Last night, Death Grips released a “soundtrack” called Fashion Week (download it here). Since Death Grips is supposed to no longer be an active project, the very existence of this record has seemed to confuse people, but before you grow outraged at the idea of the group coming back from retirement to make a soundtrack for Fashion Week, take a second to think about how absurd that sounds for this specific band — and how not absurd it would sound for a lot of other acts.
“Death Grips was and always has been a conceptual art exhibition anchored by sound and vision, above and beyond a ‘band.’” A lofty mission statement, but rap group/troll gang Death Grips’ farewell note also came to fans via used napkin. It’s a fitting kiss-off for a band whose very short history is defined by giving the literal and figurative middle finger to everyone from their label to their fans: sudden, tongue-in-cheek, and not entirely believable. While we wait to see whether Death Grips’ breakup is, in fact, real, here’s a look back at all they’ve managed to accomplish.
Today, in 1990, a defiant Fort Lauderdale record store owner was arrested, convicted, and fined after selling 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be. The explicit album was embroiled in a massive obscenity trial. It was deemed illegal and unfit for store shelves by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The ruling was later overturned, but the case became a landmark for artists fighting for the freedom of speech. But it wasn’t just the sexual lyrics that caused a controversy. It was the album’s fleshy cover, too. We tracked down the stories behind some of music’s most controversial album covers — those artworks that were banned and misunderstood in their time. Here are just a few albums that have been put through the wringer.
Late last year, we published a pretty epic list of incredibly tough books for extreme readers. Our readers clearly like a challenge, because it drew heaps of discussion, and as such, we thought we’d extend the challenge to other areas of pop culture. First up: music! Here’s a selection of 50 albums that we think make for particularly challenging or difficult listening, because they’re emotionally harrowing, technically demanding, or just plain old make your ears …Read More
It’s Friday, which means that it’s time to look back at the best new music we’ve heard over the last few days. This week, there’s an awesome new track from Le1f, along with more heartening proof that the new Nine Inch Nails album is probably gonna be pretty good, Janelle Monáe getting all power ballad-y, new work from Bushwalking and Glasser, a reminder that Death Grips do actually make music, too, Kim Gordon’s excellent new band, and an entire album from D’Eon for free download. All this is streaming for absolutely nothing after the jump, so click through and get listening!
Last week Noisey published an article by their resident jaded punk columnist, who goes by the title of, er, Jaded Punk. It was entitled “Who Gives A Shit About [Insert Band Name] Reuniting?,” and as the name suggests, it took a rather dim review of reunion tours by The Replacements and various other punk rock luminaries. It followed his debut column, which went by the title “‘Punk’ Is the Grossest Word in Music,” and no doubt we can look forward to a bunch of similarly cheery meditations on the genre in weeks to come. It’s the latest in an increasingly long line of criticism shitchanning punk of late, but does the fact that punk rock is largely moribund mean that punk is dead? And who does punk belong to in 2013?