Balancing melody with noise

Feb 17, 2006

Balancing melody with noise

Its inevitable: No matter how unique a band may be, someone will find a way to compare them to other bands. For San Francisco four-piece Deerhoof, parallels continue to be drawn to Japanese artists: Cibo Matto, The Boredoms and Yoko Ono. Deerhoof’s main vocalist, ...

M.I.A. terrorizes the dancefloor

Feb 3, 2006

M.I.A. terrorizes the dancefloor

Maya Arulpragasam sighs into the phone. I’ve asked her if journalists have accurately depicted her life story, and she seems tired of the question. “My story?” she asks. “Which one? There are so many.” Arulpragasam has been called many things in her short career: ...

The lights, guitars, action of Go! Team

Jul 17, 2005

The lights, guitars, action of Go! Team

Film commonly relies on music to add emotional impact. However, with The Go! Team, who hail from Brighton, England, it works the other way around. Early singles were flush with action and near-cinematic thrills, all guitar squalls and percussive thrust, with soaring horn lines ...

Jun 26, 2005

Art Brut: "Bang Bang Rock & Roll"

Vocalist Eddie Argos can’t sing. His band, Art Brut, prove more tuneful, but none of this matters on “Bang Bang Rock & Roll,’ the London quintet’s fantastic debut album. Instead of singing, Argos simply raises his voice, rambling with the articulate, impulse-driven zeal of ...

Yo La Tengo: the band next door

Jun 5, 2005

Yo La Tengo: the band next door

Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley are a nice, mellow couple in their mid-40s from Hobokken, N.J. They like homemade peach pie, watching TV and going to the occasional baseball game. Oh, and they also founded one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the ...

Canadian indie scene keeps it together

Apr 24, 2005

Canadian indie scene keeps it together

When the Canadian music collective known as Broken Social Scene arrives in Tokyo next month, they’ll be bringing a few members of their family tree along. Found on the group’s Web site, the “tree” is actually 40-plus band and artist names scrawled on a ...

Out Hud: 'Let us Never Speak of it Again'

Apr 3, 2005

Out Hud: "Let us Never Speak of it Again"

A trillion watts. They mention it more than once, so I’m guessing that’s what electro-rock collective, Out Hud, wants to get their hands on. They could certainly put it to use. Their nearly indescribable 2002 LP, “S.T.R.E.E.T.D.A.D.,” was a gargantuan, Frankenstein-like creature composed of ...

Feb 20, 2005

LCD Soundsystem

James Murphy wants it both ways. A walking encyclopedia of the underground scene, he loathes the narcissism and one-upmanship common among record-shop insiders. His NYC label, DFA, produced some of the most infectious dance singles of the decade thus far, yet Murphy turns down ...

Sisters gonna work it out

Feb 16, 2005

Sisters gonna work it out

There was a time when radio in the United States was full of surprises — a time when catchy, clever tunes were just a turn of the dial away. Pop music carried less baggage then, before marketing and demographics moved in and warped station ...

Feb 6, 2005

Death From Above 1979

An elephant in your living room. Ask rhythm and metal duo Death From Above 1979 to describe their music, and that’s a common response. Indeed, the massive sound of their debut LP, “You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine” is sure to scrape the walls ...