CHILDISH GAMBINO: This Is America

This is America Don’t catch you slippin up Look at how I’m livin now Police be trippin now Yeah, This Is America Guns in my area I got the strap I gotta carry’ em #ChildishGambino #DonaldGlover RELATED: Five Things To Know About “This Is America” Video RELATED: Interview With Director Hiro Murai THE NEW YORKER:  The Glovers were Jehovah’s Witnesses. They believed that Satan controls life on earth, that only a hundred and forty-four thousand anointed Christians will be saved to Heaven with Jesus, and that we are living out the last days before Armageddon. Stephen Glover said, “We were […]

Win Tickets To See King Krule @ The Fillmore!

  THE NEW YORKER: Archy Marshall, the enigmatic South London singer best known as King Krule, is a creature of the night. Known since the age of 15 as a preternaturally wise and unpredictable songwriter, Mr. Marshall, now 23, has assumed the mantle of a bard for the shrouded underclass, churning his anxiety, depression and insomnia into swampy, after-dark tales for the mischievous and disaffected. On songs that mix jazz, punk, dub, hip-hop and the affectations of a zonked-out lounge crooner, he has cut what he calls “gritty stories about the streets” with a “sensitive and romantic side,” aiming to […]

REVIEW: Hop Along Bark Your Head Off, Dog

  Hop Along, a locally-sourced Philadelphia band fronted by the gilded growl of Frances Quinlan, is best defined as undefinable, not quite punk and not quite folk. Their first two albums, Get Disowned and Painted Shut, are marked by lyrics that read more like short stories, grounded in the majesty of the mundane and smothered in a gorgeous squall buzzing guitar riffs. Quinlan’s songwriting evades the cliches and corniness that 21st century punk rock so often falls prey to, while maintaining its rasp and verve. The new Bark Your Head Off, Dog maintains Hop Along’s warbly effervescence, but this time […]

NICK LOWE: Tokyo Bay

On June 15, Yep Roc Records will release Nick Lowe’s ‘Tokyo Bay/Crying Inside’ EP, the “elegant and nearly devastating” (New York Times) songwriter’s first new music in five years, and first non-holiday recordings in some seven years. The four-song EP features the two new Lowe originals of its title, plus covers of songs popularized by Dionne Warwick (“Heartbreaker”) and Cliff Richard (“Travellin’ Light”). Lowe is backed by his Yep Roc label mates and frequent touring partners Los Straitjackets on all four songs, which were recorded at the Diamond Mine in Queens, NY in late 2017 (Lowe’s first New York sessions […]

LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD: Kurt Vile On Portlandia

NOISEY: Over the years, Kurt Vile has proven pretty good at whatever he role he decides to fill, whether it’s shaggy solo folk singer, leader of a barn-burning rock band, a sideman in the War on Drugs, or a space-cowboy counterpart in duets with Courtney Barnett. Vile joins Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen on IFC’s final season of Portlandia, playing Brownstein’s personal roadie. MORE

JANELLE MONAE: Make Me Feel

SLATE: The trailer for Janelle Monáe’s new album, Dirty Computer, didn’t prepare us for this. Monae dropped two new singles on Thursday, and, to paraphrase one of them, they make us feel so effing good. First up is “Make Me Feel,” in which Monáe proves why she’s the natural successor to fill the void left behind by Prince’s death in 2016. Not only does the accompanying music video show off Monae’s androgynous style and unbelievably smooth moves, it also quickly turns into a bisexual anthem as Monáe bounces back and forth between male and female love interests, the latter of […]

FROM THE VAULT: It’s John DeBella’s Morning, Philadelphia Just Wakes Up In It Every Day

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wrote this 14 years ago (14? Good Lord!), reprinting this today in the wake of today’s news that DeBella is being sued for sexual harrassment by his long-time on-air sidekick. The title of the profile was JOHN DEBELLA IS NOT AN ASSHOLE. ANYMORE — in retrospect, that assessment was premature. BY JONATHAN VALANIA John DeBella has been a hippie and a punk. A winner and a loser. A hero and a villain. And now he just wants to be a nice guy. As if to prove it, he is going to start welling up in T-minus-three seconds. “I […]

IN MEMORIAM: Mark E. Smith Of The Fall

  BY BRIAN W. MURRAY By the time I came to The Fall they were already well established as (post-) punk iconoclasts, their unique brand of contrarian, literate sonic terrorism already highly regarded by musos-in-the-know, of whom I knew virtually none. They surfaced late-night in my bland suburban adolescent realm in the form of the new video for “New Big Prinz,” an immediate classic amidst their dizzyingly vast output. I remember it being, well, orange. Steve Hanley’s throbbing, pulverizing bass line heralded their trademark relentlessness. Over the piledriver rhythm, Craig Scanlon’s jagged, cascading guitar somehow meshed with Brix Smith’s incongruous […]

WORTH REPEATING: The Day Martin Luther King Had To Explain To His Daughter Yolanda That Little ‘Colored’ Girls Are Not Allowed To Go To Funtown

PLAYBOY: Dr. King, are your children old enough to be aware of the issues at stake in the civil rights movement, and of your role in it? MARTIN LUTHER KING: Yes, they are—especially my oldest child, Yolanda. Two years ago, I remember, I returned home after serving one of my terms in the Albany, Georgia, jail, and she asked me, “Daddy, why do you have to go to jail so much?” I told her that I was involved in a struggle to make conditions better for the colored people, and thus for all people. I explained that because things are […]