s well-honed instinct for intimate character shading and interaction.

Believing in love again

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

This is where the movie loses a few puffs of steam. It’s hard not to miss Ally’s unadorned face and unflashy brown hair: You might find yourself wanting more Germanotta and less Gaga, Even so, Ally the superstar is still nowhere near as mythically outsized as Gaga herself is. In fact, as pop creations go, she’s rather average, though she certainly knows her way around a power ballad.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

That’s part of the magnetic pull of this version — it, too, is a romance heightened by the seductive cruel mirror of showbiz. Yet it has a naked humanity that leaves you wowed. These two people, the rising star and the fading star, are locked in a love as true as it is torn, and both of them, by the end, become us. “A Star Is Born” is more than a throwback — it’s a reminder of the scrappy grand passion that movies are all about.

The star for a new generation

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

Best of all, Cooper has succeeded in making a terrific melodrama for the modern age. This is a story of big personalities and even bigger human mistakes. These days we’re always ready for our own close-ups. What a relief to turn the stage over to someone else for a change.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

For all that it’s hokum, this film alludes tactlessly to something pretty real. It could be called: A Star Is Dying. The new generation supplants the existing one. For one star to get an award, a handful of defeated nominees have to swallow their pain, as the spotlight moves away from them. For one star to deliver the shock of the new, another one has to receive the shock of the old. A Star Is Born turns that transaction into a love story.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

The fascination of this is that instead of satirizing Ally’s journey as some sort of plunge into synthetic marketing decadence, the movie says, in essence: This is the new landscape, same as the old landscape. Next to Jackson’s world, it looks “inauthentic” (and viewers of a certain age may automatically view it that way), but Jackson’s world probably looked inauthentic to the generation before it. The movie says that in pop (as in life), it’s always time for the old ways to die, and for the new ways to be born.

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

There’s freshness in the pared-back narrative shorthand of these scenes, as there is in Ally’s navigation of Jack’s excesses, on one hand giving him his space while on the other letting him know she won’t keep following him down his dark spiral. His issues are worsened by an acrimonious split from his much older half-brother and manager, Bobby (Sam Elliott, bringing his customary weathered integrity), and by the deterioration of a longtime hearing impairment.

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Image copyright Getty/Reuters/PA

It’s been another packed week in the world of entertainment news – for example, we learned who will present I’m A Celebrity… with Dec, what the TV critics thought of Bake Off, and which star Prince Harry had on his bedroom wall as a teenager.

If you missed these stories and other happenings this week, read on.

Image copyright Getty Images

Like most teenage boys, Prince Harry had a poster of a famous crush on his wall – in his case, it was Oscar-winning actress and former Bond girl Halle Berry.

The US star jokingly trolled the Duke of Sussex after spotting herself in the background of a recently resurfaced photo.

“OK Prince Harry, I see you!” she wrote, after seeing the image of his bedroom at Eton College.

Image copyright Channel 4

The Great British Bake Off is back for series number nine – and series number two on Channel 4.

An audience of 6.1 million tuned in on Tuesday to see the series kick off with biscuit – rather than cake – week.

Critics were united in their delight at its return, with one telling BBC Radio 5 Live: “Ah lovely telly, the world’s a better place when Bake Off’s on.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Strictly Come Dancing is almost back, and last year’s winner Joe McFadden said that, despite claims it’s not the strongest line-up, it still “ticks every box”.

The former Holby City star said there is somebody for everybody in the new crop of contestants.

The BBC show begins on 8 September.

Image copyright BBC/ITV Studios

University Challenge is to focus on posing “gender neutral” questions, according to the show’s executive producer.

Peter Gwyn made the remark following a viewer complaint that the questions were skewed towards men.

“We try to ensure that when hearing a question, we don’t have any sense of whether it was written by a man or a woman,” he said.

Image copyright ITV/GETTY
Image caption Willoughby sent McPartlin (far left) “support for a continued recovery”

Holly Willoughby will co-host this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! alongside Declan Donnelly.

Willoughby will fill in for Dec’s regular partner Ant McPartlin while he takes a break from TV presenting.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have been asked to stand alongside Dec for the next jungle adventure,” said the This Morning regular. Dec said he was “hugely grateful”, adding: “I’m thrilled she said yes.”

Stacey Solomon hit out at gossip magazines for making women feel as though “they’re not good enough”.

The TV presenter was featured on this week’s cover of Now magazine with the headline: “Stacey ‘boring’, ‘desperate’, ‘cheap’ – why fans are sick of her.”

The 28-year old Loose Women panellist shared the cover with her 1.4 million Twitter followers, writing: “That’s the meanest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Image copyright Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Coleen Nolan said she regretted her on-screen row with Kim Woodburn, describing it as “ugly, upsetting and unpleasant”, adding that she wished she could turn back time and undo it.

More than 7,000 people complained to Ofcom about Wednesday’s Loose Women, which saw the singer clash with the former How Clean Is Your House? host.

Some viewers accused Nolan and the ITV show’s other panellists of bullying.

Image copyright Getty Images

Queer Eye star Karamo Brown urged fans to look after their mental health after revealing he tried to take his own life in 2006.

Brown is the culture expert on the Netflix show, in which five gay men give a straight man a makeover, both physically and often emotionally.

Brown, 37, said he had been “in a very dark place” in 2006 and felt like his life “could not get any better”.

But he told fans: “I want you to know that things do get better.”

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Happy Sunday, and welcome back to the Cardi B Legal Drama Hour, which is apparently a recurring thing now. I can picture the Law & Order spinoff now. Well, today I’m not here to talk about the Cardi B and Nicki Minaj feud. We’ll put that one on the back burner for now, because there’s more pressing (and hilarious) information to deal with.

Let’s go back to the first Monday in May, the night of the Met Gala. While Anna Wintour was busy crowning Rihanna as the new Pope, Cardi B and Offset’s bodyguard was allegedly beating some dude up because he asked for an autograph. Or at least, that’s how it went down according to him. The guy’s name is Giovanni Arnold, and he’s now suing Cardi B and Offset, because duh. Giovanni’s attorney Daniel Szalkiewicz (we’ll just call him Daniel) filed the lawsuit on May 16. The thing is, filing the suit is only half the work. After that, you have 120 days to serve the defendant with their papers, and it has to be in person.

Here’s the problem: Daniel the lawyer says he can’t find Cardi B.



Are we being punk’d? Cardi B is a global superstar, who makes public appearances and is in paparazzi photos and is very active on social media. What do you mean, you can’t find her? In 120 days, you really couldn’t find her once? I literally watched her on the VMAs, so unless holograms have gotten really good, I know for a fact that she was at Radio City Music Hall that night. It’s just, like, not that hard?

Offset, on the other hand, was served with his papers, but that story is a sh*tshow too. A guy gave Offset the papers by shoving them in the window of his car, but a video shows Offset throwing the papers out the window onto the street. Clearly, Cardi and Offset are taking this lawsuit very seriously.

So now the 120 day window has expired, but Giovanni will probably try to get an extension. With some extra time, maybe someone will finally figure out how to find Cardi B, but I have a feeling that these clowns will just mess it up again. Honestly, this guy should probably just forget about the lawsuit, because I feel like Cardi B could be very persuasive in front of a judge. Case dismissed, okurrrrrr.

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In a frank new memoir, the guitarist opens up about his time with the metal band and how boiling tensions caused him to leave

Everything about the image of Judas Priest communicates cooperation and unity. Theyre five men in leather and studs, who barrel through a finely calibrated brand of heavy metal, highlighted by two lead guitarists who found a trademark by mirroring each others key riffs precisely.

According to one of those guitarists, however, the inner workings of the band represent the precise inverse of that image, creating a parallel history of resentment and suspicion. KK Downing has written a new memoir, Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest, which challenges the narrative of one of the worlds most storied heavy metal bands, while giving frank explanations for why, after 41 years as a Priest loyalist, he left in a huff in 2011. If you load too many things on to a persons plate, the 66-year-old Downing said, at some point theyre going to drop it.

One of the main loads he bore concerned his relationship with fellow lead guitarist Glenn Tipton. While their playing in the studio showed exceptional rapport, as people they hadnt an ounce of it not even when they met back in 1974. I never found Glenn to be particularly easy to get along with, Downing writes. Very early on, I was fully aware of the limited conditions under which he operated. If you were going to relate to him, you would do so entirely on his terms.

The disconnect between the men rippled into a multitude of fissures which eventually caused Downings relationship with the band to crumble. His book chronicles a history of slights, including key management decisions that excluded him, a division of labor in the solos that disfavored him, and an official history that downplayed his key role in the groups creation.

Contacted by email, the bands manager, Jayne Andrews, wrote that the current members of Judas Priest would have no comment on Downings view.

I felt I was in crisis, the guitarist says of his decision to leave the band. Whether it sounds selfish or not, everything seems to go out of the window in a crisis.

When discussing his decision to leave, Downing sounded somewhat more conflicted than he did in the book. He also made sure to stress how much he respects the other band members musicianship, as well as how fervently he honors their mutual legacy. More, he said he feels the book is fair and that, if his fellow Priests read it, they wont be surprised by either his interpretations of various events or his feelings about them. Downing even thinks the book may do the band a service. Its putting their names out there, he said. Fans like to read about the ups and downs. It cant all be good, can it?

It remains to be seen if the other members agree. Regardless, Downing hardly confines himself to pointing fingers at others, either in conversation or in the book. His prose (composed with writer Mark Eglinton) illuminates the many factors from his past which shaped his personality and which later contributed to the dysfunction within the band. Growing up in a rough neighborhood in West Bromwich, Downings home life was scarred by a father who suffered from paranoia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, germaphobia and gambling issues, and a mother who suffered from a rare metabolic psychological disorder. As a result, he developed a poor self-image, rendering him unexpressive and unassertive. Even so, the man born Kenneth Downing had a strong determination to make it as a musician from an early age. Growing up, his influences went way beyond metal. I wanted to play jazz, so I listened to George Benson, he said. I also loved the classical guitar player John Mills and Chopin. I wanted to be able to play it all.

KK Downing in Japan. Photograph: KK Downing

Still, Hendrix became his primary role model. Before I ever heard the first Black Sabbath album, I had witnessed the great Jimi Hendrix play what I consider to be heavy metal, he said. That sound was there in Foxy Lady and Purple Haze. Then, Hendrix was sadly gone and somebody needed to take that forward.

The first musicians to use the name Judas Priest (an allusion to a song from Bob Dylans John Wesley Harding album) featured none of those found in the lineup fans came to know. Downing, and bassist Ian Hill, were the first of the classic group to join, starting in 1970, leading to the inclusion of frontman Rob Halford, in 1973, and Tipton the next year. Downing says its he who both focused the bands metal mission and honed their leathery image key factors he feels have never been made plain to the public. What people dont know, they cant give credit for, he said.

Yet, it was the bands first record company, the small Gull label, which suggested the band augment their early guitar-bass-drums-singer lineup with another player. So many bands had the same lineup, he said. They wanted us to stand out. So, they were asking: Can you have a sax player or a keyboardist? We said, Thats not going to happen. But having another lead guitar player was potentially a unique thing.

While there had been precursors to the double-lead approach, like the Allman Brothers, Wishbone Ash and Derek and the Dominos, it was Priests idea to lend the dynamic a new heaviness and, in key moments, to let the guitars mirror each other, creating rich harmonies. We brought that sound to fruition, which Im quite proud of, the guitarist said. Now many bands do it.

From the start, Downing and Tipton had different solo styles. He was more blues orientated and slightly more commercial, the guitarist said. Mine was heavier, more nasty and abrasive.

As time went on, Downing said Tipton began to take more solo parts, and play with more flash, leading fans to think he was the primary lead. Downing didnt speak up about it, a reticence, he believes, stems from a childhood spent suppressing his feelings of frustration with his parents. I didnt complain much, he said. But we would go through periods where you felt its best not to say things. Its a bomb ready to go off.

KK Downing, Glenn Tipton and Rob Halford in 1980. Photograph: Andre Csillag / Rex Features

Downing felt marginalized after Tipton formed a tight relationship with their manager, Jayne Andrews. Over the years, he felt increasingly cut out of key decisions about the bands future, some of which he felt held them back. For example, management decided not to lend a song to the Top Gun soundtrack, which went on to sell millions. Downing believes that, plus certain other decisions, account for why Priest never sold more than 2m copies of one of their albums while other metal acts that peaked in the 80s, like Def Leppard, AC/DC and Van Halen, sold up to five times as much.

His book also deals with forces that threatened the bands stability which fell beyond their control like the infamous 1990 trial in which the parents of a fan who had killed himself tried to blame it on subliminal messages embedded in the groups records. It wasnt just an attack on the band and a genre, but an attack on freedom, Downing said.

The guitarist also wrote about the pressure Halford felt as a gay man in the macho world of metal. Downing says Halford, who didnt come out until he had left the band for a spell in 1998, was always out to the other members, from whom he received total support. Downing admits hes not sure how fans might have felt about Halfords orientation back in a far less accepting era. Would that have been relevant in New York or LA? he said. Absolutely not. But in Texas? Maybe.

For Downing, the greater controversy had to do with his feeling that he had become, essentially, an employee in a band he helped mold. While in the book, Downing writes about sending the band a resignation letter, in our talk he revealed that he actually sent two. The first was a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music. The second was angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties. Downing believes thats a key reason he wasnt asked to return to the band after Tipton announced in February that he was stepping back due to his diagnosis of Parkinsons disease. In his stead, the band brought in another guitarist whom Downing calls a clone of himself. To make matters more painful, Downings oldest friend in the band, bassist Hill, said on the internet that their fans werent missing the departed guitarist. Im thinking, Jesus Christ, Ian, Im reading a different internet than you, Downing said. It was a low blow coming from him.

The guitarist said the other members have also tried to oust him from his ongoing position as a co-director of the Priest organization, a role hes loth to relinquish. With talk now percolating that the band could be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Downing has lately been asking himself could that be done without me? Dont know, he said. Could the 50th anniversary be done without me? Dont know.

Whatever happens, Downing says he hopes he and the other members come to an understanding before its too late. If something happened to me, Id like to think the guys would come to my funeral, and vice versa, he said. You never know whats going to happen.

  • Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest is out now

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Even if you passed him on the street, TroyBoi (né Troy Henry) has a presence that is arresting. The South London-born half-Indian, part Nigerian-Portugese DJ towers over me (I’d guess he’s over six feet tall).  Tattoos canvas his frame, and he has piercing hazel eyes. Clad in Gucci socks, a Louis Vuitton smartwatch, and vintage Rick James T-shirt, TroyBoi looks like he could have been a viral model—and actually, he may have been an Olympic swimmer if his life had gone a bit differently. “Who told you about that?” he asks, shyly, when I inquire about his athletic past. He reveals he was a top 100m and 200m breaststroke swimmer, and could have become a renowned athlete, “but I’ve always loved music and wanted to achieve this goal.”

If not an Olympian, TroyBoi could have just as easily been a real estate mogul. Before turning to music, he sold real estate and considered opening his own business. Instead, at 25 years old, he decided to take a leap and pursue music full-time. It didn’t take long—after winning a Flosstradamus remix contest, his career skyrocketed. At present, the Miami-based DJ put out an EP this spring, V!BEZ, with a follow-up, V!BEZ 2, on the way. He’s remixed for the likes of Missy Elliott and Tinie Tempah, played Lollapalooza, EDC, Coachella, and has an upcoming sold-out date at the Brooklyn mirage. Smh. Some people really can have it all.

I express this sentiment to him, but he doesn’t take the bait. In fact, he asks if I knew who he even was before this interview. The modesty isn’t an act, either. If you happen to run into TroyBoi after a show, he’ll stop and say hi, take a picture, and shmooze with fans. “You should never act like a snob,” he asserts. “These people are downloading my music, coming to see me perform for an hour and a half, telling their friends about me.” If you start out with a big ego, he insists, “you’re not doing it right.”

As for who or what keeps him so grounded, TroyBoi doesn’t credit one particular person or influence, though he is particularly close with his sister, 10 years his junior (“she’ll always be my baby sister”), and his mother. His mother is so important to him, in fact, that he has a Catholic saint-like tattoo on his forearm to represent her. He calls it his most meaningful tattoo, which is saying a lot, considering he’s covered in them. He gets a little embarrassed talking about his first one, “TROY” written out in an Old English font—“in case I forget my name,” he jokes—and a treble clef, “because I’m always going to love music.”

TroyBoi’s infatuation with music began at a young age, and though his sets will weave in the latest from Migos, Drake, and other artists du jour, the 30-year-old remains loyal to the old school. “I’m stuck in the 2000s,” he admits, adding, “Nobody really makes music like that anymore.” His idols include Timbaland and Pharrell Williams; he also “loves, loves, loves” Michael Jackson, even incorporating into his Ezoo set a tribute to the late idol’s 60th birthday.

Speaking of his sets, fans can expect high-energy, super musical trap beats that show off his multicultural influence and hip-hop finesse. Think “Walk It Talk It” flowing seamlessly into “Say My Name”. A TroyBoi set will have you screaming “Oh sh*t!!” to your friends at the beginning of each new track. Imagine handing your coolest, smoothest friend the aux cord.

To be clear, though, TroyBoi’s music cannot be simplified to “pass me the aux.” In 2018, when everyone with a laptop considers himself a DJ, it’s easy to disparage DJs for “just pressing a button”, but that’s not at all what TroyBoi does. He may appear at ease on stage, but he’s like a duck floating on water—calm above the surface, paddling furiously underneath. TroyBoi’s sets aren’t static; they constantly evolve based on the vibe of the crowd. “If it needs to be amped up, I’ll amp it up. If it’s too much, I’ll tone it down,” he explains.

At this year’s Electric Zoo, festival-goers lined up hundreds of feet back to catch a glimpse of him perform. It’s an accomplishment of which TroyBoi is especially proud, considering, in his own words, “New Yorkers are picky with their music.” Simply put, to get to this point takes a lot of hard work. The producer confesses he’s worked his past two birthdays, though he hesitates to complain since it’s work he always dreamed of doing. And, at the end of the day, it’s fun, and he’s just happy people come to see him play. “I just want people to believe they can do this too,” he says. “It’s a lot of hard work, you have to sacrifice a lot. But I want to show you you can do it.”

Image: MSO PR

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Welp, it’s the last week on the beach! People are tired of swimming, tan lines are way too prevalent, but most importantly, I’m starting to see the same outfits twice. Let’s recap the last week on Bachelor in Paradise for these lovebirds.

Episode 10 kicks off with Shu stating that she’s a good witch. *RECORD SCRATCH* Pick a side, Shu. One day you say you’re not a witch, the next day you’re plugging your broom in to charge. Either way, our minds are made up: You definitely thrive on October 31st.

John finds a date card for American Jordan and Jenna. Jordan, on a date? What could it be? Another f*cking photoshoot. Ever wonder where they get the photos that are already in the frames when you buy them? Stupid shoots like this, that’s where.

Midway through the shoot, they split up to go get changed. Jordan finds a tuxedo, and Jenna has a wedding dress to match. IT. JUST. GOT. REAL. Like a Krispy Kreme with no “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign, Jenna has her doubts. Jordan says something to her about how seeing her on the steps made his heart tingle and that she’s awesome. She buys it, they continue to take more pics only to be used for a good #TBT in 2020.

Then, we get a new arrival on Paradise, Robby Hayes. Don’t worry, within 10 seconds he lets you know about his social media status. Literally, the only people happy to see Robby were me (he owes me money) and the mosquitoes (FRESH MEAT).

He talks to all the girls, and coincidentally, they all have to wash their hair on the same day, so no one is available. Robby tries to entice Jenna to accompany him on a date, but American Jordan threatens to punch Robby in his poof, and deciding it’s not worth it, Robby backs off. Shu momentarily breaks the Kamil trance and says yes to the date with Robby. (Kamil, you can now breathe…if Annaliese isn’t already doing that for you.)

This Shu/Robby date looks pretty miserable, to be honest. I’ve seen more chemistry in the Jiffy Lube waiting room. Robby looks like he’d rather be anywhere else and Shu spends the whole date trying to cast a spell to transform Robby into Kamil. They spend the end of the date dancing, and somehow, with no music, end up offbeat.

New Zealand Jordan is back on the beach, being cautious with Cassandra as they feed each other desserts. (Translation: He’s on a one-way ticket to the friend zone and there are NO refunds). Cassandra is pissed because she’s sick of the only tongue in her mouth being hers, and New Zealand Jordan realizes kissing girls makes him feel good. Have y’all seen Cassandra’s lips? All I’m saying is you wouldn’t have to ask me twice…

Grocery Store Joe and Kendall start to have some lighthearted, but serious convos, and like Michael Jackson, Kendall begins to moonwalk. She says she wants “to sleep on it.” Last time a girl told me she wanted to “sleep on it,” she lit my Peyton Manning Jersey on fire (and NO I’M NOT STILL BITTER). Let’s hope she doesn’t wake up.

Rose ceremony time and everything is pretty much settled except for the Olivia/John/Diggy triangle. Diggy tries to recreate the romance from his date with Olivia by bringing back the same trumpet player to serenade them in hopes of surviving another day to get the opportunity to wear more outfits on the beach. John tries to counter by whispering sweet nothings in her ear: “If you don’t pick me, you’ll have to use PayPal… forever!”

Kendall and Joe pick up where their awkward conversation left off. She said she feels “we” were talking about being exclusive because “we” had to. What’s all this “we” talk? When did you start speaking French? Joe has had his tongue down your throat licking your spine since day two and you’re STILL confused. Joe says he has fruit to pick, and bounces. Kendall says: “Damn, that’s my ride!” and she leaves too. At this point, only one rose is up for grabs and it’s Olivia’s.

Rose ceremony goes as follows:

  • Cassandra – New Zeland Jordan
  • Shu – Robby
  • Annaliese – Kamil
  • Astrid – Kevin
  • Krystal – Chris
  • Jenna – Jordan
  • Oliva – John

Welp, this proves Venmo really is greater than PayPal. Diggy is sent packing with all the tags on his new gear he didn’t get to wear. Don’t worry, he didn’t go home alone. He was serenaded by the same trumpet player that backfired on him. (Had Diggy been thinking, he would’ve grabbed Kendall and said: “Hey I know you’re upset, but can I holla at you for a sec?”)

The next day, Chris shows up dressed like a Miami Vice extra and says it’s REAL DECISION TIME! John and Olivia decide that if it was a real date, they’d definitely go dutch, so no fantasy suites for them. New Zealand Jordan said he liked the friend zone, so he and Cassandra left as pen pals. Robby tells Shu she doesn’t have enough followers for him, so they leave as buds.

Annaliese has ALREADY made the decision for her and Kamil, so the fact that they’re having this conversation is a formality. She pretty much cocks a gun and says: “We’re doing this right?” Kamil nods in agreement, eyes wide with fear.

Chris and Krystal are both on the same page, and something about what they’re going to do in their hotel room tells me there will DEFINITELY be incidentals.

Kevin and Astrid catch us all off guard. Kevin says, “there are things about you and I that I’ve masked.” Astrid isn’t trying to date Batman, so she’s out, and Kevin cries because the sand is too hot to go anywhere and he’s stuck there.

That leaves us with three couples hitting fantasy suites: American Jordan and Jenna, Kamil and Annaliese, and Chris and Krystal. Going into the night, I know one thing: Chris-tal is going to need a safeword. My suggestion: PINEAPPLES!

Episode 11 is historically the BEST episode of the series, and this one doesn’t disappoint. We get engagements, heartbreak, and most importantly, people get to return the clothes they borrowed when they meet up at the reunion.

The finale starts off with Kamil and Annaliese waking up from a night of cuddling and ghost stories in a king size bed. They later meet on the beach to finalize their time in Paradise, in what we expect to be a romantic exchange. WRONG! Annaliese pretty much tells Kamil: “If you don’t propose to me now, I’m putting two bullets in your chest.” Kamil stands up for himself finally and says: “I have a bulletproof vest, shoot away.” No proposal was given, and Annaliese still loves him anyway.

Next up: Jordan and Jenna. Jenna is dressed like Belle from Beauty & the Beast, but it somehow works for her. The entire time Jordan smiles and looks like he’s ready to participate in his first purge. They both give their commencement speeches, and it results in Jordan getting on one knee to ask her: “You gonna help me sell fit tea on Instagram, or nah?” She says: “Yes, for the rest of our lives.” Boom, they’re engaged.

Last, and absolutely least: Chris and Krystal. We start with them the morning after they’ve used their safe word several times. Fast forward to the beach scene. Chris is dressed like he’s about to go on a seven-city comeback tour, and he tells Krystal: “I need help restoring my credit score, and I can only do it with your help.” Krystal is easily amused by shiny things, so she agrees to it.

Okay, back to the juicy stuff…the ACTUAL reunion. John and Olivia end post-show because he’s never done a long-distance relationship. BREAKING NEWS: He’s now dating Chelsea…who lives in Maine…and John lives in San Fran. Not a geography major, but you LITERALLY can’t get any farther apart. Sorry, Olivia, Diggy was probably the better choice since he lives in your own city.

Eric and Angela fought it out. Eric mentions that he was put in the friend zone, and Angela replies: “I don’t let friends put their tongue in my mouth.” If the tongue is “ALL IN” in my mouth, then we’re together. This tiff is followed up by a clash between American Jordan and Benoit about who has the better beard. It’s a tie, you both lose.

Tia and Colton finally hash it out, and they finally realize the only thing they have in common is that they both breathe oxygen and cry watching NBC’s This Is Us.

Flaming Hot Seat Time! We start with the beautiful Astrid. Kevin comes out dressed like Canadian Zorro, gives her a sad song and dance about how he left his jacket with Ashley I. in Winter Games, and that was the reason he wasn’t all there in Paradise. My man is from Canada, where it’s cold in the winter. If he loses a jacket, YOU DON’T JUST GET OVER THAT! Astrid tells him to move to Florida with her where you don’t need jackets. He agrees because he’s tired of living with his mom, and boom, Kevin and Astrid are a thing again.

Kendall approaches the hot seat, hoping not to get burned too much for hurting America’s Grocer. Kendall realizes she made a mistake and flies to Chicago for the deep dish, and not just the pizza. (Side Note: I live right down the street, and they didn’t ask if I wanted any. Rude!) She has a heart-to-heart with Joe, and he pretty much says: “I’m not sure where my love is now, but I think it might be at the bottom of my Instagram DMs. Let me get back to you.” But, he has a soft spot for taxidermy, so he takes her back. Also, since he’s going to be in LA for Dancing With the Stars he might as well have a girlfriend.

Annaliese is up next to talk about how she breathes for her and Kamil. She mentions how Kamil is ready to propose, but not right now. You sure about that? Let’s double check with him. Kamil, you ready to propose?

Kamil: HELLLL NO. My match rate on Bumble is 100% right now, and I can’t give that up.
*Cue Annaliese Tears*

She tells John to send Kamil a Venmo request for the flights, AirBnBs, and decorative soaps that she bought for him since it’s OVER.

Jordan and Jenna take the hot seats next, talking about how they love Carebears and dolphins, and other obvious things. We see video of them making a vision board, but my vision for this couple? A lot of hyphenated names in this future because I see TWO HUGE EGOS.

We round out the last of the Paradise couples by getting an update on Chris-tal. Chris starts crying immediately, mostly because he realizes that due to running around chasing crazy Krystal, his cholesterol is lower. He’s also saving money on his car insurance. (The two are unrelated.) Chris gives a speech about how Krystal has made him a better man by having him shower more often, and he thanks her for it. The two villains worked out…now they can make babies that will terrorize us on Season 24 on BIP.

Welp, it’s been real! Love is in the air and two couples are engaged. Don’t invite me to the wedding, just the reception. Please and thanks. Next up? Colton’s Tears. Excuse me, I meant The Bachelor. Damn, autocorrect.

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Theresa May, just bust a move.
Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images

Look, it could just be the stress of having to figure out the Irish border post-Brexit, or the risk of leaving the European Union without a deal, but UK Prime Minister Theresa May can’t help but bust a move these days.

In the final day of her African visit on Thursday, May showed her awkward yet spirited dancing again, during a stop at the United Nations offices in Nairobi, Kenya to talk plastics and meet scouts.

May’s moves, nicknamed the “Maybot” on the internet, are mostly led with her arms as she tried to replicate the moves of schoolchildren.

It comes after only two days after May got low, low, low in South Africa, where she also danced. 

And the internet mocked it all, by dubbing various songs over her dancing.

May is going to dance. Whether you like it or not.

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