As you’ve probably heard, there’s a new Lauryn Hill song. It sounds… well, it sounds like it was recorded in a hurry to pay off a tax bill, which is apparently exactly the case (unfortunately, the quickie release didn’t save Hill from a three-month jail sentence). The vocals and lyrics are decent enough, but the beat sounds like it was slapped together in GarageBand with deadlines in mind. Of course, Hill’s not exactly the first artist to have to make a record under duress; here’s a selection of records made for weird reasons over the years, some hilarious, some sadly rather less so. … Read More
It’s hard out there for a rock star. All those people out there venerating your image and hanging on your every word — you really have to choose your words carefully. Someone’s always going to remember them. To that end, Jeremy Simmonds, London-based rock writer and author of The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns and Ham Sandwiches, which just hit shelves this month, has put together a list of famous last words — and we mean very last words — from some of our favorite musicians. ”Rock musicians – bless ‘em,” Simmonds writes. ”They spend their entire lives trying to create the perfect couplet, the lyric that will speak either to the faithful concert crowd, or perhaps just that one dedicated follower sitting alone in his bedsit, wishing he’d thought of it. And while some artists may kill themselves in achieving this, there are as many who might just die trying. However, when the final moment does arrive, even the most articulate can struggle to find the right words…” Read on to find out just what those words, right or wrong, might be. … Read More
As of this week, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea is 50, a fact that makes us feel a little older and a little grayer ourselves. But we also noticed that Mr. Balzary just about shares a birthday with… Ginuwine! Remember him? “Pony”? That video in the hillbilly club? That utterly filthy bassline? The cosmic coincidence got us thinking about some of the other naughty, naughty basslines from throughout the history of music — of all instruments, bass has the power to get the hips shaking, both on the dance floor and, y’know, elsewhere. We’ve selected some of our favorites, so let us know your suggestions, too. Just don’t do anything unspeakable in the comments section. … Read More
Last week we published a list of what we considered to be some of the worst political songs ever — the trite, the mawkish, the hopelessly naïve. Predictably enough, the feature generated plenty of comment section debate, including one call for a corresponding list of good political songs. We actually ran a feature a while back about good 21st-century political anthems, but still, your wish is our command — so without doubling up any, here’s a selection of songs we consider to be as moving and effective as those other songs are banal and ineffective. Your comments are, as ever, welcome. … Read More
1. It’s official: Francis Lawrence (Water for Elephants, I Am Legend, Constantine) will direct Catching Fire, the second installment of The Hunger Games franchise, with production on the film slated to begin in August. [via Deadline]
2. Should we be worried that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has cast his Angels in the Outfield costar Tony… Read More
If you’re in any way a regular Flavorwire reader, you’ll probably have noticed that we’ve been quietly beside ourselves for several months now at the prospect of a new Spiritualized album. Sweet Heart Sweet Light is finally here, but we’ve spent the intervening weeks listening to a whole lot of the band’s back catalog — including, of course, their 1997 classic Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. Aside from being one of our favorite albums ever, Ladies and Gentlemen… is one of the best breakup records you’ll ever hear, its conception coinciding with Spiritualized main man Jason Pierce parting ways with keyboard player Kate Radley. Having the record on constant rotation led us to wallowing in some of our other favorite breakup albums — so here are ten of the best. … Read More
If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: the most legendary of libertines, Don Juan. … Read More
A couple of weeks back, our redoubtable resident film expert Jason Bailey took a look at the most shameless paycheck performances in cinema history. They’re united by being pretty dreadful, and they got us thinking about similar situations in the world of music — specifically, albums that have been made to fulfill contractual obligations or other legal necessities. Curiously enough, while there have certainly been some terrible records made for such reasons over the years — either disinterested, lackluster or deliberately bad — there have also been some great ones, where legal wrangles and contract-related adversity somehow catalysed artistic inspiration. We’ve rummaged through our record crate and came up with some examples of each — let us know if you’ve got any more to add on either front. … Read More
Yesterday, HBO Films announced plans for the upcoming movie The Day the Laughter Stopped, based on the true story of Fatty Arbuckle, the wildly popular silent movie comic (second only to Chaplin) whose career was brought to a screeching halt when he was falsely accused of raping and murdering a starlet named Virginia Rappe at a Labor Day party in 1921. Though he was ultimately acquitted of the crime, Arbuckle’s reputation was ruined forever, and in the wake of the scandal, Hollywood studios cracked down on both on-screen sex and the off-screen lives of their stars.
Good movie material, yeah? We’ve thought so for years, and look forward to seeing what John Adams writer Kirk Ellis, You Don’t Know Jack director Barry Levinson, and Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet (we’d always seen Oliver Platt in the role, but that’s neither here nor there) come up with. Meanwhile, the recent, surprise release of the West Memphis Three has provided filmmaker Atom Egoyan with an unexpectedly upbeat ending to his already-in-the-works WM3 film. Both of these tidbits got us thinking about some of the real lives we’d like to see get the biopic treatment. Check out our picks after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
Had he lived, Tupac Shakur would have celebrated his 40th birthday this summer. It’s interesting to contemplate what a grizzled Tupac would sound like; The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Shakur’s first posthumously released album, introduced his darker side, a sinister, new sound that, unfortunately, never got the chance to evolve. While the rapper is now notorious for his posthumous albums, having released nine since his death in 1996, The Don Killuminati puts most of Shakur’s early discography to shame.
While it’s true that posthumous albums can be exploitative, pushed onto the market by opportunistic handlers and record labels (ahem, Michael), they can also can be legitimate contributions to an artist’s discography and true gifts to their fans. Now, in hopes that chatter about new material from the late Amy Winehouse will add up to more than just an attempt to cash in, we’ve collected 15 great records that gave dearly departed musicians new life. … Read More