Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Death Grips Drop Massive Interactive 'I've Seen Footage' Video

    Death Grips Drop Massive Interactive 'I've Seen Footage' Video

    So the VMAs were a bust and Headbangers Ball may be on its way out, but MTV can still do a few music-related things right, as evidenced by "Gif Me More: Party," an interactive music video of sorts featuring "I've Seen Footage" by Death Grips. Click on the site and it drops you into the middle of a pool party that's blasting the Sacramento noise-rap crew's Run-D.M.C.-checking anthem from The Money Store.

  • Tupac and Biggie / Photos by Getty Images

    Tupac, Biggie Murders Still Drive Writer to Investigate

    The back story: In 2008, Pulitzer-winning former L.A. Times staff writer Chuck Philips wrote a story naming names in the murder of Tupac Shakur, who died 16 years ago today. He'd been faithfully, doggedly researching and writing about rap's East-West rivalry and the deaths of its two stars, Pac and the Notorious B.I.G.; but the 2008 story was retracted over an allegedly forged document, and Philips left the Times shortly thereafter. On Wednesday, he announced that he'd unveil "an exclusive 1200-word news scoop" the very next day via a series of tweets. Well he did just that — it's all now bundled up in article form on his website — but we're still looking for the scoop. The play-by-play: After introducing us to the recently deceased Eric "Von Zip" Martin, Philips sorta maybe (?) alludes to an alleged sexual relationship between "Uncle" Zip and "Nephew" Puff.

  • Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic appear on 'Headbangers Ball' in 1991 / Photo via MTV

    MTV Kills 'Headbangers Ball,' Host Says Network Neglects Rock [UPDATED]

    Twenty-five years after it was founded, MTV's once flagship heavy metal show Headbangers Ball is apparently being terminated, according to host Jose Mangin. In a video interview on metal blog Horns Up Rocks (via Blabbermouth), Mangin claims the decision to kill the currently web-only series isn't about saving money. It's about aesthetic. UPDATE: A spokesperson for MTV sent SPIN a statement reading, "MTV is committed to the Headbangers Ball franchise and can confirm that it will continue as an online destination with its hub remaining on MTV2.com. The company’s deal with Jose Mangin has concluded, however MTV will continue to program a weekly playlist for fans of the genre." Mangin didn't mince words. "Right now, it doesn't really cost them anything, 'cause I do it. I host it, produce it, edit it [...] all myself.

  • Neighbors' Noah Stitelman

    Hear Neighbors' Indietronica Update 'Diamonds'

    Neighbors are Brooklyn's Noah Stitelman (and friends) — a nice guy with a real knack for the kind of upbeat but downcast indietronica that the Postal Service popularized. That's not to say his style is stuck in the early aughts. His new single "Diamonds" is a great example of what dude does so well: a transcendent electric guitar lick is soon echoed by ultra-modern synthesizer wobble, and when Stitelman sings, his kind coo bobs right on the surface, pushed along by the steady drumming. The song will wind up on a pending LP dubbed Good Luck, Kid , which was recorded and produced by Kyle "Slick" Johnson (Modest Mouse, the Hives, Rogue Wave) in Neighbor's neighboring Philadelphia. Recommended if you like the One AM Radio, classic Morr Music titles, and dates that consist of holding hands and low chuckles.

  • Nicki Minaj / Photo by Getty Images

    Nicki Minaj Teams With Cassie, Compares Herself to Blossom on 'The Boys'

    At MTV's Video Music Awards last week, a surreally proportioned Nicki Minaj announced that she's reissuing her April album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded with the titular addition of The Re-Up. Confusing as this is for music fans who might've guessed that the original release was merely a repackaging of her 2010 debut Pink Friday (a little help with the titles, Weezy?), it means an extra disc of goodies including the just-out single "The Boys" featuring breakthrough R&Bist Cassie. The new track jitters forth on a landslide of tropical percussion and lo-bit sirens. Cassie's voice comes in robotic as she takes a sarcastic swing at The Rap Lifestyle: "You get high, love a bunch of girls / And then cry, 'On top of the world' / I hope you have the time of your life." Nicki, meanwhile, offers an aggro onslaught of syllables and styles, as is her wont. Oh, and she compares herself to Blossom.

  • Hear Body Language Launch Basement Disco Into Space on 'Lose My Head'

    Hear Body Language Launch Basement Disco Into Space on 'Lose My Head'

    The sticky basement disco of Body Language is inescapable on their new single, "Lose My Head." It's the Pied Piper sporting a 'fro and a space suit, banging drumstick to cowbell until there's not a still body left in the room. Were it to be examined by scientists, they'd probably conclude that it's equal part velvet and lasers. We are not scientists, but we can tell you this: it hails from the Brooklyn quartet's September 18 EP, Grammar,and if you can keep a grip on your noggin whilst listening, you're doing it wrong. The band made small waves with last year's Social Studies LP but they're a busy bunch nonetheless. Ian Chang drums for Matthew Dear, Angelica Bess has sung with Sepalcure (in The Black Swan no less), and main producers Grant Wheeler and Matt Young have written for Passion Pit, among others. A new long-player is on the docket for February 2013.

  • Dillon Francis' 'Masta Blasta' Video

    Dillon Francis Pretends He's Tiesto in 'Masta Blasta (The Rebirth)' Video

    In his new video for "Masta Blasta (The Rebirth)" Moombahton upsetter Dillon Francis signs a pair of tits as "Tiësto," takes a piss on a wall as fans go wild, and gives an orgasmic performance to an all-but-empty club. It's a hilarious and surreal trip interspersed with errant bits of animation that confirms what we already know about the guy via our Breaking Out profile: he's got a wicked sense of humor. This is, in fact, the song that first put the Los Angeles native on the map, snagging Diplo's attention and resulting in a Mad Decent release. That said, "The Rebirth" takes the original's tropical bounce and gives it a little trill twerk and spaced-out strangeness that's only enhanced by the Spaghetto-directed clip. And while we're talking credits, you might wanna stick around for those. Enjoy.

  • Jammie Thomas-Rasset / Photo by AP

    Minnesota Mom Still Owes RIAA $222,000, Says Appeals Court

    With hope at last bubbling up in the Pussy Riot debacle, perhaps it's time for a new cause: "Free Jammie Thomas-Rasset!" It doesn't exactly roll off of the tongue — actually, come to think of it: "We Be Jammie!" — but if people started mobilizing behind the Minnesota mother of four who's been battling the RIAA in court for five years now, there's a slim chance she won't have to pay $222,000 for sharing 24 songs on Kazaa in 2006. Yes, $222,000. That's the exact amount that the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has decided is perfectly fair to charge a human being for distributing a handful of data packets that contained neither state secrets nor illicit content. The Recording Industry Association of America has been winning judgements against Thomas-Rasset, who has maintained she wasn't the computer user who did the sharing, since 2007; Thomas-Rasset keeps appealing.

  • The xx's visualization

    Watch the xx's 'Coexist' Go Viral: Literally!

    It's rare that an elaborate music marketing scheme can inspire genuine awe, but Beggars Group has done just that with the viral push for the xx's new album Coexist. On September 3, the band sent a stream of the album to a single fan in the U.K., and then watched as the music was shared around the world. Actually, anybody who visited the hosting site of the stream could watch thanks to a visualization that charts each listen on a map sequentially a la flight patterns. "What we saw on the first album was a real word-of-mouth phenomenon we had never seen before," said Beggars VP of marketing Adam Farrell to The Guardian. Inspired by the slow but steady rise of 2009's xx, the label attempted to recreate that event, albeit on a much faster scale. Within 24 hours of seeding the songs with a hand-picked superfan, the map-bearing site crashed as millions attempted to access it.

  • Pussy Protestors / Photo by Getty Images<p>

    Russian Prime Minister, Like Madonna, Wants to Free Pussy Riot

    Finally, a ray of hope in the Pussy Riot case. On Wednesday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev displayed uncommonly good sense when he intimated that he doesn't think the three imprisoned members of the feminist agit-punk posse should be forced to serve out their two-year sentences for hooliganism. "Imprisonment is a very severe, I would even say a frightening, responsibility,” he told officials during a meeting of his political party, United Russia. “What has already happened, that this well-known group of girls have been in prison quite a long time, is a very serious punishment for everything they did." We're guessing the "well-known" part has a lot to do with his opinion.

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