• Band of Horses, 'Infinite Arms' (Brown/Fat Possum/Columbia)

    Three albums is all it takes these days to graduate from buzzy upstarts to grizzled veterans. Not long ago, Ben Bridwell's reedy vocalsand slow-burn guitar were compared to Built to Spill's Doug Martsch; Bridwell himself is now a touch- stone. But when does "consistent" translateto "rut"? For Band of Horses, not yet. Still present,and lovely, are the lilting ballads ("Infinite Arms," "Evening Kitchen," "Older"), afternoon-delightful AM gold ("Blue Beard"), and keening boot-stompers ("Northwest Apartment"), all delivered with a back-porch abandon many beardos emulate, but few match. EDITOR'S NOTE: The online version of this review was posted with the wrong rating. Its correct rating is four stars, not two, as originally indicated. BUY:Amazon

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    EXCLUSIVE: Robert Pollard Talks Pete Rose Film

    4,192, an upcoming documentary about baseball's all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, is being scored by indie-rock's all-time non-hits leader. We ask the uber-prolific ex-Guided By Voices mastermind Robert Pollard how the hell this happened and what's up with his other cinematic undertaking. PLUS: Scroll down and download a song composed by Pollard for the film! For more on the film, visit the official site. SPIN: So. How the hell did this happen?POLLARD: Matt Davis, who runs Rockathon Records, which is essentially our distribution, our label, had a friend who knew the director, Terry Lukemire and producer, Aymie Majerksi, who were both semi-fans. They were looking for someone to do all the music and Matt said, "Bob's got thousands of songs, he's all you need." I met with them a few weeks ago and saw a rough cut and they said they wanted a lot of anthemic stuff.

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    Reunited Pavement Return to Coachella

    There was a brief kerfuffle on Twitter Sunday night because co-headliners Phoenix were outdrawing Pavement's ballyhooed U.S. return to Coachella. How could a bunch of omnipresent French upstarts with a couple catchy singles usurp the drooled-over return of the prodigal indie-rock darlings? The truth is, Pavement were never built for a big stage. Their last stint at Coachella, in 1999, was the picture of a band in its death throes. They were generally content to merely let songs end, instead of finishing them, and that cool ambivalence was central to the band's unique charm. But the combination of age and wisdom and plain old business acumen have had a restorative effect on Pavement: They're here to do this right this time, trying harder without looking like they're actually trying.

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    LCD Soundsystem Play Surprise NYC Show

    With apologies to Hot Chip's Joe Goddard, there aren't many artists who can force a room full of jaded New Yorkers to dance with sloppy abandon while looking like he's ready to fix their sinks afterwards. Focusing on James Murphy's disarming everyman schlubbiness may be no more respectful than dwelling on, say, Hayley Williams' kittenishness, but it's essential to LCD Soundsystem's snowballing appeal.

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    Billie Joe Armstrong Meets Paul Westerberg

    Green Day and The Replacements both started out as snotty punk bands with mischievous streaks before blossoming into proper adults. The frontmen -- longtime pals -- talk about hero worship, staving off "creative suicide," and realizing you've been singing the wrong lyric for 24 years. SPIN: You two guys have actually known each other awhile. Do you remember when you met? BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG: It was during the Eventually tour. I went to see you. SPIN: So, this is 1996, when Green Day had been huge for a couple years. Paul, were you familiar with them? PAUL WESTERBERG: I don't know if I heard his music before we met. I was probably too afraid to look behind me, everyone was gaining.

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    Britt Daniel Meets Ray Davies

    Compared to most of their indie-rock peers, Spoon have been around forever. But for sound advice on true staying power -- including the "right" to fail -- their dedicated follower goes face to face (sort of) with the Kinks' well-respected man about town. BRITT DANIEL: I guess I heard all the Kinks songs growing up, but I was a latecomer to buying Kinks records, at least compared to a lot of my friends. The first one I got was [1966's] Face to Face, and it was a revelation for me. RAY DAVIES: What was it about that one that appealed to you? DANIEL: I liked the personal nature of the lyrics. I liked the stories. It seemed almost like a garage-rock record, but started to head into more constructed pop-song territory. DAVIES: Our first record had six or seven cover songs; by Face to Face we were writing all our own material.

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    Music Legend Alex Chilton Dies at Age 59

    I'm not ashamed to admit that I learned about him from Paul Westerberg when I was 16. I imagine a lot of people did. That's what it's all about -- discovering your heroes' heroes, connecting those dots and following the trails ever backwards and sideways, falling in love with things you didn't even know existed. But rarely has a signpost been as direct as the Replacements' 1987 love letter. It was called "Alex Chilton." What I learned then is what wiser people before me held like a secret and what many others may just be learning this morning -- that Alex Chilton, who passed away yesterday in New Orleans of an apparent heart attack at age 59, was the brilliant, immeasurably influential leader of Memphis power-pop giants Big Star. That he sang the Box Tops' 1967 hit "The Letter" when he was only 16.

  • Titus Andronicus, 'The Monitor' (XL)

    This is ostensibly a Civil War concept album, but these Jersey smartasses aren't going Decemberists on us. Rather, frontman Patrick Stickles, sounding like an agitated Conor Oberst, is frustrated with our current state of disunion and intent on exorcising it with properly epiphanic refrains ("The enemy is everywhere," "It's still us against them," "I need whiskey," "You'll always be a loser"). With five songs clocking in at more than seven minutes, often thanks to detours down E Street, it's a big-idea album that feels small and personable, even as it's kicking you in the shin. LISTEN: Titus Andronicus, "A More Perfect Union"(DOWNLOAD MP3) BUY: Amazon

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    Grammys: Best and Worst Moments

    Sunday night's Grammy Awards ceremony featured a feisty pop-punk band getting their Andrew Lloyd Webber on, a schmaltzy tribute to a late icon in trendy 3D that no one at home could view, and a desperate plea from the music industry to please give them some money. Then there was all the lame stuff. Weirdest Opening Number That Seemed a Lot Less Weird As the Night Devolved The 52nd annual Grammys got off to an appropriately daffy start with Lady Gaga's three-ring "Poker Face" paean to the perils of fame and egotism, performed to an arena full of megastars and flunkies, followed by a sweet "Your Song" duet with Elton John that took its art direction cues from The Road. This would prove to be one of the more relatively sober moments of the evening, and, surprisingly, the last we'd really see of Lady Gaga (who, like her or not, can really sing).

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    Grammy Preview: Who'll Win?

    The 52nd annual Grammy Awards feature an amazing roster of performers, including Green Day, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and many more. (Watch the show Sunday, Jan.31, at 8 p.m. on CBS.) And, it turns out, the Recording Academy is also giving out a few shiny awards. Below, read our predictions for who should win and who will win. Then post your comment. ALBUM OF THE YEAR Beyonce, I Am Sasha Fierce Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D. Lady Gaga, The Fame Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey... Taylor Swift, Fearless Who Will Win: Taylor Swift. The only thing Grammy voters love as much as very old people is very young people. But don't count out Lady Gaga -- her Best New Artist snub may meet with gaudy overcompensation.

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