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Song Stories

“Holocene”

Bon Iver | 2011

The keystone track on Bon Iver’s second album is named after two things: a bar that songwriter Justin Vernon patronized in Portland, Oregon, where he once had a particularly rough night over some pints, and the post–Ice Age geologic era, or an epoch, which began 12,000 years ago. “It's a good example of how all the songs are meant to come together as this idea that places are times and places are people,” Vernon said. “Our lives feel like these epochs, but really we are dust in the wind.” The song was nominated for a Grammy in 2012, and Bon Iver won Best New Artist the same year.

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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