There’s an art to the album opener — it doesn’t necessarily have to be the best or most commercially appealing song on the record, but it needs to grab the listener’s attention. It’ll often also serve as an introduction to the themes and/or sound of the album in question, a sort of preview of to what’s to come. And so it is that at Flavorwire central, we’ve been having one of our unabashedly nerdy music conversations about what are, in our collective opinion, the best examples of the form. Here’s a bumper list of 50 to talk… Read More
at the drive-in
No one buys albums anymore, goes the music industry truism. And yet, for all that the format’s commercial viability may or may not be on the wane, sitting and listening to a great album from start to finish is one of the greatest pleasures that music can bring. Flavorwire recently got to thinking about how one might build a record collection if you really only did buy one record a year. So here’s the result of our thought exercise: 50 albums you really should own, one a year from 1963 until the present… Read More
Last week, we amused ourselves with a thought experiment that was doing the rounds on Tumblr — marking 4/11 by picking out the best songs in our iTunes library that were precisely four minutes and 11 seconds long. It turned out that there were heaps, and the idea got us thinking: when better to do something similar than 4/20? So we thought we’d limit ourselves to making our annual stoner mixtape for today out of songs that are precisely four minutes and 20 seconds long. (Disclaimer: these songs are all 4:20 on our iTunes — your mileage may vary, and all that, but let’s not split hairs, eh?)
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Yes, this Saturday is 4/20, but if you can detach yourself from the bucket bong, it’s also Record Store Day. The annual celebration of independent record stores has grown into quite an industry, and as ever, there’s a heap of awesome-looking releases to trawl through once you’ve fought your way through the crowds and thrown enough judicious elbows to make your ways to the crates of vinyl — so much so, in fact, that the selection can be somewhat overwhelming. Never fear, though, because we’ve sifted through the list of this year’s RSD exclusives to bring you the best of the best. What’s on your shopping list?
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It’s Friday afternoon, which means that we’re off to see a celebrity psychic in a few hours (no, really), and also that we’re going back through all the new music we heard over the last few days to pick out our ten favorite tracks of the week. This week we warmed slowly to the new Deerhunter single, took substantially less time to love the new Mykki Blanco track, thoroughly enjoyed BEAK> covering Pink Floyd, got all woozy to Maria Minerva, discovered Manics-sampling pop from Istanbul, remembered why we liked Balam Acab, and more. All these tracks await you — get streaming and/or downloading, readers!
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Everybody likes reading a really nasty review every now and then, but sometimes critics get it wrong. Here’s a look at misguided reviews of albums that’d go on to be acclaimed as… Read More
Rumors of a Smiths reunion ruled the Internet for the past week — apparently someone at Coachella has had the genius idea of luring Morrissey with the offer to make the festival 100% vegetarian if the Smiths played. But, of course, it’s not going to happen, which is probably for the best. While the idea of being able to finally see one of the best bands of the ’80s playing live is definitely an appealing one, we’re still not entirely sure how we’d feel if the impossible did come to pass. Honestly, we can’t see it lasting long — it wasn’t so long ago that The Smiths were slugging it out in court, after all, with the presiding judge memorably describing Morrissey as “truculent, devious and unreliable.” There are some bands whose interpersonal relationships, or lack thereof, seem to preclude successful reunions. Like this lot, for instance — it’s not that the performances were necessarily bad, but they were simply doomed from the start…
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Bear with us here, but the fact that the new Marilyn Manson album is out this week has got us rambling off on a train of thought that’s led us to this point. Y’see, Manson’s album skates awfully close to self-parody at times, so much so that it’s almost like listening to a cover band doing Marilyn Manson tracks, just not quite as well as the originals. This got us thinking — well, what band would cover Manson well (an especially apt question considering that Manson’s own greatest strength seems to be covers)? And more generally, what contemporary bands would make a decent fist of covering some of our favorite artists? We couldn’t come up with a good answer for the Manson question — feel free to let us know in the comments if you can think of one — but we did come up with a selection of other ideas for dream covers sets.
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1. The lineup for Lollapalooza 2012 has been announced, and it’s a mixed bag of older/reunited acts like Black Sabbath, At the Drive-In, and Afghan Whigs; radio-friendly artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, the Shins, Florence + the Machine, and Jack White; and buzzed about newcomers like The Weeknd, tUnE-yArDs, and… Read More
In the mid-’90s, when “hell froze over” and our parents’ generation paid exorbitant prices for Eagles tickets, we chuckled about how uncool it was to live in the past. When the Sex Pistols reunited more times than any band with one album and a dead bassist had any right to, we snickered at how grotesquely John Lydon’s punk-rock nihilism had aged. Even our Gen-X neighbors who brought their toddlers to see Pavement tour their greatest-hits set fell prey to our derision. But when we heard, last week, that both At the Drive-In and Refused were reuniting, the oldest among us were forced to stop laughing and took a long, sober look in the mirror at faces that aren’t getting any younger.
Music fans who were born in the early ’80s remember ATDI and Refused as two of the greatest punk bands from our high-school years — the mid- to late-’90s. Sure, they appealed to 20-something Gen Xers, too, but for us, they were the cathartic soundtrack to our teenage rebellion. We can’t hear “One Armed Scissor” without being transported back to a time when every emotion had its own theme song. For once, the bands that are reuniting are ones that stir our own nostalgia.
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