Luke McCormick

writer

Biography

  • Snoop Dogg

    A Few Minutes With Snoop Dogg at SXSW

    With thousands of bands packed into a mile radius in downtown Austin, South by Southwest is a living monument to absurdity and excess. And it would be hard to find an example more illustrative of either than a Snoop Dogg press junket at two in the morning, right after he performed inside a 56-foot-tall Doritos vending machine. The Austin skyline has never looked nacho-cheesier! Pouring himself red wine and smoking a hand-rolled cigarette, possibly of the jazz variety, the Doggfather zig-zagged (weed reference!) from college b-ball to Nirvana to Hill Country's favorite son, Willie Nelson.

  • Springsteen in the Apollo balcony

    Bruce Springsteen's Soul Revival at the Apollo, By the Numbers

    As the E Street Band took the stage at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem Friday night, each member touched the venue's famed tree stump for good luck. Maybe they felt they needed a little extra boost — the show was Bruce Springsteen and Co.'s first show without beloved saxophonist Clarence Clemons, and their first with his replacement, the Big Man's nephew, Jake. Playing for SiriusXM’s 10th Anniversary Party, the band sounded enormous in the intimate (by their usual arena standards) Apollo setting, as Springsteen used the legendary theater as his playground, climbing rafters, sprinting through the crowd, and paying tribute to the soul artists who made the theater a crucial part of pop history. SPIN was there for this momentous night of firsts.

  • Beware of Darkness

    Hear Beware of Darkness' Face-Stomper 'Howl'

    L.A. power trio Beware of Darkness' frontman Kyle Nicolaides wants to make you ladies do one thing: howl. Which, appropriately, is the title of this Zeppelin-riffing, bluesy face-stomper off the group's forthcoming debut, Bleak. Think a more suped-up Black Keys concerned with pleasing the ladies with some fire-and-brimstone-y religious undertones for good measure. Party!

  • Chains of Love / Photo by Patrick Fraser

    Download Chains of Love's Bouncy 'Lies, Lies, Lies'

    This little slice of nostalgia is another taste from Vancouver doo-wop devotees Chains of Love's excellent debut EP, Strange Grey Days, released earlier this month via Manimal Vinyl. It's a bouncy, jouncy, Ronettes-inflected slab of popsmithery that sounds as though it was recorded in a bathtub with a Talkboy. Very 2009. Grab it here: DOWNLOAD

  • Denison Witmer

    Get Denison Witmer's Slow-Churning 'Life Before Aesthetics'

    The comforting slice of slow-churning introspection below comes straight off the ninth (!) album from Pennsylvanian singer-songwriter Denison Witmer. The Ones Who Wait is Witmer’s first record for Sufjan Stevens' label’s base, Asthamtic Kitty. "Life Before Aesthetics" follows in the same steady, supremely solid acoustic-based jams Witmer has always offered up, but the man tosses in some sad sack organ and gloomy horns to ratchet the track’s melancholy tone up to near tear-shedding levels. DOWNLOAD

  • First Spin: Hear Diplo's Howitzer-Like 'Express Yourself'

    First Spin: Hear Diplo's Howitzer-Like 'Express Yourself'

    Spotted in the Staples Center at Sunday night’s 54th Annual Grammy Awards: Thomas Wesley Pentz, a.k.a. Diplo, Mad Decent kingpin and nascent hobnobber, waiting in an outrageously long line for some much-needed pre-televised ceremony grub from California Pizza Kitchen. No idea if he ever got that pizza. But tomorrow, Diplo (via Mad Decent imprint Jefrees) will drop “Express Yourself," an implacable, Howitzer-like monster that features New Orleans bounce-r Nicky Da B. Check it out below and get excited for the former’s forthcoming (and first) book 128 Beats Per Minutes. It’s due in April.

  • Hear Kendrick Lamar and Gunplay's Oddball 7-Minute 'Cartoon & Cereal'

    Hear Kendrick Lamar and Gunplay's Oddball 7-Minute 'Cartoon & Cereal'

    New heat from one of the best rappers breathing: Black Hippy crew member Kendrick Lamar dropped a seven-minute brain melter today with help from hugely underutilized Maybach Music Group member Gunplay, who pops in with his usual, awesome shout raps and "BLAOW" gunfire sounds. He nearly steals this thing from Kendrick with his last breath exultation, "Momma, how much trauma can I sustain!?" Things get way more heavy and tear-stained than you'd expect from a song called "Cartoon & Cereal." The track flip-flops from an atmospheric, cartoon-sampled haze until ear-shattering bass and skittering hihats give the two MCs one of the weirdest, mid-'90s Organized Noize sounding beats in recent memory. More of this, please.

  • Shins, Decemberists, Spurned Ben Gibbard: 3 Melancholy Gifts From Portland

    Shins, Decemberists, Spurned Ben Gibbard: 3 Melancholy Gifts From Portland

    While the music industry basked in Grammy afterglow today, Portland delivered three extremely Portland-y packages: Fresh off losing the Grammy for Best Rock Performance to the Foo Fighters, the Decemberists bounced back with their new song "One Engine," which will be included on the Hunger Games soundtrack, out March 20 (the film drops three days later). Listen below, via Consequence of Sound and Soundcloud. The Shins also dropped a track today, this one another from their Album You Gotta Hear Port of Morrow.

  • [Photo: Jennifer Edmondson]

    Perfume Genius Brings Sad Tales to Very Quiet Room

    Things got real serious last night with Mike Hadreas, a.k.a. Perfume Genius. In front of 40 people or so at Williamsburg venue Zebulon, the Seattle-based singer-songwriter played an intimate set of mostly new tracks from his forthcoming Matador release, Put Your Back N2 It. Actually, it was more than intimate — the bartender wouldn't make a whiskey and coke because the whoosh of the soda gun would have drowned out the music. These songs are hauntingly intense, drawing on his past experiences with addiction and hustling, so it is nearly impossible to not stand silent and get wrapped up in them. No sudden moves, no chatting, no checking your phone. The title of his new record may draw up Ice Cube memories but these songs are as stark and gut-wrenching as the ones on his 2010 debut, Learning.

  • 120209-jeff-the-brotherhood.png

    JEFF the Brotherhood's Tiny NYC Show, By the Numbers

    Last night, Nashville garage-rock shredders JEFF the Brotherhood tore through a quick set at Williamsburg, Brooklyn DIY space Death by Audio as a warm-up before opening for the Kills on Saturday at NYC’s 3,000-person capacity Terminal 5. DBA’s cap is supposedly 110, but there was probably that many people smoking heaters in the back room when we arrived. The guitar and drums duo, who are indeed actually brothers, sounded massive and right at home playing the intimate, rowdy gig — even under precariously hanging ceiling tiles. (Photo: Jennifer Edmondson) SPIN kept busy dodging PBR cans while the band switched between Ramones whoa-oh choruses and Weezer-esque licks.

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Now Playing
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