There’s no such thing as bad publicity, goes the old Madison Ave truism. But is it actually true? Boards of Canada’s epic album-announcement promotion stunt got them a whole lot of coverage in various publications that don’t normally go in for cerebral electronica, so in that respect it was presumably a success — but let’s be honest, it was also kind of a pain in the ass, especially for fans who’ve been waiting eight years for a new album and don’t appreciate being teased on top of that. Internet marketing is an inexact science, and when artists get it wrong, the results can be at best irritating and at worst counter-productive. Like this lot, for instance.
Nine Inch Nails
The good folk at Dangerous Minds are great at unearthing amazing YouTube rarities, and they outdid themselves last week with a 1971 performance by Ike and Tina Turner, which goes down in history as one of the most subtly filthy live performances we’ve ever seen — it’s basically one long allusion to oral sex, with Tina spending most of her time doing very, very suggestive things to the microphone, and while Ike’s ophidian glare still gives us the creeps, he does make some glorious slurping noises into his own mic. The crowd clearly knows exactly what’s going on, sniggering throughout, and the whole thing’s a testament to just how filthy music could be, even in an era that was still comparatively conservative. Anyway, the spectacle got us thinking about our favorite dirty songs, the best of which we have shared after the jump. Don’t play these while your boss is around. Obviously. … Read More
An exhibition opening April 3 at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image will celebrate music videos as an art form at the “forefront of creative technology, its role in pushing the boundaries of innovative production, its important role as an experimental sandbox for filmmakers, and its lasting effects on popular culture globally.” This news got us thinking about the boldest images from music videos — those works that helped break the barriers of censorship and became the most controversial of all time. Click through to see ten music videos (many of them NSFW) that pushed the envelope and made… Read More
1. Forget being re-elected; we imagine Joe Biden’s even more excited to have landed a cameo on Parks and Recreation. The episode in which he appears will air next Thursday, November 15th. We hope Leslie Knope will be able to contain herself. Check out a video preview of Biden’s appearance at
Piramida, the new album by Danish five-piece Efterklang, is out this week. The album continues Efterklang’s march away from the experimental weirdness of their early recordings toward a more conventional sound, and it’s also a pretty somber-sounding piece of work — perhaps because it’s based on field recordings that the band took in a crazy-looking abandoned mining town in the Arctic Circle. Indeed, the backstory to Piramida is pretty fascinating, and it got us thinking about albums that were recorded in similarly exotic locales. We’ve put together a selection, and as ever, we’re open to suggestions. (Just please for the love of god don’t mention Bon Iver and his damn cabin.) … Read More
It’s been quite a year for the Flaming Lips — they’ve released something pretty much every month, including a 24-hour song and an EP in a gummy bear skull. And, of course, they’ve managed to thoroughly piss off Erykah Badu by releasing an unapproved cut of the video for “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face.” The video understandably caused quite a stir, given that it involved Badu’s sister Nayrok sitting stark naked in bathtubs full of glitter, blood, and a substance that looked like it was supposed to be semen. After Badu went public with her concerns about the video, it was expunged from the Internet — so with the album from which the song is taken, namely The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, finally getting a proper release this week — we thought we’d round up some other, um, challenging videos for your viewing pleasure. Like most Flaming Lips videos, these are all pretty NSFW, but as far as we’re aware, they were made with the full consent of all involved. … Read More
We’re not prepared to say that this video is either “good” or “bad” — what’s important is that it actually exists. What you see below is pop-industrial god Trent Reznor singing Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face” in his early-’80s cover band, The Urge. The video quality here is poor, but you’ll still be able to make out his nigh-on-Flock-of-Seagulls haircut. As funny as this (and the other ’80s Reznor clips Dangerous Minds digs up) may be, let’s remember that most of us have probably had some fairly humiliating early-career moments that we wouldn’t want to see surface on YouTube should we ever get famous. … Read More
One of the small joys of seeing a successful film can be the seamless way in which the soundtrack complements the images and dialogue on screen. Whether an original score, re-purposed compositions from elsewhere, or a collection of classic or contemporary pop songs, many great films have been elevated by the music they’ve utilized. Think of Bernard Hermann’s brilliantly jarring score for Vertigo; the way in which Trainspotting underscored key moments via the songs of Lou Reed and Underworld; McCabe and Mrs. Miller‘s anachronistic yet spot-on use of Leonard Cohen; and Spike Lee choosing Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” to open Do the Right Thing.
What follows is a list of instances where that perfect blend of music and film hasn’t been achieved — where terrific songs have found their way into a thoroughly flawed film, for instance, or where a not-entirely-successful experiment in pacing and tone nonetheless is bolstered by a selection of majestic songs. … Read More
The way the music press has been flipping over Rihanna’s risqué new clip for “S&M,” you’d think she was the first musician ever to use bondage or sadomasochistic imagery in a music video. Of course, she’s far from it. Even before MTV, artists used whips and chains to spice up their act. After the jump, we take you from the Velvet Underground to Ri Ri in a brief history of BDSM in music videos. … Read More