Marc Hogan



  • Paul Banks / Photo by Getty Images

    Interpol's Paul Banks Unveils Solo LP With Crystalline 'Base'

    Between Jay-Z awkwardly shouting out Banksy and the ongoing emergence of Harlem rapper Azealia Banks, 2012 is shaping up to be a year for keeping up with the Bankses like none since the financial crisis (or at least since Interscope dropped G-Unit rapper Lloyd Banks). And now Interpol singer-guitarist Paul Banks has revealed he will be releasing his first solo album under his own name, simply titled Banks, on October 23 via Matador. The 10-song set, recorded in New York and Connecticut with producer Peter Katis (Interpol, the National), follows Bank's recent ulian Plenti Lives... EP and a 2009 solo album under Banks' Julian Plenti alias.

  • Aaliyah / Photo by Getty Images

    Hear Aaliyah's Posthumous Drake Team-Up 'Enough Said'

    Leave it to one of Aaliyah's biggest fans to handle a new song from the late R&B artist tastefully. Drake, who has a tattoo of the "Are You That Somebody?" singer on his back and sampled her for his 2010 Thank Me Later track "Unforgettable," joins Aaliyah on "Enough Said," which Drake posted ahead of his hometown OVO Fest in Toronto on Sunday. Drake has praised the way Aaliyah, who died in 2001 at the age of 22, "conveyed these amazing emotions but never got too sappy," and that's a fair description of "Enough Said," too. Produced by Drake's usual collaborator Noah "40" Shebib, the track is smoky, after-hours R&B, with spare yet evocative electronic backing recalling the xx or last year's Take Care. Aaliyah's rich, understated vocal sounds better than predictable cast-off fare, with a memorable "yeah yeah yeah" hook as she implores a lover to open up.

  • Last Splash: Kendrick Lamar's Sleekly Intoxicating 'Swimming Pools (Drank)' Video

    Last Splash: Kendrick Lamar's Sleekly Intoxicating 'Swimming Pools (Drank)' Video

    "Dive" is only one letter away from "die." Kendrick Lamar masterfully combines both the thrill of release and the haunted awareness of mortal risk on his murky single "Swimming Pools (Drank)," a different kind of booze-and-ladies rap song. The track from the West Coast MC's upcoming good kid, m.A.A.D. city now has a stylish video that matches the song's uncanny ability to brandish the ravages of alcoholism while also making the whole idea sound strangely appealing. Directed by Jerome D., who previously manned the lens for a Schoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky video, the clip moves between images of a sultry dancer, bottles crashing, and revelers drinking at a red-lit party. The dominant image, though, is a dapper Lamar, free-falling backward into dangerously seductive waters. The vision that earned Lamar's section.80 the No.

  • Watch Lower Dens Do Tripped-Out Trust Falls in 'Candy' Video

    Watch Lower Dens Do Tripped-Out Trust Falls in 'Candy' Video

    The idea that you can develop a rapport between people by forcing them to interact in a series of organized rituals would be crazy if militaries hadn't been proving the truth in it for centuries. The latest video from Lower Dens' dreamy noise-rock album Nootropics (via Gorilla vs. Bear) emphasizes the insane aspect of corporate team-building retreats. "I never could let you down," the Baltimore band's frontwoman Jana Hunter insists on "Candy," in a richly dolorous voice, and in fact, the video's cast of oddballs has to do those cheesy exercises where you fall backwards and trust everybody else to catch you. In keeping with the song's krautrock-metronomic rhythm section and disorienting squeals of guitar, though, the video, directed by Alan Resnick and Noah Collier, has far more trippiness than your average corporate event.

  • Dizzee Rascal / Photo by Getty Images

    Olympics Bring Home the Gold for Ailing Music Business

    The athletes haven't been the only ones achieving victory at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In a year when the only million-selling album in the U.S. actually came out last year, the music business has been getting a promotional boost out of the whole Olympic spectacle. See, the jocks and the punks aren't so different after all. It's like The Breakfast Club. Not that the music benefiting from Olympic exposure is necessarily punk. Not in any way, shape, or form. American Idol winner Phillip Phillips' comfort food offering "Home" has maybe gotten a bigger Olympic bump than just about any other recording. The track's frequent use as a theme during NBC's women's gymnastics TV coverage has industry insiders predicting it will sell about 200,000 downloads for the week ending Sunday, August 5, according to Billboard.

  • Fiona Apple Makes Unlikely Cameo in Rick Ross' '911' Video

    Fiona Apple Makes Unlikely Cameo in Rick Ross' '911' Video

    Rick Ross' improbable rise to rap supremacy is paved with name-drops — the Black Mafia Family drug cartel on Teflon Don's "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)," MC Hammer on, well, "MC Hammer" — but even by those extravagantly eccentric standards, his latest reference might come as a surprise. In the video for "911," a straight-ahead luxury-rap lurcher that's one of the better tracks on Ross' recent mixed-bag album God Forgives, I Don't, Ross mostly just cruises around in the Porsche of the title. The busy, rapidly edited visual style, courtesy of previous Ross collaborators DRE Films and SPIFF TV, is well suited for viewing on mobile devices — no narrative, just a lot to look at.

  • Elliott Smith / Photo by Getty Images

    Hear Elliott Smith's Unreleased 'Alameda (Alternate Version)'

    Elliott Smith would turn 43 on August 6 if not for his horribly sad death almost nine years ago. In the late Portland singer and songwriter's honor, indie label Kill Rock Stars is unveiling a set of previously unreleased tracks, Pitchfork points out. First up is an alternate take of "Alameda," which appears in its finished form on 1997's stark, masterful Either/Or, which ranked at No. 48 a couple of years ago on SPIN's 125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years. A few lyrics are slightly different here — "All you're good at now is breaking your own heart" — but the harmony- and organ-drenched arrangement is just as fragile, immaculate, and, yup, heartbreaking as ever. The latest Smith rarity comes as Kill Rock Stars gets set to reissue Either/Or and Smith's 1995 self-titled album this month on 180-gram vinyl.

  • Still from

    Watch Washed Out's Very Washed Out 'A Dedication' Video

    A year later, Washed Out's full-length debut, Within and Without You, can be easy to take for granted. The "chillwave" moment Georgia synth-pop singer and songwriter Ernest Greene originally embodied seems to have come and gone, so much so that the latest issue of the New Yorker cheekily refers to Portlandia-soundtracking indie hit "Feel It All Around" as "a nostalgic paean to the heady days of the summer of 2010." We're all mermaids now. And yet Within and Without seamlessly transforms the low-key style of Washed Out's early releases into glossy, expressive, but still dreamy slow jams produced by Gnarls Barkley and Animal Collective zookeeper Ben Allen. It still works beautifully. On an album that showed how Washed Out's hazy synth-pop could resonate beyond trendy enclaves, "A Dedication" was a revelation in itself.

  • Nude Beach

    Hear Nude Beach's Punk-Scuffed Roots-Rocker 'Radio'

    Nude Beach toured with fellow Brooklynites the Men, owners of the SPIN Essential album Open Your Heart, earlier this year. That should give you an idea of what's in store on "Radio," a track from Nude Beach's new album II, which the Other Music label releases on August 14. It's a rollicking, road-dusted take on dive-bar classic rock à la Tom Petty, played with the sweaty ferocity of local do-it-yourself scene vets. Where the Men sing, "When I hear the radio / I don't care that it's not me," Nude Beach's views on the dial are more defeated: "The radio's playin' a sad song / I don't wanna hear," moans lead singer and guitarist Chuck Betz, as he contemplates "goin' back home." From opening drum volley to the blues-damaged guitar solo, this particular sad song — which you do want to hear — is the sound of Nude Beach refusing to retreat.

  • Weezer

    Weezer's 'Blue Album' Gets Vinyl Reissue, Again

    The Blue Album will soon be back in black. Weezer's self-titled 1994 debut, known for its blue background by contrast with 2001's similarly self-titled Green Album, is to be reissued on vinyl August 13 via Universal's Back to Black push, including a free download of the album with vinyl purchase, as Fact points out. Now you can try out the Fonz's dance moves from Spike Jonze's classic video for the album's "Buddy Holly" with whole new layers of postmodern retro irony. Weezer aren't new to the nostalgia game: They've recently been playing The Blue Album and its cult favorite 1996 follow-up Pinkerton live in the albums' entirety. And in December, frontman Rivers Cuomo offered up $75 box set The Pinkerton Diaries, which includes demos from the group's once-panned sophomore album. This isn't The Blue Album's first spin around the reissue turntable, either.

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