• Rage Against the Machine photographer in London, 1992 / Photo by Sony Music Archive/Getty/Mark Baker

    Rage Against the Machine Look Back on 20 Years of 'Killing in the Name'

    With lyrics comparing cops to Klansmen, a free-noise breakdown, and a bridge containing "FUCK YOU" repeated no less than 16 times, rap-rock agitators Rage Against the Machine didn't expect "Killing in the Name," the first single from their self-titled 1992 debut, to be a hit. And it wasn't. At least not in the United States, where a choppy, radio-sanitized edit and gritty live-from-the-pit clip failed to get its radical fusion of metal, rap, and sci-fi guitar wonkery on any chart. But in post-Sex Pistols, post-KLF Europe, where both radio and video outlets embraced the whole "fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" thing, it was a tour de force, even reaching No.

  • Photo by Matt Ellis

    Soundgarden Celebrate Old and New at Two-Hour 'King Animal' Release Party in New York

    See our gallery of Soundgarden's King Animal show here.To celebrate the end of the torturous 6,020-day wait between Soundgarden releases, the onetime Seattle-based alterna-metal-punk-grunge-whatever quartet played a record-release show at New York City's Irving Plaza last night. The Mesozoic wait didn't matter much, though, at least not to the 1,000 or so fans who were lucky enough to acquire tickets to the show (or were blessed enough to have $150 to satiate the scalpers outside— where's Mike Damone when you need him?). Many of the concertgoers were singing along to every word of Soundgarden's just-released King Animal. Throughout the night, superfan Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters, who watched the show from behind the mixing desk, kept a bestial beat, drumming one arm on the other.

  • Neurosis, 'Honor Found in Decay' (Neurot)

    Nearly three eardrum-decimating decades into their career — and a little more than 15 years since they perfected feedback-drenched catharsis metal on 1996 watershed Through Silver in Blood — the expressionists in Neurosis still sound as though, to them, happiness is a foreign language. For every mercilessly murky minor chord on their latest, Honor Found in Decay, there's a Prozac Nation's worth of downtrodden declarations. "Death was my first companion," the leadoff track boasts, while a later number proudly proclaims, "We'll sleep with no dreams tonight."Then there's "At the Well" and its relentlessly repeated invocation, "In a shadow world," which could very well be "In a shattered world," and it wouldn't make a forked-tongue lick of difference, because it's ridiculously heavy regardless.

  • Converge, 'All We Love We Leave Behind' (Epitaph)

    In interviews, Converge present themselves as hardcore-punk ascetics, studio rats born to create brutal, convoluted maelstroms — and that's about it. Some band members say they don't pay attention to much music besides their own; others insist their purpose is to express, not entertain. And as for commerce, forget it: As lead singer Jacob Bannon recently put it, "Success, to me, is creating something that's moving and fulfilling."It's a simple, mature outlook from musical wizards who seem content to peek out from behind the curtain but never fully emerge. Which makes it difficult to be a fan of Converge, at least in the Beatlemania sense — in lieu of distinct extra-musical personalities, would you settle for limited-edition multicolored vinyl?

  • Led Zeppelin's 'Celebration Day' By the Numbers

    Led Zeppelin's 'Celebration Day' By the Numbers

    At some point during the past few decades, the remaining members of Led Zeppelin started acting pretty punk-rock. They play only when they want, they give cool, cheeky responses to reporters who ask about the prospect of upcoming concerts, and, in their most recent act of insolence, they waited five years to release a film of what was likely their final performance. (Don't like the way they do things? Too bad.) The flick, Celebration Day — which documents the 2007 London concert the band played in tribute to Atlantic Records cofounder Ahmet Ertegun — will screen in cinemas beginning on October 17 and will be released on DVD on November 19. Even the film itself is no bullshit, save some arty Instagram-like shots.

  • Gary Clark Jr. / Photo by Getty Images

    How the Ghost of Tupac Guided Gary Clark Jr.'s Major Label Debut

    The opening declaration of Gary Clark Jr.'s forthcoming album, Blak and Blu, goes, "I don't believe in competition, ain't nobody else like me around." The lyric draws from the years the prodigious vocalist-guitarist, now 28, spent woodshedding his mix of guitar-heavy blues and expressive soul on indie releases and the Austin, Texas, club circuit, where he says "everyone is a guitar player" showing off. He claims he has tried to avoid the scene's schoolyard-like one-upmanship, but when asked whether that lyric might be just him bragging, he says with a smirk, "I just genuinely feel that way…so why not?"With that in mind, the past year has been incredibly validating for Clark.

  • Caspian, 'Waking Season' (Triple Crown)

    When Caspian formed in 2004, they were bandwagon jumpers, one of many mostly instrumental bands embracing post-rock after Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Rós, and Explosions in the Sky had reinvigorated the genre with atmospheric touches, symphonic arrangements, and epic runtimes. The young Massachusetts crew has never hidden that fact, either, citing the Godspeed-issuing Constellation Records as a favorite label, and Mogwai as a favorite group. What distinguishes these guys from other interlopers, though, is their knack for "sculpting" sound, to borrow a term guitarist Philip Jamieson once used: Caspian painstakingly work out an elaborate succession of noises, fashioning music that truly transcends.

  • There is a Light / Photo by Aleksandar Maćašev

    Thurston Moore Plays First Show With New Band Chelsea Light Moving

    Chelsea Light Moving still felt like indie-rock auteur Thurston Moore's solo group at the quartet's first concert last night, his three bandmates keeping a watchful eye on him throughout their show at Brooklyn's 285 Kent. The ensemble has been playing together since at least January, when the Sonic Youth vocalist-guitarist began booking more solo shows than usual as has band's future became increasingly more uncertain. Since those gigs, the group — Moore, guitarist Keith Wood, bassist-violinist Samara Lubelski and drummer John Maloney — has earned the identity of being one of Moore's harder-hitting projects, by releasing guitar-heavy slow burners like "Frank O'Hara Hit" and the punky, walloping "Burroughs".

  • HAMMER FILM PRODUCTIONS

    Most prolific from the 1950s through the 1970s, this British movie studio is best known for reviving classic horror monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein's monster and the Mummy. Actor Christopher Lee, now of Lord of the Rings fame, starred as the monster in many of these, and composer James Bernard wrote some of its most memorably atonal scores. He once gladly told a journalist in 1955 that in the 20 minutes of music he wrote for Hammer's cactus-man flick The Quatermass Xperiment, there is "not a single tune from beginning to end." Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Hausu

  • THE LEXICON EFFECTS PROCESSOR

    The New York-based audio electronics company Lexicon released its first digital reverb processor in 1971, a piece of recording gear that replicates the atmospheric echo of environments as small as a bathroom and as big as the Grand Canyon. The reverb units they have created since then, one of which was designed by a nuclear physicist, have won awards (including an Emmy) and some of the recording industry's most influential names like Alan Parsons (Dark Side of the Moon, Abbey Road) and Ken Lewis (Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z) endorse their products. Panda Bear: My brother, right when I was starting to record songs, got a Lexicon Effects Processor. I was just playing around with it on headphones. Putting it on the reverb setting. And it was just like, Ohhhh yeah. I was so into singing through it. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Lightning Bolt

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