The blizzards in New York and Chicago might have moved on, but the streets are nowhere close to being cleared of snow. Looking out the window of the Flavorpill offices, we’re suddenly nostalgic for times when a constant blur of bicycles would whiz by below, delivery boys and commuters alike pedaling freely toward their destination.
Taking a recommendation from our @flavorpill Twitter followers, we’ve compiled a playlist of the best songs about bicycling, perfect for a commute, reminding you to get out and ride once the big melt is over. Or use it as fodder for imagining Anthony Kiedis or Tom Waits cruising along on a ten speed. Either way.
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With their fifth album, trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack return to their roots, delivering a brooding song cycle with contributions from Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe.
Other guests on the album include Elbow frontman Guy Garvey, Martina Topley-Bird, and longtime collaborator Horace Andy. Additionally, Heligoland marks the return of original member Grant “Daddy G” Marshall to the fold, helping the group re-discover the energy that made 1997′s Mezzanine a high-water mark for its field.
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By now, the psychedelic Brooklynites in Yeasayer are probably sick of being compared to Animal Collective. So we hope they don’t mind us saying that listening to their second full-length, Odd Blood, this January reminds us of playing AnCo’s Merriweather Post Pavilion at the same time last year — which is to say, as far as we’re concerned, Odd Blood has set the bar for 2010. A 2007 buzz band with the release of debut All Hour Cymbals, Yeasayer have massively overhauled their sound on the new record, trading the devotional and hypnotic for something that’s more upbeat and darkly revelatory.
This reinvention has saved Yeasayer from the sad fate of so many former critical darlings, from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! to Tapes ‘N Tapes to (dare we say it?) Vampire Weekend: that disappointment we call the “sophomore slump.” So, in celebration of Odd Blood, we offer 10 blog-age artists whose second full-lengths lived up to (or surpassed) the promise of their predecessors.
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Search for “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” on iTunes and you’ll see an endless array of interpretations of the 1984 Band Aid classic. And beginning today (with a 7” to follow in February), you’ll find perhaps the most exciting rendition of all time. The brainchild of post-hardcore innovators Fucked Up, the new version also features the vocal stylings of a shockingly stellar selection of musicians, including Yo La Tengo, GZA, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Bob Mould, Tegan & Sara, Andrew W.K., Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, David Cross and Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew. And in the grand “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” tradition, the band is looking out for the ladies: Fucked Up will donate all proceeds from the single to Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, DTES Power of Women Group and Sisters in… Read More
Kyp Malone’s anticipated solo project Rain Machine is more experimental and musically diverse than anything TV On The Radio has put out. It’s an album that is personal and raw; it’s Kyp Malone at his most exposed. Missing is the sonic fuzz, which leaves space for more melodic instrumentation and more focus on Kyp’s lyrical content. The sound of the album is musically diverse: lush Astral Weeks-eqsue orchestration, stripped down bluesy acoustic guitar/banjo strums, tribal drum beats, and soulful gospel breakdowns all tied together by Kyp’s soulful croak. After catching his tour kick-off at Bell House earlier in the week, we got together with Kyp to learn a little more about the… Read More
1. TV on the Radio is taking a year-long break from touring and recording to work on other projects. [via NME]
2. The official statement: “Oprah is very appreciative that Chris Brown performed at her school but she takes domestic abuse very seriously. She hopes he gets the counseling he needs.” [via … Read More
Total bedlam with a good soundtrack, that’s Lollapalooza. The last time I was in Chicago’s Grant Park with this many people — estimates show 200,000 bought tickets — we’d all just voted out a malevolent Washington administration that was past its expiration date. This time though, rather than packing in politely to hear a presidential victory speech, the masses and I were there to see as many different bands as humanly possible during a three-day free-for-all. People may not have been crying tears of joy in this case, but spirits were definitely high. It would be nice to think that the world is a gentler place now than it was last November, but it’s not exactly true. Instead, the Midwest’s main music festival just seemed to prove that we’re pretty good at ignoring hard times. As Perry Ferrell himself said, Lollapalooza is recession… Read More
1. Bruno‘s performance peaked on opening night and had a huge drop the rest of the weekend, finishing with $30.4 million. [via Yahoo!]
2. Brooklyn band TV on the Radio isn’t as popular with fans in the UK. [via NME]
3. “A made-for-tv gun battle erupted outside a Brooklyn… Read More
Before we begin, we’d like to point out that in this edition of the BBBC, links to purchase books go to Powell’s instead of Amazon. We don’t have a problem with the ‘zon – maybe we’ve mentioned our love for Kindle, blogger issues aside? — but they seem to be doing just fine, while independent bookstores are dropping like flies. We may love Kindle, but we also love bookstores and the people who run them, and they need our book buying dollars a hell of a lot more (plus e-books occasionally skimp on features, like Benji’s map of Sag Harbor). Yeah, we know Buy Indie Day was May 1st and that Powell’s is one of the most famous independent bookstores in the world, but we’re reminding you that there’s nothing wrong with buying indie every day, online or locally. On to the books, after the… Read More
I’m one of those people who sometimes goes to the gym. Like everyone else, I get sucked into the many televisions strategically placed in front of the stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills. And what’s on? The same channel as always: mtvU. Insipid music videos stream steadily. However, there are news updates from ABC… which features the FOX news logo. Blargh. Sometimes you can’t help watching the changing colors and images with voyeuristic curiosity. TV on the Radio showed up one day this week. Their video for “Golden Age” is pretty mythological and psychedelic; I’d argue that the costumes are more stimulating than the song, though.
After their video, a blonde chick appeared on-screen. She was one of those girls who sing and dance up against a microphone stand. Keyboards were placed next to her; she touched them once near the end of the song. Initially, I thought it was Ashlee Simpson. Then Heidi Montag from The Hills. And then the band was identified as Metric. It was the video for their new single, “Gimme Shelter.” Whaaat? What happened to you Emily… Read More