Music

Dave Grohl Sets His Rock Savior Schtick Aside for Solid Storytelling in HBO’s ‘Sonic Highways’

Forty minutes into the first episode of Dave Grohl’s eight-part HBO docuseries, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, he starts singing out a heavy baritone guitar part to Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen in the most dramatic of manners, waving his hands like a marching band conductor. (Grohl, it should be noted, was just seen wearing a T-shirt with Nielsen’s face on it.) He breaks eye contact with the underrated guitar great just twice in the ten-second exchange, instead looking right at the camera as if to make sure there was footage of him directing yet another one of rock’s legends. … Read More

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Flavorwire Premiere: Soft Vision’s D.H. Lawrence-Inspired “Rocking Horse Winner”

Last month, Austin drone-pop duo Soft Vision released a striking 7″ called “Feel It Coming On”; its B-side was a song called “Willy Loman,” named for the protagonist of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Now the harmonious synth act, comprised of Kelly Winchester and Bradley Barr, offers up the opening track to their self-titled debut EP, out next week on Acoustic Division’s new pop counterpart, Hi-Definition. It, too, finds its inspiration in one of 20th-century literature’s famous working-class families: D.H. Lawrence’s 1926 short story “The Rocking-Horse Winner.” Flavorwire is pleased to premiere the song, below.

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The State I Am In: Stuart Murdoch on Every Belle and Sebastian Album

Halfway through our phone call, Stuart Murdoch, sitting outside at Austin–Bergstrom International Airport, lets out an abrupt, “Oh wow,” followed by, “Oh goodness.” He breaks away momentarily. “There’s two little puppies here come to see me,” Murdoch finally declares. “That’s amazing. They’re just stretching their legs, they’ve been on a flight. Hi guys, hi guys.”

It would be easy to peg this as the most “Belle and Sebastian thing ever” in the context of an interview with the twee outfit’s frontman and main songwriter, but going through their 18-year discography, which was reissued on vinyl by Matador last week under the banner It Could Have Been A Brilliant Career, it becomes clear that there isn’t a perfect paradigm for Belle and Sebastian. Though it undercuts their influence, maybe Murdoch himself best summed it up in 1998’s “This Is Just a Modern Rock Song”: “This is just a modern rock song/ This is just a sorry lament/ We’re four boys in our corduroys/ We’re not terrific, but we’re competent!/ Stevie’s full of good intentions/ Richard’s into rock and roll/ Stuart’s staying in ’cause he thinks it’s a sin/ That he has to leave the house at all.”

With the Scottish group’s ninth album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, scheduled for January 20, looking back at their indie-pop gems makes sense at the moment. So that’s exactly what we did, going through each album with Murdoch’s color commentary. … Read More

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Alternate Routes: Thom Yorke, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Tuareg “Purple Rain”

Alternate Routes is a column from Flavorwire contributor and WFMU DJ Jesse Jarnow, in which he provides maps to far-flung music, exploring sounds distributed solely outside the Big 3 of Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.

Perhaps Spotify’s most grievous sin against music, besides its royalty rates, is how boring it is. Besides sales revenues, fidelity, and production credits, the streaming service makes albums feel as if they were trapped inside a listening station at the mall, or worse. There is the paucity of metadata that shuffles long discographies by corporate licensing dates, erasing albums outside the company’s territorial agreements, and deeming artists’ histories as irrelevant to their precious content. In terms of providing hot-and-cold running audio for the regions of the world covered by the relevant sub-clauses, Spotify is a miraculous utility, but is as divorced from real-life musical networks as a glass of water is from a rainstorm. … Read More

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The Best Quotes From Iggy Pop’s “Free Music in a Capitalist Society” BBC Lecture

That’s Prof Pop to you! In addition to his BBC Radio 6 DJ post over the last year, the Godfather of Punk delivered BBC Music’s annual John Peel Lecture Tuesday night (October 13) in an hour-long presentation at the Lowry theater in Salford, Manchester. His topic — “Free Music In a Capitalist Society” — was a fascinating one, particularly for a musical icon who has moved in and out of DIY and commercial realms for much of his career, eventually having little shame over licensing “Lust For Life” to a Carnival Cruise commercial (among other ads). “If I want to make money, well, how about selling car insurance?” he postured. “At least I’m honest. It’s an ad, and that’s all it is. If I had to depend on what I actually get from sales, I’d be tending bars between sets.” … Read More

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Prince to Perform as Musical Guest on ‘SNL’

Prince Rogers Nelson, AKA, ya know, PRINCE, is set to perform on the Nov. 1 episode of Saturday Night Live; it’ll be… Read More

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