Alternative Music: Most Popular Articles
10 records, no singing. Well, almost. Ten of the brightest lights shining in post-rock's instrumentalist darkness.
The greatest ever indie record labels.
Tally your time-signatures! A guide to the essential, indispensable math-rock records.
Home taping didn't kill music, it revolutionized it. Here's 10 classic home-made records committed straight to analogue tape.
The Scottish outfit have had a long (and brilliant) career of sterling pop songs. Here are the ten best.
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
A barrage of funky, feminist, genre-crossing jams, the second Tune-Yards record beckons imminent crossover.
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
From Tune-Yards to Sun Kil Moon to Angel Olsen, here's the highlights of another awesome year in indie music.
We debate the question that has plagued mankind for centuries: what do 'alternative' and 'indie' actually really mean? And is it just the same thing?
Ever wondered where's the best place to start for a Fall neophyte?
Dewy, dreamy, distorted guitar. Mumbled, barely-there vocals. It's ten classic shoegaze LPs, from MBV on down...
Sort through the glut of new releases with this guide to the upcoming indie-music release schedule.
FKA twigs, Haerts, Mas Ysa, Temples, and Thumpers headline 10 bands primed for a 2014 breakout.
The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of artists to come.
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
You know you're a Southerner when you throw rocks at a dumpster. Toro y Moi talks touring far from South Carolina.
The '77 UK punk explosion has long been wildly overrated. It was everything that came after that was truly revolutionary.
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
The VW frontman talks blog haters, African pop-music, and his lyrical love of polysyllabic words. Page 2.
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
Twin Sister are a band of this era: their debut album a disjointed collection of ten individual sound files.
The defining entries in any alternative record collection. The iconoclasts whose singular sound has shaped a whole generation of underground acts.
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
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Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
Though it'll be forever associated with grunge, Seattle's legendary Sub Pop Records has reinvented itself in the new millennium, presiding over an eclectic lineup of increasingly-successful acts. Here're 10 picks from the label's first 20 years.
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
Paralyzed after an accident, Robert Wyatt went solo with an introspective suite of yearning, personal psychedelia.
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
These unique, unusual, underground albums sound thrilling, strange, and amazing to this day. They're the best 'Obscure' albums lurking in popular music's fringes, inspiring many with their abundant artistry and individuality.
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Essentially the early demos of Mark Kozelek, the debut Red House Painters' LP is a landmark in slow, sad, sombre songwriting.
Spoon's quietly-contrarian 8th album finds Britt Daniel and co sounding both brilliant and burdened.
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
Don't know your shoegaze from your space-rock? Your twee from your C86? Read on to discover the peculiar secrets of all those baffling genre names.
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.' Here are the ten best.
When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
Tasked with following up 2011's Whokill, Merrill Garbus's third Tune-Yards LP is both more anthemic and more anxious.
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
From Superchunk to Destroyer, Guv'ner to the Arcade Fire, we count down 10 choice discs served up in the history of North Carolina's Merge Records.
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Biographical history of Animal Collective, the shape-shifting American outfit who's earned a reputation as one of the new millennium's most important musical acts.
In the internet era, it's nearly impossible for a band to vanish. But these 10 awesome acts have come sadly close.
In Austin for SXSW 2014? Here's ten bands, from Connections to Seoul to Solids, you best keep your eye on.
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
For their 14th-ish album, Yo La Tengo return to the 'variety show' format of 'I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One.'
Potted, spotted history of the impossibly successful Seattle indie-rock icons, as told by its members.
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
The non-spectacled half of the Norwegian soft-pop bards talks about staying true to their 'Quiet is the New Loud' ideal.
40 people were there, 4000 claim they were. A look at one of the most legendary, influential gigs in modern music history.
Neutral Milk Hotel main-man Jeff Mangum still hasn't been able to bring himself to attempt a successor to this slice of longplaying perfection.
'In Conflict' finds the Arcade Fire fiddler ditching concept-record fantasies for sentiment, songs, and sequencing stitched with conflict.
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
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After penning his wildly-successful 'Autobiogaphy,' Morrissey returns to music-making armed with emboldened self-obsession.
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
From Autre Ne Veut to Waxahatchee, via Chvrches and Savages, here's 10 indie acts who treated 2013 as a coming-out party...
With Vampire Weekend, The National, and Neko Case on the docket, the 2014 Best Alternative LP nominees are weirdly good...
B-Cox talks blog haters, the Bob Pollard Curse, record stores, and about himself in the third person. Page 2.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Baltimore-based duo Beach House's slow, droney, comedown dream-pop has legions of listeners analyzing it for meaning. But the band's Alex Scally isn't one of them.
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
WU LYF's debut LP strips away the mystery, revealing them as artful practitioners of ambitious, cinematic indie-rock.
Burying the stigma of the 'actor turned singer' forever, Zooey Deschanel's collaboration with M. Ward has produced some wondrous music.
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The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
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Chronicle of these well-dressed New Yorker dudes and their moody post-punk gloom.
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
Best known for diffusing punk's heaving machismo, the Raincoats' remarkable, ramshackle debut summons a peculiar musical magic.
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
Chronicle of the riot grrrl movement's furious surge in the early 1990s.
The National's perpetually-pounding drummer talks about dealing with the weight of expectations on 'High Violet'.
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
The history of the rock'n'roll trio, as told by Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase.
Sharon Van Etten's songs are stark confessionals recounting life in a destructive relationship.
Tindersticks' sprawling debut album showed the English orchestral-pop moodists as band bursting with ideas.
Thank God for mental illness. Jessie Stein talks an LP dealing with schizophrenia and hallucination.
The Italians Do It Better mastermind talks the 'Drive' soundtrack, Chromatics' ascent, and being patient in an impatient era.
Chronicle of the rise and fall of Manchester's legendary Factory Records, home to Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and more.
Manchester's legendary Factory Records assembled an artful discography of far more than albums.
Second Class Riot "Suck! My! Left! One!" With that ferocious, gender-baiting, controversy-provoking cry,
The Chairlift starlet talks blog sexism, Gemini nature, neural plasticity, and the songs on 'Something'.
Afghan Whigs fourth LP was a classic concept-album unloved in its day.
The Velvets' noisy, nasty riposte to their commercial 'failure' became an alternative landmark.
Bethany Cosentino's debut LP is a set of timeless pop-songs sparkling with Californian sun and laced with lyrical sadness.
The rise and fall of infamous English noiseniks Spacemen 3.
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
Lance Bangs' history of the mysterious Slint finally brings to light facts to illuminate the dark Spiderland.
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
On the brink of a breakout, Merrill Garbus is shocked she hasn't had to compromise one iota along the way.
Laetitia Sadier discusses the state of Stereolab, and the state of the modern world, on the eve of her beloved band's ninth album.
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
Mountain Man Meath talks graduating college, touring the world, and taking her band's fragile music into dens of rock'n'roll iniquity.
My Bloody Valentine's all-time-classic second album changed the way a whole generation of artists looked at the guitar.
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Spence's schizophrenia-addled suite of half-finished songs sold almost no copies in its day, yet ended up influencing the entire lo-fi movement.
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 2'.
Silver Jews' David Berman discusses his recent embrace of the road, pop's utter lack of message, and whether he's still on a mission from God.
The B&S frontman talks of his 'story set to music,' his other band's history, and how there weren't any decent records released in the '90s. Page 2.
Ten picks from the tastefully-artwork'd back catalogue of the mighty Montréal indie, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Clues.
A riot breaks out, a bootleg is recorded, a mythical show is born.
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends. Page 2.
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
Chronicle of the surprising rise of North Carolina's long-running independent label Merge Records.
The life and times of the Scottish twee institution.
Profile, history, biography of the warbling New Yorker troubadour.
Nico's legendary second LP unmoored itself from pop-song form and drifted into a terrifying avant-garde underworld of haunted hymnals.
The Perfume Genius frontman talks controversy, 'Twin Peaks', rehab, and 'Put Your Back N 2 It'.
Decades before freak-folk, The Incredible String Band had already made folkie weirdness into high, holy art.
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
One of recorded music's most powerful voices screams a terrifying suite of horror-songs hoping for Peace.
Panda Bear felt the pressure of following up 'Person Pitch.' Rising above it was, he says, like battling depression. Page 2.
Dan Boeckner talks concept records, Russian travelogues, childhood nostalgia, and the golden days of Canadian rock.
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
Manchester's legendary Factory Records were long defined by their consistent, insistent visual aesthetic. This art-book chronicles the label's entire output.
This multi-layered concept-record is one of the folk-revival's most enduring, and out-there, LPs.
On their first EP, Yeah Yeah Yeahs made two instruments sound huge. On Mosquito, many instruments sound small.
The Scottish pop outfit's second LP is one of the greatest records ever committed to disc.