Christmas music has always done the inverse of what it’s supposed to for me. So naturally, I was pleased when I heard about a new documentary called Jingle Bell Rocks!, which celebrates the best and weirdest holiday music you’ve never heard, and follows the record collectors who crate-dig to save these vintage oddities. The Mitchell Kezin-directed doc — which is out this week in select screenings as well as via DVD, cable VOD, and digitally — features characters including John Waters (known for his bizarre Christmas album), The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne (who’s behind the Christmas on Mars film), and Run-D.M.C. (known for “Christmas in Hollis”). But record collectors are at the heart of the movie, so we asked one of them to put together a mix of excellent Christmas music you’ve probably never heard and will undoubtedly find more appealing than those tired “Jingle Bells.” … 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
Summer officially arrives this week, bringing with it afternoons in the park and rooftop parties and beaches. The thing is, though, every summer needs a soundtrack, and while every year there seems to be a rush to anoint a certain tune The Song of the Summer™, Flavorwire decided to go one better and choose a quintessential summer album for every one of the past 50 years, as something of a sequel to last month’s list of the 50 albums you need to own, 1963-2013. Click through and get… Read More
We’ve written a bit about unexpectedly awesome musical collaborations here on Flavorwire over the years, and as such, we were rather taken by these illustrations of some such collaborations. They’re by artistic duo Pol and Sakiroo Choi, and we spotted them via Thaeger, whose write-up of the pieces may or may not be interesting reading, depending on how good your German is. Anyway, click through and check out some of our favorites — there’s Run-DMC and Aerosmith, Kanye West and Daft Punk, and various others (but not, sadly, David Bowie and Mick Jagger, although maybe some things are better left un-illustrated. … Read More
Jay-Z helped turn Philadelphia into a veritable music lover’s paradise over Labor Day weekend with the debut of his two-day Made in America festival. The fest, which the superstar hopes to make a yearly one, included performances from Janelle Monáe, D’Angelo, Miike Snow, Odd Future, Skrillex, The Hives, Santigold, Dirty Projectors, and Drake, in addition to headline performances by Pearl Jam and Jay-Z himself. It also marked hip-hop legends Run-DMC’s first return to the stage since the death of founding member Jam Master Jay in 2002. Surprise collaborations were a theme of the weekend, as well, with Eve joining Jill Scott during her set; Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music crew storming the stage to close out Jay-Z’s performance, and day one, with renditions of “Mercy,” “New God Flow,” and, of course, “Ni**as in Paris”; and Jay himself joining Pearl Jam for an unprecedented take on “99 Problems.” Even President Obama showed up, albeit in video form, urging people to vote while Jay looked on. Click through for our exclusive photo gallery from Made in America to see more of what went down in… Read More
We wrote a couple of days back about the new posthumous Joey Ramone album, and while we’re not entirely convinced by the record and the philosophy that underlies it, it is nice to see the Ramones continuing to get some recognition, albeit far more belatedly than they should have done. The most famous way in which the band’s legacy has been commemorated has been the decision to rename part of 2nd Street in Manhattan “Joey Ramone Way,” a street sign that immediately made its way to the top of hoarders’ lists. It’s certainly not the only street around the world named after a famous musician, mind — check out 10 of them after the jump. … Read More
It’s graduation week, and we guess that means at least some of you are preparing to leave college behind for good. If you’ll allow us to get a little misty-eyed for a minute, we remember when we were in the same position, and it’s both exhilarating and frightening — suddenly the future is a big empty space, just waiting to be filled in. Happily, as ever, there’s at least some solace to be found in music, and there’ve been plenty of great songs written over the years about life and how to live it. So here’s a playlist of some of our favorite tracks with something to say on what life’s all about, and how you go about negotiating your way through it. Let us know if there are any lessons you’d like to share, too. … Read More
Since George Dawes Green started The Moth in his living room 15 years ago, the organization has had one clear mantra: great storytelling. So it’s no surprise that the honoree of their annual ball, held Tuesday night at Capitale in New York City, was one Martin Scorsese. It’s a difficult task to sum up the essence of his ever-evolving oeuvre, but perhaps award-presenter Adam Gopnik did it best when he discerned that at the heart of every Scorsese film is “an act of verbal aggression.” In a broader sense, this pronouncement encapsulated the theme of the night: a Moth story is like Scorsese — you can peel back the layers and get even more (which is why, if you’re looking for a challenge, we recommend listening to their podcast on an erratic, crowded subway train, where hitting an iPhone’s microscopic rewind button while standing is perilous).
For exclusive interviews from the evening, click through our celebrity slideshow featuring: Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, the stars of White Collar (Tiffani Thiessen-Smith, Matt Bomer, and Tim Dekay), comedian Mike Birbiglia and Jen Stein, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio, Joan Firestone (Executive Director of The Moth), and Royal Pains stars Reshma Shetty and Paulo Costanzo. … Read More
We were excited to hear that Lil Wayne recently wrapped production on an episode of MTV’s Unplugged — mostly because it marks the show’s first hip-hop performance since Jay-Z’s acoustic concert in 2001 (not because we want to hear a stripped version of “Mrs. Officer”). We hope that Wayne’s appearance will pave the way for a new generation of rappers to grace the show’s stage. This news and Lupe Fiasco’s performance on Sunday night’s MTV Movie Awards got us thinking about our favorite hip hop performances on the network. Our top ten is after the jump. … Read More
From revolutionary politics to game-changing street style, punk and hip hop have a lot in common. Although one was headquartered way uptown and the other made its home downtown (and across the pond in London), both grew out of working-class neighborhoods in the last quarter of the 20th century. Now, punk and hip hop’s founders are among music’s most recognizable and iconoclastic icons.
Still, we rarely see these two kindred forms juxtaposed. That’s one reason we’re so excited about Catch the Beat: The Roots of Punk & Hip Hop, a show that brings together the work of Janette Beckman and David Corio, photographers who published photos of both scenes in British music papers throughout the ’80s and beyond. Another reason we can’t to check it out? The images in the preview gallery after the jump, which feature everyone from Public Enemy and Run DMC to the Ramones and Ari Up of the Slits, are quite simply some of the best music photos we’ve ever seen. The show opens March 10 at New York’s Morrison Hotel Gallery. Click over to Flavorpill for more info on visiting. … Read More