1989 as covered by Ryan Adams (except "Clean", for some reason). Blank Space is my favorite. It's available on iTunes (including "Clean"). You can read an interview with him or read about the backstory in USA Today.
Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz is a new album by Miley Cyrus, released yesterday for free. 14 of the 23 tracks are cowritten and produced by Wayne Coyne and other members of The Flaming Lips, the rest either solo work, or made with her regular producers Mike Will Made It and Oren Yoel. Joe Coscarelli wrote about the making of the album for The New York Times. This is not the first time Miley Cyrus and the Flaming Lips have worked together, as she sang two Beatles with them last year, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (live version) and A Day in the Life (live version).
In the summer of 2000 Heather Lynn and Kirsten Nordine started playing synthpop together in Grayslake, IL as The Capricorns. Only one song exists online from their first cassette, The Capricorns Are Gonna Get You. In 2001 Paroxysm Records released In the Zone, which gave birth to mixdisc classic The New Sound (live version). In 2003 there followed Go the Distance! Their last album, Pure Magical Love came in 2006. Lynn made a further single and album under the moniker Pure Magical Love, which evolved into a Chicago-based performance troupe. In 2013 Lynn staged her first rock opera, Templehead (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). A second rock opera, Genesis and Nemesis, is coming later this year. Morgan Claire Sirene wrote an appreciation of Lynn for Slutist, and she was interviewed about her life and career by Zachary Hutchinson. Nordine is a sometime member of Prince Rupert's Drops and releases music as Jantar.
The Perfect Beat is an article by The New Yorker's music critic Sasha Frere Jones where he lays out the reasoning behind his "Perfect Recordings" project, essentially a list of 200 songs that fit his personal criteria for perfection. The lists are available as Twitter timelines (volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5), Spotify playlists (volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) or as one 200 song Rdio playlist. Frere-Jones answered some questions about the project and spoke about a few individual songs in The Guardian.
In 1983 a man who called himself Lewis recorded and self-released an album called L'amour. No one much noticed at the time but his album was rediscovered in 2007 and slowly became a cult classic. It was rereleased by Light in the Attic Records earlier this year and has been received very well by the music press. When the record label and other people went looking for the artist, a former stockbroker from Calgary whose real name is Randall Aldon Wulff, they drew a blank. Some think he is deceased but others are looking for him all over Canada. And now another Lewis album from 1985 has been found and rereleased, and apparently he recorded many more. The ethereal quality of the music and the attendant mystery compels people to search within the music for some kind of answer to this riddle of a man. [more inside]
The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records is a radio series on BBC written and narrated by Stuart Maconie. Each episode focuses on one particular pop song and tells the story of the song as well as what social trends it mirrored, for instance the episode on Telstar by The Tornadoes focuses on the technological progress, especially in space travel and music, and the story of songwriter and record producer Joe Meek. 25 episodes have been broadcast, including ones on Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers and 21st Century Britain, Cornershop's Brimful of Asha and the British-Asian experience , and Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime and sex. There are 25 more to come. There is also a blog and profiles of the songs already discussed. [Previously on MeFi]
The Music of Jacques Brel is an article by music journalist Amy Hanson about the career of pop music legend Jacques Brel and his effect on popular music in the English language. A lot of songs and covers are mentioned in the article, below the cut are links to the songs that I could find videos of online. [more inside]
Waaaaaah! was an early 90's indie label of with an ever-changing number of a's in it's name. The owner of the label has put the entire catalog onto his site for download in mp3 format. He indicates which songs he likes the best by putting a very, very tiny picture of a kitten next to the songs. Artists include The Field Mice, White Town, They Go Boom, BMX Bandits, Dufflecoats, The Bedfloweres and Strawberry Story. You can see pictures of the bands on the site. If you spent your youth saying things like "this is pure, perfect pop music, why isn't this on the radio" then you've probably already clicked the link.