If you haven’t gathered as much from the rash of think-pieces and tributes (we suggest you read these instead), tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. While the many words you may read in the next few weeks about Cobain’s legacy demonstrate his importance to generations of listeners (and music journalists), it’s also pretty clear that Cobain and Nirvana are a heavy influence on the bands that followed in their footsteps — and even some of their contemporaries and predecessors. It’s a ballsy move to cover a classic Nirvana song, and there have been some famous artists who have tackled the obvious ones (particularly Tori Amos and Patti Smith, who have both recorded famous version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”). There are also, however, plenty of musicians who came before and after Kurt Cobain who have successfully put their own spin on his words. … Read More
You’d think it would be hard for a music video that’s practically a still life to offend anyone, but this year prepster darlings Vampire Weekend have been taking heat for the video for new single “Diane Young,” which shows an old Saab bursting into flames with downtown Manhattan in the background. Frontman Ezra Koenig has clarified that the vehicles in question were old, out of order, and dirt cheap — and we’d like to remind the offended car lovers that Vampire Weekend are hardly the most extreme when it comes to making destructive music videos. Read on for the most chaotic clips, from combusting drum sets to a kids’ birthday party from hell to a Hunger Games-style rap epic. … Read More
Why is it that when times are tough, things like movie and concert tickets only seem to get more expensive? Well, don’t worry: We feel your financial pain. As cities across the country gear up for summers packed with free shows and screenings, we want to make sure you know that you don’t have to live in a major metropolis (or risk bug bites and butt numbness) to get your gratis film and music fix. The internet abounds with excellent music documentaries you can watch right on your computer. Check out ten of our favorites, from the Pixies to the Flaming Lips, after the jump. … Read More
The last — actually, the only — time I saw Jay Reatard, he was opening for the Pixies. He took the stage wordlessly, his face obscured entirely by strands of long, curly, blond hair. He didn’t speak to the crowd at all, save to shout out the title of each song as he and the band launched into… Read More
After multiple Twitter rumors prompted a post from Brooklyn Vegan and a confirmation from The Commercial Appeal, we’re sorry to report that the rumor is true. Memphis garage rocker Jay Reatard has died at 29.
From the Matador blog:
We are devastated by the death of Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., aka Jay Reatard. Jay was as full of life as anyone we’ve ever met, and responsible for so many memorable moments as a person and artist. We’re honored to have known and worked with him, and we will miss him terribly.
According to Goner Records, Lindsey’s former label, he died at home in his sleep last night; funeral arrangements have yet to be made public. Memphis police spokesperson Jennifer Robinson has said that an investigation is ongoing. If you never experienced Reatard’s garage-punk assault live, then you missed out on a performance that was consistently raw, furious, and inimitable. He will be missed.
Watch “Waiting For Something,” a short doc on his career, after the jump. … Read More
Jim DeRogatis, veteran Chicago Sun-Times music critic, has a beef with the Pixies’ latest tour. This time, the band that reunited in 2004 is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its classic album Doolittle by performing the record in full. The notoriously cranky DeRogatis refers to Black Francis, Kim Deal and co. as “a cynical corporation cashing in on blatant nostalgia — a hipper version of Creedence Clearwater Revisited or Journey,” and calls them out for failing to produce any new music in the five years since they’ve been back together. And as far as the show itself goes, well, according to DeRogatis, “None of it was embarrassing, but none of it was extraordinary, either.”
Although we were slightly daunted by this take-down, we showed up optimistic and excited to last night’s Pixies performance at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. And we were far from disappointed. After the jump, we give ten (admittedly Kim Deal-oriented) reasons why Jim DeRogatis is wrong about the Doolittle… Read More
Earlier today Jay Reatard unleashed a garage-punk assault on his former bandmates on Twitter; like his live shows, it was both raw and furious. They were meant to be touring this fall to promote his latest album Watch Me Fall with dates starting next week in Seattle. There’s no word yet on why they quit or if he’ll look for replacements, but what we’re really wondering is, is this the first time a band has broken up so publicly on Twitter? [via… Read More
Free MP3s are great, but they’re even better when they’re for new tracks from some of the bigger names in indie music. We also like to keep things fresh over here at Flavorpill, so we’ve also included a crop of new faces for your listening pleasure, too. Chances are you’ll probably end up liking them just as much — if not more. Click through for downloads from our last Viva Radio playlist, and be sure to check back and listen to the show itself. We update every week. … Read More
So, Pitchfork has handily given you the top 20 worst album covers of the year, and in the spirit of the season (and listicles!), we’ve been similarly inspired to come up with our picks for the ten worst band names — for ten great bands. Don’t hold their monikers against them! After the jump, with help from fellow in-house music dorks, we count ‘em down. … Read More