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Quick: what’s the best, most exhilarating opening to a rock record ever? Not the song. Just the opening—the first few seconds, whether a majestic welcome or sonic punch in the gut.

Some think it’s the first note of The Stooges’ Fun House. Nevermind is too obvious. There’s a convincing case to be made for The Jesus Lizard’s Liar album. I prefer the quiet dread of PJ Harvey’s Rid Of Me.

But the best, the unimpeachable album intro to retire all album intros, is the opening passage of Sleater-Kinney’s would-be final album, The Woods.

First Aid Kit has had a busy and successful 2014, touring hard behind its third album, Stay Gold. To mark Record Store Day/Black Friday, the duo released a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”. Covers of well-known songs can be difficult, but here First Aid Kit give the song a new, feminine interpretation.

The video for Chuck Prophet’s “The Left Hand and the Right Hand” is weirdly surreal by taking the song literally, with two separate disembodied hands floating around to illustrate the story. Chuck Prophet appears in a cartoon bubble as an all-seeing narrator in an alternative universe. It’s kind of trippy and fun.

After crowdfunding an album two years before Kickstarter made their UK debut and creating something like a proto-Bandcamp for their label Corporate Records, the Indelicates are now releasing what is possibly the first ever virtual reality single for a song entitled “The Generation That Nobody Remembered”. The free download was designed for use with the Oculus Rift head-set, but a 2d version also exists, along with a simple name-your-price MP3 of the song.

Paul Kelly’s video for “Gonna Be Good”, a mixture of moving and still footage, emphasizes the intimate and stripped-down nature of his album Spring and Fall. The supper looks good too.

//Blogs

The Best and Worst Films of Spring 2015

// Short Ends and Leader

"January through April is a time typically made up of award season leftovers, pre-summer spectacle, and more than a few throwaways. Here are PopMatters' choices for the best and worst of the last four months.

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