Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Chinese artist dissident Ai Weiwei Elton John metal album

    Inspired by Elton John, Chinese Dissident Ai Weiwei Has Made a Metal Album

    Multifaceted Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei has recorded an album of hard-rock songs, and he's going to ask for Elton John's help in releasing the thing.

  • Peter Banks Yes guitarist dead heart failure

    Peter Banks, Founding Yes Guitarist, Found Dead at 65

    Founding Yes guitarist Peter Banks has died at the age of 65. He was discovered in his London home after failing to show up to a recording session, according to the website for one of the progressive rock influencer's other bands Flash. The announcement noted that he passed away on Thursday, March 7, due to heart failure, and that he'd been working on a live set, Flash — In Public.Though current Yes axeman Steve Howe appears on the cover of the band's second album, 1970's Time and a World, Banks was around for the prog titans' first two LPs, including their eponymous 1969 debut. He'd originally played with bassist Chris Squire in English psych outfit the Syn, and then later in Mabel Greer's Toyshop, which, upon Banks' suggestion, would change its name to Yes.As the band looked to solidify it's far-ranging sound, Banks was replaced with Howe.

  • SXSW Cuban Metal Bands Escape Agonizer Ancestor

    Cuban Metal Comes to SXSW: Escape, Agonizer, and Ancestor Liberated at Last

    Last year, SPIN scribe David Peisner traveled south to explore "The Hidden World of Extreme Cuban Metal." While there, he met three exceptionally heavy bands now poised to make their live debut on U.S. soil. This year's South By Southwest music conference and festival will make history by welcoming Ancestor, Escape, and Agonizer to the stage.It seems that the Buena Vista Anti-Social Club is in fact making some friends out there in the world.

  • Flatbush Zombies 'No Religion' Underachievers Song

    Hear Flatbush Zombies and Underachievers Aim to Outdo Tupac on 'No Religion'

    Two acid-addled Brooklyn rap crews come together on "No Religion." SPIN's recent Breaking Out stars Flatbush Zombies lead the charge with their strange brand of psychotropic spirituality as heard on tracks "MRAZ" and the A$AP Rocky team-up "Bath Salt." Joining rappers Meechy Darko and Zombie Juice are Issa Dash and AK from the Underachievers — recent signees to Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder imprint and fellow members of the greater Beast Coast collective. The production here is characteristically gritty, combining apocalyptic atmospherics with hard-hitting drums. Topically, these guys range from bragging about hooking up with cougars to, well, bragging about smoking strong marijuana.

  • Big K.R.I.T. R.E.M. James Blake Sample Video

    Big K.R.I.T. Reinterprets James Blake's Dreams for 'R.E.M.' Video

    As unlikely a trio of names as they are, Big K.R.I.T., James Blake, and R.E.M. have pathos in common. And also, something about sleep. The stalwart Mississippi MC samples "The Wilhelm Scream" from 2011's fairly jaw-dropping James Blake — specifically the line, "I don't know about my dreams." (Bonus props: K.R.I.T. also samples the actual Wilhelm scream sound effect that inspired the title.) Meanwhile, his lyrics revolve around his aspirations as a rapper — I.E. his deepest dreams, which everyone knows occur during the Rapid Eye Movement phase of sleep. What makes K.R.I.T. such a believable entity is the fact that his hopes are firmly grounded in reality. When 2 Chainz dies, he wants to be interned in a designer boutique. As for the man born Justin Scott?

  • AlunaGeorge 'Attracting Flies' Video

    AlunaGeorge Update Favorite Fairy Tales in 'Attracting Flies' Video

    Last month we heard AlunaGeorge's "Attracting Flies," a slyly bumping R&Beats jam that found a creative way to call out a former lover for, in short, spouting bullshit. "Little gray fairy tales and little white lies," sings the effervescent Aluna, "Everything you exhale is attracting flies." Meanwhile, George backs her up with a track that could just as easily host Jessie Ware. The London duo are following up a winning Disclosure collaboration and an inspired Frank Ocean cover with a July 1 full-length dubbed Body Music, via Island Records. With that in mind, "Attracting Flies" has gotten the video treatment courtesy of director Emil Nava, who focuses less on the B.S.

  • Baauer 'Harlem Shake' Samples Compensation Copyright Claims Mad Decent Diplo

    After Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' Goes Viral, Two Sampled Artists Go Unpaid

    The rise of Baauer's "Harlem Shake" began innocently (albeit annoyingly) enough, but the consequences of a gazillion plebes going totally ham to that trap-rave track are becoming increasingly severe. A 17-year-old was arrested, Azealia Banks dropped the F-bomb again, and a group of Australian miners were fired after filming their own version of the dance craze underground. And now that the song is, unexpectedly, a chart-topping hit, well, people want to get paid.As it turns out, the two vocal samples that appear in the song weren't legally cleared. As previously reported, the "Con los terroristas!" line originally hails from a song by onetime Jay-Z affiliate and Reggaeton influencer Héctor el Father (possibly "Los Terroristas," though he used the phrase often).

  • Mountain Goats Justin Bieber John Darnielle Paparazzi

    Mountain Goats' Song to Justin Bieber's Paparazzi: 'Don't Be an Asshole'

    Justin Bieber's name has been showing up in unexpected pairings of late. He had a Twitter feud with the Black Keys Patrick Carney, entered his Axl Rose stage by showing up at a concert two hours late, and last week he called upon the healing sounds of "Janice" Joplin whilst recovering from a lack of oxygen at, of all places, the O2 Arena. Now, in response to the Biebz freaking out on a pushy shutterbug, Mountain Goats main man John Darnielle has recorded "Short Song for Justin Bieber and His Paparazzi."The kid has had a pretty gnarly week or so — Gawker has a pretty thorough rundown — and really has become an all-too handy punching bag for haters over the years, so the Beliebers out there will be relieved to know they have an ally in Darnielle.

  • Euro League 'Grandma's Plastic Covered Couch' Video

    See Euro League's Childhood Home Movies in 'Grandma's Plastic Covered Couch'

    Despite whatever New Wave visions his name might inspire, Euro League is a rising Bronx-based rapper blessed with the sort of sharp incite and confessional nature that's made Kendrick Lamar a star. It should come as no surprise then that Los Angeles' Good Kid has given this newcomer his stamp of approval (check out January's "Social Network") as Euro's profile continues to rise.His latest entry might be the best demonstration yet of what sets League apart. "Grandma's Plastic Covered Couch" is as jam-packed with personal detail as the title implies, but it's also universal in its themes, which revolve around familial nostalgia and the triumphs and tribulations that come with growing up in a tight-knit community.The dusty, soulful production comes from Trey Hemingway and MP Williams, and is intended as a tribute to the late, great J Dilla.

  • Angry Birds Spoof Throw Lady Gaga Adele Angry Stans

    'Angry Birds' Spoof Lets You Throw Lady Gaga's Head at Adele's Album

    Half-baked music satire site Stan-Wars has a rough-cut gem on its hands with a playable Angry Birds spoof that replaces those dastardly pigs with copies of Adele's indomitable 21. "Angry Stans" allows users to load up their slingshots with the face of the music megastar they'd like to see topple the English singer's incredible reign over the Billboard charts (the 2011 album not only went diamond, but outsold everything else in 2012). Among the options are avatars for Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyoncé. While eight of the options result in flinging photos of the artists in question, a click on Chris Brown gives you a fist to work with. Considering Adele's face is on the cover of 21 we're gonna have to register a solid "not cool" on that one.

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