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The Most Bizarre Celebrity PSAs of All Time

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As our friends at Open Culture recently pointed out, the heyday of the public service announcement has passed. The Internet is our new gateway for learning about social issues — once you sort through all the false information, of course. When we saw a cheeky anti-smoking PSA from John Waters, we got a hankering for more vintage awareness videos with a bizarre twist. Go henceforth to see what the Pope of Trash had to say about cigarettes, and enjoy other PSAs that mesmerize with their well-intentioned weirdness.
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The Most Insanely Prolific Artists in Music

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This week sees the release of Ocean Roar, the new record by Phil Elverum, aka Mount Eerie. Apart from being a rather lovely record in its own right, Ocean Roar is notable for being the second Mount Eerie record of the year, following May’s similarly excellent Clear Moon. This makes Elverum one of 2012’s more prolific musicians, although not necessarily the most prolific, because a couple of the music world’s most famously productive musicians have also had busy years. You’ll find a rundown of these super-busy types, along with some of music’s most prolific artists, past and present, after the jump — as ever, feel free to jump in with further suggestions in the comments section.
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The Bands Responsible for Music’s Most Hilarious Song Titles

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We are excited about the arrival of the new Future of the Left record, which is out this week and — despite what you might read elsewhere — is pretty great and thoroughly worth hearing. Among other things, it includes a song called “Robocop 4 — Fuck Off Robocop,” which goes straight into the pantheon of Great Song Titles of Our Time. It’ll find a home there amongst several other Falkous compositions — he’s been responsible for some killers over the years, both with Future of the Left and their predecessors mclusky. We do love the art of a good song title, and we’ve always been partial to bands who can adorn their songs with names that make us giggle, so here’s a selection of some of our other favorites. What are yours?
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A Selection of Streets Named After Musicians from Around the World

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We wrote a couple of days back about the new posthumous Joey Ramone album, and while we’re not entirely convinced by the record and the philosophy that underlies it, it is nice to see the Ramones continuing to get some recognition, albeit far more belatedly than they should have done. The most famous way in which the band’s legacy has been commemorated has been the decision to rename part of 2nd Street in Manhattan “Joey Ramone Way,” a street sign that immediately made its way to the top of hoarders’ lists. It’s certainly not the only street around the world named after a famous musician, mind — check out 10 of them after the jump.
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Music’s Greatest Lessons About Growing Up and How to Live Your Life

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It’s graduation week, and we guess that means at least some of you are preparing to leave college behind for good. If you’ll allow us to get a little misty-eyed for a minute, we remember when we were in the same position, and it’s both exhilarating and frightening — suddenly the future is a big empty space, just waiting to be filled in. Happily, as ever, there’s at least some solace to be found in music, and there’ve been plenty of great songs written over the years about life and how to live it. So here’s a playlist of some of our favorite tracks with something to say on what life’s all about, and how you go about negotiating your way through it. Let us know if there are any lessons you’d like to share, too.
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10 of the Most Wonderfully Versatile Contemporary Musicians

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As you’ll no doubt have gathered from our Geoff Barrow interview earlier today, the Portishead producer has a new record out this week. After a decade of near-silence, Barrow’s suddenly become hugely prolific over the last five years or so, and he’s also proven pleasantly versatile. With another similarly multi-talented musical polymath also releasing a record this week — Damon Albarn, whose soundtrack album for opera Dr Dee dropped on Monday — we thought we’d have a look at some of our other favorite similarly versatile composers (not, we hasten to add, classical composers, an area in which we don’t pretend to have any sort of knowledge).
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Readers' Choice: A Further Selection of Spectacularly Offensive Songs

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Last week, we published a selection of what we thought were some of the most gloriously offensive songs in musical history. The article gave rise to a heap of comments from our readers, stimulating (ahem) some healthy debate and providing us with plenty of suggestions as to others songs we could have included. There was a long discussion of whether “Brown Sugar” was really about heroin (the answer: no), but there were also some great nominations, so we’ve put together a readers’ choice selection after the jump. And, again, we’ve excluded genres whose entire raison d’etre is to shock — i.e. grindcore — so, apologies, but still no Cannibal Corpse.
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10 of the Most Gloriously Offensive Songs in History

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The ever-reliable Jamie Stewart has outdone himself on the new Xiu Xiu album, Always (out this week), by including a song called “I Luv Abortion.” Bless. According to Stewart, the song is a song about a friend who “had an abortion out of love,” and is also “a big fuck you to the right wing in America.” We’re sure it’ll make for endless talk-radio fodder should Rush Limbaugh et al get hold of it, and that got us thinking about some of the other songs that have outraged middle America — and various other groups — over the years. We’ve put together a collection of some of the best and/or most noteworthy, both genuinely offensive and unfairly maligned. (Note: as with our gruesome songs feature a while back, this is essentially a light-hearted list, so there’s no Cannibal Corpse, etc. Sorry. Otherwise it’d be all grindcore, though.)
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