• THE COOLER

    This adventurous, late '90s music venue located in Manhattan's decrepit and industrial Meatpacking District hosted Suicide, Thurston Moore improv nights, Electro-Putas, Oneida, and other collected weirdoes. The Cooler was actually a converted meat locker that retained its dungeon-like feel with stainless steel walls, shitty sound, piss-poor lighting, an unavoidable dank musty smell, and an artsy-if-foreboding clientele. When the cow's blood was finally hosed off of the cobblestones, the neighborhood became fashionista-friendly overnight, and the venue was hassled by police until it finally closed its doors in summer of 2001 to make way for real estate. Avey Tare: Brian and I went to the Cooler and saw Christian Marclay play. I think just in terms of seeing something that like done live? This is crazy.

  • PRINCE RAMA

    In Calcutta, Prince Rama would refer to the avatar of Lord Vishnu, but in Brooklyn, Prince Rama is Taraka & Nimai Larson, two sisters reared in a Floridian Hare Krishna sect. Their band has a bit of New Age synth sheen, but the "Hare Hare" chants of this ecstatic music is undercut by heavy dose of decidedly unholy Amon Düül II drug drums. Their 2010 album Shadow Temple was produced by Avey Tare and Deakin and released on their Paw Tracks label. Avey Tare: They just kind of floored me the first time I saw them live at SXSW. I think it was like 2010, maybe. I went down there to DJ and just went down early to check out some stuff. I didn't know any of the bands and they just started playing. A lot of the best musical experiences I've had just happened suddenly and out of the blue like that.

  • LUC FERRARI

    This French electronic composer's magnetic tape wizardry took a distinct path between melody and noise in the 1960s, creating ethereal yet evocative compositions that eschewed the trappings of academia so as to sound like child's play — like the time he mashed up Stravinsky and Beethoven. He could also be a dirty old man, as his licentious 1973 piece "Danses Organiques" proved, putting the sounds of Sapphic lovers against a prepared tape piece. Abstract AnCo moments like "Loch Raven" and "Wastered" which melt acoustic sounds into electronics hearken back to his work. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Fifty Foot Hose

  • Ariel Pink / Photo by Maia Harms

    Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, 'Mature Themes' (4AD)

    Pop's wiggliest freaks are always its hungriest. Brian Wilson implored you to eat all your vegetables; Paul McCartney whipped up a confection called a Monkberry Moon Delight; Ween wanted a pork roll egg and cheese; Frank Zappa burned weenie sandwiches, made lumpy gravy, sang about jelly roll gum drops, and warned you about eating the yellow snow.

  • The Yeas have it / Photo by Anna Palma

    Yeasayer on Not Being the 'New Cool Band' Anymore

    On 2010's Odd Blood, Brooklyn-via-Baltimore crew Yeasayer was frolicking in a Merriweather Post Playground, mixing in a hefty amount of Justin Timberlake to their heady mix of bass noise, proggy time signatures, snatches of African music, and lyrics about dystopian futures. The dystopia remains firmly in place on third album Fragrant World, with its first single name-checking the Tuck-everlasting cancer cells of Henrietta Lacks. Elsewhere, the band gets funky with former POTUS Ronald Reagan's skeleton (take that, Killer Mike) — ultimately Yeasayer emerge after two years darker, twitchier, and more minimal. We found songwriters Chris Keating and Anand Wilder lounging on a bed in the Wythe Hotel, a plate of fries between them, and asked what their third album might smell like.

  • Flying Lotus / Photo by Timothy Saccenti

    Flying Lotus Surprised by Thom Yorke's 'Until the Quiet Comes' Cameo

    Electronic polymath Flying Lotus is taking a meeting with an underground L.A. rapper in his Mt. Washington, California, home. Did he bring any of his music for FlyLo to hear? Well, no, but he does go into a particularly Californian spiel about how he wants to have him on as executive producer for a project bigger than music, that could have crossover with fashion and video, embracing everything happening in L.A. at the moment, perhaps even including icons like Grace Jones and David Bowie. "What about that one CD you played me two years ago?" Flying Lotus asks, slightly exasperated yet clearly interested. "What's up with that?" The rapper digresses once again, instead envisioning something with "lots of emotion in the lyrics and some hard hip-hop beats." Instead of something vague and abstract, Flying Lotus clearly wants something tactile and concrete.

  • The Very Best, 'MTMTMK' (Moshi Moshi)

    In the 27 years since Paul Simon violated the cultural embargo imposed by the African National Congress, traveling to the apartheid nation of South Africa and seeking out jive-playing Johannesburg locals like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the world has turned upside-down. Despite criticism of the move — which angered anti-apartheid activists like Dali Tambo and authenticity-minded music critics alike — the rudderless singer-songwriter got his groove back with 1986's resulting Graceland to the tune of 14 million records sold, multiple Grammys, and plenty of year-end love from not-so-authenticity-minded critics.

  • Liars, 'WIXIW' (Mute)

    Has there ever been a conceptual art project (doubling as a rock band, tripling as a Trojan horse) more confounding and successful than Liars? Or a more appropriately named band, given that the shape-shifting trio carefully erects aesthetic parameters with each new studio album, only to gleefully pulverize them, burying listeners and their misguided expectations, every time? There's so much lurking in the rubble within the band's @Discographies-stumping discography: ESG, PiL, This Heat, the Jesus and Mary Chain.

  • Kindness: Killin' em.

    Kindness, 'World, You Need a Change of Mind' (Female Energy/Polydor)

    When the New York Times recently raved about World, You Need a Change of Mind, the debut by Peterborough-born Brit Adam Bainbridge under the name Kindness, critic Jon Caramanica noted the "proper four-on-the-floor exuberance" of a "modern disco record." Yet, considering the album's astonishing maturity, there's far more going on than some faithful approximation of disco's late-'70s heyday: A full four decades of the genre's myriad shapes and throbs are coursing through Bainbridge's lithe, boyish frame. Take the album title itself, a play on what's often considered the first proper disco song, ex-Temptation Eddie Kendricks' "Girl You Need a Change of Mind," whose eight minutes — including a lengthy rhythmic breakdown and buildup — soundtracked David Mancuso's earliest Loft parties.

  • Chromatics, 'Kill for Love' (Italians Do It Better)

    In the winter of 2007, while being interviewed for a SPIN story on the disco revival, Johnny Jewel talked about how that genre — early-'80s Italo-disco, in particular — had influenced his bands Glass Candy and Chromatics, plus the Italians Do It Better label that he still runs with Mike Simonetti. But instead of accentuating the music’s traditional dance-floor hedonism, Jewel gravitated toward its underlying textures: "Disco is like wallpaper, in a good way.

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