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How to do punk rock, according to MarthaStewart.com

The argument over whether or not punk is dead has been going on for about as long as punk’s been around, and over the decades as it’s evolved from a revolutionary youth cult to an empty signifier for rebellion and a form of entertainment made to be consumed by tweens, its defenders have devised an obstacle course’s worth of semantic and intellectual gymnastics in order to explain its ongoing validity. But if Sex Pistols-branded diaper bags and multi-thousand-dollar designer crust punk jackets weren’t enough to make them give up, perhaps Martha Stewart’s guide to throwing a punk-rock-themed party for kids will be the last straw.

Written by Martha Stewart Living Assistant Digital Editor Alexandra Churchill–who according to her bio has “a soft spot for tiny terrariums, rose water recipes, and antique bottles”–introduces punk to the Martha Stewart brand tradition of infusing casual events with a panic-inducing level of obsessive perfectionism. Her party suggestions include incredibly fussy garlands of plaid fabric decorated with safety pins, dress-up stations where kids can get temporary tattoos and mohawks, and serving “Spinach Ricotta Skulls,” which in particular seem to mock the very concepts of both punk rock and children’s parties.

Most of Churchill’s tips seem like way more trouble than any sane person would put into a punk-themed kid’s party, aside from the idea of giving little kids mohawks and playing them the Ramones, which sounds like a blast. But there’s something about her feature that’s so antithetical to punk’s core concepts, so disrespectful of its values that have been passed down for generations now, that it’s almost–dare we say it–totally punk.

10 songs where guest rappers stole the show

Guest verses have always been a part of hip-hop, but they’ve grown in popularity over the years for a number of reasons: they put new talent in people’s ears, they keep established rappers sharp, and they keep the slightly gladiatorial element of competition between performers alive in an era when freestyle battle raps are seen as slightly antiquated. The right featured guest can turn a single into a smash—but it can also backfire if that rapper outshines the song’s main artist. But when that does happen, the results can be pretty magical. Here are 10 notable examples of guest rappers appearing on other rappers’ songs—and completely blowing them away. READ FULL STORY

'Diggin' In the Carts' is your gateway into loving video game music

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It’s hard to forget a good video game soundtrack. As a medium that often asks players to stick around for hours on end, video games by necessity strive to include music that you’ll want to listen to forever—which was especially tough in the medium’s earliest days, when technology left composers few sounds to work with. But somehow, miraculously, video games were able to feature timeless, enduring work that’s still a joy to hear—either in its original, crunchy glory or in lovingly arranged, fully orchestrated updates. READ FULL STORY

Listen to Bette Midler sing TLC's 'Waterfalls'

If you have ever longed to hear Bette Midler sing TLC (and if you haven’t, you should), now is your chance. For her new album, It’s The Girls, Midler sings TLC’s “Waterfalls,” slowing it down, honing in on the sadness of the song. And no, alas, she doesn’t do the Left Eye rap.
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See 'Office Space' star Greg Pitts in Teach Me Equals' delightfully weird 'Coelacanth' video

At this point in the game, it feels a lot like the possibilities of the traditional drums-bass-guitar rock band setup have been exhausted, and that every different type of noise that can be made with that configuration have already been made. Avant-punk duo Teach Me Equals have solved that problem by composing and recording their new album Knives in the Hope Chest using nothing more than cello, guitar, violin, voice, and a few electronic flourishes like the beat on their single “Coelacanth” made from manipulated samples of the buzzing noise you get when you touch the end of a plugged-in guitar cable. Between the unconventional instrumentation and angular compositions their music sounds like musique concrète run through the ’90s Pacific Northwest experimental hardcore scene.

In the video for “Coelacanth,” Office Space‘s Greg Pitts (a.k.a. “Drew the O-Face Guy”) romances the titular lobe-finned fish, which was thought to have gone extinct 66 million years ago before they were discovered to be living in small populations around the globe. It’s a deeply weird scenario, but strangely tender as well.

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Taylor Swift unveils '1989' track list

Taylor Week continues: The “Welcome to New York” singer unveiled the track list for 1989 Wednesday on Twitter.

The album includes already-released songs like “Shake It Off” and “Out of the Woods,” along with some unheard tracks with simplistic titles including “Style,” a song that couldn’t possibly be about her ex-beau Harry Styles, and “This Love,” which may or may not be a Maroon 5 cover. (Hey, she is appearing on The Voice this season.) READ FULL STORY

Five lessons Jennifer Lopez can learn from Britney Spears' Vegas residency

With reports that Jennifer Lopez may be signing a two-year deal to perform at Planet Hollywood’s The Axisat a whopping $310,000 per show, no lessthe buzz has begun about what to expect from a potential residency. Though Lopez’s publicist could not confirm the booking at time of press, the rumored residency would land Lopez in the theater currently occupied by Britney Spears. And, after nearly 10 months at her sit-down, Britney could teach J.Lo a few things about how to put on a great show.
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Stream Chance the Rapper tourmate Sweater Beats's fizzy 'Cloud City' EP

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In the two years since his single “MLLN DLLR” put him on the map Brooklyn beat maker Antonio Cuna, a.k.a. Sweater Beats, has accumulated an enviable list of co-signs from important figures in EDM and hip-hop, the two genres that he blends in his music to giddy, effervescent effect. He’s been big-upped by Diplo, performed for Boiler Room, and toured with Chet Faker, Flume, and Chicago star-in-the-making Chance the Rapper, who he’s on the road with right now.

Next Tuesday, Oct. 28, the Huh What & Where label will release a free-to-download EP entitled Cloud City that whips together club rap, trap music, a little electropop, and a touch of ambient atmosphere into four frothy tracks that bang hard but stay airy and light. Until then, you can stream it here.

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Stars frontman Torquil Campbell shares a playlist of personal favorites

Stars, co-led by Torquil Campbell and Broken Social Scene’s Amy Millan, are most known for their earnest, indie rock that’s been featured on shows built for that exact type of music: “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead,” their sad and dreamy 2007 single, has been featured on The O.C., One Tree Hill, and Degrassi: The Next Generation. 

But their latest album, No One Is Lost, is a departure from those pretty tunes and a step toward ’70s disco.

Unlike the album, though, which came out Oct. 14, Campbell’s EW playlist doesn’t quite have a theme: Instead, it’s a collection of the singer’s favorite songs, ranging from a ’90s Michael Jackson track to a minutes-long spoken word piece by Prefab Sprout member Paddy McAloon.

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Jaden Smith pines for a Coachella girl in 'Blue Ocean' music video

There’s nothing like unrequited Coachella love that really sets off that button of teenage angst.

Jaden Smith compiled all that wisdom seen in his amusing Twitter feed and put it together in the lyrics for his angsty music video for “Blue Ocean,” which borrows the melody from Justin Timberlake’s “Blue Ocean Floor.” The video, directed by friend Moises Arias, features Smith hanging with his rat pack of L.A. cohorts, including rumored on-again, off-again girlfriend, fling, whatever, Kylie Jenner, as Smith emotes heavily on a girl who he met at Coachella.

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