Steel Tipped Dove's Do's And Don'ts to Making an Instrumental Hip-Hop Album

Categories: Lists

SteelTippedDove.jpg
The elusive Steel Tipped Dove
Brooklyn-based hip-hop producer Steel Tipped Dove dropped his new album this week. Titled Nothing Touches the Ground Here, the 15-track project showcases the beatsmith's talent for crafting instrumental rap soundscapes that veer in a contemplative and celestial direction. In honor of the album's release, we got Steel Tipped Dove to run through a list of do's and don'ts to consider when creating an instrumental hip-hop listening experience.

See also12 Important Life Lessons Gleaned From Kool Keith's Twitter Account

More »

Dave Grohl's Sonic Highways Documentary Series Isn't So Bad!

Categories: Lists, TV

foofigherssonichboad_638.jpg
As you may have already seen, there's been a fair amount of criticism leveled at Dave Grohl's new HBO documentary series, Sonic Highways, since it launched five weeks ago. And, in the week since the accompanying Foo Fighters album of the same name was released, yet more angry voices have emerged.

Accusations have been thrown at Grohl and the band for seeking "respectability by proxy," and at the show for being "nothing more than promotion for the Foo Fighters and their new record," as well as a "bloated, rambling...gimmick." Is the show perfect? Good Lord, no. Some of it is too much about who Dave Grohl knows in each city, rather than the city's musical history itself (the Los Angeles episode was particularly guilty of this). We also, like many other reviewers, could do without every show ending with the song the Foo Fighters just wrote about the city they're in for the episode. (Wouldn't it be more fun to watch the documentary series, then figure out which song goes with which city later?)

More »

The 60 Best Songs Ever Written About New York City

Categories: Lists, Music News

BigAppleRecords.jpg
For the past few weeks we've been locked in the basement at Yankee Stadium, subsisting on nothing but Bergen Bagels, listening to the best songs about New York City through headphones endorsed by Lou Reed. Our mission: to come up with a list of the 60 best songs ever written about our city, songs that best capture what it's like to live, love, struggle, and exist in the sprawling, unforgiving, culturally dense metropolis we pay too much to call home. We started by agreeing on the songs we shouldn't include -- naked and clunky stabs at new New York anthems that fall flat and ring inauthentic, like Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," U2's "New York," and Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York." Instead, we focus on tracks that are so New York, and so good, they can't be denied. Here they are. Listen to our Spotify playlist, which has most of the songs you'll read about below.

Contributors: Steve Almond, R.C. Baker, Heather Baysa, Jack Buehrer, Jesus Diaz, Tom Finkel, Chaz Kangas, Mike Laws, Linda Leseman, Brian McManus, Albert Samaha, Alan Scherstuhl, Mike Seely, Brittany Spanos, Katherine Turman

See also: The 50 Most New York Albums

More »

12 Important Life Lessons Gleaned From Kool Keith's Twitter Account

Categories: Lists

KoolKeithTweets.jpg
Kool Keith

Kool Keith is many things: a lyrical legend, an original oddball of the rap scene, and a man with a penchant for the kinkier side of the bedroom arena. He's also something of a top Twitter fiend, with a timeline lit up by his wonky witticisms and off-kilter musings. So in honor of the release of Keith's new album, Teddy Bass Presents: El Dorado Driven, here's a guide to living life the Kool Keith way, as revealed through his Twitter feed. Enjoy!

See also: Top 10 Greatest Kool Keith Aliases


More »

The 10 Best Pieces of Freddie Gibbs Fan Art

Categories: Lists

FreddieGibbsFarArtPic.jpg
Sir Frederick via Instagram
There's no doubt 2014 has turned out to be a banner year for Freddie Gibbs, capped by his magnificent team-up with Madlib for the PiƱata album. While touring off the spoils of that project, Gibbs has been accumulating fans around the world, with many of them lavishing him with gifts of weed, soccer jerseys, and, yep, homemade artwork. Ahead of Gibbs's NYC spot on Monday, November 3 at Rough Trade, here's a countdown of the best Freddie Gibbs fan art.

See also: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib Have Already Made the Rap Album of the Year


More »

A Salute to the Supporting Cast of Run the Jewels 2

Categories: Lists

RunTheJewels2.jpg
Mike and El via Run the Jewels
By now, you've had most of the week to play El-P and Killer Mike's magnificent Run the Jewels 2 on repeat. (If not, quietly chastise yourself and then head over here and download it now). While the chemistry between Mike and El is an undeniable draw, the Run the Jewels movement has also bloomed into something of an ensemble project, with a coterie of behind-the-scenes cohorts also contributing to the album. Consider this a salute to the faithful jewel-running supporting cast.

See also: 'My Inner White Girl Really Likes This One': Taste-Testing Fall Beers With the Doppelgangaz

More »

Six Ways James Blunt Could Make Up for That Horrid Travesty 'You're Beautiful'

Categories: Lists

jamesblunt.jpg
Screenshot from the video for that unlistenable piece of garbage.
Recently, in an interview with Hello! magazine, that sappy dude with Ashton Kutcher hair, James Blunt, apologized for his double-platinum song "Beautiful." Referring to it as "force-fed down people's throats" and "annoying," Blunt has openly admitted his grim misdeed in writing the 2005 anthem for the parade of the horribles.

While the right thing to do would be to forgive our friend with the dope-smoking last name and possibly even check out his more recent material, we are not fair and righteous people. We are petty, callous, and vindictive. More importantly, we hated that song and still have to hear it in elevators and while waiting on hold in telephone hell as we attempt to negotiate medical-bill payment plans.

See also: Six Punk Bands We Don't Need to Talk About Anymore

More »

The 10 Best Prog-Metal Bands

Categories: Lists

dream-theater-2013-650-thumb-560x370.jpg
Dream Theater
Progressive metal, unlike other subgenres, borrows heavily from hard rock, classical rock, and early heavy-metal influences. Although several of the bands on this list might not technically be considered metal, we group hard rock and metal under the same umbrella for the sake of clarity. Progressive metal (prog metal, for short) is less about brutality and speed, as is the case with extreme metal or thrash. And the focus is not so much on evil or satanic themes, like black metal. Instead, listeners can hear everything from classical music, symphonic metal, speed metal, power metal, and traditional heavy metal in many prog-metal bands. The focus in this subgenre has always been on the proficiency of the musicians, epic songwriting, and sounds that aren't neatly categorized into only one type of metal. As this list will show, even extreme-metal bands can lean more toward the prog side. We now present our list of the 10 Best Progressive Metal/Hard Rock bands.

See also: Ten Metal Albums to Hear Before You Die

More »

Six Ways to Avoid Getting Robbed on Tour

Categories: Lists

VAN06.jpg
All illustrations by Dave Watt.
Although musicians are infamous for walking out on bar tabs, trashing hotel rooms, and hijacking chuckwagon sandwiches from gas stations, there is one thing they deserve: the ability to torture society with their particular brand of art. Sadly, it happens all too often that bands' tours are derailed or canceled altogether as a result of the actions of opportunistic criminals. Bands' vans are broken into all the time on tour. And while it's likely artists will continue to be the targets of such a devastating crime, we've come up with a few helpful suggestions to prevent bands from being robbed on tour.

See also: Six Punk Bands We Don't Need to Talk About Anymore

More »

Six Reasons You Need to Flyer Your Shows

Categories: Lists

monkeyflyer.jpg
Philip Kromer/Flickr
So easy, a monkey could do it.
Social media takes the heat for a lot of things. Some people insist that it's responsible for diluting activism and killing personal interaction. Others may recall the recent viral Craigslist post about the restaurant that blamed its slowing service on social media and smartphones, while some scientists have even drawn a connection between Facebook use and depression.

But put aside the emerging evidence that social media is ruining our ability to be legitimately social, and let us focus on something that's more immediate in our lives: The internet is screwing up music. While some people could jump to the conclusion that the age of rapid-refreshing and buzzy sites is making music too accessible and disposable, social media has a much more sinister and direct effect. Namely, people are relying on message boards and Facebook invites to spread the word about shows and concerts.

To combat this baffling notion that posting an event on the internet is half the battle, here are six reasons why people who don't flyer for shows shouldn't be allowed to book them.

See also: Six Punk Bands We Don't Need to Talk About Anymore

More »
Loading...