Marc Hogan



  • The xx / Photo by Aliya Naumoff

    The xx Preview New Songs at First Shows Since 2010

    Any fears that the xx might go the full David Guetta on the London electronic pop outfit's upcoming sophomore album appear to be misplaced. In December, producer Jamie xx suggested the follow-up to the group's Mercury Prize-winning, self-titled debut might take on more of a club feel. The xx unveiled new songs in a string of London live dates this week, and fan footage so far reveals music that is decidedly in the smoldering, understated vein of The xx. One new song, its title as yet unknown, features the xx singer-guitarist Romy Madley Croft's husky voice over precise, minimal guitar and percussion, with the refrain "Being as in love with you as I am." Another, more propulsive number focuses on a whispery duet between Croft and singer-bassist Oliver Sim, with a steadily loping rhythm section beneath spidery, reverberant guitar lines and sweeps of synthesized strings.

  • Nicki Minaj

    Nicki Minaj's 'Right by My Side' Video Pits Nas Against Chris Brown

    If Nicki Minaj wanted to sum up the divide that tends to frustrate people about her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, she could hardly have done it more clearly than in her latest video. As SPIN's No Trivia blog noted recently, the album goes straight from a Nas verse on towering posse cut "Champion" to fluffy Chris Brown hook-up "Right by My Side," a jarring transition that shows the artist's shift from "Old Nicki" to new Nicki in its least favorable light. It's only fitting, then, that Minaj's new "Right by My Side" video finds the two competing for her affections. Directed by Benny Boom, who also oversaw the visuals for "Beez in the Trap," this one is a brightly lit romance, with lots of shots of a blonde Minaj letting Nas buy her nice things while Brown tries to get her attention.

  • Chuck Brown at the Great Northern Hotel, London, UK on 25 March 1987 (David Corio/Getty)

    Chuck Brown, RIP: The Go-Go Godfather Through the Years

    Chuck Brown, known as "the godfather of go-go," died yesterday in Baltimore at age 75, the Washington Post reports. With his band the Soul Searchers, the singer, guitarist, and songwriter helped pioneer the funky D.C.-area sound known as go-go, which weaves together songs via the continuous groove of a live band rather than the turntables and DJs of hip-hop.

  • Bonnaroo 2012's 5 Most Wrenching Set-Time Conflicts

    Bonnaroo 2012's 5 Most Wrenching Set-Time Conflicts

    After releasing its lineup in drips and drabs over the past few months, Bonnaroo has now unveiled its full schedule. As Consequence of Sound points out, the festival has also added to its list of performers, with GZA, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Pelican, Sara Watkins, and the Dirty Guv'Nahs now among those making the trek to Tennessee June 7-10. GZA will be performing Liquid Swords in full backed by Grupo Fantasma. Of course, the arrival of the schedule now means it's time for Bonnaroo-goers to start plotting a course through the music-packed four-day event. Luckily, festival organizers appear to have done an exceptional job in limiting the number of tough decisions — surely there can't be that many people who love Major Lazer and Black Star equally, or Flying Lotus and Umphrey's Mcgee? — and keeping everything nicely staggered, so few sets conflict entirely.

  • Hear Yeasayer's Dubby 'Henrietta,' Get the Story Behind the Track

    Hear Yeasayer's Dubby 'Henrietta,' Get the Story Behind the Track

    A new Yeasayer song has surfaced online, and it's not just any Yeasayer song. In fact, "Henrietta" — which We All Want Someone to Shout For reports was shipped on physical CD to fans on the Brooklyn psych rockers' mailing list — happens to be keyboardist-singer Chris Keating's personal favorite of the tracks from the band's upcoming third album. Or so Keating told SPIN last fall, explaining that the track was inspired by reading about Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose rare form of cancer gave her a posthumous role in major medical breakthroughs like the polio vaccine. As promised, the track is a "dubbed-out pseudo-science-fiction song," wringing drama out of the remarkable fact that Lacks' cells still continue to live on after her death.

  • El-P

    El-P Performs Fiery 'Stay Down,' Shouts Out MCA on 'Letterman'

    El-P's visit to Late Show With David Letterman last night could hardly have arrived at a more auspicious moment for the skronky New York hip-hop stalwart. The same day also saw the release of R.A.P. Music, the tremendously inspired new album by Atlanta rap veteran Killer Mike, which El-P produced. This coming Tuesday, the former Definitive Jux label head will issue his own first non-instrumental album in five years, Cancer for Cure, on Mississippi-based indie Fat Possum. "I feel like I've been given yet another chance to do what I love to do, and maybe I don't deserve it," El-P says in the latest issue of the Village Voice. "But this is a rebirth record for me." That born-again fervor came across in El-P's fiery performance of Cancer for Cure's "Stay Down," with Islands' Nick Diamonds on hand to reprise his vocals and synth work from the album track.

  • Bassnectar / Photo by Clayton Hauck

    Watch Bassnectar's Face-Mangling 'Ugly' Video

    It might be helpful to think about the gargantuan bass of the recent crew of dubstep-inclined U.S. festival ravers the way you might think about beer. In the early '90s, before the American craft brewery movement caught on in a big way, Keystone Light advertised itself as the antidote to something called "Bitter Beer Face." Two decades later, beer makers are used to boasting about their hoppy flavors, and Bassnectar's gritty new video hits with IPA-strength intensity — plus some effects-tweaked facial expressions that strongly resemble that beer-twisted visage. The visuals for "Ugly," from the California producer's (government name: Lorin Ashton) new Vava Voom, are as frenetic and no-holds-barred as the drum-crazed track itself.

  • Rick Ross

    Rick Ross and Usher Take Care of 'Sexy Ladies' on 'Touch'N You'

    Rick Ross excels as an over-the-top embodiment of rap opulence, so much so that when he does underpin his action-flick bombast with nuanced emotions or clever wordplay, such small gestures can be easy to overlook.

  • Jay-Z

    Jay-Z Backs Barack Obama's Gay Marriage Endorsement

    President Barack Obama isn't the only prominent figure whose views on gay marriage may have undergone an evolution. Jay-Z went on the record yesterday in support of Obama's recent announcement that he personally believes same-sex couples should be allowed to wed. The rapper's comments on gay rights come as polls have shown African-American Democrats are generally more skeptical of same-sex marriage than white Democrats are, and the remarks also stand in contrast with homophobia-tinged lyrics from earlier in Hova's career. "I've always thought [of] it as something that's still holding the country back," Jay-Z told CNN when asked about the lack of legal recognition for same-sex couples. "What people do in their own homes is their business ... It's no different than discriminating against blacks.

  • Kindness

    Watch Kindness Teach a Kid to Play 'House': Video Premiere

    Far from being necessarily opposed, technique and emotion tend to complement each other in pop music, the new video by British singer-songwriter Adam Bainbridge suggests, reinforcing a longstanding truth. If the biggest rap against Bainbridge's painstaking indie-dance debut World, You Need a Change of Mind is that it prioritizes smooth surfaces over idiosyncratic expression, then the charming, low-key video for "House," a sweetly sentimental standout from the album, highlights how that can be a false dichotomy. Beauty is truth, and vice versa, or whatever, and the kids, well, they're all right. In fact, the "House" video continues the process of demystification Kindness began in the project's previous videos.

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