PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 July, 2011, 12:00am


New Orleans

Black music and culture was celebrated in a big way last weekend at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, as big stars, past-their-prime former stars and unproven up-and-comers all gathered together on one bill over three nights. Mary J. Blige, Kanye West (pictured) and Usher each headlined a night, with familiar names including Boyz II Men, Chaka Khan and New Edition as supporting acts.


More than 14 years after they broke up, grunge rockers Soundgarden reunited last weekend in front of 16,000 nostalgic Toronto fans. The quartet, part of the Seattle grunge scene along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam in the early 90s, belted out their Grammy-winning hits (Black Hole Sun and Spoonman) and other songs during a 21-song, two-hour set. They make their way through the US this week.

Taichung (Taiwan)

In between Canada Day (July 1) and US Independence Day (July 4), Taiwan celebrated 'Lady Gaga Day' last Sunday when the newly crowned queen of pop - according to Rolling Stone - visited the west-central city as part of her Asia tour. The 25-year-old (pictured), dressed surprisingly conservatively in a red animal-print blazer and trousers, was greeted by government officials and tens of thousands of screaming fans.

Palo Alto

Days after Google launched its supposed 'Facebook killer' social network, the Google+, Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) gathered media at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, promising an 'awesome announcement'. It turned out to be video calling, a yawn-inducing feature that has been around for years.

Turin (Italy)

It's the final week of Rolf Julius' Gray music #1, an exhibition of the works of the German artist, who died in January, at the e/Static gallery. The works, comprising photography, artwork and 'sound art' (including a piece that involves staring into speakers to 'see the sound') were picked by Julius days before his death.


Yue Minjun (pictured), the Chinese artist behind those infamous colourful smiling self-portraits, closes his exhibition, The Road, this week. Yue's slightly creepy pop-art has been a hit on the international stage and this exhibition has been somewhat controversial for its cryptic critiques of Christianity.




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