Entries Tagged as 'feature'

FEATURE: The Joy Formidable

September 28th, 2011 · Comments Off on FEATURE: The Joy Formidable

It’s often hard for me to believe it when bands say they have no direct influences on their sound. And when I recently spoke with The Joy Formidable’s bassist, Rhydian Daffyd, I heard a familiar refrain: “Sometimes we feel like we live in a bubble.” Yeah, yeah. Bands always hem and haw when asked to […]

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Tags: feature · interview

Three decades of Sonic Youth

June 16th, 2009 · 2 Comments

The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones on 30 Years of Sonic Youth. The band’s 16th and best album in years and years, The Eternal, is out now on Matador. Seems that 2009 might be Sonic Youth’s year. Haven’t seen this much buzz about them since I was in high school. Fender has even commissioned two signature […]

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Tags: feature · link · video

Slate slags Decemberists for “antique poesy”

April 10th, 2009 · 13 Comments

Slate’s music critic, Jody Rosen, isn’t a big fan of The Decemberists. I, too, share Rosen’s distaste for the most pretentious little Lord Fauntleroy in all of corporate subsidized nerd folk in one Colin Meloy. His reedy voice – embarrassingly overwrought lyrics notwithstanding – is of a timbre my ears find repugnant. When I dislike […]

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Tags: commentary · feature · lists

Wearing your own t-shirt is always frowned upon

March 2nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

I just happened to be listening to NPR last night and caught an interview with Ben Kweller and was sort of taken aback how much his speaking voice sounds like his singing voice. Most people sound nothing like themselves when they sing, but Kweller’s sort of laid-back, eternally youthful, stoner cadence is unmistakable. NPR has […]

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Tags: feature · stream · video

Britney’s insanity swept under the rug

December 9th, 2008 · Comments Off on Britney’s insanity swept under the rug

Highly amusing, snark-fueled take-down of Britney’s MTV documentary Britney: For the Record, where the tag line "No topic was off limits…No question went unanswered" becomes obvious bullshit. Bottom line: Britney is still just as crazy/vapid/superficial/clueless as ever, just with stricter monitoring of her career by a swarm of handlers. So, the crazy is just barely […]

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Tags: commentary · feature · link

Chuck Klosterman on Chinese Democracy…for real this time

November 19th, 2008 · Comments Off on Chuck Klosterman on Chinese Democracy…for real this time

Chuck Klosterman famously reviewed Chinese Democracy for Spin as an April Fools joke that worked because the album has become such a mythical clusterfuck that nobody actually thought it would ever be released. Least of all Dr. Pepper. Now that Axl has proven everyone wrong, does he get the last laugh? Surely not. The jokes […]

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Tags: feature

Sleater-Kinney guitarist rocks the Wii

November 19th, 2008 · Comments Off on Sleater-Kinney guitarist rocks the Wii

Slate has employed Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein to test it out and review music video games before. This time it’s for Wii Music. The piece is cleverly titled “Wii Will Rock You.” An excerpt: The game shows you a fantastical sonic world but falls short of letting you invent your own. Instead, one’s enjoyment of Wii […]

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Tags: feature

Playing Pretend with Microphones, Mountains, and Death

October 14th, 2008 · Comments Off on Playing Pretend with Microphones, Mountains, and Death

Phil Elverum is a recorder of unorthodox sounds. An analog archivist. A singer of strange, dark, and heart-wrenchingly beautiful songs about the simplest fundamentals: water, air, space, mountains. He hails from the boondocks of the upper Northwest in a small town called Anacortes in Washington State, the population of which is less than 15,000. He’s […]

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Tags: feature · touring

Murder By Death: Staying Alive

April 30th, 2008 · Comments Off on Murder By Death: Staying Alive

Dwindling record sales of artists big and small doesn’t elicit a lot of sympathy from consumers these days. In an age when typing in your favorite artist into your favorite Bit Torrent engine is the de facto response to having to pay actual money for music, being in a band is more of a gamble […]

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Tags: feature · interview

Morrissey runs a tight ship of drones

January 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

This is an incredibly eye-opening piece about Morrissey’s inner circle written by a man who managed to be accepted into Morrissey’s entourage, who was flown into the US from the UK only to be unceremoniously dismissed after one day of service. The article presents no bias against Morrissey. In fact, the opposite is true. Andrew […]

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Tags: feature · link

Jens Lekman’s lyrical genius

October 23rd, 2007 · 1 Comment

Slate gushes over Jens Lekman today in a fanboy piece that is so self-deprecating and honest that it doesn’t seem to offend on any level, despite its reckless superlative-tossing (“Lekman is a fully realized pop genius, and each of his full-length records is its own masterpiece”). Focusing on Lekman’s lyrical gift of gab, author Stephen […]

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Tags: feature · link

The Hives want a bigger piece of the pie

October 22nd, 2007 · Comments Off on The Hives want a bigger piece of the pie

You’ve probably heard by now that The Hives are touring with Maroon 5. This oddball pairing is more likely the result of Maroon 5’s handlers trying to think of a way to lure open-minded, fence-riding “alternative” kids to its arena tour than it is the brainchild of a shirtless save-for-a-silk-vest Adam Levine sipping an appletini […]

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Tags: feature

Hope I die before I get old

September 6th, 2007 · Comments Off on Hope I die before I get old

As bad as rock stars seem to be at living, some simply refuse to die. And in the same report that, uhh, brilliantly concluded that rock stars are more likely to choke on their own vomit than, say, normal folks, it is also duly noted that since 1980: “…the number of pop stars who die within […]

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Tags: commentary · feature · link

Echo & the Bunnymen’s self-inflicted wounds

August 31st, 2007 · Comments Off on Echo & the Bunnymen’s self-inflicted wounds

Alan McGee postulates in the Guardian why Echo & the Bunnymen are ever the bridesmaids of rock. I think he nails it pretty well. After the orchestral majesty of Ocean Rain, the band simply dried up creatively. It really took three years to follow-up that masterpiece with an utterly deflated, self-titled throwaway? Even still, “Lips […]

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Tags: commentary · feature · video

Hitler’s bizarre record collection in the underground bunker

August 8th, 2007 · 1 Comment

“It is strange – and rather disturbing – to discover how important classical music was to two of the most genocidal monsters of the 20th century, Hitler and Stalin.” Der Spiegel recently published a list of the 100 classical recordings found in Hitler’s bunker at the end of WWII, which had been secretly kept by a […]

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Tags: feature · link

New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones on Damon Albarn’s Monkey: Journey to the West

July 26th, 2007 · Comments Off on New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones on Damon Albarn’s Monkey: Journey to the West

It’s sort of pedantic in its brief historical glossing-over of entire musical movements, having been written from the perspective that the reader knows next to nothing about the subject, but Frere-Jones’ piece about how an English pop star of Damon Albarn’s pedigree came to score an opera is also informative and edifying. http://www.myspace.com/monkeyjourneytothewest

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Will Ryan Adams be remembered for his erratic behavior or his music?

July 26th, 2007 · Comments Off on Will Ryan Adams be remembered for his erratic behavior or his music?

Now that he’s over a year sober, Ryan Adams is reluctant to admit it has any effect on his music, although he is well aware that his tantrums and occasionally questionable performances have dampened his star’s rise. But his latest, Easy Tiger, does, admittedly, show signs of an ear for commerciality. I have a feeling […]

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Tags: feature · link

Thank God the suits are still clueless

July 24th, 2007 · Comments Off on Thank God the suits are still clueless

With the corporate music world still foundering in its colossal ineptitude as to how to deal with that whole Internet thing, underground music and, especially, independent labels are reaping the benefits. It’s practically business as usual for the underground, where money and chart positions have little to no bearing on how success is measured. Columbia, […]

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Tags: feature · new release

Benni Hemm Hemm: Iceland’s latest indie darling

July 18th, 2007 · Comments Off on Benni Hemm Hemm: Iceland’s latest indie darling

Being big in Iceland doesn’t exactly have a lot of perks. For Benni Hemm Hemm, three years of hype (Rolling Stone said he “evoked the sunshine prospect of Brian Wilson conducting a troupe of Salvation Army horns at a 1967 Smile session”) and selling 30,000 records in a country with a population of 300,000 meant […]

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Tags: feature · link · New2Me

Daft Punk makes movie about melting robots

July 17th, 2007 · Comments Off on Daft Punk makes movie about melting robots

The electronic duo’s cinematic debut, Electroma, is self-described as “experimental and inaccessible; however, it’s a movie that does not require your brain to function.” What the cock could this film be about? Evidently, it’s even weirder than you might well imagine. The film is 70 minutes long, has no talking, and features no original music […]

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Tags: feature