• Brendan Benson / Photo by Kathryn Yu

    Brendan Benson Rocks the SPIN Rooftop

    Coinciding with the release of My Old, Familiar Friend, Brendan Benson's first solo album in four years, the erstwhile Raconteur took to the rooftop of SPIN's New York City offices Tuesday evening, offering a mini-batch of ebullient power-pop rockers to friends, fans, and SPIN employees.The latest edition of our SPINhouse Live concert series, presented by Newcastle Brown Ale and Onitsuka Tiger, was the first to be held in the open air, five stories up from the Manhattan streets, and the ambiance did not go unnoticed: "It's nice that it's cooling down a little bit," Benson quipped, pausing to take in a welcome breeze, "and it's good to be above all the smells."The evening's lively, carefree vibe persisted throughout the Nashvillean's eight-song set, as the audience swayed and head-bobbed their way through new material like the "A Whole Lot Better" (featuring an Elvis Costello-approved syn

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    Hot Punks: Teenage Bottlerocket's "Skate Or Die"

    If there's one thing Wyoming's Teenage Bottlerocket aren't particularly concerned about, it's guarding their influences. From the Ramones-patented leather jackets they sport in their press photos to the "skull and cross-missiles" insignia that adorns each of their albums (an idea inspired by Alkaline Trio's skull-in-heart emblem), it doesn't take much sleuthing to trace the lineage of the band's proto-meets-pop punk sound. The quartet signed with Fat Wreck Chords in February; label head Fat Mike of NOFX has been a fan of frontman Kody Templeman for over a decade, having professed his love for Templeman's first band, the Lillingtons, who disbanded in 2001. Now, Teenage Bottlerocket are set to release their fourth full-length, They Came From the Shadows, on Sept.

  • Owl City, 'Ocean Eyes' (Universal Republic)

    The third album from MySpace phenom Owl City, a.k.a., Adam Young, is pristine pop electronica: synths and strings meld seamlessly into dreamy, summery atmospherics (with guest vocals from Matt Theissen of Christian emo mainstays Relient K). But while Young's compositions occasionally flirt with the nuanced melodicism of Jimmy Tamborello or Jona Bechtolt, he rarely lets even the slightest risky idea emerge. The result is a skillfully crafted record that feels blissfully monochromatic. As Young puts it, "If the bombs go off, the sun will still be shining." LISTEN: Owl City, "Strawberry Avalanche" BUY: iTunesAmazon

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