Swans

A Thinking Person’s Guide to Industrial Music

Like any musical genre or subgenre, trying to fit an artist into a specific sound is a difficult task, and one that’s often fraught with debate. For the sake of argument and against our better judgement, Wikipedia defines industrial music as “a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes,” which could mean a number of things, save for the fact that we know that the slogan “Industrial Music for Industrial People” was coined for the band Throbbing Gristle’s Industrial Records label, and for that Throbbing Gristle should be considered the original industrial band.  … Read More

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The 50 Albums Everyone Needs to Own, 1963-2013

No one buys albums anymore, goes the music industry truism. And yet, for all that the format’s commercial viability may or may not be on the wane, sitting and listening to a great album from start to finish is one of the greatest pleasures that music can bring. Flavorwire recently got to thinking about how one might build a record collection if you really only did buy one record a year. So here’s the result of our thought exercise: 50 albums you really should own, one a year from 1963 until the present… Read More

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The Best Albums Flavorpill Staffers Heard in 2012

A couple of weeks back, we took a look at the best books that various Flavorpill staffers had read over the course of the year, and today we’re repeating the exercise with albums — we’ve surveyed our highly trained staff and asked them what the best record they heard in 2012 was. The results, we hope you’ll agree, are rather interesting, encompassing everything from Ke$ha and Swans to a hitherto undiscovered fondness for obscure country reissues. Do feel free, of course, to add your voice to the discussion in the comments section! … Read More

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Extremely Silly Photos of Extremely Serious Musicians

If you’ve ever wanted to see Blixa Bargeld hanging out in the kitchen, Joy Division pretending to be Monty Python, or Leonard Cohen wearing denim cut offs, then click through and get… Read More

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10 Bands Whose Shows We Dare You to Sit Through

With a relative minimum of fanfare, resurgent post-rock overlords Godspeed You! Black Emperor have snuck out an album this week — Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is their fourth studio album and their first since 2002′s Yanqui U.X.O. We’ve always been big fans of the band, and we’ve jumped at every opportunity to see them live since they got back together in 2010 — their epic shows are the stuff of legend, frequently stretching past two hours and always very, very loud. But we do appreciate that their shows aren’t for everyone, and that even if they are for you, you kinda have to be in the mood for them. In this spirit, then, we celebrate (and/or gently poke fun at) a selection of bands whose shows are something of an endurance test, either in a good way or just in a rather tiresome one. As ever, let us know if we’ve missed anyone. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we visited Occupy Wall Street one year later. We spotted a Civil War-era Louis C.K. lookalike. We watched a Rocky Horror spoof featuring Ronald Reagan as Frank-N-Furter. We saw an alternate version of the Indiana Jones sword fight in Raiders of the Lost Ark.… Read More

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A Longish List of Long Songs That Are Totally Worth Your Time

As you might have read yesterday, we’re going quietly bananas over the new Swans record, which is definitely our favorite album of August and quite possibly our favorite thus far of 2012. It’s also home to two tracks that clock in at above 20 minutes long, one other that’s just over 19 minutes, and a couple more that push 10 minutes. Songs that long are always a risky proposition — the whole idea of the ultra-lengthy epic is often associated with prog and its multitude of sins, but the realms of a 10-minute-plus song are also home to some of our absolute favorites. Here’s a nice long selection to get the discussion started — what did we miss? (If you say “Stairway to Heaven” we reserve the right to trace your IP and throw fish food at your window.) … Read More

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Album of the Month: Swans’ Sprawling, Triumphant ‘The Seer’

The novelist Howard Jacobson recently gave a talk at the Edinburgh Festival wherein he bemoaned the tendency of readers to deem a book bad because they disliked the characters or the subject matter. Jacobson is generally an old windbag, but he was right on the money with this particular observation: “To be a good reader you have to have strong stomach: the better the reader, the stronger the stomach.” And so it goes with music.

I’ve had a theory for a while that the thing that distinguishes people who really care about and love music from those who just see it as entertainment is that the former group don’t always expect music to be entertaining. This isn’t any sort of dig at the latter group, by the way — people are of course free to appreciate music and any other form of art in any way they wish. But it’s a distinction worth making nonetheless. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Tony Scott, the 68-year-old director whose credits include Top Gun, True Romance, and most recently Unstoppable, jumped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro yesterday in an apparent suicide. Later today, we’ll be taking an in-depth look back at Scott’s life and work. [via LA Times]

2. Are you sick of… Read More

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10 Reunion Albums That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Band reunions: they’re a dicey business, as far as fans are concerned, because they risk tarnishing the memory of the band in question’s glory days. Sometimes they do exactly that, but occasionally a band get back together and make a record that’s as good — or sometimes actually better — than their back catalog. Such records are few and far between, but one of them came along this week: Researching the Blues, the new studio album by the recently reunited Redd Kross. In celebration of that band’s return, we thought we’d have a look at some other reunion albums that are worth your time — as ever, let us know if we’ve forgotten any. … Read More

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