Last week we ran a post on the people who we thought were rock ‘n’ roll’s most underrated lyricists — artists who don’t get the credit they deserve for their writing, either because they’re better known as guitarists/producers/crazy performers, or just because they’re generally underappreciated. We got some great feedback, and some excellent suggestions in the comments section, and all was very congenial. But last week’s post does raise one obvious question: If those were rock ‘n’ roll’s most underrated lyricists, who are its most overrated? We’ve taken the plunge and put together a list of the latter. Again, to be clear, this isn’t meant to be any sort of definitive list of worst lyrics or lyricists — Des’ree, your throne is secure — just those who we reckon don’t get enough scrutiny for being either a) not that great or b) not quite as great as people seem to think they are. So, what say you, readers? Are there more names you’d like to nominate? Or do we just need to join the witness protection program? … Read More
Gloom-rock titans White Lies sidestep the Joy Division comparisons on their sophomore album, embracing electronic elements and channeling Depeche Mode via Interpol.
While the band’s dark edge remains, Ritual finds it moving into dancier territory, but remaining equally, icily epic. Meanwhile, less talk of death and more mention of love offers hints of optimism, while a supplemental short film (see below) co-written by bassist Charles Cave adds to the overall wide-screen effect. … Read More
The fourth album from New York indie heroes Interpol marks their return to Matador Records, the departure of bassist Carlos D., and a confident hit of the reset button.
While the bass player did record the self-titled album with the band, he chose to part ways soon after, leaving the group as a trio for the first time. Fortunately, some heavy hitters have been added to the touring lineup: indie mainstay David Pajo (Slint, Zwan, Papa M) on bass and Secret Machines frontman Brandon Curtis on keys. … Read More
It’s been an especially great few days for new music. This week’s mix features eagerly awaited releases (Panda Bear, Interpol) and singles that are dying to be heard (The Knocks, Fitz & the Tantrums) and then heard some more. So, without further ado, Right Click + Save As your next 10 fresh cuts after the jump. … Read More
1. Legendary jazz singer, actress, and civil rights icon Lena Horne died yesterday at the age of 92. [via NYT]
2. In a graduation speech at Hampton University on Sunday, President Obama called the iPad, and other popular electronic devices, a “distraction… rather than the means of emancipation.” Thoughts? [via CNET]
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1. TIME magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world is out; A-listers like Banksy to Conan O’Brien are namechecked and the cover pairs Lady Gaga with Bill Clinton. [via TIME]
2. OMFG, WTF is Paramount doing making a Magic 8-Ball movie? “Reply hazy, try again.” [via Vulture]
3. Interpol! Remember them? They’ve just released a new song called “Lights.” What does it sound like? No idea, since the download didn’t work, but if I had to guess I’d say “dark,” heavy on the reverb, and lyrically confusing. [via Stereogum]
4. Unlikely female triumvirate alert: Sarah Silverman is in talks to co-star with Michelle Williams (actress featured in several topographically-based dramas such as Dawson’s Creek, Brokeback Mountain, Shutter Island) in Sarah Polley’s directorial feature Take This Waltz. [via Variety]
5. New York mag’s veteran party reported Jada Yuan had dinner with the “capriciously moody” Bill Murray and survived to tell the tale. [via… Read More
1. Pitchfork reviews the Beatles reissues. A Hard Day’s Night scores a 9.7, but With the Beatles doesn’t fare so well — an 8.8. [via Pitchfork]
2. Charles Burnett will direct a feature-length documentary about Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. [via THR]
3. The shortlist for this year’s Man Booker… Read More
Remember when Williamsburg was just a collection of warehouses? Longtime Brooklyn dwellers Sam Brumbaugh and Bronwyn Keenan sure do. Sam Brumbaugh, writer of Goodbye, Goodness, and Bronwyn Keenan, the Guggenheim’s Director of Special Events, recognize how far Brooklyn has come in its artistic development, going so far as to dub it a “renaissance.” To commemorate the borough’s achievements and to celebrate the museum’s 50th anniversary, they’ve co-produced a concert series called “It Came From Brooklyn,” to take place in the famous rotunda, designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd… Read More
Julian Plenti is the alter ego of Interpol frontman Paul Banks, who releases his debut solo album this week.
While there’s no mistaking the inimitable singer’s ominously captivating vocals, as Julian Plenti, Banks is free to explore wider territory than with his suited-for-brooding band. In fact, Julian Plenti Is… Skyscraper sounds downright uplifting at times (most notably on the Polyphonic Spree-esque “Unwind”); at others, it relaxes into string-laced acoustic melancholy. … Read More