Music

Mac DeMarco’s Video for “Chamber of Reflection” Uses Homer Simpson to Emotionally Devastating Effect

Somewhat inexplicably, Mac DeMarco’s just-released video for “Chamber of Reflection,” featuring a slowed-down-by-a-third version of the song, struck me with the… Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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We Need to Talk About Jessie J and Our Irrational Pop Star Preferences

With a record-breaking six Top 10 singles from one album in her native UK, Jessie J is England’s answer to Katy Perry. Admittedly, that’s selling her short — her voice possesses Aguilera power and she writes her own material — but details are unimportant in the mud-pit wrestling match that is the female pop star gauntlet. The singer’s most successful American single to date, Top 10 hit “Domino,” is straight-up Teenage Dream Perry, down to its reference to skin-tight pants. “(Insert new singer) is like (insert established pop diva starting to show cracks/long past her prime) plus (insert another big pop star)”: this is the musical conversation pop stars get, despite the fact that pop hits are defined more by their songwriters and producers than their interpreters. The personality conversation is an even uglier scene, one in which stars are made and fade away. … Read More

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Nostalgia’s Not a Bad Word: Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath on Under the Sun and His Role in ‘Sharknado 2′

“Do you remember the glorious ’90s?” Mark McGrath asked in Atlantic City on Saturday night, in just one of the many instances when he mentioned the decade during Sugar Ray’s short set. We’re told that if we like ’90s hits then we’ve “come to the right fucking place” and, later, are reassured that all the bands will keep “smacking [us] with hits of the ’90s” for the rest of the night. Coming out of anyone else’s mouth, this would inspire nothing but eye-rolls, but Sugar Ray — and the rest of the Under the Sun tour: Blues Traveler, Smash Mouth, and Uncle Kracker — are both refreshingly sincere and self-aware.  … Read More

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Hear FKA twigs’ New Track, “Pendulum”

FKA twigs’ new track, “Pendulum,” begins with the same sound of the cranking of a wind-up drum machine as her brilliant… Read More

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Is Jeff Mangum Exploiting Neutral Milk Hotel Fans’ Memories?

If a significant number of people love anything enough, there will be a backlash against it. Perhaps that’s always been true, but it’s especially true in 2014, when unpopular opinions are practically a currency unto themselves. And so the backlash has come for Jeff Mangum and his somewhat-recently-reunited Neutral Milk Hotel, perhaps the most beloved indie band of the late ’90s. … Read More

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Minnie Driver to Cover Elliott Smith and The Cure on New Album

Minnie Driver, possibly bored of the moderate success her two albums’ worth of original songs brought, is releasing a third… Read More

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Classic Album Covers Painted on Empty Cigarette Packs

There’s nothing cool about lung cancer, but just try telling that to the lizard brains of those of us who grew up worshiping the chimney-like rock icons of the ’60s through the ’90s — and leave it to a Parisian to remind us of smoking’s illicit appeal. In a series called Smoke Signals, French artist Léo Dorfner takes a novel approach to juxtaposing music and cigarettes, painting iconic album covers — Daft Punk, David Bowie, Sex Pistols — on the insides of empty Gitanes packs. Click through to view some highlights from the series, which we spotted via Junkculture… and if you’re feeling tempted to light up, just throw the two words emblazoned on the front of each pack into Google Translate. … Read More

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