• Erykah Badu / Roger Kisby/Getty

    Erykah Badu Has a Flying Car, Thinks SPIN Writers Are Cute

    Erykah Badu, one of the wittiest and most adventurous artists working under the umbrella of contemporary R&B, has teamed up with liquor brand Hennessy for its new Wild Rabbit product. She's in good company, as Martin Scorsese and boxer Manny Pacquiao are also taking part in the campaign, loosely focused on chasing dreams and achieving success. When offered the opportunity to sit down with Erykah Badu, you take it… no matter what. In the cozy library of New York's swank Soho House hotel, a group of journalists were fed bottomless drinks and appetizers as we waited for Badu. Hours late, but apologetic upon arrival, she screened her print ad's behind-the-scenes video and then retired behind a screen where she'd talk to people individually.

  • Matthew Herbert, 'One Pig' (Accidental)

    Matthew Herbert, 'One Pig' (Accidental)

    Pioneering microhouse producer and electronic conceptualist Matthew Herbert is here to stuff food in both your face and your ears. Organized in chronological order, from birth to butcher, his latest found-sound experiment is built around the life cycle of a farm pig. The album becomes more conventionally musical as it unfurls -- from field recording to paranoid sample symphony to acoustic dirge. Through death, song is born; through song, life endures. PETA is already protesting, but they're missing the point. Herbert shows uncommon sensitivity toward this animal raised for slaughter. He's immortalized it in sound. Typically, fate is far crueler.

  • Bjork, 'Biophilia' (Nonesuch)

    Bjork, 'Biophilia' (Nonesuch)

    Björk's eighth studio solo album is at once her most and least Björk-y. On one hand, this intersection of science, music, technology, and emotion is brimming with Björkisms that could read as self-parody, if the whole damn thing weren't so serious. ("As the lukewarm hands of the gods came down and gently picked my adrenalin pearls..." is how "Moon" opens, while "Mutual Core" starts, "I shuffle around the tectonic plates in my chest....") While less rigid in its m.o. than, say, 1997's Homogenic and its distortion-plus-strings credo, a pipe-organ fixation permeates Biophilia. And yet, Björk is as boundless as ever.

  • 111004-homophobia-1.png

    Special Report: Homophobia Haunts Indie Rock

    On August 10, Brontez Purnell, frontman for garage-punk band the Younger Lovers, and his bandmate Adal Castellon were beaten outside Oakland's Club Paradiso. In Purnell's account, which he shared on Facebook and in the Bay Citizen immediately following the incident (a pending court case now limits his comments), two men followed him out of the mixed, formerly gay club, which he's frequented for years. They shouted "batty boys" (a homophobic Jamaican slur) at the two musicians and said that they would be dead if they were in Jamaica. The unknown assailants apparently perceived both men to be gay - Purnell is, Castellon is not. Purnell yelled back at the men; he was promptly punched and knocked off his bike.

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