• 100721-j-roddy-walston.jpg

    EXCLUSIVE MP3: J Roddy Walston and the Business

    J Roddy Walston and the Business' self-titled debut album, out July 27, is full of spirited and sweaty Southern rock, and with its joyous oh oh oh ah backing vocals and buoyant boogie rhythm, "I Don't Wanna Hear It" is the collection's purest-party starter -- but its lyrics paint a defiant picture that started in a troubled personal moment. "I wrote this song in the middle of a bad downward spiral," says singer-pianist Walston, of the Baltimore-based band, who were one of SPIN's must-hear bands at this year's South by Southwest festival. "It was one of those times where you hate everything good and you're just trying to be a dark animal....

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    Why They're Called... Anberlin

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists. This week: Florida alt-pop band Anberlin, whose new album Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place is out September 21. Why Anberlin: "I was in my dorm room at the University of Central Florida in 2002," says lead singer Stephen Christian, "and I was listening to Radiohead's Kid A. I was infatuated. I listened to that album every night for a month. But in the song 'Everything In Its Right Place,' I thought I kept hearing something in the background that sounded like Thom Yorke was singing the word 'Anberlin.' I kept hearing it: 'Anberlin,' 'Anberlin.' I searched online for 'Radiohead and Anberlin,' 'Thom Yorke and Anberlin' but didn't find anything.

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    Breaking Out: Giggs

    Typically, a rapper waits to blow up before branching into retail, but London's Giggs knows firsthand the value of having a fallback plan. "I've got enough people hoping I'll fail that I need to be smart with my business," says the 27-year-old, who since early 2009 has run a shop selling mixtapes and his own SN1 clothing line in the rough Peckham neighborhood where he grew up. "That's why I opened the store. I need to be able to support my music if everything else goes away." The everything else Giggs -- born Nathan Thompson -- is referring to is a burgeoning career that, in the two years since he released his first mixtape (the menacing Walk in Da Park), has seen him win Best U.K. Hip-hop act at the 2008 BET Awards and draw praise from the Streets' Mike Skinner, who appeared on the uncharacteristically mournful 2009 track "Slow Songs." Giggs also notched his first charting U.K.

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    Breaking Out: Die Antwoord

    Given that Cape Town–based rap provocateurs Die Antwoord's introduction to the world came via a freaky video featuring a muscle-bound progeria sufferer and a suspiciously young-looking blonde's striptease, it's not surprising that the band's frontman, Ninja, was worried his first visit to the United States would end before it began. "I thought the customs guy wouldn't let us in," says the MC, recalling the trio's journey to Los Angeles last April to play Coachella, "but then he asked for my autograph." It was a long, strange trip for Ninja, vocalist Yo-Landi Visser, and DJ Hi-Tek to reach fanboy recognition. Born Watkin Jones, Ninja scuffled for years in South Africa's music scene -- hanging with rappers and smoking weed with Rastas -- before getting in on an idea that could travel. "In 2006, Yo-Landi thought to throw in rave shit with my rap shit.

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    Why They're Called... Papa Roach

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists. This week: Northern California rockers Papa Roach, whose Time For Annihiliation is out August 31. Why Papa Roach: "We came up with the name back in 1993 when we were like sixteen years old -- young and dumb," remembers frontman Jacoby Shaddix. "At the time we were listening to lots of bands with funky names -- stuff like Mr. Bungle, Primus, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. We were also playing weird spastic funk-punk like they were, so we thought we should have a name that fit in with that vibe. At first we wanted to name the band Papa Gato after [a nickname for] Poncho Sanchez, the Latin percussionist. But then I thought, what if we named it after my grandfather -- his last name is Roach.

  • Endless Boogie, 'Full House Head' (No Quarter)

    Be the riff. Over 76 minutes and eight tracks (and utilizing what sounds like half as many chords), New York City satori seekers Endless Boogie give themselves fully to heavy blues choogles that ooze toward eternity. The band's devotion, and listener's faith, is rewarded with moments -- sometimes occurring three minutes into a song, sometimes nine -- where muttering singer-guitarist Top Dollar's perfectly placed bent-fuzz notes and the rhythm section's electric-mud groove attain nothing-is-something transcendence. "Rubber and road," he croaks on "Tarmac City," "settin' me free." Full House Head offers another, gnarlier path. ?BUY:? Amazon?

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    Why They're Called... Cage the Elephant

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists. This week: Cage the Elephant, who head out on tour with Stone Temple Pilots this August. Why Cage the Elephant: "We were in Knoxville, Tennessee, hanging outside a club after a show-this is probably in 2006," remembers singer Matthew Shultz, "and we saw this guy with a shaved head and a long goatee yelling and screaming and talking to himself. I'm pretty sure he had some mental issues going on. He all of a sudden beelined towards us. Everyone jumped into our car and shut the doors. But I didn't make it into the car. I was stuck outside. I thought for sure the guy was gonna stab me or something, but then he came up to me and gave me a hug.

  • School of Seven Bells, 'Disconnect From Desire' (Vagrant)

    Alpinisms, School of Seven Bells' intriguing 2008 debut, blended dreamy, deep-focus soundscapes with spiraling melodies sung in close harmony. On Desire, guitarist Ben Curtis and twin sister vocalists, Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, rein in and smooth out those same elements, as songs like the uplifting "Windstorm" and majestic "Joviann" fit space-mother sing-alongs and relaxed Madchester rhythms into snappier verse-chorus structures. Fussy knob-twiddling grounds a couple of tracks, but this skyward-reaching album delivers plenty of solidly earthy pleasures. BUY: iTunesAmazon?

  • Sun Kil Moon, 'Admiral Fell Promises' (Caldo Verde)

    Mark Kozelek has long been a fruitful inhabitant of the acoustic balladeer/ craggy electric-loner persona perfected by Neil Young. The big shift on his beautifully recorded, intermittently moving fourth album under the Sun Kil Moon moniker is that only his nylon-string guitar plucking now accompanies his wounded croon. Mournful Spanish-style codas on the bittersweet "Alesund" and bitterer, sweeter "The Leaning Tree" could soften a bandito's heart; but elsewhere, cloudy melodies and moony lyrics (birds figure prominently) tip languor into listlessness. BUY: iTunesAmazon?

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    Why They're Called... !!!

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists. This week: Rave-influenced rockers !!!, whose new album Strange Weather, Isn't It? is out August 24. Why !!!: "We were sitting on a porch in Sacramento back in, like, 1996, and just throwing around names," says singer Nic Offer. "Tyler [Pope, the band's guitarist] was talking about how in the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy these African tribesman had names with an exclamation mark in them and it was pronounced as a clicking noise. Then we thought it would be funny if we called ourselves !!! and people could just associate whatever three sounds they wanted with the name. At some point people started pronouncing it 'Chk Chk Chk,' which looks weird to me when I see it written out.

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