Abigail Everdell

  • Various Artists, '1970s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground' (Sublime Frequencies)

    Algeria's oppressive late-'60s and early-'70s social atmosphere forced rai --the country's edgy new pop music -- underground; its bands performed, but couldn't release records until the decade's close. Tracks from four of that period's major players are collected here, but don't expect the squeaky disco synths of better-known '90s rai -- the loose percussion, horns, and humming accordion more often recall zydeco grooves or the swirling jazz of Éthiopiques alum Mahmoud Ahmed. The style's candid lyricism remains, however, and while the language will be impenetrable to most, the singers' frustrated heartsickness is unmistakable -- particularly on Boutaiba Sghir's aching standout "Malgre Tout."

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    The 20 Best Music Videos of 2008

    20. Stars, "Bitches In Tokyo" One problem with the popularity of indie rock is the lack of idolatry. Sure, it's great that a musician can be just like you, glasses and all, but what happened to the desperate adolescent joy of wanting to be a rockstar? [Directed by: Experimental Parachute Movement] 19. Vampire Weekend, "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" Filmic proof that nobody does insufferable '80s preppy better than a bunch of insufferable preppies. I've got to say, I was just as satisfied as gothic Molly Ringwald to see them get their Cure on. [Directed by:Richard Ayoade] 18. Omaha Bitch, "Orgasmic Troopers" Headbanging ballet dancers throwing punches.

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    Top 5 San Francisco Bands

    I spent five days over Thanksgiving happily soaking up the clear air and giant burritos of my hometown, San Francisco. The Bay Area is full of amazing bands who can only occasionally come up with the resources to tour the rest of the country. So I decided to bring them to you via SPIN.com. Below are the top five groups that make me wish I had never left home. Be sure to check them out if they come to your town.The Dodos Meric Long and Logan Kroeber's catchy, mostly-acoustic pop mixes honey-sweet vocals and fancy guitar picking with complex, impatientrhythms. I guess it could be called folk, but your irrepressibly tapping feet may disagree.

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    Where Have All the Great Rock Singers Gone?

    Today, 17 years after Freddie Mercury's passing, I've found myself wondering: Where have all the great rock singers gone? On Rolling Stone's list of the greatest vocalists of the rock era, the Queen frontman comes in at No. 18. I'd argue him up a few notches, but that's me. What's much more interesting about the list is that, out of one hundred entries, only five are still arguably in their recording heyday. Of those five, only one is male or fronts a band: Thom Yorke (No. 66). The others are female solo artists: Mary J. Blige (No. 100), Mariah Carey (No. 79), Björk (No. 60), and Christina Aguilera (No. 58). Think about this for a second. According to Rolling Stone, of all the frontmen making career-defining music today, Radiohead's introverted, reedy-voiced singer is the best.

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    Holiday Album Guide: GNR, Killers, Kanye, and More

    You know the holidays are near when the music biz releases new albums by Kanye West, the Killers, Scott Weiland, and Guns N' Roses all in one jam-packed week. GNR's 15-years-in-the-making Chinese Democracy arrives Sun., Nov.23; the others drop on the more-traditional Tues., Nov. 25. To help you keep your Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa shopping trip short and simple (even if it's just to Amazon and back), here's a handy guide to who on your shopping list deserves each album the most.Guns N' Roses, Chinese Democracy>> Read Review Our Take: An endless wait and $13 million in recording costs have culminated in a pretty decent, albeit predictably overblown, album. Perfect For: Your "bro" in law Why?

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    In Defense of Tender Man Love

    Megapuss' first video is more than a goofy, half-assed George Michael tribute party. The collaboration between Devendra Banhart, his pal Greg Rogove, and the Strokes' Fabrizio Moretti is a sweetly endearing, jokingly homoerotic display the likes of which hasn't been seen since, well, the latest Judd Apatow movie. Watch it now: When I first heard Devendra Banhart in 2003, I was browsing an NYU dormmate's shared iTunes library and decided to click on the unmistakably odd name. The cryptic 4-track ramblings of Oh Me Oh My... crackled through my headphones like a missive from some long-gone mystic cult, and the creepily androgynous voice -- sometimes burbling, sometimes keening -- wove mysterious spells that utterly captivated me. When he demanded "Lend Me Your Teeth," I was almost willing. A few months later, Rejoicing in the Hands was released.

  • Crystal Stilts, 'Alight of Night' (Slumberland)

    Brooklyn's Crystal Stilts filter trembling surf guitar and tambourine shakes through echoing chambers of effects until their wistful, barely-there tunes seem to dramatically float out of murky, cavernous depths. The eerie centerpiece is singer Brad Hargett's off-key mumble, which glides through buoyant anthems ("Prismatic Room," "ShatteredShine") and tranquil musings ("The City in the Sea"). But after about 20 minutes of Hargett's repetitive drone, the effect is less charming than grating, making you wish for Auto-Tune's trickle-down into indie-rock production. BUY: iTunesAmazon

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    The Sorry State of Reunions

    Reunion tours, dinosaur acts, cash factories...call them what you want, but these days, gettin' the band back together (for fun and profit!) has become a disturbing trend, especially so when vital original members are missing. Though it's up to bands (and their lawyers) to determine who owns the name, certain groups really have no business reuniting under their old moniker. After all, if you can't rally all the founding members to join in, you probably shouldn't be reaping the vast rewards of the nostalgia industrial complex. Here are some recent offenders: Smashing Pumpkins: Last week, Billy Corgan confirmed once and for all that James Iha and D'Arcy Wretzky will never rejoin the Smashing Pumpkins, who "reunited" last year and just kicked off a national tour. "I can now say definitively that [James and D'Arcy] aren't ever coming back. Period. There is no maybe.

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    AC/DC Are Back! Live Concert Review

    In my confirmation email from the record label representative, I was told that travel from Manhattan to Wilkes-Barre, PA, ("Wilkes-Berry?" "Wilkes-Bar?" Actually, it's "Wilkes-Bear-Uh") and back for an exclusive AC/DC performance Sunday night would be by VIP Bus. For those of you who don't know what a "VIP Bus" is, predictably, it's a bus that looks like a limo from the inside.

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    'Gossip Girl': The Music Grows Up -- OMFG!

    In anticipation of this week's episode of Gossip Girl, I spent a few minutes surfing its music channel on YouTube, where the featured songs of each episode are posted along with a short description of the various scenes (e.g. "Chuck and Nate lounge in grass"). A great tool for finding music, the channel has the added bonus of making songs available Monday morning, so you can hear the vibe before you watch the show. This week, Snow Patrol provide the obligatory party track.

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Now Playing
  • 1 Brandy Zdan — More of a Man " 03:33
  • 2 Tiësto & KSHMR — Secrets " 04:28
  • 3 Mercies — Every Echo " 00:00
  • 4 Jimmy Whispers — Heart Don't Know " 02:32
  • 5 GRiZ — For The Love " 04:41
  • 6 King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard — God Is in the Rhythm " 03:46
  • 7 FlatbushZOMBiES — Did U Ever Think feat. Joey BadA$$ & Issa Gold " 05:02

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