Glen E. Friedman is responsible for many of the most iconic portraits of hip-hop, punk, and skating legends taken in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The best of these photos has been compiled in a new anthology called My Rules.

See more of Friedman’s shots of Ice-T, Henry Rollins, and Tony Hawk here.

(Source: Wired)

In partnership with RapGenius, this guy analyzed the vocabularies of noted wordsmiths William Shakespeare, Herman Melville, and Lil Wayne. 

Aesop Rock is so verbose he had to modify the X-axis to fit him on.

MORE.

(Source: Wired)

Now that’s how we want to do a music festival.

MORE.

(Source: Wired)

Some of the greatest bands in history weren’t real bands at all. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do right by the music they’ve left us!

In that spirit, Father/Daughter Records is releasing Faux Real, a Record Store Day compilation of up-and-coming artists like Body Parts, Field Mouse, and Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis performing some of the best songs by fake bands. One favorite is a standout for fans of late-’90s MTV animation: “Ow! My Face” by Mystik Spiral, Trent Lane‘s band on Daria.

Have a listen.

(Source: Wired)

After last week’s deluge of playlists from Questlove and KCRW, we turned our attention back to you guys—and you didn’t disappoint. Things got a little more upbeat this week, thanks in no small part to new albums from St. Vincent and Kendrick Lamar’s compatriot Schoolboy Q. (Also, in Beyonce-like fashion, Kid Cudi dropped a surprise iTunes bomb on everyone the other night, so you know we had to throw something from that in.) As usual, we’ve added the tracks to our ongoing Spotify playlist of great new music, as well as creating a standalone YouTube playlist for this week. Keep the recommendations coming, people.

So listen up: we’ve got your sensational weekend playlist right here.

Questlove drops some advice on how to find music that you love:

We did it one way in the past; now we have to figure out how to do it in the present, which, in so many ways, is the future. I try to navigate the waters by remembering where I’m going. When it comes to players, to programs, to services, think of them as ships bringing you to the music you need, have always needed, will continue to need. They’re not the voyage. They’re the vessel. Learn how to steer in the prevailing winds and soon you’ll be sailing.

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(Source: Wired)

WIRED’s been on a train with a bunch of musicians, artists, and other creatives as part of the cross-country extravaganza that is Station to Station.

When the train rolled into Chicago’s Union Station, it was met by a slew of new musicians—including, according to backstage rumors, at least one big-name surprise guest (MAVIS STAPLES!!!). Punk duo No Age will be ripped it up again, as did Sonic Youth co-founder Thurston Moore and avant-rocker John Moloney. And the colorful nomadic sculptures were open to patrons; if this is was your first exposure to artists like Liz Glynn and Urs Fischer, well, yurt in for a treat.

Check out our coverage of Chicago’s event over at Underwire!

Photo by Kendrick Brinson/WIRED

(Source: Wired)

Say what you will about their Satanic-looking masks, gnarly R-rated-Jim-Henson-warrior outfits, and strapped-on penis appendages – no band has ever made monster metal like Gwar. Then again, when a band essentially creates its own genre from scratch, they really don’t have much competition.

Born in 1984 out of the Richmond, Virginia artist collective known as Slave Pit, Gwar embodies a certain kind of rock sensibility that seems like the brainchild of a metal-loving teenager who would go on to become a performance artist. Their band members have names like Oderus Urungus (“undying chaos demon” Dave Brockie) and Balsac the Jaws of Death (Mike Dirks) and, as part of their mythos, are a group of intergalactic “chaos warriors” that were banished to Earth and became “the sickest band in metal history.” (They also throw really great “Gwar-B-Qs.”)

They are, in a word, awesome – and next year they’re celebrating their 30th anniversary. In the lead-up to that anniversary, the Gallery at Black Iris Music – an art space in Richmond – is holding a an exhibit of some 400 pieces of Gwar-t: production drawings, photography, film, and sketchbooks from band members Brockie, Matt Maguire, and Bob Gorman. The exhibit comes from the deep archives of Slave Pit and also includes never-before-seen items like handwritten set lists and “genitalia molds.”

[MORE: A History of Gwar, the Best Satirical Extraterrestrial Metal Band Ever]

(Source: Wired)

You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, what with his rare Ralph Lauren Polo jackets and vintage Nikes, but Just Blaze is a hacker. Yes, that Just Blaze. Sure, the term has in the past decade or so been transmogrified into a catchall that includes anyone who can code in Javascript or jailbreak an iPhone, but Just Blaze is a hacker in the classic sense. He makes electronics do things they weren’t intended to do. “I was very much a tinkerer as a kid,” he says by phone between studio sessions in New York. “I was doing things like hacking or splicing extra battery packs into my mother’s cordless phone to try to get the battery to last longer.”

Still not sold on his hacker cred? How about this: Before anyone had songs produced by Just Blaze on their phones or MP3 players, he infiltrated the industry via Motorola’s famed P900 two-way pager.

“I got my first bit of industry-wide notoriety programming ringtones for those things,” says Just. “Back then, there wasn’t such a thing as ringtones for your phone, at all. But Motorola included an app that allowed you to make customizable tones. The way you had to enter the music into the pager wasn’t really a musical approach. It was more a mathematical thing. It was all numbers, letters, and punctuation. Kind of like a language of its own.”

[MORE: How a Producer for Hip-Hop’s Biggest Names Hacked His Way Into the Industry]

Photo: Alex Welsh/WIRED

(Source: Wired)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A tiny indie band cuts an album long ago, then disappears into obscurity, only to be rediscovered decades later and universally lauded by nerdy record collectors on the internet.

Yeah, it’s a yarn as old as the trees. But even though that’s exactly what happens in the documentary A Band Called Death, the way the story unfolds is so twisted, so serendipitous, and so bizarre, it’ll leave you spinning for days, even weeks, after you see it.

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(Source: Wired)