A Selection of Great Duets We’d Love to See

As we’ve written here in the past, the duet is an inexact science — some of the collaborations that you’d think should have been roaring successes proved to be disastrous, and vice versa. We’re still on the fence as to which group the new St. Vincent/David Byrne collaboration Love This Giant, which is out today, falls into — but either way, the fact that two of our favorite artists have made a whole record together got us thinking about other dream duets we’d love to see. We’ve started the discussion with a bunch of suggestions. Who would you like to see in the studio together? … Read More

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10 MP3s You Need to Download for Free This Week: Twin Shadow, Hunx

It’s Friday, and we’re back with another installment of our regular roundup of downloadable MP3 goodness from around the web. This week there’s new work from Twin Shadow and the glorious Hunx, a distinct antipodean vibe from Leaving and Royal Headache, thoroughly real feelings from Pictureplane, an entire mixtape from Kwes and Micachu, and some fascinating remix action thrown in for good measure. In other words, there’s plenty of interesting sounds awaiting you after the jump, and since they won’t cost a penny or land you an RIAA lawsuit, as your attorneys we advise you to start downloading immediately. … Read More

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Dark Hearts: A Witch House Valentine’s Day Mix

It’s a simple fact: Valentine’s Day can get a little cloying. Even if you’re happily ensconced in a hand-holding, cuddle-snuggling, shrugs ‘n’ sighs sort of relationship, the singing teddy bears and candy can all get to be a bit much. That’s why, inspired by some deliciously moody and truly romantic (though not in the sense you may expect) new records from the likes of Berlin’s o F F Love and Flavorpill’s SXSW 2011 showcase standout Nite Jewel, we’ve crafted a mix of deep, dark love songs to get you in a more devilish Valentine’s mood. Owing more to the day’s roots as Lupercalia, the Ancient Roman fertility holiday, than the greeting card-bait February 14th we know too well, this is a mix of heart-crushing slow burners. Naturally, the playlist even ventures into the more “adult” side of love a few times. Whether you enjoy this music alone or with pleasurable company, a lot of red wine’s suggested. … Read More

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The 15 Best Dark and Weird Records of 2011

Is it just us, or do most of the “best albums of 2011″ lists this year tend towards a certain amount of sameness? That’s understandable given the undeniable greatness of a handful of records, but on the whole, when we’re facing down a few weeks of holiday stress, travel woes, and inane over-festivity, we’re generally not in the mood to listen to something as milquetoast as Bon Iver. Give us something darker, moodier, bleaker to get us through those days of familial celebration. Something from, say, the record label Blackest Ever Black.

So, both as a holiday coping mechanism and as an alternative to all the best albums lists that have placed that unfortunately boring Real Estate record so near the top, we present an alternate best of 2011, recognizing 15 records that are twisted, dark, and out there. Take note: we’ve purposely left out metal, as that could be its own list entirely. … Read More

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State of the Witch House: Predicting the Controversial Genre’s Future

It’s pretty much exactly two years since Pictureplane’s Travis Egedy inadvertently created a monster by dubbing the music on his 2009 album Dark Rift “witch house.” It’s a year and a half since Pitchfork, bless them, wrote an article about the nascent “drag” scene, which soon came to be rebadged with Egedy’s throwaway term, and it’s a year since our very own Russ Marshalek posted a fine witch house primer for the uninitiated. People have spent most of the time since arguing about whether a shared love of slowed-down hip-hop beats, artificial reverb, and triangles actually constitutes a genre in the first place. And now, with the release of Balam Acab’s Wander/Wonder last week — an album that a) received unanimously rapturous reviews everywhere and b) didn’t sound witch house-y at all — the question seems to be: if witch house does exist, what sort of future does it have? With all this in mind, it seems like a good time to survey the state of the genre and look at which artists might be around for the long haul. Button down your keyboards – ASCII funtime awaits! … Read More

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Chill Out: 10 Icy, Dark New Albums for Summer

The great outdoors. Picnics in the park. Going to the beach. All of these activities are summer staples for a reason: warm weather and longer days are a natural catalyst for carefree fun. But sometimes, we’ll admit it, all the sun and sand and Best Coast songs about weed and cats blasting out of iPhones just makes us feel a little, well, antisocial. In the same way that at times we just want to curl up with a devastatingly sad book, sometimes we really want to rock out to some bleak tunes. If you, like us, are having “glass is half empty” tendencies at this point of the year, fear not: summer 2011 is bringing with it a bevy of excellent releases for those of us who are a bit more…moody. So crank up the air conditioning, close the blinds and remedy summer overload with these records. … Read More

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How To Be a Witch House Poser

Next week, Pendu Disco celebrates its one-year anniversary. As dark music is a mainstay at Pendu Disco, and the music of the bands who have performed at the series have been grouped under the term “Witch House,” we think this is a good time to give you a primer for being a Witch House poser. The creator of the concert series, Todd Pendu, has had beef with the term since the music it claims to represent draws on a variety of styles and sounds, including but not limited to hip-hop, industrial and goth. But Pendu can’t deny that the term has staying power (as evidenced by the publication of this New York Times article). If you plan on going to any future Witch House events, in New York, Los Angeles, or perhaps, someday, Beijing, study this primer to get yourself up to speed and fit right in with the Witchy crowd. … Read More

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Viva la Mix! #14: Downloads from Fleet Foxes, Spoon, Times New Viking, and Jay Reatard

Free MP3s are great, but they’re even better when they’re for new tracks from some of the bigger names in indie music. We also like to keep things fresh over here at Flavorpill, so we’ve also included a crop of new faces for your listening pleasure, too. Chances are you’ll probably end up liking them just as much — if not more. Click through for downloads from our last Viva Radio playlist, and be sure to check back and listen to the show itself. We update every week. … Read More

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