In a new song released Monday, Odd Future's capo, Tyler, the Creator, let all his critics know he's definitely still a force to reckon with. He's calling the track "F*ck It" because he couldn't figure out a proper name, according to his social-media accounts; he recorded it two weeks ago and evidently wanted to get it out quickly. "Tell Australia I'm sneaking in with a mic in my damn hand / Instead of the vegetables that I packed in my backpack," he raps in the lyrics, which refer to his Australia ban and are posted on the song's YouTube page in full. "When Marshall had this problem what the f*ck was they telling him? / Is it 'cause of status or his melanin lacks black?" Although the song's nightmarish, lo-fi production makes the song feel like it could be a bonus track on Goblin, the rest of the lyrics seem to take issue with part of his fan base's recent pleas for more of the "Old Tyler." As the artist has pointed out, he's a proponent of evolving artistically and personally. "F*ck It" is his scathing way of advocating for and driving that point home. Take a listen:
Saturday night at Festival Supreme in Los Angeles, Amy Poehler and Jack Black joined forces to perform a soul-searing cover of Bette Midler's "The Rose." Poehler, decked in Janis Joplin–inspired garb and holding a cigarette, previously showed off some musical chops in a Golden Globes promo from 2013, and Black's ability to belt out a tune is no secret, but they come together with surprising tenderness here.
From shredding sweet guitar licks, to shredding cheese: Alien fawn St. Vincent, a.k.a. Annie Clark, spent the weekend working at Resident Taqueria, a newly opened Dallas Mexican restaurant owned by Clark's sister and brother-in-law. St. Vincent, as if she were an actor out of work, was seen doing all sorts of waitress things like taking orders, refilling napkins, clearing tables, judging people based on how much they tipped, wondering if two people were on a first date or breaking up, thinking about whether it's weird to eat a couple chips that a table left, and, as you can see below, putting her hands on her hips. No word on if she served rock-amole, used a Oaxaca-Oaxaca pedal, or played a chord-A asada during a rendition of her hit "Your Lips Are Red (From Eating So Much Salsa!)." Anyway, what did you do this weekend? Pick apples!?!?
Elvis Costello's Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink was about as close to being a can't-miss prospect as has come down the increasingly crowded rock-star memoir pipe in some time. Long one of music's wittiest, smartest, and most perceptive lyricists, Costello has done his legacy proud with his new book, which, thankfully, goes far beyond his angry-young-man days, most movingly in its frequent reminiscences about the relationship between the singer and his musician father. In the excerpt below, Costello recounts a pivotal period early in his songwriting career.
The final season of American Idol airs in January, so Kanye West's evidently thinking what everyone else is: Now's my chance! This year's my year! More or less. To honor the show's last installment, he staged a fake audition for the Idol judges in San Francisco on Saturday, performing his own song "Gold Digger" and bringing his wife, Kim, along for support. Clips and pics began circulating around social media over the weekend because it was surreal — even for the other celebs on hand:
Twitter's new sensation is a dancing street skeleton with different songs placed over the same video to show that he's always on beat. But ... is he? Does this post-mortem Gene Kelly really deliver on every song he dances to? Here's a ranking of his ten best ones with some in-depth analysis.
Justin Bieber's penis is on the internet, and he's not happy about it: According to THR, Bieber's legal team is threatening to sue any news organization that printed the offending photos, which were taken by a photographer using a telephoto lens while the singer strolled around a Bora Bora resort in the nude. Most media outlets, possibly learning their lesson from The Fappening, refused to publish the pic; the New York Daily News, which currently has censored versions on its web site, could be one litigation target, as should everyone who made a "what do you peen" joke on Twitter.
Liza Minnelli was on her way to play a show in Wilmington, North Carolina, last weekend when her flight hit unexpected turbulence and had to turn back to Charlotte. The BBC reports that, rather than disappoint the generations of Cabaret and Arrested Development fans who had paid good money to see her, Minnelli did the diva thing and simply ordered up an Uber to drive her the 200 miles to Wilmington. The bill came to $200 — which means that traveling across an entire state only costs twice as much as taking an Uber to Newark. Everything is easier in the South!
The past few years have been something of a golden age for music documentaries, with the Oscar-winning success of Searching for Sugar Man and 20 Feet From Stardom opening up the field for films about less obvious stars. Lately there have been a flood of movies about cult bands, forgotten local acts, and background players — and even a few docs, like Amy and Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, that have found new ways to approach some of the most popular musicians of the past half-century. Netflix has done so well with music-themed films that it commissioned its own, What Happened, Miss Simone?; and thanks in part to art-house patrons, Blu-ray buyers, and premium-cable subscribers, the market for movies about musicians has become lucrative enough that even long-shelved projects like The Wrecking Crew and the arty Leon Russell sketch A Poem Is a Naked Person have seen the light of day. It’s a marvelous time to be a music buff.
The list of 50 documentaries below features old classics, new favorites, and a few films that deserve a wider audience. It touches on pop, hip-hop, rock, punk, R&B, jazz, country, and folk; collectively, it tells a story of art forms, cultures, and business models in transition. Most important, these documentaries (and exceptional concert films, in case you were wondering) contain performances that are as essential to understanding these artists as any of their records. Think of these 50 titles (plus the 25 honorable mentions appended at the end) as a time capsule, ready to be opened today, next year, or decades from now.
There’s only one person on the cover of Selena Gomez’s new album, but the liner notes list 37 other songwriters and producers. That includes Scandinavian production teams, Charli XCX, and the guy who got “Good for You” ready for A$AP Rocky. This is the village that it took to make the 16-track deluxe edition of the pop starlet’s Revival.
Terry O’Neill’s new book, Two Days That Rocked the World: Elton John Live at Dodger Stadium, documents the rock superstar’s October 1975 career-peak concerts. But the photographer didn’t know at the time that John was about to enter a valley. “He used to go onstage and give absolutely everything,” says O’Neill, talking about the photograph seen here of John having just woken up in his bed aboard his private plane. “I found out that he’d tried to kill himself not long after these shows. He was spent. Those days were fab, but there was a dark side to it all.”
As part of a BBC Radio 1 residency mix, James Blake unveiled a beautifully tragic cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence" on Thursday. "When Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel wrote this, they said ... it was about the breakdown of communication," Blake explained. "One New Year's Eve I had a friend of mine sadly pass away, and previous to that, the things he had been saying to me sounded like an attempt to reach out to people. I thought that after that happened this seemed to be the only song that could represent how I felt at the time." The cover (dedicated to his friend) speaks for itself.
Mathew Knowles — father and former manager of Beyoncé, current manager of the defunct Destiny's Child, and man who earns no money when Beyoncé reunites with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams and doesn't refer it as "Destiny's Child" — will be teaching a one-day workshop called "The Entertainment Industry: How Do I Get In?" on October 24 at the Hobby Center in Houston, Texas.
Here's what the $199 course for "aspiring singers, dancers, composers, writers, producers, managers, publicists, attorneys, business managers and all other entertainment industry hopefuls" will probably look like:
Back in October 2012, when Kacy Hill was just 18 years old, she packed up her old Honda Civic and drove to Los Angeles from Arizona looking for more exciting times. She found a place on Craigslist and overpaid to sleep in the living room. She was unsure of how she was going to make any money, but caught a break modeling for American Apparel. By the time I met the girl with the ghostly falsetto at midtown Manhattan's Gibson Studio this week, her former employer had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But unlike some of the more sordid tales we’ve come to learn about the company's history, Hill’s time at American Apparel is marked by its fortuitous segue, after a year of work, into a gig as a backup dancer on Kanye West’s Yeezus Tour, followed by a record deal with Ye's Def Jam subsidiary G.O.O.D. Music in 2014. Today, Vulture is premiering Kacy Hill's debut EP Bloo, a compact collection of songs and remixes that embody her quick transition from West Coast no-name to one of the year’s most promising new artists.
Vin Diesel's latest film, The Last Witch Hunter, isn't due out till October 23, but you can listen to Ciara's new song from the soundtrack now. For the film, the not-so-elusive chanteuse serves up a haunting, soulful rendition of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black." Though the song wasn't on Ciara's radar before Universal approached her, she told Rolling Stone, "[the song] was actually a sound I've always wanted to play with, and it just didn't get any better than being able to cover a Rolling Stones song. I feel like it pushes the edge and the limit for me, in reference to what people probably expect from me. So this was so many cool things in one. It was a huge honor, and then creatively I just got to really have some fun that I don't usually do in my music."
The dark track should strike fear into the hearts of all Futurehive members.
There are a variety of jobs in this economy (in this economy?!). Some jobs have music playing over a speaker, which probably means you’re working at a restaurant (yummy!). Some jobs drag and demand you listen to music that's as upbeat as possible (as coke-line stains on desks are no longer de rigueur). Some jobs allow you an opportunity to listen to a podcast, a fact that constantly amazes this writer (what could they possibly be doing all day? Filing? Is it really just eight hours of filing and "Radiolab" archives?). Some of us, who spend a lot of time with words for work, are forced to go instrumental (because you can’t be writing an obit and accidentally slip the word Tubthumping in there). Personally, as I find jazz too jazzy, this means minimal movie scores, like Arcade Fire’s one for Her or Explosions in the Sky’s one for Prince Avalanche. Until now!!!
As of today, I am adding Chris Walla’s Tape Loops to my rotation. The second solo album from the former Death Cab for Cutie instrumentalist is perfectly atmospheric, loosely packed with piano chords and faint textures. Made by using a tape machine to layer sliced analog tape together, the result sounds like Brian Eno walking through a snowy Scandinavian forest. I’m sorry if that last sentence almost put you to sleep, but it’s good to know that Tape Loops is a super-chill record, ideal if that’s the headspace you are looking for between the hours of nine and five. Take it from me: I listened to it while writing this post! You can stream the album (via NPR) below. The album is out October 16.
Remember a few years ago when Nirvana fans were up in arms over Paul McCartney "replacing" Kurt Cobain for a few shows with the band's surviving members? Much of their ire was over the fact that, beforehand, McCartney admitted he didn't really know who Nirvana were, as well as the long-standing myth that Cobain hated McCartney (based off a slightly misinterpreted quote). That drama aside, there's no questioning whether or not Cobain was a Beatles fan — they're even included on his mixtape! — and now we have the cover to finally hush the doubters. Brett Morgen's Cobain doc Montage of Heck unearthed a number of Cobain rarities, and one is a cover of "And I Love Her." The audio isn't perfect, but it's still really interesting to hear what Cobain does with the song. Only he could make a whimsical love song sound so steeped in vitriol.
The cover originally appeared online in April, but was quickly taken down. Now, with Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings coming out November 13, we have the song's official release.
Remember that time Taylor Swift accidentally started a beef with Nicki Minaj on Twitter when she mistook Nicki's comments on racism in music as a jab at her own awards-show domination, and jumped into Nicki's mentions? (They later reconciled on the VMAs stage.) Well, Taylor has vowed to never let her pop-star quarrels play out on social media front pages ever again. Instead, she'll do it the ol' fashioned way: texting! She tells NME: "I don't want to talk about it. But I send text messages now. If there seems to be some kind of misunderstanding, I go to someone's management, I get their number and I text them. It's an important lesson for anyone to learn in 2015." "Anyone" meaning Meek Mill, obviously.
Janet Jackson's legacy could be immortalized next year in Cleveland: The pop icon has been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2016 class, along with Cheap Trick, Chaka Khan, and Chicago. Other first-time nominees now eligible include: the Cars, Steve Miller, Los Lobos, and the J.B.'s. Joining them on the ballot this year are previous nominees N.W.A (now up for a fourth time), Nine Inch Nails, the Smiths, Yes, Deep Purple, the Spinners, and for a record tenth (!) time, Chic. Who'll get snubbed? Find out in December, when next year's inductees will be announced; up until December 9, fans have the chance to vote for a nominee who'll represent the "fan's ballot," now in its fourth year. Next year's class will be inducted into the Rock Hall in April, with HBO airing the event at a later date. Last year's inductees included Green Day, Ringo Starr, and Joan Jett.
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