• Dan Auerbach / Photo by Reid Long

    Upcoming Documentary Explores Black Keys' Bromance

    The director of a forthcoming Black Keys documentary says he has no plans to make the rock stars look like, well, rock stars. Instead, the untitled endeavor will be "a buddy comedy with perhaps the greatest soundtrack of all time." "A lot of music documentaries spend too much time trying to make people look cool," says Noah Abrams, filmmaker, photographer, and friend of the band. "I'm fortunate enough to know both these guys pretty well and their relationship is pretty incredible and very funny." Abrams has been on the road with the blues rockers since January when they kicked off their El Camino world tour in Manchester, England. Since then, they've traversed Europe, the U.S. and, currently, they're winding their way across Canada, selling out shows at nearly every stop. "They're guys that grew up around the corner from each other.

  • Violens

    Stream Violens' Full 'True' LP, Get the Story Behind Each Song

    Flush with demos and dreading the between-album lull, last year Brooklyn synth-pop trio Violens decided to post a song a month online to test out production ideas and gauge fan reaction. "We did some writing on tour together, just kind of passing the laptop around," says frontman Jorge Elbrecht. "We ended up with 30 or 40 demos or ideas from that." In the end, four of those tracks wound up on their dark, hazy sophomore release, True, due May 15 on Slumberland Records. Elbrecht and Iddo Arad (synth, guitar, backing vocals) talked us through tracks — read their stories behind the disc while listening to its premiere right here: "Totally True" Elbrecht: "That song is about being in some sort of relationship with someone who has a drug problem and is unfaithful, but the lyrics are pretty abstracted from that. It's not really meant to clearly tell the story.

  • Dan Mangan / Photo by Jonathan Taggart

    Quietly Booming: Meet Rising Folk-Rocker Dan Mangan

    At first, Grant Lawrence was skeptical about the strange, bearded singer-songwriter who seemed intent on ruining his Christmas party. As a veteran Vancouver punk rocker and host on CBC Radio 3, a publicly run station exclusively dedicated to airing Canadian indie music, Lawrence's annual holiday gatherings drew music biz types from around the city to his apartment where they would take in acoustic sets by local bands then inevitably drink too much. But around 11 p.m. — long after the guitars were stowed and the booze was flowing — when his pals in indie-pop outfit Said the Whale requested he turn down the stereo to give an unknown eager beardo, Dan Mangan, a chance to sing, Lawrence was reluctant. "I'm like, 'This is going to be awful.' But the Said the Whale guys said, 'No, no no. You've got to trust us. Let this guy play,' " remembers Lawrence.

  • Patrick Watson and hat / Paul Bergen/Redferns

    Patrick Watson Is Mad About Hats

    Montreal folk warbler Patrick Watson isn't built like the rest of us. Sure, he might view the world a little differently — namely, rife with inspiration for his vibrant, cinematic chamber-pop — but physically, he hints, there might be some, uh, deviations. "Hats, for me, are what keep your brain in your head," he says over the phone from small town France where he and his band are playing a festival date on their European tour. "So they're really important." Cranial matters aside, Watson's beloved collection of headwear plays an important role shielding him from the vulnerability of performing. "When I play shows I'm a pretty generous performer. I talk to the audience. It's fun, easy going stuff like that. I definitely wouldn't do that if I wasn't wearing a good hat. It's like I have this space on stage when I need it.

  • Braids Go Darkly Digital For New Album

    Braids Go Darkly Digital For New Album

    The mood might occasionally turn dark inside Braids' Montreal garage studio, but the dream-pop quartet are intent on working in comfort. "It's a fully isolated sound room," says Austin Tufts, drummer, vocalist, and tenant of the attached home in the city's Outremont neighborhood. "We made it into a rehearsal space so that we could prepare for our tours and have a functional jam space, but then we went down and did a lot of sound treatment and an aesthetic renovation, painting it and installing new lights to make it a comfortable environment to be in for six hours a day." The group has been holed up there since January, simultaneously writing and recording new tracks for the follow-up to their Polaris Prize shortlisted debut, Native Speaker.

  • Perfume Genius

    Watch Perfume Genius Hang With Mom in 'Dark Parts' Clip

    In a track-by-track breakdown of his recent Put Your Back N 2 It LP, Mike Hadreas, the falsetto-bearing heartbreaker better known as Perfume Genius, says he penned the relatively upbeat "Dark Parts" for his mom, "to remind her how strong and beautiful and loved she is." Fittingly, Carmen Hadreas-Boggs stars alongside her son in the adorable, puppy-packed video for the track. Directed by Winston H. Case, who was also behind the stunning clip for the Hadreas' "Hood" clip, it features mother and son cradling pooches, playing Scrabble, and participating in a choreographed dance around a campfire with a masked man. You know, typical family time.

  • Purity Ring

    Purity Ring Release New Track 'Obedear,' Info on Debut LP

    Shortly after midnight, crafty electro-pop duo Purity Ring pointed Twitter followers to their website, where they unveiled "Obedear," a new, synth-soaked cut from their forthcoming debut full-length. Dubbed Shrines, the record is slated to be released by 4AD and Last Gang on July 24, nearly 10 months after the pair first earned buzz for two singles they released online. "Obedeear" finds vocalist Megan James’ honeyed vocals spliced together with rumbling baritone, sporadic plinks and low, ghostly moans — the same hiccuping torrent that marked its aforementioned (and haunting) predecessors, "Belispeak" and "Ungirthed." Listen to the track below or over at Purity Ring's web site.

  • Dan Boeckner / Photo by Christopher Nelson

    Handsome Furs' Dan Boeckner Scoring John Cusack's 'Adult World'

    Handsome Furs power yelper Dan Boeckner is multitasking, penning the score for a film starring John Cusack and Emma Roberts. Adult World director Scott Coffey tweeted last week that he was "thrilled" to have the former Wolf Parade co-frontman soundtrack his indie flick, starring Julia Roberts' niece Emma (Nancy Drew, Lymelife) as a disillusioned post-grad poet paying off her student debt by working at an erotic book store. Coffey, who is better known for his on-screen work in everything from Ferris Bueller's Day Off to Mulholland Dr., has directed videos both for Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, including last year's extremely NSFW "What About Us" clip.

  • Adele

    Speechless: 5 Artists Recently Sidelined With Throat Problems

    Just a week ago, Kathleen Edwards revealed she has fallen victim to the throat drama plaguing so many singers in recent months. "No voice. No show," Edwards tweeted, announcing that concerts in several Canadian prairie cities, as well as a Minneapolis gig, have been canceled. Today we can add Rod Stewart to the pile of artists on the DL. His sore throat means the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is down one high-profile reunion, as the Faces will be Stewart-free tomorrow night. Here are five others who have had to kick back and, uh, ice (we don't know! we type all day!) their weary vocal cords in the past few months: • After single-handedly giving a boost to the ailing record industry with her ridiculously popular 21, Adele was forced to scrap her U.S. tour last fall to undergo surgery for her well-worn, hemorrhaged vocal cords.

  • <i>Promises Remixes</i>

    Get Calvin Harris' Remix of Nero's 'Promises'

    Although London dubstep duo Nero have already collaborated with Skrillex, the genre's current kingpin, on a remix of their U.K. hit "Promises," Scottish DJ Calvin Harris — who helped Rihanna find love in a hopeless place — has decided to stamp his trademark disco flavor on the track as well. Harris tacked on an extra two minutes of skittering synth and rib-rattling bass, slowed down the sticky-sweet vocals, and turned this lover's pledge into a call to the dance floor. Weaving in shimmering explosions and wild wails, it's not hard to imagine an entire stadium of revelers lost in the beat.

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