Cast your eyes on the Billboard chart and it seems like summer 2006 will go down in history as the season of the Latin diva, with Nelly Furtado doffing a soft-focus folkie-cutie image by declaring herself "Promiscuous" and Shakira holding on to the promise of, well, that crazy, sexy, but not quite cool chest move she's close to trademarked via "Hips Don't Lie." Rihanna and Christina Aguilera brought up the rear of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart last week — solo singers all. Read more »
The Greek deities might throw lightning bolts and issue stormy protests, but when I first saw Erase Errata in November 2001, they seemed less a fledgling local all-girl band than scruffy goddesses sprung full grown from the temple of ... Mark E. Smith. The year-and-a-half-old foursome opened for the newly reenergized, near-surfabilly Fall and they were staggering — seeming grrrlish prodigies who picked up the sharp, jagged tools discarded by Smith with a confidence that seemed Olympian (as in Washington State and Zeus's heavenly homestead). Read more »
In 1967, the Bay Area's Brotherhood of Light transformed the average rock show into a full-blown psychedelic spectacle. Using 16mm film and Technicolor dyes and oils, the collective began projecting swirling visuals on larger-than-life backdrops at venues like the Fillmore. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and, of course, the Dead all got the Brotherhood treatment. Read more »
Low-flying Seattle ethnomusic label Sublime Frequencies has been in business for less than three years, but in that time established itself as easily the most happening label around in terms of hard-to-find music from overseas. Read more »
Prohibition saw the blossoming of alcoholic communing. Antismoking laws brought smokers closer together. So what about this musical wolf craze, Wolfmothers and Wolfkings, the endless urge to shape-shift? We're becoming more human.
Note the outpouring of pop collectives that are truly collective. Observe Austin, Texas's Peter and the Wolf, Red Hunter's experimental folk project, whose acoustic performances in graveyards, in abandoned buses, even on an island, have put them on the map. Read more »
Look, I tried — as much as any 35-year-old can be expected to try — to get excited by, or even minimally interested in, the Warped Tour. Excuse me — what I mean is the Vans Warped Tour, featuring the Volcom Stage, and the Guitar Center Warp Your Summer with NOFX contest, and the Energizer Encore, wherein you can vote to see your favorite Warped band play 10 minutes longer. Why, if I could only see Davey Havok's frontal mullet, Cure fan circa ’86 hairdo for one-sixth of an hour longer, I think I'd need to change my underwear. Oh, wait — AFI aren’t playing? Read more »
The reasons were manifold, many-furred, and multihued, but this much was clear at South by Southwest 2006: The Nashville teen punk sensations Be Your Own Pet were definitely a band to raise your right fist Arsenio-style and woof at, like a member of the Bloodhound Gang at a sports bar. Read more »
Zakk Wylde is a postmodern metal god. Or perhaps a modern post-metal god. With his long, flowing hair and beard, bulging muscles, and Les Paul wielded like a battle ax, he is a figure straight out of mythology. Read more »
It takes a lot to knock an obsession out of Built to Spill singer-songwriter-guitarist Doug Martsch. Behind the beard, the down-low home life with wife and child, and the phone conversation padded with softly undercutting "Oh, I dunno's," once lay the heart of a raging pickup basketball junkie.
"I kinda got sucked into the NBA play-offs seven or eight years ago," explains Martsch, 37, from his home in Boise, Idaho. Read more »
Before Hedwig was a glimmer in John Cameron Mitchell's eye, before some Bowie-imitation bathhouse spillage bloomed into Velvet Goldmine's Brian Slade, before Freddie Mercury was frightened mid-rhapsody by thunderbolts and lightning, there was Jobriath, the first (and the lost) truly out, gay glam rock star. Read more »