• 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.

  • Oneida

    Oneida's ethereal feedback and synthesizer-laden rock album The Wedding could be played at one's nuptials. I could see tracks like the mystical, baroque "Run Through My Hair," being played during the wedding procession in A Midsummer Nights Dream; it would have to be a wedding involving fairies and sprites and possibly woodland nymphs. Maybe it would just have to involve Wiccans. The prolific, Brooklyn-based quartet--singer/guitarist Papa Crazy, keyboardist Bobby Matador, drummer Kid Millions, and bassist Hanoi Jane--is best known for their explosive live shows (Kid Millions shines on stage). But as The Wedding shows, their recorded material can be just as riveting. In places the album sounds like Sophtware Slump-era Grandaddy, with the use of synths and Papa Crazy's soft, lulling voice.

  • Nine Inch Nails

    Exclusive interview with Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails: click here to subscribe and read the story...

  • Get your Coachella fix here! NIN, New Order, Bauhaus, Weezer, the Arcade Fire, Rilo Kiley, the Kills, and more

    Click here to see photo galleries from Coachella's Saturday and Sunday lineups, plus Spin's Coachella after party. Click here for our Coachella recap.

  • Neil Young: Back in the Saddle

    After undergoing surgery to deal with a brain aneurism earlier this year, Neil Young is recording a new album in Nashville. According to Neil's sister website, www.astridyoung.net, Neil is recording his new album with studio musicians Spooner Oldham, Ben Keith, and Carl Himmel. Astrid writes in her travel log, "(Neil is) feeling good, has everything under control...Of course, I wish I was there, but I am very busy with my own brand of karmic healing right now." Let's hope that Neil's health can remain stellar without that undeniable positive karmic influence.

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