The 10 Best Things From 2011 To Listen To While Writing, According To Actual Authors

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Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins: Reissued in 2011, so it counts!
Reports from the holiday-party front indicate that 2011 was another long and lonely year for the fiction writers and memoirists of New York, who were kept company at home all day long mainly by various "internet friends" and related applications, as well as their favorite songs/albums/radio shows. Below is a totally non-scientific list of 2011's Top 10 pieces of music for writing, as supplied by the authors of recent books.

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Wild Flag Take A Wild Coffee Break In the Video For "Romance"

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It's pretty genius of Wild Flag to release their video for "Romance" on the day that so many office drones are dusting off the last sand grains of summer and getting back to autumn-borne reality—in the Tom Scharpling-directed clip, four co-workers from different departments leave their workplace at the stroke of 1 p.m. to generally wreak havoc around town while driving a hot-pink car and wearing animal masks so as to hide their true identities. The fun includes some viral promotion of their self-titled full-length, which comes out one week from today, as well as some, uh, unorthodox coffee preparation and a visit to a weekday garage sale. (It's the economy?) Clip below.

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Listen To The Wild Flag Album, Because It Will Make Your Day A Lot Better

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Post-Irene malaise got you down? Bailing out your basement? Bummed that the subways came back just in time for you to go to work in the AM? Still trying to erase Jessie J's histrionics from your mental audio loop? Why not check out the spectacular album by the megagroup Wild Flag—Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney, Mary Timony of Helium/general guitar heroics, and Rebecca Cole of the Minders—which is currently streaming at NPR two weeks in advance of its release. It's a corker, with Brownstein and Timony trading off on vocals over songs that pop and bend and feel urgent and alive from start to finish, and it'll very likely help pull you out of whatever Monday-morning/hurricane-significant-other-related doldrums you might be experiencing at the moment.

Live: Sonic Youth Get Caught Between Bad Moon Rising and New York City


Sonic Youth w/Wild Flag, Kurt Vile
Williamsburg Waterfront
Friday, August 12

Better than: Listening to a playlist of the set on Spotify.

Just before Sonic Youth played "Starfield Road," from 1994's Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, at Friday night's Williamsburg Waterfront gig, singer-guitarist Thurston Moore held things up. "Mark, what's the chords?" he asked of bassist Mark Ibold, who had been playing in Pavement at the time that record came out. "We started rehearsing for this show two days ago," Moore said, explaining the pause. "We've decided to go back deep. It's been a while since we've played some of these. Mark was always in the audience, so he knows [the chords]." Then, as Ibold and fellow bassist Kim Gordon began pounding out actual notes, Moore made head-swirling feedback and noise with his guitar as he ranted and raved about dirty sex for two minutes. Proper chords, indeed.


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Five Reasons You Should See Wild Flag Tonight

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The term "supergroup" is pretty well overused in this hyperadjectived age, so let's call Wild Flag—ex-Sleater Kinneyans Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss, former Helium mastermind Mary Timony, and onetime Minder Rebecca Cole—something more superlative, because they certainly deserve it. Superdupergroup? Megagroup? Mondoband? Whatever you prefer, they're playing the Williamsburg Waterfront tonight with Sonic Youth and Kurt Vile, and tickets are still available. A few reasons why you should maybe alter your plans tonight and take the plunge near the East River, after the jump.

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Wild Flag's "Romance" Will Get You Up And At 'Em

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The bicoastal all-star quartet Wild Flag premiered "Romance," a track from their forthcoming self-titled debut, on WFMU's "The Cherry Blossom Clinic" over the weekend. And it is awesome; garage-rock stomp combined with the guitar pyrotechnics of Mary Timony and Carrie Brownstein and lyrics about their romance with... music! Plus there's a hand-clap breakdown to make the dancing that will pair very well with it even more fun. It is so good to hear music that sounds so alive on a sleep-eye-crusted Monday morning. Embed after the jump.

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Sonic Youth and Wild Flag Are Playing the Williamsburg Waterfront In August!

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Via Sonic Youth's Twitter comes this wonderful bit of news: The iconic New York rockers will storm the beaches of the Williamsburg Waterfront on August 12. Joining them will be the supergroup Wild Flag, made up of Sleater-Kinney members Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss, as well as Mary Timony (Helium) and Rebecca Close (the Minders). Tickets for the gig go on sale April 29 at noon (SY's official site has more information), and will surely sell out quickly.

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Photos: The Village Voice/Frank 151 SXSW Party, Starring Wild Flag, Wu-Tang, Erykah Badu, Donald Glover, Yelawolf, and More

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Wu-Tang, who else? All photos by Nate "Igor" Smith
The Wu-Tang/Wild Flag encore of champions never quite went off the way we hoped it would, but Donald Glover's rapping alter-ego Childish Gambino did make a cameo appearance, Yelawolf took off his shirt, and fireworks shot off down the block, where the Strokes were entertaining those who couldn't quite make it into the Austin Music Hall. Put another successful SXSW party--this one starring not just the aforementioned Wu-Tang Clan, Yelawolf, and Wild Flag, but also Fishbone, Trae Tha Truth, Marz Lovejoy, Rocky Business, Trouble Andrew, Ume, and Erykah Badu, who DJed and then performed with the Wu at the end of their 1 a.m. set--in the books. You can read a full report courtesy of our pals in Houston; our intrepid photographer Nate "Igor" Smith was also on the scene. His photos are below.

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Announcing the 2011 Village Voice and Frank 151 SXSW Party, Featuring the Wu-Tang Clan, Yelawolf, Wild Flag, Fishbone, and More

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Rocky Business at the Mercury Lounge last week. Photo by Nate "Igor" Smith.
With three weeks to go and counting, we figured we might as well make it official: please join us in welcoming the 2011 Village Voice SXSW party, presented in concert with Frank 151, and starring the Wu-Tang Clan, Fishbone, Yelawolf, Trae Tha Truth, Marz Lovejoy, Rocky Business, Trouble Andrew, Wild Flag, Ume, and a DJ set from Erykah Badu. How about that? We're still pretty fond of last year's line-up (Superchunk, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Surfer Blood, and the xx), but this may well top it. People who have been sentient in the last two decades should need no introduction to Wu-Tang and Fishbone--or to Alabama rap hero Yelawolf or the all-lady post-Sleater-Kinney supergroup Wild Flag, for that matter. And Voice readers should recognize formidable Austin trio Ume too, if not from their lively CMJ stint a year and half back, then at least for their towering frontwoman:

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