Pixies

A Completely Subjective List of the Best Vocal Ad-Libs in Music

One of the great joys of music is its sense of immediacy — sure, there are songs that are painstakingly planned and produced, and benefit from being so, but there are also tracks that sound like they really were recorded live, and are all the more thrilling for it. In this respect, there’s something particularly pleasing about the off-the-cuff line, something the singer has apparently hollered into the mic on the spur of the moment. These lines don’t always make sense, and they don’t necessarily have to — either way, they add color and a sense of spontaneity to a song (and they’re damn near impossible not to sing along with). Here is an entirely subjective list of ten of the best; of course, there are gazillions more, so let us know if you have any to add. … Read More

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Recent Band Reunions, From Most to Least Egregious

This week, Blur bring their reunion full circle by releasing their first album in 12 years. Recorded on a whim, in the midst of a 40-hour jam session during a stopover Hong Kong at the end of 2013, as the once-fragmented band finished up its international reunion tour, The Magic Whip does something that not every musical comeback achieves: it moves beyond nostalgia. In light of Blur doing it right, we’re taking a look at other bands that have recently managed to pull off a respectable reunion — and those whose thirst and shamelessness is downright palpable. They’re ranked from most to least… Read More

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10 Perfect Songs to Greet the Spring

It’s the first day of spring! The snow is melting, the necessity for wearing every item of clothing you own simultaneously is receding, and it’s still light outside when you leave work (even if they had to arbitrarily steal an hour of your sleep to make this happen). In all seriousness, it’s a lovely time of year, and it needs accompanying music — so here’s a playlist of songs to greet the spring, encompassing everything from Kanye West and Stravinsky to two Australian bands you’ve probably never heard of. Now, go and enjoy the… Read More

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25 Perfect Drinking Songs for Lazy Summer Evenings

If you’re the sort of person who likes frolicking in the sun, summer days are ace. If, conversely, you’re the sort of person who’s given to hunching beside the AC and occasionally peeking out the window to see if the streets have caught fire, they’re no fun at all. Either way, summer evenings are kinda great — half the time it’s too hot to sleep, but it’s perfect for sitting out on a stoop/rooftop/porch with your friends, drinking beer and listening to some suitably mellow tunes. With that in mind, we’ve got you covered for a playlist — here’s our selection of great songs for lazy summer evenings, along with a Spotify… Read More

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What American Music Festivals Could Learn From Primavera Sound

Primavera Sound — held annually in Barcelona since 2001 — doesn’t have much use for filler. In this respect, it’s the opposite of your average American music festival. The abundance of mediocre acts to bulk out lineups has become a problem on the US festival circuit as the industry has ballooned and bookings have begun to shift in order to attract the widest possible group of popular music consumers. Once a destination-oriented industry, the American music festival has become a regional concern. In towns you’ve never heard of across America, there are festivals with a few years under their belts, proudly boasting artisanal food stands and The Killers headlining every… Read More

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10 Cats That Look Like Frank Black

There is a new Pixies album out today. A decade ago, that news would have sent me scampering down to the record shop, money in hand, heart in mouth. In 2014, though, it’s news that makes me feel a bit funny in the stomach. For a start, it’s not really a new album — its contents have already been released as three EPs, none of which were particularly good. And it’s called Indie Cindy, for fuck’s sake. I don’t really have a great deal to say about it — so instead, in the great tradition of the Internet, here are 10 cats that look like Frank Black. You’re welcome. (And no, I can’t give you any explanation for #9.) … Read More

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Dear Pixies, Stop Milking It

As far as ads go, the new iPhone ad featuring a cover of the Pixies’ “Gigantic” is pretty charming. The laundry list of all the things featured in the commercial could rival a Stefon skit, and among them is a band of “alternative” teenagers trepidatiously tackling “Gigantic” as “alternative” teenagers have done for the last 20-odd years. The purpose is to sell $300 phones to “creatives,” but it’s not a half-bad representation of what the Pixies have come to mean in the 23 years since their last album: a badge of honor that reads, “I’m ‘alternative’ in a kinda obvious way, but at least the music is really fucking good.” It’s slightly less cool than liking The Replacements, slightly more cool than liking the ’90s bands who ripped off the Pixies in one way or another (Nirvana, Weezer, Radiohead). … Read More

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The 50 Best Side One Track Ones in Music History

There’s an art to the album opener — it doesn’t necessarily have to be the best or most commercially appealing song on the record, but it needs to grab the listener’s attention. It’ll often also serve as an introduction to the themes and/or sound of the album in question, a sort of preview of to what’s to come. And so it is that at Flavorwire central, we’ve been having one of our unabashedly nerdy music conversations about what are, in our collective opinion, the best examples of the form. Here’s a bumper list of 50 to talk… Read More

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The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in April

I’m calling it now: April will be the biggest month of 2014 for indie rock releases. The competition was stiff, and my ears are tired. We’ve got Mac DeMarco, EMA, Cloud Nothings, the return of Afghan Whigs — and that’s just the… Read More

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