The Who

The 25 Best Rock Movies Ever Made

Next Tuesday, the Criterion Collection will release an all-new, stunningly restored, and just plain wonderful Blu-ray version of A Hard Day’s Night, the classic Beatles musical comedy that, wouldn’t you know it, also turns 50 years old this summer. To mark the release of that acclaimed rocker (and the theatrical unveiling of the thus-far less-acclaimed Four Seasons biopic Jersey Boys), we decided to round up the best rock movies of all time — no concert films and no documentaries, but narrative films where popular music plays a vital… Read More

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‘Quadrophenia’s’ Hyperrealistic Portrait of Teen Angst, 1960s Mod Style

Plenty of films that came out of England in the ’60s featured a mod aesthetic, but the one that definitively captured the mod subculture was Franc Roddam’s 1979 film Quadrophenia. Based on the 1973 concept album of the same name by The Who, the film, like the rock opera on which it’s based, is both a celebration and a critique of the subculture — which, by the time of its release, had already found a revival. It’s a brilliant piece of cinema that captures the counterculture and moral panic in post-war England, an early nostalgic look at a movement that defined and era and influenced fashion, film, and particularly music in the latter half of the 20th century. … Read More

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The Essential Mod Playlist

While the mod subculture is known for a lot of things, particularly fashion, the most influential aspect of the mod aesthetic is the music. Many of England’s most important figures in rock ‘n’ roll started out by dabbling in garage-rock and rhythm and blues in the early and mid-’60s. Inspired by African-American musicians who released blues records decades before them (as, in turn, the second wave of the subculture would be inspired by Jamaican artists in the ’70s, developing the ska revival), these artists took an American sound and added a manic, post-war British sensibility which, in turn, influenced a generation of American musicians. Here is a collection of the movement’s musical contributions. … Read More

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10 Essential Mod Movies

Considering the heavy cycles of biker movies, hippie trip flicks, and “Blaxpoitation” epics that took over drive-in screens and movie theaters around the world in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it’s a little surprising that the mods were so oddly underrepresented in cinema. But enough representations of the culture made their way into the movies for us to present this little primer of mod at the movies. … Read More

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The Mod Suit: How a Uniform Defined a Subculture

The British and the Italians have always done suits better than anybody else, and each of the countries has a style all its own. To understand the differences between the two, you might start by picturing some stately looking British gentleman stepping out of a Savile Row tailor in a suit that makes him looks good because the lines are cut with such classic precision. In contrast, an Italian suit might conjure up a mental image of a sleek-looking gentleman who jumps on his scooter after sipping an espresso with a lemon twist. He’s the definition of modern, and he does it so effortlessly. … Read More

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10 Classic Rock Songs That Are Also Epic Mansplanations

Women: according to thousands of beloved songs, we’re shallow or manipulative or cruel or stupid or some unholy combination of the above. Sexism in pop music is so common that pointing out individual instances can begin to feel obvious or redundant. But there’s a certain brand of sexist speech that has fascinated the Internet — and that includes your humble correspondent — over the past few years: the mansplanation. Well, it’s not just for think-pieces and bad cocktail-party chatter. In pop music, the mansplanation manifests itself as a song that finds a male singer directly addressing a woman, bestowing upon her some deeply felt yet condescending pearls of wisdom — generally about the “girl” (as he invariably calls her) herself. Done right, the mansplanation-in-song is as amusing as it is revolting. And nowhere is it more common than in classic rock. Here are ten egregious examples. … Read More

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10 of Music’s Most Controversial Performances

Kanye West is the latest pop musician to entertain an ethically dodgy audience: the rapper recently performed at a wedding for the grandson of Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev for a reported sum of $3 million. Kazakhstan is not one of the most politically sound countries in the world right now, and its government’s violent tactics have been called out by Human Rights Watch. The country’s uncomfortable present is one of the reasons Sting turned down an offer to perform for the Kazakh government in 2011, and you’d think West would’ve followed suit given his occasionally political songwriting. But his appearance is just another in a long, long list of jaw-dropping musical moments. Below, we round up some of the most questionable, violent, attention-grabbing performances of the past century. … Read More

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The 50 Greatest Summer Albums, 1963-2013

Summer officially arrives this week, bringing with it afternoons in the park and rooftop parties and beaches. The thing is, though, every summer needs a soundtrack, and while every year there seems to be a rush to anoint a certain tune The Song of the Summer™, Flavorwire decided to go one better and choose a quintessential summer album for every one of the past 50 years, as something of a sequel to last month’s list of the 50 albums you need to own, 1963-2013. Click through and get… Read More

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7 Music Videos More Destructive Than Vampire Weekend’s “Diane Young”

You’d think it would be hard for a music video that’s practically a still life to offend anyone, but this year prepster darlings Vampire Weekend have been taking heat for the video for new single “Diane Young,” which shows an old Saab bursting into flames with downtown Manhattan in the background. Frontman Ezra Koenig has clarified that the vehicles in question were old, out of order, and dirt cheap — and we’d like to remind the offended car lovers that Vampire Weekend are hardly the most extreme when it comes to making destructive music videos. Read on for the most chaotic clips, from combusting drum sets to a kids’ birthday party from hell to a Hunger Games-style rap epic. … Read More

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Intimate Photos of Rock Stars from 1960s and ’70s ‘Melody Maker’

We were always big fans of now-defunct UK music weekly Melody Maker — it was always rather less self-important and more lighthearted than the NME — so we were chuffed to see that the Morrison Hotel Gallery in NYC is hosting a retrospective of work by one of the publication’s staff photographers, Barrie Wentzell. Wentzell shot for the magazine in the 1960s and 1970s, and the exhibition covers the years 1965-75, including portraits of Leonard Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and various other luminaries of the era. The gallery has been kind enough to give us a sneak peek at some of the images, along with commentary from the photographer. See the photos and hear the stories behind them… Read More

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