Claire Lobenfeld

  • Lydia Loveless

    Lydia Loveless Gives Kesha's 'Blind' An Alt-Country Makeover

    Record Store Day is not only a celebration of brick and mortar vinyl peddlers, but also a great opportunity for artists and labels to push unique odds and ends. This year, Columbus, OH alt-country singer Lyda Loveless is using the date to release her non-album cut "Mile High" (which she and her band performed at SPIN's House of Vans party at this year's SXSW), with a cover of Kesha's Autotune ballad "Blind" on the B side. While Kesha's version of the track is about as somber as you can get for a high gloss Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco production, Loveless reimagines it with the kind of heartbroken confidence the song requires. The lonely pain shines brightest when the chorus—"You must be blind if you can't see/you'll miss me 'till the day you/without me, you're nothing"—is stripped of Autotune warbles and sung with assuredness.But why Kesha?

  • Cloud Nothings Hit Emo's Sweet (And Sour) Spot on 'Here And Nowhere Else'

    Cloud Nothings Hit Emo's Sweet (And Sour) Spot on 'Here And Nowhere Else'

    The emo revival! It's the new alt-R&B! And it's littered with bands -- A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Into It. Over It. -- that have taken back a genre that, in its heyday, had connotations so polarizing its arbiters were quick to deny their involvement. (If it wasn't in a newsprint 'zine from 1999, there would be a link here to an interview where a Clarity-era Jimmy Eat World eschewed the term "emo" and declared themselves, "Metal! True metal!"). And yet despite the grip of groups doing this now, the one that hits closest to the meaty, gut-wrenching midpoint between Rites of Spring and Bleed American is Cloud Nothings.

  • Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina of Pussy Riot (alongside Madonna) at Amnesty International Bringing Human Rights Home, Brooklyn, February 5, 2014 / Photo by David Andrako

    Brooklyn's Pussy Riot Tribute Show Was an Earnest But Tepid Mess

  • Bloc Party

    Bloc Party's Kele Okereke Fooled Fans, Was 'Naughty Boy'

    Bloc Party's frontman has something to confess. In 2011, a little over a year after Kele Okereke released his solo record, The Boxer, the singer-guitarist impishly suggested he was worried about being given the axe by his bandmates Russell Lissack (guitar), Gordon Moakes (bass) and Matt Tong (drums), after he randomly ran into them outside of a New York City rehearsal space. "I don't really know what's going on," Okereke said at the time. "We haven't really spoken recently and I'm a bit too scared to ask." This, folks, is what magicians call misdirection. "We were making a record, but we weren't really letting anyone know," Okereke says now, speaking on the phone from a tour stop in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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