Chris Martins

writer

Biography

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    In the Studio: The Temper Trap Follow the Sun

    When the Temper Trap buckled down to write last winter, the Aussie expats knew they'd have to get away from London, their comparatively dour home of the past four years. "We had a little studio room close to where we live," drummer Toby Dundas explains. "But it was cold and we'd gotten comfortable hanging out with the girlfriends, going to the pub every night. We wanted to switch out of our lives for a couple weeks, so we decided Spain was the hottest place we could go that time of year." "And we were wrong," guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto interjects. They instead arrived to pouring rain, and reports that England was suddenly unseasonably warm. Where, exactly, had they gone? "It was a tiny town an hour outside of Grenada," says singer Dougy Mandagi. "The middle of nowhere. It was called Montefrío." We inform him that in Spanish, that means "cold mountain." They erupt into laughter.

  • Cloud Nothings, 'Attack on Memory' (Carpark)

    Cloud Nothings, 'Attack on Memory' (Carpark)

    In evolutionary terms, the march of indie rock into the 21st century has been largely monkey-to-man; it's rare that a young act with pop promise takes a hard left at ape and winds up on all fours, a lion instead. Our bands have been getting smarter and more sensitive, not cannier and crueler. So what's up with Cleveland's Cloud Nothings? Like so many contenders before them, their melodic sweetness burns dimly beneath mounds of sour fuzz. One of those bands we're always apologizing for ("Dude, it's an aesthetic!"), who are always apologizing for us ("Dude, it's all we had"). The bands who start out as No Age (abstract, feral) and grow up to be the Pains of Being Pure at Heart (linear, twee). Seldom does a prominent buzz band flash its grimy hooks, shine them up across a series of boutique releases and an LP debut, then bury them in our shoulders to drag us into hell.

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    See Dave Mustaine's 10 Most Prized Possessions (Including Mini Horse!)

    ABOUT OUR HOSTWhen ax-slinging thrash king Dave Mustaine was fired from Metallica in 1983, he started Megadeth as an act of revenge. Though the legendary metalheads patched up their differences, it's fair to say the split worked out for both. "I was just some skinny redheaded kid, and the next thing I know, everybody wanted to give me their drugs or their girls," he says. Today, triumph means something else. Mustaine, 50, lives on a sprawling ranch outside of San ?Diego with two teenage children and his wife, Pamela, while Megadeth just notched a 13th album, the shockingly raw, awesomely loud, and accurately titled Th1rt3en.brightcove.createExperiences();1) AC/DC Let There Be Rock I used to sell pot, and this girl who worked at a record store would pay me in albums.

  • Small Black, 'Moon Killer' (Self-Released)

    Small Black, 'Moon Killer' (Self-Released)

    When chillwave crested, this Long Island foursome seemed fairly likely to sink. Their sound was more washed-out than Washed Out -- a pleasantly textured melodic sigh from Bummer Beach -- but this free mixtape is more killer than chiller. Taking rap's cue, the band samples Pere Ubu, Nas, Drake, and the Carpenters, folding old beats and warped hooks into a roiling stew of booming bass, fuzzed guitar, and gushing synths. Highlights include singer Josh Kolenik swooning over Nicki Minaj and Das Racist's Heems freestyling over the slow-rolling goop of "Two Rivers."

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    Breaking Out: Grouplove

    After you learn about Grouplove, find out how SPIN gave the band poison oak at this very photo shoot!. Don't get the wrong idea about Grouplove: The Los Angeles band's live shows may be exuberant and their songs, particularly the pro-skinny-dipping single "Naked Kids," might be fit for the beach, but they are not a bunch of hand-clapping Pollyannas. "We dance and move and scream and sing in a day when people are often sitting and typing," says singer-keyboardist Hannah Hooper. "We're alive, and people might be confusing that for being happy." But while their poppy sound has a Pixies-ish edge (mutilationwave?), they admit their story is straight saccharine: In August 2009, Hooper, then a painter eking out a living in New York, met frontman Christian Zucconi, a struggling musician/bartender.

  • Raleigh Moncrief, 'Watered Lawn'

    Raleigh Moncrief, 'Watered Lawn'

    This Sacramento-based engineer is trying his hand (and pipes) at bedroom rhythms and beats, casting himself as a disheveled James Blake. On more guitar-saturated delicacies ("I Just Saw)," he hits the sweet spot between psychedelic soul and myopic pining (for a beautiful stranger and friends he doesn't have), while "Lament for Morning" flaunts his production chops with billowing bass, chopped rhythms, and wobbly synths. Moncrief has a habit of dislocating a good groove once he's found it, but all that pirouetting, Afro-inspired plucking smooths over the bumps.

  • A Classic Education, 'Call It Blazing' (Lefse)

    These aptly named Italians have done their homework, showing masterful proficiency in the subjects of Coiffed Counterculture (Spector sheen, Orbison swoon) and Millennial Indie (Strokes cool, Shins chime). So you'd expect a passing grade for their full-length debut. But with Woods utility man Jarvis Taveniere behind the boards, these songs go further, embodying their subject matter (escape, ennui, energy) by echoing through caverns, rolling in grime, and buzzing with electricity. "Baby, It's Fine" and "Billy's Gang Dream" rough up any pristine pop tendencies until Call It Blazing teeters and vibrates like youth itself.

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    We Like Short Shorts! Online Comedy That Keeps it Simple (and Stupid)

    Why funny is deadly serious: Read guest editor Patton Oswalt's introduction to SPIN's first ever "Funny" Issue, plus the full Das Racist cover story and our feature on comedy's punk genuises Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster of The Best Show on WFMU. For two like-minded upstart online-video ventures, the secret ?to comedy success is: Keep it simple and stupid Scalable, non-watermarked brightcove.createExperiences();Video by the NY Frequency Sunday, August 28, 2011, 11:00 a.m. There is a man drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon through a straw at an oversize dinner table. He is shirtless and going bald. At least, he is trying to go bald. Paul Prado has a thick head of dark brown hair that, in this stifling heat, is thwarting the makeup artist's attempts to get the rubber cap to stay in place. It's a typical Sunday morning at the 5 Second Films house in Silver Lake.

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    Go HARD or Stay Home: The Inside Scoop on L.A.'s Haunted Dance Fest

    Heavy techno. Blistering dubstep. Bone-rattling house. If it's got a pulse — no matter how jacked and jagged — it's got a home at HARD Haunted Mansion, the two-night dance festival hitting downtown Los Angeles' Shrine Expo Hall on Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29 (with a cross-coastal pre-party at Terminal 5 in New York this Saturday). The event, now in its fourth year, is decidedly anti-trance. "I'm not into Tiësto and all that," says Gary Richards, a.k.a. DJ Destructo, 40, who founded HARD in 2007 as an alternative to So Cal's exploding rave scene. "I did glow-sticks and pacifiers when I was 20. We have a more rock attitude. I'd be down to have Eddie Van Halen come out and bust the rough shit." Unlikely, but with Haunted headliner Skrillex collaborating with Korn on their new album, the sentiment isn't that far off.

  • Modeselektor, 'Monkeytown' (Monkeytown)

    Modeselektor, 'Monkeytown' (Monkeytown)

    These simian-obsessed Berliners' approach to electronica has always been monkey see, monkey do very, very well. Infamous omnivores, they somehow fold Ibiza trance, noisy early-'80s electronic body music, and twitchy glitch-hop into each album. But Monkeytown imbues all this with a newly sourced warmth. Lacing 8-bit burble, buoyant bass, fizzy synths, and non-quantized rhythms, songs like "Blue Clouds" and "Shipwreck" (featuring Thom Yorke's disembodied coo) clearly seem to reference Los Angeles' beat scene. But Modeselektor sprinkle the Flying Lotus–style funk sparingly, melting their Teutonic cool just enough to reveal a previously missing musical link: soulfulness.

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