Weezer is back! M.I.A. gets pissed with ass-shaking EDM! Diplo spells Andre Agassi’s name wrong! A great week for upbeat music (and if you’re looking for something more chill, consider Slow Magic’s “Hold Still” or the new Jessie Ware song.) Let’s dig in.
Yes, Ann Coulter wrote a ridiculous column about how the World Cup is an insult to American values, and no, I’m not going to link it here. The really remarkable thing about this whole sorry affair, which has been stinking up social media for the last couple of days, is that anyone still cares what Ann Coulter think. She’s the perfect example of someone who’s only in any way renowned because people pay attention to her for being an extremist; if people stopped giving her airtime, she would melt back into richly deserved obscurity. Like the rest of people on this list! Begone, all of you! … Read More
With global warming, political unrest, and a cratered international economy serving as the shaky pillars of today’s world, we need pop music now more than ever. As hopeless headlines continue to paint dark horizons for us, pop is one of the few lights to shine through and inspire whimsy. Even the harshest skeptic has no choice but to relent and give into the genre. So we present Pop For Skeptics, a regular Flavorwire column committed to curating and commenting on the best ear candy from the US and around the world.
Everybody in the entire world loves Calvin Harris. It’s inarguable. To deny it is to deny the fact that “We Found Love” is now a three-word shorthand that evokes pulsating dance beats and Rihanna’s Amazonian wailing; to deny it would be to deny the ubiquity of one of the most successful pop songs in the 21st century. But with this ubiquity comes a price. In the run-up to the October 30th release of this third studio album, 18 Months, Harris faces a big ol’ fork in the road. He has been raking in collaborators by the handful, including Florence + the Machine, Ne-Yo, Ellie Goulding, and, of course Rihanna. This is the kind of creative promiscuity that invites speculation as to whether Harris will go the way of other quick-to-peak DJ-producers before him, or if he’ll find a way back to the niche where he became a darling in the first place. … Read More
1. It has been announced that Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Melissa McCarthy will be among the presenters at this year’s Golden Globe Awards, which airs this Sunday night at 8pm on NBC. So, there you go, that’s three celebrities who aren’t afraid to be in the same room with the evening’s host, Ricky Gervais.… Read More
“World music” is a ridiculous label for any number of reasons, but perhaps the most pernicious is its us-and-them implication — the idea there’s our music and there’s their music, and never the twain shall meet. In fact, music is a constantly flowing and evolving thing, and the ever-increasing flow of Western culture to the rest of the world — and vice versa — has made for some fascinating musical hybrids, as well as some entirely new sounds. Some of these are well-known, but others have languished in relative obscurity over the years. So here are some of our favorite unexpectedly awesome genres from around the world, past and present. … Read More
One of the more enjoyable things we came across on the internet this morning was this 8-bit remix of the Game of Thrones theme, and it got us thinking about how 8-bit music and culture has slowly threatened to work its way into the mainstream over the last few years. In a way, it makes sense — the generation who grew up with Commodore 64s and NESes are in their 30s now, and very much a target market for retro chic. Systems like the C64 and NES were amongst the first genuinely affordable home computers, and they had rudimentary sound hardware that could create simple and distinctive sounds. Musicians soon started to explore how these sounds could be used, and in the years since, 8-bit music has grown to encompass everything from the world of chiptune — which faithfully uses vintage hardware to create new music — to a selection of artists who take 8-bit influences and work them into hybrid sounds. So here’s an exploration of 8-bit sounds past and present. … Read More
Just when it looked like the ongoing storm over MIA’s MAYA might finally have died down, along comes Diplo to stir it all up again. Lynn Hirschberg’s infamous hatchet job for the New York Times did MIA’s image a great deal of harm, but not because of the truffle fries controversy – if anything, the most damaging quotes came from her ex-collaborator and ex-boyfriend, who dismissed her “whole terrorism gimmick.” He’s expanded on his views this week in an interview with WWD, where he suggests that she “glamorize[d] terrorism” with the album – despite his entreaties not to do so – and that “when it comes to die-hard, facts-on-the-ground politics, she’s at zero. She’s nothing.” … Read More
1. The 2011 Oscar nominations are in, with The King’s Speech dominating the pack with 12 nods. The Academy Awards will air live on ABC on February 27th. [via THR]
2. According to Diplo, Beyonce and Sleigh Bells guitarist Derek Miller have been in the studio together working on new material, but it’s… Read More
It’s been two decades since Matt Black and Jon More, aka Coldcut, founded iconic UK label Ninja Tune, and they’re celebrating with one of the most drool-worthy box sets ever.
Including six CDs, six 7-inches, two posters, and a hardcover edition of the retrospective book Ninja Tune: 20 Years Of Beats & Pieces, the Ninja Tune XX box is a collector’s dream. The set features new tracks and remixes from Roots Manuva, Amon Tobin, Diplo, Gold Panda, Kid Koala, Mr. Scruff, the Orb, and a host of others, alongside classic tracks from throughout the label’s history. … Read More