• Neutral Milk Hotel (sorry, all would-be photographers at this thing were terminated with extreme prejudice)

    Neutral Milk Hotel's First Show in 15 Years Was Ragged, Glorious

    Neutral Milk Hotel / 2640 / Baltimore, MD / Friday, October 11, 2013After 15 years, what's another five minutes of suspense as to what Jeff Mangum's new old band might sound like now? Though the opening set by Elf Power and the Elephant 6 t-shirts on sale at the merch table were probably hint enough, the un-retired icon first appeared alone — long-haired, long-bearded, natty-sweatered, and half-hidden under a Cuban Army hat — onstage at 2640, a Baltimore Methodist church turned collectivist arts center. The houselights — mostly paper lanterns and Christmas lights illuminating the crumbling paint and exposed brick — stayed on as the 42-year old songwriter launched into "Two-Headed Boy," the booming-voiced folk-surrealist manifesto from 1998's beloved In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

  • yoko one, sean lennon, earl slick, bowery ballroom

    Yoko Ono Celebrates 80th Year, 'Land of Hell' LP With Single New York Show

    There were a few moments Sunday night at the Bowery Ballroom that the seven-piece wailing pastiche-funk 2013 incarnation of the Plastic Ono Band threatened to overpower Yoko Ono. But not many. Whenever the double guitars and twin keyboards and programmed and live drums and throbbing upper-register bass-lines and trumpet seemed about ready to swallow the center, suddenly, there was Yoko. Ululating, shrieking, honking, squeaking, whoaing, yelping, laughing, sloganeering, singing, and cutting through it all.Marking the release of the new guest-studded Take Me To The Land of Hell, Ono — playing her only show of 2013 — was at once both commanding and sweet, beautifully cosmic and unflinchingly void-staring. During her hour-long (and thankfully not guest-studded) set, she lobbed far-out hippie love-bombs one tune ("It's just money!

  • A, Hoboken, NJ, July 31, 2013 / Photo by Chad Kamenshine

    Last Call at Maxwell's: Review and Photos from the Legendary Venue's Final Show

  • Ira Kaplan

    Yo La Tengo Say Goodbye to Maxwell's with a Touching Two-Set Performance

    "This band does not exist without this club," singer-guitarist Ira Kaplan announced during Yo La Tengo's final appearance at the sainted Hoboken, New Jersey locale Maxwell's last Saturday. (The venue is set to close on July 31.) Kaplan's concision was emblematic of the night, during which the trio were tasked with wrapping up a 33-year-long relationship with the room in two 45-minute sets.

  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse, 'Psychedelic Pill' (Reprise)

    At the heart of Neil Young's beautifully batshit new memoir, Waging Heavy Peace, is the enduring affirmation that he remains far more impulsive than any rational non-rock-star human could ever conceive of being. Similar (though not very listenable) evidence came earlier this year via Americana, a collection of folk covers of the "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" variety played as only Crazy Horse shouldn't have. Heavy Peace's convincing cliffhanger (spoiler alert) speculated on whether Young might ever write a song again. For that reason and more, his new double album Psychedelic Pill is all the more improbable and brilliant.Not only does Young vividly reprise three or four musical selves here, but he effortlessly invents at least one new one in the process.

  • Photo by Gary Lupton

    David Byrne and St. Vincent Turn Post-Punk Into Broadway in Brooklyn

    The most telling moment during David Byrne and St. Vincent's brass-abetted Lacoste L!ve concert series performance at Brooklyn's Williamsburg Park Saturday came about halfway through, in the middle of "This Must Be The Place," the first of three Talking Heads songs scattered conservatively throughout the night. With an eight-piece horn section handling the song's elegiac synth melody, Byrne reached the line "love me 'til my heart stops," and all 12 musicians onstage paused for a beat in a musical realization of the lyric. Performing mostly songs from their new collaborative album Love This Giant, for nearly two hours, Byrne, Annie Clark (in the role of St.


    In the pre-Internet underground, few hyper-prolific collectives came more self-obscured than Phoenix's Sun City Girls. Their 15th proper full-length since their early '80s inception, 1995's Jacks Creek had drummer Charles Gocher and brothers Alan and Richard Bishop deconstructing Appalachian twang into shards. Often threading characters (like Alan Bishop's belatedly unhinged Uncle Jim) with raw ethno-psych, Jacks Creek quickly crosses from patois novelty shtick to primitive folk terror. Like Oddsac, it grows scarier when one tries to figure out why it's funny. Avey Tare: It was actually the first Sun City Girls record I bought. Pavement had mentioned the Sun City Girls as this great band. I was on a trip to New York… Geologist: Actually, we were going to see Pavement! Avey Tare: …And I was like all right, I wanna check this out.


    A practitioner of "cinema of the ear," second generation Montreal electroacoustic composer Robert Normandeau is fond of the sonic narrative. Repurposing field recordings — including animal sounds, water droplets, and human voices — Normandeau creates shapes from sounds, and music from shapes. Finding common textures that connect his sources into coherent pieces, Normandeau's paths from chaos to beats cover important pages in Animal Collective's acousmatic atlas, which lead (among other places) to the hushed Jungle Book grotto of Strawberry Jam's "Derek." Avey Tare: Liquidy sounds? Definitely Robert Normandeau on the Emprientes DIGITALes label. Brian brought that CD over to my place once and played it for me and it was the kind of thing where it was weird, liquidy swampy sounds that formed together to make rhythms.


    The Grateful Dead were a cornerstone of the Collective's teenage brahdom, and thus an essential part of the Collectivist myth that followed — not to mention the inspiration for the band's ever-changing setlists filled with improvised segues. For the budding young psychonauts acquiring bootlegs from the lunch dude at their junior high, the Dead provided numerous portals, from "Dark Star" jams to musique concrète adventures to the radical notion that a rock band could jettison song form entirely for a transitive nightfall of diamonds. Geologist: When you're a middle schooler, if you were into music, you sort of looked at what older people were doing. I think that's why I started wearing Grateful Dead T-shirts. Like, I have to be honest, you did it because you saw older kids doing it and the imagery was just…you know, with the bears or whatever. It was just fun.


    Established in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe, Daphne Oram, and others to create a palette of sounds for various BBC programs, the Radiophonic Workshop quickly became as much research center as music production facility. A home for experimenters including Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson, who would co-found White Noise, the Workshop grew renowned for its music for Dr. Who, but its ground-up homebrewed synthesis would resonate in every pop epoch, from Jimi Hendrix producer Eddie Kramer, to bands like Broadcast and Portishead, all the way up to Geologist. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: The Beatles — Revolver

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