• Leonard Cohen

    Leonard Cohen Testifies to Awfulness of Ex-Manager

    Longstanding legal woes between Leonard Cohen and his former business manager, Kelley Lynch, continued last Friday when the soulful baritone testified against Lynch in an L.A. court, alleging that she sent a barrage of menacing e-mails and voice messages that made him fear for his safety. "Every time I see a car slow down, I get worried," the 77-year-old Canadian music icon told L.A. County Superior Court, where Lynch is on trial for violating restraining orders and sending Cohen and his associates thousands of threatening e-mails. "My sense of alarm has increased over the years as the volume of e-mails has increased." The alleged harassment dates back to 2004, shortly after Cohen fired Lynch, his longtime manager and one-time fling, upon discovering his accounts had been nearly drained while he was holed up in a California Zen monastery.

  • Bowerbirds' Phil Moore and Beth Tacular / Photo by D.L. Anderson

    Bowerbirds on the Power of Paul Simon and Parasites

    For a couple intent on living a simple life in a cabin in the woods of North Carolina, Bowerbirds' Phil Moore and Beth Tacular have had a complicated few years. First, there was a messy mid-tour split that left them reeling (and their bystander bandmate, violinist Mark Paulson, ready to jump out of the van.) Then, while navigating single life for the first time in half a decade, Tacular fell and broke her ribs. To cap it all off, months later during their long, arduous road back to couplehood, Tacular was struck by a sudden (and undisclosed) illness that sent her to hospital where she spent five days staving off liver and kidney damage. But somewhere amidst the heartache and health scares, the pair found the push they needed to begin crafting songs for the new The Clearing, their stunning third LP, which the band is currently supporting on a European tour.

  • Florence Welch

    Inside Florence + the Machine's 'Unplugged' Taping

    Florence Welch's fiery alto sounds especially dramatic under the ornate, arched roof of a 19th-century Gothic revival synagogue, a few hundred fans learned during a taping of an MTV Unplugged session, set to kick off the series' 2012 season April 8. Around 300 people crammed into rows of gold seats in Manhattan's Angel Orensanz Foundation — home to the former Ansche Chesed Synagogue, built in 1849 — last December for an intimate Florence + the Machine show that featured songs from her hit debut Lungs and last year's celebrated Ceremonials in equal helpings. The stunning setting was lit with flickering candles lining the stage, strings of lights draped haphazardly behind the drum kit, and strange, bulbous chandeliers that hung precariously from an overhead beam.

  • Led Er Est / Photo by Nikki Sneakers

    Hear Led Er Est Channel Tragedy Into New LP 'The Diver'

    Spacey synth trio Led Er Est were in the middle of writing and recording tracks for their second LP last summer when tragedy struck singer/guitarist/bassist Sam Kklovenhoof's family — his sister died suddenly in car accident. "I got knocked back pretty badly," Kklovenhoof says from his new home in Austin, across the country from his New York bandmates, Shawn O’Sullivan (synths, drum machine) and Owen Stokes (synths, samples.) "The direction of the songwriting, lyrically, for me took a whole different turn after that. I think some of the more emotional moments on the record have to do with that." The Diver, dedicated to his late sibling, is a dark, unsettling aural narrative that climaxes in haunting tension and warped dance beats before mellowing to a somber close.

  • Feist / Photo by Sonia Recchia/WireImage

    Feist Wins Big at 2012 Juno Awards

    The 2012 installment of Canada’s Juno Awards might have been riddled with Great White North stereotypes — Nickelback opened last night's show, which took place in a hockey arena in the country's capital city and featured a pre-taped message from an absent Justin Bieber ૼ but not resembling the Grammys may not be such a bad thing. Feist, now somewhat of a veteran in the Canadian music scene, took home Artist of the Year and Adult Alternative Album of the Year for 2011's understated pop offering Metals, while bearded Vancouver baritone Dan Mangan won best new artist with his breakthrough Oh Fortune, and shaggy '70s throwback act Sheepdogs scored a hat trick with best single, best new group, and best rock album for their Learn & Burn. "I'm just in shock," Feist told the Canadian Broadcast Corporation afterwards. "All I can do is express genuine gratitude...

  • The Men

    The Men on the Music That Inspired 'Open Your Heart'

    After three excellent releases in as many years, the Men should be finding it difficult to hide from those foolish enough to try Googling them. The ultra-prolific Brooklyn post-punk ruffians' latest full-length leap, Open Your Heart was declared one of SPIN's most anticipated winter albums, earning praise for paring back their once-frightening waves of guitar feedback (only a little!) in order to allow for some light, be it in the form of a surf riffs or some country twang. As it turns out, the quartet found themselves largely inspired The Greats. SPIN caught up with vocalist/guitarist Nick Chiericozzi and guitarist Mark Perro to find out more: The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street Touted by the, um, resilient Keith Richards as "the first grunge record," the scrappy heart of this 1972 double LP resonated with the Men.

  • Jono Chanin

    Freelance Whales Find Inspiration in New Sounds, Pseudo-Science for Next LP

    Doris Cellar is unintentionally dusting the zither. Freelance Whales frontman Judah Dadone, her bandmate, had been plucking the massive string instrument a few moment earlier behind a glass door while the rest of the band listened in a control room nearby, producer Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells, Fucked Up) laying its exotic plinks over bouncy synth, banjo twang and soft, almost inaudible vocals. "I wonder what it sounds like when you hit it," Cellar muses suddenly, to no one in particular, before picking up a stray lint roller and taking Dadone's spot. A gentle, shimmering sound emerges as she taps it, but the roller clings to the strings. "I'm cleaning it," she laughs. Dadone spins around: "Thanks!

  • Jennifer Castle / Photo by David Clarke

    Jennifer Castle Talks About Gorgeous 'Castlemusic'

    Jennifer Castle might be best known south of the Canadian border for warning Fucked Up fans — in a sweet, lilting refrain, it should be said — that they're "dying on the inside." But now, the Canadian singer-songwriter is finally introducing Americans to statements of her own. Though Castlemusic, a nod to her former moniker, was released nearly a year ago in her home country via Calgary boutique label Flemish Eye, the record is making its U.S. debut today on No Quarter Records. "I haven't listened to it that much since I put it out," Castle admits. "Because I mostly play solo, I always play songs the way I'm feeling at the time.

  • Christopher Reimer of Women

    Christopher Reimer, Guitarist for Canadian Indie Band Women, Dead at 26

    Christopher Reimer, guitarist for the lo-fi Canadian noise-pop band Women and touring member of the Dodos, died in his sleep Tuesday at age 26. His cause of death has not been released, but according to Flemish Eye, the band's Canadian label, Reimer suffered from a heart condition, along with other health problems. Says label founder Ian Russell in in a statement, "Chris left an impression on people all over two continents as he toured with Women and later with the Dodos, and people will remember his easy laugh, his generous nature and his wicked sense of humour." Jagaguwar, Women's American label, also paid tribute to Reimer on their site Wednesday morning. "We're shocked and saddened to hear about [his] passing," a post reads.

  • [Photo: Paul Bergen/Redferns]

    D'Angelo Is Recording Tracks, Eating Seafood

    Understandably skeptical D'Angelo fans might brush off new details that the beleaguered R&B singer is in studio sucking back Jamba Juice and listening to Led Zep while finishing the long-awaited follow-up to 2000's Voodoo. But producer Russell Elevado reports that is actually happening, the record is really is close to complete — and it sounds unlike anything he's ever heard. "He wants to finish it as soon as possible," Elevado told MTV Hive.

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