• Tanlines / Photo by James Ryang

    Tanlines: Electro-Pop Wise Guys Wink at Life's Bummers

    Who: Veteran Brooklyn musicians Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm were between projects (Professor Murder and Don Caballero, respectively) in 2008 when they posted a one-off track crafted for a friend's art project online. "New Flowers," a furious mesh of skittering drums and atmospheric vocals, caught the ear of taste-making U.K. imprint Young Turks (home to SBTRKT and the xx) who offered to release it as a single, thus transforming Tanlines from studio experiment to full-blown band. "The fact that a complete stranger whose job it is to care about music was like, 'I want to do something with this,' definitely made us feel like, if we could do this when we're just sort of messing around, what could we do if we were taking it more seriously?" Cohen says. To that end, the pair took their time slowly piecing together their debut LP, Mixed Emotions, released in March via True Panther.

  • volcano! / Photo by Stephanie Bassos

    Hear volcano!'s Full Kaleidoscopic 'Pinata'

    For the first installment of their tongue-in-cheek YouTube video series debuting new songs from their third album, Piñata, out June 12 via the Leaf Label, Chicago art-rock trio volcano! choreographed a dance. In the clip, Aaron With, the band's singer and guitarist, turns from tapping a tambourine to explain the (fictional) origins of "Fighter," a herky-jerky pop track that includes the line "I wish I could turn my hands into knives." "We had a dance that we did in silence called the Knife Hands Dance, and we had to do our dance in silence because we didn't have a song to go with [it]," With deadpans. "We wrote the song "Fighter" to go with the dance." Naturally, the camera cuts to the group, clad in jeans and white T-shirts, demonstrating the ridiculous steps. "It was actually really hard," Sam Scranton, the band's drummer, says, laughing.

  • Magic Trick

    Hear Magic Trick's Heavy 'Invisible at Midnight': Behind the Fresh & Onlys Side Project

    In an attempt to lighten the weighty mood on Magic Tricks' forthcoming Ruler of the Night, the avant-folk crew's frontman, Tim Cohen, turned to a pun. "There's a guy on the cover — I guess it's me — getting tortured in a town square," he deadpans. "It was like, 'Why don't we make people think we're talking about an actual ruler?' " He's referring to the grade-school measurement tool, which Cohen and his group's Hardly Art label decided to include with preordered albums. "I thought it was hilarious," the 35-year-old adds. "I think having something silly puts people at ease.

  • Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra / Photo by Kyle Cassidy

    Hear Amanda Palmer's Kickstarter-Assisted 'Want It Back'

    On Tuesday morning, Amanda Palmer sent out a celebratory tweet of a photo with the words "One Fucking Million" painted on her bare chest and a blissful smile plastered on her face. With two days to spare, the art-punk provocateur raised over $1 million from nearly 22,000 fans on Kickstarter for Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra, her first album in four years, as well as an accompanying book that features commissioned paintings. "The moral at the end of the day is it pretty much all gets spent," she told SPIN hours after receiving the good news. "No hookers and blow for Amanda — not until next year." Illicit vices aside, Palmer talked about fan funding, the role of record labels, and her new album, set for an independent September release. She also shared "Want It Back," a pulsing pop cut from the forthcoming record, streaming exclusively here.

  • James Murphy / Photo by Kathryn Yu

    LCD Soundsystem Doc Hits Theaters for One Day: July 18

    Prepare for yet another round of LCD Soundsystem ticketing madness: Shut Up and Play the Hits, the long-awaited documentary capturing the band’s instantly sold-out final show at Madison Square Garden last April, will play for one night only in theaters across the U.S. The film is being distributed by the late Adam Yauch’s Oscilloscope Laboratories, and tickets for the July 18 screening will go on sale at select theaters June 8. But there’s hope for far-flung fans too. According to the film’s website, additional showings can be requested, though there's no details on dates. The doc, directed by Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern, trails Murphy for the 48 hours that sandwich the band’s finale, during which he weeps, attempts to brew his own coffee, and, of course, leads a four-hour arena dance party, reveals a SPIN review from the film's Sundance premiere.

  • Alice Cooper / Kevin Mazur/WireImage

    There Will Be Blood at Bonnaroo Says (Duh) Alice Cooper

    Alice Cooper has a warning for fans planning to check out his midnight Bonnaroo set. "If you're in the first 20 rows you'll probably get some blood on you," the gory hard rock legend told a group of journalists during a recent festival conference call about the eclectic 2012 event, featuring everyone from Radiohead to Kenny Rogers and Phish performing at a sprawling Manchester, Tennessee farm from June 7–10. "The band is probably the best band I've ever had — [They] have the instructions, ‘Kill the audience.' " Cooper adds he's looking forward to schooling the folk-loving kids in the crowd about rock ‘n' roll. "I think they might be expecting the old scary skinny guy. We're going to go up there and do a real Alice Cooper show," he says.

  • Justice / Photo by Pedro Winter

    Holy Ship!! Reveals 2013 Lineup: Justice, Diplo, More

    The festival so exciting it requires not one, but two exclamation points in its name — floating electronic dance music cruise Holy Ship!! — has announced its lineup for its second installment, taking place January 4-7 next year. Headliners on the Bahamas-bound boat include a DJ set by Justice, Boys Noize, Major Lazer, Knife Party, along with dozens of other EDM staples. A-Trak, Diplo, and Gina Turner (who last time led morning yoga classes!) are also making repeat appearances after performing on the maiden voyage, which drew 2,500 fans earlier this year. The boat launches from Ft. Lauderdale and will shake up the seas all the way Nassau, Bahamas, before docking on a private island for a beach party. Pre-booked fans will receive a token May 22 with a time slot to reserve a cabin; token-holders can book up until June 20 when the wait list will open up.

  • Hear Young Moon's Chilling 'Wind's Light'

    Hear Young Moon's Chilling 'Wind's Light'

    San Francisco-based brooder Trevor Montgomery might work as a tile setter by day, but at night he crafts chilling synth-pop inspired by a troubled childhood — and the John Hughes movies in which he sought escape — as Young Moon. On "Wind’s Light," a cut from Navigated Like the Swan (due July 24 on Western Vinyl), Montgomery splays a heartbroken baritone atop twinkling synths and a ramshackle beat, pleading for love with the sort of dead-eyed abandon of someone who once knew better.

  • Friends

    Watch Friends' Campy 'Mind Control' Clip

    For the third clip from their forthcoming Manifest! (due June 5 on Fat Possum) Brooklyn art-pop quintet Friends drew inspiration from campy '80s sci-fi movies, casting singer Samantha Urbani as Big Brother in lip gloss. The Hiro Murai-directed clip for album cut "Mind Control" is packed with special effects — a swirling kaleidoscope of limbs, zombie TV anchors, and some surveillance cams in snazzy suits — and saves one of its best trick for last as Urbani's floating mouth slurps up some slovenly couch potato’s eyeballs.

  • Nu Sensae

    Listen to Nu Sensae's Blistering 'Swim'

    Just before a North American trek alongside EMA, Vancouver noise-punks Nu Sensae decided to become a trio, adding a guitarist to their bass and drum setup in an effort to flesh out their already blistering freakouts. And on "Swim," a first listen from their sophomore album, Sundowning (due August 7 via Suicide Squeeze Records) the difference is colossal, bassist/vocalist Andrea Lukic caterwauling over racing riffs and Tommy Gun drums. Hear it now: Nu Sensae Tour Dates: May 23 – Vancouver, BC @ The Commodore Ballroom (with Best Coast) May 31 – Portland, OR @ The Tube June 2 – San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout June 5 – Costa Mesa, CA @ The Observatory June 6 – San Diego, CA @ Tin Can June 8 – Oakland, CA @ 1234 GO!

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