“Because the Night” Belongs to Vivian: Links You Need to See

Did you know Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” — arguably one of her most accessible pieces — actually began as a Bruce Springsteen song that he wrote and rejected? The A.V. Club, in their column “Hear This,” has this week set its focus on songs written by men that women interpreted better. Check it out for more on how Patti Smith vitalized, morphed and rewrote Springsteen’s sloppy seconds and made “Because the Night” one of the most memorable rock ballads of the 70s.  … Read More

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David Byrne to Curate a Color Guard Soundtracked by St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, Kelis, and More

David Byrne’s disco musical with Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love, closed earlier this month, but unsurprisingly, he has another… Read More

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Merrill Garbus’ (tUnE-yArDs’) Head Gets Packaged By Mannequins in “Real Thing” Video

According to the press release for the video of tUnE-yards’ “Real Thing” (off the May album Nikki Nack it was originally “the one… Read More

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The Ultimate Roadtrip Soundtrack

Presented by Starbucks

Although it’s tempting to bump Beyoncé all the way, we’ve rounded up some excellent new tunes to soundtrack your summer roadtrip. Whether you’re going upstate, down-shore, or cross-country, you can press play on these tracks for a refreshing summer playlist. Once you’ve got these contenders for “song of the summer,” check out Flavorpill’s exclusive Summer Guide for our top picks of awesome things to do this summer. … Read More

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tUnE-yArDs’ ‘Nikki Nack': The Polarizing Masks of Merrill Garbus

Midway through tUnE-yArDs’ new album Nikki Nack, an interlude splits the album in two. Merrill Garbus adopts a belch-like voice and proselytizes the benefits of eating “tots.” At first you assume tater; turns out she means children. This interjection recalls her puppeteer days and echoes her self-branding as the wacky pedagogue. Critics have deemed this one of Garbus’ most egregious missteps on Nikki Nack, but after a few irksome listens, it actually strikes up a dialogue regarding Garbus’ bold, perplexing, and sometimes controversial qualities: she’s a favorite among “cool” lovers of experimental pop while embodying the “uncool” extroversion of stereotyped thespians. In a similarly contradictory fashion, critics don’t know whether to critique her for her appropriations of African pop or to laud her for paying homage to it. It’s in these juxtapositions that Garbus’ vision lives. … Read More

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The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in May

If you’re not listening to something new this May, do me a favor and ask yourself this: do you even like music? That’s how jam-packed the month is with new albums. It was difficult to pick just ten, so our “also out” section on the last page really is worth your time. Let’s start with the beginning of the month and work our way toward June.

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Stream tUnE-yArDs’ New Album Now

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tUnE-yArDs’ Take on Pee-Wee With “Water Fountain”

In 2011, teacher-turned-tUnE-yArDs Merrill Garbus dubbed her booming adult voice over that of a little girl crawling through a classroom for… Read More

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The 15 Best Nirvana Covers You May Not Have Heard

If you haven’t gathered as much from the rash of think-pieces and tributes (we suggest you read these instead), tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. While the many words you may read in the next few weeks about Cobain’s legacy demonstrate his importance to generations of listeners (and music journalists), it’s also pretty clear that Cobain and Nirvana are a heavy influence on the bands that followed in their footsteps — and even some of their contemporaries and predecessors. It’s a ballsy move to cover a classic Nirvana song, and there have been some famous artists who have tackled the obvious ones (particularly Tori Amos and Patti Smith, who have both recorded famous version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”). There are also, however, plenty of musicians who came before and after Kurt Cobain who have successfully put their own spin on his words.  … Read More

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The 6 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Sia, tUnE-yArDs, Jay Electronica

Another week, another onslaught of new tunes. We’re loving lots of fresh-sounding pop ladies this week, from songwriting juggernaut Sia focusing on herself again to the Afrobeat energy of tUnE-yArDs. Get listening, folks. … Read More

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