• M. Gira / Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

    Swans Leader M. Gira: Say No to Society, Record Labels, Touring With Your Spouse

    Over the past three decades, Michael Gira has established himself as underground rock's ace of debasement. From the brutal, self-pugilistic caterwauls of sludgy art-rockers Swans to the brittle, American Gothic doom-folk he recorded with Angels of Light, he strips music down to its harrowing, bare-bones essentials. It's no wonder, then, that his acidic bellowing and post-blues licks resound in the works of industro-rockers like Godflesh and heady metallers like Neurosis as much as experimental folk artists like James Blackshaw and Wooden Wand. Since 1990, he's applied the same principles to running his home-brewed record label Young God, launching the careers of freaky folks like Devendra Banhart and Akron/Family; running his business with a cutthroat, do-it-yourself attitude a good decade before the rest of the internet followed suit.

  • 'Strummer of Love' Continues With Joe Strummer Comp

    'Strummer of Love' Continues With Joe Strummer Comp

    Yesterday would have been the Clash legend Joe Strummer's 60th birthday (as some pun-loving U.K. festival organizers reminded us). To celebrate his life, the label that released his final recordings has put out a digital compilation of his work with his group the Mescaleros. Titled Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, the Hellcat Years, it contains a whopping 57 tracks recorded between 1999 and Strummers death in 2002. The label also intends to reissue Strummer's three Mescaleros albums, 1999's Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, 2001's Global A Go-Go and 2003's Streetcore on September 25. The compilation includes hard-to-find B-sides and previously unreleased live performances, including three Clash tunes featuring a guest appearance by that band's guitarist (and apparently archivist) Mick Jones.

  • Taylor Swift / Photo by Getty Images

    Taylor Swift Smashes Ke$ha's Digital Music Sales Record

    She's already the top-earning musician right now, but months before the release of her new album, Red (which is about heartbreak, of course), she's still setting records. Last week, Taylor Swift sold 623,000 downloads of her latest single, the declaration of independence "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," according to the BBC. This makes it the best-ever selling download by a female artist, as well as the second largest sales overall of a download by artists of any gender. Previously, Ke$ha held both of those titles for "TiK ToK," which sold 610,000 downloads in January 2010.

  • Daniel Johnston Song Makes Axe Ad A Little Less Stinky

    Daniel Johnston Song Makes Axe Ad A Little Less Stinky

    Usually, the commercials for the men's grooming products that Axe creates come off as chauvinistic fantasies, meant to appeal to dudes who use Jersey Shore as their etiquette manual. Now, as spotted by Brooklyn Vegan, the company's ad execs have released a commercial for some new hair product that still comes across like a chauvinistic fantasy — a man, represented by a small creature with long locks of hair, is able to attract a woman, another small creature represented by (duh!) breasts, by using the company's magical snake oil — except there's a twist. This commercial features outsider-pop hero Daniel Johnston's heartfelt 1984 lo-fi masterpiece "True Love Will Find You in the End." Because of this, were it not for the letchy stereotypes, the commercial might actually be touching or sincere.

  • A still from <i>Shut Up and Play the Hits</i>

    LCD Soundsystem's Movie Is Available on iTunes Right Now

    Last month, LCD Soundsystem screened their swansong, Shut Up and Play the Hits — a touching documentary filmed in 2011 covering highlights from their final gig and James Murphy's immediate readjustment to real life — at various movie theaters around the U.S. From our experience, it was a fun, funny, touching portrait of Murphy's bristling neck beard and a band exiting on top. Now the studio that released it, the Adam Yauch-cofounded Oscilloscope Laboratories, has made the doc available for download or rental on iTunes. The HD movie is yours to own for $12.99 ($4.99 for a rental) and the regular version is $9.99 ($3.99 for a rental). But if owning 1's and 0's isn't enough, the band is also releasing the doc as a DVD via its own website.

  • Taylor Swift / Photo by Getty Images

    'VH1 Storytellers' Books Lady Lineup: Taylor Swift, Pink, Alicia Keys

    The producers behind VH1 Storytellers, the long-running series where musicians reveal themselves to be quirky human beings and not robots by sharing some of the things that inspired their repertoire, announced some artists who will be heading up the show's upcoming season. The premiere, which airs at 11 p.m. EST on November 11, will feature the confirmed well-paid Taylor Swift, who will regale viewers with stories of her short-lived goth phase and maybe just who the indie snob she dated is. Swift is currently hosting a competition where her fans can vote for the high school or college where she'll film her episode.

  • Dinosaur Jr. Soundtrack Slacker Heartbreak in 'Watch the Corners' Video

    Dinosaur Jr. Soundtrack Slacker Heartbreak in 'Watch the Corners' Video

    Dinosaur Jr. protect those guilty of underage drinking and teenage hooliganism in their new video for "Watch the Corners" (off their forthcoming "guitar grinding" LP I Bet on the Sky) by pixelating their faces like they're the subjects of a heinous local news investigation. The clip was helmed by the Director Brothers and stars the Tim of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! as a father whose daughter gets a job at a grocery store and becomes interested in a goofy skateboard-riding stock dude. As the teen girl spies his antics — stealing a bottle of liquor, juggling produce — she starts falling for him. (Meanwhile, when she's home, she watches an equally censored Dinosaur Jr.

  • A still from

    Marilyn Manson Pulls Out the Big Guns for NSFW 'Slo-Mo-Tion' Video

    "This is my beautiful show, where everything is shot in slow motion," sings Marilyn Manson in his video for "Slo-Mo-Tion," a cut off his latest album, Born Villain. Manson directed the clip himself, which is better than this, and it's as creepy as you'd expect it to be: putrid neon paint, Manson spittling, prosthetic breasts and, of course, Manson saying the words "slow motion" really slowly. But those aren't the really shocking parts.

  • Lauryn Hill's mug shot / Photo via United States Marshals Service

    Lauryn Hill's Tax Woes Go Local: Jersey Bill Tops $446K

    Since this past June, the IRS has begun its re-education of Lauryn Noelle Hill, age 37, when U.S. Marshals apprehended the former Fugee for tax evasion. She's facing three years in prison and $300,000 in fines stemming from those federal charges. And now it's been revealed that during those years, not only did she fail to pay $1.8 million to the federal government, but she allegedly also shirked $446,386 she owed the State of New Jersey.

  • Juliana Hatfield / Photo by Getty Images

    Juliana Hatfield Rejoins the Lemonheads for Psychedelic Furs Tour

    Add another chapter to Evan Dando/Juliana Hatfield story: the latter is rejoining the Lemonheads for a brief tour supporting the Psychedelic Furs. The reunion of former Lemonheads bassist Hatfield with head 'Head Evan Dando isn't entirely unprecedented — they duetted on some songs in concert in 2010 and off and on for a few years leading up to that — but it will definitely excite fans who followed the fertile Boston rock scene in the '90s. Hatfield recently revealed the news on Twitter, writing and then deleting, "Oh yeah–Lemonheads –trio, me on bass, supporting Psychedelic Furs– October…more on this later." And now the Furs have made the news official on their website, announcing additional tour dates with "our special guests The Lemonheads (Ft. Juliana Hatfield)!!" Hatfield and Dando's history, of course, goes back decades.

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