Sonic Youth

JanesList

A Completely Subjective List of the Best Vocal Ad-Libs in Music

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One of the great joys of music is its sense of immediacy — sure, there are songs that are painstakingly planned and produced, and benefit from being so, but there are also tracks that sound like they really were recorded live, and are all the more thrilling for it. In this respect, there’s something particularly pleasing about the off-the-cuff line, something the singer has apparently hollered into the mic on the spur of the moment. These lines don’t always make sense, and they don’t necessarily have to — either way, they add color and a sense of spontaneity to a song (and they’re damn near impossible not to sing along with). Here is an entirely subjective list of ten of the best; of course, there are gazillions more, so let us know if you have any to add.
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Kim-Gordon-Young-Portable

Cool Girls Do It Better: On Kim Gordon’s Juicy, Modest Memoir, ‘Girl in a Band’

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In the final paragraph of her memoir, Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon details a makeout session with a man who is most certainly not Thurston Moore. Emergency brake pulled, the two sat in front of a house on a hill that Gordon had rented in LA for several weeks last year while getting back to her visual art roots in a post-Sonic Youth, post-Thurston world. The anecdote starts kind of bumpy because it is apropos of nothing, but it ends somewhere fitting — hopeful, even. “I know: it sounds like I’m someone else entirely now,” she writes after pulling away from this man’s “full-on grope” for reasons of practicality, “and I guess I am.”
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8 Linda McCartney The Beatles at Brian Epstein's House, London, 1967

Beatles Tributes, Ranked

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For 50 years, popular culture has been paying tribute to The
Beatles. Innumerable covers of all qualities litter YouTube. Entire television specials are dreamt up, even now, to honor their contributions to music history. Every album anniversary is an opportunity for nostalgia of some sort, be it a tribute record, a Cirque du Soleil production, a video game, or a big-budget movie musical. And that’s not even counting the cover bands, with their cheap Liverpudlian accents and their even cheaper suits.
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norman mailer

The Best Highbrow Cameos to Catch When ‘Gilmore Girls’ Streams on Netflix

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Gilmore Girls is a show about a mother and a daughter, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, who are more like two pop culture-besotted best friends in the small New England town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut — a place where it is always fall and there is always a goofy community festival happening. This smart, funny, brilliant show was a last gasp of human storytelling about ambitious and complex women on the WB/CW before teen takes on genre drowned out anything more ambitious, and it’s been unavailable on Netflix streaming for quite some time.
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Collage

The 50 Best Side One Track Ones in Music History

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There’s an art to the album opener — it doesn’t necessarily have to be the best or most commercially appealing song on the record, but it needs to grab the listener’s attention. It’ll often also serve as an introduction to the themes and/or sound of the album in question, a sort of preview of to what’s to come. And so it is that at Flavorwire central, we’ve been having one of our unabashedly nerdy music conversations about what are, in our collective opinion, the best examples of the form. Here’s a bumper list of 50 to talk… Read More

Green Day 1994

Don’t Believe the Nostalgia Machine: 1994 Was a Shitty Year for Music

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It’s a strange thing to see an era you remember being regurgitated by the nostalgia machine. The last couple of years have been a constant stream of early-’90s anniversaries: Nevermind! Dazed and Confused! My So-Called Life! It’s not like we didn’t see this coming, of course — culture tends to move in generational 20ish-year cycles, so a resurgence of interest in the ’90s was inevitable. (And, of course, these days culture bloggers just love a good anniversary as an excuse for a think-piece, a trend from which this site is certainly not exempt.) Sure, the early ’90s were a rich flourishing of culture after the desert that was the late ’80s. But this year, we’re at the 20th anniversary of 1994. And listen: 1994 was shit.
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BroadCitySmoking

“My Girls Rock Chanel and Smoke Mad Marijuana”: A Girl-Stoner 4/20 Playlist

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Friends, the holiday weekend is upon us. By that I mean Easter, sure, but also 4/20 — a silly, unnecessary occasion that tends to attract and evoke the very stupidest, most cliché elements of stoner culture. But hey, it’s also a great excuse to make a playlist. In this case, inspired by both The Cut’s excellent lady-tokers-on-film supercut and the appallingly poor representation of women on these types of lists, it’s a collection of stoner anthems and weed shout-outs by female artists (and female-fronted bands). Because in these post-Broad City times, none of us should ever have to hear Bob Dylan bleat “Everybody must get stoned” again.
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MTV Unplugged: Nirvana

The 15 Best Nirvana Covers You May Not Have Heard

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If you haven’t gathered as much from the rash of think-pieces and tributes (we suggest you read these instead), tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. While the many words you may read in the next few weeks about Cobain’s legacy demonstrate his importance to generations of listeners (and music journalists), it’s also pretty clear that Cobain and Nirvana are a heavy influence on the bands that followed in their footsteps — and even some of their contemporaries and predecessors. It’s a ballsy move to cover a classic Nirvana song, and there have been some famous artists who have tackled the obvious ones (particularly Tori Amos and Patti Smith, who have both recorded famous version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”). There are also, however, plenty of musicians who came before and after Kurt Cobain who have successfully put their own spin on his words. 
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thurston-moore230114

Thurston Moore: Twilight of the Idol

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The Sonic Youth saga continues today, with Thurston Moore speaking publicly for the first time about his 2011 split from Kim Gordon. He made the comments in an interview with UK magazine The Fly; you can read the whole interview here, but perhaps the most apposite and depressing point is this quote: “I’m in a really romantic place with [new girlfriend] Eva [Prinz]; we’ve kinda been a couple for close to six years. A lot of those years nobody was very aware of it except us. The cat’s been out of the bag a while now, that’s kinda where I’m at.” Six years? Six years?!
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