New Order

The Untold Stories Behind 10 Rock ‘n’ Roll Threesomes

There are lots of rock songs about sex, but a whole lot fewer about menages à trois, and you can see why: the ones that do exist are almost universally terrible. This seems like a blot on the music industry’s collective copybook, so we figured there might be some merit in investigating the circumstances behind a bunch of famous threesome songs. You’ll never believe what happened next! … Read More

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25 of the Best Sophomore Albums Ever Made

You know how it goes: a band or a musician puts out a stellar first album, receives heaps of praise and success, and then goes back to the recording studio and turns out a second album. What a bummer, it’s not as good. But is this trend a real thing, or just a myth fueled by how disappointed we, as listeners and critics, can be when artists’ albums don’t live up to our expectations? What follows shows that plenty of great artists were able to avoid the sophomore slump — and, in some cases, turned out the best album of their careers.… Read More

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10 Famous Musicians’ Hilarious and Surprising Ad Jingles

Brand endorsement is an eternally tricky thing and can easily segue into crass commercialism if not presented thoughtfully. That’s what these musicians must have struggled with when the sponsors came calling for their pound of flesh — but then again, a large paycheck is a seductive thing on its own. Here are ten stars who sang about soda, cereal, and more with dollar signs in their eyes — most of whom we never expected to see belting one out for the ad man. … Read More

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The Smiths and Joy Division Albums As Shelves of Books

There are certain songwriters whose work has a decidedly literary bent, so much so that you could totally imagine their songs being turned into prose — or, maybe, their entire albums into books. Such is the idea behind these prints from UK design studio Standard Designs, which reimagine classic albums by The Smiths, Joy Division, and New Order as shelves of books. They’re pretty great, honestly, and they’re for sale — if you fancy investing, the prints are available via this Etsy shop. … Read More

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12 Notable Music Videos Directed by Famous Filmmakers

As we reported last week, Gaspar Noé — the man responsible for the French films Enter the Void and, shudder, Irreversible — has directed the video for the rather excellent new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds single “We No Who U R.” The video is rather restrained by Noé’s standards, but it fits the song beautifully, and it got us thinking about other well-known directors who’ve moonlighted in making music videos. There have been plenty over the years, some triumphant, some rather less so — so here’s a selection for your viewing delectation! Marvel, giggle, shake your head in despair, and then let us know if we missed any. … Read More

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The 10 Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Bands To Dance To

Lonerism, the new album by the most excellent and hyper-talented Australian psych band Tame Impala is out today, and we’ve been enjoying it immensely. Perhaps the best thing about the band is that their music is as danceable as it is psychedelically wigged-out — something that’s perhaps more surprising than it should be. Happily, the dance music/rock music divide is far less pronounced than it used to be, but still, we go to far too many rock shows where everyone but us is just kinda standing and nodding their heads. So to celebrate Lonerism, we’ve selected some of our other favorite guitar-focused bands for jumping around like a lunatic to. Who are your choices? … Read More

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A Selection of Bands Who Should Never, Ever Have Reunited

Rumors of a Smiths reunion ruled the Internet for the past week — apparently someone at Coachella has had the genius idea of luring Morrissey with the offer to make the festival 100% vegetarian if the Smiths played. But, of course, it’s not going to happen, which is probably for the best. While the idea of being able to finally see one of the best bands of the ’80s playing live is definitely an appealing one, we’re still not entirely sure how we’d feel if the impossible did come to pass. Honestly, we can’t see it lasting long — it wasn’t so long ago that The Smiths were slugging it out in court, after all, with the presiding judge memorably describing Morrissey as “truculent, devious and unreliable.” There are some bands whose interpersonal relationships, or lack thereof, seem to preclude successful reunions. Like this lot, for instance — it’s not that the performances were necessarily bad, but they were simply doomed from the start… … Read More

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15 Famous Art-Influenced Album Covers

Is it odd when an ’80s New Wave band recreates an 1860s pre-Impressionist painting? Nah. Here you will find album covers that pay homage/allude to/imitate/rip-off famous works of art and iconic photographs, from almost near replicas to stealthy appropriations of the work’s key elements to tributes to specific artists’ very definitive styles. From the White Stripes’ very De Stijl De Stijl to Joni Mitchell in Van Gogh drag to Rembrandt à la Rammstein, see fifteen of our picks here. We’re sure there are many, many more. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments! … Read More

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Hear New Order’s Newly Released 18-Minute Ian Curtis Tribute, “Elegia”

Most casual New Order fans know “Elegia” as a five-minute instrumental interlude from the 1985 album Low-Life. In fact, that song is an excerpt from a longer, 18-minute tribute to Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, which has only appeared on the band’s 2002 box set, Retro — until now. The indie label Slow to Speak has just released the Elegia EP, containing the full version of the title track, along with a Peel Sessions cut of “5-8-6″ and another recording dedicated to Curtis, “The Him” from New Order’s Movement. The unabridged “Elegia” is a gauzy, unusually sedate composition, recalling the band’s goth contemporaries more than anything from their own catalog. You can hear it after the jump, and visit Dope Jams to buy the EP. … Read More

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10 of Music’s Most Delightfully Dark Pop Songs

The new Zambri record House of Baasa is out today, and if you’re as partial to dark pop music as we are, you’ll find plenty to like in its combination of ominous atmospherics and hugely catchy melodies. We’ve had the record on high rotation, and it’s gotten us thinking about some other dark pop classics from over the years. The art of writing a pop song that’s as catchy as it is ominous and/or disconcerting is a fine one, and it’s been responsible for some of our favorite music. Check out our selections after the jump, and let us know yours. … Read More

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