Melissa Giannini

  • Hunters / Photo by Charlie Engman

    Hunters: Brooklyn Punkers Handcraft a Warpath

    Who: Hailing from Brooklyn — via Brazil (Isabel Almeida, 27) and a woodsy suburb of Philadelphia (Derek Watson, 29) — Hunters met in late 2009 while working at an arcade in New York's Chinatown. "There was a rumor they had a live chicken inside the claw-drop game at one point," Watson says, "but I never saw that." The duo bonded during downtime over a mutual appreciation for doom-metal pioneers Pentagram and plotted infectious noise-punk domination over dim sum at the vegetarian Chinese restaurant across the street. Sounds Like: The results sound like a keg/key party attended by the Vaselines, early '90s Thurston and Kim, and mid-'00s Matt and Kim. Almeida and Watson provide fuzzy guitar and boy-girl vocals, and recruit friends to handle the low end for live gigs, which usually end with the pair rolling around in a pile of wires, limbs, broken instruments, and feedback.

  • Laetitia Sadier , 'Silencio' (Drag City)

    Stereolab songstress’ occupy-era politics gently agitate under soothing synth 'n' strings.

  • Old Crow Medicine Show, 'Carry Me Back' (ATO)

    Roots-bootleggers carry old-time forward with a bright batch of swoony strums and grassy ecstasy.

  • Jesca Hoop, 'The House That Jack Built' (Bella Union)

    A quirky yet polished dip into macabre pop, redolent of myriad mid-'90s adult-alt radio sirens.

  • Jukebox The Ghost, 'Safe Travels' (Yep Roc)

    Brooklyn trio strays from the prog-pop road for a couple excursions in melisma, keeps it catchy.

  • Neneh Cherry

    Cherrypicking With Neneh Cherry: Singer Breaks Down 7 Pivotal Tracks

    While most fans associate Neneh Cherry with her 1988 international pop hit "Buffalo Stance," the singer's past reads like an underground-punk guidebook: Raised on a commune in 1960s Sweden by an artist mother and jazz-luminary stepfather (Don Cherry), she spent her teens and early twenties ripping it up with Rip Rig + Panic and the Slits and dancing in Big Audio Dynamite videos. And in the early '90s, in between putting out a couple more hits ("Trout" with Michael Stipe and "7 Seconds" with Youssou N'Dour), Cherry maintained a close alignment with the Bristol trip-hop scene. Which makes The Cherry Thing, her recent album-length collaboration with European jazz trio the Thing — a collection of wildly diverse covers (e.g., Suicide, MF Doom, The Stooges) — not all that surprising.

  • Glen Hansard, 'Rhythm and Repose' (Anti-)

    Summer's a swell season for 11 life-assessing, basement-sobbing shout-alongs from the Frames frontman.

  • Grass Widow, 'Internal Logic' (HLR)

    A Slits and Shangri-Las summit where heavenly three-part harmonies dance atop jagged post-punk guitars.

  • Psychobuildings / Photo by Kayla Camerucci

    Hear Psychobuildings' Brightly Hellish 'Wonderchamber'

    The self-titled debut EP by Peter LaBier and Co. shined like a still-wet painting leaning nonchalantly against a grimy Bushwick studio wall. Thick, tense vocals partnered up with terminally cool darkwave grooves on Psychobuildings' first release, and the effect was claustrophobic and fun, like the final dance party before everyone drinks the Kool-Aid. But with "Wonderchamber" (which actually is about a cult), each element is fully defined and three-dimensional — every syllable, every note stretched to its full potential, adding an irresistible and disturbing brightness to the "vibrant hell" being described. It's the second single off the collective's Hearts EP, out June 26 on WonderSound, but you can hear it here now:

  • Patti Smith

    Patti Smith on When to Break Rules and Nap on Logs

    Since the early 1970s, punk godmother Patti Smith has served as the guardian of an idiosyncratic — and meandering — brand of artistry. After releasing four critically acclaimed albums (including her seminal 1975 debut, Horses), Patti Smith headed to Michigan with her husband, MC5's Fred "Sonic" Smith, for a quiet, 15-year stretch of family time. "I'm not career bent," she says. And this "strategy" seems to have worked out well for her, as she's earned, in the past five years, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and National Book Award for her memoir, Just Kids. Smith may have turned 65 last year, but she is far from retiring.

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