Music

‘Love Me Back’ by Merritt Tierce Is as Unsparing as the Best of Lana Del Rey

When it comes to enjoying the music of Lana Del Rey, I’ve never been happier to be an ex-music journalist. I don’t have to overthink her place in society, what it means that she was pitched as “indie” but turned out to have been a chancer going on ten years in the industry; maybe an industry puppet, maybe her own vision, maybe who knows (or cares). As a civilian, I get to enjoy the music of Lana Del Rey for what it offers: widescreen drama, with an unsparing, complicated and often submissive woman in the center of these sad songs. … Read More

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Even When Kanye’s Screwing Up, He’s Still a Savvy Social Critic

Another week, another manufactured “controversy” surrounding Kanye West. Yeezus’ recent tour stop in Sydney, Australia garnered a fresh round of publicity — read: media coverage with ugly subtext — when a standard order for the audience to stand up left West momentarily frustrated with a couple of disabled fans. After a few minutes, West got the message and the show went on, but not before Kanye-“yells”-at-innocent-wheelchair-bound-fan became the latest piece of micro-evidence in the “crazed/egomaniacal/[insert loaded descriptor here]” narrative that’s been a part of West’s image from Hurricane Katrina through Yeezus. I won’t link to any of the write-ups, but if you’d like to watch a decent performance of “The Good Life,” the footage is available here. … Read More

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Robin Thicke Admits to Lying About the Authorship of “Blurred Lines”

Here’s the skinny on Thicke. Robin Thicke, it turns out — for whatever modicum of the pop-culture following population… Read More

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Flavorwire Premiere: Ross McLennan, “General Singh”

Who is General Singh? According to his creator, Australian songwriting veteran Ross McLennan, he’s “a fictional character embodying the anxieties of our time,” which doubtless means that he’s a rich and multifaceted character indeed. This song certainly is an intriguing piece of work, starting with a series of moody, minor-chord observations of the eponymous General and the world he inhabits — “Carnival rides/ Hawking sights of forgotten machinery… an array of B-film scenery” — before erupting into a brass-led chorus that finds McLennan imploring Singh to “sing… sing well.” The song will be available via iTunes tomorrow, and we’re delighted to premiere it exclusively on Flavorwire. Click through to have a listen! … Read More

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25 Mountain Goats Songs That Could Be John Darnielle’s Next Novel

This week, John Darnielle will publish his first novel, the psychological thriller Wolf in White Van. This is of note because Darnielle has already released hundreds of narratives, but most in the form of songs with his band The Mountain Goats (he also previously penned a 33 1/3 book on Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality). The novel seems like an inevitability from the man whose music has always leaned literary, and got us thinking about some of the very best stories he has told within his music, and how the tales have become the backbone of one of the very best catalogs any songwriter in contemporary music has to offer. … Read More

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Basilica Soundscape: A Music Festival for Grown-ups, Done (Mostly) Right

The grown-up music festival is a difficult idea to get right. Of all the attempts in recent years to create a festival that offers something beyond rolling around in the mud with people on perilous amounts of ecstasy and/or avoiding dickheads in Native American headdresses, only All Tomorrow’s Parties has really gotten the formula right. Sadly, ATP’s business savvy hasn’t matched their taste in music, and their ongoing financial/logistical problems have left a gap in the market for someone to put on a festival that brings together a relatively esoteric bill, a crowd more interested in music than partying, and an experience likely to appeal to those who’ve had more than enough of festivals with six stages and a bazillion bands on the bill. … Read More

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Hear Miley Cyrus’ Surprisingly Good Cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”

Here are two musical acts you probably didn’t expect to see mentioned in the same breath: Miley Cyrus debuted… Read More

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Who Won the 2000s Garage Rock Revival War? A Ranking Circa 2014

The rock’n’roll dreams of 2003 are alive in this month’s record release calendar. Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader Karen O released her debut solo album, Crush Songs, last week, while her NYC compatriots Interpol attempted to mount another comeback with their fifth album, El Pintor. Later this month, Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas will release his debut with The Voidz as his backing band, entitled Tyranny. … Read More

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