You may have heard recently that a certain Shawn Carter has officially jettisoned the hyphen from his stage name — he’s Jay-Z no longer, and is instead going by plain old Jay Z. (In fact, he made the change two years ago, but it’s taken this long for the world to notice.) It’s the most fuss anyone’s ever made over a hyphen in the music industry — a place where the rules of grammar and punctuation aren’t exactly observed with religious devotion. This tendency has led to much amusement over the years. Here are some of the more notable moments in musical punctuation, for better or worse. … Read More
Florence and the Machine
Last summer, formerly roaming, currently Chicago-based festival Lollapalooza celebrated its 20th anniversary. This past weekend, Perry Farrell’s brainchild barreled into its third decade, once again taking over Grant Park (and most of the surrounding area) with three days of marquee headliners, upstart buzz bands, and plenty of sun, food, and eventually, the requisite mud. Saturday’s installment saw a bit of a hitch, as the entire site was evacuated when a massive thunderstorm descended on the city; fortunately, the event resumed three hours later, with the mass exodus both out of and into the site handled remarkably well.
Nature’s wrath aside, it was another banner year for Lolla. Among the highlights were main stage sets from Florence + The Machine, Metric, Sigur Rós, and the Black Keys — the latter of whom received a personal introduction from Chicago Mayor (and former White House Chief of Staff) Rahm Emanuel. Jack White closed out the festival with a headlining performance featuring both his alternating all-male and all-female bands. And then there was our personal highlight, soul man of the hour, Frank Ocean, whose Saturday night set on the Google Play stage was both a revelation and the perfect reason to steer clear of that night’s main stage acts. Click through for our exclusive photo gallery from the entire weekend, both onsite and off, and if you were there too, share your own favorite moments in the comments. … 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: D.H. Lawrence’s most controversial heroine, the lovely Lady Chatterley. … Read More
Rejoice, because we’ve conquered our CMJ hangovers and got down to the serious business of our regular Monday roundup of albums streaming for free over the course of the coming week. And there’s a particularly exciting link to share this time around: the new Tom Waits album, Bad As Me, which is now available for your listening pleasure via NPR. Clearly, everything else that’s streaming this week is going to pale in comparison somewhat, but there’s still plenty of other goodness to be had: the new Justice album, along with upcoming releases from Florence & the Machine, and Joker. And, um, the Lou Reed/Metallica album. It’s all after the jump, so click through and get listening! … Read More
1. Twilight actress Ashley Greene has landed the starring role in Olivia Twisted, a modern-day take on the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist. [via Variety]
2. ABC has scooped up Walk of Shame, a single-camera from producer Will Gluck (Friends With Benefits, Easy A) and co-written by SNL alum Casey Wilson that’s about… Read More
Emma-Lee Moss, aka Emmy the Great, is one of those artists whose music creeps up on you, seemingly unassuming in its soft-spoken approach, only to leave you aware you’ve become hopelessly ensnared in its complexity without even realizing it. The UK-based singer/songwriter’s second album, Virtue, is a strikingly poetic rumination on mythology, spiritualism, and lost love, rooted strongly in modern folk and fleshed out with intricate pop orchestration. In our latest interactive video interview, Emmy recalls her time singing backing vocals with Florence Welch for Lightspeed Champion, shares her harrowing personal experience of the UK riots, and explains why she doesn’t mind being overly confessional in her music. She also tells us why global charity WaterAid is so close to her heart, and provides further proof that you really shouldn’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia. … Read More
1. George Clooney’s The Ides of March, an adaptation of Beau Williams’s play Farragut North, which was inspired by events in Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential primary campaign, will open the Venice Film Festival on August 31st. The film’s all-star cast features Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella, and Evan Rachel Wood.… 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: the example of all mothers’ say sos, Little Red Riding Hood. … Read More
Named after a Danish fairy tale, UK trio Esben and the Witch create a dense, chilling, and spellbinding world within the layered sonics of their debut album.
Evocative of a dark alliance formed between Florence and the Machine and the women of Warpaint, Violet Cries is filled with songs whose titles loom as large as their enveloping atmospherics: “Hexagons IV,” “Eumenides,” and, more bluntly, “Warpath.” At its most grandiose, it’s a call to arms (“Battlecry” and “Marching Song” are other titular clues you’ll discover), while at its subtlest, it’s the soundtrack to every spooky fable — including the one from which the band takes its moniker. … Read More