Music

Rivers Cuomo Does Fetty Wap

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Apparently, the Weezer frontman has been really digging hip-hop’s Top 40 lately. His recent covers testify to the fact: he’s posted a version of Rae Sremmurd’s “Come Get Her,” and, most recently, Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen.”

A new Weezer album is due out this spring; any bets on some covers making it in?

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Song of the Day: “Hard To Tell”

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The genre of bluegrass receives its fair share of criticism. Considered by some to be a backwater of the teeming estuary of American music known as country, bluegrass, characterized by a decidedly twangier sound, gets unfairly stereotyped as the redneck’s music of choice and relegated to straw-chewing Appalachian family reunions and backyard barbecues.

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Dabbers feature

Swinging Modern Sounds #70: Alien Now!

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Maybe, in terms of idiom, The Dabbers are like a thrash rock and roll version of the Cocteau Twins, or what the This Mortal Coil would sound like if the Dead Boys tried to cover one of their albums. ...more

Hip-Hop’s Response to the Flint Water Crisis

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Artists across the musical spectrum have rallied to help raise awareness and funds for the Flint, Michigan water crisis, which, thanks to governmental inaction, has been allowed to develop since 2014.

Okayplayer. chronicled the work that hip-hop artists, in particular, have done to bring attention to the issue, and the responses of Flint’s own hip-hop community to the crisis that has put their town on the international stage.

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This Week in Posivibes: Sir Elton John

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In a demonstration of why he embodies the very essence of posivibes, Sir Elton John gave a surprise concert for London commuters in the city’s St. Pancras Station. The performance marked the release of the artist’s Wonderful Crazy Nightreports the Guardian.

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Beyoncé’s “Formation”

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This Saturday, Beyoncé dropped “Formation,” her first single since 2014. The song came one day before the Queen’s Superbowl 50 appearance and was accompanied by a free download via Tidal, Pitchfork reports.

Like most of the artist’s videos, the video for “Formation” is incredibly visually compelling, moving from an Antebellum House to images protesting police brutality to Beyoncé sinking, atop a cop car, in the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina.

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PJ Harvey on Kosovo, Refugees, and Crisis

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PJ Harvey has released another video from her upcoming album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, which will come out April 15th on Vagrant. The video for “The Wheel” was filmed in Kosovo and London, as NPR reports, and documents the singer’s work with her collaborator, Irish director Seamus Murphy, examining Europe’s recurring crises of war, ethnic conflict, and refugees.

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Song of the Day: “Ramblin’ Man”

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The Allman Brothers have had a long and tumultuous run since their formation in 1971 around a core group including Duane and Gregg Allman. The death of Duane in a motorcycle accident that very year could have broken up the band forever, but instead, it led to a highly creative period that produced epochal southern rock records like Eat A Peach—named after the type of truck that had killed their founding member—and Brothers and Sisters.

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Rihanna’s Anti Capitalist Strategy

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Although it marks a turn away from the hit-heavy model of a record industry money-maker, Rihanna’s Anti is still a calculated capitalist move, and the Atlantic explains how. In an editorial examination of record release strategies, the Atlantic connects the dots between Samsung’s sponsorship of the new record and how Rihanna is making money by giving the new album away for free.

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Drake Shares “Summer Sixteen”

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Drake shared the song “Summer Sixteen” on the latest episode of OVO Sound Radio, Pitchfork reports. Among other things, the track calls out President Obama in reference to the Commander-In-Chief publicly declaring his preference for Kendrick Lamar, saying, “To do what you couldn’t do/ Tell Obama that my verses are like the whips at the end/ They bulletproof.”

During the episode Drake also announced that his much-anticipated album Views from the 6 will come out this April.

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Trent Reznor on Bowie’s Fearlessness

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In Rolling Stone’s Bowie issue, Trent Reznor has added his incredibly sincere recollections of the icon to the abundance of tributes that have come out since Bowie’s passing:

There were a number of times where the two of us were alone, and he said some things that weren’t scolding, but pieces of wisdom that stuck with me: ‘You know, there is a better way here, and it doesn’t have to end in despair or in death, in the bottom.’

Read additional excerpts from the piece via Consequence of Sound.

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Song of the Day: “Come On Back”

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From 1962 to 1987, producer Bobby Robinson headed the independent record publisher Enjoy Music. Robinson nurtured and and supported heavy-hitting early R&B, blues, and soul artists of the latter half of the 20th century, including Gladys Knight and the Pips, Elmore James, and Grandmaster Flash.

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This Week in Posivibes: John Cale

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The experimental legend reissued his album Music for a New Society on Domino this past Friday, thirty-four years after it first came out. Alongside the reissue, Cale is releasing a complete remake of the albumtitled M:FANS, the remake has Cale re-imagining the stories he told on the original record. 

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J. Cole and Ryan Coogler on Racial Inequality

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During an event hosted by Blackout for Human Rights at Harlem’s Riverside Church for #MLKNOW, J. Cole and director Ryan Coogler discussed racial inequality, police brutality, and the importance of allowing themselves to confront events such as the violence perpetrated on Michael Brown and Oscar Grant through their art.

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Charles Moothart’s Solo Debut

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Charles Moothart has played in plenty of great projects out of the California garage revivalFuzz, Ty Segall, GØGGS, and Charlie and the Moonhearts, for instanceand now has a record coming out for his solo debut, CFM. Backed by Thomas Alvarez (Audacity), Michael Anderson, and Tyler Frome, Moothart’s CFM released its first song this past week in anticipation of the upcoming record, Still Life of Citrus and Slime, which will be out on April 8th via In the Red.

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“Borders” and Brand Controversy

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MIA’s video for “Borders” is controversial in many ways: it’s full of refugee imagery, MIA rapping in the middle of boats packed with bodies. But its biggest backlash comes from what seems like its least controversial gesture—in some shots, MIA is wearing a shirt with a doctored logo, changing “Fly Emirates” to read “Fly Pirates.” One would think that critiquing big money and corporations through clever logo manipulation is old news, but MIA has received letters threatening legal action and describing the event as if the logo were a sensitive teenager with hurt feelings.

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Song of the Day: “Don’t Mention My Name”

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The Shepherd Sisters were a “rock n’ roll” group that reached prominence during the late 50s and early 60s. The Sheps, as they were sometimes called, typified the bright and squeaky-clean persona of many vocal groups of the time. One could easily mention the Shepherd Sisters—who were, in fact, siblings who had all grown up in Middletown, Ohio—in the same breath as other all-female acts like The Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, and The Supremes.

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Obama Answers the Big Question

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Kendrick or Drake? YouTube vlogger Adande Thorne asked President Obama the big question, and Obama went with Kendrick Lamar. “Got to go with Kendrick,” President Obama responded, as reported Consequence of Sound. The President continued to say, “I think Drake is an outstanding entertainer, but Kendrickhis lyrics, his last album was outstanding.

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This Week in Posivibes: Jermaine Bossier and the 79rs Gang

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The incredible imagery and music produced by Indian Mardi Gras gangs is both totally mind-blowing and, unfortunately, easy to miss. Lucky for us, Aquarium Drunkard’s done some work to correct the latter, publishing an interview with Jermaine Bossier, the Big Chief of the 7th Ward Creole Hunters in New Orleans.

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What Hip-Hop Owes David Bowie

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The Internet has been (rightfully) full of David Bowie tributes in the last week, including a series of pieces about the icon’s influence on hip-hop music.

Noisey traced Bowie’s public admiration for hip-hop, beginning with the 1993 clip of Bowie asking MTV why the network wasn’t featuring black artists that went viral following his death, and leading up to him citing Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly as one of the major influences on the making of Blackstar.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #69: Meaning Yes

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When in need of comfort, it’s always worth trying close reading. ...more