Swans

Basilica Soundscape: A Music Festival for Grown-ups, Done (Mostly) Right

The grown-up music festival is a difficult idea to get right. Of all the attempts in recent years to create a festival that offers something beyond rolling around in the mud with people on perilous amounts of ecstasy and/or avoiding dickheads in Native American headdresses, only All Tomorrow’s Parties has really gotten the formula right. Sadly, ATP’s business savvy hasn’t matched their taste in music, and their ongoing financial/logistical problems have left a gap in the market for someone to put on a festival that brings together a relatively esoteric bill, a crowd more interested in music than partying, and an experience likely to appeal to those who’ve had more than enough of festivals with six stages and a bazillion bands on the bill. … Read More

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The 25 Best Albums of 2014 So Far

It’s getting toward the end of June, which means… mid-year list time! It’s been a strange year for music thus far, with plenty to like but relatively little to love, and as a result, our annual state-of-the-year-in-progress list is an eclectic affair, encompassing genres as diverse as studies on an imagined pseudo-China, dystopian futurist pop, food-centric neo-soul, and an epic triple album that’s likely to generate a panic attack and/or an existential crisis. And strangest of all, perhaps, hip hop from… Read More

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The Best Joy Division Covers

It was 34 years ago this weekend that Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis tragically took his own life. The legacy the post-punk pioneer left behind is unmistakable, despite having only two full-length albums to his credit. His influence is evident in the sound of countless bands who continue to be inspired by his somber lyricism. The number of Unknown Pleasures wannabes is exhausting, but we’ve chosen ten of the best Joy Division covers by artists who uniquely transformed Curtis’… Read More

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‘Young God’ Author Katherine Faw Morris Interviews Michael Gira of Swans

Young God, the debut novel by Katherine Faw Morris, is a dirty book. It’s full of the the kind of grit you can only pick up in the South, and it sticks in your teeth no matter how hard you try and get it out, with its lightning-quick paragraphs that sometimes take up entire pages. It’s a book with this crazy energy and angst, the type that has always made the South (where Morris is originally from) the region that produces some of America’s most intriguing fiction. The book follows 13-year-old Nikki, who navigates her way through places children shouldn’t wander, seeing things they shouldn’t see, and learning that “smoking heroin’s harder than it looks.” It’s at times a waking nightmare the likes of which David Lynch or Bruno Schulz could have contrived if they lived in North Carolina, combined with that eerie and exciting feeling writers like Flannery O’Connor and Harry Crews — or contemporary author Scott McClanahan — conjure up. … Read More

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The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in May

If you’re not listening to something new this May, do me a favor and ask yourself this: do you even like music? That’s how jam-packed the month is with new albums. It was difficult to pick just ten, so our “also out” section on the last page really is worth your time. Let’s start with the beginning of the month and work our way toward June.

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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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