This isn't just a dream, just a dream. R.E.M. announced today that, to celebrate Out of Time's 25th anniversary, the band will be reissuing the 1991 album on multiple remastered formats — standard vinyl (the first time available since its initial release), CD, and Blu-ray. Set to be available on November 18 by Concord Bicycle, the reissue will feature interviews with the entire band and the album's producers, Scott Litt and John Keane, as well as several previously unreleased tracks. Larger sets will include all of Out of Time's music videos, an electric press kit with in-studio footage from 1991, and live recordings from the band's Mountain Stage show of the same year. Throw your love around and buy one.
Did André 3000 Diss Drake on Frank Ocean’s New Album, Blonde
Is André 3000 Calling Out Drake for Using Ghostwriters?
André 3000 Alleged Shaded Drake on His Blonde Verse and Twitter Went Wild
André 3000 Was Definitely Talking About Drake
This is what you see — perhaps when you die — but also if you Googled "André 3000" yesterday.
Do you miss the old Kanye, the drunk and bold Kanye, the run-up-to-Taylor-Swift-and-grab-ahold Kanye? Great news: TMZ reports that MTV has given the rapper the television equivalent of a blank check for his segment at Sunday night's Video Music Awards. Anonymous producers tell TMZ Kanye has four minutes to do what he wishes, and they have no idea how he'll choose to spend the 240 seconds of air time. (We know what you're thinking, but no, Swift reportedly won't be in attendance.) When it comes to Kanye, the cable network is following in the tradition of the occult figure Aleister Crowley, who wrote that, in his perfect world, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."
By Frank Guan
The feminine voice that launches "Lonely Star," the first song of the Weeknd's second mixtape Thursday, seems foreign to the artist's own. Gender's only half the difference. Instead of singing, it's speaking; its speech is delicate, high-pitched, needy, and eager to please, poetic in a conditional sense. Faint static and a piano that insists on a single chord accompany it. If, all I could say is if. Promise you won't regret me like the tattoos on my skin. Light the wrong path. A heavily distorted low-pitched guitar begins to churn like a motor. Promise me when they all love you that you'll remember me — when you fuck them, you'll see my face. My body is yours, every Thursday. The piano cuts out as a bass drum commences a blunt, imbalanced, spaced-out rhythm to contrast with the rapid, steady oscillations of the guitar. Only then do the tones of Abel Tesfaye's male falsetto ring out: It seems that pain and regret are your best friends. Cause everything you do leads to them.
Not content with terrorizing mankind (namely, his older brother) one veggie diss at a time, Liam Gallagher has announced he's flying solo after initially swearing he wasn't enough of a "cunt" to do it. The Oasis front man has signed a deal with Warner Bros. U.K. and plans to release his debut solo album in 2017. “Very excited to be signing to the mighty Warner Brothers; looking forward to making some super sweet sounds. Keep the faith!” he said in a press release and, shockingly, not via Twitter. But you can already wipe the sweat off your brow, Noel, because as Liam promised in a rare (and gloriously ridiculous) new interview this week, he wouldn't dare make this a long-term thing: "I am not embarking on a solo 'career.' Everyone should know that. There are just 10, 11 songs I’ve written that are eligible to be recorded. They’ve got flair, attitude, the melodies are sick and the words are fucking funny ... It’s a record written by me, that’s got all the right ingredients and sounds well tasty. You won’t be scratching your chin. It’s not Pink Floyd and it ain’t Radiohead. It’s chin-out music."
Prince fans might soon be able to tour the late icon’s Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota. His estate is looking to transform the property into a museum for Prince fans all over. To do so, it’s taking cues from the people who turned Elvis Presley’s Graceland into a tourist destination.
DJ Khaled, the music industry’s most beloved multi-platform hype man, is going to take us all by the hand and usher us into the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday as the pre-show host. And, he is pumped about it. In an interview with Billboard, Khaled tells viewers to “expect nothing but greatness and also expect the unexpected because when you got Khaled on the bill, ratings go extra high.” And while he would not spoil the surprises he has planned, he promised he will be “going all out” and that “It’s gonna be nothing but love, energy and fun.” And how is he going to manage all this magic? By simply being all the Khaled he can be. “That's what they wanted me to do — to bring the Khaled vibe. I’ma give you that cloth talk. I’ma give you them keys — the keys to more wins, more success and more blessings.” And as far as who Khaled is looking forward to most during the actual broadcast, he says he “can’t wait to see Rihanna” and that he’s sure Britney Spears is “gonna tear that down.” Since all this guy does is win, he’s probably even underselling how amazing Sunday is going to be. It’s going to be a great VMAs this year, guys.
Watch Dignified World Leaders Fight Each Other in This Glorious Video for DJ Shadow and Run The Jewels’ ‘Nobody Speak’By Devon Ivie
The less you know going into the Sam Pilling–directed music video for "Nobody Speak" — the excellent track off DJ Shadow's latest album, The Mountain Will Fall, featuring Run the Jewels — is probably for the better. All you need to know right now is that it's three minutes and 52 seconds of pure enjoyable chaos, which involves a meeting between various world leaders that descends into utter madness and violence. "We wanted to make a positive, life-affirming video that captures politicians at their election-year best," DJ Shadow said in a statement. "We got this instead." Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the war room! (Eh, it's not really the war room. Just pretend it's the war room.)
Macy Gray on Her Jazzy Cover of Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters,’ Creative Freedom, and Why Meghan Trainor Is the ‘New Carole King’By Dee Lockett
For the better part of a decade, Macy Gray has been playing the disappearing act. Since winning a Grammy in 2001 for her soulful breakthrough hit "I Try," she's largely retreated from the public eye, finding the spotlight too harsh. Every now and again, when the mood strikes, she pops back in to regain her bearings in the industry. Over the last six years, she's released four albums — including a recreation of Stevie Wonder's Talking Book and another covers album, along with two originals — while also building up a respectable IMDb page. (Earlier this year, she even cameoed as herself in an episode of Fuller House named after her.) Most recently, she got another big break guesting on Ariana Grande's "Leave Me Lonely," channeling Nina Simone for the occasion. On September 9, she'll release Stripped, the latest entry in her songbook of covers — except now she's taken to covering herself.
It's a collection that revisits songs from Gray's complex and rich career (including "I Try"), performed now as if she were on the marquee at a local jazz club in the '30s. All of the songs were recorded live on-site at a decommissioned church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, free from the bells and whistles of a studio. Production is sparse and the church's echoes slip into the audio, but Gray's recognizable rasp shines. Today, Vulture premieres one of the two covers from Stripped, Metallica's 1991 classic "Nothing Else Matters," a more faithful version of which Gray performed for 2012's Covered. We talked to Gray about why she can't shake this particular Metallica song, navigating the music industry, Meghan Trainor's songwriting, and why she's obsessed with Rihanna.
As if his late-night drumming exploits and professorship at New York University weren't keeping him busy enough, Pandora has announced that Questlove is joining the music streaming service in a new dual role. He'll be hosting a weekly three-hour radio program called Questlove Supreme, set to debut on September 7, which will feature an eclectic mix of playlists and guests every week. (The premiere will feature Maya Rudolph, Kimbra, and Bob Power.) Questlove has also been given the title of a Pandora strategic adviser and artist ambassador. "This is a commitment deeper than any girlfriend I’ve ever had or any diet I’ve tried to stick to," he told the New York Times. "I want a world in which Drake’s 'One Dance' can also live with Frank Zappa’s 'Uncle Meat' can live with James Brown’s 'Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing,' and all stops in between." We'll most definitely be alternating between this and Culture Void in the near future.
Chance the Rapper is like a millennial superhero. He spurns the Man by refusing to sign a record contract. He’s optimistic in a cynical time. And like any proper superhero, he has an origin story. In a new profile for GQ, Chance shares, for what he says is the first time, the moment when he decided to commit to a life of joyful purpose. “When I was younger, my grandma said a prayer over me that damn near sounded like a curse,” Chance explains. Apparently the pseudo-curse was bestowed about three years ago, around the time of both Acid Rap and 10 Day, when the Rapper was “just doing a lot of drugs, just hanging out. I was gone all the time.” So when he was visiting his grandmother one day she decided to set him straight with prayer.
Since he made his name at The Village Voice in the 1980s, Greg Tate has been one of America’s foremost writers on black music and the myriad ways in which culture collides with social and political movements. His 1992 anthology, Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America, is one of the great collections of critical work, and now comes the sequel, Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader, which brings us up to date on his essays since then, including thoughts on Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Richard Pryor, Wu-Tang Clan, and more. (In-between: books on cultural appropriation and Jimi Hendrix.)
David Edelstein has his eye on the heavy stuff.
Oliver Stone takes on the multi-tentacled story of the multi-tentacled surveillance state and the alleged traitor (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Needless to say, Stone does well with manic, paranoid conspiracy narratives (JFK was insane but wildly entertaining).
Last week, Dev Hynes took the Guardian to task for allegedly removing him from the Guardian Guide's cover after he was "reluctant" to be part of that magazine's "perception of a Black Lives Matter story." It's not because Hynes has nothing to say about black life — quite the opposite — he just prefers to use the language of music to communicate his feelings. Last night on Conan, he used his performance as Blood Orange to stage a poignant memorial service honoring three recent victims of this violent summer: Philando Castile, a black man killed by Minnesota police in July; Hande Kader, a Turkish trans activist who was found mutilated and burned to death after she went missing earlier this month; and Terrence McCrary Jr. (a.k.a. T Mack), a young black man shot and killed at an art gallery in Oakland, California, last week. Hynes solemnly performed "Augustine" and "Thank You" with their portraits in front of his piano, taking a knee beside them at the latter song's devastating end.
Beck’s new, as-yet-untitled studio album is his sunniest record in quite some time, but he didn’t come by that lightness easily: The 46-year-old musician spent nearly four years tinkering with this collection of songs, shelving the record momentarily after he won the Album of the Year Grammy for his melancholy 2014 album Morning Phase. With a successful tour for that record now put to bed, Beck is ready to make you dance. Earlier this month in Los Angeles, we sat down with him to discuss the 20th anniversary of his album Odelay, the deaths of his musical influences Prince and David Bowie, and performing with Taylor Swift.
Hopefully, you've had a few minutes to play around with our Fall Entertainment Generator. But if you’re looking for straight and simple lists of things to look out for by medium, we’ll be breaking them out separately. Here's a look at fall album releases.
At only 41, with just five albums to her name, M.I.A. is saying that September’s dance-pop salvo A.I.M. will be her last. If this is truly farewell, it’s a much warmer one than we might have anticipated back in the days of her breakout single “Paper Planes,” which drew so much insurrectionary energy from its use of sampled shotgun blasts. But to hear Maya Arulpragasam tell it, this trajectory — call it maturation — is entirely deliberate. “There’s no complaints on it,” she told BBC Radio 1 upon unveiling the new album’s powerhouse “Go Off,” co-produced by EDM whiz Skrillex and her longtime collaborator Blaqstarr. “There’s another side to me completely. I don’t know if people know that.”
Every week, Vulture highlights the best new music. If the song is worthy of your ears and attention, you will find it here. Read our picks below, share yours in the comments, and subscribe to the Vulture Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best music.
Now that we have Frank Ocean’s Blonde in our hands, it feels like an emotional forever ago (read: an eternity in four days) when we were watching his “visual album” Endless and wondering where the real album was — the Boys Don’t Cry album Ocean teased last summer. Well, Boys Don’t Cry became Blonde and it turns out Endless became the artist’s final contractual obligation to his now-former label, Def Jam. FADER reported the news earlier today, and a source “close to the situation” reportedly told Pitchfork that Endless “fulfills Frank’s obligations to Def Jam and Universal,” which left him free to release the main-event album independently. As Pitchfork points out, “While the credits at the end of Endless name Def Jam, the metadata on Blonde simply credits ‘Boys Don’t Cry,’ which is also the title of Ocean’s new magazine.” So even though that staircase didn’t look like it was going anywhere, it was actually Ocean’s path to freedom. Or something deeply meaningful like that. It's also being reported that Universal Music Group, which owns Def Jam, "is discontinuing exclusive releases to streaming services such as Apple Music, TIDAL, and Spotify," which makes it sound like Ocean's shady-but-effective business strategy really managed to piss off some high-level people at UMG. Not a bad way to burst back onto the music scene, Frank!
Frank Ocean may be a master of mystery, but he is also a millennial — and what millennial can resist oversharing in list format? Ocean's Boys Don't Cry zine is many things — a book of fashion, cars, poetry, McDonald's ads — but above all it's an expansive look inside his mind, including the art he cherishes most. In it, Ocean listed both his favorite songs and films, which is essentially his way of saying, "Goddamn, I'm dope." (We know, Frank.) Of course, his taste is impeccable; of course, Stanley Kubrick's all over it; of course, so are most of Blonde's collaborators and inspirations (James Blake, the Beatles, Kim Burrell, Alex G, Daft Punk, the Cure); and, of course, someone already put whichever of the songs are available on Spotify in a handy playlist for you. Dive into both lists, below.
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