Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Jason Collett / Photo by Matt Barnes

    Stream Jason Collett's Folksy, Occupy-Inspired 'Reckon'

    Don't let Jason Collett's soft touch fool you — the Toronto-based Broken Social Scene player is a powerful songwriter with a voice that cuts through whatever murk the week's piled about your head. His seventh album, Reckon, is plenty proof of what this man can do with his pipes, a guitar, and a little help from his friends (BSS's Kevin Drew stops by, as do Zeus, Basia Bulat, and Bahamas). Loss is the dominant theme, but these songs don't sulk — they're still transcendent, even though their politics are informed by the current economy and the love songs are, as Collett has said, "emotive reflections" of that same debt.

  • Watch Baron Von Luxxury's Sci-Fi 'Glass Candy' Video

    Watch Baron Von Luxxury's Sci-Fi 'Glass Candy' Video

    Two days in California's arid and aptly named Death Valley is two days too long, but Baron Von Luxxury isn't the type to take half measures. The Los Angeles-based electro-pop lothario embodies the sort of character that Beck only took an album-length stab at circa Midnight Vultures, and his act, while playful, isn't exactly irreverent. The Baron's new LP The Last Seduction pays tribute to his dear, departed friend Theresa Duncan (she of the Scientology-related "Golden Suicides") and his new single "Glass Candy" is a sincere dedication to the Portland disco revisionists of the same name. We'll let BVL tell it: "I first heard Glass Candy's "I Always Say Yes," one of the very first songs of their (at the time) newly reinvented Italo disco sound, in 2005 on the blog 20jazzfunkgreats.

  • Bon Iver's Justin Vernon fan Northern Exposure tattoo

    Bon Iver Will Pay Fan $299 to Design 'Northern Exposure' Tattoo

    Like any good artist aiming for iconic status, Bon Iver's main man Justin Vernon dabbles in a certain amount of unpredictability. For some that means public brush-ups with drugs, sex and/or guns, but for Bonny Bear, it's more like rap mixtapes, fitness seminars and, now, crowdsourcing tattoo designs inspired by all but forgotten '90s television dramadies. Vernon recently kicked off a contest that'll see one lucky aesthetically minded fan picking up a cool $299 for creating the next image that the baroque folk Grammy guru's going to indelibly ink onto his arm. But lest the entries be all tribal designs, weed leaves and flitting butterflies, he's included some direction.

  • Sweet Valley, 'Eternal Champion'

    Wavves Bro Drops New Sweet Valley Mixtape 'Eternal Champ'

    With his Sweet Valley side project, Wavves main man Nathan Williams is transitioning from King of the Beach to King of the Beats. Last month, he and his brother Kynan dropped their first mixtape, the decidedly modest Dilla-influenced Stay Calm. But a new month brings a new tape, and the duo's just-out Eternal Champ advances the project in a serious way. As Pitchfork points out, the cover art offers a pretty big tell: this one is somewhat inspired by video game music, specifically Nintendo 64's Zelda epic Ocarina of Time. As Williams put it, "The second one took a bit longer because … we had to play to certain levels to get the sounds that we wanted." That said, this ain't no bleep-bloop music. Trap drums abound, along with dubby dreams, chilly textures, shit-talk samples and synth work that sounds cribbed from a Cornelius record. Williams, welcome to boss level.

  • Beck / Photo by Getty Images

    Beck Covers Brazilian Legend Caetano Veloso's 'Michaelangelo Antonioni'

    Los Angeles' most favored musical chameleon Beck has a new album on the way &#8212 well, a new pamphlet &#8212 but in the meantime he's doing that other thing that he does so well. No, not releasing new songs via video game &#8212 covering awesome songs of yore. His latest is a dreamy remake of "Michelangelo Antonioni," a tribute to the Italian film legend of the same name, originally written by Brazilian music legend Caetano Veloso.Beck initially shared the song on Twitter and, according to Pitchfork, it hails from the compilation honoring the Tropicalismo innovator on his 70th birthday. A Tribute to Caetano Veloso is due October 22 in the UK via Universal.

  • The Soundmen's 'Funny Feeling' Clip

    Watch The Soundmen's Urban Beach Adventure, 'Funny Feeling'

    The largest urban oceanfront in the U.S. is the backdrop for the summer-saturated video for the Soundmen's "Funny Feeling." Queens' Rockaway Beach seems the perfect environment for this particularly wavy slab of synth candy from the New York production duo. While their work often accompanies the rap styles of the adroit and brainy (Homeboy Sandman, Tanya Morgan's Von Pea, members of Flatbush Zombies), they're here joined by All Dom Wrong, a fellow producer who, it turns out, has a mellow Robert Smith-like coo. The clip, for a song hailing from their new EP of the same name, follows the adventures of a young man on his way to the surf through a cityscape prone to small bursts of strange magic.

  • Pete Townshend / Photo by Getty Images

    Memoir Mania: What to Expect from Cyndi Lauper, Pete Townshend, and More

    Vice recently published a piece likening the proliferation of cancer memoirs to the spread of a deadly disease. So does that make the recent spate of memoirs by musicians akin to the rise of, say, Aqua in the late '90s? By our current count, there are six such autobiographies either recently released or on the way. Here's what we know. Who? Cyndi Lauper, the girl who just wanted to have fun. What? Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir (out now) Why? Says the Washington Post: "[She had] a creepy stepdad whom she fled when she was 17. She bounced from job to job and lover to lover like a ricocheting bullet... Record executives said they were going to make her into the next Streisand and have her sing ballads, but Lauper told them that she was a rocker. Actually, what she remembers saying was, 'I can’t take enough medication to stand still that long, okay?'" The press pitched her against Madonna.

  • Chris Lighty and 50 Cent in 2009 / Photo by Getty Images

    50 Cent Expresses Doubt Over Chris Lighty's Suicide

    In a recent interview with Hot 97 (MTV), 50 Cent has echoed the sentiments of many artists and executives who knew beloved hip-hop manager Chris Lighty and expressed doubt over the nature of his death and rumored money problems. Lighty was Fiddy's close friend and manager "since the actual mixtape run," (so, before 2003's Get Rich Or Die Tryin') and up until his alleged suicide last month. Lighty was discovered at his Bronx home with a gunshot wound to the head and a black 9 mm handgun next to his body. New York City medical examiners officially ruled his death a suicide. But Fiddy isn't sure the official story adds up. "I actually can't wrap the idea around my head of him shooting himself," he told host Angie Martinez. "I don't have all of the information, so I don't want to point or say anything other than what's being said publicly, but I don't believe that.

  • Wu / Photo by Getty Images

    Wu-Tang Clan Hit With Lawsuit Over 'New Wu' Sample

    "E'ything proper still, right?" Raekwon asks at the beginning of his 2009 single "New Wu." It seemed like a rhetorical boast at the time, but perhaps it was a question to producer RZA regarding the crunchy soul groove that he, Ghostface Killah, and Method Man are about to rap over. Because according to a lawsuit filed by Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records, the song illegally jacks four measures of 1971's "I've Changed" by an obscure Detroit group called the Magictones. Wu-ps! AllHipHop scooped the news and included a copy of the actual lawsuit.

  • PSY / Photo by Getty Images

    PSY's Seacrest Interview: 10 Things You Didn't Know About K-Pop's New Sensation

    PSY's "Gangnam Style" is up to nearly 170 million YouTube views and until recently, the South Korean musician who made the thing has only existed on screen to most of those viewers. But after signing with Team Bieber earlier this month, PSY's been hanging out here in the States, doing a victory lap that mostly consists of doing his silly dance at the behest of famous Americans. But one brave fella has made a point to get to know the man behind the meme and that intrepid soul is ... Ryan Seacrest?! Yep. PSY stopped by On Air With Ryan Seacrest and the host posted the two-part video interview this week.

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