124 Songs You Need to Hear Before 2014 Ends

Music is personal. It’s something that I’m never more aware of than I am at the end of every year, when best-of lists dominate the coverage at cultural publications, but the idea of “best” is one that I’ve never quite been comfortable with. It seems too objective to take into account personal taste, not to mention the reality that there’s too much music out there for even the most ambitious listener to have heard everything, or even close to everything. So let’s not use the word “best.” Instead, here are 124 songs released in 2014 that I would recommend to any music lover. Its goal is to highlight not only the year’s biggest hits, both commercially and critically, but also songs that commented on what happened in our world this year, and songs you may not have heard but that you’ll hopefully love as much as we… Read More

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Listen: Sia and Beck Sing “Moonquake Lake,” Cameron Diaz Sings “Little Girls,” and More on ‘Annie’ Soundtrack

Both Sia and musicals are pretty polarizing — both encapsulate a childlike glee and use exaggerated, chewy diction that… Read More

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’90s Alternative Song Lyrics Updated for 2014

The ’90s are back! Except they’re looking a bit worse for the wear, 20 years later, aren’t they? Specifically, the lyrics to some of our favorite alt-rock radio hits of the era have begun to sound painfully dated, with their references to phone booths and physical media, and their insistence on a gender binary even in songs that embrace sexual fluidity. So Flavorwire has done its loyal readers the favor of updating beloved tracks by Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Radiohead, and… Read More

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Musicians Drinking the Spotify Haterade: The Collected Complaints

Since Spotify’s stateside introduction three years ago, musicians  have expressed their disdain for the streaming service and its laughably low royalty rates (between $0.006 and $0.0084 per stream). A number of artists, mostly those in the privileged positions of having already established a fanbase, have pulled their music from the service, or in the case of legacy artists, blocked it from ever being streamed there. Spotify, in addition to other streaming music services like Pandora, led David Byrne to suggest that, “The inevitable result would seem to be that the internet will suck the creative content out of the whole world until nothing is left.” The Talking Heads leader is far from the only open opponent of streaming. Let’s take a look at a few others with harsh words for Spotify, a service that claims to have paid out a billion dollars in royalties but still draws constant ire. … Read More

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Everything Is Embarrassing: The Confessions of Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis is the quintessential indie rock heroine. For the last 15 years, her emotionally honest anthems — both with Rilo Kiley and on her own — have soundtracked love and heartbreak, detailed familial drama, and aired dirty laundry with bandmates, all the while showing that it’s possible for a woman to be down but not out of the game. After a four-year hiatus, Lewis returns with her third solo LP, The Voyager (Warner Bros.), on July 29. It’s a confident album made in the face of personal struggle, including the death of Lewis’ father, the public dissolution of her band, and a mean bout of insomnia to boot.

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Austin City Limits Fest Announces Lineup: Pearl Jam, Outkast, Beck, Eminem

A late-season but solid festival, Austin City Limits announced its 2014 lineup this morning. The main headliners are very… Read More

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The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Jim Parsons

SNL had a month-long vacation and returns with The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons and musical guest Beck (in full creepy preacher regalia). Parsons seems like an odd choice for hosting duties, but his quirky delivery is a welcome addition. Will the writers do him justice, or leave the newcomer floundering? How did Colin Jost perform his first time sitting at the “Weekend Update” anchor desk? Its all here, after the jump. … Read More

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‘Morning Phase': Why Sad Beck Is the Best Beck

I’ll be honest: I’ve never been a particularly big fan of Beck, for the simple reason that for all his undeniable talent, it’s been hard to find any sort of heart in his music. He’s always come across as a sort of arch postmodernist trickster — someone who flits between genres and modes, someone who’s adept in all of them but frustratingly difficult to actually get a handle on. It’s for this reason, perhaps, that the one album of his that did connect with me was Sea Change, his famously downbeat 2002 breakup album: it’s the one record on which the veneer dropped, revealing something about the man beneath. … Read More

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Coachella Lineup Announced

Coachella has posted its 2014 lineup! The concert will take place Fri-Sun April 11-13, then again with the same… Read More

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Flavorwire’s 15 Most Anticipated Albums of 2014

With year-end listomania pretty much over and done with, it’s time to turn our attention to the year to come — and, specifically, which albums we’re most looking forward to hearing in 2014. So far, it’s shaping up very nicely indeed, thanks — there’s the return of a whole lot of artists who we’ve been waiting to hear from for up to four-and-a-half decades, along with debuts from exciting new talents. Here’s what’s gonna be on our shopping list once we pay off the debts of the “festive” season. … Read More

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