A Handy Guide to How Long of a Set Your Band Should Play

Categories: Fiesta!

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Melissa Fossum
Sleigh Bells has earned the right to play more than an hour. Your friend's garage-rock band? Not so much.

When you purchase a ticket to any concert, you run the risk of not getting the experience you paid for. Outdoor shows get rained out. Favorite songs don't get played. Opening bands go over their allotted time. Sometimes a musician is just having a very bad night. The one variable any musician can feasibly control is the length of his or her setlist, but do bands like Interpol even have to give their audience more than an hour of their time?

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In Defense of Liking Music for No Good Reason

Categories: Fiesta!

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A Yeezus tour photo courtesy of Rogers & Cowan
Because it's awesome, is why.
Why did you like Yeezus? Did you find it anarchic? Did you like how it challenged racial norms in a confrontational, blacked-out way? Did you like its minimalism? Or its maximalism? Did you find the songs to speak to a larger narrative of where Kanye West is artistically and emotionally? Did you appreciate the videos, or the bloodthirstiness? Did you enjoy the lack of singles and the punk narrative?

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"Smooth" Is the Greatest Song of All Time

Categories: Fiesta!

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By Diane Martinez

A great moment in music history.

This summer marks the fifteen-year anniversary of the greatest song of all time. I KNOW. I couldn't believe it either, but fifteen years have come and gone since the first time you heard "Smooth" by Santana, featuring Rob Thomas. FIFTEEN. YEARS. CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT!?

"Smooth" is a song that has transcended both time and space. Santana's guitar riffs. The lyrics. Rob Thomas' hair. It's hard to believe that the heavens smiled upon us and gave us this great gift. Santana has worked with more than his fair share of music stars throughout the years, but "Smooth" remains one of the guitarist's best collaborations. But why? Why is this the greatest song of all time? I'm glad you asked. I'll tell you.

See also: The Six Most Unstoppable Collaborations in Music

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Can You Guess the Real Music Genre?

Categories: Fiesta!

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If there is one thing you can always blame music writers for, it's the utterly useless proliferation of genre tags into modern cultural dialogue. The construction of a genre can serve as hot branding for certain publications -- it's why a site like Pitchfork was totally happy to nurture an imaginary "chillwave" scene which really only encompassed about five bands in five completely different parts of the world. The connectivity of the Internet allows the idea of genre to bind our entirely asymmetrical music scene into something digestible. It's a vain attempt to give meaning and context to something that will always, always be hopelessly obfuscated.

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Hip-hop Songs About the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: A History

Categories: Fiesta!

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Vanilla Ice's "Ninja Rap" from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991).
I have good news, and I have great news. The good news: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back. The great news: Hip-hop tracks about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back.

The Turtles began as a gritty comic created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. It exploded into a multimillion dollar media franchise for kids due to a goofy animated series that began in 1987 and lasted until 1996.

That series led to three live-action movies in the '90s, another animated series (and another film) in the 2000s, scores of action figures -- I had about fifteen, and they'd wrestle my WWF guys -- and a concert tour. The Ninja Turtles have always been a musical bunch. And for each film and TV show, there is a new song about the Ninja Turtles. This week, a new one was released. We now have five turtle films and five turtle songs. Let's count them down.

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Today's Band T-Shirt Trends Are Getting Ridiculous and Awesome

Categories: Fiesta!

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Band shirts used to be a way to easily identify other members of your tribe. It was a method of claiming allegiance without saying a word, a way to help find other like-minded people. People wore their love on their sleeves, quite literally. Back in the day you couldn't just creep on somebody's FaceSpace profile or look up their online playlists to find out their tastes in music, so kids who wanted to rep their favorite band had to wear the dang shirt. I know when I was a young lass, I was certainly intrigued by any gentleman wearing a Dinosaur Jr. t-shirt. (Bad move. Most dudes who like Dinosaur Jr. are emotionally damaged beyond repair. I am prepared to argue this point at length.)


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RFT Music Seeks Freelance Writers

Categories: Fiesta!

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dr. shordzi/Flickr
Ideally you would at LEAST have a typewriter, though I hear really good things about these "com-poo-ters" the kids are all using.
Do you have a passion for St. Louis music?

RFT Music is currently seeking writers to help us cover the vibrant music scene in St. Louis. In particular, we are looking for applicants that are able to report on news events -- beyond interviews with bands or reviews of shows (though these things will be part of the job as well).

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Danzig on Danzig: Why He Hates Interviews, the Press and You, In Illustrated Form

Categories: Fiesta!

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Jena Ardell

Fans of Danzig have learned difficult lessons in the past, like never film Danzig on stage and to never punch Danzig in the face, but the best lessons are learned when Danzig talks about his beliefs. As much as Danzig is presumed to spread negativity, he also provides useful insight. We think Danzig sounds pretty enlightening in this quote he gave to jammagazine.com:


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In Defense of Sublime

Categories: Fiesta!

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Publicity photo

I thought I would have to wait until the 20th anniversary of Sublime's 1996 self-titled mainstream breakout album to write about how fundamentally misunderstood and judged Sublime is. I have so many feelings, probably too many, about a band whose legacy is beaten up almost as much as Insane Clown Posse's (who are possibly the most DIY music-making motherfuckers on the planet, by the way) by people who tend to lean toward the appearance-based criticism that often bashes music embraced by the working class.

But then the A.V. Club published Jonah Ray's scathing take down of "What I Got" as part of its HateSong series, and I was handed my Sublime platform.


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Weird Al Is the Only Part of Your Childhood That Doesn't Suck

Categories: Fiesta!

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RCA - Weird Al press
Would you buy a worldview from this man?
If you are in my advertising demographic -- 18 to 34 -- the pop culture you loved as a child is terrible. The Power Rangers were terrible, the Transformers were terrible, the Ninja Turtles were terrible. Michael Bay didn't ruin any of it; it came pre-ruined. I loved all of it (I love the memory of it now) and it is really bad, inasmuch as it is impossible to enjoy when you don't have a trip with your parents to Toys R Us lined up, or when you're the one with the credit card.

This doesn't really matter, obviously, because in animated-GIF-sized bursts all of those terrible shows have made BuzzFeed and its readers very happy -- it's not about the Power Rangers so much as it is being reminded you're a '90s Kid. Watching one all the way through is a bad idea, but as an excuse to talk to a friend you don't get to see very often they're fine.

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