Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Thunderbird Gerard 'Victory Part II' Video

    Watch Thunderbird Gerard Tour Morocco in 'Live' and 'Victory Part II' Video

    Thunderbird Gerard was raised in upstate New York but currently calls Berlin home. Perhaps that has something to do with the line that his music walks: at once familiar, owing to the hard-hitting fundamentals of golden age rap, and foreign, weaving in odd electronics, unusual cadence, or intriguing melody. He'll be sharing his T.R.O.U.B.L.E. mixtape on May 6 and the above video previews two new tracks. In the beginning we get a short sampling of "Live," which matches funk-fueled beat menace with a little bit of Kool Keith strangeness. The dude drops references to Elvis Presley, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rapture in the first few bars, but eventually moves on to "Victory Part II." The track is as triumphant as it sounds, a heavy stomper that even sports a '90s-style "Go! Go!

  • pan american, glass room at the airport

    Hear Pan American's Escapist Fantasy 'Glass Room at the Airport'

    The curatorial geniuses over at Kranky Records are coming out swinging in 2013. After announcing a long-lost album from Grouper, a fresh set from elemental fuzz-heads Implodes, some new beauty from the folk auteur Benoît Pioulard, and more mercury-dipped ambiance from Ethernet, the Chicago experimental music bastion has let slip that Pan American will at last follow up 2009's lovely White Bird Release with a long-player called Cloud Room, Glass Room, due out April 29.As the label explains, project mastermind Mark Nelson has inducted percussionist Steven Hess as a full-time member. The seven new songs (track list below) began to take shape as the pair prepared for a series of European performances in late 2011. Nelson's Labradford bandmate bassist Bobby Donne also contributes here and there, giving the album a stronger live feel.

  • junip, your life, your call, download, stream

    Junip Serve Up Synth-y Motivational Mantras on 'Your Life, Your Call'

    José González's kraut-folk trio is active again and prepping a self-titled sophomore LP for April 23 via Mute. Earlier this year we heard the lush, pumped-up jangler "Line of Fire," but now we've got a subtler highlight to take in. "Your Life, Your Call" relies on shuffling percussion and constant synth-work — it's a calming backdrop for the no-nonsense lyrics seemingly directed at a close friend or lover: "Pull yourself together, draw the line / It's your life, it's your call / Stand up, or enjoy your fall." Coming through the speakers, however, the chorus becomes a motivational mantra rather than a boot-to-the-ass of a familiar deadbeat, especially when González' voice gets all Lennon-y around the 2:40 mark. Stream or download the song over at Stereogum.

  • Mikal Cronin New Song Live Texas Video Ty Segall

    See Mikal Cronin Share a Lovely New 'MCII' Nugget Live in Texas

    The power-pop-slinging Ty Segall affiliate known as Mikal Cronin has got the live chops to match his songwriting mastery. That's why he ended up on SPIN's Best New Artists rundown for the month of March (his Merge Records debut MCII is on the way) and our Best Things We Saw list from South By Southwest. The above clip of a new, unidentified Cronin song arrived during the lead-up to the biggest fest in the Old Wild West, at a humble little shindig called Denton 35. While it doesn't offer the "mondo, full of frenzied energy" affair that our own David Marchese witnessed a few days later, the MCII track is a lovely little slab of upbeat downer music about getting older and being bolder. "I think I'm getting better at translating what I hear in my head to tape," Cronin told SPIN while working on his new album in January.

  • Baroness Quit Bus Crash Bassist Drummer Matt Maggioni Allen Blickle

    Baroness' Rhythm Section Departs Following Bus Crash

    It's an understatement to say that 2012 was a fiercely intense year for Georgia metal-makers Baroness. The band released their most masterful creation yet, Yellow & Green — a SPIN Essential that topped our Best Metal Albums list and ranked high in our overall Best Albums of 2012 rundown — and one month later narrowly escaped death when their tour bus plummeted off of a viaduct in Bath, England.Singer-guitarist John Baizley experienced the worst of it and has remained impressively optimistic throughout the entire ordeal, going as far as to promise the band's return to the road in the near future, but the negative repercussions of the accident continue. Last month we learned the bus' driver is facing criminal charges after the gruesome crash.

  • Radiohead 80s Photo Anyone Can Play Guitar Documentary On a Friday Oxford

    Here's Radiohead in the '80s, Posing With Iron Maiden Posters

    If you haven't watched Anyone Can Play Guitar, the 2011 documentary on the Oxford music scene, there's a good chance you've never seen the photo above, which captures four out of five members of Radiohead in the mid-'80s, back when the band was called On a Friday. Thom Yorke looks like a Culkin kid. Phil Selway has a full head of hair. Ed O'Brien could blend in at Bayside High. Colin Greenwood exemplifies general gangliness.Plus, there are the Iron Maiden posters.At the time, Jonny Greenwood was playing in a group called Illiterate Hands with a schoolmate named Nigel Powell. As Buzzfeed points out, the bedroom of the latter was the makeshift studio for the awkward band shot (are they holding invisible beers?) — they also recorded their first demos there. Their live lineup at the time included three saxophones, apparently.

  • Justice Live Album 'Access All Arenas' On'n'On Video

    Preview Justice's Roman Coliseum-Dominating 'Access All Arenas' Live Album

    With 2011's Audio, Video, Disco, Parisian duo Justice adapted their electro-house sound to match the sorts of venues they were playing. By weaving '70s arena rock into their already panoramic sound, they became the sort of group who could, say, rock a Roman amphitheater built circa 70 A.D. On July 19, 2012, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay did just that, playing the Arena of Nîmes in France to a massive, ecstatic crowd.On May 7, the rest of us will be able to experience that show via the long whispered-about live album, Access All Arenas, coming out via (deep breath) Ed Banger/Because/Vice/Elektra. The Audio, Video, Disco tour offered a 90-minute "sonic roller coaster with their hit songs mashed into a megamix with an epileptic light show," according to the LP announcement.

  • Toro Y Moi 'Never Matter' Video Flea Market Dance Anything in Return

    See Strangers Dance to Toro Y Moi's 'Never Matter' at a South Carolina Flea Market

    As he recently told SPIN, Toro y Moi's Chaz Bundick couldn't have made a record as pop-forward as Anything in Return if he hadn't relocated to California. But that doesn't mean the J Dilla disciple can't sojourn home to Columbia, South Carolina, to reconnect with the scene that raised him. The new video for "Never Matter," first shared by Gorilla vs. Bear, picks up at a local flea market and follows the efforts of a young woman who's attempting to get complete strangers to dance to the funk-fueled song. She sets up a booth at the swap and hands headphones to passersby whose general reluctance eventually melts into a medley of sweet moves. There's a twist at the end of this Steve Daniels-directed clip (he also shot "Still Sound" from Underneath the Pine), but we'll let you discover that on your own.

  • Wilco Jeff Tweedy Gay Marriage Support Letter Editor

    Wilco's Jeff Tweedy Calls for Gay Marriage Support in Illinois

    With the fervor fading over folk singer Michelle Shocked's confusing commentary on gay marriage, it's time to delve back into the practical: votes. Last year's presidential election brought statements of support on the issue from Ben Gibbard and fun., but the battle for marriage equality is one that's currently being fought out at the state level.Illinois' SB10 bill — the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act — was approved at the local Senate level on Valentine's Day, and now advocates are awaiting a decision from the state House of Representatives. So far, outlets are reporting that the measure is shy of the 60 votes it'll need to pass, so Wilco main brain Jeff Tweedy has issued a plea for support.The Chicago-area resident wrote in to the Belleville News-Democrat to share his thoughts in a matter-of-fact manner.

  • Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience Million Sales

    Justin Timberlake's '20/20 Experience' Sales Approaching One Million

    Last week's sales projections for Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience had the singer moving over 750,000 units of his maritally focused new album. Now that estimate is looking conservative. Billboard have bumped the number up twice since, and are now predicting "950,000-plus" — considering they usually play it conservative, it's a fairly safe bet that JT is bringing platinum back.Though the sales week wrapped Sunday night, the final tally won't be released until Wednesday along with the rest of the Top 10 rankings. Needless to say, Timberlake will be taking the No. 1 album slot handily. If it does do a milli in its debut week, 20/20 will be the 19th long-player to do so since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking these things in 1991.

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