Behind the Scenes with Female Rapper K.Flay

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Kristine Flaherty, better known by her stage name K.Flay, is one of the most talented burgeoning female rappers around. 2010 was a breakout year for the Stanford grad; she collaborated with French cello/violin duo SomethingALaMode on their hit song “5am“ and released her mixtape Mashed Potatoes. She’s drawn comparisons to Liz Phair, Fiona Apple and Missy Elliot, and has already performed alongside big name acts like Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and 3OH!3.

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The Top 10 Overlooked Albums of 2009

Now that 2010 has arrived, most of the major music publications have finished putting out their picks for the top albums of 2009. Each newspaper, magazine, and blog uses their own criteria to determine their rankings, leading to an infinite amount of subjectivity. In the words of my boy Alex, these lists are more or less “an exercise in futility.” 2009 did have its share of great, universally acclaimed albums (you’d be hard-pressed to find an indie outfit that didn’t list Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, Phoenix, or Dirty Projectors in their top ten), but there were more than a handful of albums that flew below the radar. Here are the top ten LPs that fell through the cracks in ‘09:

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The 24 Best Songs of 2009...According to Courtney

I’m no expert here. I’m simply and honestly telling you the songs that I loved this past year - polls, charts, blogs, magazines aside. I avoided adding/removing songs just to reach some practical number, so there are only 24.

Here we go with the very subjective and biased Top 24 Songs of 2009!

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A Sit Down with Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor & His New Label Terrible Records

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You do a lot of questionable things with a few beers in you walking down Boston’s Commonwealth Ave. at 3 a.m. Sometimes you think it’s good idea to down a giant 5-dollar sausage from Che-Chi’s or piss in a public alleyway… I don’t know, sometimes it just makes sense.

It was one of those nights, and my friends and I were butchering an impromptu version of ‘Knife.’ We decided that it wasn’t even a song, but a movement. Then I saw them live for the first time at Bonnaroo, covered in sweaty filth (which made sand floors a really poor choice), but when the waltzing strings of ‘Lullaby’ started, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t even normal; the performance was inhuman.

Grizzly Bear is a funny name for such a calm and refined band. When my friend told her mom she was going to a Grizzly Bear show, the response was utter disgust - to think we’d find entertainment in watching ferocious animals claw each other.

Not to say they lack ferocity. I saw Grizzly Bear the second time around at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston, and I’ve never been so undividedly engaged, even with the audience seated the entire time (except when we started dancing to the closer ‘On a Neck, On a Spit’). Grizzly Bear has a mesmerizing sort of style — beautiful in sound, stealthy with instrumentals and haunting in harmony.

After the show I was able to (obnoxiously) flag down Chris Taylor, the square-jawed blondie responsible for the oh-oo-oh-oo-ohwah in ‘Knife’ as well as other wonderful harmonizations, bass and wind instruments. Chris is a person of impressive skill and kind demeanor. I shook his hand and before I knew it, he’d politely agreed to a phone interview. I didn’t jump up and down until I left the theatre.

To me, it’s safe to say the world (at least the blogging world) has fallen in love with Grizzly Bear, but in talking with Chris we focused less on the group and more on him. He has teamed up with Lust Boys’ Ethan Silverman to create Terrible Records in which they will release a series of 20 split 7 inches. The first of these comes out today, October 13th. It’s entitled CANT _and features Arthur Russell and Chris Taylor himself. _

Be sure to check it out! But first read this interview with Chris Taylor to learn more about Terrible Records, his musical background, his childhood dreams, and his love for cooking. (Endearing, right?!)

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Grizzly Bear & Victoria Legrand Perform "Two Weeks" on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien

Grizzly Bear Band

Currently on their North American tour, Grizzly Bear made an appearance last night on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. They played their hit song from Veckatimest, “Two Weeks,” with Beach House member Victoria Legrand. Legrand is also featured with Grizzly Bear on the song “Slow Life,” which is part of the upcoming soundtrack for Twilight: New Moon. Check it out.

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