Scissor Sisters

30 Essential LGBT Albums

A couple of weeks back, we celebrated Pride Month with a pretty epic selection of essential LGBT films. The post was so popular with our readers that we thought we’d follow up with a similar selection of LGBT albums. As with our film selection, this encompasses records featuring LGBT artists and/or characters and themes. (And no, of course it doesn’t include Michelle… Read More

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Hipster Glasses, Facebook, and a Kiki: A Skeptic's Guide to Pop in 2012

With only days left until the end of 2012, the Internet is full of best-of essays and lists and embeddable Spotify playlists that reaffirm critics’ and tastemakers’ street credit and perpetuate the myth that most people writing about music actually have any kind of significant impact on the way that pop music is created, packaged, and sold. I won’t bore you with such gas. Instead, here are some fun superlatives that summarize the world of pop this year, for those of you who may not have kept up with this realm. These are undeniable touchstones — meaning that should you, as esteemed people with ears, have scruples with this list, it would behoove you to make an appointment with a qualified audiologist post-haste. Otherwise, read! Click! Dance! … Read More

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5 Albums to Stream for Free This Week: Liars, Japandroids

Welcome to another edition of our regular Monday stream-a-thon (delayed for a day because, like you, we were busy getting drunk yesterday). Happily, the extra day’s wait has allowed for the arrival of the new Liars album, which is the best thing we’ve heard in ages and which we’re thus vary happy to be able to share with you. There’s also the new Scissor Sisters album, which is perhaps not the musical extravaganza that the Liars record is, but is a bit of fun nonetheless. Elsewhere, there’s Neil Young and Crazy Horse exploring the history of Americana, Marissa Nadler being suitably mellow for a hazy Tuesday, and Japandroids being all shouty. Click through and get in on the action! … Read More

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12 New Summer Anthems More Epic Than Jennifer Lopez’s “Dance Again”

[Editor’s note: Your devoted Flavorwire team is taking Memorial Day off, but we’ve left you with some of our favorite summer-related features that you may have missed the first time around. This post originally ran May 2, 2012. Enjoy!]

We can’t even begin to fathom how difficult life is for pop stars. When temperatures top 90°F, they can’t simply slip into a sundress and slurp down margaritas all the livelong day. Our beloved idols have a higher charge to answer to: creating the perfect summer dance-floor stormer. For them, dressing down and partying hard is all part and parcel to the performance art of pop. Take it from Jennifer Lopez, who, with the measured precision of a seasoned pop-ologist, has given us the summer anthem to beat with “Dance Again.”

The song contains exactly the correct amounts of dance-ability, flair, and derring-do. It isn’t aiming too high. Lyrically it doesn’t strain your brain (“I wanna dance / And love / And dance again”) and structurally, it explodes only during the bridge and into the chorus, and otherwise, it entertains a restrained synth beat. Still, you may be wary about surrendering to “Dance Again.” It isn’t the best pop song. But it is a tour de force befitting a sweltering Fourth of July rave. However, it’s not the only one. America’s entered a dance-pop renaissance, and that means we’re in for a slew of unlikely summer anthems that are at least as good as “Dance Again.” In fact, J.Lo has given us such a perfect benchmark for summer jams that we measure the following 12 potentially overlooked summer anthems on the semi-scientific scale of 1 to 5 “Dance Agains,” wherein 1 = “Sure, I’ll dance again, but I’ll need a few tequila shots first” and 5 = “What do you mean ‘again’ — I haven’t stopped dancing for the past five hours.” … Read More

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Pop For Skeptics #2: Nicki Minaj and Hip-Hop in Pop

Let’s get one thing straight: Nicki Minaj is pop, not hip-hop. This has nothing to do with her being a woman and everything to do with the fact that when you get right down to it, she makes songs that are structurally more like pop songs. As an artist, she’s preoccupied with the trappings of pop: costumes, art direction, stunt collaborations set up to ship more units, and so on. Which is why when The New York Times crowned Nicki Minaj the “singular voice” in hip-hop, a 21st-century trailblazer, my stomach began churning. … Read More

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The Most Surprisingly Awesome Cover Versions in History

Way back in the deep, dark days of Flavorpill past — i.e. about a year and a half ago — we amused ourselves over the quiet period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve by compiling a mixtape of the best cover versions ever. Hearing about Mastodon’s hugely unlikely cover of Feist’s “A Commotion” (and Feist returning the favor with her interpretation of the metal behemoths’ “Black Tongue”) has got us thinking about the topic again, with a slightly different slant: what about similarly outlandish covers, ones that shouldn’t work but somehow do? There have been some truly weird and wonderful ones over the years, so we’ve put together a selection after the jump. Let us know if you can think of any more. … Read More

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10 New Queer Anthems That Are Better Than “Born This Way”

Now that we’ve had a while to process Lady Gaga’s new single, “Born This Way,” we have to admit we don’t love it. Because hey, we liked “Express Yourself” 20 years ago when Madonna did it. It won’t stop us from adoring Gaga and supporting the song’s message. But when Elton John starts calling it “the new gay anthem,” worthy of replacing the immortal “I Will Survive,” we’ve got to put our foot down. For one thing, there are plenty of much better new, queer anthems out there. Our list of ten strong candidates, all of which have come out in the 21st century, are after the jump. … Read More

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Scissor Sisters Curate Mapplethorpe Show

The Scissor Sisters, who opened for Lady Gaga in New York last night, are infatuated with Robert Mapplethorpe — so much so that the band featured his photography on its Night Work album and related single covers and interpreted his imagery in a recent video. An iconic artist, who both shocked and wooed art lovers with his powerful pictures of sensual nudity, unsettling sadomasochism, and obscure objects of desire, Mapplethorpe followed his own creative path, while always maintaining a magical sense of mystery. … Read More

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Last Night’s Concert: Yoko Ono and Plastic Ono Band at BAM

Yoko Ono is turning 77 tomorrow. Keep that in mind as you imagine the performance artist shimmying, writhing, caterwauling, and charming the pants off the audience at Brooklyn Academy of Music on Tuesday night. The show began with a montage of Ono recordings, films, interview clips, and photos from her days with husband John Lennon, and ended with a cavalcade of special guests that frankly kind of blew us away. Rundown of the entire performance, plus an image gallery featuring Eric Clapton and the Scissor Sisters, after the… Read More

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