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Open Mike Eagle Is a Warrior

Mike Eagle recently travelled to Louisville, Kentucky, on two days notice. He had agreed to fight an antagonistic wrestler named Shiloh Jonze, who’d spent weeks prodding at Eagle in hammed-up YouTube freestyles and cringeworthy call-out tweets. Eagle is a committed wrestling fan with a podcast to prove it, but until he stepped into the ring in the Bluegrass State that night (and won), he was no wrestler. … Continue reading Open Mike Eagle Is a Warrior

Lil Yachty Is Still Trying to Impress the Doubters on ‘Nuthin’ 2 Prove’

I half-remember that Quality Control compilation record from last year calledControl the Streets Volume 1. It featured Lil Yachty, Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Cardi B, each and every Migo, Young Thug, City Girls, Gucci Mane, and Lil Baby. But if you put a gun to my head and confiscated my laptop, I couldn’t say, on pain of death, whether or not it included a song called … Continue reading Lil Yachty Is Still Trying to Impress the Doubters on ‘Nuthin’ 2 Prove’

Young Jesus Are Indie Rock’s Great Anarcho-Impressionists

Young Jesus have been thinking about mushrooms. They’ve read Paul Stamets, who believes that mushrooms can save the earth. They’ve read The Mushroom at the End of the World, in which the author Anna Tsing forages through the mushroom industry for answers about late capitalism. They’ve read Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees, a book that draws parallels between fungi and social security systems and eventually posits that … Continue reading Young Jesus Are Indie Rock’s Great Anarcho-Impressionists

Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore Finally Combine for a Stunning, Uneasy Album

Before moving to the East Coast and devoting himself to New York Minimalism, the American artist Don Dudley lived and worked in Los Angeles. There he was one of the Finish Fetishists, bringing pop culture, hyper-glossy materials, and a Californian sensibility to gallery walls. On both coasts, his work tended to be sleek and geometrically pleasing. But one very early painting, from 1964, is stylistically … Continue reading Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore Finally Combine for a Stunning, Uneasy Album

Eavesdropping on Prince

The raid on Prince’s long-sealed vault officially begins today, with Piano and a Microphone 1983, a collection of songs recorded at the artist’s Kiowa Trail home studio a year before Purple Rain. It is, inevitably, a slightly uncomfortable listen. Whether you’re a casual listener or dedicated collector of Prince bootlegs, the nine raw, unadorned songs on Piano and a Microphone throw up a dicey ethical question: How should we listen … Continue reading Eavesdropping on Prince

Mac Miller Wasn’t Done

Seven years ago, a scrawny half-Jewish kid-rapper from Pittsburgh had the best-selling record in America. He earned it by gurning and grinning his way through verses that made sense to the underage drinkers who packed out his shows on college campuses, then laying those rhymes over palatable, poppy beats. Born Malcolm McCormick, he was exuberant, hedonistic, hard-working, confident, lyrically messy, and totally unprepared for the … Continue reading Mac Miller Wasn’t Done

King Tuff Was Dead, but Now He Feels Like a Kid Again

Kyle Thomas recently purchased a yellow coat. It’s a Swedish military snow parka, and he loves it. “Just having the yellow on me, man,” he says. “It’s so good.” He got some suits made too, which make him feel like a “bedazzled motherfucker.” For the 35-year-old songwriter and multi-instrumentalist better known as King Tuff, it’s a brightly colored experiment as he grows up. “I think … Continue reading King Tuff Was Dead, but Now He Feels Like a Kid Again

The Strange Conspiracy Theory Behind Jaden Smith’s New Album

“Me and Willow are scientists,” a 17-year-old Jaden Smith told GQ‘s Zach Baron in 2015, “so everything for us is a scientific test upon humanity. And luckily we’re put in a position where we can affect large groups of human beings at one time.” Banksy-like art installations, global cross-disciplinary free-education programs, and superhero anonymity would come in the future, he said. But as things were, his Twitter … Continue reading The Strange Conspiracy Theory Behind Jaden Smith’s New Album

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How One Rich Man’s Weird Dream Transformed A British Pro Soccer Team

Outside the 3500-capacity AGP Arena in the modest suburban town of Billericay, Essex, a 100-foot-long, 20-foot-high mural depicts Glenn Tamplin’s dream. It begins with the Mayflower setting sail for the New World, jumps ahead somewhat to the formation of Billericay Town FC in 1880, and quickly addresses the club’s modest, amateur-level successes during the 1970s. And then God speaks. Specifically, He speaks to Tamplin, who … Continue reading How One Rich Man’s Weird Dream Transformed A British Pro Soccer Team

The Psychedelic Connection Between Kacey Musgraves and Frank Ocean

There’s a rumor out there that Frank Ocean and director Tyrone Lebon were both tripping on acid when they shot the video for “Nikes” in 2016. It adds up. There are those shots of Ocean sitting on the dirt, surrounded by his cars, a styrofoam cup in his right hand, eyes closed as the screen splits and he says he’s “got two versions.” The way … Continue reading The Psychedelic Connection Between Kacey Musgraves and Frank Ocean

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Smoke Some Weed, Take a Walk, and Read This Interview With Neil Young

“They’re beautiful,” Neil Young says of the new melodies he’s had rolling around his head lately. He’s palm-drumming on his crossed legs in a suite at the Four Seasons in downtown Austin, Texas, his black shirt open wide enough to reveal a Third Man Records tee. “But all of the lyrics to the melodies are all profane. Everything’s profanity, which I find to be very … Continue reading Smoke Some Weed, Take a Walk, and Read This Interview With Neil Young

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The Untold Story of ‘The Sims,’ Your First Favorite Jazz Record

The songs that soundtracked the game’s Build Mode introduced millions of unknowing kids to new age jazz. The musicians behind it were just trying to make something that wouldn’t interfere with your landscaping. In a home studio in a garage in a suburb east of San Francisco, some time in 1999, Jerry Martin set about making the most inconspicuous music that he could. As the … Continue reading The Untold Story of ‘The Sims,’ Your First Favorite Jazz Record