Music

Watch Prince Cover Bowie’s “Heroes”

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Prince played two shows in Toronto on the Piano & A Microphone tour, and his sets featured a series of covers: the artist performed his take on David Bowie’s “Heroes,” along with Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus & Lucy,” and Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain.” Watch recordings of the covers at Pitchfork.

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Memoir from Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace

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The Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace has announced that Hatchette Books will be publishing her memoir Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. The book was written with Noisey’s Dan Ozzi, who has said of the project:

The book mixes narrative about Laura’s life—growing up with dysphoria and playing in our generation’s most influential punk band—with amazing journal entries she’s been keeping since she was a kid.

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Song of the Day: “Devil In A New Dress”

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We can accuse Kanye West of a lot of things—arrogance, insensitivity, paranoia, ingratitude… the list goes on. But one thing he is not guilty of is dishonesty. The longer he spends in the international media spotlight (and he’s going on thirteen years now), the more the confessional side of his music seems to be emphasized.

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Mountain Goats - The Sunset Tree | Rumpus Music

Albums of Our Lives: The Mountain Goats’s The Sunset Tree

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I knew if I could make it out of town, make it to college, I would survive. But I wasn't sure I would. ...more

Joe Corré and Claiming Punk

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Joe Corré, co-founder of Agent Provocateur lingerie and son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, has once again raised the issue of what it means to “claim” punk: in what he has said would be a protest of the Queen of England’s involvement in the plans for the celebration of punk’s 40th anniversary, Corré has threatened to burn his entire punk collection as a demonstration of what punk is really about.

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DC Politicians Unhappy with PJ Harvey

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The singer’s “The Community of Hope,” off her upcoming album The Hope Six Demolition Project, has been out a week and is already drawing attention from unhappy politicians. The song was inspired by DC’s Ward 7 and explores urban blight—creating an association between the region and the phenomenon that the area’s politicians are none too happy about.

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Of Theremins and Star Wars

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Georgia Tech hosts a yearly competition in musical instrument design called the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, where MIDI players are reborn in new forms that may expand the possibilities for musicians (or just make the things incredibly difficult to play).

The Nomis, designed by Jonathan Sparks, looks like a Star Wars take on the theremin—which is to say that it looks pretty amazing. 

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UK Reggae Renaissance

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Influenced by the heyday of 70s and 80s reggae in the UK, new artists are gathering a following in the region, the Guardian reports. Marcia Richards of the London band the Skints believes the renewed interest has something to do with the fact that the other bands in her scene have built followings organically, by playing show after show, rather than relying on networking through the Internet:

People appreciate us because we have built up a following by connecting directly with audiences live, and nowadays that seems rarer.

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Trump Rally Halted by Hip-Hop

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The nominee’s scheduled event at Chicago on Friday night was cancelled due to the overwhelming attendance of protesters chanting lyrics to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.” Trump may still be steamrolling his way into other cities and we don’t condone any violence that may have occurred in the rally, but it’s nice to see ignorance cower in the face of hip-hop, wouldn’t you say?

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What Do We Want from Jeff Buckley?

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The album You and I comes out today via Sony, a collection of demos, mostly covers, recorded by Jeff Buckley in 1993. Some preliminary reviews argue the continued stream of posthumous releases is an important part of understanding the artist’s official work, while others contend that “the recordings…reveal a few Buckley’s—brace yourselves—flaws” without adding to his oeuvre.

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Graham Nash’s Patience Has (Finally) Broken

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After forty-five years of playing in Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Graham Nash has announced that he is done with tolerating—and mollifying—David Crosby’s notoriously big, cantankerous mouth. Nash told Billboard, “In my world, there will never, ever be a Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young record and there will never be another Crosby, Stills, and Nash record or show.” He went a bit further in an earlier interview with the magazine Lust for Life, saying:

I don’t like David Crosby right now.

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Song of the Day: “Misunderstood”

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The incredible cacophony of the bridge on Wilco’s definitive ballad “Misunderstood” is all the more striking because of its contrast with the rest of the tender, harmonious song. The brilliance of songwriter Jeff Tweedy is on full display here as the speaker laments his own bad attitude with a self-deprecating tone.

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Roots Jam Session Highlights

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This year’s Roots Jam Sessions featured a massive list of artists alongside the Roots crew: Gary Clark Jr., Tori Kelly, Bilal, Tinashe, Jeremih, Andra Day, John Legend, Lenny Kravitz, Lianne La Havas, Leon Bridges, Alessia Cara, J Angel, Kehlani, Bibi Bourelly, Nelly, George Clinton, Lil Dicky, Yuna, Freddie Gibbs, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jazmine Sullivan, and Tish Hyman.

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This Week in Posivibes: untitled unmastered

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Kendrick Lamar has released a new albumuntitled unmastered. The album was a surprise, although the artist performed some of its songs last year on The Colbert Report and this past January on The Tonight Show. The album is available via iTunes (along with just about every other online music retailer).

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The Difference between Advocacy and Slander

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Sexual assault has been at the forefront of the news this week, most recently in the discussion of Lady Gaga’s performance of  “Til It Happens to You” at the Oscars, a song in support of survivors of sexual assault that challenges dismissive attitudes toward the pain caused by such an attack.

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Hamilton Mixtape Participants Revealed

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Although the record is being put out by Atlantic, and therefore isn’t a mixtape per se, the compilation of remixes, covers, and songs inspired by  the Hamilton musical is amassing quite the list of featured artists: as Entertainment Weekly reports, participants include Sia, Usher, Chance the Rapper, Busta Rhymes, Ben Folds, Regina Spektor, and Queen Latifah.

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Best Buds: Kermit the Frog and Jack White

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Earlier this year, we wrote about how The Muppets arranged a drum-off between Dave Grohl and Animal, and now, as the show nears its season finale, Jack White and Kermit the Frog belt out some tunes in Kermit’s car. Watch a preview of White’s appearance via Pitchfork, and catch the full performance on the show’s season finale, which aired last night.

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This Week in Posivibes: A Tribute to Pedal Steel

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Aquarium Drunkard has shared a two-part tribute to pedal steel, centering around one of the key crafters of the sound: Orville “Red” Rhodes. The two-part compilation is titled All Paths Lead to Red: A Pedal Steel Mixtape, and features songs from Buffy Saint-Marie, Berte Jansch, Carole King, Nancy Sinatra, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, and plenty others, all featuring Red’s heavy influence.

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The Rave Story

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To mark the launch The Rave Story, an exhibit at London’s Club Aquarium showcasing art and memorabilia surrounding the UK rave scene of the 80s and 90s, Dazed Digital has published its own chronicle of rave history. The article locates rave’s cultural resonance in a revolutionary inclusivity:

The creation of the rave scene was the social revolution that began to break race and class boundaries in Britain.

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Paul Lansky

The Rumpus Interview with Paul Lansky

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Paul Lansky talks about his career as a pioneer in the world of electronic and computer-generated music. ...more