• Prince at the Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, March 8, 2014

    Prince Electrifies, Exhausts Audience at Epic Four-Hour Hollywood Show

    HOLLYWOOD — "Tonight, it's going to be a party — a non-stop party." So stated legendary old-school rapper Doug E. Fresh while serving as hype man during Prince's semi-secret two-night stint at Hollywood's storied Palladium. Fresh's claims as he warmed up the crowd definitely proved to be truth in advertising: On many levels, Prince's second Palladium show on Saturday became something of an endurance test.The show was set to begin at 8 p.m., but it would be over two hours before Prince actually hit the stage; during that time, a DJ played a snippet of seemingly every vintage hip-hop track ever released: Sugarhill Gang, Biggie, Tupac, Young MC – even "Jump Around" by House of Pain, a song few would expect to groove to at a Prince show.

  • fall preview

    Fall 2013 Preview: Indie Blockbusters, Pop Bangerz, and Even a Moby Comeback

    Over the past decade many traditions and assumptions of the music business have fallen by the proverbial wayside, but the big harvest still happens in the fall.

  • Anthony Gonzalez / Photo by Darren Ankenman

    Go Inside M83's '80s Sanctuary

    "Eat my finger, motherfucker!" says Anthony Gonzalez, speaking to the Venus flytrap that his girlfriend, Kim, gave him for his 31st birthday. The mastermind behind dreamy synth-pop project M83 started his career in his native France with the 2001 debut M83. But last year's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, a double-CD set that swells with go-for-baroque populism, was his true breakthrough. "I feel 
emotional making my albums," he 
confesses. "If I dance alone and cry 
in my studio, there's a good chance other people are going to feel that way listening to my music."

 Surveying the scene from the balcony of his Hollywood Hills home, Gonzalez says, "I feel like the sound of this album is influenced by L.A. There's something so cliché about living in Hollywood, but awesome for a French dude who knows the city from movies and TV shows.

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    Hot Band: Beach House

    Beach House's music may move in seductive, slow-motion waves, but the people who make it are far from mellow. "We're insane and neurotic," explains guitarist-keyboardist Alex Scally, who formed the band along with singer-organist Victoria Legrand in 2004. "We don't see ourselves as ethereal." In fact, they hope to convince others of the same thing with the recently released Teen Dream. Or as Scally puts it, "We desperately wanted to rock." In order to achieve that ambition, Legrand and Scally, both 28, sought help. "We needed a bankroll," says Scally. Conveniently, Dream is the band's first album for Sub Pop after two efforts for tiny indie Carpark. The bigger label's cash infusion allowed Beach House to spring for an outside producer -- Chris Coady, who's worked with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and current Beach House touring partners Grizzly Bear.

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    Band to Watch: San Diego's Crocodiles

    "If you live there, then you slowly die." That's how Brandon Welchez, frontman and beat programmer for drone-pop duo Crocodiles, describes his band's hometown of San Diego. "A lot of the nastiness in our music comes from reacting to the boring culture there, and the sunshine," adds guitarist Charles Rowell. "The sunshine can be oppressive." "Oppressive sunshine" is a good way todescribe Crocodiles' kaleidoscopically claustrophobic sound. Their debut album, Summer of Hate (Fat Possum), perfects a kind of maximal minimalism. Imagine Phil Spector, Kevin Shields, and Steve Albini having a ménage à trois and you get the idea: krautrock chime obscured by clouds of feedback haze, then obliterated by frenzied jackhammer electronics and Welchez's sardonically sinister moan.

  • Lemmy / Photo by Kenneth Cappello

    The SPIN Interview: Lemmy

    As the mutton-chopped brains behind Motörhead, Lemmy has always rocked — and lived — by the credo "Everything louder than everything else." "Once, at soundcheck," he says, "this guy rang up from four miles away and said he couldn't hear his TV." Do tell... "Fuck Elvis and Keith Richards," Dave Grohl has said. "Lemmy's the king of rock'n'roll." And on this sunny L.A. February afternoon, the king is holding court. From his black cowboy hat and Civil War–reenactor duds to his sunken eyes, corpselike pallor, and questionable oral hygiene, Lemmy suggests the last of a dying breed.

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    Exclusive Download: Passion Pit

    "Pain in the ass!" rasps Michael Angelakos as he struggles to heave a Fender Rhodes keyboard onto the stage of Los Angeles' Henry Fonda Theater. Angelakos, 21, is the benevolent dictator of synth poppers Passion Pit, and his band are soundchecking for their slot opening for French electro sensation Yelle.

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    Gym Class Heroes: High Rollers

    Fear and loathing in Las Vegas are in notably short supply during Gym Class Heroes' show in late June at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino."I've had problems with pharmaceuticals for ten years, and I stand in front of you four and a half months sober, and I feel good as fuck!" exclaims frontman Travis McCoy to the roaring crowd. "You deserve a couple more albums from me before I kick the bucket. There's a high I get standing in front of you I can't get from any pill!" It's a refreshing revelation, since McCoy thanked himself "for putting up with me for the last 24 years" in the liner notes to Gym Class Heroes' 2006 album, As Cruel as School Children.

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