Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Zavalaz Cedric Bixler Zavala Mars Volta

    Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler-Zavala Started Another Band

    Former Mars Volta frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala has formally launched his new band, Zavalaz. His previous project famously imploded in January when guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López announced his new endeavor Bosnian Rainbows. But Bixler-Zavala let Volta fans know he felt they "deserved more," and now he'll have a chance to deliver.In speaking to to SPIN last month, the At the Drive-In founder explained, "I've been working on my own record for a while now ... because being in the Mars Volta wasn't exactly the most nurturing moment to discover that I could write songs ...

  • Lady Antebellum Golden Macklemore Can't Hold Us Billboard Chart

    Who Charted? 'Gatsby' Fakes Way Into Music's Upper Echelon

    First! Lady Antebellum extend commercial country's dominance of the Billboard 200 albums chart — even as Kenny Chesney's Life on a Rock makes a satisfying slide from No. 1 to No. 8 (48K), that indomitable Nashville trio sneaks in with Golden (167K). There's some small comfort to be had in knowing that their last one, 2011's Own the Night, debuted at 347K, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Cling to that, because there's not much good news to be had out there today.2 to 10: The Great Gatsby soundtrack is in at No. 2 with 175K sold. We'd like to believe that's due entirely to people buying the gorgeous deluxe metalized vinyl edition dreamed up by Jack White's Third Man Records — to remain sealed and seen, never heard — but we know better. People are actually listening to Jay-Z's star-studded mess. Oh, but it gets worse. Now 46 is in at No.

  • Mount Kimbie King Krule 'You Took Your Time' Stream

    Hear King Krule Spit Soulful Gloom Over Mount Kimbie's 'You Took Your Time'

    The post-dubstep aural architects in Mount Kimbie are prepping their second album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, for a May 27 release via Warp and the first taste of it is as compelling as anything off their 2010 debut, Crooks & Lovers. The English duo step up their minimal production by leaving the bedroom for an actual studio and adding a handful of live instruments to the mix. They've got another trick up their sleeve as well: King Krule, the shadow-dwelling youngster whose pained croon has turned ears ever since he went out to get some ribs and came back with a homemade folk masterpiece. The man born Archy Marshall has a known interest in rap as well, and his performance on the new Kimbie track "You Took Your Time" happily blurs the boundaries between song and verse.

  • French Montana Weeknd 'The Gifted' Stream

    Hear French Montana and the Weeknd Get 'Gifted' via Booze, Pills, and 'Groupie Love'

    When French Montana out-Weeknd'd the Weeknd back in February, we should've known it'd only be a matter of time before the two actually collaborated. The Bronx MC is at last releasing his official LP debut, Excuse My French, on May 21, and the latest taste from that long-anticipated set is "The Gifted," which gets a massive assist from Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. the Weeknd. In fact, the track is so steeped in waste(d)land vibes that Montana merely feels like a guest who wandered into another man's depressed and destructive mindset. That's not to say the rapper is out of his league — he held his own while Nicki Minaj pranced around in pasties, after all, and he sounds plenty confident over the grinding guitars and plinking keys of this Danny! production.

  • Pond Giant Tortoise Video Hobo Rocket

    Watch Pond's Violent and Triumphant 'Giant Tortoise' Video

    It's easiest to think of Pond as the wildebeest to Tame Impala's titular animal. As far-out as the latter get, their Perth, Australia neighbors bring punk rawness and unpredictability to the psych-rock process. But there's no need to choose one or the other — the two bands share a couple of members, and deliver different gifts. Pond will release their fifth album Hobo Rocket on August 6 via Modular, and the first taste is "Giant Tortoise." The song is wild and wooly, but also prone to moments of placid greatness. Backmasked bells and reverbed vocals, interstellar keys and fiery guitars power the thing, while Nick "Paisley Adams" Allbrook lobs heavy existentialisms into the air: "Why would I even try?" he asks at one point, and he may be onto something. Pond feels unedited and effortless.

  • Mykki Blanco 'The Initiation' Betty Rubble Stream

    Hear Mykki Blanco Rap in Latin on Creepy Sinden Production 'The Initiation'

    "Hell is chilly, motherfucker." So sayeth Mykki Blanco before a disturbingly bleak Sinden beat kicks off and our hostess leaves English behind for a serious of whisper-growled Latin incantations on "The Initiation." Carpe noctem ... carpe diem, Deo confidimus. "Seize the night ... seize the day, in God we trust." Coming from this Breaking Out star's throat, the words sound positively demonic, and the production never lets up, growing more claustrophobic and disorienting as the song progresses. Like the rugged heater "Feeling Special" and the bleakly woozy "Bugged Out" before it, this new one hails from the New York rhymer's forthcoming Betty Rubble: The Initiation EP, which finally has a release date. The eight-song set is due May 21 via UNO and fans should expect maximum cap peelage upon listening. "Dark" doesn't begin to describe the corner from which Blanco is rapping.

  • Hospital Ships 'Servants' Video NSFW Graveface

    See Hospital Ships Feast and Fight Like Vikings in NSFW 'Servants' Video

    Hospital Ships specialize in a Built to Spill-style brand of frazzled, psychedelic Americana that's only gotten more urgent as founder Jordan Geiger has added members. The now full-fledged band is releasing their new album Destruction in Yr Soul on June 18 via Graveface Records, and the Kansas crew have released a brand new video for the song "Servants" that cuts right to the bloody, beating heart of the thing.

  • Hear Ryan Hemsworth's 'Perfectly' Pretty New Electronipop Wonder

    Hear Ryan Hemsworth's 'Perfectly' Pretty New Electronipop Wonder

    Canuck beat wunderkind Ryan Hemsworth is dropping the Still Awake EP next week over on his website, but in the meantime he's chosen to bless a whole bunch of other ones with one of the set's highlights — a track called "Perfectly." The song was first heard in brief via last week's must-hear Downtown NYC Mix, but now it can be experienced in all of its light and graceful glory. Here we get the more sensitive side of the producer via springy melodies, marching rhythms, modified vocals that recall Cornelius' "Brazil," and chiming notes that'd sound right at home in a Dntel composition. "I hope it works this time," says a woman's voice at the start, but this is Hemsworth we're talking about — of course it works. Revisit the Wedidit dude's Last Words EP and his recent Diplo and Friends mix when you're done.

  • TV on the Radio 'Mercy' Live All Tomorrow's Parties

    See TV on the Radio Rip Through New Song 'Mercy' at All Tomorrow's Parties

    When SPIN spoke to TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe last month, the group's founding vocalist didn't seem the least bit nervous about their first run at curating England's venerable All Tomorrow's Parties festival. Of course, with a lineup that included Shabazz Palaces, Death Grips, De La Soul, and Mykki Blanco, he had plenty of reason to be confident. It helped too that the long-dormant Brooklyn band had an additional trick up their sleeves as well: a new song called "Mercy." Witnessed above, this "fresh" track is a thrashing, fast-paced rocker that finds Adebimpe taking the lead, singing about falling in love "with professional evil," looking "lost and lethal," and seeking salvation. TVOTR get a slight assist from a two-man horn section, but the song is otherwise strikingly straight-ahead, and menacing in its force. Now if only they'd commit to making an entire new album.

  • Lollapalooza 2013 Set Times Lineup Conflicts

    Lollapalooza 2013's 5 Most Wrenching Set Time Conflicts

    Today's festivalgoers don't divide the world up by genre. They do not group according to census demographics or their preference in (or for) pants. To them, the age-old query, "To rock, or to rave?" is not a lifelong commitment, but a choice made in the moment. And what a choice it is with so much incredible, diverse talent billed for today's field-filling musical jubilees. It's hard out there for a young stage-hopper, and that's why SPIN is here to help cut through the noise. The good folks behind Chicago's enduring Lollapalooza have at last shared the schedule for the fest's 2013 iteration — running Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4 at Grant Park — and there are some serious conflicts to consider. 5. Phoenix vs. Cat Power vs. the Cure, Sunday, 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.A classic conflict.

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