Talking Heads

Valentine’s Day-Worthy Art Inspired by the Talking Heads

The fine folks at Land gallery in Portland are celebrating Valentine’s Day with some arty odes to love, inspired by the Talking Heads. If oversized business suits and avant-garde theatrics make your heart swell, the exhibition Love for Sale will call to you. From the Johnny Marr-backed “(Nothing But) Flowers” to the songs from David Byrne’s 1986 film True Stories, directed by the performer, these valentines reference all the greats from the band. Catch a preview of the show in our gallery, then head to the official website for more information. … Read More

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10 Great Songs Built Around the 808

Some rather exciting news crept by almost unnoticed yesterday — according to this report, synth manufacturers Roland might be reissuing their iconic drum machine, the TR-808, along with the TB-303 bass synth. These two pieces of equipment were commercial failures on their release in the early ’80s, but they’ve become hugely sought after since, changing hands on eBay for thousands of dollars. Why? Because you hear them everywhere. The 808, in particular, defined the sound of early hip hop and also a whole lot of dance music, and it’s as ubiquitous today as ever. Here are ten songs that demonstrate its versatility and its iconic sounds. … Read More

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Flavorwire Roundup: The First CDs We Ever Bought

Despite how easy it is to go online and quickly download an entire album in just a few seconds (which we are paying for, of course), there’s nothing particularly special in purchasing music from the ether. Gone are the days of driving to the mall to browse through the racks of CDs at Camelot Music and Sam Goody; no longer can we fill out multiple Columbia House order forms for seemingly free albums. CDs were the last physical music objects, and our first purchases say a lot about us as much and the time in which we grew up. (For the record, I like to tell everyone my first CD was the Reality Bites soundtrack, but it was, regrettably, the revival Broadway cast recording of Grease! featuring Brooke Shields as Rizzo.) I asked a few friends from across the Internet to share their first CD purchases. Click through after the jump, and share your stories in the comments!  … Read More

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The 10 Best Songs We Heard This Week: Boards of Canada, Talking Heads

It’s Friday, which means everyone at Flavorwire central is getting pretty excited at the prospect of three whole days off, and also that it’s time to round up the best songs we’ve heard this week. This week there’s actual new music from Boards of Canada, a long-buried Talking Heads/Arthur Russell collaboration, new songs from Susanna (of Magical Orchestra renown), Cold Cave and Melvins, along with Scout Niblett deconstructing TLC, a whole mixtape from Inga Copeland, and plenty more. All this goodness is streaming now, and it all awaits you after the jump. Click through to listen! … Read More

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A Selection of 4:20 Songs to Soundtrack 4/20

Last week, we amused ourselves with a thought experiment that was doing the rounds on Tumblr — marking 4/11 by picking out the best songs in our iTunes library that were precisely four minutes and 11 seconds long. It turned out that there were heaps, and the idea got us thinking: when better to do something similar than 4/20? So we thought we’d limit ourselves to making our annual stoner mixtape for today out of songs that are precisely four minutes and 20 seconds long. (Disclaimer: these songs are all 4:20 on our iTunes — your mileage may vary, and all that, but let’s not split hairs, eh?) … Read More

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10 Rock Albums That Were Impossible to Follow Up

It’s a familiar experience. There’s that one mind-blowingly great album you just can’t get enough of, an album of epic proportion. Then one day you learn that this beloved artist will be releasing a new album. A sense of dread-tinged anticipation overcomes you. Any potential trace of hopefulness that it just might live up to your expectations is overshadowed by the bleak probability of impending disappointment. It’s not that all follow ups to great albums are necessarily bad, it’s just that there’s a certain discomfort in knowing that we’re going to have to move on and adapt. That’s the way music works; sometimes for the better, and sometimes not. We’ve put together a list of ten earthshaking rock albums that were impossible to follow up, often resulting in a derailment, a reinvention, or a fade-away. … Read More

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The 10 Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Bands To Dance To

Lonerism, the new album by the most excellent and hyper-talented Australian psych band Tame Impala is out today, and we’ve been enjoying it immensely. Perhaps the best thing about the band is that their music is as danceable as it is psychedelically wigged-out — something that’s perhaps more surprising than it should be. Happily, the dance music/rock music divide is far less pronounced than it used to be, but still, we go to far too many rock shows where everyone but us is just kinda standing and nodding their heads. So to celebrate Lonerism, we’ve selected some of our other favorite guitar-focused bands for jumping around like a lunatic to. Who are your choices? … Read More

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Literary Mixtape: The Sisters Brothers

If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: the homicidal cowboy brothers from Patrick DeWitt’s recent Booker-shortlisted novel, The Sisters Brothers. … Read More

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Duane Dalton’s Elegantly Redesigned ‘Album Anatomy’

You might be tempted to lump in Duane Dalton’s Album Anatomy series with the many “minimalist” renderings of pop-culture icons and artifacts that have flooded the Internet. But the Dublin-based designer is actually doing something a bit more interesting than many of his peers, pushing all the information about the record to the top and bottom of the image and using the center space to illustrate his own experience of it. Dalton writes that the project is “an exploration in the art of reduction. It breaks down album imagery into its purist [sic] form by discarding any unnecessary information. This is achieved using a strict grid that displays the relevant album details, which leaves a central void to convey a response to the album. This void is filled by my personal response to an album. It can be influenced by a key track, the cover art or the overall flavour of the album.” Click through to view some of our favorite Album Anatomy redesigns, and visit Dalton’s website to see many more. … Read More

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Read an Excerpt of Jonathan Lethem’s Book About Talking Heads

“Recommendation: When using this product, actually listening to the record is strongly indicated. I don’t mean just on those crappy little speakers built into your computer, either. And turn it up, for fuck’s sake.” Those are the instructions that greet the reader of Jonathan Lethem’s Fear of Music, a book about the Talking… Read More

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