Marc Hogan

writer

Biography

  • Dirty Paraffin / Photo by Paul Shiakallis

    Stream Dirty Paraffin's Swagged-Out 'DP' EP

    On Wednesday, Dirty Paraffin unveiled "Download This," a brash, beautifully spacey track from the Johannesburg electro-rap duo's upcoming DP EP. On June 2, Durban-born mischief-makers Okmalumkoolkat and Dokta Spizee are set to release their entire six-song effort, but you can stream it right now below. From the ass- (and electro-) crazed "Big Bootyholic" to the stomping, abstract "Primusstof," the record more than justifies why, in a review of DPs friend Spoek Mathambo's SPIN Essential Father Creeper, contributor Richard Gehr compared these guys to Das Racist, "only Zulu." Another difference: Where the New York rap crew enthused about "a million dollars" on debut album Relax's "Michael Jackson," their South African peers' wry "Big Bucks Bonanza" only counts up to a grand. Come west, young men.

  • Dan Deacon / Photo by Wendy Redfern/Redferns via Getty

    Dan Deacon Previews 'America' with Exuberant 'Lots'

    The animated image that plays behind Dan Deacon's new song "Lots" is of a flag rippling in the wind, set against a summery blue sky. What's on the flag is hard to make out, but it appears to be a landscape of sorts — purple mountains majesty, amber waves of grain, maybe? As the first song from the Baltimore mad scientist's just announced Domino Records debut America, which arrives on August 28, "Lots" captures a similarly cryptic spirit of celebration. On excellent previous albums Spiderman of the Rings and Bromst, Deacon has skillfully combined weirdo electro-punk spazz with highbrow modern-classical minimalism. The distance between Wham City and Carnegie Hall becomes more blurred than ever on "Lots," which combines screeching distortion and krautrock pummel with pointillist backing vocals.

  • Watch Purity Ring's Shadowy 'Belispeak' Video

    Watch Purity Ring's Shadowy 'Belispeak' Video

    For those who have been burned before, Purity Ring offer hopeful evidence that the blogosphere can still rave about a budding new act without killing it before it comes into full bloom. Along with "Odebear," "Ungirthed," and "Lofticries," the eerily pulsating "Belispeak" is one of only four tracks the dark electro-pop duo has officially made available so far in advance of debut album Shrines (due out on July 24 via 4AD and Last Gang). The song's new video underscores why that small handful of tracks has been enough to gin up unreasonable levels of cautious optimism about the Canadian group's upcoming record. Directed by Brewer (whose previous work includes videos for the War on Drugs and Steve Aoki), the visuals masterfully complement and expand upon the song's wraithlike spell.

  • Childish Gambino

    Even Beck Can't Save Childish Gambino's Messy 'Silk Pillow'

    Childish Gambino a.k.a. Community actor Donald Glover, combines a foul-mouthed id with a 30 Rock-honed gift for referential humor. "While y'all niggas masturbate, I'm in that Ariel Pink," Glover spits on "Freaks and Geeks." In execution, though, he's run into a few problems. While striving to be more inclusive, Glover's rhymes are as reductive toward women — especially Asian women, whose mentions in his songs at first sounded like another note of college-kid broad-mindedness but quickly turned into a creepy, fetishistic tic — as those of the mainstream rappers to whom he sets himself up as antidote. Another trouble is that the mainstream itself has grown in a way that renders Childish Gambino somewhat redundant.

  • Flosstradamus / Photo by Nick Walker

    Hear Flosstradamus and DJ Sliink's Explosive 'Test Me'

    Chicago duo Flosstradamus and New Jersey's DJ Sliink both share an approach that blends hip-hop with the various strains of the global dance-music diaspora, as well as elements of pop and R&B.

  • Big Boi / Photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns

    Has Big Boi Made an Unsexy Sex Song? Hear 'She Said OK'

    If there's one complaint one could raise about Killer Mike's thoroughly Essential R.A.P. Music — one that perhaps goes some way toward explaining why he holds all politicians in equal contempt — it's the album's narrow, strip-club depiction of women. Big Boi, who rapped alongside his fellow Atlanta growler on Killer Mike's biggest solo hit to date, 2003's "A.D.I.D.A.S.," as well as on OutKast songs like "Snappin' and Trappin'" and "The Whole World," falls into a similar trap on "She Said OK," though here the lack of empathy is more glaring. After all, what could be more ridiculous than an unsexy sex jam? Big Boi recently revealed via Twitter that his follow-up to 2010's still-great Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty will be titled Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, rather than the previously speculated Daddy Fat Saxxx: Soul Funk Crusader.

  • Beck / Jack White (Kyle Johnson)

    Hear Beck and Jack White's Passive-Aggressive 'Hating'

    Be careful about turning up the headphones at the start of Beck's Jack White-produced "I Just Started Hating Some People Today," which as You Ain't No Picasso points out has surfaced on Beck's YouTube page. The A-side of a single that came out this week on White's Third Man Records, the song might begin as a gently loping country-rocker, like the Beta Band on a Gram Parsons binge, but after a few minutes it turns into a hardcore-punk hoedown, led by White on screaming guest vocals. By the time "Hating" ends, a female vocalist has joined in for a breathy cool-jazz cooldown, but the bitter mood remains in full effect. "I just started wanting to see you dead," the "Bob Dylan of the '90s" deadpans, in full-on Self Portrait mode. "I may be joking, you'll be choking instead." See? Your hearing loss might be funny! Like your imminent death at Beck's non-nunchuk-bearing hands!

  • David Bowie / Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

    David Bowie's Full, Remastered 'Ziggy Stardust' Streams Online

    On June 5, David Bowie's landmark The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars will be available as a remastered reissue in honor of the album's 40th anniversary. The spruced-up audio is streaming in full over at the NME, although as we've said before, streaming audio is not exactly an ideal format for evaluating subtle studio tweaks. Still, if you're a Ziggy newbie, this is a great chance to listen to the influential concept album in full. At the very least, you should get a whole new perspective on bands from Of Montreal and Arcade Fire to Green Day. And since Bowie has let it be known he won't be making any new music anytime soon, re-listening to his great works is kind of all we've got. The vinyl edition of the reissue also comes with an audio-only DVD that includes four previously unreleased mixes of Bowie tracks.

  • Doc Watson / Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty

    Doc Watson, Folk Trailblazer and Guitar Virtuoso, Dead at 89

    In 1997, when presenting Arthel "Doc" Watson with a National Medal of Arts, President Bill Clinton said, "There may not be a serious, committed Baby Boomer alive who didn't at some point in his or her youth try to spend a few minutes at least trying to pick a guitar like Doc Watson." Clinton wasn't the last — nor arguably even the highest-profile — figure to honor Watson, the Appalachian singer, songwriter, and guitarist who died Tuesday at age 89, but his words underscore Watson's heavy influence on American music. Watson passed away in a North Carolina hospital, his manager told CNN. He had recently undergone abdominal surgery. Along with the National Medal of Arts, Watson won multiple Grammy awards, including 2004 Lifetime Achievement honors.

  • No Church in the Wild

    Jay-Z and Kanye West's Brutal 'No Church in the Wild' Video: It's Provocative

    Jay-Z and Kanye West's latest joint video speaks like a Molotov cocktail. Directed by France's Romain Gavras, who also oversaw M.I.A.'s bloody "Born Free" video, the clip for Watch the Throne's martial, foreboding opener is as gripping and cinematic as it is oblique. Shot in the streets of Prague — which could almost be mistaken for lower Manhattan until you notice the Slovak storefront lettering and unfamiliar marble statues — the clip shows an apocalyptic confrontation that pits angry young people with improvised explosive devices against police in riot gear. As featured guest Frank Ocean softens Hova and Yeezy's sharply barbed existential musings with his own soaring croon, the conflict erupts into a Hobbesian state of nature, complete with brutality on both sides, lasers, and, of course, an elephant.

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