Chris Martins



  • The heavily nominated Rihanna and Drake / Photo by Getty Images

    VMAs FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About MTV's 2012 Show

    The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards are going down tonight and there are still so many questions left unanswered: What's Kanye gonna do? Are K-Stew and/or R-Patz gonna be there? Where's this year's baby bump gonna come from? Who's gonna put on Gaga's aged beef? Oh mercy, what to wear? What. To. Wear. Some queries are best left unanswered until the big night. Others aren't. Here's everything you need to know about the hullabaloo before it actually happens. When and Where Are the VMAs Taking Place? Thursday, September 6, at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time from the 20,000-seat Staples Center arena in sunny Los Angeles. Tune in an hour early for the red carpet show, hosted from a harrowing three-story "carpet" by longtime MTV correspondent Sway (Teen Wolf star Holland Roden will report for


    Hall is a barely legal Detroit youngster who seems preordained to reinvent soulful house music. He was raised by a gospel-singing mother and a nightclub-owning father, and mentored by the likes of Theo Parrish and Carl Craig after he displayed a precocious knack for crafting out-there grooves at the age of 11. His early use of free software and found equipment makes him kin to AnCo's kitchen sink experimentalism, and he now travels the world at the ripe age of 20 delivering layered, luxuriant beatwork to the masses. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Hammer Film Productions


    Mad scientist Sam Shepherd is a Londoner splicing the brainier strains of electronic music's last 30 years — from the funky acid of Luke Vibert to the jazzed bass swoops of Flying Lotus — with pure body music like Balearic bounce and deep house. With a background in classical music and a PhD in pharmacology, Shepherd is ace at pushing his smartly arranged pieces into transcendently trippy territory, evidenced by his 16-piece Floating Points Ensemble. He bends the boundaries of techno and can make his own drugs — of course the boys love him. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: The Frogs


    The Upsetter is a pied piper for weirdness, that rare artist whose obvious madness exists in perfect harmony with his uncanny ability. In the '60s, he practically invented dub by hotwiring a mixing board. In the '70s, he produced Bob Marley's best stuff, then did a ton of acid and burned his studio to the ground. Today, he's like a Jamaican Yoda, a musical Jedi master with a foreign croak whose physical stature shrinking in inverse proportion to his broadening influence. We suspect he may be immortal." Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Persian Classical Music


    This bushy-bearded Baltimore cosmonaut is a far-out sound sculptor with a penchant for subtle drone, strange dub and glassy New Age psych. Urick was a fixture in AnCo's hometown, founding the performance space Floristree (Deakin has performed there) and making fuzzed-up laptop punk with the band WZT Hearts before going solo. His 2012 opus I Love You was made after a move to Portland, and the vibes are appropriately overcast and meditative, and exercise in becoming both "at peace with the music-making process and more unsure/unfamiliar at the same time." Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders


    According to legend, Oxnard, California's underground beat king Madlib created his famous Bad Character in the throes of psilocybin mushroom binge. The reality seems to have more to do with an aversion to hearing his own voice unmodified on record, but 2000's The Unseen offers all comers a deep dive down the rabbit hole. Supposedly conducted by an impish alien, this woozy, weeded swirl of streaming consciousness, helium-high raps, gritty drums and Blaxploitation samples is hip-hop's most psychedelic moment. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Dick Raaymakers


    Too Hot to Handle, the 1977 debut from this incredibly funky crew, is a disco era essential. Behind the enduring dance floor anthem "Boogie Nights" is a deeply psychedelic sway and rhythmic pulse — though the sweetly swooning "Always and Forever" speaks for itself. English keyboardist Rod Temperton wrote every song, but Heatwave's character and charm came from its sibling singers Johnnie and Keith Wilder, American servicemen who stayed abroad after discharge, gigging their way through the bars of Europe. Avey Tare: The band Heatwave I've been getting really into. I feel like they do harmonies and vocal stuff in a way that seems very sweet and refreshing that seems sometimes really playful. You know, it's like soul-disco, funk kind of music.

  • TobyMac / Photo by Getty Images

    Who Charted? TobyMac Scores for the Big Guy, Alanis Exemplifies Irony

    First! Where would TobyMac be without you? Well, he probably wouldn't be able to afford as many fancy fitted hats and, God forbid, that flavor-saver might go ungroomed for a day. Perhaps more importantly, he wouldn't be setting records for the surprisingly underserved Christian music community. The rapper-singer guy's sixth album Eye On It debuted last week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it the first chart-topping Christian release since 1997, when LeAnn Rimes broke through with You Light Up My Life. The only other long-player on high in the chart's history came that same year with Bob Carlisle's Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace). (Perhaps it's time to revive that career with a Fifty Shades of Grey crossover. What’s that? Oh, right, probably not.) TobyMac led Digital Albums as well, but his total sales, per Nielson SoundScan, were a relatively middling 69,000.

  • Lady Gaga / Photo by Getty Images

    Lady Gaga's Born This Way Ball Heads to North America in 2013

    Lady Gaga is pretty much in the news always, but it's not usually for honest-to-goodness functional newsworthiness. (She has, in the last 24 hours, ridden a bicycle, gotten a tattoo, and reduced her alcohol content.) This morning she announced the first North American installment of her globe-trotting Born This Way Ball via Twitter. The massive tour kicked off in South Korea in April, and will hit Vancouver for its first 2013 stop on January 11 before dipping down into the States and running through mid-March. No openers have been announced yet, but Gaga has a tradition of hand-picking lesser-knowns to break, so here's hoping for Django Django or Trinidad James. The Lady's fourth album ARTPOP is due out in 2013 and is reported to include collaborations with BTW European opener Zedd, SPIN cover star Azealia Banks and, yes, Whitesnake guiarist Doug Aldrich.

  • Sinkane / Photo by Phil Di Fiore

    Yeasayer's Sudan-Born Sinkane Signs With DFA

    Sudanese-born Ahmed Gallab has been a lot of things to a lot of people — most notably, a touring multi-instrumentalist in outfits as diverse as Yeasayer, Caribou, and Of Montreal. But as of this announcement, he'll be best known as Sinkane, the latest disco-damaged signee to James Murphy's DFA Records. The New York-based singer-producer will release his debut LP Mars on October 23, and we've got a pair of album cuts that display his unique sensibility. The funked-up cool soul of "Runnin'" brings to mind ascendant '70s hit "Fly Like an Eagle," while the mellower "Jeeper Creeper" basks in reverbed haze and desert shimmer.

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