• Crocodiles' Brandon Welchez on Pogo Sticks and Drug Jokes

    Crocodiles' Brandon Welchez on Pogo Sticks and Drug Jokes

    On their first two albums, 2009's Summer of Hate and the following year's Sleep Forever, Crocodiles established themselves as among the best of the many young bands to follow the Jesus and Mary Chain's fuzzy trail. On the new Endless Flowers the stylish San Diegans have dialed up the pop melody and pulled the needle ever so slightly out of the red. Fresh off chatting with a German radio DJ — the band is currently on tour in Europe (they'll be back Stateside on June 10) — frontman Brandon Welchez Welchez took a break to talk with SPIN about his favorite things, from bewitching roommates and Mexican strip clubs to the legendary, perhaps apocryphal, Finneas K. Beauregard. Favorite TV Show: The Kids in the Hall from Canada. When I was in middle school it was on Comedy Central in the afternoons in a block of like two or three hours.

  • Laura Marling / Photograph by Lucy Hamblin

    Laura Marling Often Thinks About Death (and German Water Nymphs)

    Life doesn't come easy for Laura Marling. On 2011's enchanting, unsettling A Creature I Don't Know, the London singer-songwriter cooed, in hushed, pure tones, hard-won stories of love and loss set to crystalline acoustic guitar-led folk rock. It's captivating stuff, no less so live. (A U.S. tour kicks off at Bonnaroo on June 8.) We caught up with the precocious Marling, 22, via phone while she was at home, taking a break from working on material for a new album — tentatively due at the end of the year — to chat about the very serious sources of her inspiration, from literature to German water nymphs. Newspapers and Books I find literature just so mind-boggling. Right at this second I'm reading Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. Recently I also read a collection of Raymond Carver short stories.

  • Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt Is a Huge ABBA Fan

    Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt Is a Huge ABBA Fan

    Spring and summer are shaping up nicely for Opeth frontman, Mikael Åkerfeldt. In April, four of his creatively restless Swedish band's classic albums got the deluxe reissue treatment. Then the band hit the road with their American metal brethren in Mastodon for a tour that wrapped May 12 in Atlanta. May also brought the release of the experimental, self-titled Storm Corrosion, Åkerfeldt's collaboration with Porcupine Tree mastermind Steven Wilson. Starting in June, Opeth will rain their astonishingly complex, emotionally gripping prog-hard rock-metal hybrid down upon European stages. In the wake of all that activity, the resilient singer-guitarist took a moment to tell us about the things that keep him going, from fire eels to a certain Swedish quartet. Favorite thing to do on tour between shows: On tour I go out and get records every day.

  • Tanlines' Jesse Cohen (at left) / Photo by Shawn Brackbill

    Tanlines' Jesse Cohen Is Obsessed With Old Jewish Photographs

    When Tanlines' percussionist Jesse Cohen isn't enticing staid graybeards to gyrate to his band's synth-laden dance-pop, you can find him scouring over antiquated photographs in a private Manhattan library. Cohen doesn't moonlight as a bartender or guitar-store employee like so many other musicians. Instead he follows his bliss by working as an archivist of early 20th century Jewish and Yiddish photographs at the venerable Yivo Institute for Jewish Research. "In college I studied Eastern European History and Jewish history," Cohen explains, speaking on the phone from the band's van. (He and bandmate Eric Emm are currently on a West Coast tour.) "When I finished college, I got a job working at this library as a researcher, and from there I became a photo archivist.

  • Chairlift's Caroline Polachek

    Direct Your Own Version of Chairlift's 'Met Before' Clip

    Following in the tradition of Arcade Fire's interactive clips for The Suburbs tracks "We Used to Wait" and "Sprawl II," and Andy Grammer's MTV O Award-winning "Keep Your Head Up," Chairlift and Brooklyn-based production company m ss ng p eces have released a new clip modeled after the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series of children's books. The band's new "Met Before" video (off this year’s Something) gives intrepid viewers the ability to virtually create their own music video by choosing between two arrows that appear onscreen roughly every 20-30 seconds. Director Jordan Fish won’t divulge in detail how many different routes Chairlift's video may take, but according to m ss ng p eces' website, you may “seamlessly guide the story through a multitude of possible paths of scientific and sexual discovery.

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