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Kill Rock Stars (2013)
In the arena of charming and entertaining indie-music figures, Marnie Stern stands unopposed.
Blackbird Blackbird's 2012 EP Boracay Planet takes its name from two sources: Boracay — a beach-filled, postcard-perfect island in the Philippines — and a dream Mikey Maramag had about the tourist trap, despite never having visited.
Wild Belle's multi-ethnic allegiances — Afropop, reggae, and rocksteady — fuse into American indie-pop and classic rock. Results are, at varying times, tropical, tepid, and tempestuous.
Jeremiah Fraites isn't famous — at least not yet. The drummer of the Lumineers, the folk trio who experienced an outrageously fruitful 2012, is talking to me two days before appearing on the January 19 Saturday Night Live, but he doesn't sound convinced that his band have crossed the fame threshold.
Cellars by Starlight
Variations of "nightmarish" and "psychedelic" come up repeatedly as Matt Oates describes his band's work — which makes sense, given that Phantom Glue trace their roots back to Slayer, the Jesus Lizard, and cult post-hardcore act KARP.
Hoodie Allen cannot escape James Franco.
Occasionally someone will find the Virgin Mary's image on a slice of toast, or they're sure they see grandpa's face in a patch of clouds.
Jet Jam (2012)
How high can a remix-heavy disc go when it's built on the dodgiest and lousiest of foundations?
Temporal is an assortment of rarities culled from Isis' entire career, and it's a suitably bulky set in both length (almost two hours) and aural weight.
In 2007, Dan Deacon experienced startling cultural self-awareness.
Sometimes making a statement from a corner of a room feels truer than making one from its center. Kai Campos — one-half of the London duo Mount Kimbie — believes that reasoning was crucial to his desire to make electronica in the first place.
If his 2011 off-the-cuff comment is any proof, Amon Tobin is terrible at resisting the urge to prod a proverbial beehive.
Punk makes good
On July 27, Frank Turner played the biggest show of his life while surrounded by sheep, actors dressed as Brits of different stripes, a Ferris wheel, a synthetic recreation of the English countryside, and an unfathomably massive crowd.
Worlds in flux
Pictures on walls have held great meaning to Zach Condon.
America as a country is rarely celebrated by its off-the-radar and off-kilter musicians.
Given that they're all alumni of the J-pop "idol" group Sakura Gakuin, it's extremely unlikely that these girls (whose ages fall between 12 and 15) formed Babymetal on their own.
Century Media (2012)
The end is nigh, and it will be ugly. With Silencing Machine, Nachtmystium's sixth album, Blake Judd and his fellow Chicago-based melodic black metallurgists have put together a fantastically tormented document — a recipe for Armageddon that promises things getting darkest before the death.
Fat Wreck Chords (2012)
Man, how old are the dudes in Teenage Bottlerocket by now?
Ever imagined what it would be like to hear an angel-voiced woman recite a book of fairy tales in the back of a nightclub at 2 am as drowsy synth lines float through the speakers?
Jordan Koplowitz's life — I'm disappointed to discover — was not forever changed by a momentous round of beer pong.
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