Belle and Sebastian – What to Look for in Summer

Glasgow, Scotland’s indie/chamber pop stalwarts Belle and Sebastian did something that not many indie bands could ever pull off without looking tremendously goofy. They recorded portions of their new live record, What to Look For in Summer, in front of a throng of their super-fans while on a cruise ship. While not a greatest hits… Continue reading Belle and Sebastian – What to Look for in Summer

Don’t Return This Gift: New Gang of Four Box

Soon after guitarist Andy Gill’s unexpected early February passing (of a respiratory ailment, following a November tour of China – you do the math) the surviving original members of the Gang of Four set out to reaffirm the post-punk standard bearers’ legacy. Gill had been performing with other musicians under the Go4 banner since vocalist… Continue reading Don’t Return This Gift: New Gang of Four Box

Belle and Sebastian Know What They Did Last Summer

Photo by @WillByington

Assembled from an assortment of stops on their 2019 tour, Belle and Sebastian’s double live album What to Look for in Summer, comes out Dec. 11 on Matador Records. Five tracks on the album were taken from their “Boaty Weekender” cruise that took place in August 2019. The other 18 recordings are culled from shows… Continue reading Belle and Sebastian Know What They Did Last Summer

Yo La Tengo, Awake Under the Covers

Originally included as part of a $300 limited-edition souvenir book made to coincide with a Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition of the work of Japanese artist Yoshitiomo Nara, a six-song EP by Yo La Tengo titled Sleepless Night will be released to the general public as a significantly lower-priced one-sided 12” vinyl record… Continue reading Yo La Tengo, Awake Under the Covers

Kim Gordon Releases First Solo Album Oct. 11

It isn’t as if Kim Gordon has been laying low since the 2011 breakup of Sonic Youth. With Bill Nace, she formed the experimental guitar duo Body/Head, which has released several albums to date. She formed a band called Glitterbust, whose debut album came out in 2016. She has delved heavily into visual art, and… Continue reading Kim Gordon Releases First Solo Album Oct. 11

Kurt Vile Wants You to Know He Loves You

Matador Records will release Kurt Vile’s latest collection of lope-along weed-wackers on Oct. 12. Bottle It In was recorded at various studios around the country, in between tours or road trips, including facilities in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Portland and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Guests include Kim Gordon (on “acoustic guitar distortion”), Cass McCombs (backing vocals), Warpaint’s Stella… Continue reading Kurt Vile Wants You to Know He Loves You

Liz Phair – Girly-Sound to Guyville

Liz Phair was one of the most divisive musical figures of the 1990s. Well before the term “hater” had entered the common lexicon, she had folks taking sides over her authenticity and rabble rousing. Fortunately, much of this drama was confined to Phair’s insular Chicago indie scene – the “Guyville” she enshrined in the title… Continue reading Liz Phair – Girly-Sound to Guyville

Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)

For his 2015 Matador Records coming out party, Will Toledo updated the quasi-greatest hits from Car Seat Headrest’s self-released catalog and packaged them as Teens of Style. Missing from this collection were any tracks from Twin Fantasy, his 2011 opus that many longtime fans consider his masterwork. It took a few more years to understand… Continue reading Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)

Lucy Dacus – Historian

Um, wow. Not that making a great debut album is easy, but an artist’s sophomore outing has long been the notoriously tricky proposition, given its heightened expectations and compressed timeframe. Richmond’s Lucy Dacus handily cleared the first hurdle with 2016’s No Burden, a low-stakes affair recorded over two days with a newly convened band and… Continue reading Lucy Dacus – Historian

New Lucy Dacus, Car Seat Headrest On Tap

The artists behind two of 2016’s best albums – both of whom cut their teeth in Richmond, Virginia and are now aligned with Matador Records – are poised to get 2018 off to an indie-tastic start. First up is Car Seat Headrest, whose magnum opus (so far) Teens of Denial was 2016’s finest hour and… Continue reading New Lucy Dacus, Car Seat Headrest On Tap

Helium – Ends With And

Helium, Ends With And</em

Mary Timony has ridden an unusual career arc. A key player in both the Boston and Washington DC DIY scenes, her band Helium was more demanding than Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, not quite as knotty as Polvo, and featured pummeling guitars rivaling Dinosaur Jr. After releasing 1995’s second-shelf period classic The Dirt of Luck (on… Continue reading Helium – Ends With And

Car Seat Headrest

He Really Gets You: Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo is the Voice of an Effed Up Generation “Bloggers– If you want to link to my music, please don’t use the first four albums because they’re not very good.” –Will Toledo, in a since-deleted Bandcamp message “But while you’re there, be sure to listen to the… Continue reading Car Seat Headrest

Yo La Tengo – Extra Painful

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Since Yo La Tengo launched a reissue campaign ostensibly to celebrate its thirtieth year as a band, it’s a bit odd to start with their sixth release, one that’s barely old enough to drink. The choice of Painful has its logic, though – the 1993 album was the trio’s first on Matador Records, its first… Continue reading Yo La Tengo – Extra Painful

Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style

It feels like ages since an album like this has burst onto the scene, even if it’s probably only been about a year and a half. Introverted indie white boy retreats to his bedroom (or if this press kit is to be believed, the family car) to sort through his quarter-life crisis, and in the… Continue reading Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style

Yo La Tengo

New York (and John) Rockers: Yo La Tengo Dials It Down for a Fakebook Sequel Here’s a new yardstick by which to measure Yo La Tengo’s longevity and resilience. One of the band’s first releases was a contribution to the 1986 compilation album Luxury Condos (Coming to Your Neighborhood Soon). That title was a dart… Continue reading Yo La Tengo

Lower – Seek Warmer Climes

At this time last year Iceage’s Atlanta visit was circled on my calendar as the show of the season. It was their Copenhagen scenemates and friends Lower, however, who carved the evening’s indelible impression. The quartet pulled off the rare feat of totally commanding the stage for a full set of material of which I… Continue reading Lower – Seek Warmer Climes

Savages – Silence Yourself

First, the bad news: Savages’ debut LP is significantly overrated. However, the hype machine overheated so furiously on this one that Silence Yourself remains a compelling listen and an impressive initial volley. Many young bands launch with a bundle of bracing songs, then struggle to convey their full essence in a studio setting. This London… Continue reading Savages – Silence Yourself

Come

“Loving Music and Playing It in an Intense Way” Come’s Thalia Zedek Revisits 11:11’s Lows and Highs Rock ’n’ roll music is a cyclical phenomenon, an ever-evolving and multiple-layered social/artistic history with tier upon tier of traditions, personalities, hierarchies and influences. Every good band has a certain sphere of influence that resounds infinitely, however faintly… Continue reading Come

Iceage – You’re Nothing

In 2011 four Danish teenagers called Iceage released a very good debut album – or more accurately, they released a few very good songs tucked within 25 minutes of unbridled energy. From that promising start You’re Nothing ups the ante in almost every regard. On its sophomore outing the band sounds firmly in control of… Continue reading Iceage – You’re Nothing

Yo La Tengo – Fade

I was not initially jazzed about the notion of John McEntire in the producer’s chair for Yo La Tengo’s thirteenth “proper” album. The storied post-rock engineer has some impressive credits but his greatest successes (Stereolab, Tortoise, the Sea and Cake) share a clinical aura; McEntire’s also managed to suck the life out of bands as… Continue reading Yo La Tengo – Fade

A.C. Newman – Shut Down the Streets

Carl Newman’s solo efforts have always felt like placeholders. The songs were there, but his arrangements had the whiff of demos, the workshopping of ideas being fleshed out for the next New Pornographers album. Until now. Maybe it was Dan Bejar’s Destroyer breakthough, giving Newman two sidekicks whose stars threatened to eclipse that of his… Continue reading A.C. Newman – Shut Down the Streets

Jay Reatard

Better Than Something Let’s Talk Music, Not Tragedy “The most shocking thing to me [was] when we went to Memphis for the funeral. It was the first time that I ever saw him still. I remember other people saying the same thing. Jay, who was always the guy who was the most excited – joking,… Continue reading Jay Reatard

Kurt Vile

Heartland Rock Revival: Kurt Vile is the Answer Few musicians are speaking for the common man these days, despite that there’s arguably more to begrudge now than ever before. There’s as much beauty to bask in too, of course – a natural flipside; the light that creates the gloomy shade. Garage, punk and all sorts… Continue reading Kurt Vile