• Royal Trux

    The Odd Couple: Royal Trux's Curious Legacy

    Former Royal Trux singer Jennifer Herrema knows how to get right to the heart of the matter: "It's so hard to put it all together in a linear way."Oh, word?We're talking about Drag City's recent reissues of some late Trux material, namely the 1998 double-header of Accelerator and the 3-Song EP, as well as 1999's polyrhythmic stew Veterans of Disorder. But that line remains one of the best summations of her former band I've ever heard.

  • Diarrhea Planet / Photo by Ian Witlen

    Diarrhea Planet's 'I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams' Is a Fount of Tasteless Pop-Punk Excellence

    Hey, kids! Poop! POOOOOP!!! Let's get this outta the way: There are crappy band names, and then there's Diarrhea Planet, which doesn't even qualify as the most scatalogically jarring moniker in the rock underground.

  • Daughn Gibson / Photo by Adam Wallacavage

    Daughn Gibson, 'Me Moan' (Sub Pop)

    With apologies to Le Tigre:What's your take on Daughn Gibson? What's your take on Daughn Gibson? What's your take on Daughn Gibson? What's your take on Daughn Gibson? Himbo! Genius! Himbo! Genius!Rarely has a crowd been as entranced and/or baffled as the mob that witnessed this goth-country pinup's June 2012 appearance at Austin's Chaos in Tejas festival. His mysterious, largely one-man debut, All Hell, had surfaced a few months earlier, full of acoustic-guitar torpor, lovely piano melodies, and basso-lounge crooning. Rumor was that he hadn't played live solo much (previously drumming in nondescript indie-rock outfit Pearls and Brass), and frankly; nobody knew what the hell to expect.That even extended to his appearance.

  • Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath / Theo Wargo/Getty

    Black Sabbath, '13' (Vertigo/Universal)

    A reading from the Book of Sabbath, Chapter 13:[1] In the beginning was the Tone, and the Tone was with Sabbath, and the Tone was Sabbath.[2] The same was in the beginning with Sabbath.[3] All metal was made by Sabbath; and without Sabbath was not any metal made that was made.[4] In Sabbath was metal; and the metal was the rock of men (and plenty of women).[5] And the metal shineth in darkness; and the poseurs comprehended it not, nor the critics, at least initially.[6] There was a man sent from Universal/Republic, whose name was Rick Rubin, and he produced Sabbath's comeback album 13 with ProTools, which was not necessarily the best look ever.[7] Rubin came for a witness, to bear witness of the Metal (see also: Slayer's Reign in Blood), that all men through Metal might believe.[8] He was not that great of a producer (maybe he should've stopped after Blood Sugar Sex Magik), but was sent

  • 'Arrested Development': A Savvy, Snappy, Repackaging of 'Golden Girls'?

    'Arrested Development': A Savvy, Snappy, Repackaging of 'Golden Girls'?

    After two years of rumors, fan agitation, everyone getting older, and a whole mess of “Final Countdown” references on social-media platforms that barely existed when it went off the air in 2006, the now much-adored Arrested Development will debut its fourth season, in its entirety, via Netflix on May 26.The punch line, of course, is that Arrested Development always struggled mightily in the ratings. Perhaps it was a victim of Fox’s chronic disinterest in interesting programming (see also Firefly, Undeclared, John Doe, Futurama, the list is long), or perhaps it just couldn’t find its audience. But for the fans who loved it, there was absolutely nothing else like it.

  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs / Photo by Dan Martensen

    Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 'Mosquito' (Interscope)

    The quasi-spring weather, the adrenaline of SXSW, the music: It's downright astonishing that there wasn't Actual Fucking during the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' show at Stubb's in Austin, Texas, this March, when the band teased a few choice cuts from their excellent new album Mosquito, while also pounding out a few old hits for good measure and turning everyone very, very on.Think of it as a generational exchange: There was Nick Cave (with his Bad Seeds), the Gothfather of Soul, fleshing out the subdermal electric mutter on his good-weird-or-boring-weird new album Push the Sky Away in grand fashion, then reminding everyone that he's goddamn Nick Cave when he tore into "From Her to Eternity," a 30-year old song that's still a master class in sweaty, engorged desire.Yet the headliners were the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a trio young enough to be Cave's children, and nothing if not his spiritual heirs.

  • Low / Photo by Zoran Orlic

    Low, 'The Invisible Way' (Sub Pop)

    This year marks Low's 20th anniversary and The Invisible Way is the trio's 10th album. But honestly, did they ever seem young? Maybe it was their married couplehood, or the Mormon faith they quietly but never ostentatiously affirmed, but even in the mid-'90s, bandleaders Alan and Mimi Sparhawk seemed like fully formed adults in an alt-world of kids who loathed the idea of growing up.Or maybe, probably mostly, it was their music: austere and slow, quiet and sincere, where most everything else "indie" and "rock" was excessive and loud, sweaty and bitingly ironic.

  • iceage

    Iceage, 'You're Nothing' (Matador)

    Oh, Iceage. You are classicists perhaps by accident, and that is awesome.One of the great pleasures of being a serious pop-music fan is basking in the warm glow of the Excellent Second Album (That Amplifies and Enhances Things Awesome About the First). The Stooges' Funhouse turned the trash-can fire of their debut into a towering inferno. The Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat took their established penchant for horrible noise and ran with it. Steely Dan's Countdown to Ecstasy inched ever closer to the ideals of pure Danhood.

  • Pissed Jeans / Photo by Andrew Swartz

    Pissed Jeans, 'Honeys' (Sub Pop)

    "I like noise. I like big-ass vicious noise that makes my head spin. I wanna feel it whipping through me like a fucking jolt… an articulated noise that hangs there in your memory and causes further damage." That's Steve Albini talking to Forced Exposure in 1986 — that's back in the Reagan administration, and like Nice and Smooth, not a damn thing changed.Maybe the thunderous puds in Pissed Jeans (and boy, does that band name let you know what galloping murk lays ahead) know this quote from the Dean of American Noise Rock, and maybe they have better things to do with their time than flip through old 'zines. But they know the feeling in their bones. These songs and sounds aren't necessarily ugly to everyone's ears; they're not just cathartic in their bounding energy.

  • Scott Walker

    Scott Walker, 'Bish Bosch' (4AD)

    To understand the hold that Scott Walker has over his cult — to know why his lunatic new Bish Bosch will excite the devout even as it baffles — you should check out the birthday greeting he delivered in 1997 to lifelong acolyte David Bowie when the Thin (well, Trim) White Duke turned 50."Like everyone else, I'd like to thank you for all the years and your generosity of spirit when it comes to other artists," the notoriously private singer said via taped message during a BBC Radio interview with Bowie. "Have a wonderful birthday and, by the way, mine's the day after yours, so I'll have a drink to you on the other side of midnight." There's a heavy sigh, then seconds of silence. Bowie's genuinely moved. "Wow," he says, clearly trying to compose himself. "That's amazing. I see God in the window. He's probably been my idol since I was a kid... I want a copy of that...That's absolutely...

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