How To Dress Well Interview: “I Have the Unique Luxury of Having Started a Trend and Not Being Bound by It”

See him on the street and Tom Krell is definitely Just A Dude. Hear the music the philosophy PhD candidate has made under the moniker How To Dress Well for the last five years, though, and Krell is a point of emotional projection. His three albums have all been critically acclaimed for their honesty and their ability to shed new light on well-trodden genres like R&B, ambient electronic, and now, pop. But his new album What Is This Heart? is… almost happy? “I do think I’m okay with this being a happier record, just so long as that happiness is like twinged with other stuff,” he says. “The sequencing and balance on the album is really important to me.” … Read More

  • 0

There’s Going to Be an Ayn Rand Musical: Links You Need to See

This weekend, the Internet will be overtaken by Coachella, but for now we can enjoy other worldly delights — a Peter Dinklage AMA, the prospect of a sci-fi Ayn Rand musical, some love for Pavement’s Wowee Zowee — in today’s link roundup. … Read More

  • 0

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

  • 0

15 of the Funniest Music Videos Ever Made

The music video is, by all accounts, as much of an art form as the feature-length film, although too often these mini musical movies are too serious. Still, plenty of artists have been able to show that they do, in fact, have senses of humor — not just in general, but even when it comes to their own public personae. Here are some of the best, many of which feature cameos from famous funny people to ensure the musicians don’t have to quit their day job. … Read More

  • 2

The 15 Best Stephen Malkmus Songs, Ranked

Stephen Malkmus nerds fans rejoiced last week when the former/sometimes Pavement frontman released his latest solo album, Wig Out at Jagbags. The latest LP with his backing band The Jicks, whose titled parodies that of Dag Nasty’s classic hardcore album, Wig Out at Denko’s, sees Malkmus and co. relying a little less on the Grateful Dead-esque jam sound they’ve made their own (although The Dead do get mentioned in the track “Lariat”). Instead, we get a jambalaya of influences and nods that venture into Steely Dan territory, while still remaining undeniably Malkmus, and owing a debt to his ’90s indie heartthrob days. But where does it rank among his best material? Click through to see if any songs from Jagbags turn up on our list of Malkmus’ top 15 tracks of all time. … Read More

  • 0

50 of the Best Closing Lines in Music

It was about 18 months ago now that we collected an epic selection of our favorite opening lines in music, and we’ve been meaning to get around to closing lines ever since. There are plenty of candidates for such honors as far as films and books go, but surprisingly few for music — it’s a more difficult exercise than it looks, perhaps because heaps of songs end with multiple renditions of the chorus rather than a punchy parting shot. Still, we’ve put together a bumper selection: 50 of the best.… Read More

  • 34

Stereotyping You by Your Favorite ’90s Band

They say music moves in 20-year cycles, and the surfeit of ’90s-influenced bands on the scene at the moment seems to suggest that maybe they’re right (whoever “they” are.) It also seems that there are plenty of original ’90s bands playing at the moment, both renascent (Garbage, Pulp) those who never went away (Pearl Jam, for instance), or those who have no right to actually exist either way and are yet somehow touring together. Anyway, with all this in mind — and, specifically, because the new Garbage album is out this week — we thought it was high time for another of our stereotyping posts. Obligatory disclaimer: this is all in fun, so don’t take offense — and also, as ever, our stereotype is in there with the rest. See if you can guess which one it is! … Read More

  • 31

20 Albums We Can’t Believe Are 20 Years Old

Yesterday, Slanted and Enchanted, the debut album from alt-rock legends Pavement, turned 20 years old. Wait, we can hear you saying to your computer screen, already? Yep, it came out in 1992. Now, we don’t know about you, but the realization that one of our favorite albums of all-time officially has two decades under its belt makes us feel super old. Not that this is the first time something like this has happened — last year, we freaked out over a handful of films that we told ourselves couldn’t possibly be ten years old already, and we’ve only just gotten over that shock. But time marches on irrepressibly, so if you’re in the mood to realize just how long it’s been since you first heard of Dr. Dre, click through to read our list of 20 albums we really can’t believe are 20 years old already. … Read More

  • 8

Music’s 10 Greatest Hype Men

People always joke about the member of the band who plays the tambourine, but think about it: Where would live music be without the back-up dancer, the ludicrously outfitted hand-clapper, the guy whose sole job is to amp up the crowd by shouting, “Hoookayyyy!” over and over? Not only can they be critical members of rock bands and rap crews, but it’s also a role that can lead to a solo career — both Jay-Z and Tupac started out as hype men. Below, we’ve collected the best representatives of the most underrated role in music. … Read More

  • 6

Literary Mixtape: Cal Stephanides from ‘Middlesex’

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 confused narrator of Jeffrey Eugenides’ family epic, Cal Stephanides. … Read More

  • 3