Eric Andre, Tiffany Haddish, and Lil Rel Howery go on a Bad Trip in red-band trailer: Watch

Since a hidden-camera prank (or ten) never goes out of style, here’s the trailer for Bad Trip, an upcoming comedy written by longtime Jackass director/ringleader Jeff Tremaine.

In the tradition of Bad GrandpaBad Trip has a loose plot to tie together its series of increasingly ridiculous pranks, pratfalls, and stunts. Eric André and Lil Rel Howery star as friends who decide to take off on a cross-country adventure, using a car stolen from André’s incarcerated sister (Tiffany Haddish). As she gives pursuit, the three work their way from one group of shocked everyday strangers to the next, with André appearing to take the brunt of the punishment.

Kitao Sakurai directs the hidden-camera outing, which if its NSFW red-band trailer is any indication, will feature its fair share of nudity, frightened middle-aged folks, and Howery grimacing at the sight of his pal’s body being destroyed. And look, we’re not going to sit here and pretend we won’t watch. Adult men have been getting pantsed and hit in the genitals since the earliest days of cinema as a medium, and the tradition remains alive as long as new generations are invited to partake in these lowbrow joys.

Bad Trip will stumble, crash, and scream its way into theaters on October 25th.

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Nicki Minaj and Trina Drop New Song “BAPS”: Listen

Nicki Minaj and Trina have collaborated on a new track called “BAPS.” Listen to it below.

“BAPS” is taken from Trina’s forthcoming album The One, which is out this Friday, June 21. Other guests on The One include 2 Chainz, DJ Khaled, K. Michelle, Kelly Price, and Lil Wayne. Find the tracklist and cover art below.

Nicki Minaj released Queen last year. She’s recently teased that a new single “Megatron” will arrive this Friday.

Read “What Trina Taught Me” on the Pitch.

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Album Review: Titus Andronicus Hold Nothing Back on the Relentless An Obelisk

The Lowdown: New Jersey punk outfit Titus Andronicus catapulted to greater heights in the indie circuit following the release of 2010’s The Monitor, an album that received unanimous praise and made the “End of Year” lists of publications such as this one. The success of this LP, however, was as much a curse as it was a blessing. Every subsequent full-length, from 2012’s Local Business to last year’s A Productive Cough, failed to meet the lofty expectations that have been set by what many consider the band’s crowning achievement.

This is not for lack of merit. Titus Andronicus have maintained an impressive batting average with each release and, as evidenced by their 2015 rock opera, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, have been far from creatively stagnant. Still, their heartland rock-infused punk style has been one of their core-defining characteristics, and with the production chops of Hüsker Dü co-founder Bob Mould, they tread that familiar ground on their sixth studio effort, An Obelisk.

(Buy: Tickets to Upcoming Titus Andronicus Shows)

The Good: While Titus Andronicus have been able to achieve grandiosity without the bombastic self-importance that lesser artists would gravitate towards, An Obelisk is easily their most digestible and contained album yet.

Some of the lyrics are campy and abstract (“Just Like Ringing a Bell” is perhaps the best example of this), but there are times when the band removes all subtlety while still penning profound and eloquent lines. The meaning of the song “(I Blame) Society” is self-explanatory, but in an interesting twist, vocalist Patrick Stickles shifts the blame with the passage, “We’re all complicit/ Our fingerprints all bleed.” Tracks such as this, “Within the Gravitron”, and “Tumult Around the World” capture the feeling of the hopelessness, fear, and confusion that is prevalent in the era of Donald Trump, and rather than attempting to be this self-appointed voice of dissent, Stickles is singing as someone who doesn’t have the answers and is just as clueless as the rest of us.

The heartland rock and punk influences are predictably present, but there are decipherable traces of Meat Puppets on songs such as “Troubleman Unlimited”. Meanwhile, “Tumult Around the World” has this choppy, distorted rhythm guitar instrumental that helps end the album on a dynamic and resolved note.

The Bad: The album’s momentum starts to peter out at “Beneath the Boot”, and Stickles’ sandpaper vocals lose their luster much sooner. “My Body and Me” takes on this blues rhythm and chord progression, and it sounds like Titus Andronicus is about to transition into George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone”. “Hey Ma” has a guitar solo towards the end that sounds like something from a Dropkick Murphys’ song, and it’s left to its own devices as it derails the pacing of the track.

The Verdict: Titus Andronicus have spent the better part of a decade oscillating between theatrical and unassuming. They have explored the “punk banger” vs “heartland ballad” spectrum to the point of exhaustion. Amid these ventures, the band has been given ample opportunity to assess what works and what doesn’t, and minor blemishes aside, An Obelisk shows them excelling at the former. Titus Andronicus didn’t need to further prove themselves with this album, but they did anyway.

Essential Tracks: “(I Blame) Society”, “On the Street”, and “Tumult Around the World”

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Quentin Tarantino says Thor: Ragnarok “drastically my favorite” of the MCU

Quentin Tarantino has yet to see Avengers: Endgame. Reason being, the auteur is still catching up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to a new interview with Empire Magazine (via CBM).

“I haven’t been keeping up to date with them for, I guess, the last four years,” Tarantino admitted, acting as if he hasn’t been busy making movies himself. “I think the only comic book movies I saw last year at theaters were Wonder Woman and Black Panther.”

He shared that he started bingeing the series “a couple of weeks ago” with the intent to finally see Endgame. He added, “I just finished Captain America: Civil War, so next up is Doctor Strange.”

(Ranking: Every Marvel Movie and TV Show from Worst to Best)

So, far his top pick involves everyone’s favorite Norse god. “Actually, the last one I saw was [Thor:] Ragnarok,” Tarantino insisted. “I loved it. It was my favorite one of the series since The Avengers – drastically my favorite.”

He’s not alone. Taika Waititi’s has quickly become a favorite among many MCU fans, namely for its ability to feel like a filmmaker’s film. That aspect likely appealed to Tarantino, who certainly has a thing for signature and style.

(Ranking: Every Quentin Tarantino Movie from Worst to Best)

Elsewhere in the interview, Tarantino offered an update on his involvement with Star Trek. “There’s a script that exists for it now,” he confirmed. “I need to weigh in on it, but I haven’t been able to do that yet.” He also doubled down on the R-rating, “If I do it, it’ll be R-rated.”

For now, he’s a little preoccupied. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, his ninth feature, hits theaters on July 26th. Catch the trailer for that below.

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Drug Scandals Lead Founder of Iconic K-Pop Label YG Entertainment to Step Down

YG Entertainment is one of the biggest music companies in the K-pop industry, one of the institutions considered a part of the “Big Three” label groups in South Korea (which also includes SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment). Today, it’s been announced that founder Yang Hyun-suk and his brother, CEO Yang Min-suk, have resigned from the company following sustained allegations of the company’s involvement in drug scandals involving artists that were signed to their roster, as Billboard reports.

“I’ve dedicated the past 23 years of my life to YG Entertainment. It was my greatest joy to support the best music and the best artists,” Yang Hyun-suk wrote in a statement posted to the YG Entertainment website earlier today. “From today onward, however, I have decided to step down from my responsibilities and positions at YG.”

Founded in 1996, YG has served the label home for various notable K-pop acts including Big Bang, Psy, and recently, BLACKPINK. The company came under scrutiny earlier this year after the “Burning Sun” scandal, in which reports emerged that drug use and sexual abuse had taken place at the Burning Sun nightclub, owned by Big Bang member Seungri. On Tuesday, June 11, a whistleblower filed a report with South Korea’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission regarding alleged collusion by the label to cover up a drug offense by another artist, the rapper and singer-songwriter B.I of iKON, as Korea Herald reports. This development led to Yang Hyun-suk’s resignation earlier today.

A member of the seminal K-pop group Seo Taiji & Boys in the 1990s, Yang became a household name in Korea through YG and his tenure as a judge on various South Korean singing competition shows in the 2010s. In concluding his resignation statement, Yang wrote: “Finally—through thorough investigation of the media reports and the facts, I believe that the truth will come to light.”

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Charli XCX announces star-studded new album, plus massive tour

Charli XCX has announced her first album in five years. The almost self-titled Charli arrives September 13th through Atlantic Records and will be supported with an expansive tour.

The futuristic pop star’s third full-length to date brings together a who’s who of prominent guests. Among them: Lizzo, Troye Sivan, HAIM, Big Freedia, Christine and the Queens, and Sky Ferreira. There are also collaborations with rapper CupcakKe, rising electro-pop artist Clairo, German pop singer Kim Petras, and Brooklyn producer Yaeji.

(Read: The Most Anticipated Pop Albums of 2019)

Of the 15 tracks on the Sucker follow-up, we’ve already heard “1999” featuring Sivan — one of our favorites of 2018 — and the Christine and Queens-assisted “Gone”. Additionally, the new album includes the previously released joint track with Lizzo, “Blame It on Your Love”. The single’s video, directed by Bradley & Pablo, is also expected to arrive today.

According to a statement, Charli XCX worked with AR makeup artist Ines Alpha on the record’s artwork. The goal of the piece is to “dismantle classic beauty ideals.”

Charli XCX recently teamed with BTS on “Dream Glow”.

Charli Artwork:

charli xcx charli album cover artwork Charli XCX announces star studded new album, plus massive tour

charli xcx charli album cover artwork Charli XCX announces star studded new album, plus massive tour

Charli Tracklist:
01. Next Level Charli
02. Gone feat. Christine and the Queens
03. Cross You Out (feat. Sky Ferreira)
04. 1999 (feat. Troye Sivan)
05. Click (feat. Kim Petras and Tommy Cash)
06. Warm (feat. HAIM)
07. Thoughts
08. Blame It On Your Love (feat. Lizzo)
09. White Mercedes
10. Silver Cross
11. I Don’t Wanna Know
12. Official
13. Shake It (feat. Big Freedia, CupcakKe, Brooke Candy and Pabllo Vittar)
14. February 2017 (feat. Clairo and Yaeji)
15. 2099 (feat. Troye Sivan)

Next month, Charli XCX will launch her massive “Charli LIVE Tour”, comprised of dates all across North America, Europe, and the UK. Tickets go on sale June 21st and can be purchased here.

Charli XCX 2019 Tour Dates:
07/21 – Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival
08/17 – Saint Polten, AT @ Frequency Festival
08/18 – Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop Festival
08/21 – Zurich, CH @ Open Air Festival
08/23 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
08/24 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
08/31 – Stradbally, IE @ Electric Picnic
09/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre +
09/21 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works +
09/23 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall +
09/24 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s +
09/25 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues +
09/27 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Marquee #
09/28 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues #
10/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern #*
10/02 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre #
10/04 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Market #
10/05 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore #
10/06 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Ballroom #
10/08 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Union *
10/09 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre *
10/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue *
10/14 – Toronto, ON @ Rebel
10/15 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre %
10/17 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues %
10/18 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
10/22 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 %
10/27 – Glasgow, UK @ SWG3 Galvanisers
10/28 – Birmingham, UK @ O2 Institute
10/30 – Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall
10/31 – London,UK @ O2 Brixton Academy
11/04 – Stockholm, SE @ Berns
11/05 – Oslo, NO @ Sentrum Scene
11/07 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega
11/09 – Berlin, DE @ Astra Kulturhaus
11/10 – Hamburg, DE @ Docks
11/12 – Warsaw, PL @ Stodola
11/14 – Prague, CZ @ Roxy
11/15 – Cologne, DE @ Live Music Hall
11/17 – Lyon, FR @ Transbordeur
11/18 – Milan, IT @ Fabrique
11/20 – Madrid, ES @ Sala La Riviera
11/22 – Barcelona, ES @ Razzmatazz Room 2
11/24 – Luxembourg, LU @ Den Atelier
11/25 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
11/26 – Brussels, BE @ AB Main Hall
11/28 – Moscow, RU @ Izvestia Hall

+ = w/ Tommy Genesis
# = w/ Brooke Candy
* = w/ Dorian Electra
% = w/ Allie X

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Why It’s Finally Time to Get Rid of Music Charts

I discovered record charts in junior high school. Trying, yet again, to be cool, I started listening to Z-100, the local New York City Top 40 station. I was shocked to learn that all of pop music could be reduced to 40 songs. It seemed way too small. At the time, it felt like Madonna must have had 50 top-10 hits all by herself.

I eventually found my way off of Top 40 into the heavy metal parking lot that was suburban Queens in 1988, but I remained fascinated by the idea of record charts and how something as personal and as expansive as music could be distilled to a chart position. It’s why I read with interest about Rolling Stone delaying the launch of their own music chart, which was supposed to use an algorithm to figure out and weight what people are actually listening to nowadays.

Music charts used to be simple things. (And they sure as hell didn’t get sued by pissed-off DJs.) People either bought a single/album, or they listened to it on the radio. Now, as Rolling Stone has learned, it’s gotten more complicated. There’s streaming. There are online radio stations. There are podcasts. And while there are rules and laws that govern the use of music, including who collects the royalties, there are so many podcasts and streams that it’s impossible to police. And that means usage metrics are hard to track. There’s also the issue of bots and how much streamed music is heard by an actual human and how much someone is gaming the system.

(Read: DJ Khaled Threatens to Sue Billboard When Album Doesn’t Go No. 1)

Adding to the complexity of all of this, there’s just a ton of music released every day across genres. A quick look at the Billboard chart page shows more charts than you might have known existed: The Hot 100, The Billboard 200, Latin, Holiday, Blues, Country. And as segmented as it is, many music fans will look at the list and be upset that their genre isn’t represented.

Just to oversimplify the problem, there’s way too much music to track and there’s no good way to track how many people are listening to it. And not to put this on the kids, who are always doing crazy things we can’t account for, but the kids are always doing crazy things we can’t account for. We’re lucky someone stumbled upon their use of Google Docs as a communication/bullying tool, but for all we know, they’re using empty Amazon shopping carts to listen to music or abandoned Blackboard course shells to create playlists. As Rolling Stone has seemingly learned, there are simply too many unknowns to accurately track music-listening patterns.

Music charts are potentially influential because they not only reflect what’s popular but drive it as well. Radio stations use various charts to create their own playlists. It was a recurring theme on the classic WKRP in Cincinnati, with the DJs often pushing back against being told what to play. So, like Dr. Johnny Fever eating his own tail, popular songs receive airplay because they’re popular. And as Bruce Iglauer, the founder of the Alligator Records blues label, says in Bitten by the Blues, his autobiography, “subtlety is the enemy of commercial radio.” Numbered lists are anything but subtle.

But many people believe in music charts. While charts have never been scientific, even in simpler times, there’s something about a numbered list that seems official: Of course “Crocodile Rock” is a better song than “We’re an American Band”. “Crocodile” was No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “American Band” was 23. “Crocodile” won by 16.

All music fans know music is much more interesting and complex than a number on a list. The record store employees in the 2000 film High Fidelity constantly make lists, not because there’s an empiricism behind them but as a form of mental exercise. There’s no larger truth in their lists so much as their lists capture a moment. But numbers, even used ironically, create a veneer of science. Music’s personal and numbered lists, like record charts, are a way to validate our own views. Some people take great pride in their music not charting. As a college DJ in the 1990s, I instantly suspected anything that appeared on any chart, concerned that the artist was somehow more interested in popularity than their craft. Conversely, some people like to see music they listen to on the charts as proof of their taste-making skills.

Lists and unreliable numbers aren’t just a music problem, either. Take, for example, American politics. The media now covers elections by using poll results as a proxy for the underlying campaign issues. It’s not about the candidates, their platforms, and their ideas so much as it’s about their numbers. So rather than readers, viewers, and listeners becoming educated about candidates and issues, we’re constantly bombarded with information about who’s winning. Read any coverage of the Democratic primaries and the thrust of the article will be about polling numbers with, if you’re reading a good source, just a few sentences dedicated to what the candidates, also known as the poll subjects, are about. Suffice it to say, this process isn’t working out for lots of people in this country. Or democracy. Polls and music charts both allow ideas to be discussed without delving into quality; they’re reductive.

One of the few things everyone agrees upon is that the music industry is broken. Artists make little to no money from their music (unless you’re Taylor Swift). Labels maintain they’re not making any money either. The unreliability of charts aren’t the disease but rather a symptom of the disease, which, at the risk of sounding like Ted Kaczynski, is technology. Technology made it possible to have almost unlimited access to music without ever having to pay for it, and that killed all the ways we track musical popularity.

Which is why it’s time to give up on charts. They’re not accurate. And more importantly, normal people don’t care about them. Sure, back in the day we all listened to “American Top 40,” either to mock it, to check in on the decline of pop music, or hoping for a long-distance dedication. I’m sure charts are useful as an industry tool. But as a way to discover music? Or as a way to assign value? It makes no sense. They’re poll numbers when we need conversation and thoughtful analysis.

Charts worked when we all listen to the same music in the same way. But music, like the United States, is simply too fractured for that now. There are popular artists who are slipping through the cracks of charts. These are vital, important artists with small niche audiences. By walking away from charts, we can figure out other metrics to gauge artist popularity. One of those metrics might be how much they are written or read about. But maybe it’ll be based on NSA surveillance data. Or perhaps someone will convince Siri and Alexa to wear a wire. Right now, we only know what doesn’t work and that the algorithms won’t rescue us.

However, we can save ourselves by using human judgment to figure out what’s good, what’s popular, and what’s important. It won’t have the same ring as “number one with a bullet” (perhaps the most American of all idioms), but maybe that’s yet another reason to say goodbye to the old chart system.

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The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne Announces Birth of Baby Boy

The Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne and his wife Katy have welcomed their first child together—a baby boy named Bloom. Coyne announced Bloom’s birth in an Instagram post yesterday (June 7). He shared a picture of his newborn son, with a caption reading “Yay!!!!!!! Bloom is finally here ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️.”

Earlier today, Coyne posted another photo of Baby Bloom (wearing a Flaming Lips onesie). “Yesssss!!! Baby Bloom is ready to rock!!” Coyne wrote. “Soooo grateful to the most badass smart and loving baby delivery squad evva!! Thank you Mercy Hospital!!!” Find his posts below.

Coyne and his wife were married in early January in Oklahoma City. The couple said “I do” inside of a giant plastic bubble.

The Flaming Lips’ last studio LP was 2017’s Oczy Mlody. The band will release their new record King’s Mouth on streaming platforms July 19 (a vinyl version of the LP was released in limited quantities for this year’s Record Store Day). Revisit Pitchfork’s 2013 interview with the Flaming Lips.

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Classic Album Review: Elmer Bernstein Caused an Explosion with Ghostbusters

Conan O’Brien often jests that people will still come up to him on the street and ask about The Simpsons, a gig he briefly held decades ago. By his own admission he can’t remember characters; he was busy being a late-night impresario for the last 25 years. But that’s something for which people still love him, apparently. Remember Chris Farley asking Paul McCartney about his work in the Beatles, and not the solo stuff, on Saturday Night Live? Same general idea. When you’re a part of something so seismic, it follows you around. Were Elmer Bernstein still alive and composing, one could surmise that people would bug him incessantly about his contributions to Ghostbusters. And you know what? He earned it.

Sony Music has reissued Bernstein’s iconic score, and it’s like a gateway drug to the inspired sounds of a genius of the form. Bernstein’s rich horns have never sounded so muscular. His piano melodies, never so bouncy. And the eerie, electrical flourishes of the score’s famed ondes Martenot sound massive and otherworldly here. The new reissue also shares previously unheard takes from the film. (As did the 2006 Varèse Sarabande release, but like any greatest hits compilation, there’s always more in the archives.) Like the film it surrounds, Bernstein’s Ghostbusters is a classic of a unique and hard-to-match order.

One minute Bernstein is stringing out on electric piano wires, twitching nerve endings in the ear canal as he introduces the New York Public Library. Fitting for ominous lion statues and cob-webbed book stacks. The next minute, we’re given the Ghost Busters themselves walking up steps like janitors with utensils to a work-a-day piano ditty. Approaching the final villain Zuul is backed by Western-like hero horns. The wooing (and harassment) of Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) is played for whimsy and romance with a hallowed out melody. The variety is both dazzling and always perfectly dramatic. Bernstein gets the joke, but is able to compliment mood swings and other chaos with intense enjoyment for what he’s composing. There’s nothing lazy about the music. And it sticks. There are earworms.

But to understand the noises of Ghostbusters (beyond those of fizzing proton packs), one should probably look to Bernstein, the 14-time Oscar nominee and one-time winner (Thoroughly Modern Millie) for scoring. Bernstein’s a staple. He could give you any sound you needed: big, sexy, jazzy, experimental. He had a knack for loud movie textures in the style of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, or Bernard Herrmann. Bernstein flexed American bandstand styles ranging from swinging Count Basie variations to Aaron Copland heft. Walk on the Wild Side, The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven. One year, a pitch-perfect work of melancholy in To Kill a Mockingbird. A few years later, full patriotic regalia and intrigue in The Great Escape. He could do it all.

His works were unified by Bernstein’s ear for brass, and his staggering ability to get a mood right. He could dress a score up and down depending on the needs of the project, and you could actually hear and appreciate his work layered atop a story. Through his catchy melodies and creative instrumentation, he forged strong relationships with the material.

But by the late ‘70s, his moves were becoming a little too familiar. Enter projects like Animal House, Airplane!, and Stripes. Bernstein continued as he traditionally had, but that rich sound became a little too serious for audiences, and he saw the potential for self-parody. Think Animal House would be funnier with slide whistles and disco-era sounds, or with the bloviating academic score he arranged instead? Exactly.

Stripes marked Bernstein’s first pairing with Ivan Reitman, and it’s pitched like a silly remix of his Great Escape work. But when they reteamed for Ghostbusters, Bernstein went wild. At its core, the score is built around a jolly New York piano theme, a ‘just another day on the job’ motif. Except it’s layered with wavering elements and other spine-tingling sounds. Battle themes, funky breakdowns, and deeply suspenseful mood music.

In terms of film composition, Ghostbusters is a dense listen, changing styles on the whip and blast of a ghost trap. Yet Bernstein always hits his targets. Take “Judgment Day”, over the scene where Ray (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston (Ernie Hudson) drive back to the firehouse and contemplate the end times. Heavy stuff, but delivered many tonal shifts by Bernstein. It’s busy beat-making, followed by biblically scary strings, and then a kick-ass transition theme. Followed by bad guy music. It’s only 90 seconds, but the fluidity of the whole piece is a marvel.

Bernstein woos the ears with romantically woozy tracks like “Dana’s Theme”, then scares the socks off the audience with big numbers in “Halls”. The latter is a great example of escalation through tempo, or how instrument choices can tweak a mood. And it begs a question on further listen: Where are scores like this in the zeitgeist? The Avengers theme is a staple, but the rest of that score is undercut by explosions, space travel, and other contemporary bombast. Hans Zimmer has to get access to church organs and super-sized string sections to make a dent against action filmmaking. Cost-cutting measures, extremely loud effects tracks, and a penchant for digital programming has made stuff like Bernstein’s work harder to find in the modern era. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear rich and diverse scores like Ghostbusters? In a bizarre way, the ghost of his efforts shines most brightly in this popcorn mega-hit.

In a career filled with unique and amazing scores, Ghostbusters is arguably Bernstein’s pièce de résistance in embodying so many of his best melodies, themes, sounds, and experiments. In 2002, he shared insight into his process, and would explain that he liked to watch and sit with a film for a week before composing. One gets the sense that he watched a work print of Ghostbusters and felt compelled to go a little nuts. You get the traditional epic compositions, some big-time triumphant music, but not without the comical escalation of irreverent trumpets or impatient piano punches. Again, this score shouldn’t work but perhaps that’s why it’s as lovable as the Ghost Busters themselves. Bernstein made a creepy, loving, giddy, well-rounded work that feels impossible to imitate.

But not everything is gold, and that’s part and parcel of the scoring process. One of the reissue’s most fascinating elements are the unused tracks, and full tracks with passages of music not used in the film. Tracks like “Mr. Stay Puft” or “Mistake” or “We Got One” suggest what could have been an entirely different film. When Stay Puft appears in the film he’s greeted with a shrieking whine, but Bernstein’s original track suggests something closer to a monster flick like The Blob or Godzilla.

“Mistake” is an assemblage of decorative sound effects; one could guess it’s from the scene where the protection grid is shut off. Frankly, the scene’s much more dreadful with its organic klaxons in the movie, without scoring. “We Got One”, with its brash guitar riffs, feels like a B-side from a completely different movie altogether, like another post-Porky’s boys club excursion. The “what ifs” are really something. The new Ghostbusters album is a strongly-orchestrated argument for scaling down to the best stuff. Theremin, oboes? Great. Easy on the guitar.

Small nits to pick? The album’s run order doesn’t match the events in the film. Some components, like the end-credit flourishes or composed sound effects (like Stay Puft’s entrance), are still not included. Does it matter? Mildly. But it doesn’t really diminish the ear-popping goods compiled for this 2019 release.

To the point of that electric piano, the ondes Martenot that gives Ghostbusters its signature spooky aura, it would recur heavily in Bernstein’s later work. Maurice Martenot’s invention invariably became Bernstein’s late-period calling card: playful, silly, and even a bit ominous. It’s surprisingly durable. Beach Boys riffs needn’t only apply. He gave it a strong spin in 1981’s Heavy Metal, before blowing it up in Ghostbusters, and then re-using the special keyboard in greats like The Age of Innocence, My Left Foot, and Bringing Out the Dead. It’s always startling at first, but it becomes hypnotic, and memorable in an endearing and meaningful way.

Thirty-five years later, the score’s maximal wall of sound doesn’t ring campy. It just sounds right, perfect even, for this film’s oddball cadence. Bernstein has a terrific library of scores, but Ghostbusters endures in no small part due to its replay value. It crosses so many sonic streams, exploding with Hollywood grandeur and scale, but not without its dalliances in micro-music on an intimate level. It’s a giddy blend, mixing action and comedy with sci-fi and romance. It matches and elevates the film and itself in the process. Bernstein caused an explosion, a controlled and classical one that still plays in the ears and memories of ghost-busting fans and newcomers alike.

Essential Tracks: “Judgment Day”, “Halls”, “Dana’s Theme”

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Whitney announce new album, Forever Turned Around, share “Giving Up”: Stream

Whitney have announced their sophomore record, Forever Turned Around. The follow-up to their breakout debut, 2016’s Light Upon the Lake, is set for a August 30th release via Secretly Canadian.

Featuring co-production from Brad Cook (Bon Iver) and Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado (Weyes Blood, Father John Misty), Forever Turned Around was largely recorded in Chicago. Whitney’s main duo, vocalist/drummer Julien Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakecek, joined returning rhythm guitarist Ziyad Asrar in his basement studio for the sessions. Local artists including Lia Kohl and OHMME’s Macie Stewart also contributed to the album.

(Read: Five Rising Chicago Acts You Need to Hear)

A press release describes the album as being about all forms of partnership, with an emphasized focus on “the bonds between two best friends and creative partners and the joy and stress that comes with it.” While on the surface new single “Giving Up” sounds like a track about a slowly disintegrating romance, it could just as easily be interpreted as an ode to bandmates leaning on one another for support. “Though we started losing touch/ I’ve been hanging on because/ You’re the only one I love/ Even when you’re giving up,” go the lyrics.

Take a listen to the new track below.

“Giving Up” follows the recently released “FTA”, which is presumably what is listed as Forever Turned Around’s closing title track. Catch Whitney playing both those songs and more new material on their forthcoming tour, tickets for which can be purchased here.

Pre-orders for Forever Turned Around are going on now. The tracklist and artwork are ahead.

Forever Turned Around Artwork:

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