The Velvet Underground

The Perfect Bands to Suit Your Every Obscure Mood

Most pop songs are about love — falling in it, basking in its glow, getting sick of it, mourning its death, searching anew for it. Considering how much of our emotional energy is devoted to those things, this makes some sense. But what about feelings that have nothing to do with romance? How can those of us who prefer to treat our psychological excesses with music — rather than, say, talk therapy or medication — revel in nostalgia or beat an acute case of anxiety? We’ve made our prescriptions after the jump; be sure to take two, call us in the morning, and tell us what mood-music pairings you’d add in the comments. … Read More

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Happy 70th Birthday, Lou Reed: Great Vintage Velvet Underground Videos

He may be the theoretically ageless embodiment of New York City music and style — come on Village Voice, is this even a contest? — but Lou Reed very definitely turns 70 today. So, to commemorate his nearly five decades of cultural influence (and also to help us forget about Lulu), we’ve compiled some vintage clips from Reed’s earliest days in the musical spotlight. Five of the best Velvet Underground videos you can find on the Internet — including Andy Warhol’s feature-length film about the band — are after the jump. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. She might be less than a week old, but thanks to her credited appearance on “Glory,” Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s new baby daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, is now the youngest person ever to have a song on the Billboard chart. [via Billboard]

2. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences is considering… Read More

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10 of the Most Memorable Fictional Characters in Music

We talk a lot, here at Flavorpill, about our favorite characters from books, film, and TV. And, although we’ve made a habit of compiling mixtapes for everyone from Nancy Drew to Josef K, it isn’t often that we consider the music world’s own fictional creations. After the jump, we attempt to right that oversight with an incredibly subjective roundup of music’s most memorable characters. Add your suggestions in the comments; if we get enough great ones, we might just publish a follow-up post of reader picks. … Read More

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Our 10 Favorite Sonic Odes to Drinking Establishments

As the weather gets colder, we’re beginning to appreciate our neighborhood bar more and more. After all, there’s nothing better than sipping a warm-you-up drink in the fading autumn sunlight. Nothing, that is, except doing that while listening to one of your favorite tunes. There are a million songs about drinking, it being one of man’s favorite pastimes, but here we’ve collected ten of our favorites about bars, pubs, and other drinking establishments in particular, so as to celebrate those fall and winter hideaways. And just for fun, we’ve added a drink suggestion to go with each spot. Click through to have a listen to our list, and let us know which of your own favorites we’ve missed in the comments! … Read More

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The Life and Art of the Velvet Underground's First Drummer

Before Maureen Tucker took over on drums, the Velvet Underground had Angus MacLise on bongos and tablas. He quit before the band’s first paid gigs. As Lou Reed explains, “He found out that at a paying job he had to start and stop playing when told to. No one told Angus to stop playing.” Not just an offbeat drummer who was too bohemian for the Velvet Underground, MacLise was an artistic polyglot, a poet, a visual artist, an avant-garde performer and “a downtown shaman,” celebrated at Dreamweapon: The Art and Life of Angus MacLise (1938-1979) exhibit at the Boo-Hooray Gallery in Chelsea. … Read More

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10 Fashion Designers and the Musicians Who Inspired Them

As anyone who’s ever cracked open a copy of Dick Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style — or, really, just taken a walk around a trendy neighborhood in a major city — knows, there will always be a relationship between the music listen to and the clothes we wear. And while musical movements and the street style that surrounds them are always fodder for designers, it’s rarer to find entire collections inspired by a single artist. Check out ten of our favorites after the jump, and then continue your fashion odyssey with this roundup of clothing influenced by books. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: Anika

While Anika’s self-titled debut is ostensibly a solo album, it’s actually a collaborative effort initiated by Geoff Barrow of Portishead fame.

Barrow brought Anika, who spent her days as a political journalist, into the studio with his post-punk trio Beak>, banging out a nine-track album of dub-heavy ’60s and ’70s covers by artists ranging from Yoko Ono to Bob Dylan in less than two weeks.

As a singer, Anika bears a startling resemblance to Nico, both in delivery and tone, while the stripped-down quality of the recordings makes the album sound like an actual time capsule from 40 years ago. It’s a bass-drenched retro trip that spits in the face of modern production, embracing the rawest, most visceral elements of timeless sound. … Read More

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The Etymology of 10 Famous Band Names

On Monday, Coach Leonard Skinner — the beloved high school teacher and namesake of Lynyrd Skynyrd — passed away at the age of 77, and a little piece of frat rock died with him. A sad event for lovers of Southern jukebox-jams everywhere, to be sure, but also a reminder of a pretty good band name back story. It got us thinking about our favorite, unexpected band names and where they come from. Virginia Woolf stories, slang terms for speed, poorly understood foreign terms: all are fodder for some pretty excellent handles. So, in memory of Coach Skinner, we’ve compiled the etymology of 10 famous band names. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: Dean & Britta

Double-disc set 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests collects the tracks that Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips wrote and performed live to accompany the Pop art icon’s legendary films.

Dean & Britta were originally commissioned to soundtrack the silent films by the Andy Warhol Museum, which allowed them to select their 13 favorites from the vast Screen Tests archive. Their final selections included clips of Factory regulars Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick, Dennis Hopper, and Nico, with the resulting music ranging from new compositions to a cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Not a Young Man Anymore.” … Read More

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