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Friday, February 11, 2011

Six tall musicians we would be happy to hug today

Posted By on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 8:06 AM

Joey Ramone has the longest legs (and loves Kansas City).
  • Joey Ramone has the longest legs (and loves Kansas City).
Mick Fleetwood is a drumming giant.
  • Mick Fleetwood is a drumming giant.
Thurston Moore is one tall dude.
  • Thurston Moore is one tall dude.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pearl Jam, Interpol and Neutral Milk Hotel: What does 'Untitled' mean, anyway?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 11:06 AM

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What does it mean for a song to be untitled? Was the artist just lazy? Was the song a half-formed sketch? When R. Kelly renamed his 2009 album from 12 Play: Fourth Quarter to Untitled, he told an audience during a performance, "I'm working on a new album and I'm calling that muthafucka Untitled. Y'all call it what y'all want."

Maybe that's the appeal of the untitled song: We can make it mean whatever we want it to mean. Songs are meant to be consumed, meant to rattle us and stir things around. But without the foundational concept, untitled songs stay with us in different ways, as if there's something incomplete or unfinished about it. Untitled songs tease us with little mysteries that will never be resolved.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Love to love you, baby: the Unicorns' "I Was Born (a Unicorn)" and four other songs celebrating birth

Posted By on Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Fucking adorable, right?
  • Fucking adorable, right?

Monday night marked the birth of the first baby in the group of friends I've known since middle school. It was an awe-inspiring, slightly amazing "adult" moment. Being as how one of my ilk has successfully reproduced, I felt that it was an event worth celebrating -- or, at the very least, an event worth hijacking the music blog of a major metropolitan city. As we mark the birth of Cadigan Brimer at 7 pounds, 1 ounce, it seemed a perfect opportunity to present songs about being born.

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Elvis Costello's Spectacular Spinning Songbook, and three more concert concepts that are more irritating than innovative

Posted By on Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Yo La Tengo does its best Seinfeld.
  • Yo La Tengo does its best Seinfeld.

Once upon a time, a great concert was your favorite band stepping out on the stage -- no huss, no fuss -- and killing it with new material and old favorites. That was expected, and that was enough. But with media consumption enveloping much of a band's artistic output, live shows have had to become special events that can't be replicated. Now, bands are pushing for more and more concert concepts that create unique experiences. Sometimes, though, these concert concepts are unique for all the wrong reasons.


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The Inbetweeners, Freaks and Geeks and five shows about being a teenager that suck less than MTV's Skins

Posted By on Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 7:51 AM

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By Ian Nyquist

The awkwardness of adolescence is a mine for comedy gold. But MTV's new scripted drama, Skins, can't make up its mind whether it's an acne-cream soap opera or a comedy. It ends up as neither and has to resort to grasping for as much edginess as it can get away with -- in the form of drug use and underage sex -- to make up for a lack of substance and humor. To put it simply: The show sucks. (Which is why the viewership of this refashioned British show dropped by half in its second week.)

Take out the weed, token lesbianism, wasted speed pills and juvenile nudity, and Skins is just an excuse for MTV to flash -- surprise! -- young skin. Here are five coming-of-age TV shows that really capture what it's like to be a teen.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Frank Sinatra and Descendents agree: five songs about why coffee is the milk of the gods

Posted By on Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 12:11 PM

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Whatever you want to call this weather we're having -- snowpocalypse, snowmageddon, blizzard of Oz, etc. -- it really boils down to the fact that it's bone-achingly cold. To warm up your insides, might we suggest a hot cup of coffee? Perhaps one spiked with some whiskey, Irish cream, cinnamon liqueur, or peppermint schnapps?
OK, we know that it doesn't actually warm you and, in fact, has the opposite effect of making your extremities freeze more quickly -- bummer -- but it's not like you're going out in this unless you have to, right? To warm you up, and maybe get the blood flowing, here are five songs about that most precious of beverages: coffee.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Weegee's corpses, 'The Red Ceiling' and eight other found-art album covers

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Two of William Eggleston's photos adorn our favorite found-art album covers.
  • Two of William Eggleston's photos adorn our favorite found-art album covers.

Great photographs and paintings are often crafted by established artists for album covers; but just as often, they're picked up by musicians who happen to come across them. Sometimes the images are used untouched, and sometimes they are manipulated, but all are great at capturing the musician's work visually -- or a least, providing vivid, eye-catching packaging.


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Friday, January 28, 2011

The five rappers we hope Flava Flav inspires to open restaurants

Posted By on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

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Look out, Kenny Rogers. There's a new chicken shack on the block. Rapper Flava Flav opened his restaurant, Flav's Fried Chicken, in Clinton, Iowa, on Monday.

The former Public Enemy star's anthem has gone from "Fight the Power" to "Bite the Fowl," as his first commercial suggests. With Flav looking to cash in on his reality-television success (and a degree in chefing), Fat City wanted to encourage five fellow rappers with their own reality shows to get into the game ... of restaurants.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tech N9ne's "Puh Wah Wah," and four other great songs with gibberish lyrics

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 11:11 AM

The Jabberwocky: gibberish at its best.
  • The Jabberwocky: gibberish at its best.

You've read Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky," right? (C'mon, you remember something from college besides how to make a gravity bong, don't you?) Well, sound poetry is poetry that's composed of gibberish -- that is, words used for primarily for their sound rather than meaning. Of course, in songs, using nonsense words -- or snippets of gibberish -- is nothing new. Here's a scattershot list of our favorite lyrical gibberish in music.

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Wrestlemania: five songs off the top rope

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 10:20 AM

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The WWE's annual battle royal (not royale -- they know their demographic), the Royal Rumble, takes place this Sunday on Pay-Per-View. This year's Rumble is notable, as it's the first in the event's 24-year history to feature 40 entrants, as opposed to the traditional 30. Considering the historical significance of the change, we'd like to present some songs dedicated to the grapplers and high-flyers of the squared circle.

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