Shellac

10 Great, Unexpected Mixtapes by Musicians Who Aren’t DJs

This week sees the release of the soundtrack to British psychological thriller Berbarian Sound Studio, a soundtrack that’s notable for being a) creepy as hell and b) the last thing ever recorded by much-missed British duo Broadcast before singer Trish Keenan’s death from pneumonia in 2010. Keenan’s death robbed the music world of a distinctive voice and a singular talent, and the release of Berbarian Sound Studio has got us listening again to the fantastic mixtape a friend of Keenan’s released in her memory a couple of weeks after she died. This in turn got us thinking about other artist-made mixtapes that have brightened up our iTunes over the last couple of years, eclectic selections made by musicians you wouldn’t necessarily expect to dabble in DJ mixes — we’ve shared a few of them after the jump. … 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 Gloriously Gruesome Songs for Your Halloween Playlist

So Halloween is coming up, and if you’re like us, you’re probably starting to think about putting together a mixtape for a Halloween party. If so, you’ve come to the right place, because we’ve put together a selection of some of the gore-filled masterworks that’ll be vying for a place on our playlist in a couple of weeks’ time. (Note: as much as we’re all for blood and gore, we’re generally less enchanted by songs that involve misogyny, rape, and/or other such unpleasantness — and anyway, these are party songs, and we don’t figure the likes of Mayhem’s “Chainsaw Gutsfuck” or Cannibal Corpse’s “Fucked with a Knife” are particularly laden with festive spirit. Sorry, death metal fans.) But anyway, disclaimers aside, here’s what we’ve come up with — what’s gonna be playing at your party? … Read More

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Mixtape Primer: An Introduction to “Math Rock”

Like many genre titles, “math rock” is a label abhorred by pretty much everyone that it’s been applied to. But that doesn’t make it any less fitting a description for the complex, highly rhythmic guitar music that emerged from the Midwest in the early 1990s. Math rock grew out of hardcore, working with the basic elements of rock ‘n’ roll — guitar, bass, drums — but shifting the emphasis away from melody toward rhythm and sonic dynamics. The result was a distinctive sound characterized by sonic minimalism, robotic drumming, and strange time signatures. The genre arguably had its heyday in the ’90s, but with Battles’ new single “My Machines” out this week, along with a new record by reunited veterans Braid, it seems a fine time to cast an eye back over math rock past and present — so here’s a mixtape of some of our favorite songs. And we don’t use the word “angular” once! … Read More

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