Talking Heads

An Introduction to Arthur Russell’s Weird, Wonderful World

Disco producer, avant-garde experimentalist, classically trained cellist, visionary: there are few artists who’ve been both as under-appreciated and as influential as Arthur Russell. Over the course of his career, spanning the early ’70s until his AIDS-related death in 1992, Russell’s work encompassed a bewildering variety of projects, many of which never saw the light of day until after his death. With the all-star tribute album Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell out this week (and featuring Robyn, Hot Chip, Phosphorescent, Blood Orange, and many more), it seems like a fine time to look back at the great man’s remarkably diverse and innovative discography. If you’ve always wondered just where to start with Russell, wonder no longer! … Read More

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The 45 Greatest Concert Movies of All Time

Forty-five years ago today, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair got underway at Yasgur’s Farm in upstate New York, kicking off a weekend of music and memories for 400,000 attendees and four-and-a-half decades of wistful Boomer nostalgia. (More on that next week.) It also resulted in 1970’s Woodstock, one of the most influential and perhaps the greatest of all concert movies — so in honor of the festival’s 45th anniversary, we rounded up the 45 best examples of the… Read More

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The 25 Greatest Songs About City Life

Most big cities with any sort of history have a song. If that city’s New York, it has about 1000 of ‘em. But to be a classic of the genre, the song has to speak to bigger themes about city life, be it the hustle, the danger, or the beauty below the filth. Here are the 25 best, from Lou Reed to Nas to The… Read More

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David Byrne Explains the Secret “Psycho Killer” Subtext of ‘Stop Making Sense’ at Lincoln Center

David Byrne was pretty bummed to be out of town a couple weeks ago when Katy Perry brought her emoji-laden live spectacle to New York arenas. “I would never want to do all that, but it might spark an idea,” the former Talking Heads leader told the crowd at Lincoln Center Friday night. How he got from Stop Making Sense, the Talking Heads’ influential concert film that’s currently celebrating its 30th anniversary with a digital release and theatrical run, to the queen of the “California Gurls” is a testament to Byrne’s unique creative wiring. Following a screening of Stop Making Sense at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sound + Vision series, Byrne gave a glimpse into his mind, including his intended second meaning behind the rock doc: the “Psycho Killer” trying to heal through human connection and art.… Read More

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Where to Start with the 13,000 Concert Videos in YouTube’s Music Vault

Last week, YouTube announced a partnership with Music Vault that brought thousands of remastered, high-quality live performances to the platform. More than 13,000 of these concert clips, to be exact, spanning every rock legend of the last 50 years all the way to modern indie favorites (and even a baffling amount of Limp Bizkit.) No longer will late-night YouTube rabbit-holes be relegated to lo-fi bootlegs or shaky cell phone footage, huzzah! The partnership marks an initial step in YouTube’s increased interest in the music space. … Read More

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Music-Loving Makeup Artist Paints Classic Album Covers Directly Onto Her Face

Looking for a new beauty look to prepare for next year’s Record Store Day? Natalie Sharp has you covered. The London makeup artist decided to commemorate the day by painting eight album covers onto her face — a slightly delusional choice, she told The Quietus: “I stupidly thought I could knock these out in a day.” Each face, she says, took three to six hours, and was painted entirely freehand — no stencils. … Read More

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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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