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The Death of Gene Ween: Aaron Freeman’s Successful Second Act

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous quote about there being no second acts in American lives has become one of the great truisms of our entertainment industry. It’s even harder to go on to something new when you’ve been in the same band for 30 years, and when the image that band projects to the world is set in stone — in this case, that image is a man with a nitrous oxide bong strapped to his face, staring at you from the front of Leonard Cohen’s Greatest Hits. Ween were the great eccentrics of the rock ‘n’ roll world for the best part of three decades, and it’s doubtless difficult for Aaron Freeman — he who was until a couple of years ago known as Gene Ween — to step out from the pod and stand alone. But Freeman’s new album under the moniker of, um, Freeman (out now) finds him doing exactly that, and succeeding. … Read More

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20 Years of Weezer’s ‘Blue Album': 11 Musicians Dissect It Track By Track

Back in the spring of ’94, just a month after Kurt Cobain’s suicide, Weezer released its self-titled debut, affectionately dubbed the Blue Album . What Blue offered was a new spin on the alternative music trend that had dominated the airwaves; the major label signing of a group of scraggly nerds with Gene Simmons dreams, Gene Wilder awkwardness, and Gene Kelly kitsch was proof enough of the trend’s mainstream tipping point. To celebrate the Blue Album‘s 20th anniversary this week, Flavorwire asked 11 musicians to commemorate it with an all-star track-by-track. Some — like Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino — are Weezer pals and collaborators, while the bulk of the bands represented here — like Wavves, Dashboard Confessional, Saves the Day, Ash, and Aaron Freeman (aka, Gene Ween) — have toured with Weezer through the years and/or performed aboard the annual Weezer Cruise. Others — like Laura Stevenson, The So So Glos, Potty Mouth, Dead Stars, and even EDM trio Cash Cash — are mere Cuomosexuals, showing that Weezer’s influence can be found in many corners of the music… Read More

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20 of the Flat-Out Funniest Songs in Rock ‘n’ Roll

In an attempt to save you (not to mention ourselves) from the general Monday-morning awfulness that tends to follow a lovely spring weekend, Flavorwire has compiled a playlist of indie/rock/generally guitar-based songs that are genuinely funny. These are 20 of the flat-out wittiest and most amusing songs we know — and we guarantee that at least one of them will make you chuckle. (Note: we’re discounting actual comedy songs here, so no Lonely Island/Flight of the Conchords/etc.) Keep the hilarity going by adding to our list in the comments. … Read More

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The Most Underrated Guitarists in Rock ‘n’ Roll

We were rather chuffed to note the presence of a new record by Ry Cooder in the release schedule for this week. We’ve long been fans of Cooder’s work, both because he’s a great songwriter and because he’s a fantastic guitarist — we’re constantly disappointed to find him missing from the Greatest Guitarist Ever lists that crop up from time to time.… Read More

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The Bands Responsible for Music’s Most Hilarious Song Titles

We are excited about the arrival of the new Future of the Left record, which is out this week and — despite what you might read elsewhere — is pretty great and thoroughly worth hearing. Among other things, it includes a song called “Robocop 4 — Fuck Off Robocop,” which goes straight into the pantheon of Great Song Titles of Our Time. It’ll find a home there amongst several other Falkous compositions — he’s been responsible for some killers over the years, both with Future of the Left and their predecessors mclusky. We do love the art of a good song title, and we’ve always been partial to bands who can adorn their songs with names that make us giggle, so here’s a selection of some of our other favorites. What are yours? … Read More

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A Selection of Musicians Who Reliably Defy Expectations

Music lovers, rejoice — the new Liars album is out! If you’ve missed our earlier raves about it, suffice it to say that WIXIW (it’s pronounced “wish you,” incidentally) is one of the best things we’ve heard all year, and we’re very, very excited about it. It’s also the latest creative left turn for a band whose history has been full of them — if Liars’ career has been characterized by anything, it’s unpredictability. This is, of course, one of the reason we like them so much — bands whose sound varies radically from record to record are few and far between, but there are some great such groups operating today. Here’s a selection of our favorites. … Read More

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5 Albums to Stream for Free This Week: Beach House, Best Coast

Welcome to another edition of our regular Monday stream-a-thon, wherein we hunt down the best and/or most notable records streaming for free over the Internet. This week, there’s the new Beach House streaming in full, so if like us you’ve avoided the leaked version, then the wait to hear it is finally over. Yay! There’s also a new record from Best Coast, Danny Elfman’s Dark Shadows soundtrack, the return of Garbage, and, perhaps most intriguingly of all, an album of Rod McKuen covers by Dean Ween. Click through and listen to your heart’s content! … Read More

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The 30 Best Kiss-Offs in Musical History

Face it, we all like a good lyrical smackdown, and the art of the kiss-off line (or, indeed, entire kiss-off song) is one of the most time-honored and enduring in music. Good kiss-offs can take many forms — they can be subtle and sarcastic, or blunt and brutal, or just flat-out hilarious. Either way, there have been many, many good ones committed to tape over the years, and we’ve always had an ear for a biting turn of phrase — so we’re counting down 30 of the best after the jump. As ever, we’re open to suggestions, so let us know your favorites! … Read More

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Flavorpill’s Essential Holiday Season Music Events

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and all that. But if you’d rather pass the holiday season seeing some awesome bands than sitting inside gorging yourself on turkey and roast vegetables, then we’ve got you covered with this roundup of the shows that we’d love to be attending over the next month or so (if our budget extended to jetting all over the country to see them all, which sadly it doesn’t). Anyway, have a read and let us know what’s on your gig-going itinerary for the next month or so. We can make it through this together. … Read More

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10 of Music’s Best Late-Career Albums

Yesterday, we finally got to hear the first single from Lou Reed and Metallica’s forthcoming album. And it was just as bad as we feared it would be, coming off as little more than an ill-conceived vanity project by two very different acts that are both past their prime. Late-career albums like this one are often the target of disappointment and criticism, partially because the music industry is such a transitory place — audiences and record companies alike are always on the lookout for the next big thing, on whom attention is focused for a couple of years before the spotlight shifts away. This isn’t always entirely unwise, mind you: artists often make their best work at the start of their careers, when their ideas are fresh and their minds are relatively clear. But this isn’t always the case, and there have been some fine albums made long after the hype machine has upped and moved onto the next Next Big Thing. Here’s a selection of our favorite late-career flourishes. There must be loads more, so let us know who else you reckon should be included. … Read More

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