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The Shins' James Mercer on His Childhood Shyness and Why He Never Went Solo

Mr. Mercer, how do you write a song? It depends on what the song needs or wants. I try to interpret what the music is already saying. I listen to the music and try to figure out what emotions are being expressed by that music. Often times it'll remind me of something I've been thinking about and I'll go down that route. If that doesn't work, I think it's cool to just try to come up with some sort of hypothetical scenario that gives that emotional feeling that's being expressed by the music. There are different ways of doing see more
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Music

Budding Musician Cris Cab on Working With Pharrell, His Off-Stage Style, and His Favorite Store

Big news for Cris Cab, whose song "Liar Liar" saw north of 27 million views on YouTube as of this post: The 21-year-old Miami native will be the opening act for his mentor Pharrell Williams during the upcoming Dear G I R L tour. So if the name didn't ring a bell for you, it may very well enter prime buzz territory soon. see more
Music

How Honor Titus Went From Shooting Hoops with Julian Casablancas to Opening for The Strokes

Honor Titus was a little late for our interview. The 24-year-old lead singer of Cerebral Ballzy—one of just eight bands represented by the indie label, Cult Records, founded by The Strokes' Julian Casablancas—was busy arguing with a stranger outside the bar where we met him. Titus' aggression takes many forms, and while he may best known for his expletive-laden punk lyrics, he actually has a lot to say about modern urban life. In advance of the June 17th release of Cerebral Ballzy's new album Jaded & Faded, we spoke to him about growing up in New York City, his see more
Music

The Black Keys Change Their Tune on New Album Turn Blue

It's been three years since the Black Keys released their platinum seventh record, El Camino, which shot up the Billboard charts, won three Grammys, and helped pioneer a blues-tinged-garage-rock revival. But on their latest, Turn Blue (out May 13), the duo peel away from their trademark sound and experiment with psychedelic riffs, sunny synths, and swinging melodies. From the beckoning guitars on "Bullet in the Brain" to the unforgettable lyrics of "Gotta Get Away," it's clearly an effort built for summer (and a convertible). But the pair's prolific production credits preserve their roots-rock, well, roots. Guitarist Dan Auerbach brings bluesy see more
Movies + TV

Q&A with David Byrne: Filmmaker, Performance Artist, Disco Theatre Writer—and Musician

He's directed a film, starred in others, crusaded against the free music-streaming industry, and, oh yeah, written a hit song or two (you can keep tabs via his online journal). Now music legend David Byrne is burning down the house at the Public Theatre with the immersive theatrical experience "Here Lies Love" (pictured below), an interactive disco written with Fatboy Slim that tracks the life of Philippine ex-first lady Imelda Marcos. You can join the party in New York, or catch the genre-bending hit maker (along with some special, unannounced guests) this evening on The Tonight Show. see more
Music

Lily Allen: "If He's Gonna be Yeezus, I Sure as Hell Wanna be Sheezus"

The 28-year-old Brit-pop provocateur learned a few things during her self-imposed exile: Kanye rules, Twitter sucks, and if a girl won't get naked, she'd better speak the naked truth. see more
Women

Rita Ora on Leaving Kosovo to Land in the U.K. With One Chart-Topping Hit After Another

How does British transplant Rita Ora follow up the major success of her first album, Ora, which debuted at No. 1 in the U.K. in 2012? When she's not landing roles in films like the upcoming adaption of Fifty Shades of Grey, she's whipping street-style photographers into a tizzy and appearing on albums by a range of artists, from Snoop Dogg to Iggy Azalea, whose latest release (The New Classic) features Ora on a track written by Katy Perry. Rita, your parents moved from Kosovo to London in order to give you and your siblings a better life. What see more
Music

Video—a Guide to All the Dance Moves You Wish You Could Do, From A-Z

Much like its super helpful instructional video on how to pronounce designer names, i-D magazine's A-to-Z guide to dance moves is awe-inspiring. Mostly because we're pretty sure there's no way we could execute the death drop with anything that even remotely resembles grace. see more
Music

Meet Young & Sick: Music's #1 Maker of Cover Art Releases His Own Album

After designing record sleeves for Robin Thicke and Maroon 5, the Dutch artist known as Young & Sick (real name: Nicholas Van Hofwegen) is set to release his self-titled debut album, a lushly produced gem of R&B. Here, the 26-year-old reveals the inspirations behind his most personal cover yet. see more
Music

Would You Pay Several Million Dollars For Wu-Tang's New Album?

If you haven't heard about the multi-million dollar album Wu-Tang is selling, you are so not ready for brunch conversation this weekend. see more
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