RIFF’d: The Black Keys’ ‘Turn Blue’

It’s hard to avoid the narrative trap of filtering an artist’s new music through the lens of their personal life. Here, it’s a non-issue because it’s completely unavoidable. The Black Keys‘ frontman Dan Auerbach went through […]

Keep Reading »

RIFF’d: Pixies’ ‘Indie Cindy’

Indie Cindy, the Pixies’ first record since 1991 was recorded in 2012, and released as a series of teaser EPs throughout 2013 and 2014. As such, while their latest is officially being released this Tuesday, it’s […]

Keep Reading »

RIFF’d: The Afghan Whigs’ ‘Do to the Beast’

There’s something peculiar about the time-frame of 16 years lately, in terms of the recent reunion albums and tours. First Soundgarden’s King Animal comes out 16 years after Down on the Upside, and then Neutral […]

Keep Reading »

Neutral Milk Hotel live, same tour - courtesy of New York Times

Streetside: ‘Oh Comely’, Dear Neutral Milk Hotel, Back to Seattle’s Neptune Theater; April 4

In 2012, Jeff Mangum visited Seattle’s The Moore Theater for two nights, the first of which – as was the case at dates across the country – sold out almost instantaneously. It marked the first […]

Keep Reading »

RIFF’d: Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’

After all the guerrilla marketing campaigns, the teaser videos that just wouldn’t quit, the Bowie back-up vocals, the bobble-heads, “secret shows,” cryptic-punk SNL featurettes, fake cover bands, critic Achtung Baby posturing and incredulous silence from Arcade Fire until about a week ago […]

Keep Reading »

Listing: The Warrior Catharsis of Neko Case’s ‘The Worse Things Get…’ in 5 Lyrics

While the old adage that ‘from great pain comes great art’ is a cheap reduction of the wonders of the human spirit, there is some validity to it. Way down from her perch atop a […]

Keep Reading »

'The Civil Wars' album art

Listing: The 5 Most Awkward-to-Record Lyrics from The Civil Wars’ S/T

One can’t help but cringe imagining the recording process for this entire album. The Civil Wars‘ new self-titled record (August 6) was made after a run of canceled tour dates signaled an indefinite hiatus due […]

Keep Reading »

Gogol Bordello

Listing: Gogol Bordello’s ‘Pura Vida Conspiracy’ in 5 Introspective Sentiments

An on-stage performance with Madonna at Live Earth, an appearance in Everything Is Illuminated, 2010’s Rick Rubin-produced Trans-Continental Hustle – Gogol Bordello’s riotous brand of gypsy folk-punk has regularly threatened to break out into the […]

Keep Reading »

Listing: 5 Mental Health Issues from Alice in Chains’ ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’

Like any self-respecting heroin-addled grunge band, Alice in Chains are nothing if not dark. Overdoses claimed not only original lead singer Layne Staley in 2002, but also original bassist Mike Starr in 2011. The remaining […]

Keep Reading »

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

Listing: 5 Know-it-All Lyrics from Vampire Weekend’s ‘Modern Vampires of the City’

Vampire Weekend’s third offering, Modern Vampires of the City, experiments with pitch-shifting, recording onto tape and even a spectrum analyzer. The 43-minute tour-de-spirituality was made with the ethos: ‘if it sounds familiar, throw it out’. Outside of […]

Keep Reading »