Late last week, we read with interest in the NME that Nick Cave the musician was exhibiting at Grand Central. How was it, we wondered, that it had escaped our notice that Cave was working on an immersive site-specific sculpture featuring dancing horses? Happily, over the weekend we did some research and brushed up on our Cave biography, along with that of some of our other favorite musicians. Read on, and learn some things that you’ll never have imagined could possibly be true! … Read More
As we noted yesterday, we’ve been going quietly gaga about the new Scott Walker record ever since we got a copy of it a few weeks back. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Bish Bosch is that, weird as it is — and, mark our words, it’s really fucking weird — it’s still not as strange as the career trajectory of the man who made it. Walker’s journey from the fresh-faced MOR pop idol of his Walker Brothers years to the experimental maverick who’s just made what’s arguably his best album yet at the age of 69 is one of music’s most unlikely stories, and got us thinking about other unusual career trajectories. We’ve put together a selection of our favorites, so click through and let us know what you make of it all. … Read More
December is traditionally a pretty dire month for album releases, and this year is no exception — but still, having said that, there’s enough noteworthy records dropping over the next four weeks to at least make our regular monthly “Albums You Need to Hear” post worth writing. It’s not just box sets and fancy reissues, either! The headline attraction this month is clearly the new Scott Walker record, which stands as one of the most remarkable things anyone’s released in 2012 and also a testament to the danger of starting your end-of-year-lists in November, but we’ve also tracked down a bunch of other releases that will do a fine job of bulking out your Christmas stocking. As ever, do let us know in the comments section what’s on your shopping list this month. … Read More
In the wake of the recent prank call to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the ensuing drama, we realized that prank calls are not just for 12-year-old boys and Bart Simpson worshipers (wait, are those the same thing?). They can have real — or just amusing — bearing on our culture, and they just might be worth examining as a reflection of our cultural proclivities. (Because what are Charlie Sheen’s unending outbursts if not one continuous prank call on American society?) If you’ve ever asked someone if their refrigerator was running, click through to see our list of five culturally relevant prank calls, and let us know which of your favorites we’ve missed! … Read More
Musicians are, almost by definition, exhibitionist types — given to loud costumes, flashy spectacles, well-publicized romances, and various publicity stunts. But how about the exceptions that prove the rule, those recluses who have always made their music in seclusion, shied away from performing, or retreated to a shack in the middle of nowhere after years of fame? You may question what’s driven them away from the adoration of millions, but in the end, you also have to respect them for refusing to cash in and feed tabloid culture.
In fact, December has been a big month for these mysterious iconoclasts, what with Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum showing up to perform a set in Brooklyn and Lauryn Hill announcing a string of tour dates. After the jump, we take a look at the careers of some of music’s most reclusive artists, from Syd Barrett and Scott Walker to Hill and Mangum. … Read More
An American expat who incited a UK fan frenzy in the ’60s, pop crooner Scott Walker later gave it all up, descending into nearly two decades of self-imposed exile. When he emerged, it was as a stunningly cerebral artist, his thick, butter-smooth croon set against stunningly dark, avant-garde atmospheres. … Read More