It’s true, I used to hate Kanye West. Well, OK, “hate” is probably too strong a word — like many people, I had a sort of knee-jerk dislike for the man, a feeling that started to coalesce circa Graduation and didn’t really dissipate until, out of what I considered to be a professional obligation, I sat down and listened properly to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and found to my surprise that I loved it. Since then, my feelings on West have done a neat 180-degree turn, and I’ve also thought a great deal about why it is that I — like so many others — was so quick to greet him with cries of execration. … Read More
The new and possibly final Wu-Tang album is more than two hours long. It features 31 tracks, all eight living MCs, most if not all Wu-Tang affiliates (Sunz of Man, Redman, Cher), sirens, bombs, samples from kung fu cinema, and original skits. And it took more than two years to produce, mostly because eighty percent of its vocals were re-recorded to capture the intensity of early Wu-Tang records. The album’s title: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. … Read More
I’m overwhelmed just staring down March. As a music listener, you should be too. There’s no shortage of records out this month, from indie rockers you may have loved a decade ago (Sufjan Stevens, of Montreal, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie) to future favorites (Courtney Barnett, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Tobias Jesso Jr.) to Madonna, who always sits in a category of her… Read More
Modest Mouse’s next album, Strangers to Ourselves, comes out March 17, 2015 — almost 8 years after their last studio album, We Were… Read More
At age 20, Adam Torres, then of the band Southeast Engine, wrote and recorded his first and only proper album, Nostra Nova. He released it in the most DIY of manners in 2006, while living in a college town in Ohio’s Appalachian foothills. This is not a remarkable tale. Many young singer-songwriters record albums and release them with so much hope in their hearts, only to have their songs go mostly unheard outside of their scene. It’s not a tragedy, it’s just the reality of the music world.
Luckily, Adam Torres will not end up one of those people. … Read More
Alternate Routes is a column from Flavorwire contributor and WFMU DJ Jesse Jarnow, in which he’ll explore music solely distributed outside the Big 3 of Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.
Aphex Twin’s recent celebration of digital freedoms in the form of a massive SoundCloud dump is the opposite of a new paradigm for the music industry. For starters, Richard D. James isn’t (directly) making any money off the nearly 200 tracks and counting he has posted since late January under the name user48736353001, even enabling the “download” option on material that once might’ve constituted several hefty box sets. For another, James’ feat almost definitely isn’t repeatable. In a matter of weeks, James more than doubled the amount of music in his already weighty discography. But whether or not it represents any kind of new direction in music distribution, it clearly constitutes a new kind of experience for the obsessed listener, and a perfect channel for James’ prolific brand of dense electronic music. … Read More
Carly Rae Jepsen skyrocketed to half-ironic fame three years ago by turning the clumsy, conversational declarations of a crush into… Read More
Kanye West announced the title of his new album, So Help Me God, on Twitter in the wee hours… Read More