Wild gorillas compose happy songs that they hum during meals

Gorillas sing and hum when eating, a discovery that could help shed light on how language evolved in early humans.

Singing seems to be a way for gorillas to express contentment with their meal, as well as for the head of the family to communicate to others that it is dinner time.

Billy Bragg: It is ‘beyond doubt’ that Morrissey is spreading far-right ideas

( From way back in the day, I always thought Morrissey was a fraud and a closeted-fascist, just waiting for his chance to show his truest colors. )

Billy Bragg has condemned Morrissey for sharing a video from a YouTube channel that argued that the British establishment is using Stormzy to promote multiculturalism at the expense of white culture. The video, which has since been removed, contrasted the positive critical response to Stormzy’s headline set at Glastonbury with headlines detailing Morrissey’s support for far-right groups. Morrissey posted it on his de facto website, Morrissey Central, under the title: “Nothing But Blue Skies For Stormzy … the gallows for Morrissey”.

May 2019: Bigmouth strikes again and again: why Morrissey fans feel so betrayed

During a recent performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (and at a number of live shows in New York), the former Smiths singer sported a For Britain badge. For those unfamiliar with it, For Britain is a far-right political party. Even Nigel Farage believes it is made up of “Nazis and racists”.

To see Morrissey embrace the far right so openly was shocking. But was it surprising? Ever since the early 90s, he has flirted with the far right and fascist imagery – wrapping himself up in the union jack, writing a song called The National Front Disco, making inflammatory comments about immigration.

Scientists: Snowball the cockatoo has 14 distinct dance moves

A sulphur-crested cockatoo named Snowball garnered YouTube fame and headlines a decade ago for his uncanny ability to dance to the beat of the Backstreet Boys. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology are back with evidence that Snowball is not limited in his dance moves. Despite a lack of dance training, videos show, Snowball responds to music with diverse and spontaneous movements using various parts of his body

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Why a 118-year-old Bollywood music label is now betting on offbeat films

India’s oldest music label is bringing hope to its indie filmmakers.

Set up in 1901, Saregama India has been in the business of music for over a century. But it was only three years ago that it turned its ear to the $2-billion behemoth film industry. It set up the brand Yoodlee Films, headed by Siddharth Anand Kumar.

Yankees Stop Playing Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” Recording Because Of Her Racist Jingles

Kate Smith and Babe Ruth: Two racists, sittin’ in a tree…

For 18 years, the New York Yankees have played Kate Smith’s 1939 recording of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at home games. They began the tradition after 9/11, and kept it going until this season, when they swapped it out for a different recording of the song. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the team made the switch after it learned that Smith had recorded a few shamelessly racist tracks from that era.

The All-Female Big Bands That Made History During World War II

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm in the 1940s

During World War II, with thousands of men shipping off to war, half a dozen all-female, instrumental big bands toured around America. It was a rarity in a musical world dominated by men and, for the most part, their stories have been erased or minimized in jazz history. 

Jazz Night in America host Christian McBride has spent years tracing the history of some of these bands and notes that during this flourishing time for all-women groups, the 17-piece International Sweethearts of Rhythm had the most formidable level of popularity.

The tuneful tramp: the forgotten musical genius of Charlie Chaplin

It might seem odd to claim that one of the most universally popular entertainers in the world is underrated. But Charlie Chaplin is. Not necessarily as a comedian, actor or director, but as a composer. Most people know the themes Smile, Eternally, and This Is My Song, but they probably don’t know that Chaplin wrote them – for Modern Times, Limelight and A Countess from Hong Kong, respectively. Film buffs might know that from 1931’s City Lights onwards, he composed the scores for all of his films, and that as an old man he wrote new music for his earlier films. Yet he is never mentioned in talk of the great film composers, and in a recent Radio Times poll of top film themes, Chaplin’s name was nowhere to be seen.