Green Day

Rock Hall Nominees 2015: A Realistic Guide to Their Chances

Every fall, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces the nominees for the following year’s induction ceremony, and every fall, music fans find new reasons to fault the organization. Sure, I’m perpetually disappointed by the lack of female inductees, but that’s as much about rock history being dominated by men as it is about the nomination committee’s views, which are tangled up in all kinds of Rolling Stone think. (I’m also disappointed by the ongoing snub of ELO; why don’t people realize the genius of Jeff Lynne outside of their hits?!) Point is, most people who still care about the Rock Hall recognize at least one flaw within the Hall’s selections. … Read More

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The History of the World in 15 Music Videos

Even before the advent of videos, pop music did a decent job of educating the youth. As Bruce Springsteen sang on “No Surrender,” he and his fellow baby boomers “learned more from a three-minute record” than they ever did in school. The Boss is a sharp guy, but had he come of age in the MTV era, he’d be about a hundred times smarter. … Read More

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The Evolution of the Mental Hospital in Music Videos, From Björk and ‘N Sync to JJ

Swedish pop duo JJ recently released the video for their single “All White Everything.” The film is set in a mental institution, and director Olivia Kastebring imagines lead singer Elin Kastlander as a patient in a fittingly all-white environment, the footage intercut with a white-sequined contortionist who looks like the ghost of Pickle Surprise. From the powder on the floor to the patients’ white eyeliner to the contortionist’s costume, all surfaces in the video evoke the texture, colorlessness, and the emotional erasure of Xanax. The video wavers, from shot to shot, between being beautiful, unintentionally silly, and utterly disturbing in its aestheticization of the mental hospital setting. But it certainly isn’t the first music video to do so. Much like da club, da mental hospital has pervaded music videos for decades, most notably in the 1990s. … Read More

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Don’t Believe the Nostalgia Machine: 1994 Was a Shitty Year for Music

It’s a strange thing to see an era you remember being regurgitated by the nostalgia machine. The last couple of years have been a constant stream of early-’90s anniversaries: Nevermind! Dazed and Confused! My So-Called Life! It’s not like we didn’t see this coming, of course — culture tends to move in generational 20ish-year cycles, so a resurgence of interest in the ’90s was inevitable. (And, of course, these days culture bloggers just love a good anniversary as an excuse for a think-piece, a trend from which this site is certainly not exempt.) Sure, the early ’90s were a rich flourishing of culture after the desert that was the late ’80s. But this year, we’re at the 20th anniversary of 1994. And listen: 1994 was shit. … Read More

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10 of the Worst Band Logos You’ll Ever See

The Rolling Stones were in the news recently — not for their 50th anniversary, but because their fans apparently hate the logo that’s been designed to commemorate said anniversary. In fairness, you can hardly blame them, since the image in question involves sticking the band’s signature lips-and-tongue image on, um, a silverback gorilla. Designer Walton Ford seems pretty happy with the backlash; “The last people I wanted to please,” he told Rolling Stone this week, “were Rolling Stones fans.” Anyway, love it or hate it, the logo got us thinking about some truly dreadful exercises in band branding. Here are some of our favorites. … Read More

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Musicians Past and Present on the Idea of “Selling Out”

There’s been quite a bit of discussion online about an interview Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy gave to the Chicago Grid earlier this week. Specifically, Tweedy discussed the fact that he licensed four of his songs to Volkswagen for a series of commercials, and the inevitable accusations of “selling out” that followed. Tweedy was unrepentant, arguing that “the idea of selling out is only understandable to people of privilege.” It’s always interesting to read what artists think about the whole idea of selling out, given that it’s something that fans seem the need to discuss ad infinitum. Here are some other perspectives from over the years. … Read More

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