• The Oohlas, 'Best Stop Pop' (Stolen Transmission)

    By cosmic law, the drummer is always the least interesting guy in the band. But Greg Eklund, the former backbeat of Everclear, and the Oohlas' co-songwriter/guitarist (and occasional drummer), makes a compelling rebuttal with his new Los Angeles-based crew. The jangly, jittery "Tripped" channels Throwing Muses (lead singer Ollie Stone sounds more than a bit like Tanya Donnelly), and the fuzzed-out "TV Dinner" hints at psychedelia. Eklund doesn't churn out anything as good as his former band's "Santa Monica" -- but then, neither does Art Alexakis. Now Hear This: The Oohlas - "Small Parts" DOWNLOAD MP3 On SPIN.com:Artist of the Day: The Oohlas >> Listen to the Oohlas on Napster BUY: iTunesAmazon

  • Beck, 'The Information' (Interscope)

    There have always been two Becks: the SoCal slack-hop brainchild of 1996's Odelay and the suicide-ballad crooner of 2002's Sea Change. Each has been loved individually, but what if a mad scientist could create a Frankenbeck that combined those two personalities? That scientist is Nigel Godrich (who also produced Sea Change), and the result is The Information. It's the album that splits the difference between the two Becks, dressing up his ambling beat science in Godrich's dystopian keyboard squeals and humming synths. There's an overall kitschy spookiness. On "1000 BPM," Beck stutters tensely over junkyard percussion reminiscent of Tom Waits. "We Dance Alone" begins as a funk-folk throwaway, but breaks down into a pulsating noise jam that could score a David Lynch film.

  • The A-D Interview

    I've been gone for two weeks, but that's only because I've been planning a very special two-part Halloween edition of A-D. I happen to be a big metal fan, and I got the opportunity to speak to Dani Filth, frontman of longtime black metal stalwarts Cradle of Filth, who just released their new album, Thornography. I've always been a fan of their tongue-in-cheek approach to black metal (with album titles like Bitter Suites to Succubi and a commitment to theatricality), and Filth's soft-spoken demeanor backs it up: It might be dark, but at least it's fun. A-D: You guys have been around for a while now. Do you find that your audience keeps "resetting" every time you come out with an album, or are your fans aging with you?Dani Filth: Obviously there's an influx every record of new people discovering the band.

  • Body and Soul, They Were Creeps

    The fourth single from Stone Temple Pilots' debut was an acousticdirge called "Creep." That statement is an anomaly for two reasons.First, when was the last time any album, especially a mainstream rockrecord, broke four singles? U2 pulled it off with All That You Can't Leave Behind,but I leave U2 out of this argument because A) Bono has managed to turnU2 into a lifestyle, so the songs don't really matter anymore -- sayingyou like U2 now only means that you think poverty is a bad thing; andB) I hate U2, so they're disqualified anyway. Getting back toStone Temple Pilots: The other reason that statement about "Creep"seems foreign now is because of the title of that song.

  • VMA Blog, A-D Style

    The MTV Video Music Awards are almost always the most overhyped event of the year, but their knack for courting controversy (or even courting entertainment) has slipped in the new millennium. But with host Jack Black and a bevy of next-gen performers and nominees, this year's version of the VMAs seemed like they could break the mold, and the only way to come to a conclusion is to break it down. Join me on the journey through the outer reaches of music television. 7:35 I missed the first part of the pre-show, which seems like it's been pretty grating, but right now My Chemical Romance are killing. Seriously, this record is spectacular, and it's a bummer that this song's premiere is in a live setting where the sound isn't perfect. Why the hell can't MTV produce live music?

  • Pearl Jam, 'Pearl Jam' (J Records)

    Since Pearl Jam dragged grunge out of Seattle and into the spotlight 15 years ago with Ten, they've made a career out of stumbling over good intentions: fighting with Ticket-master, releasing hundreds of bootlegs, and attacking the president. These foibles have been reflected in their music, resulting in problematic albums that feel tentative and incomplete. Things have rarely come easy for Pearl Jam, and most of the time they've stacked the deck against themselves. Now, with the release of their eighth studio album, most of the band members have done what older guys do: get married, start families, grow up. But rather than rage against the time machine, they seem to be having fun. Despite its dark title, the single "World Wide Suicide" is a speedy, punky song played with the reckless abandon of a garage band.

  • The Music That Changed My Life: Brandon Flowers

    David Bowie, Hunky Dory (Virgin, 1971) "I still remember when I heard 'Changes' for the first time. I thought it was Bob Dylan because of the way he sings the verses. I found out it was Bowie and it was from this album called Hunky Dory. It's the most important record to me, ever. I appreciate that he's still able to write songs, because even when there's a rough album, there will be that one song on there. But Hunky Dory is the pinnacle -- there's not one song I skip past." Jim Croce, You Don't Mess Around With Jim (ABC, 1972) "Everyone's heard three or four of his songs, but they probably don't know they're by Jim Croce. I loved 'Operator' and "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,' and I just kept hearing songs and going 'He sings this? He sings "Lover's Cross"?' I just love his mustache, and he's always got a cigar in every picture you see. That's cool.PrintEmail

  • Cave In, 'Perfect Pitch Black' (Hydra Head)

    Boston's Cave In have been writing soundtracks to non-existent sci-fi movies for about a decade, and with Pitch Perfect Black, they've finally made their 2001. It's something of a return to form for the band, as it is more closely comparable to their 2000 space rock effort Jupiter than 2003's major-label Antenna, with tracks like "Ataraxia" and "The World Is in Your Way" squealing and crackling like broken interstellar transmissions. Cave In seem to have more intimately embraced their prog roots as well -- though Antenna had its fair share of head-flipping time changes and mood shifts, nothing on that album lives up to the noisy, Rush-channeling grandeur of "Off To Ruin," Pitch Perfect Black's finest track.

  • Q&A: Gavin Rossdale

    Of all the members of the alternative nation who were chastised for arriving late to the party, no one took more shots to the chin than Bush frontman and bedroom pinup Gavin Rossdale. But rather than back down (or move to Nicaragua), the 38-year-old singer put together Institute, a more aggro, but still arena-ready, version of his previous group. Speaking from Los Angeles while preparing for a U.S. club tour, Rossdale discusses Page Hamilton's closet, facing critics, and his favorite hollaback girl. So where have you been for the past ten years?That's a good question. A lot of changes -- I changed labels, changed bands, got married [to Gwen Stefani]. I should have been sitting on a beach in Nicaragua, but it's been pretty turbulent. It was a bit uphill, trying to convince people that this is the new band I should have. No one's more shocked than me by the amount of time it's taken.

  • Tommy Lee, 'Tommyland: The Ride' (TL Education Services)

    Tommy Lee's output away from the confines of Motley Crüe has been like one of those rides at the state fair where you stand in a spinning cylinder and wait for the floor to drop out so the centrifugal force makes you stick to the wall: It looks sort of raucous and exotic from afar, but in reality it never works all that well and almost certainly makes you upchuck your corndogs into the bushes behind the petting zoo. His two solo ventures, 1999's much-maligned rap-rock fiasco Methods of Mayhem and his 2002 album Never a Dull Moment, have mostly trafficked in occasionally inspired but mostly insipid mook rock that was heavy on the in-your-face attitude the Crüe skin-slapper has cultivated for himself over two decades. The good news is that Tommyland: The Ride is a departure from the Bizkit-y sound that has defined his solo work. The bad news is just about everything else.

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