• The Mountain Goats

    John Darnielle, the man behind the Mountain Goats, might just be the only person on the planet who can make the act of drooling sound almost dreamy. "Spittle bubbling on your lips," Darnielle bleats in his signature nasally tenor, "fine white foam." Darielle took the Mountain Goats name in 1991 while working in a California state hospital, and has produced over ten full-length records since 1995. Darnielle is an incredibly prolific songwriter, releasing over ten full-length records since 1995. The Goats' latest album, The Sunset Tree, is the most personal and polished to date. Back in the '90s, Darnielle was famous for his low budget cassette recordings and intricate song cycles.

  • Lou Reed: Advanced?

    By: Jason Hartley The career of an avant-garde or alternative musician follows an arc: In the beginning, he cultivates a small but dedicated following with innovative music that is celebrated by critics. Then he gets older, his fan base dwindles, and he suddenly finds himself irrelevant because he has "lost it." Everyone knows this. Everyone, that is, but the adherents of the Advanced Theory. They believe that there are certain musicians who were so good, that it is impossible that they could ever be bad. They reason that if an artist is fifteen years ahead of his time in 1965, he will be fifteen years ahead of his time in 2005, so of course fans and critics will be baffled by their current work. These "Advanced" musicians are always one step beyond our comprehension.

  • Tom Waits is T.O.'d at G.M.

    Tom Waits is claiming that his distinctive whiskey-and-cigarettes rasp has been appropriated for a less-then-beneficent cause: he is suing General Motors' European division for using a Waits sound-alike to hawk its Opel car line in Scandinavia. According to yahoo.com, Waits commented, "Commercials are an unnatural use of my work...It's like having a cow's udder sewn to the side of my face. Painful and humiliating." Waits has been down this legal road before. Back in the early '90s, he sued Frito-Lay for ostensibly copying his voice for a Doritos spot. The critical favorite was victorious in that round--Frito-Lay awarded Waits 2.5 million in damages. But ad execs, take heed: Tom Waits recently donated several tracks to a group called War Child Music to raise money for children in post-conflict nations.

  • Sleater-Kinney Fresh from The Woods

    This June Sleater-Kinney will be touring to support their seventh album, The Woods, the band's Sub Pop debut (out May 24th). Former Helium frontwoman Mary Timony will be opening for the west coast dates, while Dead Meadow is opening on the east. The band has also launched a new website complete with a band blog.

  • Built To Spill's Ancient Melodies of the Present

    It's been four years since Built to Spill released their last album, Ancient Melodies of the Future. Since then Doug Martsch and co have been touring consistently, and are now gearing up for a new album this fall. To support this nascent recording, Built to Spill is going on a nationwide tour kicking off May 4th in Minneapolis. The boys from Boise will play their final tour date at the Austin City Limits Festival on July 24th.

  • Lollapalooza announces two-day festival in Chicago, July 23-24

    Lollapalooza returns with two-day event with over 60 artists performing on five stages in the heart of downtown Chicago. Headliners are the Pixies, Weezer, Widespread Panic, the Killers, Dinosaur Jr. and Liz Phair, and tickets are $85 for a two-day pass. At a press conference this morning, Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell said that "he'd felt like he had lost a limb" after the cancellation of the 2004 Lollapalooza tour but was excited about the possibility of bringing the festival to Chicago which always "had a heart for the arts." Farrell also said he was excited to build the "Kidsapalooza" area, and the Blue Man Group would be performing there. Check www.lollapalooza.com for a full band listing and updates. Also on the bill: Cake Dashboard Confessional Billy Idol The Arcade Fire G.

  • The Cloud Room

    Puns notwithstanding, there is something euphoric about the Cloud Room. The songs off their self-titled debut album boast synth-pop hooks that should appeal to even the most bass-addicted listener. Even their name is derived from a different kind of euphoria: The band is named for a speakeasy that used to sit atop the Chrysler building in the '20s and '30s. Lead Singer J. of the Cloud Room sounds like a happier Paul Banks of Interpol fame. The comparisons to '80s British post-punkers like Joy Division and New Order are easy to make, but the Cloud Room is also clearly influenced by the dance-rock NYC scene in which they flourished. J., along with Jon Petro on bass, Benjamin Nugent on electric piano and Jason Pharr on drums, rock the party on this precocious debut (released on Gigantic Records this past Tuesday). Catch them in and around their hometown in the months to come.

  • Luke Temple

    Luke Temple could be the latest in a line of Jeff Buckley interpreters. He sustains the same pretty-yet-despondent tenor, and touches on the same subject matter: abandoned lovers, cruel acts of God, unrequited longing. With his sweet voice and acoustic flair, Temple will have to fend off the comparisons to the current canon of suicidal singer-songwriters (Buckley, Elliot Smith, Nick Drake). But Hold A Match For A Gasoline World has moments of pure giddiness that keep it from being fully mired in the doldrums. The first song off the album, "Someone Somewhere," has the upbeat feeling of Norwegian heartthrob Sondre Lerche's "Two Way Monologue." This spring Temple is releasing his first full-length album, Hold A Match For A Gasoline World . Temple was not always just a musician; he started as a visual artist, and once earned his keep as a candy salesman.

  • Death Cab For Cutie To Perform Live on the OC Tonight; Click To Win a Signed DCFC Poster!

    Many OC fans have an unhealthy obsession with cutie Seth Cohen (Adam Brody), the indie-rock geek with the excellent comic book collection. Well Seth's dreams are coming true on this week's OC, and so can yours. The fictional character's favorite band, Death Cab for Cutie, is going to perform some of the tracks off of their most recent album, Transatlanticism, on the show tonight (April 21). An OC website is offering an opportunity to win a signed Transatlanticism poster--to enter, click here!

  • Summer Festival Update

    This summer brings warm beer in plastic cups, long lines for port-a-pottys and the omnipresent music festival circuit. Stateside, saddle up for Lollapalooza's resurgence. However, the iconic alt-rock fest is no longer a traveling circus--it's only one weekend in Chicago this July 23rd-24th. Lollapalooza promises 70 bands on five stages in Chicago's sprawling Grant Park. For the hippie in you, Manchester, Tennessee's Bonnaroo Festival offers the Dave Matthews Band and ex-Phish guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio headlining on June 10th-12th. Across the pond, the UK offers an amazing two-day extravaganza of indie rock with the Carling Weekend, featuring Hot Hot Heat, Bloc Party, the Pixies, Iron Maiden, and the Foo Fighters. The action takes place in both Reading and Leeds August 26th-28th.

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