At this point in my career as a guy who writes about music, I have crossed off almost everything on my bucket list or allowed for the fact that it is impossible to do some of those things. For example, I always wanted to see Metallica—one of my favorite bands of all time—in as small a room as possible, and I did in fact get to do that last year. On the other hand, I allow that my window for interviewing David Bowie has almost certainly closed (and my chance to talk to Kurt Cobain was gone before I ever got started).
Tag: Indie Rock (91-100 of 680)
Sure, the forthcoming Wu-Tang Clan album The Wu: Once Upon A Time In Shaolin… will only be available to one person and is “presented in a hand carved nickel-silver box designed by the British Moroccan artist Yahy,” but how does this one of a kind musical artifact stack up against some of the other, crazier box sets in music history? (Or even the Wu-Tang bike?)
Check out some of the most extreme (and extremely expensive) box sets in history:
When it comes to atmospheric electronic music, there can be precious little difference between songs that seem crafted for the lobby of a W hotel or an expensive pair of headphones, or for grazing your very soul.
When Jamie xx, the drummer for the xx and a Grammy-winning producer and remixer for artists ranging from Alicia Keys to Radiohead, makes his own music—an all to rare occurrence; he’s only released two solo songs, and did that way back in 2011—they very much get all up in your inner being. Just bare your psyche to “Sleep Sound,” one half of his “double A-side” single due in May:
If this song were a massage, it would start off reiki, progress to Swedish, and finally dig right into your pressure points, Thai-style. Allow it alleviate your stress over not being able to get into The xx’s life-changing, sold-out Armory shows happening now in New York.
A few weeks ago, a dude named Frederick Scott tickled Nine Inch Nails fans with “This Is A Trent Reznor Song,” a loving tribute to the NIN frontman’s songwriting and performance tics. It was awesome, and one of the better musical parodies on the entirety of the Internet.
Now comes the next stage: Scott’s video for “This Is A Trent Reznor Song,” which borrows elements from the clips for Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” and “The Hand That Feeds.” Once again Scott nails it, with the same kind of video effects from “The Hand That Feeds” and the commitment to spooky photography and weird lighting from the classic “Closer.”
It’s a little more outwardly funny than the song itself—the reaction shot Scott gives to the bottle of milk is particularly fantastic—but it still retains the same kind of reverence for Reznor’s work as the track.
Check out the video below. And while you’re at it, check out some of the clips from Nine Inch Nails’ Tension tour, one of the better live music experiences from last year.
There may not be many new tricks in the modern concert handbook (not good ones, anyway) but it was hard not to feel like a part of something special last night at the xx show at New York’s Park Avenue Armory.
The British dream-pop trio’s run in the historic New York space certainly defies typical rock-show math: 11 nights, each with two 50-minute performances for an audience of no more than 40 people, in a room so enormous (the main hall is 55,000 square feet) that it looks scaled to aircraft carriers, not humans.
In fact, the actual performance space was surprisingly small—at least at first. After being ushered in through a side door into a cramped basement room, the evening’s forty golden-ticket holders were led like obedient hostages through a winding series of sheetrock-dusted corridors and into a modest square that looked like the war room of a Bond villain, with its rubberized floor and black-clad minions. The minions, of course, were the band: Identically poker-faced, angularly coiffed, and completely silent as the audience filed in and were instructed to stand around the perimeter.
“Should we all take our clothes off now?” A friend leaned over and whispered. And it did have a little bit of a Wicker Man-meets-Eyes Wide Shut vibe, as if we were about to witness either a virgin sacrifice or a wild goat orgy. But then the first notes of music rang out: the spare, shimmering guitar line of the band’s 2012 single “Angels.” READ FULL STORY
After a long few days of indie rock, mixtape rap, pop stars playing small, and smoked meat, it was time to put a bow on the annual South By Southwest festival.
The schedule for Saturday night was strange. In the past, Saturday night shows have always been the biggest, but this year, a number of bands had already left town, and with the likes of Lady Gaga, Coldplay, and Kendrick Lamar having wrapped their high-profile performances, it left a hodgepodge of mid-level indie and hip-hop to send everyone off.
Enter Phantogram, an excellent computer-pop combo whose new album Voices gently nudges their sound towards an even wider audience than the one that picked up on their first buzz-band moment several years ago. Like an overwhelming number of the acts booked at SXSW, they are big enough to get booked on late-night TV but not quite big enough to be played on pop radio or fill larger venues. For a band like Phantogram, a solid showing at SXSW could mean an elevation to that next level. READ FULL STORY
With Lady Gaga and her bucking vomitron in my rearview, my personal goal for Friday at SXSW was to find some good old-fashioned, turned-to-11 rawk. I had already seen a lot of about-to-break indie, a handful of promising rappers, and one gigantic intergalactic pop star. Now it was time to find some volume.
Anybody who has read my tweets or been forced to sit outside my office for months at a time under the auspices of “work experience” (sorry, interns!) knows that I like things fast and loud, which often means in extreme metal. But punk, garage rock, prog — these are all things that will satisfy my jones, and I was determined to seek out as many opportunities to permanently damage my hearing as I could find.
The day opened at Stubb’s at the Spin magazine party, a tradition that stretches back more than a decade. This year’s bill featured a fine cross-section of indie rock and fringe rap, with a lineup that included Future, Cloud Nothings, Against Me!, and Schoolboy Q. But my main concern was Radkey, a group made up of three brothers (ages 16, 18, and 20) who grind out delightfully unhinged punk tunes that also owe a healthy bit to Reagan-era thrash. It’s grim-sounding but well-executed, and as soon as their songwriting evolves even a tiny bit, they are going to be dangerous. READ FULL STORY
Since its inception, MTV’s Woodies Festival has acted as one of SXSW’s great clearinghouses of acts who are poised to break. Though the 1975, Childish Gambino, and Iggy Azalea held the headlining slots, the afternoon fest seemed built around only the second live performance for Jack Antonoff’s new band Bleachers.
The fun. guitarist’s side group dropped its first single “I Wanna Get Better” about a month ago, and it has been searching for a momentum push. Perhaps Antonoff should have chosen a better single — the borderline strident “I Wanna Get Better” appeared to be the outlier during Bleachers’ brief set, with the rest of the material made up of the sort of dark, slippery guitar pop that could score the best kind of John Hughes movie. As a band leader, Antonoff’s croon and cadence eerily match those of the Killers’ Brandon Flowers’, though considering Flowers is one of the great frontmen of this generation, that should probably be considered a compliment. Of the songs introduced, the ominous “Shadow” and the anthemic “Wild Heart” both sound like potential breakout hits, though if all else fails, they have a perfectly fine future as a Tom Petty cover band, since their run through “Don’t Come Around Here No More” was the highlight of the entire afternoon.
The other big breakout was Vic Mensa, the Chicago-based rapper who is a member of the Save Money crew alongside Chance the Rapper (among others). READ FULL STORY
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