The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Mosquito is officially on the shelves, and our first impressions of the record haven’t changed much: we rather like it. The cover art, though… well, that’s an entirely different matter. We’re sure there’s some reasoning behind adorning the sleeve with a lurid pink giant mosquito sinking its proboscis into the ass of a baby (a baby with green lipstick on, we hasten to add), but until we know what it is, the album is going straight to the top of our list of great albums saddled by awful cover art. Here are some of the… Read More
2012 has been a crazy year in many ways, and the music industry hasn’t exactly been immune to its air of pervading insanity. (In fairness, the music industry is rarely immune to any sort of insanity, but still, humor us here.) This year has given us a particularly rich vein of memorable controversies, conflicts, and contretemps, and as part of our ongoing end-of-year wrap-up, we’re looking back at some of the most significant. Some of these are hilarious, some of them depressing, some of them hilariously depressing, and some just plain old bewildering — but from the resurrection of dead rappers through homeless people functioning as wifi hotspots to a record company suing an entire country, all of them have been worth remembering. … Read More
It’s not a year in music without at least one good bout of hand-wringing over someone’s controversial album cover, and 2012 has been no exception. The album cover is something of a dying art form these days, although the return of vinyl in recent years has revived it somewhat — but still, in an age when we get more and more of our art in a digital form, it gets harder and harder to attract people’s attention. If nothing else, the covers in this feature most certainly do the attracting-people’s-attention bit just fine — whether they’re actually any good or not is a judgement we’ll leave up to you. (Warning — one of the images that awaits you below is pretty spectacularly NSFW, and if you’ve been following the ongoing shitfight between Death Grips and their former label Epic, you can probably guess what it is.) … Read More
“Mutual Core” starts out peacefully enough — as does its new music video, which finds Bjӧrk up to her waist in sand, and soon accompanied by a few friendly tectonic plates that resemble coral reefs. But a natural disaster is brewing as the reef pieces give way to volcanic rocks. Suddenly, explosions are happening everywhere — which is exactly what’s going on, both lyrically and sonically, in the song. Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang, the video is a precise yet still poetic evocation of the track.
Happily, the “Mutual Core” clip isn’t even the only exciting new thing Bjӧrk has thrust into the universe today. The Guardian has an exclusive stream of bastards, an album of Biophilia remixes that’s out next week and features collaborations with the likes of Death Grips, Matthew Herbert, and These New Puritans. We haven’t gotten a chance to dig deep into bastards yet, but so far we’re especially enjoying Omar Souleyman’s expansive remixes. … Read More
California’s hardcore noise-rap group Death Grips is being dropped by Epic Records, according to THR. The Sony-owned label seemed like an odd pairing for the boisterous band, so the news isn’t terribly surprising — especially considering recent stunts by Death Grips that sent the label reeling.
Just yesterday, the band posted reportedly private… Read More
We survived! The CMJ Music Marathon is over for another year — five days and about 500 bands later, we’re back on the couch and promising never to leave it again. But still, for all that we’re pretty much exhausted now, CMJ was a great week. As ever, we ran around down, drank too much, and saw more bands than we care to remember. And as ever, just as we were about to give up on the whole thing, we’d stumble across a band that made it all worthwhile. So here’s a selection of the best acts that our crack Flavorpill CMJ team — Judy Berman, Tom Hawking, and Sophie Weiner — saw this time around. Whose sets did you enjoy, gentle readers? … Read More
With a relative minimum of fanfare, resurgent post-rock overlords Godspeed You! Black Emperor have snuck out an album this week — ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is their fourth studio album and their first since 2002′s Yanqui U.X.O. We’ve always been big fans of the band, and we’ve jumped at every opportunity to see them live since they got back together in 2010 — their epic shows are the stuff of legend, frequently stretching past two hours and always very, very loud. But we do appreciate that their shows aren’t for everyone, and that even if they are for you, you kinda have to be in the mood for them. In this spirit, then, we celebrate (and/or gently poke fun at) a selection of bands whose shows are something of an endurance test, either in a good way or just in a rather tiresome one. As ever, let us know if we’ve missed anyone. … Read More
It’s Friday, which means another installment of our regular roundup of downloadable MP3 goodness from around the web. This week there’s the new James Bond theme, which (as you may have read, like, everywhere) is performed by Adele. There’s also the entire Death Grips record, thoroughly excellent new tracks from El Perro del Mar and Teeth & Tongue, Andre Williams keeping on keeping on, an Anita Baker-themed mixtape from THEESatisfaction, and a whole lot more. Since all this action costs precisely nothing, what are you waiting for? All the download links await after the jump. … Read More
It’s Friday, which means another installment of our regular roundup of downloadable MP3 goodness from around the web. This week there’s a new Death Grips track as the finale of Adult Swim’s Singles Program, plus instrumental angst from Xiu Xiu, Liars remixing The Twilight Sad, Flaming Lips covering King Crimson, new tracks from The Soft Moon and Bat for Lashes, and a whopping great free Ghostly Records sampler. And more! Since all this action costs precisely nothing, what are you waiting for? All the download links await after the jump. … Read More
You may or may not have seen that new show called Opening Act last night, wherein a team of “industry judges” – viz. Mary J Blige, Olivia Lee, and that unpleasant English guy from Popstars and So You Think You Can Dance – judge various hapless bands for the right to support huge stars like, um, LMFAO or Jason Mrazzzzzzzzzzz. Still, the show did get us thinking about how plenty of great bands have started their careers by playing some support slots that seem hilarious in retrospect, from Radiohead opening for Alanis Morrissette to Jimi Hendrix opening for the Monkees. And that, in turn, got us thinking about support slots we’d love to see some of our favorite bands play. In view of this, we thought we’d amuse ourselves by looking at some dream hypothetical line-ups, featuring some big-name (or biggish-name, at least) headline acts, past and present, along with the indie bands we’d love to have seen open for them. … Read More