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Poptone

June 27th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Poptone

Poptone

While Bauhaus has enjoyed the cult following that comes with being seen as goth figureheads and Love and Rockets the spoils that go along with a Top 10 hit (“So Alive”), despite having what has become a fixture of alternative club nights the world over (“Go!”), Tones on Tail has never enjoyed the degree of notoriety as the bands that preceded and followed it. Formed …

Introducing… Rays

May 5th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | 1 Comment »

Introducing… Rays

Rays

Oakland, California’s Rays are a fairly typical indie band. They look the part, play the part, run around with other bands who do the same, and get loads of redundant comparisons to the Flying Nun and C-86 jangle pop that undoubtedly clogs their record collections. But it’s the way the quartet—Eva Hannan on bass, Troy Hewitt on guitar, Stanley Martinez on guitar, and Alexa Pantalone …

Boss Hog

April 4th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Boss Hog

Boss Hog

It’s been 17 years since Boss Hog put out a record, and although a lot has changed during that time, you might not know it by listening to the new album. Named after a strain of cicada that also only reappears every 17 years, Brood X (In the Red Records) doesn’t sound like the work of a band that’s been lying dormant for nearly two …

The Feelies

February 27th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

The Feelies

The Feelies

When I last spoke to Feelies guitarist and singer Glenn Mercer and percussionist Dave Weckerman nearly eight years ago, the New Jersey band had just reconvened after a 17-year hiatus. Aside from a gig at the now defunct All Tomorrow’s Parties playing their 1976 debut, Crazy Rhythms, in its entirety, the group had few concrete plans, although they did intend to make a new …

Grifters

October 10th, 2016  |  by  |  published in Features | 1 Comment »

Grifters

Grifters

It’s been said before in these virtual pages, but we are living in an age where everything old is new again. Indeed, it’s telling that in 2015, reissues and downloads of old music outsold new music for the first time since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. I haven’t seen any stats, but I wouldn’t be surprised if reunited acts have bested new acts …

Pixies

October 3rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Pixies

Pixies

My favorite moment in talking with fabled Pixies axeman Joey Santiago occurs in the first few minutes of our conversation, when I can hear him turn to his teenage daughter in response to a question about whether he likes the band’s new album, Head Carrier. “Are you annoyed that I listen to it a lot?” Santiago asks her as he drives. “No,” she responds, …

Book of Love

June 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Book of Love

Book of Love

While the music of the ’80s is often disparaged for the plasticity and seeming lack of soul that characterized its most extreme new wave caricatures, the truth is it was a time of top-notch pop and great experimentation, particularly in the realm of electronic instrumentation. Book of Love, a New York–based quartet that formed in 1983, melded the two along with a certain amount of …

Pere Ubu

June 13th, 2016  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Pere Ubu

pereubuinsideIn the accepted pantheon of punk (or whatever you want to call it), figureheads in New York, London, and L.A. are revered as the innovators of this nefarious genre. But running concurrently and almost continuously alongside the fashionable faces of “underground” music, Pere Ubu has existed as a true alternative. Metabolized out of the remains of Rocket from the Tombs, this innovative group first made …

Travis

May 23rd, 2016  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Travis

Travis

Hitting their stride in the late ’90s, Scottish four-piece Travis is often depicted as the first of a new wave of British bands to follow once the fervor surrounding Brit-pop earlier in the decade had died and left a lull in its wake. But while they may have shared some of their peers’ penchant for instantly fetching melodies, the band separated itself from the pack …

Miracle Legion

April 18th, 2016  |  by  |  published in Features | 1 Comment »

Miracle Legion

Miracle Legion

Formed in 1983 by songwriting principals singer Mark Mulcahy and guitarist Ray Neal, New Haven’s Miracle Legion crafted a finely tuned blend of jangly pop-rock, folk intricacies, and Van Morrison-esque soulfulness that by all rights should have grabbed the as of yet unrecognized alternative masses by the ears. Indeed, though they couldn’t get a record review without at least a mention of REM, they never …