By now you’ve no doubt heard Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s thoroughly bewildering “Accidental Racist,” and wondered how in God’s name we live in a world where this song exists. We guess the sentiment is laudable enough, in its own cack-handed way — ultimately, it’s a plea for mutual understanding and racial reconciliation, which is something we can get behind, even if it is couched in curiously passive-agressive language and non-apologies — but boy is it ever both a) weird and b) plain old bad. In the spirit of the song’s message, though, here are a bunch of songs about racism that actually make for vaguely pleasurable (if often sad and chastening) listening experiences. … Read More
We’ve spent most of the week trawling the depths of our record collection, but now it’s time to direct our attention to the albums we might be adding to said collection in the next few weeks — March is looking pretty decent for new releases, and as ever, we’ve selected the ten albums we reckon will be most worth listening to over the course of the month (along with all the other notable albums scheduled for release, good and bad.) We’re always interested to know what our readers are going to be listening to, too, so do let us know in the comments section. … Read More
The art of the remix is an interesting one — depending on context, it can be a fascinating reinterpretation of an existing track or a throwaway four-to-the-floor cash cow. There have been some great remixes over the years, of course — indeed, some have ended up being more definitive than the original (we looked at some such tracks here). And then there’s the remix album, which is a whole different beast. Like, for instance, the fantastic Philip Glass remix album, which has been on high rotation at Flavorpill central of late — since it’s soundtracking our countdown to the apocalypse, we thought we’d take a look at it and some of the other great remix albums from throughout the history of music. As ever, let us know (nicely) if you reckon we’ve missed any. … Read More
This week’s most notable release has been Fragrant World, the curiously titled new album from Yeasayer, which came across our desk a couple of weeks back and has been on occasional rotation at Flavorpill central since. Our impressions of the record are that it sounds basically like its predecessor, 2010’s Odd Blood, and thus nothing like the band’s debut, 2007’s All Hour Cymbals. Given the acclaim that their debut received, it’s curious and rather disappointing that Yeasayer have moved away from its wide-eyed eclecticism toward a more conventional sound. Still, they’re hardly the first band to change the sound that brought them to the public’s attention — we’ve put together a selection for your reading delectation after the jump. … Read More
The new Zambri record House of Baasa is out today, and if you’re as partial to dark pop music as we are, you’ll find plenty to like in its combination of ominous atmospherics and hugely catchy melodies. We’ve had the record on high rotation, and it’s gotten us thinking about some other dark pop classics from over the years. The art of writing a pop song that’s as catchy as it is ominous and/or disconcerting is a fine one, and it’s been responsible for some of our favorite music. Check out our selections after the jump, and let us know yours. … Read More
It’s a simple fact: Valentine’s Day can get a little cloying. Even if you’re happily ensconced in a hand-holding, cuddle-snuggling, shrugs ‘n’ sighs sort of relationship, the singing teddy bears and candy can all get to be a bit much. That’s why, inspired by some deliciously moody and truly romantic (though not in the sense you may expect) new records from the likes of Berlin’s o F F Love and Flavorpill’s SXSW 2011 showcase standout Nite Jewel, we’ve crafted a mix of deep, dark love songs to get you in a more devilish Valentine’s mood. Owing more to the day’s roots as Lupercalia, the Ancient Roman fertility holiday, than the greeting card-bait February 14th we know too well, this is a mix of heart-crushing slow burners. Naturally, the playlist even ventures into the more “adult” side of love a few times. Whether you enjoy this music alone or with pleasurable company, a lot of red wine’s suggested. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we wondered if the world is really ready for an Aqua comeback. We laughed out loud over some of these Masterpiece Theater “missed connections” from David Hart at McSweeney’s — particularly “MY HEART SAYS YES BUT MY STATION SAYS NO.” We checked some emotional baggage. We got… Read More
If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin, or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Kafka’s poor victim of metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa. … Read More
After shrugging off early comparisons that pegged them as France’s answer to M.I.A., Yelle proved far more spritely and hook-oriented on their debut album, 2007’s Pop Up. The trio, fronted by Yelle herself (nee Julie Budet), went on to achieve international success, despite recording songs exclusively in French. This month brings the follow-up to that much-loved first release, Safari Disco Club. As the frontwoman explains, it’s a more grown-up effort, laced with hints of melancholy amid the tales of dancing animals and late-night glamour.
In our exclusive interactive video interview, Yelle (pronounced “yell”) talks about creating the new album, working with Katy Perry and Robyn, her love for designer Jean Paul Lespagnard, and why she’d like to hit the studio with Damon Albarn and Depeche Mode. Control the interview yourself by selecting the questions; just click any one for an instant response. … Read More
Gloom-rock titans White Lies sidestep the Joy Division comparisons on their sophomore album, embracing electronic elements and channeling Depeche Mode via Interpol.
While the band’s dark edge remains, Ritual finds it moving into dancier territory, but remaining equally, icily epic. Meanwhile, less talk of death and more mention of love offers hints of optimism, while a supplemental short film (see below) co-written by bassist Charles Cave adds to the overall wide-screen effect. … Read More