Abigail Everdell

  • Various Artists, 'The World's Lousy With Ideas Vol. 8' (Almost Ready)

    Since 2007, the World's Lousy series, compiled by Brooklyn obsessive Harry Howes, has excavated worthy punk/garage/shitgaze lesser-knowns (including Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Pink Noise) on three- or four-song, limited-run seven-inches. The inaugural full-length gathers exclusive cuts from more prominent, scene-making groups. The result is a sort of (Jay) Reatard Nation manifesto, surveying a range of sounds bubbling up through the underground's fuzz- muck -- from Thee Oh Sees' rollicking psych to Times New Viking's cement-basement pop to Blank Dogs' warped semi-goth. A vital document of the lo-fi renaissance.

  • Crocodiles, 'Summer of Hate' (Fat Possum)

    Through drum-machine slaps and guitarist Charles Rowell's fuzzy, pulsating chords, Crocodiles' other half, Brandon Welchez (a dead ringer for Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There), sings the isolation of a sunglasses-at-night cynic in an oppressively daytime town -- their native San Diego. But over 34 irresistible minutes, Summer of Hate has as many barbed, house-party hooks as nihilistic blasts: The title track's disaffected escapism can't outrun its own infectiousness ("I'm dyyyin'," Welchez wails), and the caustic feedback shrieks of "I Wanna Kill" only force the kids to shout their anthem louder: "I want to kill tonight!" Listen: Crocodiles, "I Wanna Kill" (DOWNLOAD MP3) BUY: iTunesAmazon

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    David Byrne, Sharon Jones, Feist Rock for Charity

    David Byrne, the National, Feist, Bon Iver, and Sharon Jones, among others, performed at New York's Radio City Music Hall Sunday night for Dark Was the Night Live, a celebration of AIDS/HIV awareness organization Red Hot's compilation of the same name. And what a celebration it was, with over two hours of collaborations (Byrne and Dirty Projectors! Feist and Bon Iver!) -- and Jones' show-stealing performance! Despite a seated, mostly sober audience, iffy sound, and songs that were often being played live for the first time, the hip 20-and-30-something audience got what they came for: A jovial indie rock revue, carried above its flaws by the enthusiasm of devoted performers who knew that, this time, it was all for a greater good. The curtain rose on prog-pop band Dirty Projectors, who established a theme for the night with their precise vocal harmonies.

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    The Warner Music/YouTube Breakup and the Future of Online Video

    Last Christmas Eve, singer Amanda Palmer posted a message on her blog: "If you hadn't noticed, all of the Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer official videos have been taken off YouTube. I loved my videos. Now they are gone...Did I mention that being on a major label is starting to seem like...not such a grand idea?" Palmer, who records for Roadrunner Records, is one of hundreds of Warner Music Group artists -- including Madonna, Green Day, and the White Stripes -- whose music videos are no longer available on YouTube. The reason? Money. YouTube's licensing agreement with WMG expired in mid-2008, and after Warner pushed for a bigger slice of the site's ad-revenue pie, YouTube said no thanks. The disruption incensed YouTube's users and laid bare the record industry's frustrated struggle to turn massive exposure into tangible profits.

  • Crystal Antlers, 'Tentacles' (Touch And Go)

    In 2008, this SoCal stoner-rock sextet joined the troika of excellent Crystal bands (Castles, Stilts) on the strength of a self-released EP (produced by Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens) and a relentless touring ethic. The group's first full-length channels their proggy percussion, guitar deluges, and spectral organ into a bluesier, more anxiously desperate quest for catharsis. But their absolute focus liberates them, as bursts of chaotic instrumentation coalesce behind Jonny Bell's frayed yowls on the patiently unfolding psych of "Andrew" and "Memorized." His intense lament on "Time Erased" -- "Now it's too late / To find our way back home" -- sounds as inspiring as it is ominous. BUY: iTunesAmazon

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    Stars Sing to Save Children's Lives

    Next Tuesday, War Child International will release Heroes, a compilation of younger artists (Beck, Duffy, TV on the Radio) covering songs by superstars (Bob Dylan, the Ramones, David Bowie), with the proceeds going to aid children in war-torn countries like Afghanistan and Sudan. For music fans looking to do good, it's a worthy way to spend $10. Sixteen songs on your iPod sure beat the usual charity tote bag. But is Heroes actually a good album? What makes it interesting is the concept: The original acts hand-picked the younger performers they trusted most to interpret their work. So Blondie chose Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand to perform "Call Me," Roxy Music tapped electro-glam group Scissor Sistors for "Do the Strand," and Bruce Springsteen favored (surprise!) lyrical storytellers the Hold Steady to take on "Atlantic City." The intended result?

  • Ty Segall, 'Ty Segall' (Castle Face)

    This San Francisco 21-year-old follows garage rock's lo-fi philosophy very strictly. The guitar, bass drum, high-hat, tambourine, and rollicking vocals on his debut album -- for which he is solely responsible -- are barely comprehensible through curtains of crackling distortion (though on the mellow album closer, "An Ill Jest," he flashes a surprisingly sweet tenor). But warped sonics do nothing to diminish the impact of his vigorously nostalgic riff and stomp. From paranoid whistler "Watching You" to the huge, fuzzy pound of "The Drag," Segall thunders along with the timeless, impudently rowdy energy of a cement basement dance-off. BUY: iTunesAmazon

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    6 Thoughts About the Offbeat Grammys

    Sunday night, while you're watching all the one-of-a-kind Grammy Awards performances and belting a shot of tequila every time Lil Wayne's name is mentioned, take a minute to remember the 100 or so other Grammy winners who aren't considered important enough to appear on the Big Show (CBS, 8 p.m.). Polka? Banda? Best Album Packaging? Contemporary Folk? Christian Rap? Best Surround Sound Album? What does it all mean and why should you care? Six thoughts: 1. And by "Contemporary Folk" You Mean "Old Folks"?The average age of the contemporary folk nominees is a ripe 57.5 years. And the category would be even craggier if Alison Krauss, 37, hadn't kindly agreed to join the AARP brigade (of course she had to bring along her dad, Robert Plant, 60). If this is "contemporary" folk then Fleet Foxes must be... from the future? 2.

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    Be Your Own Pet's Jemina Pearl Goes Solo in NYC

    "Back from the dead, motherfuckers!" declared Jemina Pearl, former frontwoman of Nashville, TN, punk band Be Your Own Pet, who premiered seven songs during her first-ever solo performance Saturday at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. Her gig -- an opening slot for '90s grunge rockers the Fluid -- showcased tunes off her upcoming album on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label. And if the record stays true to the performance, Pearl's yet-to-be titled debut will attempt to capture the raw, youthful punk of BYOP.

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    The Ringleaders: The King Khan & BBQ Show

    Arish "King" Khan, 32, describes his current stagewear as "a mix between Cleopatra and Rick James." Just picture a long-limbed, beer-bellied, pencil-mustached Indian Canadian in sequin-belted hot pants, layers of chains, a pouffed black pageboy wig with a gold headband, foam genie shoes, and a gold lamé veil, duck-walking his guitar across the stage. "He's the guy who's gonna make everyone go bananas," says partner Mark "BBQ" Sultan, 35, stationary yin to Khan's hyperkinetic yang, sporting a relatively modest pink turban and cape while playing rhythm guitar and stomping a bass drum, snare, and tambourine, all at the same time. "I'm glad to be sitting and just concentrating on the songs." The duo met in their native Montreal and played in the short-lived punk band the Spaceshits.

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