• The Headphones

    Headphones sounds a bit like a videogame depicting an epic human struggle. It's not surprising that lead singer Bazan says he was influenced by the Flaming Lips; Headphoneshas the same eerie feel as Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, although Headphones is more rooted in reality than the Lips tend to be. The most touching song off Headphones is the last track, "Slow Car Crash." Bazan spends the first verses minutely describing said car crash until it becomes painfully clear that the wreck he's discussing has nothing to do with Chevys. "We knew it was over and both looked away," Bazan sings in his soft, searching voice, "Right at each other/ With spare time to say/ Babe, I love you." Though there are three members in the Headphones (Pedro's Bazan and Walsh with Frank Lenz of Starflyer 59), only Bazan and Walsh will be touring this spring. For more info on the tour, click here

  • R. Kelly is "Cooking"

    Just when you thought R. Kelly's sexual references couldn't get any more obvious, his new single, which is # 23 on the Billboard R&B charts this week, is called "Trapped in the Closet (Part 1)." According to Billboard.com, the "Trapped" narrative is a five-part epic, with each song foreshadowing the plot of the next song. "Trapped," along with the single "In the Kitchen," and its staggeringly climactic lyric about tossing salad, will be included on R. Kelly's new album, TP3, which is out on July 5th. At this rate, TP3 will include covert references to sex acts I've never even heard of.

  • Billy Corgan Tour

    Freak out, give in, get tickets to see Billy Corgan. The shiny-domed troubadour of Smashing Pumpkins fame is hitting the road to support his forthcoming solo record, The Future Embrace, out June 21 on Warner. Those who register at billycorgan.com will be advised of a ticket presale running from May 18-20; general tickets go on sale May 21. Billy Corgan tour dates: 6/22, Atlanta, Earthlink 6/24, Washington, 9:30 Club 6/25, Philadelphia, Electric Factory 6/27-28, New York, Webster Hall 6/30, Boston, Avalon 7/2, Toronto, The Carlu 7/5-6, Chicago, Vic Theatre 7/7, St. Louis, The Pageant 7/8, Dallas, Gypsy Tea Room 7/11, San Diego, Soma 7/12-13, Los Angeles, Henry Fonda Theatre 7/15-16, San Francisco, The Fillmore 7/18, Seattle, Moore Theatre 7/19, Vancouver, Commodore Ballroom

  • The Perishers

    It comes as no surprise that the Perishers have supplied the soundtrack for shows like the O.C. and One Tree Hill. The soaring guitars and soft-sung lyrics like, "Oh won't you be my solid ground," would make the perfect background for a particularly poignant scene about Marisa's alcohol abuse or Ryan's time spent in the clink. Maybe it's hard to be self-aware when you're from northern Sweden and it's seventy degrees below zero nine months out of the year and you can only get feedback on your music from moose. At least, I hope that's the Perishers' excuse for being so aggressively mundane.

  • Phoenix Refuse to Get Lost in Translation

    By: Monique Lavie What began as two brothers (Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz) and some friends playing Hank Williams and Prince covers nearly a decade ago slowly developed into a scattered, danceable synth-rock sound found on Phoenix's latest studio release, Alphabetical. The band--vocalist Thomas Mars, guitarists Mazzalai and Brancowitz, and bassist Deck D'Arcy--demonstrate a wide array of influences ranging from hip-hop to Steely Dan to indie-rock, concocting a sound that sets them apart from the new breed of French pop musicians. Although friends with fellow Parisians and labelmates, Air, Mazzalai humbly describes the friendship between their bands, which draw upon each other for help and inspiration while maintaining separate musical identities. "We're friends with Air because we're from the same area.

  • Reliving the Joy (Division)

    A week from tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Ian Curtis's untimely demise. Joy Division's former front man and universal depressive icon will be celebrated on May 18th in Manchester. According to NME.com, BBC 6 Music will be holding a special screening of rare Joy Division footage from 1979 and 1980, in addition to a documentary made after Curtis's suicide. In the years following his death at the tender age of 23, Curtis has become somewhat of a gothic cult favorite. Interest in Joy Division's music was piqued in recent years by its prominent place on the soundtrack of the indie film mainstay Donnie Darko. Curtis, an epileptic, hung himself shortly after the band started to gain recognition. The remaining members of Joy Division went on to form the band New Order.

  • 13 & God

    Adam Drucker should change his hip-hop handle from Doseone to the Great Collaborator. Over the past five years, Doseone has been the sparkplug behind Deep Puddle Dynamics, cLOUDDEAD, Greenthink, and most notably, the no-Cal rapper duo Themselves. As part of Themselves, the incredibly prolific and chameleonic Drucker has a new collaborative effort under his belt: 13 & God. 13 & God matches Themselves' low-key rap with the ambient electronix of the Munich-based indie-pop-electro outfit the Notwist. On paper, the combination looks odd at best, grating and disjointed at worst.

  • Nine Inch Nails: Back from the Dead

    For a decade, he's been "that guy in there," behind the cement walls and black-tinted windows of this sprawling property on busy Magazine Street in New Orleans' French Quarter. Outside, mutts and garrulous families play on peeling front porches. Tourists browse the mini-malls set in 200-year-old storefronts. Today, much of the city is enjoying the Bacchus Parade during Mardi Gras, tailgating as cotton-candy vendors and colorful floats of angels, devils, snakes, and sirens roll by. The French Quarter is always full of this kind of life. But inside this building, a former funeral parlor turned live-in recording studio, there has been all kinds of death. The lone occupant, looking out at you through those one-way windows or on the security monitors-you might know him. Maybe you'd recognize his voice if you heard him sing. Intimate phrasing. Screams.

  • Jimmy Eat World, Green Day Announce Summer Tour

    Jimmy Eat World, Green Day Announce Summer Tour Green Day has announced that emo darlings Jimmy Eat World will open for them on their North American Tour this summer and fall. This is Green Day's first stadium tour, and perhaps they are looking to temper their punk-pop sound with something warmer, fuzzier, and wimpier. Jimmy Eat World is currently on the tail end of a headlining tour with Taking Back Sunday. The Green Day / Jimmy Eat World bill kicks off in Rosemont, Illinois on August 10th. The rest of the tour dates are as follows: August 12: Barrie, Ont. (Molson Park) August 13: Buffalo, N.Y.

  • Charming Snakes

    Often a band with a great name will ruin it all by making mediocre music, but luckily the Charming Snakes create an whip-smart noise-pop fusion that more than does justice to their catchy moniker. The Snakes started out in the Lone Star state as a duo, consisting of bassist Lacey Swain and singer-guitarist Ruben Mendez. After moving to Washington in 2001, the band became a quartet with guitarist Joe Arnone and drummer Kellie Payne. Like a more melodic version of Seattle brethren the Coachwhips (who broke up recently, we are sorry to report), the Charming Snakes use the same kind of distorted vocals that John Dwyer uses but with a poppier, softer guitar washes in the background.

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