The text at the beginning of Drake's video for "HYFR"—"On October 24th 2011 Aubrey 'Drake' Graham chose to get re-bar mitzvah'd as a re-commitment to the Jewish religion … the following is a clip displaying the event that took place"—can be taken as seriously or sardonically as you want. Drake's much-anticipated "bar mitzvah" video, released on the first night of Passover, was originally hyped on the web as a "re-creation" of his original childhood ceremony. We get actual footage from baby Drake’s celebration at the intro, but beyond that, this is a music video staged at a bar mitzvah. If we hadn’t been told in advance that it means [...]
It was never easy being a Pearl Jam fan. The explosion of hype and overexposure that came with Ten and Vs. fueled an instant mainstream backlash by the "cool indie kids." If you were going to listen to grunge, Nirvana was the band you were supposed to like. The experimental, less radio-friendly Vitalogy and No Code—as well as the annoying rise of Eddie Vedder sound-alikes—slashed the fan base even further. In terms of popularity then, they occupy a strange, contradictory place in music: They’ve been one of the biggest bands in the world for two decades but comparatively little is known about them. Which is why the Cameron Crowe-directed love [...]
I’ve been obsessed with the idea of identifying critical moments in popular songs for a long time, but have been struggling with defending what that exactly means. One friend dismissed my ever-growing playlist of songs with identifiable pinnacles of brilliance as just “good songwriting.” I tried to tell her that, no, wait, good songwriting is one thing, but being able to completely change the composition of a song, the whole understanding of the joy that a song can bring, in one critical moment, is not just good songwriting, it’s genius. Nor was I talking about anything as simple as climax and release. As was found with Adele’s “Someone [...]
Having once had the awkward experience of trying to converse with a boy I liked while Rod Stewart's “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy”* played overhead, enumerating (frankly and clearly, to disco accompaniment) the concerns then foremost in my mind, I often wonder about the impact a particular song arbitrarily broadcast into a person’s life can have. In my case, I learned that it's hard to keep up a conversation about impending weather conditions while "just reach out and touuuuuuch me" is in the air, too.
On this chart are all the songs that happened to be #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 on Valentine’s Day over the last [...]
In 1983 I sat cross-legged on the floor of my room, headphones tight against my ears, and placed a record on the platter. The stack of albums next to me was a prime collection of early American hardcore punk—The FUs, Minor Threat, Youth Brigade, 7 Seconds, Crucifix, Negative Approach—but the vinyl that eagerly met the needle was something different.
By the time I laid my teenage, resin-stained fingers on it, “I Had Too Much to Dream” by the Electric Prunes was someone else’s dream long gone by. Released as a single in 1966 and later on the band's first full length album The Electric Prunes, “I Had Too Much [...]