The Shins

Zach Braff’s Music Taste Hasn’t Changed Since ‘Garden State,’ So We’re Naming It: Beigewave

You know the deal: this song will change your life, I swear. Etc. Etc. The first time audiences heard those words coming out of Natalie Portman’s mouth, I think they were interested in, albeit a little skeptical of, whatever music would follow. It was The Shins’ “New Slang,” a tambourine folk-rock number rife with sentiments of drifting and ultimately starting anew. For Garden State lead characters Andrew and Sam, at least during the time that the 2004 film follows them, a song like that could inspire action or more realistically, navel-gazing introspection. … Read More

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In Defense of ‘Garden State’

I think people honestly just don’t like Zach Braff’s face, and in fairness to them, it is sort of punchable. But the ever-polarizing actor’s recent Kickstarter campaign for his long-in-coming Garden State follow-up Wish I Was Here has cranked online Braff-punching up to volumes unheard in years — and in fairness to his critics, there is much to loathe about the story (more on that later). But it has also reinvigorated the narrative that Garden State, his 2004 debut film as writer/director, was a toxic piece of nuclear sludge that euthanized dogs and gave children bone cancer. Well, I’m here to tell you what 86% of critics and much of the viewing public said at the time: Garden State is a pretty good movie. In fact, it has moments of greatness. … Read More

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Ranking Rock Musicians’ Electronic Side Projects from Best to Worst

Things that we never expected to hear: Okkervil River’s Will Sheff has an electronic side project… and it’s actually quite good. Sheff released a song under the name Lovestreams earlier this week, and we’ve been rather enjoying it here at Flavorpill central, despite initial reservations about what in god’s name it might sound like. The track makes Sheff the latest in a long-ish line of guitar-wielding types who’ve decided that they’re rather like to twiddle knobs on the side, with wildly varying degrees of success. With that in mind, we thought we’d amuse ourselves looking at some such artists, ranking them from the very best to the very, very worst. … Read More

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5 Albums to Stream for Free This Week: The Shins, THEEsatisfaction

Welcome back to another edition of our regular Monday stream-a-thon, wherein we hunt down the best and/or most notable records streaming for free over the Internet this week. With the entire music industry apparently recovering from SXSW, it’s relatively slim pickings, but there’s still plenty to hold your interest, including The Shins’ first album in ages, an absolute belter of a debut from THEEsatisfaction, Daniel Rossen’s solo EP, snippets of Paul Weller dressing up as David Bowie, and outsider Casio music from an obscure songwriter about whom we know absolutely nothing. Click through and listen to your heart’s content! … Read More

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Literary Mixtape: Madeline

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: one of the most beloved heroines of our childhoods, Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline. … Read More

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The Best and Worst of Last Night's 'SNL' with Jonah Hill

Last night on Saturday Night Live, Jonah Hill returned to his hosting duties to somewhat mixed results. To our minds, Hill was a little underused, or maybe used in the wrong way — he was too often the straight man and not let off the leash enough. And while he broke a little too often, we found it more charming than awkward, which isn’t always the case. Plus, the Shins were predictably wonderful as musical guest, and there was one instance of the most advanced makeup we’ve ever seen on the show (even if the skit it appeared in was wildly uncomfortable). Click through to watch the best and worst sketches of the night, and let us know how you thought Jonah Hill did in the comments. … Read More

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10 Albums You Need to Hear in March

Extra day or not, February seems to have flown by, and it was a fine month for music lovers, with a slew of decent record releases to fill your shelves and/or your iTunes library. Today we’re looking ahead to March, which seems to start with a rush — there’s a heap of good releases on March 6 — and then just tails off somewhat. But never fear, we’ve still found ten albums that should most definitely be on music lovers’ shopping lists this month. Click through to see our selections, and let us know what you’re looking forward to. Yes, Madonna fans, even you. … Read More

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

Today at Flavorpill, we were a little freaked over these photos of a fictional drug addict for the Israel Anti-Drug Authority ad campaign. We were relieved that Jay-Z and Beyonce didn’t actually pay $1 million for a private hospital floor. We tried to imagine a time when states like Texas … Read More

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Literary Mixtape: Holly Golightly

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: Truman Capote’s “American Geisha,” Holly Golightly. … Read More

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Flavorpill’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2012

With end-of-year listomania receding and release schedules starting to get locked down for the coming year, it’s time to stop looking back and start looking forward at the the most exciting albums due out next year. We’ve started with a selection of 15 records that have definite (or pretty much definite) release dates, titles, etc. — mostly in the first three months of the year — and also included a more speculative look further forward at a selection of albums that are rumored to be dropping at some point in 2012. So far, we have to say that it’s shaping up to be an excellent year — bring on January! … Read More

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