Woody Guthrie

10 Lists That Read Like Poems

If you’re a frequent visitor to this space, you know that we rather enjoy lists here at Flavorpill. Recently, we found our habit (compulsion?) affirmed by Katie Kitamura’s excellent article on listmaking, “Literary Lists: Proof of Our Existence,” over at The Guardian. In it, Kitamura discussed the appeal of the list, particularly in literature, quoting Umberto Eco, who said, “We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That’s why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die.” She goes on to write that “it requires real faith in the powers of fiction beyond style, in the formal aspect of language and its ability to approximate infinity.” Indeed. Inspired by Kitamura’s description of the form, we’ve hunted around for ten great lists, from literary sources and otherwise, that seem like they could be poems in and of themselves. Read through for some list-y inspiration after the jump, and add your own favorites to our infinite list of lists in the comments. … Read More

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A Brief History of Hilariously Inappropriate Campaign Songs

It’s Election Day, and really there’s not a great deal more we can say here beyond that we hope you all get out and exercise your right to vote. (And, y’know, don’t fuck it up.) God only knows what sort of a world we’ll be waking up in once all the counting is done, but if nothing else, it means the election hoopla will be over for another four years. As ever, we’ve endured rather than enjoyed the endless campaigning that election year brings, but if nothing else, the music chosen by this year’s candidates has provided its usual comedy value. So to soundtrack your voting efforts, here’s a selection of hilariously inappropriate campaign songs from over the years — honestly, when will politicians learn to start listening to the lyrics? (We also hope that everyone reading this in NYC stops by Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker St. for our Lunch Break party today, at which LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney will be spinning precisely none of these songs.) … Read More

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The Morning's Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. The first teaser trailer for Kimberly Pierce’s reboot of Carrie might not show much in the way of footage, but it really sets the mood, doesn’t it? [via Pop Culture Brain]

2. Johnny Depp is launching a publishing imprint that he says will feature “authentic, outspoken and visionary ideas and voices.” Already… Read More

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10 Great State-of-the-Nation Albums

The new Dan Deacon album was released yesterday, and it’s perhaps the last thing we would have expected from a man once so interested in the idea of music as a purely sonic entity, devoid of any narrative or greater meaning: it’s a loose concept album about America. Deacon has written some interesting stuff about the ideas behind the album, which is entitled simply America, on his website, noting that “The inspiration for the music was my love of cross-country travel, seeing the landscapes of the United States, going from east to west and back again over the course of seasons,” while “The lyrics are inspired by my frustration, fear and anger towards the country and world I live in and am a part of.” The result is a fascinating state-of-the-nation album, a record that’s both personal and also vocal about the country of its creator. In celebration of its release, here are some of our favorite albums that address similar subject matter. … Read More

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Bound for Glory: 10 Great Memoirs by Musicians

We recently learned that Carrie Brownstein — of Portlandia, but more importantly, Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag fame — has signed a deal with Riverhead Books and is working on a memoir. We’re psyched, of course, and ready for a hilarious take on the ’90s riot grrrl scene and its transition into alt rock and indie punk. But the news also got us thinking about some of our favorite existing music memoirs, written by everyone from Throwing Muses frontwoman Kristin Hersh to folk superhuman Woody Guthrie (but we’re leaving out Just Kids, because we’ve talked about it so much here that we assume you’ve already read it). We can only hope Brownstein’s turns out to be as good as some of these, but knowing her, it probably will. Click through to check out our ten favorite memoirs by musicians, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your own favorites in the comments! … Read More

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5 Albums to Stream for Free This Week: Tanlines, Jonny Greenwood

Every Monday at Flavorpill HQ, we rub our eyes wearily, gulp down gallons of caffeine, and then get down to the serious business of scouring the web for a selection of fine new records that are streaming for free over the course of the week. This week’s crop includes a healthy serving of, um, challenging sounds — namely the collaboration between Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki — along with Tanlines’ debut album, no wave pop from Chicago duo White Car, a confusingly new-but-not-new Kaiser Chiefs record, more rediscovered Woody Guthrie lyrics, and a couple of bonus links for good measure. Get a piece of the action after the jump. … Read More

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Mixtape Primer: Conceptions of the American Dream in Music

Monday is the 4th of July, and among all the parades and flag-waving, it’s a chance to maybe think about what this country is and what its ideals represent. The American Dream — both the great shining vision and its dark underbelly — has been a powerful motif in literature over the years, dissected and discussed in works like The Great Gatsby, Death of a Salesman, The Grapes of Wrath, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and many more. It’s also been a recurrent subject for songwriters, both as an ideal to which to aspire and a myth to be debunked. Here’s a mixtape that looks at both ends of the spectrum, and everywhere in between. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: Links That Made the Rounds at Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we were charmed by Woody Guthrie’s handwritten New Year’s Resolutions and transfixed by “The External World,” the crazy new short from computer animation artist David O’Reilly. Our inner child rocked out to this inexplicable but fantastic Playmobil re-enactment of Joy Division performing “Transmission” and wrinkled up… Read More

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