Guns ‘N Roses
The defining musical style of the state of California largely depends on who you ask and what their allegiances are. Is it the West Coast hip-hop that came out of South Central LA in the late ’80s and early ’90s, which blended racial consciousness and gangsta rap in a way that’s never quite been duplicated since? Is it the SoCal punk scene, from X to Black Flag to the pop- and ska-tinged punk that dominated the ’90s? How about the Laurel Canyon sound that blended folk and rock, and spawned some of the greatest albums of the early ’70s? Or the classic rock of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury in the ’60s, as led by the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane? Or maybe it was the dripping-with-excess hard rock and hair metal scene that took shape on the Sunset Strip throughout the 1980s. And what about The Beach Boys and the generations of surf-pop imitators they spawned? When we heard that Best Coast was releasing an album called California Nights this week, we got to thinking: What’s the quintessential California sound? Our list of quintessential California albums is an attempt — or 30 — to answer that …Read More
So much of what we see and react to through the screens in our hands and on our desks is based on the Real World — like, the place your feet touch the ground and everything. So, let’s talk about that. Coyotes’ feet are (again) touching the ground in the real world of New York City, believe it or not. It’s funny, the hysterics people exhibit when faced with the possibility of a — gasp! — coyote in their city. This really is the city built as a sanctuary from the real (read: natural) world, I guess.
As long as there’s been music, there have been unpleasant lyrical descriptions based on the subject’s gender — songwriters have long been relying on stereotypes and/or on demonizing the opposite sex as a way of expressing their pain and heartbreak and resentment and whatever else is troubling them. None of this, of course, means that doing so is anything less than obnoxious, so as an exercise in symmetry, over the next couple of days, we’re looking at both misogyny and misandry (because, y’know, that’s a real thing!) in music. First, then, the misogynist side of the …Read More
There’s an art to the album opener — it doesn’t necessarily have to be the best or most commercially appealing song on the record, but it needs to grab the listener’s attention. It’ll often also serve as an introduction to the themes and/or sound of the album in question, a sort of preview of to what’s to come. And so it is that at Flavorwire central, we’ve been having one of our unabashedly nerdy music conversations about what are, in our collective opinion, the best examples of the form. Here’s a bumper list of 50 to talk …Read More
The music nerd contingent at Flavorwire central recently got a-talking about our favorite debut single. The list is nearly endless, but once you start to think about it, picking out the best isn’t quite as easy as you might think — “Alison” wasn’t Elvis Costello’s first single, for instance, nor was “Take Me Out” Franz Ferdinand’s debut or “Unfinished Sympathy” Massive Attack’s. Of course, this discussion inevitably led to list-making, and here’s the result: our picks for the 50 best debut singles the world of music has to …Read More
Y’know what they say about buses — you wait forever for one, and then two turn up at once. So it has proven with Justin Timberlake albums, with the key difference that the albums that have arrived this year aren’t so much buses as a couple of those gigantic stretch limos from Aphex Twin’s “Windowlicker” video. Both volumes of his The 20/20 Experience are contenders for the most overlong and overblown albums of the year, which is a shame, because their predecessor — 2006’s Futuresex/Lovesounds — was a well-crafted, lean pop delight. Still, for all that it’s kinda self-indulgent, the Timberlake double-act still has a ways to go to rival some of the truly overblown and self-indulgent records people have made over the years. Behold: the hall of shame.