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Tag: Indie Rock (91-100 of 600)

Charts: Vampire Weekend score second number one, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis stay atop Hot 100, Daft Punk headed for big debut

If we’re in the midst of an indie rock recession, nobody told the dudes from Vampire Weekend.

The New York quartet just had their best sales week in history, as their third album Modern Vampires of the City moved about 134,000 copies in its opening week, easily netting them the top position on this week’s chart. It’s the second time the band has debuted in the catbird seat, as their second album Contra pulled off the same feat with 124,000 copies sold back in January 2010.

It was a big week for debuts, as the top three albums were all in their first week of release. Country icon George Strait’s 28th album Love Is Everything took the number two slot, while Demi Lovato’s Demi moved roughly 110,000 copies on her way to a number three debut.

Meanwhile, the Billboard Hot 100 has Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” as its number one for the third straight week. But Macklemore should keep his eye on the rearview, as Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” continues to surge and could be at the top spot by next week. Still, “Can’t Hold Us” has proven to be surprisingly robust, and its association with the NBA playoffs can’t hurt. Could “Can’t Hold Us” hang on for an extended run to become the official song of summer 2013? It’s entirely possible. That thing’s got legs.

Perhaps the most notable new entry on the Hot 100 is Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” which represents the French duo’s first track in the Billboard top ten. “Get Lucky” is quickly becoming one of the chart’s most-streamed songs, and it has been rapidly picking up radio spins around the country. It’s Daft Punk’s best chart showing by leaps and bounds: Their previous peak was number 61 (both “One More Time” and “Around the World” hit that number).

It could be a big summer for Daft Punk, as “Get Lucky” continues to climb while the group’s new album Random Access Memories could sell as many as 300,000 copies, which would easily nail down the top position on the album chart.

Read More on EW.com:
Album Review: Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
Demi Lovato’s new album ‘Demi’ now streaming online — read EW’s review here
Album Review: Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

The National: Frontman Matt Berninger talks about their acclaimed new album and documentary, and why failure was good for the band

For years, the National were one of a thousand little-engine-that-could indie bands, living in Brooklyn and (barely) getting by on small-room tours and local gigs.

Until 2007, when the indelible piano anthem “Fake Empire” helped make their fifth album, Boxer, a critical and popular smash. Letterman came calling, and so did the Obama campaign, which used the song as one of its musical signatures.

Now, with a new album, Trouble Will Find Me, their biggest tour yet, and a new documentary that was the toast of the Tribeca Film Festival, the National is poised to make another leap — this time to a level of fame that actually cements the name, while subverting the original intention of a band that actually chose its name because it had no real meaning. This is the year the National becomes The National.

Ask frontman Matt Berninger, and he’ll tell you that the group’s rise has been built on a foundation of failure. A literal band of brothers — the lineup includes twins Bryce and Aaron Dessner on guitar, and Bryan and Scott Devendorf on drums and bass, respectively (we’ll get to Berninger’s own brother later) — the quintet has struggled, bickered, and come thisclose to breaking up since teaming up in the late 1990s. Success hasn’t mellowed them, exactly, but there is a confidence that comes from winning on their own terms, and from knowing that when they step on the stage, they’re one of the best live bands in the business. “You’re not a real band unless you go out and play shows, for whoever, whenever,” says Berninger.

With Trouble Will Find Me out this week (they’ll play The Colbert Report tonight to celebrate), the band is already booked on the road through November. Berninger spoke to EW about the sound of the new album, being a “Brooklyn band,” and how the rock doc Mistaken For Strangers morphed into something not at all standard issue. READ FULL STORY

KROQ's annual Weenie Roast feat. the Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, Imagine Dragons and more: Watch the live stream here

You know what the worst part about summer music fests are? Not being able to attend them!

Luckily the friendly folks at KROQ, the L.A. radio station that throws their annual multi-band rock bonanza Weenie Roast every year in nearby Irvine, Calif., have found a way to let you be there without burning all you sick days (or your money): By streaming the whole festival live.

Slated performances include the Black Keys (pictured above), Vampire Weekend, Imagine Dragons, Jimmy Eat World, 30 Seconds to Mars, and more, this year’s Weenie Roast (now in its 21st year). Click below for the live stream and a full schedule (all times PDT) of the day’s performers, which will kick off with a preshow at noon PDT/3pm EST:

READ FULL STORY

Spacehog's Royston Langdon on getting the band back together, auditioning for Velvet Revolver, and one fateful motorcycle ride

If you remember 1995, you remember the neo-glam modern-rock radio smash “In the Meantime” — and the band that made it, the Langdon-brothers-helmed Spacehog.

After the breakout success of their debut, Resident Alien, the group followed with a critically-beloved cult classic, The Chinese Album, that failed to catch on commercially, and then The Hogyssey before going their separate ways. Along the way, they experimented with different bands, went over rocky personal paths (including frontman Royston Langdon’s marriage and subsequent divorce from actress Liv Tyler), and generally tried to find their way.

Now older and wiser but still obsessed with glam sweetness, Spacehog are back. They released their long-awaited fourth album As It Is on Earth last month, and they’re currently on the road in support of it. EW caught up with frontman Royston Langdon to discuss his long hiatus, how he nearly became the singer of Velvet Revolver, and how he feels about “In the Meantime” nearly two decades later.

Entertainment Weekly: The Hogyssey came out all the way back in 2001. How did Spacehog dissipate?
Royston Langdon: It was a lot of things. We’d spent a lot of time touring intensely for the first two or three years, after the release of Resident AlienThe Chinese Album came pretty easily and was a similar kind of experience to the first record, and it was pretty critically well-received but not so well-received commercially. So then we spent some time in the wilderness without a label. When we finally made The Hogyssey, there was a lot of creative differences with the label and within the group. I’ve never really been happy with that record, so touring that record in 2001 was hard work. We were pulling in all different directions, which is not good for a band. Our show final show was supposed to be on the eighth of September in 2011. READ FULL STORY

Vampire Weekend's new album 'Modern Vampires of the City' streaming now on iTunes: Read EW's review here

Surprise! (Or not — who isn’t putting their album up on iTunes the week before physical release date lately?)

New York’s prep-rock royals Vampire Weekend are the latest to join the digital prerelease party today with a stream of their third studio album, Modern Vampires of the City. Below, an expanded version of the review from EW‘s issue out this Friday.

Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City (XL)

Let’s be real: A lot of you have already made up your minds about this band. Four fresh-faced Ivy League grads in boat shoes peddling Paul Simon-y songs with titles like “Oxford Comma” and “Diplomat’s Son”? Pfft. But even the most determined pffters, the holdouts who’ve spent the past five years ardently ducking the New York quartet’s slier-than-thou Benetton pop, will have a pretty damn hard time resisting this one.

This isn’t to say that Vampire Weekend’s third effort is a wild departure from their first two. Modern Vampires is still rife with all the sunny-day hooks, East Coast imagery, and blueblood signifiers you’ve come to expect. (Sample lyrics: “You got the luck of a Kennedy,” “Hannah tore the New York Times up into pieces.”) This time, though, the band spends less time admiring their own clever lines and throwaway quips. A new kind of focus is evident here, and the result is twelve tightly plotted, fully realized songs that share a common thread.

Even the geography is tighter. Never landlocked, Vampire Weekend sent postcards from Cape Cod, California, and beyond on their previous albums, but Modern Vampires is all but tethered to New York. Even when song characters manage to drift elsewhere, they seem to yearn for home. The stable sense of setting works in the band’s favor, freeing frontman Ezra Koenig up to explore deeper, more universal themes — like mortal anxiety. “Wisdom’s a gift but you trade it for youth/Age is an honor — it’s still not the truth,” he croons on “Step,” while on “Don’t Lie,” he warns all the young Turks,“There’s a headstone right in front of you, and everyone I know.” Looks like that pun at the heart of lead single “Diane Young” isn’t there just to be clever.

Of course, you don’t have to care about Koenig’s quarterlife crisis and poeticized NYC life; Lena Dunham’s might be enough for you. (Tellingly, the two are friends; Koenig recently made a cameo on Girls.) As with their previous albums, Vampire Weekend’s elegant under-the-chandelier pop and upper-crust punk rave-ups still provide subtext-free sonic pleasures all on their own.

But when everything here lines up the right way — and more often than not, it does – Modern Vampires is the perfect album for the coming Atlantic summer. Think of it like saltwater taffy: bright and sweet, with plenty to chew on.

Grade: A– 

Best Tracks: “Unbelievers” • “Don’t Lie”

More on EW.com:
Inaugural BottleRock brings Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and Anthony Jeselnik to Napa Valley
Rootsy Americana band the Black Lillies release video for ‘The Fall’ — EXCLUSIVE
Lauryn Hill sentenced to three months in prison for tax evasion

Inaugural BottleRock brings Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and Anthony Jeselnik to Napa Valley

Music festivals continue to grow, and between now and the end of the summer, there is essentially a major one every single weekend. The expanded menu requires a lot more diversity, both in the types of acts booked on the main stages and the other attractions offered on the grounds. Gone are the days when you could just set up a PA and invite some dudes with guitars—now there have to be multiple hooks to convince people to make the journey to your field.

Enter BottleRock Napa Valley, a new festival that launches its inaugural entry this Wednesday, May 8, and runs through Sunday May 12. The music lineup is impressive, and will include sets from the Black Keys, Zac Brown Band, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kings of Leon, Flaming Lips, Jane’s Addiction, Train, the Shins, Alamabama Shakes, and dozens more.

Perhaps BottleRock’s biggest secret weapon, though, is its comedy lineup: READ FULL STORY

Vampire Weekend premiere new song 'Ya Hey': Hear it here -- VIDEO

A lot of champagne gets wasted in the new lyric video for Vampire Weekend’s newest song, “Ya Hey,” in which people move in slow motion and shower themselves with bubbly. All the time, the song’s lyrics scroll up the screen. This is the band’s third video for its upcoming album, Modern Vampires of the City (out May 7), following “Diane Young” and “Step.” Meanwhile, the band has also been playing “Unbelievers,” “Obvious Bicycle,” and “Everlasting Arms” in concert and on late-night shows. That’s half the album so far — and a bunch of new sounds to hear. Consider “Ya Hey” practically a VW ballad, driven by drums. Is it about God? It sounds so sad, in a we-have-so-much champagne kind of way.

Watch below. What do you think?

READ FULL STORY

Neutral Milk Hotel announce first reunion dates in 15 years

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Hold on to your flannels, kids: revered indie-rock band Neutral Milk Hotel is reuniting for the first time in fifteen years.

The Athens, GA, group behind 1998′s seminal In the Aeroplane Over the Sea just announced a small string of tour dates this fall on their official web site. And while the band’s elusive leader Jeff Mangum has been trotting out NMH songs during his handful of shows in recent years, this new outing will bring together the full NMH crew, including Jeremy Barnes, Scott Spillane, and Julian Koster, playing together for the first time since the year  Aeroplane was released.

Only a few dates have been set so far, but the band’s site teases that more will be announced soon — hopefully including one in Pawnee, for April Ludgate’s sake. As of now, though, you’ll be able to catch them at the following few dates:

READ FULL STORY

The Postal Service's 'Give Up': An oral history of the indie side project that became an aughties touchstone -- and a platinum seller

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Last week, the Postal Service released Give Up: Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition, a two-disc version of their platinum-selling (it only took nine years!) sole album, and they celebrated by kicking off a new tour that includes a prominent slot at Coachella.

EW caught up with all the principals involved in the creation of Give Up for an oral history that appeared in issue 1255/56, but we couldn’t get it all in in print, so enjoy this expanded version here.

2001 Jimmy Tamborello releases his first full-length album as Dntel, Life Is Full of Possibilities. The acclaimed indie electronic collection features a song called “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan” with vocals by Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard.

JIMMY TAMBORELLO One of my roommates was in a band that went on tour with Death Cab for Cutie, so Ben and my roommate had become friends. Ben was going to come stay at our house for a couple of days for fun, and it was right when I was working on this album with different guest vocalists. So I asked him if he’d be up for it, and I sent him the instrumental and when he came to visit he recorded it. We hung out and had fun, and that’s where it started.

BEN GIBBARD It wasn’t as if we really connected personally all that strongly when we first met. It was just an interesting arrangement that he would send me this music and he would let me put whatever I wanted to put on it. “Evan and Chan” came together really quickly, and the only thing I had on it was vocals.

TAMBORELLO Ben brought up the idea of doing more together—like an EP or something.

GIBBARD Initially the idea I pitched to him was an EP, and it was only when Sub Pop started sniffing around that it turned into an album.

TONY KIEWEL, Sub Pop A&R Jimmy and I went to college together. He told me they were thinking about doing an EP based on the experience of “Evan and Chan.” I had just started doing A&R, and I had recently learned how the world treats an EP as opposed to an LP. Why would you waste time making an EP? If you’re going to do it, do a full album. People will review it, and you can sell it for three times as much. I told them for sure Sub Pop would want to do it if that was something they wanted to do.

GIBBARD The music has always been the more difficult thing for me to write, so the idea of somebody basically turning in what were mostly finished beds of music and then I could sprinkle other things on top of it and write melodies and lyrics was really appealing to me. He was nice and easy-going and a kind of shy quiet guy, and I’m a little more gregarious, so I think that worked too.

2002 Operating out of Los Angeles, Tamborello begins the process of sending Seattle-dwelling Gibbard music, which Gibbard would then send back with his additions—which included guitars, keyboards, and additional vocals by friends Jen Wood and Jenny Lewis. READ FULL STORY

Record Store Day 2013: What's on your must-have list for the annual vinyl bonanza? Here's ours

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This Saturday, April 20, a great yearly tradition arrives once again.

No, not that one. We’re talking about the sixth annual Record Store Day, which pays tribute to the independently-owned record stores that were once ubiquitous but are often now fighting just to stay afloat in in the iTunes and Amazon age.

The day is more than just a tribute to the fetishization of vinyl; it also honors the sense of community that comes when a bunch of music obsessives get together to talk about their favorite stuff — and kick-fight in the aisles over a limited-edition Roky Erikson 7-inch, or whatever their coveted object may be. (Check out the impressively large list of stores that are participating in this year’s festivities.)

Though there are plenty of live in-store performances, signings, and giveaways, the main attraction has become the vinyl releases that surface for one day only (and then for an eternity on eBay). This year’s list doesn’t have the same parade of heavy hitters as last year’s, but there are still plenty of goodies worth seeking.

I love Record Store Day, mostly because I just love record stores. I’ll be celebrating this year at my home base during my high school years, and here’s what I’ll be searching for:  READ FULL STORY

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