Tom Petty

Pop For Skeptics: Why Are Music Videos So Obsessed with Fairy Tales?

Once upon a time, pop stars used to be just like us. But then at some point — probably during their impressionable youth, while the rest of us were stuck in SAT prep classes — they were whisked away to an enchanted world of pop superstardom. It was the promised land of excess and beauty, where everything is magical all of the time. Louboutin heels served as glass slippers; award ceremony afterparties as fancy balls; black limousines as horse-drawn pumpkin carriages; and hunky A-listers as Prince Charmings. Yet it’s an open secret that when most of these pretty young things got sucked into the vortex of pop, they also found themselves having to grow up overnight. While they shirked the banalities of roommates bugging them about the ConEd bill, pop stars found themselves entangled with the messier parts of becoming an adult too soon: contracts, scores of people relying on them to make piles of money, and grueling hours that most of us probably only begin to reckon with as adults.

So it makes a lot of sense that some of the biggest stars in pop have, at one time or another, have employed fairy tale motifs in their music videos — what other trope could so evocatively represent the difference between who they used to be and who they are now? In addition to providing a venue to meditate about who they have become, these children’s stories allow pop stars to reconnect with that younger, perhaps forsaken version of themselves. Perhaps that explains why the fairy-tale music video trend pervades popular music across cultural, geographical, and musical divides. After the jump, we explore some rock and pop stars’ kitschiest fairy tale fantasies — many of which harbor curiously dark messages about coming of age. … Read More

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16 Cartoon Characters Voiced by Rock Stars

Once upon a time, we were flipping through TV channels when suddenly… SpongeBob SquarePants and, uh, David Bowie? His voice is a great bit higher as Lord Royal Highness, almighty king of “Atlantis SquarePantis,” but you can’t fool us, Bowie — we’ve always known how much you love to play royalty. Inspired by the amusing discovery, we went on to unearth 16 strange cartoon characters voiced by 9 unexpected rock stars. Check ‘em out after the jump, and hit the comments to let us know the others that you’ve found over the years. Oh, and we didn’t include musicians who have voiced cartoon versions of themselves, or else this thing would be 95% The Simpsons. Sorry, Keith and Mick. … Read More

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Literary Mixtape: Atticus Finch

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: everyone’s favorite lawyer, Harper Lee’s Atticus Finch. … Read More

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Hear Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater Cover "Stop Dragging My Heart Around"

Here at Flavorpill, we were, um, delighted to feature on the Onion yesterday, but for all that we’ve always adored the paper’s scalpel-sharp satire, we’ve also long been fans of its more serious cousin, the AV Club. So we’re happy to see that their AV Undercover series — wherein they compile a list… Read More

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A Collection of Offbeat Rock Star Appearances in Animation

Let’s face it. Disney isn’t normally knocking on musicians’ doors, asking them to join the cast of their next animated masterpiece. Yet through the years, artists such as Lou Reed, Marilyn Manson, Tom Petty, and the lovable Donny Osmond (he was a little bit rock and roll, lest we forget!) have lent their voices and talents to a few lesser-known animated films, and cartoon series as well. Whether making an animated cameo, contributing to the soundtrack, or even taking on a completely different character, you’ll find that these ten rock and roll artists have certainly left their mark on the industry. Who did we leave out? … Read More

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The Best Songs about Los Angeles

Last night, morbid curiosity compelled us to check out the debut episode of Platinum Hit, a song that has Jewel and Kara DioGuardi searching for America’s next top songwriter. Allow us to save you some time: it’s terrible. We’re not sure whether the problem is the hyper-styled yet uninspired contestants or the show’s tight time constraints, but we feel confident in saying that it’s no Top Chef. The first challenge had the musicians composing odes to Los Angeles — and, despite being New Yorkers, the songs were so nauseating that we couldn’t help but feel for our friends to the west. That has inspired us to help heal their pain by rounding up ten of our favorite songs about L.A. They aren’t all happy, but at least they’re listenable. … Read More

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Video Killed the Literary Star? 10 Music Videos Inspired by Books

There are so many good songs that have been influenced by novels. For instance, Gang of Four’s, “We Live as We Dream, Alone” — a quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, which Beth Orton also references in Trailer Park, is a twofold example. There’s also Syd Barrett’s “Golden Hair” from The Madcap Laughs, where the former Pink Floyd frontman makes haunting music from James Joyce’s “Poem V.” And who could forget The Cure’s “Killing an Arab,” a riff on Albert Camus’s absurdist opus, The Stranger? Following this tack, we decided to do a roundup of ten music videos influenced by novels, from established artists to young upstarts. … Read More

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69 Things You Didn’t Know About Bob Dylan

On this day in 1941 at 9:05 p.m., little Bobby Zimmerman — a.k.a. His Dylanness — was born. Earn your degree in Dylanology with our primer on unexpected Bobster trivia, featuring one fact for each of his 69 years, after the jump. Don’t think twice! … Read More

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Why Women and ’90s Rock Videos Don’t Mix

Recently we noticed that the ’90s was a dangerous decade to be a woman in a rock music video — almost as bad as being a guy in a hip hop video. See: “Waterfalls” and “Crossroads” for proof of the latter. For the former, click through for four of the most morbid music videos we could assemble after the… Read More

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