Aphex Twin, Curve, and Jawbreaker had the best-kept secret hits of 1992

To commemorate 60 years of the Billboard Hot 100, Off The Charts revisits each year since it was established to spotlight songs and artists that didn’t make the cut, yet still made a significant impact. Years are chosen randomly and—to make it even harder on ourselves—rules for inclusion are that neither the songs nor…

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Oh Mickey, what a pity, Toni Basil won't take the stand

Back in August, Toni Basil—the accomplished choreographer who is still best known for her 1981 hit “Mickey”—filed a massive lawsuit against Disney, Viacom, the people behind South Park, and clothing retail chain Forever 21 for unauthorized use of her song. Basil believed that a company called Razor And Tie Direct had…

Kanye West settles lawsuit over canceled Saint Pablo Tour

In 2016, Kanye West suddenly canceled his Saint Pablo Tour after a series of bizarre performances, followed by West checking himself into the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital Center and suing the tour insurers for refusing to pay out his claim. The insurer, Lloyd’s Of London, then countersued on the grounds that West’s…

Car Seat Headrest, Poliça/Stargaze, Brandi Carlile, and more albums to know about this week

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Car Seat Headrest reimagines 2011’s fiery Twin Fantasy with a bigger budget, while Poliça and Stargaze turn in the stirring Music For The Long Emergency, and Brandi Carlile finds strength in forgiveness on the lovely, languid By The Way, I Forgive You. These, plus Superchunk, Ought, and more in this week’s notable…

What are you listening to this week? 

I accidentally destroyed my phone during a run yesterday, so I called my old iPod up from the reserves. It’s a modified 300-gig monster that I still update, even though I rarely use it. Scrolling takes forever, so I stopped in the Ds for De La Soul’s classic 3 Feet High And Rising. It’s been a minute since I’ve heard…

What’s your favorite breakup album?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

Frank Ocean releases surprise cover of "Moon River" for his huckleberry friends

Way back in November, we reported that Frank Ocean seemed to be teasing some new music, implying in a jokey Tumblr post that he was sitting on a new album that he hadn’t gotten around to releasing just yet. Ocean still hasn’t dropped a new album, but late last night he did put a surprise new release up on his YouTube…

Beach House releases a very good, very Beach House song

Over the course of six albums, Beach House have been defined by their consistency, mining a seemingly endless vein of swooning, melancholy pop music. There have been a lot of bands inspired by Twin Peaks’ narcotic teen-pop aesthetic over the years, but the duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally seem uniquely tapped…

Ezra Furman closes his session with the fiery, anthemic “Suck The Blood From My Wounds”

Welcome back to AVC Sessions, our series where we bring in an artist, band, musician, singer, rapper, etc. to perform three of their tracks. This week, we’re sharing songs from Ezra Furman, whose latest record, Transangelic Exodus, was just released. In the final video from the session, Furman performs the opening…

Ezra Furman brings the ethereal “Psalm 151” to AVC Sessions

Welcome back to AVC Sessions, our series where we bring in an artist, band, musician, singer, rapper, etc. to perform three of their tracks. This week, we’re sharing songs from Ezra Furman, whose latest record, Transangelic Exodus, was just released last week. In the second video from the session, Furman performs…

Ezra Furman performs the retro single “Love You So Bad”

Welcome back to AVC Sessions, our series where we bring in an artist, band, musician, singer, rapper, etc. to perform three of their tracks. This week, we’re sharing songs from Ezra Furman, whose latest record, Transangelic Exodus, was just released last week. In the first video from the session, Furman performs the…

James Hetfield to play a cop in Zac Efron's Ted Bundy movie

Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy might have to start sleeping with one eye open and gripping the pillow tight because Metallica’s James Hetfield has signed on to play a cop in director Joe Berlinger’s thriller Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile. Specifically, Deadline says Hetfield will play Officer Bob Hayward, a…

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With Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar adds a great soundtrack to his résumé

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Here’s a best-case scenario confirmed: The Black Panther soundtrack is also one of the best rap albums of this young year, at once an expressive and cohesive addition to Kendrick Lamar’s oeuvre and a thoughtful mixtape from some of R&B and hip-hop’s best. Of course it comes from Top Dawg Entertainment, which has…

Son Lux, Franz Ferdinand, and more albums to know about this week

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Son Lux finds transcendence on the eclectic Brighter Wounds, while Dashboard Confessional’s Crooked Shadows, though undoubtedly polished, is just… fine. These, plus Franz Ferdinand and The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon in this week’s notable new releases.

Elvis Costello, Chris Cornell, and more helped turn some Johnny Cash poems into songs

In 2016, Johnny Cash’s family released Forever Words, a collection of unpublished poetry that they found among his possessions after he died, and now they’ve teamed up with a number of musicians to try and reinterpret some of those poems—and other artifacts found in Cash’s papers—into proper songs. The artists involve…

We all know why this review of David Duchovny’s album exists

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With few exceptions, whenever an actor decides to embark on a music career, that music will inevitably be a sort of wistful, meat-and-potatoes roots rock. It doesn’t take an imaginary degree in pop psychology to understand this. Movie stardom is a fake and fluffy business; the amount of pretense and preening involved…