The Flaming Lips

Will ‘The Terror’ Make Us Care About The Flaming Lips’ Music Again?

The Flaming Lips’ new album The Terror is out today, and… well, it’s pretty good, to be honest. Does anyone care? We hope so, but then, you couldn’t blame them for not paying a great deal of attention, given that making actual music seems to be rather low on The Flaming Lips’ list of priorities these days. As has been well documented, over the last couple of years the band has devolved into something of a traveling sideshow, a sort of ongoing publicity stunt for the titillation of the music press. Is their latest album good enough to make us take them seriously again? … Read More

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The Fascinating Untold Stories Behind Some of Our Favorite Songs

Sure, everyone knows that Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” is about about his son falling from a window, Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” may or may not be about Warren Beatty, and “In the Air Tonight” is not about watching someone drown. But there are plenty of other less well-documented backstories behind popular songs — like the one that surfaced over the weekend about The Beatles’ “Get Back” starting its life as a dubious satire called “No Pakistanis.” Wisely, the band rewrote the lyrics before releasing the song, but it remains a pretty fascinating piece of history, and our cue to discuss the less-documented stories lurking behind some of the songs in our iTunes collection. … Read More

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The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in April

Another month, another packed release schedule — and, as ever, we’ve picked out the ten best albums in the month ahead. On the whole, April is shaping up as a pretty excellent month for new records. Among other things, there’s the return of The Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, beautiful new music from The Besnard Lakes and Iron & Wine, weird dance-floor-friendly horrorcore from Xander Harris, the continuing renaissance of James Williamson-era Iggy and the Stooges, and at least one album of the year contender. (Spoiler: The… Read More

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The 10 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Savages, John Vanderslice

It’s Friday afternoon, which means that we’re counting down to beer o’clock, and amusing ourselves during these long beerless hours by recapping all the best music we heard during the past week. Happily, there’s plenty of good stuff to stream — most notably, there’s the new Savages song, which is many many kinds of awesome and augurs very well indeed for their debut album. There’s also the John Vanderslice “Diamond Dogs” cover that we premiered earlier this week, most excellent remixes of Kendrick Lamar and Phoenix, new songs from Cold Cave and Stephin Merritt, the entire new Flaming Lips album (live!), and more. Get streaming, peoples! … Read More

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Great Bands That Made (Relatively) Forgettable Debut Records

In an interesting cosmic coincidence, this week marks notable anniversaries for two of the more significant debut albums in the world of rock ‘n’ roll: 25 years ago yesterday, the Pixies released Surfer Rosa, while 50 years ago today, the Beatles released Please Please Me. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is the contrast between the quality of the records — Surfer Rosa was a fully realized artistic vision, while Please Please Me only hinted at what the Beatles would go on to achieve. Still, the Fab Four are in pretty good company as far as bands who overcame relatively unimpressive debut albums go. As these ten records prove, there’s hope for everyone! … Read More

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The Most Hilariously Bizarre Commercials Starring Musicians

If you’re a brand seeking some measure of credibility with the kidz, the concept of getting a musician to flog your product for you makes perfect sense — the only problem is how you go about doing so without making it look like a crass commercial cash grab that will arouse only contempt in your target audience. This dilemma has led to some pretty bizarre advertisements over the years, some successful, some rather less so. Anyway, in light of the glut of such adverts recently (in the last month or so, there have been recent ads starting Billy Corgan, Wayne Coyne, and Tyler, the Creator) we thought we’d round up some of the weirdest we could find, both past and present. … Read More

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The Year in Memorable Musical Controversies

2012 has been a crazy year in many ways, and the music industry hasn’t exactly been immune to its air of pervading insanity. (In fairness, the music industry is rarely immune to any sort of insanity, but still, humor us here.) This year has given us a particularly rich vein of memorable controversies, conflicts, and contretemps, and as part of our ongoing end-of-year wrap-up, we’re looking back at some of the most significant. Some of these are hilarious, some of them depressing, some of them hilariously depressing, and some just plain old bewildering — but from the resurrection of dead rappers through homeless people functioning as wifi hotspots to a record company suing an entire country, all of them have been worth remembering. … Read More

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10 Amusing TV Theme Song Covers by Famous Musicians

If you were watching Late Night With Jimmy Fallon the other night, you might have been rather taken aback and amused by special musical guest Alicia Keys’ choice of song. Instead of performing one of her hits, she broke out a cover of the theme song to 1980s Disney TV series Adventures of the Gummi Bears. The bizarre spectacle got us thinking about some of the other covers of TV themes that have surfaced over the years — surprisingly enough, there aren’t that many to choose from, especially once you set aside the inexplicable ’90s/’00s trend of dire punk bands doing self-consciously goofy TV covers for reasons only they can explain. Still, there have been some to buck the trend, so here’s a New Found Glory-less roundup of famous bands doing TV theme songs for your listening pleasure. Did we miss any? … Read More

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Amanda Palmer’s Amanda Palmer-Loving, Wayne Coyne Co-Directed NSFW “Do It With a Rockstar” Video

Everyone is talking about Amanda Palmer. The drag queens are squabbling over whether she’s “fugly” or what she does is “art, bitch.” The hipsters in “Pave-adoh” T-shirts think she’s “a Scientologist and an ableist and a Klan member — and she hates men, she hates women. She hates everything!” But they actually all secretly love Amanda Palmer, because they end up at her show anyway to watch her rock out and get covered in glitter. And one of the hipsters, played by “porn star, feminist, smart alec, FORCE” Stoya Doll, ends up going home with Palmer. Yes, of course, there is girl-on-girl action in this video.

So, basically, according to Amanda Palmer — and Wayne Coyne, who co-directed the video with her, George Salisbury, and Michael McQuilken and appears in an extremely brief and death-defying cameo — everyone who says they hate Amanda Palmer actually wants to sleep with Amanda Palmer. Yup. So, if you’re interested, watch the NSFW Amanda Palmer controversy train roll on below! … Read More

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10 Gloriously Absurd Albums That Actually Exist

We’ve been thoroughly enjoying the new Prince Rama record, Top Ten Hits of the End of the World, here at Flavorpill central, and not just because of its rather topical apocalyptic overtones. We’re all for outlandish concepts and wild ambition, and this record certainly satisfies both those criteria — it’s based around exactly what its title suggests, with the Larson sisters channeling the spirit of ten bands who’ll die during some sort of unspecified future holocaust to create a sort of post-apocalyptic compilation record (with a healthy dose of the band’s “Now Age” philosophy on the side). The whole thing’s as endearingly ridiculous as it sounds, and it’s also pretty great — so to celebrate its release, we thought we’d look at some of our favorite records in a similar vein, albums based around concepts that sound too outlandish to be true, but do exist nevertheless. Let us know if you have any to add! … Read More

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