Last week, some footage of what would prove to be Nirvana’s final show in Los Angeles, at the Great Western Forum in December 1993, surfaced on the web. One of the great joys of the internet is that it’s way, way easier than it used to be to get hold of (and watch!) bootlegs, live performances and other records of shows that might otherwise have never seen the light of day. YouTube, in particular, is a rich resource for this stuff — so here’s a selection of Flavorwire’s favorite performances, encompassing both some famous shows and some lesser-known events. … Read More
Strip away the creeping pumpkinspicization of fall, and there’s something somber and inherently melancholy about this time of the year. It’s when the days get shorter, the leaves fall off the trees, the skies are gray, and the air is cold enough to demand scarves and hats. And it’s also the time to huddle up by the open fire, drink tea, and listen to sad music! With that in mind, here’s a playlist inspired by our recent list of heart-wrenching movies — an epic selection of songs guaranteed to make you cry, from the tear-jerkingly forlorn to the moving and… Read More
The music nerd contingent at Flavorwire central recently got a-talking about our favorite debut single. The list is nearly endless, but once you start to think about it, picking out the best isn’t quite as easy as you might think — “Alison” wasn’t Elvis Costello’s first single, for instance, nor was “Take Me Out” Franz Ferdinand’s debut or “Unfinished Sympathy” Massive Attack’s. Of course, this discussion inevitably led to list-making, and here’s the result: our picks for the 50 best debut singles the world of music has to… Read More
Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich caused quite a stir last week by pulling their music off Spotify, demanding that the service pay more to up-and-coming musicians. The thing is, however, that Spotify is already losing money hand over fist, despite expanding its user base dramatically over the last couple of years and only paying out pitifully small per-stream fees to artists. If Spotify can’t make things work paying artists these pissant royalties — and the consensus seems to be that it can’t — then it’s got a problem, especially if the slow trickle of artists moving away from the service starts to speed up and/or emerging artists decide that it’s not worth the time or effort to essentially give away their music for free via the site. So, is Spotify doomed? … Read More
The nominations for MTV’s Video Music Awards were released this week, and amongst the usual shower of nondescript commercial bilge, there was the reminder that some artists are actually using their videos as a medium for something more than rump-shaking and product placement: the curious, three-year-old “Best Video with a Social Message” category, for which nominees include noted political commentators Beyoncé, Macklemore, and Kelly Clarkson. Although we can’t guarantee that any of this year’s crop will make any great impact on you, here are some excellent music videos — past and present — that just might.
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Earlier this month, we surveyed Flavorwire central for a selection of the books we read too early. The responses we got were both informative and a whole lot of fun, so we decided we’d extend the concept into some of the other areas of culture that we enjoy here — starting with the world of music, and the albums that various staff members listened to at perilously tender ages. From the raunchy through the political to the mildly disconcerting, here are the albums that we listened to too early (including, curiously, not one but two Beatles records.) What are yours? … Read More
In two weeks, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke will sell an original painting at a Bonhams London auction, to benefit The Trade Justice Movement and their Make Poverty History campaign. The work is the product of a collaboration between Yorke and printmaker Stanley Donwood, whom he met as a student.
Donwood first started making album and promo art for Radiohead and Yorke’s solo projects when he worked on their album The Bends in 1994. Since then, his aesthetics have been hard to separate from the band’s, making it shamefully easy to forget how much great prose and painting Donwood has authored outside of Radiohead’s orbit. Here are a few highlights from his portfolio from outside of the music world. … Read More
Picture the scene: it’s a chilly night during the Australian winter of 1997. Your correspondent, aged 19, is huddled in a sleeping bag on a Melbourne doorstep with a couple of friends, a pack of playing cards and a crate of beer for company. The doorstep belongs to Ticketek, the Australian precursor to Ticketmaster, and we are queuing dutifully to buy tickets for Radiohead, whose OK Computer tour was announced that morning and is due to visit town for two dates in early 1998. We hang out all night playing poker for 50-cent coins and drinking beer that never gets any warmer because the night is so damn cold. When the Ticketek dude turns up at 8:45am, he seems slightly taken aback that four bedraggled teenagers have spent the night camping out, but he dutifully sells us tickets for both shows. We head home cold and hungover and happy. … Read More
Despite how easy it is to go online and quickly download an entire album in just a few seconds (which we are paying for, of course), there’s nothing particularly special in purchasing music from the ether. Gone are the days of driving to the mall to browse through the racks of CDs at Camelot Music and Sam Goody; no longer can we fill out multiple Columbia House order forms for seemingly free albums. CDs were the last physical music objects, and our first purchases say a lot about us as much and the time in which we grew up. (For the record, I like to tell everyone my first CD was the Reality Bites soundtrack, but it was, regrettably, the revival Broadway cast recording of Grease! featuring Brooke Shields as Rizzo.) I asked a few friends from across the Internet to share their first CD purchases. Click through after the jump, and share your stories in the comments! … Read More