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02 Feb 2011 14:05


Music: The White Stripes break up, 1997-2011

Venerable musical duo The White Stripes officially broke up today, issuing a statement suggesting that “The White Stripes now belong to you.” Aw, shucks! source

04 Jun 2010 17:42


27 Mar 2010 19:11


Music: Saturday Mixtape: We’re suckers for a hazy, summery vibe

  • Summer can’t come soon enough for indie rockers, it seems, because the sound du jour at the moment is a hazy brand of indie rock, much less abrasive than 2008’s noisy lo-fi model (we’re looking at you, No Age and Wavves). Guitars, synths, doesn’t matter: The vibe is key here. And it started with some guy named Ariel Pink.

  • 1. The sad, whining tone of the guitar intro on The Morning Benders’ “Excuses” gives way to a fairly clean sound, but it’s one clearly informed by the calming fuzz of a warm summer day. The Beach Boys wrote the outline, but not the plot, here.
  • 2. They like Neon Indian, they really like him. Last year, the Nintendo-baked project actually drew a degree of success that put it in the forefront of the “chillwave” movement. It’s a lot more accessible than some of the other stuff here. In a good way.
  • 3. A buddy of Animal Collective, Ariel Pink never got the critical praise of his mentors, until it became clear that indie’s path was colliding into his often-bizarre, noise-worn sounds. This song, one of the hundreds he’s recorded over the years, had a proper release way back in 2004, yet it fits in perfectly here. Hm. With the extra attention (he recently signed to big indie 4AD), expect him to have a solid 2010.
  • 4. Bradford Cox, too, has been around a while between Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, but his last Atlas Sound album “Logos,” has a definite worn-out-summer vibe that fits perfectly here. It’s one not reflected in any of his previous albums, but seems to nail the moment perfectly. When we hear “My Halo,” want to laze out. Seriously.
  • 5. Somewhere, below the layers of noise covering up Best Coast’s “Sun Was High (So Was I),” is a killer hook in a killer female vocal. Like the best hooks, it cuts through, saying “listen to me again.” And usually, we’re forced to comply.

17 Mar 2010 22:33


Music: R.I.P. dude: Four ways you know Memphis rocker Alex Chilton

  • Sadly, Alex Chilton is the second Memphis music legend to die this year. The first, Jay Reatard, was a still-growing legend greatly inspired by him. And he had good reason to be inspired. Chilton was one of the principals behind Big Star, a band that ALWAYS comes up in conversations about underrated bands. Chilton died today at 59, reportedly of a heart attack. Here’s how you should remember him.

  • 1. At the tender age of 16, Chilton peaked commercially. His band, The Box Tops, scored a No. 1 hit with “The Letter,” a tune known more for its prominence than who sang it.  The band had more hits, but none as lasting as this soul-tinged classic.
  • 2. You know this song in a different form. For nearly a decade, it was the theme song to “That 70s Show,” but before that, it was a Big Star tune. And well, it still is. Know what a popular TV show theme song gives you? Financial security.
  • 3. “Remember what we said about ‘Paint it Black.'” “Thirteen” may be the best song ever written about adolescence, and it’s a tune that’s covered often, most notably by the also-deceased Elliott Smith.
  • 4. You know you’ve made it when Paul Westerberg writes a song about you, and it’s really freaking good. “Alex Chilton” was immortalized as a Replacements single, and Chilton himself played on the band’s “Can’t Hardly Wait.”

07 Mar 2010 11:44


Music: R.I.P. Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse: A warm sound from a dark place

  • It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous, took his own life today. We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There’s a heaven and there’s a star for you.
  • A statement from Mark Linkous’ family • Regarding the death of the alt-rock icon, whose atmospheric folk floated around the more interesting edges of pop music for fifteen years. Sparklehorse wasn’t exactly happy music – Linkous actually had a near-death experience (overdose, coma, surgery, nearly-lost limbs, heart attack, the whole bit) at the beginning of his career that informed the rest of it. Among the many projects he was involved in (besides Sparklehorse): A collaboration with Danger Mouse just last year called “Dark Night of the Soul” and the production credit on a Daniel Johnston album. A terrible, sad loss for music. source

22 Feb 2010 02:08


Offbeat: Man, this overly-earnest Christian rock band is awesome, guys.

  • Did they steal some of their melodies from The Shaggs? Final Placement isn’t sure what they want to be, or sound like, but they certainly know how to suck. There’s a little Nickelback, a bit of Default, a lot of earnestness, and even more Jesus going on in the mix here. The leg-kicking in unison around the 1:15 mark is pretty, uh, awesome, too. (Update: Reposted for the Monday morning crew. Enjoy, guys.)

02 Feb 2010 19:09



29 Dec 2009 11:13


Music: Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer dies; The Rev lived fast, died young

The Rev, born James Sullivan, was the driving force behind one of mainstream rock’s most popular acts. Indie kids don’t know who he is. source

07 Nov 2009 18:58


Music: Saturday Mixtape: Taking in the possible death of Aerosmith

But, but … how? Why now? Aerosmith has been together almost 40 years, and had two solid, strong stretches of success. There were a few years in the early '80s where it seemed like the band was done. But they came back. Now? Well, Steven Tyler wants to do a solo album, and the band's considering going on without him. WHAT!? Without him? We have no words for such a strange ending for an always-there band. So anyway, this week's mixtape focuses on what we want to remember for one of classic rock's iconic bands.
  • The playlist
  • On the songs Aerosmith is a defining, iconic rock band for two separate generations – those from the ’70s and those from the ’90s. Despite the band’s diminishing returns in recent years, they were an impressive singles band with at least a dozen genuine classics to their name (and megahit “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” which isn’t one of them). They’ve given into commercial schlock before, but when they stick to their bluesy rock roots, they rank as one of the best bands of the rock era. It’d be sad to see them break up. source

15 Oct 2009 10:47


Music: Garth Brooks the new Wayne Newton? He’s heading to Vegas!

  • Great for him! We needed more populism in Vegas. And more mascara. (He’s coming back as Chris Gaines, right?) Either way, good for him! And for America!source