The death and rebirth of Sleater-Kinney

Twenty-five years after practicing for the first time in an Olympia basement, Sleater-Kinney are back — and they’ve created one of the most furious, dynamic records of their career. Janet Weiss lives a few minutes on foot from a cemetery deep in Portland, Oregon’s picturesque, sleepy Northeast region. She has a one-and-a-half-year-old Texas Heeler named Dizzy who’s so excited to see Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker … Continue reading The death and rebirth of Sleater-Kinney

Sticky post

Slowthai’s jacked union

The 24-year-old rapper’s debut LP, Nothing Great About Britain, is a combustible response to a country that can’t stop kicking itself. But he’s still Northampton’s child. Tyron Frampton was standing on a corner in his hometown of Northampton one night about a decade ago, getting drunk on Lambrini and smoking up with two of his friends, when a 50-something-year-old man with a frazzled, ash-grey beard walked … Continue reading Slowthai’s jacked union

Chastity Belt’s Julia Shapiro steps out on her own on Perfect Version

Last April, shortly after a show at The Pilot Light in Knoxville, Tennessee, beloved indie rock band Chastity Belt cancelled the remainder of their US tour, citing “health concerns.” Lead singer Julia Shapiro was in the midst of a crisis. She’d recently had half of her thyroid removed — doctors suspected that it might be cancerous. She’d also broken up with her long-term partner, who’d … Continue reading Chastity Belt’s Julia Shapiro steps out on her own on Perfect Version

Why are these alt-rock musicians suddenly lining up behind Morrissey?

It is usually best to ignore Steven Patrick Morrissey. The foppish former frontman of The Smiths and recent right-wing blowhard now brays from the fringes, his music all but irrelevant, his views as nuanced as those of a toddler in a temper tantrum. His only worthwhile contribution to pop culture over the past decade came when JPEGMAFIA borrowed his name for the brilliant “I Cannot … Continue reading Why are these alt-rock musicians suddenly lining up behind Morrissey?

Lee Fields on the past, the future, God, and the cosmos

The house band is absent when Lee Fields walks onto Carnegie Hall’s gilded, wide-open Isaac Stern Auditorium stage for the 17th annual Van Morrison tribute show. A hard-touring 68-year-old soul singer originally from Wilson, North Carolina, Fields spent decades searching for the right back-up — a group of musicians who could match the crackling, aching ecstasy in his lungs. He found that in the Expressions … Continue reading Lee Fields on the past, the future, God, and the cosmos

Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” makes genre charts look silly

Five years ago, bro-country pioneers Florida Georgia Line released “This Is How We Roll,” a brazen, almost exploitatively catchy single that strung banjo twangs over cringe-inducing rap bars and stole the darkest corner of my heart before vaulting to the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Song charts. You can watch the video for it now and see the frat-house aesthetic of modern country radio coming to life … Continue reading Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” makes genre charts look silly

Spencer Radcliffe and everything else

Seven hours from now, Spencer Radcliffe will perform in front of a bronze Jesus pinned to a five-foot crucifix beneath a flower-shaped stained glass window at Brooklyn’s Park Church Co-Op. In the middle of his set, he will perform “Trust,” a stark and disconcerting song from his 2017 LP Enjoy The Great Outdoors, and he’ll let his head drop to the left while gently pulling the … Continue reading Spencer Radcliffe and everything else

The Walmart Mysticism of Cass McCombs

With an apocalyptic hum, the songwriter tells stories of solipsists and idealists on his new record ‘Tip of the Sphere.’ “I wish to give myself into your hands here, a fugitive from justice, to be held a prisoner until the state authorities of California and the postal authorities of the United States are notified and can act on the matter,” John R. Griffith wrote to the Sacramento Daily … Continue reading The Walmart Mysticism of Cass McCombs