A commanding presence on the mic... effortlessly balancing raw charisma with hit-making savvy, DMX had a major impact on the sound and direction of an era in hip-hop - Rolling Stone writes presenting their selection on 16 essential DMX songs. The iconic hip-hop artist has died on Friday at the age of 50 after suffering […]

"'Dope Game Stupid' turns his life details and a never-ending stream of metaphors into some of the most engaging raps of the year so far" - Pitchfork writes reviewing the debut album by the Detroit rapper Bruiser Wolf, adding that "compact metaphors and similes are Wolf’s weapon of choice". Producer Raphy, on the other hand, "provides a batch of pristine loops that crackle with dust and melancholy".

"I didn't have a note. I didn't have an idea. I didn't have anything to write about. I didn't know what to write about. I just didn't see myself as someone that did that. The muscles in my brain had grown over the years to be something else. It was strange to learn how to do it" - singer-songwriter Stephen Fretwell tells in The New Cue interview how he tried to start making music again, after a decade-long break. "When I actually sat down, I noticed there were a few lines that sounded like they were telling a story that I didn't really know existed. And then as that started to come out of the lyrics, then my marriage fell apart" - he says, adding "It was so much work, I put so much work into it". That was the hard part - "the day that we recorded it in Dean Street Studios, we recorded it in one take all the way through". His new album 'Busy Guy' is out July 16.

“Above all I want all of this art, all of these songs, all my words to lead to there being a law that would protect women and children from domestic violence” - Russian singer Manizha, who is about to present her country at the Eurovision contest, says to the Guardian. She adds that the times they are indeed changing in Russia: "There was a time when you couldn’t go outside, there were skinheads, there were Ku Klux Klans. That’s already become far less. You have to agree. And it will continue layer by layer”.

Glass Animals wrote 'Heat Waves' in desperation at the end of a long and unproductive day in the recording studio in the summer of 2018, and it took almost 3 years for the song to break the waves, BBC reports. When they demoed it, frontman Dave Bayley saw there was somebody else in the studio, playing piano, totally in key, realizing it was - Johnny Depp. However, things didn't go smooth from there - the band had to delay their third album after drummer Joe Seaward suffered devastating injuries in a cycling accident. By the time he'd recuperated, the pandemic had derailed the band's comeback, and they were told to "write off" their album until they could tour again. The band decided to give it a chance. The video for the song, taped during the pandemic, was made with the help of Bayley's neighbors. Once released, last summer, the song didn't make it to the charts until it appeared on the multi-million-selling video game Fifa 21, only to reach the top of the charts this year.

The devil loses to the corporation

Lil Nas X's 'Satan Shoes' to be recalled

MSCHF

New York art collective MSCHF which made "Satan Shoes" that purportedly contain a drop of human blood in the soles, has agreed to issue a voluntary recall as part of a legal settlement with Nike, the New York Times reports. The $1,018 trainers are modified Nike Air Max 97s, with only 666 pairs made and all but one, which Lil Nas X, who collaborated in the creation of the shoe, held so he could choose the recipient, have been shipped. MSCHF will offer full refunds to customers in order to remove the shoes from circulation. However, limited edition shoes can fetch higher prices among collectors so it is not clear how many - if any - customers will return the products.

While waiting for concerts to start all over again, Pitchfork had a number of artists, such as Bartees Cox Jr. of Bartees Strange, Jamila Woods, Natalie Mering of Weyes Blood, Buck Meek of Big Thief, Angel Bat Dawid, KeiyaA and others chose and describe their favorite independent music venues in the US. Cassandra Jenkins' favorite is Chicago's Hideout: "Part of the Hideout’s charm is that it just barely works. It’s pretty out of the way, and it’s small and disarmingly quirky, with a skinny shotgun space that feels familiar even if it’s your first time there. The stage is just deep enough to fit a band, and the bar is just wide enough for people to hang out. The size of the venue lends itself to acts that can play when they’re still figuring themselves out, and to nights that feel really special when the entire space is packed full of people".

"'Sound of Metal' is a painful, thoughtful, sombre film that telescopes a long story into just a few months" - Guardian's critic writes reviewing a movie about a metal band drummer going deaf. Bradshaw believes the movie is trying too much, with the main actor (and musician) Riz Ahmed giving a "typically fierce and focused performance" which "clarifies the drama and delivers the meaning of Ruben’s final epiphany. He gives the film energy and point". So, worth watching thanks to the musician, right Mr. Bradshaw?

10-year-old multi-instrumentalist Nandi Bushell had earned kudos from the Pixies for her loop version of the band’s classic song 'Where Is My Mind?'. YouTube sensation, who’s a skilled guitarist, bassist, and drummer, plays various guitar portions, and shifts over to drums, combining them all together into one cohesive version of the Pixies tune. The pre-teen also sings the song and listens to the finished song at the video's end, although she seems much more comfortable playing. Pixies tweeted "great work".

“I think anyone can do music, but not everyone believes they can do music. When you feel like you are emboldened or confident enough to do it, you just do it and don’t think about why” - says Nick Buxton, the drummer of the London post-punk band Dry Cleaning, in a Pitchfork interview. Florence Shaw, the vocalist in the band ("singer" would be really stretching it), adds that “the thing about Dry Cleaning is that it’s only space, so you don’t have to worry about someone mishearing it or there not being a gap for you”.

Sia has released a new music video 'Floating Through Space' which was made in collaboration with NASA to celebrate the upcoming Ingenuity test flight on Mars. The song is her latest collaboration with David Guetta, and the video arrives as NASA prepares to test Ingenuity helicopter, which would mark the first attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet.

Anderson / Atwood

A great read in the Guardian - Canadian novelist remembers what Laurie Anderson's debut album was and what it had meant when it first came out. It's being reissued on vinyl this week. "As the 20th century has morphed into the 21st, as the consequences of the destruction of the natural world have become devastatingly clear, as analogue has been superseded by digital, as the possibilities for surveillance have increased a hundredfold, and as the ruthless hive mind of the Borg has been approximated through online media, Anderson’s anxious and unsettling probings have taken on an aura of the prophetic. Do you want to be a human being any more? Are you one now? What even is that? Or should you just allow yourself to be held in the long electronic petrochemical arms of your false mother?".

Du Blonde

Sorry share their new EP, including the moody 'Don't Be Scared'; Cigar Cigarette teamed up with MOTHERMARY for an industrial cover of Cyndi Lauper's 'Time After Time'; Beachy Head, the new group featuring members of Slowdive, Casket Girls, and Flaming Lips, share slow and psychedelic 'All Gone'; Du Blonde shared anthemic single - 'All The Way'; Paris-based artist Poté presents his debut album with 'Young Lies', featuring Damon Albarn; Detroit rapper Bruiser Wolf shares a jazz/funky 'Syndicate' from his latest album; Mark Mallman shares sad happy song 'For Love I Will Let Love Go'; St. Lenox tackles religion from a not-so-particularly-religious point in 'Deliverance'.

“We wanted to try something completely different. After the first album we had written songs already trying to set in place a new direction but when COVID hit it gave us even more of an opportunity, individually, to further go down rabbit holes" - Black Midi’s singer and guitarist Geordie Greep tells the Quietus about band's new album 'Cavalcade' (out May 28). “The songs now have proper chord sequences and there's actually melody” - Greep adds. Also, there are a lot more instruments heard on the record too - violin, cello, saxophone, piano, bouzoukis, a late 19th Century zither called a Marxophone, flute, lap steel, synths, and even a wok that the band started using a violin bow on. Still, it's the same mission statement: "to make really theatrical, cinematic, expansive albums”.

British label behind the xx, FKA twigs, Arlo Parks, Sampha, and many more, has changed its name from Young Turks to just Young, as Uproxx reports. Founder Caius Pawson explained that, when he named the label after a Rod Stewart song in 2005, he had been “unaware of the deeper history of the term.… and that the Young Turks were a group who carried out the Armenian Genocide”. The label will also donate an undisclosed sum to the Armenian Institute in London.

Ja Rule has teamed up with photographer Trevor DeHaas to sell the infamous cheese sandwich tweet from the ill-fated Fyre Festival as an NFT (non-fungible token), for an estimated price of $80,000. Tickets for the luxurious festival in the Bahamas ranged from between $4,000 to $12,000, however, the audiences that reached the island only got - the meagre snack. The Flipkick listing describes the tweet as a “Meme. Cultural touchstone. Cheese sandwich... The most iconic image from 2017’s most famous debacle". All proceeds are going towards the medical expenses for DeHaas’ daily dialysis and kidney transplant. Ja Rule recently sold his Fyre Festival logo oil painting in NFT for $122,000.

A great article by Alexis Petridis about Pino Palladino, one of the world’s most celebrated bass players who has worked with Adele, Elton John, the Who, D’Angelo, Ed Sheeran, and many more, who is releasing his first solo album, a collaboration with Blake Mills. Welsh musician lives in California now - "Film and music studios are considered essential to the economy here – you’ve got to love that, right?. Mind you, that’s better than Britain telling you if you’re a musician or an artist you might have to look for a new job".

The Foo Fighters leader has announced 'The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music', a memoir made as a spinoff from his pandemic Instagram account, @davestruestories, through which he shares tales from his music career. Grohl emphasizes that he wrote the book himself, without a ghostwriter. In the YouTube player below, hear an 11-minute extract from the book, narrated by Grohl himself. The book, due out October 5 through Dey Street Books, is available to pre-order from the newly launched website davegrohlstoryteller.com.

"Listening is one of the hardest things for a musician to do. ‘Cause once you’ve achieved some things, you think you know it all. But you don’t know shit. So keeping your ears open and your mind open is the most important thing. Listen to others and then you’ll get better" - Mike Patton said in a Forbes interview, talking about the newest Tomahawk record. He also named a few artists he saw reinventing himself through their career: "I will say Tom Waits for sure has been one of those guys that jumps off always. And he catches another one. Nick Cave, another guy. I mean the guy can barely even sing. But he’s making amazing music and really, it’s compelling. And it’s orchestrated in a great way. I should say Bjork, too. Bjork really did that. I saw her grow up as a kid and then become whatever the hell she is now". Invisible Oranges recently made a Patton profile, going into his numerous projects.

Country rockers Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson are the latest to be cast for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film 'Killers of the Flower Moon', Deadline reports. Jesse Plemons would take on the lead role, next to Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. 'Killers of the Flower Moon' follows FBI agent Tom White (Plemons) as he tries to solve the serial murders of members of the Osage Nation over oil rights. A prominent local cattleman named William Hale (De Niro) and his cousin Ernest Burkhart (DiCaprio) were among those implicated in the murders. Isbell will make his feature film debut as Bill Smith, an adversary of Burkhart, while Simpson portrays the infamous rodeo champion and bootlegger Henry Grammer.

"Taking from ambient, soundtrack, harsh noise, jazz, and a host of other types of music, 夢遊病者 simply does not care about fitting into one specific mold" as they "craft something indistinguishable from anything else" - Brooklyn Vegan writes in awe of this extraordinary debut album by the anonymous international avant-garde metal trio. The band as an entity is also quite fluid - their early Bandcamp releases credit them as a Russian/ Japanese/American entity, they use Chinese characters for their name (Sleepwalker in English), the title of the album 'Noč Na Krayu Sveta' is in Slovenian, while the band members are named as PBV, NN, and KJM.

“I remember listening to this song in the car while riding to middle school with my Mom. I think it has one of the strongest melodies ever written" - Jeremiah Fraites of the Lumineers wrote as he released his cover of Nirvana's 'Heart-Shaped Box' on the 27th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, Spin reports.

9:30

Pitchfork did a great job of talking to the owners, bookers, and managers of 36 independent music venues in the US to see how they’ve been doing over the past year, and what their fans can do to help. The thing all of them are waiting for is best described by the Washington, D.C., 9:30 Club operator: "The show’s been booked, tickets have been sold, production is finished, soundcheck is done. The artist is excited and ready to go, and the audience is, too. It’s a magic moment".

Flying Lotus has scored and executive produced the new anime series 'Yasuke', which is set to premiere on Netflix on April 29th, and the trailer is out now. LeSean Thomas, a veteran of 'The Boondocks' and 'Black Dynamite', created and directed the series, while LaKeith Stanfield ('Atlanta') voices the titular character. Yasuke takes its name from the first Black samurai to serve a warlord in Japan.

H.E.R. has released a new video for her song 'Fight for You' from the 'Judas and the Black Messiah' soundtrack. The short clip offers a condensed history of the Black Panther Party and the events that led to the assassination of Fred Hampton, the subject of the new movie.

American DJ and record producer Bassnectar is being sued by two women who allege that he groomed, trafficked, and raped them while they were underage, EDM.com reports. The women are suing for damages, past and future emotional distress, and medical expenses. Last year, the popular EDM musician announced that he was “stepping back” from his music career after an Instagram page called @evidenceagainstbassnectar collected dozens of sexual misconduct accusations against him. Now, two of the women who shared their experiences on that page are taking the musician to court.

'You’re History: The 12 Strangest Women in Music' by Lesley Chow is a look at twelve groundbreaking female artists who remain criminally underappreciated, including Neneh Cherry, Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Azealia Banks, Kate Bush, Sade, and TLC. "I wanted to come up with a different value system, celebrating music which has a hot, immediate effect on your body - seizing your impulses as much as your conscious mind" - as the author had told in the Music Journalism Insider interview.

Rolling Stone renewed their list of great one-of albums by artists who published their debut LP and were promptly derailed by death, internal band politics or the simple desire to put something down and never pick it back up. Here's the top 10:

10. Madvillain - 'Madvillainy'

9. The Postal Service - 'Give Up'

8. Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers - 'L.A.M.F.'

7. Buena Vista Social Club - 'Buena Vista Social Club'

6. Minor Threat - 'Out of Step'

5. The Modern Lovers - 'The Modern Lovers'

4. Jeff Buckley - 'Grace'

3. Lauryn Hill - 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'

2. Derek & the Dominos - 'Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs'

  1. Sex Pistols - 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols'

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A commanding presence on the mic... effortlessly balancing raw charisma with hit-making savvy, DMX had a major impact on the sound and direction of an era in hip-hop - Rolling Stone writes presenting their selection on 16 essential DMX songs. The iconic hip-hop artist has died on Friday at the age of 50 after suffering […]

"'Dope Game Stupid' turns his life details and a never-ending stream of metaphors into some of the most engaging raps of the year so far" - Pitchfork writes reviewing the debut album by the Detroit rapper Bruiser Wolf, adding that "compact metaphors and similes are Wolf’s weapon of choice". Producer Raphy, on the other hand, "provides a batch of pristine loops that crackle with dust and melancholy".

"I didn't have a note. I didn't have an idea. I didn't have anything to write about. I didn't know what to write about. I just didn't see myself as someone that did that. The muscles in my brain had grown over the years to be something else. It was strange to learn how to do it" - singer-songwriter Stephen Fretwell tells in The New Cue interview how he tried to start making music again, after a decade-long break. "When I actually sat down, I noticed there were a few lines that sounded like they were telling a story that I didn't really know existed. And then as that started to come out of the lyrics, then my marriage fell apart" - he says, adding "It was so much work, I put so much work into it". That was the hard part - "the day that we recorded it in Dean Street Studios, we recorded it in one take all the way through". His new album 'Busy Guy' is out July 16.

“Above all I want all of this art, all of these songs, all my words to lead to there being a law that would protect women and children from domestic violence” - Russian singer Manizha, who is about to present her country at the Eurovision contest, says to the Guardian. She adds that the times they are indeed changing in Russia: "There was a time when you couldn’t go outside, there were skinheads, there were Ku Klux Klans. That’s already become far less. You have to agree. And it will continue layer by layer”.

Glass Animals wrote 'Heat Waves' in desperation at the end of a long and unproductive day in the recording studio in the summer of 2018, and it took almost 3 years for the song to break the waves, BBC reports. When they demoed it, frontman Dave Bayley saw there was somebody else in the studio, playing piano, totally in key, realizing it was - Johnny Depp. However, things didn't go smooth from there - the band had to delay their third album after drummer Joe Seaward suffered devastating injuries in a cycling accident. By the time he'd recuperated, the pandemic had derailed the band's comeback, and they were told to "write off" their album until they could tour again. The band decided to give it a chance. The video for the song, taped during the pandemic, was made with the help of Bayley's neighbors. Once released, last summer, the song didn't make it to the charts until it appeared on the multi-million-selling video game Fifa 21, only to reach the top of the charts this year.

The devil loses to the corporation

Lil Nas X's 'Satan Shoes' to be recalled

MSCHF

New York art collective MSCHF which made "Satan Shoes" that purportedly contain a drop of human blood in the soles, has agreed to issue a voluntary recall as part of a legal settlement with Nike, the New York Times reports. The $1,018 trainers are modified Nike Air Max 97s, with only 666 pairs made and all but one, which Lil Nas X, who collaborated in the creation of the shoe, held so he could choose the recipient, have been shipped. MSCHF will offer full refunds to customers in order to remove the shoes from circulation. However, limited edition shoes can fetch higher prices among collectors so it is not clear how many - if any - customers will return the products.

While waiting for concerts to start all over again, Pitchfork had a number of artists, such as Bartees Cox Jr. of Bartees Strange, Jamila Woods, Natalie Mering of Weyes Blood, Buck Meek of Big Thief, Angel Bat Dawid, KeiyaA and others chose and describe their favorite independent music venues in the US. Cassandra Jenkins' favorite is Chicago's Hideout: "Part of the Hideout’s charm is that it just barely works. It’s pretty out of the way, and it’s small and disarmingly quirky, with a skinny shotgun space that feels familiar even if it’s your first time there. The stage is just deep enough to fit a band, and the bar is just wide enough for people to hang out. The size of the venue lends itself to acts that can play when they’re still figuring themselves out, and to nights that feel really special when the entire space is packed full of people".

"'Sound of Metal' is a painful, thoughtful, sombre film that telescopes a long story into just a few months" - Guardian's critic writes reviewing a movie about a metal band drummer going deaf. Bradshaw believes the movie is trying too much, with the main actor (and musician) Riz Ahmed giving a "typically fierce and focused performance" which "clarifies the drama and delivers the meaning of Ruben’s final epiphany. He gives the film energy and point". So, worth watching thanks to the musician, right Mr. Bradshaw?

10-year-old multi-instrumentalist Nandi Bushell had earned kudos from the Pixies for her loop version of the band’s classic song 'Where Is My Mind?'. YouTube sensation, who’s a skilled guitarist, bassist, and drummer, plays various guitar portions, and shifts over to drums, combining them all together into one cohesive version of the Pixies tune. The pre-teen also sings the song and listens to the finished song at the video's end, although she seems much more comfortable playing. Pixies tweeted "great work".

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