• tubelord.jpg

    Lyrical Assassin

    "I have got a feeling you've never been in this situation before," says the English fellow on the other end of the line. He's right -- I've never spoken with someone who has publicly vowed to murder me. A couple of days earlier, I'd been Googling my name, as one does when one's hands are very idle and one's ego is rather large and yet perhaps not sufficiently secure, and I came across the following MySpace message from the U.K. band Tubelord: " 'I Am Azerrad' is our next single." To paraphrase noted cabbie Travis Bickle: Are you talkin' about me? Now, there are not many Azerrads, especially Azerrads known by obscure indie bands. I kind of hoped the song was about me, and yet I also hoped it wasn't -- that title just did not bode well. But who else could it be about? My distant cousin Lawrence, who designed the cover of Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication? Possible.

  • R.E.M.: R.E.BORN

    R.E.M.: R.E.BORN

    What follows is an excerpt from the middle of our April cover story on R.E.M. Read more about Stipe, R.E.M., and the genesis of their new album, Accelerate, in our April 2008 issue, on newsstands now. I've agreed to meet Michael Stipe at Otto, once the site of the restaurant One Fifth, where Andy Warhol held court and Saturday Night Live threw coke-fueled afterparties in its early days. A couple dozen floors above, Robert Mapplethorpe shot the cover of one of Stipe's favorite albums, Patti Smith's Horses. Now the space belongs to Stipe's pal, celebrity chef Mario Batali. Stipe steps out of a cab wearing a jacket, sweater, and cracked black sneakers so old and funky he kind of looks down on his luck, yet helplessly stylish at the same time. It's unclear if the maîtresse d' knows who he is, but she can tell he's famous. Stipe, as one might imagine, is a complicated guy.

  • The Dirty Projectors, 'Rise Above' (Dead Oceans)

    In a singular act of reinvention (and cojones), main Projector Dave Longstreth rewrites Black Flag's historic 1981 punk blast Damaged, keeping only the lyrics. With glinting, Afropop-derived guitar, Longstreth's hyper-elastic crooning, and brainy/dreamy female harmonies that conjure the B-52's at a revival meeting, this trailblazing music exposes stunning new dimensions to Greg Ginn's raging slab. Dense with ambition, all of it realized, Rise Above (coproduced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor) alchemizes angst and self-hatred into triumph and inspiration. It just might be a masterpiece all over again. Now Hear This: The Dirty Projectors - "No More" DOWNLOAD MP3 BUY: iTunesAmazon

  • thurston moore, sonic youth, birthday, kim gordon, SPIN interview

    The SPIN Interview: Thurston Moore

    Thurston Moore has got a lot on his plate: He writes and edits books (the latest, Punk House: Anarchist Interiors, comes out in October); he runs Ecstatic Peace! Records; he jams with countless ad hoc improv groups; and, oh yeah, he has played guitar and sung in Sonic Youth for nearly 25 years. The band — which also features drummer Steve Shelley, singer/guitarist Lee Ranaldo, and Moore's wife, Kim Gordon, who sings and plays bass and guitar — has been hitting the festival circuit lately, performing their 1988 double album, Daydream Nation, in its entirety.

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