Playing music is one of those things that comes naturally to some people, while to others it seems about as straightforward as performing intricate surgery after a heavy night on the booze. (The latter group often go onto be music journalists.) But still, if you’re set on making music as well as appreciating it, then who better to ask than the people who do it best? Read on for tips from 25 musical …Read More
Earlier this week we did some serious thinking about the role of gender in Shaking the Habitual, the fantastic new album by The Knife. Today, we thought we’d revisit the same topic in a rather more lighthearted way: by looking at some of music’s most memorable gender-defying fashion statements over the years. Androgyny and ambiguity have long been part of popular music, after all, and they’ve been responsible for some of its most iconic imagery. From The Knife to Grace Jones and a certain remarkable German countertenor, here are some of the best …Read More
The Knife’s new album Shaking the Habitual is out today, and you probably don’t need us to tell you that it’s pretty amazing — between the extended nightmarish ambient tracks, pounding beats, unconventional sounds, and fierily politicized lyrics, it’s surely one of the most remarkable records that anyone’s going to release in 2013. Most interestingly, though, it represents another step in the single most interesting thing about the constantly fascinating career of Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer: their ongoing exploration of the nature of gender.
The Knife’s Shaking the Habitual is out next week, and it’s been hitting the Flavorpill stereo very hard indeed over the last week or so. To be honest, we’re still digesting the album — it’s one of those records that requires multiple listens to get to grips with, and we’re very much enjoying exploring its depths. We’ve also been enjoying the interviews that Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson have been giving to support the release — in a world of determinedly drab and inoffensive musicians, they’ve been refreshingly forthright about the politics and political theories behind the record, and have had some fascinating things to say. As such, they’re a perfect fit for the latest installment in our “Collected Wisdom Of…” feature.
Another month, another packed release schedule — and, as ever, we’ve picked out the ten best albums in the month ahead. On the whole, April is shaping up as a pretty excellent month for new records. Among other things, there’s the return of The Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, beautiful new music from The Besnard Lakes and Iron & Wine, weird dance-floor-friendly horrorcore from Xander Harris, the continuing renaissance of James Williamson-era Iggy and the Stooges, and at least one album of the year contender. (Spoiler: The …Read More
A couple of years back, the Guardian published an article called “The Lost Art of the Pop Manifesto,” bemoaning, well, the lost art of the pop manifesto. The article harked back to the golden age of punk, when bands published manifestos as often as they made records, and lamented that bands these days just don’t seem to do the same thing. We’re not so sure, though — so in honor of The Knife’s recently published manifesto, which did the rounds earlier this week, here’s a look at some of our favorite manifestos past and present, from pre-WWI futurism to post-millenial hippie utopianism, from stuckism to an erudite tract on black metal.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that in event of a nuclear holocaust two things will persist: cockroaches and pop music. In our monthly Pop for Skeptics column, Rohin Guha explains how the latter need not be a terrifying thing to navigate, nuclear holocaust or not.
No pop fan really knows what to do with himself in January. It’s a special time of year when new fads are still being cooked up and otherwise unremarkable artists — nice to see you again, Nicole Scherzinger! — stand a fair shot at selling more than just a couple records. Some enterprising pop oracles might consult science, the stars, and mathematical trends to make all kinds of predictions about what is set to become “the next big thing.” Others, like me, will wait until some stuff has happened to do that. Sure, with January finally over and done with, it’s probably a bit too late to be making prognostications about what we should look forward to in pop this year, but to borrow a phrase from last year: YOLO. Below, then, are precisely 50 reasons to look forward to pop music in 2013.
We have good vibes in general about the year to come, and we’re hoping that it holds as much musical goodness as 2012 did. The early part of the year is certainly shaping up well, and we’ve put together a kind of extended edition of our regular monthly album release preview, looking at the 15 albums (with confirmed release dates) that we’re hanging out for in the new year, in addition to a roundup of records that are rumored/don’t have firm release …Read More