“Can World”: An Exclusive Excerpt from Alan Warner’s 33 1/3 Book on ‘Tago Mago’

The recording of Can’s 1971 album Tago Mago is the stuff of music industry legend — it was made in Schloss Nörvenich, a rural castle in which the band set up camp and created their own little world (rent-free, mind you — if anyone would like to donate a German castle to Flavorwire, please email me forthwith.) Anyway, the band stayed in the castle for three years, jamming to their heart’s content and creating one of the most remarkable records of the 1970s. In this exclusive excerpt from Bloomsbury’s upcoming Tago Mago 33 1/3 book, author Alan Warner — yes, the same Alan Warner who wrote the marvelous Morvern Callar — imagines what life might have been like in Can’s castle. … Read More

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10 Awesome Holiday Gifts For the Music Geek in Your Life

Music nerds can be hard to buy for, mainly because they almost certainly already own pretty much any record you can think of getting them (and many you wouldn’t have ever heard of, obviously). But never fear, because there are still plenty of music-related consumer items on which you can spend your Christmas budget to impress the geekiest of music geeks. Here’s a selection of ideas, from fancy box sets and music books to retro listening devices and an Iggy Pop action figure. (No,… Read More

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The 50 Albums Everyone Needs to Own, 1963-2013

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

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A Selection of the Most Insanely Long Live Performances in Music

You may have heard that The National, bless them, will be at P.S. 1 in New York this weekend, performing the same song — “Sorrow,” from their album High Violet — for six hours straight, as part of a collaboration with artist Ragnar Kjartansson. According to the gallery, the show “continues [Kjartansson’s] explorations into the potential of repetitive performance to produce sculptural presence within sound.” That’s all very well, but where does this fit into the hierarchy of insanely long shows? Read on to find out. … Read More

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Great Bands That Made (Relatively) Forgettable Debut Records

In an interesting cosmic coincidence, this week marks notable anniversaries for two of the more significant debut albums in the world of rock ‘n’ roll: 25 years ago yesterday, the Pixies released Surfer Rosa, while 50 years ago today, the Beatles released Please Please Me. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is the contrast between the quality of the records — Surfer Rosa was a fully realized artistic vision, while Please Please Me only hinted at what the Beatles would go on to achieve. Still, the Fab Four are in pretty good company as far as bands who overcame relatively unimpressive debut albums go. As these ten records prove, there’s hope for everyone! … Read More

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The 15 Best Musical Reissues of 2012

For some reason, the end-of-year listomania is starting early this year — the Guardian has begun its best-of-2012 list already, and we’re sure others will soon be following suit. In the spirit of getting onto getting onto such things ahead of time, then, we thought we’d commence our own end-of-year listing this week with a look at the best of reissues of 2012. In any case, it seems an appropriate time to be looking at reissues, because this month sees the (re-)release of Massive Attack’s classic 1991 debut Blue Lines, an album which we’re very excited to be able to get on nice heavy vinyl. So her are our picks of other reissues we hope you were laying your hands on during 2012. As ever, we’d be interested to hear your additions in the comments section. … Read More

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10 Albums Recorded in Fascinatingly Exotic Locations

Piramida, the new album by Danish five-piece Efterklang, is out this week. The album continues Efterklang’s march away from the experimental weirdness of their early recordings toward a more conventional sound, and it’s also a pretty somber-sounding piece of work — perhaps because it’s based on field recordings that the band took in a crazy-looking abandoned mining town in the Arctic Circle. Indeed, the backstory to Piramida is pretty fascinating, and it got us thinking about albums that were recorded in similarly exotic locales. We’ve put together a selection, and as ever, we’re open to suggestions. (Just please for the love of god don’t mention Bon Iver and his damn cabin.) … Read More

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10 Recent Reissues You Need to Hear

We’ve been quietly beside ourselves chez Flavorpill of late awaiting The Lost Tapes, the collection of hitherto undiscovered and/or unreleased Can tracks that’s due out this week. It’s the crowning glory of a six-month period that’s been pretty great for reissues/remasters/compilations, so we thought that with the midpoint of the year nigh, it’d be a good time to go ahead and share the other old/new material that has floated our collective boat in the past several months. As ever, we’re open to suggestions as to what we might have missed, so let us know what’s been on your shopping list. … Read More

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10 MP3s You Need to Download for Free This Week: Can, Azealia Banks

It’s Friday, and we’re back with another installment of our regular roundup of downloadable MP3 goodness from around the web. The most notable piece of action this week is one of the tracks from The Lost Tapes, the new Can compilation over which we’ve been salivating for quite some time. Elsewhere, there’s a potentially #seapunk track from Azealia Banks, a new Mission of Burma track, Los Campesinos! covering The Beautiful South, new work from Slug Guts and Laetitia Sadier, a Cold Cave rarity, and an entire mixtape from Charli XCX. In other words, there’s plenty of interesting sounds awaiting you after the jump, and since they won’t cost a penny or land you an RIAA lawsuit, as your attorneys we advise you to start downloading immediately. … Read More

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10 Albums You Need to Hear in June

Summer is here, and June is shaping up as a bumper month for album releases. As ever, we’ve pored over release schedules and reviewed our own personal wish list and come up with a list of the ten records we reckon will be worth hearing (and hopefully worth repeated listening) over the coming weeks. They include everything from cerebral 4AD-approved hip hop to the return of Patti Smith, along with something that we’d really, really like for our birthday. What’s on your shopping list this month? Let us know in the comments. … Read More

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