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10 Ways to Introduce Yourself to Nick Cave

Since bursting forth in the late ’70s, Nick Cave has gone from a pretty post-punk junkie bandleader kicking around Australia to an internationally recognized musician, writer, and composer. Cave, 56, hasn't reinvented himself so much as he's simply evolved into his best self: not an angel, to be sure, but increasingly prolific and publicly polished since he called a reporter "scum-sucking shit" in an infamous NME interview from 1988.

A new film about Cave, 20,000 Days on Earth, is a strange fact/fiction hybrid. »

The Least Essential Tracks From 20 Now That’s What I Call Music! Albums

Since 1998, Epic has been pumping out the Now That’s What I Call Music! compilations of the biggest pop hits of the moment … and at least one song you skip past and immediately forget. Forecasting pop hits is hard, so it makes sense that there would always be one non-hit, a second single from what turned out to be a one-hit wonder, a comeback that failed to come together, a Next Big Thing That Didn’t Pan Out. Pop history is written by the winners, but this week’s installment of Somewhere in Time will be all about the losers. So let’s hop in my DeLorean GIF as I revisit each installment in the Now! series and pick out the least significant track on each one. We may unearth a pleasant, faded memory! Or we may spend some time with Aaron Carter. Time will tell.

Also discussed: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Robbie Williams, and Fefe Dobson. »

  • Posted 9/19/14 at 2:20 PM
  • Music

Dr. Dre’s Detox Is Not Called That Anymore

If you picked "Never" in your "When will Dr. Dre's Detox be released?" office pool, get ready to collect your winnings on a technicality: Dre is not going to put out an album by that name ... but only because he's chosen a different name. As producer Tayshaun Parker, who's working on the album, told the Shots Fired podcast, Dre abandoned the Detox title "a couple of years ago," possibly around the time of the 2008 Vulture post "Dr. Dre's Detox Finally Coming Out."

A Comprehensive History of Jay Z and Beyoncé’s Relationship

This article originally ran on July 23, 2014. We are reposting it in anticipation of Saturday's HBO On the Run Concert.

With divorce rumors swirling around Jay Z and Beyoncé, it looks like the unthinkable might actually happen: Everybody’s favorite powerhouse duo may be headed for splitsville. Then again, it’s always been hard to tell what’s going on with the Carters. From the very start of their relationship, the two have been remarkably cryptic about their private life, managing to keep their most intimate aspects of their life sealed away despite being one of the world’s most talked-about couples. In honor of the epic saga that is Bey and Jay, Vulture takes a look back at the musical icons’ entertaining history together, beginning when she was Destiny’s Child’s front woman and Jay Z still had his hyphen, and charting their many collaborations (e.g., "Bonnie and Clyde," "Drunk in Love"), the birth of Blue, the infamous elevator video, and onward, toward their now-uncertain future.

Read More  »

14 TV and Movie Characters Whom Wilco Helped Grow Up

When we call Jeff Tweedy and Wilco "dad rock," we're speaking both literally — Tweedy's new album Sukierae features his son Spencer on drums — and figuratively. The music of Wilco has long been the reigning sound of "maturity" in pop culture, soundtracking the moments when countless fictional children and man-children had to learn to grow up and embrace responsibility. 

Read More  »

  • Posted 9/19/14 at 9:50 AM
  • Music

Listen to Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury’s Unreleased Early ’80s Duet

Before their untimely deaths, Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury recorded some songs together, as musicians often do. The songs were never released but became a popular bootleg for fans. (You used to be able to find them on YouTube, but now all those videos have been deleted!) The living members of Queen decided to clean the songs up and sell them as real music. Why leave money on the table? This one's called "There Must Be More to Life Than This," and the rest are coming soon.

J.Lo and Iggy Azalea’s New Video Is the Definition of Bootylicious

Hey, looks like the New York Times was onto something after all: On the heels of "Anaconda," Nicki Minaj’s jungle-shaking ode to the female posterior, our newest morsel of big-butt-themed entertainment is the video for Jennifer Lopez’s "Booty" remix featuring Iggy Azalea, who took over the original Pitbull rap part. (Example: "They're begging me to drop down on 'em / But right now Iggy on the top / The last time the world seen a booty this good / It was on Jenny from the block.") J.Lo and Iggy know what the people want, so naturally, the video is a veritable cornucopia of slapping, twerking, crawling, bouncing, girl-on-girl-grinding, and asses being slathered with oil. Your move, Nicki.

Jessie Ware and Miguel Sound Wonderful Together

Is it possible not to like a Jessie Ware song? And what if Miguel had something to do with it? Ware's new single "Kind of ... Sometimes ... Maybe" is not only co-written by Miguel, but you can hear him in it, too. Those whispers.

Karen O and Julian Casablancas Run From the Spotlight on Their New Albums

Karen O has always seemed a little shy. This might be a strange thing to say about a performer who is known for gargling like a demon, wearing things that Vegas-era Elvis would have considered too spangly, and spitting so much beer at her audience that at those early Yeah Yeah Yeah shows there ought to have been some kind of Sea World–esque SPLASH ZONE signs warning the first couple of rows. But even then it was true. What’s always made Karen O such a thrilling front person to watch is this sense that you are witnessing right before your eyes some kind of Linda Blair–style transformation from girl to beast; she blurts out lines wickedly, gleefully (“You look like SHIT!”), as though she herself can hardly believe she is saying them.

Julian Casablancas' Tyranny sounds like a wino trying to start a bar fight with a garbage disposal. »

  • Posted 9/18/14 at 10:30 AM
  • Music

Jack White Has Opinions on the Foo Fighters and RollingStone.com [Updated]

Here's who Jack White is mad at now: At a concert in Fenway Park Wednesday night, White mocked the Foo Fighters for having "a second guitar player playing the same parts," before joking that his "Kanye-esque rant" was giving fresh #content to RollingStone.com. Also, I guess, to us. Thank you for the #content, Jack White!

Read More  »

  • Posted 9/18/14 at 9:20 AM
  • Music

U2 Has a Secret Plan to ‘Save the Music Industry’

Not by giving away its album for free. Something else. As the band explains in a new Time International cover story, they're partnering once more with Apple on a new kind of digital music they maintain will make it easier for bands at all levels of fame to get paid for their work. Bono describes it as "an audiovisual interactive format for music that can’t be pirated and will bring back album artwork in the most powerful way." We'll find out more details in a few months, when this project suddenly appears on our computers.

  • Posted 9/18/14 at 1:04 AM

Kendrick Lamar Releases New Single Art for ‘i’

Kendrick Lamar’s long-awaited album follow-up to 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city is rumored to be dropping on September 23, and now we have a look at the cover art for the new single, reportedly called “i,” which Kendrick shared on Twitter earlier today. Thankfully, he still has a few days left to fix his capitalization.

Bono and Liam Neeson Are Working on a Movie Together

According to an interview with Liam Neeson in The Independent, he and fellow Irishman Bono — you know, that guy whose album you just deleted from your iPhone — have teamed up for a new film project: “[Bono and I] chat, or with him a lot of the time I just listen. He’s a wonderful man. He’s got an idea for a script which we’ve been working on for the past six years,” said Neeson, explaining that the story is inspired by the phenomenon of the ‘70s Irish show bands that toured the country doing covers of international hits. It's not clear yet whether Neeson would star in the movie, but if he does, we assume he will play a man with a very particular set of skills (musical skills).

‘All About That Bass’ Is Still No. 1

First, on the album side: A Christian rapper named Lecrae had the No. 1 album on the Billboard "200" charts last week — with 88,000 albums sold. If you're thinking that 88,000 albums is an awfully low number of records for the No. 1 spot: Yes, you are correct. Meanwhile, Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" is still No. 1 on the "Hot 100" chart (with Taylor Swift still right behind), confirming that right now is a very weird time for music. See: U2.

Report: Jay Z and Beyoncé Are Making an Album Together

From divorce talk to baby talk, the Mr. and Mrs. Carter rumor mill churns on. Today’s newest bit of hearsay comes courtesy of DJ Skee — via his brand-new radio station Dash Radio — who claims multiple sources have confirmed that the pair are working on a joint album that they plan to drop in late 2014 or early 2015. No word on what adjective of “in love” they will be this time. How about “Laughing All the Way to the Bank (in Love)?” Yeah, that sounds right.

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. And Then I Found Myself With Someone Like Dad.

It's no secret that James Brown had a dark side. This summer's biopic Get On Up left out many of the weird, uncomfortable, and simply violent incidents that Brown instituted or participated in. But it wasn't until now that we've been able to get a look at just how frightening the singer could be. Earlier this month, his daughter Yamma Brown published a memoir titled Cold Sweat: My Father James Brown and Me (co-written with Robin Gaby Fisher) that details her life growing up with her often volatile dad. In the excerpt below, Yamma flashes back to a moment when Brown beat her mother in front of her and her sister, then writes about how that violent legacy stayed with her into adulthood.

"The beatings always began the same way, with the same terrible sounds." »

Chris Brown’s X Is a Joyless Slog and Already Sounds Like a Relic

"It is an honor to introduce the future of R&B ... his name is Chris Brown!"

That's the prophecy producer Bryan-Michael Cox laid out almost a decade ago now, in his spoken intro to a smooth, Baby-Casanova joint called "Winner" off Brown's 2005 self-titled debut. On a very literal level, it came true: It is now 2014 and Brown is still making records; his sixth, X, is out today. But throughout the past decade — an occasionally wildly innovative one in pop, hip-hop, and R&B — Brown's music has stayed so stubbornly risk-averse that to think someone once considered Chris Brown "the future" of anything now seems as laughable as a Y2K shelter. At best, Brown has been an accurate barometer of the genre's present — his discography provides a clean arc from its poppy, Usher-reigned Jive Records era to its post-808s Auto-Tune experimentation to its current obsession with trap-inflected, minimalist beats in the style of DJ Mustard. More often, though, Brown has proven himself to be a serviceable mimic, dancing breezily over ground freshly broken by braver and more interesting artists — not R&B's future so much as a defanged, smoothed-over reflection of its hyper-recent past.

There has probably never been a less welcoming week for a new Chris Brown album than this one. »

Barbra Streisand Sang a Duet With Jimmy Fallon

In what marks her first appearance as a late-night guest in over 50 years, Barbra Streisand appeared on The Tonight Show Monday to promote her new album Partners, which features the legendary diva performing duets with a number of high-profile male vocalists. She performed a medley of three of those tracks tonight, with Jimmy Fallon standing in for duet partners Elvis Presley ("Love Me Tender"), Blake Shelton ("I'd Want It to be You") and Michael Bublé ("It Had to Be You"). We all know Jimmy never avoids the opportunity to do bad musical impressions in a goofy Elvis wig and a cowboy hat, but even his hamming couldn't detract from the majesty that is Babs live.

  • Posted 9/15/14 at 4:00 PM
  • Candy

11 Reasons Why Taylor Swift Might Be Holding a Bunch of Red Balloons in the Middle of New York City

Alongside a photo of Taylor Swift standing on a New York City sidewalk holding a bunch of red balloons, Us Weekly included the caption, "Taylor Swift carried 12 red balloons for some reason while walking through NYC." For some reason? Well, we're sure she had a good one. Maybe it was one of these?

9. She's on her way to a birthday party, duh. »

  • Posted 9/15/14 at 1:40 PM
  • Music

Robin Thicke Unleashes the Afroman Defense in ‘Blurred Lines’ Deposition

Marvin Gaye's family is threatening legal action against Robin Thicke and Pharrell, saying "Blurred Lines" plagiarizes the late soul singer's "Got to Give It Up." Chief among the Gaye estate's evidence is a series of interviews Thicke gave in 2013, in which he recalled writing "Blurred Lines" after being inspired by "Got to Give It Up," which he told GQ was one of his "favorite songs of all time."

In a deposition obtained by The Hollywood Reporter for his own preemptive lawsuit, Thicke introduces what we might call the Afroman Defense: Nothing he said during the era of "Blurred Lines" should count because he was high.

"I didn't do a single interview last year without being high." »

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