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Song Stories

“Tunic (Song for Karen)”

Sonic Youth | 1990

"Tunic (Song for Karen)" was Sonic Youth's tribute to and elegy for Karen Carpenter, who died from complications related to anorexia. Kim Gordon sang on the track, which described the Carpenters lead singer as saying goodbye to Hollywood, and hello to other dead rock stars like Elvis and Janis Joplin. Thurston Moore wasn't a fan of the Carpenters, but he was intrigued by the subject matter. "Oh, it was crap music," he said, "but was also extremely interesting … They were white bread, middle-class people, and Karen was somebody who was supposed to be perfect. It was a heavy slice of Americana, like the Walton family."

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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