It’s always a strange thing to get upset about the death of someone you don’t know personally, but I remember exactly how I felt when I heard that Joe Strummer had died of a heart attack at just 50, a decade ago today. It wasn’t a melodramatic, teeth-gnashing kind of feeling — it was more like a quiet hollowness, a sadness that a person who’d been an indirect but significant influence on my life was no longer on this earth. As we get older we tend to forget how profoundly art — and, especially, music — affects us when we’re young. So if you’ll permit a bit of personal reminiscence here, dear readers, here’s why Joe Strummer and the Clash really were the only band that mattered to me for a while in my life, and are part of the reason why I’m sitting here writing this for Flavorwire, 10 years after Strummer passed away. … Read More
We’re generally skeptical about the consumerist crapfest that is Black Friday — spend Thursday giving thanks for everything you do have, and wake up early the day after to throw elbows like crazy at your fellow shoppers to spend a shitload of cash on everything you don’t have — but if there’s one thing we do like buying, it’s music. Happily, Black Friday does tend to bring a decent amount of music-related specials, mostly via the folks at Record Store Day. As such, we’ve dutifully thumbed through this year’s list of special releases to sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff, and shared our shopping list after the jump. What’s caught your fancy this year? … Read More
1. Jay-Z has announced plans to stream the last of his eight concerts at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on YouTube. The footage will air tomorrow night beginning at 9:30pm EST on the rapper’s new Life and Times channel on the site. [via Hitfix]
2. “Motherf—ker fired Big Bird and won! Beloved children’s… Read More
We all know what our favorite musicians are like on stage — whether they’re shy or flamboyant, whether they’re chatty or businesslike, whether they’re funny or taciturn. But we also know that what we’re seeing on stage is ultimately a performance. Off stage, however, it’s a completely different matter, and thus backstage photography has always provided an interesting insight into the music world, particularly when the photos in question aren’t posed or contrived. We’ve pulled together a collection of such photos, images that seem to capture sides to performers that we rarely get to see, giving a glimpse of the person behind the persona — whether it’s a tearful Kurt Cobain slumped in a corner, Bob Marley playing soccer, or Lemmy reading a book (with nary a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in sight!), these are like all great photos in that they capture a moment in time and in doing so also capture some part of the subject’s personality. We hope you enjoy… Read More
Occasionally, we get into conversations here at Flavorpill central about truly pop-culture geeky things — like, for instance, the best obscure films featuring performances from well-known musicians. The catalyst for this particular discussion was our own Judy Berman’s recent viewing of Copkiller, a straight-to-video Italian B-movie starring none other than Johnny Rotten (and Harvey Keitel, bless him). The sorry spectacle got us thinking about similar performances — either films you’ve never heard of featuring musicians you have, or films you’ve heard of that you never knew your favorite musician was in! We’ve rounded up our favorites, and welcome your suggestions in the comments. … Read More
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. … Read More
1. Old Ideas, the lovely Leonard Cohen’s first studio album in seven years, isn’t due out until January, but you can already stream one of the tracks called “Show Me The Place” here.
2. Julie Delpy has signed on to direct The Right Profile, a biopic about Clash frontman Joe Strummer that will… Read More
With the news that REM have gone their own separate ways, we can look at their discography in its entirety — and, in particular, at how their final album Collapse into Now (with its retrospectively portentous cover shot of Michael Stipe waving goodbye) fits into their body of work, the highlights of which have been collected in the box set Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982 – 2011, out today. We really rather like Collapse into Now — it’s definitely better than Around the Sun and Accelerate, and makes for a worthy conclusion to a fine career. But it also got us thinking about bands that really went out with a bang, and so we’ve pulled together a selection of our very favorite final albums. Suggestions are, as ever, welcome. (Just a caveat, though: since the idea is to look at albums that ended relatively lengthy careers, we’re not counting artists who only made one or two albums — so no Closer, Spiderland, Loveless, etc.) … Read More
America’s most famous street artist, Shepard Fairey, has always been a big music fan. As he mentions on his website, it was album cover art — not graffiti — that first caught his attention. “Album covers conjured a euphoric association with the listening experience. Most of my earliest home-made tee shirts were stencils based on punk album covers,” he writes. Fairey channeled his love of music into REVOLUTIONS, an exhibition of original album covers, which showed in March and April at Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica.
Now, the artist is releasing the works in two 36-print box sets, each with a run of only 150 copies. Dance Floor Riot, composed mostly of revolutionary-tinged punk, New Wave, and funk images, will go on sale here some time between 10am and noon PT (that’s 1-3pm ET) today for $950. Tomorrow, collectors will have a chance to buy the scuzz-rock-and-metal-obsessed Party at the Moontower set (yes, that’s a Dazed and Confused reference) at the same time, place, and price point tomorrow. See some of our favorite works from the box sets, depicting everyone from Joan Jett to Jack White to Little Richard, after the jump. … Read More
Since playing music is so much about being on the road, and since rock ‘n’ roll is so much about being reckless and young and fast, it’s no wonder that so many rock icons have been photographed and immortalized with their cars. Click through to see a roundup of 10 of our favorite photographs of famous musicians mugging alongside their rides. … Read More