I’m calling it now: April will be the biggest month of 2014 for indie rock releases. The competition was stiff, and my ears are tired. We’ve got Mac DeMarco, EMA, Cloud Nothings, the return of Afghan Whigs — and that’s just the… Read More
AUSTIN, TX: Kelis’s duck confit sliders bring all the boys to the yard.
Down at South By Southwest, attendees often are reintroduced to familiar faces angling to mount big comebacks and reinventions. Sometimes it doesn’t work — typically because the shows aren’t high-profile enough or the stunts aren’t clever enough to break through… Read More
I could make a list of acts I’m excited to see at SXSW this year: Mark Kozelek, Sylvan Esso, Eagulls, London Grammar, Diarrhea Planet, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Perfect Pussy, Future, Sam Smith, Against Me!, and a lot more I won’t know about until I stumble upon them, tipsily, in the middle of the afternoon.
But half the fun of going to SXSW is improvising when you can’t get into shows or don’t want to deal with lines, in the process seeing artists you normally never would. So instead of focusing on my personal to-do list at SXSW Music, I want to take a look at the topics I expect will garner online chatter this week, once music industry folks and writers alike map out their own highly personalized schedules. Some will focus on the deeply sponsored events, like Lady Gaga performing in a Doritos vending machine, or the entirety of the iTunes Festival, while others will completely eschew the sort of shows that require a badge or even an RSVP. These should cover most of our bases, though. … Read More
With year-end listomania pretty much over and done with, it’s time to turn our attention to the year to come — and, specifically, which albums we’re most looking forward to hearing in 2014. So far, it’s shaping up very nicely indeed, thanks — there’s the return of a whole lot of artists who we’ve been waiting to hear from for up to four-and-a-half decades, along with debuts from exciting new talents. Here’s what’s gonna be on our shopping list once we pay off the debts of the “festive” season. … Read More
Part of the pleasure of listening to music is tracking down the less obvious joys: obscure covers, remixes and deep cuts that didn’t get a whole lot of attention. There were plenty such songs kicking about in 2013, and it seems a shame not to draw attention to them just because they didn’t quite make it onto our albums of the year list — so here are 20 songs that you may or may not have read about elsewhere, and that your correspondent enjoyed greatly over the last 12 months. … Read More
2014 is already looking like a very good year for alt-pop divas. Neneh Cherry and Katy B have new albums… Read More
With the arrival of summer comes that tireless music industry debate: what’s gonna be the Official Song of the Summer™? The folk at Stereogum are taking votes on this very subject at the moment, but really, the answer for 2013 is pretty clear: Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” will surely be the consensus vote, and the song you’re most likely to hear blasting at beach parties/rooftop parties/every other sort of party all summer. Are you sick of it yet? At least it’s not that Julian Casablancas track, eh? Anyway, if you fancy looking beyond the helmeted ones and the rest of the somewhat incongruous selections on Stereogum’s shortlist (“Black Skinhead”? Really?), here are some alternative contenders for the prize. … Read More
It’s Friday, which means we are contemplating the weekend ahead and also, as ever, rounding up the best songs we’ve heard this week. This week we heard not one but two great new pop songs in the space of seven days — from Kelis and Janelle Monáe (with some help from Erykah Badu) — something that happens once every decade or so! We also celebrated the returns of Carter Tutti and Kode9, got even more excited about upcoming records from The National and Pure X, listened to Owen Ashworth (he who was once known as Casiotone for the Painfully Alone) doing gospel music, and more. Click on through and get a-listening, dear readers! … Read More