Van Halen

The Fascinating Untold Stories Behind Some of Our Favorite Songs

Sure, everyone knows that Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” is about about his son falling from a window, Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” may or may not be about Warren Beatty, and “In the Air Tonight” is not about watching someone drown. But there are plenty of other less well-documented backstories behind popular songs — like the one that surfaced over the weekend about The Beatles’ “Get Back” starting its life as a dubious satire called “No Pakistanis.” Wisely, the band rewrote the lyrics before releasing the song, but it remains a pretty fascinating piece of history, and our cue to discuss the less-documented stories lurking behind some of the songs in our iTunes collection. … Read More

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The 1980s’ Most Gloriously Absurd Song Lyrics

As we mentioned earlier this week in our regular streaming album roundup, we have something of a soft spot for 1980s rockers The Cult, mainly because they were so absurd that it was somewhat endearing, from Ian Astbury’s curious Native American obsession through Billy Duffy’s haircuts to writing songs with titles like “Aphrodisiac Jacket” and “Earth Mofo.” Amongst other things, they were also responsible for some of the ’80s most gloriously silly lyrics — and that‘s saying something, because the ’80s were home to lyrics that were very, very silly indeed. So silly, in fact, that we’re celebrating this week’s release of The Cult’s Choice of Weapon by collecting some of our favorite examples after the jump. All together now: “Take your seaside arms and write the next line!” … Read More

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10 of the All-Time Greatest Pop/Rock Collaborations

As we reported last week, apparently Ke$ha is collaborating with her “idol” Iggy Pop for a song on her upcoming album. Our initial response to this was pretty much like everyone else’s, involving a combination of the letters “W,” “T,” and “F,” but the more we think about it, the more we’re coming around to the idea that the track could actually be pretty great. After all, it’s hardly the first pop/rock collaboration, and some of the results of pairing up pop singers and rock stars over the years have been thoroughly excellent. We’ve pulled together a few of our favorite such collaborations after the jump — as ever, let us know (nicely) what we’ve missed. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Starchitect Rem Koolhaus has signed a deal to design and construct Marina Abramovic’s Center for the Preservation of Performance Art. The $8 million space in Hudson, New York will be devoted to showcasing performance art pieces of “six hours minimum.” [via Vulture]

2. While Whitney Houston’s funeral, which takes place this Saturday… Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. This year’s BAFTA longlist has been announced, with My Week With Marilyn and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy leading the pack with 16 mentions a piece. The narrowed down pool of nominees will be named on January 17, and the awards show will take place on February 12. [via Deadline]

2. Famed photo… Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. “There will never be a reunion … as I will never do anything with an as*hole like Will Smith. He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up. This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn’t know the word.” — Janet Hubert,… Read More

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This Morning’s Top 5 Cultural Stories

1. Anna Sui is launching a Gossip Girl-inspired collection for Target [via NYDN]

2. Guitar Hero: Van Halen has been confirmed [via Billboard]

3. The Saw franchise’s Darren Lynn Bousman will put a sadistic spin on motherhood in his next flick. [via THR]

4. Kiefer Sutherland was charged with third-degree head-butting after… Read More

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The Third Rail: A Cinco de Mayo Mix

Forget St. Patrick’s Day. Cinco de Mayo is the alcohol industry’s equivalent of a Hallmark holiday. Corona would like to think that May 5th is an important national holiday, but they’d also like you to think that you need a Lite version of their beer. And yet even if Cinco de Mayo is a manufactured anniversary akin to St. Valentine’s day, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use you it to douse your worries about swine flu in Mexico’s national drink: tequila. But since you won’t have the traditional mariachi band to back you up — unless you’re drinking on the subway — after a jump, a selection of songs to use as chasers. … Read More

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