“I think we’re about ready for a new feeling to enter music,” declared Brian Eno back in 2005 interview, “[and] I think that will come from the Arabic world.” He predicted that the influence of Arabic music would parallel how “the blues completely suffused the music of the early 1960s, woke it up and got it out of Cliff Richard… and made it kind of dirtier and rougher and more lively and sexy.” It’s been ten years since Eno gave that interview, but most people in the United States have still not added Amr Diab to their playlists. Or Samira Said. Or Sherine. Or any of the other superstars of Arabic music who sell millions upon millions of records each year.
This handy list of 15 legends of Arabic pop music is here to change that and get you started. The next time that you roll up to a party, you’ll be blasting “Gamalo” after “Bitch Better Have My Money.”
All day Wednesday, the sky dumped snow on much of the eastern United States. Especially for those of us in the Northeast, this is nothing new — this unusually harsh season has been bringing us snowstorm after snowstorm, cold snap after cold snap, for months. Spring may officially be only two weeks away, but you wouldn’t know it from the icy tableau that is New York (or Boston, god help them). So, to soothe — or perhaps just distract — you blanket-covered, tea-sipping masses, here’s a collection of songs that encapsulate the experience of endless …Read More
A few weeks back, we surveyed the art of the album opening track, putting together a pretty exhaustive list of our 50 favorites and generally opining on what makes for an effective introductory song. The flipside to this, quite literally, is the closing track, and so we’ve put together a similarly epic list of songs that demonstrate how to finish an album in style. There are several distinct genres here — the epic flare-out, the unexpected left turn, the reflective ballad — but they all share one characteristic: making you want to hit “play” again immediately. …Read More
Outside of ’60s monoliths The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, it seems likely that no musical career has been as comprehensively recorded on film as David Bowie’s. Documentary filmmakers have caught him at highs (D.A. Pennebaker’s classic Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars) and lows (Alan Yentob’s 1974 BBC project, Cracked Actor, a painfully raw account of Bowie’s LA-coke-hell period); Todd Haynes blew him a glittery kiss in 1998, with the glam-rock fantasy Velvet Goldmine; and Bowie’s own acting roles, such as his portrayal of an alien in Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, have often felt like an extension of his musical persona. And those are only a few of the best-known examples of cinema’s obsession with David Bowie, a man whose IMDb page boasts no fewer than 153 “as himself” credits.
Welcome to the Flavorwire Artist Playlist, a new monthly series in which we ask musical personalities to curate playlists on any topic of their choosing. We kick things off with 12 songs from Alec Ounsworth, the leader of longtime indie rock staples Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, who release their fourth album, Only Run, this week. Ounsworth offers up tracks from albums that inspired his band’s new LP, ranging from icons like Brian Eno and Sly and the Family Stone to the modern psych-rock of Tame Impala and MGMT (thanks in part to a shared producer in Dave Fridmann).
Our music editor Jillian Mapes is at SXSW this week, gamely braving the crowds and dancing the robot, so you get me back on MP3 duties for the week. Sadly, due to the aforementioned SXSW, this is a pretty awful week for new music, so this is a roundup of stuff I’ve heard over the last couple of weeks that’s caught my attention (and that Jill didn’t cover last week). It’s an interesting bunch of stuff, too, ranging from the first we’ve heard from the Eno & Karl Hyde collaboration to neo-kosmische and dance-floor fillers. All the tracks are streaming for free, too. Huzzah.