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The Best Track On Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo Is Also, Somehow, The Worst

What the world needs now is a great Kanye West song: no less and please, God, no more. Enough with the delays, the obfuscations, the feuds, the amusing tantrums misidentified as unhinged rants, the legit unmisidentifiable social-media disasters. It’s exhausting. He’s exhausting. We’re exhausted. To quote Thoreau:…

John Seabrook's Pop-Music Treatise The Song Machine Is Half Wrong, Half Boring

Don’t bore us, get to the chorus: John Seabrook’s The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory (Norton) is one of the most frustrating music books in memory. You will learn a lot from this book; unfortunately, a lot of what you’ll learn is inaccurate. And all too often, what’s not inaccurate is vitiated by Seabrook’s wan…

14 Times Jay Z Got Owned By Another Rapper, Usually On His Own Song

Sorry, but the Jay Z you all worship might not be as good as you think. Or maybe it’s just that he’s easily dwarfed by the guest verses on his own tracks. These days he’s more or less abandoned making new music, instead busying himself with buying up companies and brands and streaming services or, in his latest jape,…

You Can Take Yo La Tengo To A Mets Game, But You Can't Make 'Em Do The Wave

Credit where credit’s due: The New York Mets are very good this year, and they wholeheartedly earned the NL East title. But given the team’s habit of historic late-season collapses—recall, for example, when they blew a sturdy seven-game September division lead in 2007 by losing 12 of their last 17 games—there must’ve…

EL-P On The New Cat-Rap Classic Meow The Jewels: "It's A Lonely And Strange Thing"

Embrace the moment: One of the most feverishly anticipated hip-hop
albums of the year is finally here, and it’s made up almost entirely of sampled cat sounds. It’s called Meow the Jewels, and you can download it for free right here, and its backstory is now the stuff of internet (and cat) lore. It started when EL-P and…

Q&A: Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis On The Band's New Anti-Harassment Concert Hotline

Speedy Ortiz are a noisy, lurching, acerbic, ’90s-channeling rock band from Northampton, Mass., whose loudest release of 2015 is liable to be a phone number. On Labor Day, the quartet took to Facebook to announce the creation of “(574) 404-SAFE, our help hotline you can text if you are being harassed or feel unsafe at…

The New Miley Cyrus Record Is Exhausting, But Might Be Worth It Anyway

So what we’ve got here is Miley Cyrus singing a morbid piano ballad called “Pablow the Blowfish.” She’s wearing fluffy unicorn pajamas and playing an electric piano in an ersatz cornfield; additional props include a stuffed unicorn on a stool and an inflatable Super Mario Bros. power-up mushroom. Verily, the song is…

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Diplo And Skrillex On Charlie Rose: A Partially Fabricated Transcript

Popular music becomes harder to wrap your head around as you get older, but shit’s so weird these days that you don’t even have to be that old to find yourself flummoxed by it. The majority of people in their forties don’t get Taylor Swift, lots and lots of thirtysomethings are baffled by the success of Drake, and…