Grimes Is A Very Awkward Pop Star, Which Makes Art Angels Way More Fun

The truth is that all sorts of weirdos get to be pop stars nowadays, and that should excite you whether you like pop stars or weirdos. Think Lana Del Rey, who has excellent rocket-launcher technique and makes profoundly soporific records that double as fainting couches. Think Fetty Wap, who has one eye and rap-sings… »11/09/15 4:27pm11/09/15 4:27pm


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… »10/13/15 1:04pm10/13/15 1:04pm

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,… »10/12/15 11:21am10/12/15 11:21am

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… »10/02/15 2:10pm10/02/15 2:10pm

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… »9/28/15 1:22pm9/28/15 1:22pm

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… »9/11/15 1:39pm9/11/15 1:39pm

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… »9/02/15 12:20pm9/02/15 12:20pm

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… »8/18/15 5:37pm8/18/15 5:37pm

Dr. Dre's Spotty Compton Is The First Record To Show His Age

Dr. Dre has enjoyed one of the most remarkable careers in hip-hop history. In music’s most youth-dominant genre, not only has he managed to roll with the changing times, he has ranked among the most powerful forces steering the direction of the rap industry for a solid two decades. Which makes it a little… »8/14/15 12:38pm8/14/15 12:38pm

We'll All Go Down Together: Billy Joel Says Goodbye To Nassau Coliseum

It’s a little after six on a sultry Tuesday evening, and the Champions sports bar nestled inside the Long Island Marriott is packed with an unusual crowd. The walls are lined with memorabilia from the New York Islanders, who up until a few days ago called the crumbling Nassau Coliseum next door home; beneath the… »8/07/15 1:39pm8/07/15 1:39pm

Take Third Eye Blind As Seriously As They Take Themselves

“Hi, we’re Third Eye Blind from San Francisco, California, and we’re high as kites.” Stephan Jenkins beams at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion crowd from the depths of his hoodie; his legs are encompassed by shorts and a glossy cylinder of fabric that could be classified as a skirt. Behind him, the stage lights stir and… »7/16/15 4:51pm7/16/15 4:51pm

We Made More Rap-Themed Sprite Cans


So Sprite, in conjunction with The Fader, is putting rap lyrics on its cans this summer, to honor a cultural synergy that stretches all the way from Kurtis Blow to A Tribe Called Quest to Drake. Which is a lovely tribute, sure, but the initial roster—Aubrey, Nas, Rakim, and a one-off from the Notorious B.I.G.—leaves… »6/12/15 2:27pm6/12/15 2:27pm

Those Who Cannot Be Taylor Swift, Talk Trash About Taylor Swift 

Dan Bejar is the sort of fussy, opaque, perpetually dissatisfied art-rocker type who’d delight in the fact that it’ll probably take me two paragraphs to explain him to you to anyone’s satisfaction. He hails from Vancouver and looks like the insouciant, chain-smoking, Sartre-quoting philosopher genius/doofus your… »5/26/15 5:56pm5/26/15 5:56pm

Listen To Tons Of B.B. King Today

Blues legend B.B. King died late last night, at 89, in his Las Vegas home, relatively peacefully. He’d been one of those guys who logged 100 shows a year even pushing 90, but he’d been laid up after canceling a 2014 jaunt due to dehydration, exhaustion, and other such complications of diabetes. You may be thinking of… »5/15/15 9:47am5/15/15 9:47am

The-Dream's Jewel EP Is Gonna Be Great

Man, R&B producer/singer/songwriter/legend Terius Nash, better known as The-Dream, is so, so good, even if his last full-length album, 2014’s IV Play, was not. But this year has brought us the old Radio Killa we know and love. Last month, he dropped the excellent six-song Crown EP; on July 10, he’ll follow that up… »5/14/15 3:52pm5/14/15 3:52pm

Wimpy White Dudes With Guitars Ruined American Idol

American Idol is finally dead, to the delight of those who’ve always hated it, and the relief of those who used to love it. At the peak of its reign, the show was everything to everyone: the launching pad for the pop careers of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Hicks; the linchpin of the Fox prime-time… »5/13/15 12:35pm5/13/15 12:35pm

Astral Years: A Seeker's Guide To Van Morrison In The '80s 

Van Morrison has recorded the song “Irish Heartbeat” three times in the past 32 years. It appears most recently on his new record, Duets: Re-working the Catalogue, accompanied by Mark Knopfler. The arrangement and instrumentation are renewed, too; the song is structured to feel more ventilated and relaxed, like a… »4/27/15 1:49pm4/27/15 1:49pm

Young Thug Is Digging Deeper, And Getting Better

Young Thug’s The Barter VI met with mixed reactions when it surfaced online a week ago, a seeming anti-climax after months of snowballing hype and controversy. All things considered, the album is a bold move for Thug, counterintuitive as it may seem for such a low-key project. But his fans’ initial ambivalence isn’t… »4/23/15 1:36pm4/23/15 1:36pm