Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Le1f 'Damn Son' Stream Tree House Mixtape Tour

    Le1f Struts Supreme on Darkly Burbling 'Damn Son'

    New York's vogue-rap star Le1f is showing no signs of slowing his roll. On September 10, he'll release his third mixtape in just over a year: Tree House, which follows the breakout set Dark York and January's Fly Zone. Unsurprisingly, the man is "fresh like diamonds, soft like chiffon" on first taste "Damn Son." Over a typically shadowy, trap-addled, and new age-assisted beat provided by Shy Guy, Le1f shouts out comic sans script, compares himself to honey ham, and quotes Freak Nasty's "Da Dip." Rahel assists with backing vocals, as does that ubiquitous "Damn Son!" sample that's the punchline to so many Twitter jokes these days. Le1f hits the road next month.

  • Depeche Mode 'Should Be Higher' Live Video Tour

    Depeche Mode Flaunt Virile Live Show in 'Should Be Higher' Video

    Having recently conquered the European continent, Depeche Mode are kicking off their North American tour in Detroit tonight, then heading overseas all over again. We've recently seen the synth-pop giants in the studio ("Goodbye"), plus heard them mashed up with Kanye West and covered by Ghost B.C., but there's a reason the Delta Machine dudes are booked clear into 2014. Above, witness Depeche Mode in their element, performing "Should Be Higher" to a rapturous audience."Your eyes are more attractive than the truth," Dave Gahan sings after a sassy bout of hip-switching and hand-flipping. His wiry frame highlighted by guyliner, hair gel, and copious amounts of sweat, the man exudes virility as the screen behind the band simulates a hail of fire and sparks.

  • Jel 'Late Pass' Stream Anticon Odd Nosdam

    Jel's 'Late Pass' Is a Dubwise Boom-Bap Dream

    As a co-founder of Anticon Records and a known architect of indie-rap's more left-field beat structures, Jefferey "Jel" Logan should have had his day in the sun by now, but his is the producer's lot, and he's okay with it. "I'm not falling the fuck off. I'm not getting super large. I'm doing my thing," says the Chicago-bred, Oakland-based artist via statement. And indeed he is. Though Jel's leant his drum-punching skills to countless records and remixes on his own (Peeping Tom, Sleigh Bells, Serengeti) and as a member of various projects (Deep Puddle Dynamics, Themselves, Subtle), the just-released Late Pass is only the man's third album.But while young bucks flood the airways with beat tape after beat tape, one listen to the LP's titular track makes the case for patience as a virtue.

  • Cass McCombs There Can Only Be One Stream

    Cass McCombs Haunts Heartbreak Hotels on 'There Can Only Be One'

    If it seemed a bit ambitious for enigmatic songsmith Cass McCombs to release two albums in a year the last time he stepped out, well, the man's scaling things back for 2013 — sort of. McCombs will follow his stellar 2011 pair (Wit's End and Humor Risk) with one double album, the 22-track epic Big Wheel and Others. "Big Wheel" is indeed the name of one of the songs therein, making the LP title exactly the sort of droll troll we'd expect from the nomadic poet. McCombs' label home Domino promises "road songs, rock songs, folk songs, blues songs, country songs, rhythm and blues songs, skronk non-songs, cinema songs, cult songs, poem songs, jams, and ballads." (It's unclear which of those is "Big Wheel" and which are the others.)We've already heard the lovely, contemplative strummer "Morning Star" and now we've got a new taste to sample.

  • The Dirtbombs 'Crazy for You' Stream Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey!

    The Dirtbombs Do Bubblegum (Garage Style) on 'Crazy for You'

    Detroit garage-rock posse the Dirtbombs have been doing their thing since 1992 and, as the story goes, have been promising an album's worth of bubblegum tunes for a decade. Of course, the thought of band mastermind Mick Collins — he of seminal blues-punks the Gories — bending his gruffly soulful pipes to cooing out some '60s pop nuggets always seemed like a long shot. Enter Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey!, a 10-track set due out September 17 on In the Red Records.While one might assume the Dirtbombs would choose a few classics to cover for their fifth album — previous sets have found them paying tribute to Motown hits and local techno greats — the new LP is 100 percent original. Below you'll hear "Crazy for You," a hooky track featuring some Wonders-like melodies and the band's out shambly, shaggy sound.

  • Au Revoir Simone 'Crazy' Stream Move in Spectrums

    Hear Au Revoir Simone Go Girl 'Crazy' on Sunny Single

    After a four-year break, synth-pop sirens Au Revoir Simone are returning with a fourth album, Move in Spectrums. The Brooklyn trio have already shared one ebullient highlight — "Somebody Who," with its transfixing video — and now have a new one to offer, via Stereogum. By contrast, "Crazy" gets its propulsive pulse from upbeat live drumming that well compliments the girl-group vocals and sunny guitar-play. "Every time I walked away, thought that it was done," sings Heather D’Angelo at the song's start, and yet by the chorus, it's clear the problem persists: "Ooh, you girls you drive me crazy." Light and catchy but a little bit sad, the track feels tailor-made for the waning days of summer. Perfect, considering Move in Spectrums is out September 24, via Moshi Moshi/Instant, just three days into the fall. 

  • Sid Bernstein Beatles Promoter Dead British Invasion

    Sid Bernstein, 'Father of the British Invasion,' Dead at 95

    Legendary concert promoter Sid Bernstein has died at the age of 95. The rightly self-dubbed "Father of the British Invasion" was responsible not only for booking the first U.S. shows by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, he also set up rock'n'roll's first sports arena gig — the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965. According to his daughter, via NME, the well-loved New York native passed away peacefully in his sleep today, August 21.Bernstein is also credited with bringing stateside audiences the Kinks, the Animals, Herman's Hermits, and the Moody Blues. He promoted concerts by Jimi Hendrix, ABBA, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Sly & the Family Stone, and Judy Garland as well, and was the first impresario to throw a rock show at Madison Square Garden.

  • Rapper Instagram Gun Bust Trafficking Ring New York

    Rapper's Instagram Feed Led Cops to Historically Huge Gun Bust

    Thanks to one aspiring rapper's careless Instagram posts, New York City police scored the largest gun bust in city history. As Gawker points out, mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly threw themselves a little press party on Monday (August 19) in order to announce that they'd successfully removed 254 firearms from the street, at least 36 of which had been stolen, and arrested 19 players in an interstate weapons trafficking ring.The unintentional snitch was Matthew Best, a 26-year-old who's recorded a couple of mixtapes under the name Neno Best. On an Instagram account that only appears to have been deleted as of this week, the Brooklyn man shared photos of large wads of cash and the guns that he claimed to be selling out of his Ocean Hill music studio.

  • Sam Smith 'Nirvana' Stream

    Sam Smith Aims to Achieve 'Nirvana' With Transcendent R&B

    Cambridge-based singer Sam Smith made his name guesting on dance-pop tracks by rising stars like Naughty Boy and Disclosure, but the man is now taking the lead. Last month, we heard a sample from his forthcoming EP on PMR Records. With a co-write assist from labelmate Two Inch Punch, "Safe With Me" split the difference between Smith's recent housier forays and his more instrumental solo past.New song "Nirvana" is a breathy, subdued R&B ballad in the mold of Frank Ocean and perhaps (just a little bit) K-Ci & Jo-Jo — the latter thanks to those soaring heights that our channel ORANGE hero generally eschews. It's all synthy strings and choral harmonies with flanged guitars and muffled drums. British duo Craze & Hoax handle the production fresh off of their collaboration with Outside Lands star Emeli Sandé.

  • Cash Money VMAs Cancel Party Lil Wayne Birdman

    Cash Money VMAs After-Party Invites Rendered Worthless

    Mere days after announcing what was slated to be "the most dazzling event" of MTV's VMAs week — sure to be "the talk of the town" — Cash Money Records have cancelled their invite-only awards show after-party in New York. The reason? Too many people wanted to go. At least that's what organizers say in a new press release, which makes for a pretty gripping sequel following the flowery one that pimped the "luxury event" in the first place.The label's C.E.O. Bryan "Birdman" Williams and flagship star Lil Wayne were set to host, while roster-mates and affiliates like Drake, Busta Rhymes, DJ Khaled, Paris Hilton, and Tyga were promised to appear. The party was set for August 25 at Brooklyn's Skylight One Hanson immediately following the VMAs.

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