Music

EMA Performs “Neuromancer” on Letterman

“Cyberpunk” and “Letterman” don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but while EMA (Erika M. Anderson) may have looked somewhat out of place last… Read More

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The New Pornographers’ Carl Newman: “Whether People Love You or Hate You, It’s All Phantoms”

Carl Newman (aka A.C.) should be on the tourism board for Woodstock, N.Y. “I feel like small-town America has become synonymous with Walmart, strip malls, and McDonald’s,” he says one August morning, calling from his house in the renowned hippie town. “But Woodstock’s still got a lot of what drew people here in the first place. Next to Bethlehem, I think it might be the [world's] most famous small town. I’ve got a two-and-a-half year old, and I think it’s going to be a great place to raise him.”

His burgeoning career as a Cool Dad aside, Newman is known more for his “supergroup,” The New Pornographers. Along with (his mostly Canadian) compatriots Neko Case, Dan Bejar, Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Kurt Dahle, Todd Fancey, and Blaine Thurier, Newman has crafted six albums filled with some of the most over-the-top fun in modern indie rock. The band’s latest, Brill Bruisers, is no different. It’s out this week on Matador, so we caught up with Newman to discuss it, as well as his management style, the amusement he finds in toying with trolls, and which member of The New Pornographers is actually the funniest. … Read More

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Between Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, Celebrity Feminism Is So Hot Right Now

The Taylor Swift pop machine is in full effect with the imminent fall release of her fifth album, 1989. She announced the album during last week’s live stream event, which also served as the debut of the single “Shake It Off,” (haters gonna hate, hate, hate, etc.) along with the Mark Romanek-directed video, which involved lots of awkward white girl dancing. She also said that the album was her first “documented pop album,” which in Swift-land, means that the former star of country radio has put together a suite of songs that will only play on Top 40 stations; and by my uneducated guess, will probably not get banjo-laden country station remixes, this time around. … Read More

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Andrew W.K. — A Philosopher for Our Times

If you’ve not been reading Andrew W.K.’s life advice column at the Village Voice, you’re really missing out. Since the start of the year, he’s been taking weekly questions from fans, and dispensing some fascinating and thoughtful answers. In particular, he’s garnered a great deal of attention for his response to “Ask Andrew W.K.: My Dad Is A Right-Wing Asshole,” wherein he chided the questioner for defining his father as a political viewpoint and not a person. It was rightly lauded, and was also greeted with a measure of surprise: wait, the guy who wrote “Party Hard” also wrote this? The thing is, though, it’s always been worth taking Andrew W.K.’s ideas seriously. And reading through his column again this morning, it struck me: in Andrew W.K., we have a philosopher for these crazy times. … Read More

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Welcome to Alternate Routes, Jesse Jarnow’s Guide to Obscure Corners of Music

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. … Read More

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Matt Sharp on The Rentals’ Future and the Weezer That Could Have Been

“My choices often have gone against probably what people have most wanted to hear out of me.” Matt Sharp tells me this towards the end of our hour-long conversation, which he conducted entirely from the parking lot of a Los Angeles Starbucks. Sometimes, as we spoke, it seemed as though Sharp’s mouth couldn’t keep up with his brain. Whatever the opposite of burnout is, Sharp’s there. He’s happy to be invited to the party, even if he’s the pessimist in the corner.

For the uninitiated, Sharp’s life in music is a long one that begins, at least publicly, in the alternative boom of the mid-’90. He was the original bassist in Weezer, playing on the band’s first two seminal albums, 1994’s The Blue Album and 1996’s Pinkerton. Between those two records, he formed The Rentals, a power-pop project for Moog enthusiasts and those with a strong sense of irony (their debut was called Return of The Rentals, after all). … Read More

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“Problem,” “Royals,” and Other Pop Songs Transformed into Flowery Sonnets

Although the two forms of poetry were borne of vastly different eras, sonnets and pop songs actually have a lot in common: they follow a pretty standard formula, they’re short and sweet, and often, their subject is love. One blog noticed these similarities and fused them together into “Pop Sonnets,” rewriting the lyrics of pop songs into sonnet form. The results are hilarious and brilliant — Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea’s “Problem,” for instance, goes from “I should be wiser/ And realize that I’ve got/ One less problem without you,” to “I dream of days before our love was marred/ By infidelities and sordid lies/ — Too fanciful to learn that, should we part/ The load of problems’d lift off my heart.” Read the rest of “Problem’s” sonnet-ification below, along with updated poetic versions of “Call Me Maybe,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Stacy’s Mom,” and other pop gems. … Read More

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