Chris Martins



  • David Bowie Freddy Mercury 'Under Pressure' a Cappella

    David Bowie and Freddie Mercury Sound Even More Incredible Without Music

    Queen and David Bowie's 1981 collaborative single "Under Pressure" is a helluva listen — a perennial classic so fantastic that its good name remains intact long after Vanilla Ice sampled the thing for his lamentable breakout, "Ice Ice Baby." Yes, that bouncy little bass line and those chiming keys had much to do with the song's success, but at its heart are two incredible voices intertwined: Bowie and Freddie Mercury, locked in an acrobatic pirouette of glorious opposites for all of eternity. So as powerful as the actual song is, there's something extra magical about pulling back all of the instrumentation to reveal its glowing core.Below, you'll find the isolated vocals from "Under Pressure," uploaded to YouTube in 2011 but recently rediscovered by Open Culture.

  • Thom Yorke at Coachella 2013

    Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich Are DJing the Internet

    Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich have been doing their "two turntables and a microphone" act intermittently since Atoms for Peace wrapped up their debut album Amok. Performing a beefed-up version of the traditional DJ set, they've gone the way of the modern bedroom beatsmith, recreating their songs live using laptops, modulators, the occasional instrument and, of course, the Radiohead main brain's golden vocals. They also play a lot of great songs by other people, because they have heard every excellent song on Earth and know exactly what your ears need on this week-capping day of days. Although a series of full-band live dates are on the way — the boys have been rehearsing, after all — Yorke and Godrich have stepped out of practice to gift iconic Southern California public radio station KCRW with a full set of broken beats, select selections, and wonderful howling.

  • Queens of the Stone Age Letterman 'I Sat By the Ocean' Video

    Letterman Asks to Join Queens of the Stone Age in 'I Sat By the Ocean' Clip

    Queens of the Stone Age are apparently aiming to be the Justin Timberlake to David Letterman's Jimmy Fallon. The California desert rock gurus appeared on the Late Show on Wednesday night to perform "My God Is the Sun," then went ahead and played an hour-long set for the show's "Live on Letterman" concert series (see similar feats by Phoenix and Silversun Pickups). But that wasn't all. Josh Homme and his inordinately talented goons returned on Thursday (June 6) to perform the tension-filled ...Like Clockwork creeper "I Sat By the Ocean" while their host gushed. After the song, Dave seemed genuinely bowled over by QOTSA — which, duh — and asks if he can "start telling people I'm part of the band." Ever the quick wit, Homme immediately offers him the job of tambourine player.

  • Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks Pony Tail Deradoorian

    See Animal Collective's Avey Tare Debut Slasher Flicks Supergroup

    Within Animal Collective, Avey Tare plays the puckish foil to Panda Bear's choirboy charms, "pushing the prickly and eerie side of the band's avant-pop," as noted in SPIN's review of his 2010 solo debut Down There. While Dave Portner's approach has certainly evolved since then, his brand new band drives home the idea that he's the one making all that glorious racket.

  • The Lonely Island Semicolon Alanis Morissette Ironic Kimmel Video

    The Lonely Island and Alanis Mash Up 'Semicolon' and 'Ironic' on 'Kimmel'

    If you tuned in a few Wack Wednesdays ago, then you already know the gag in the Lonely Island's joke-rap, "Semicolon" — they're using that wicked piece of punctuation wrong throughout the entire song. If you've been around long enough to remember Alanis Morissette's massive 1996 single "Ironic," then you know the unintentional gag therein — that she, too, was misusing her titular device.But to the Canadian singer-songwriter's credit she's always had a sense of humor about that fact, and that was the crux of her cameo on Jimmy Kimmel Live! during the Lonely Island's performance of their grammatically inclined The Wack Album track. Thursday night (June 6), Andy Samberg's possee was joined by Morissette (sitting in for Solange's in-studio schoolmarm), leading to a conflict over the old dot-and-comma.

  • Iamsu! 'Kilt 2' Mixtape Stream Download Juvenile Keak

    Hear Iamsu!'s 'Kilt 2' Mixtape, a Hi-Fi Ratchet Revelation

    Richmond rapper-producer Iamsu! was a shoo-in for SPIN's Real Hottest MCs list earlier this year. The young star has been steadily bridging Bay Area ghetto-flamboyance to laid-back Los Angeles vibes with an emphasis on all things ratchet (or trap, if you prefer). His Kilt mixtape was one of our more esteemed Rap Releases of the Week when it dropped, and he's now back at it with the sequel. Contrary to one obvious interpretation, Kilt 2 is not an extensive treatise on Scottish menswear — rather, it's further evidence that the man born Sudan Ameer Williams has, in the parlance of Madea, kilt the game. As much a showcase of Iamsu!'s production prowess as it is evidence of his unique lyrical skills, the new tape is an enjoyably bumpy ride through treble-y bleeps, bassy bloops, tinny drums, and hard-hustling vocals.

  • The Cure 'In Orange' 1987 Concert Film Video

    See the Cure Perform Their Hits in 1987's Full 'In Orange' Concert Film

    Late last month fans of seminal '80s music were gifted with a rare, full 40-minute concert film documenting Morrissey's first solo gig, which happened to have the Smiths as his backing band. Now, another generous YouTube user has uploaded a similarly hard-to-find full-length live flick from the same era: The Cure in Orange, which documented the gothy godfathers' 1986 back-to-back performances at France's Théâtre Antique d'Orange on August 9 and 10. At the time they would have been supporting their exceptional sixth album Head on the Door as well as the closely following singles compilation Standing on a Beach. This of course means that the nearly two-hour video is chock-full of incredible hits — and even more incredible hair (okay, so that's a wig Robert Smith is wearing for the intro).

  • Forest Swords 'Thor's Stone' Stream New Album

    Forest Swords Returns With 'Thor's Stone,' a Wondrous Ball of Beat-Addled Mud

    Forest Swords is Liverpool recluse Matt Barnes, a producer specializing in "ancient grinds" who caught some fame (and a Big Pink remix) two years ago before disappearing entirely. But though the man nearly gave up making music, as he recently told Seven Streets, he has been quietly busy over the last year — not only crafting a brand new album, but making far-out beats for the likes of A$AP Rocky and Haleek Maul, and lending a hand on How to Dress Well's Total Loss. Barnes at last has a new song of his own to share, and it's perfectly in line with the promise of his Dagger Paths EP. "Thor's Stone" walks a very thin line between hip-hop instrumental and left-field rock drone, tapping into something elemental as it plods its way through a verdant, earthen series of sounds.

  • Jay Pharoah Lil Wayne Impression Video Sway Morning

    Jay Pharoah Burns Lil Wayne in Pitch-Perfect Freestyle Impression

    It's official: Saturday Night Live's Jay Pharoah has redeemed himself for that weak Trinidad James spoof a couple of months back. On a recent visit to Sway in the Morning, which airs on Eminem's Sirius XM station Shade 45, the comedian expertly freestyled his way through a living Lil Wayne parody. Going in over Weezy's Drake collab "She Will," Pharoah first warns, "I'll make a song about anything," shouts out Mountain Dew, and then kicks off his verse with, "I put my dick up in a wasps' nest." Replete with indecipherable sexual references, names of basketball players (word to CP3), and copious "ahems," the improvised rhyme is just about pitch-perfect. It's also a sore reminder of the ways in which Wayne's played himself out of late, as witnessed on his latest album, I Am Not a Human Being II.

  • The-Drum 'Switch' Stream Contact Album

    The-Drum Drop Goopy Gong-Powered Slow Jam 'Switch'

    Chicago duo The-Drum made SPIN's Best New Artists list this month for their fascinating ability to combine "fleet footwork rhythms, New Age synths, percolating R&B, and faded trap-rave into a bewitchingly hi-def hybrid." They count both Three 6 Mafia and Art of Noise among their closest influences but see no reason to bifurcate their interests — and neither do we so long as they keep churning out strange gems like "Switch."The freshly shared track hails from the pair's Contact LP, due June 25 via Audraglint, and moves to a slower pace than some of their earlier leaks. Opening with chimes and a Far Eastern gong smack, the song dwells in a lush space where ghostly vocals curl through a web of synthetic textures like smoke streaming from a brush fire.

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