Alternative Music: Most Popular Articles
The greatest ever indie record labels.
10 records, no singing. Well, almost. Ten of the brightest lights shining in post-rock's instrumentalist darkness.
Home taping didn't kill music, it revolutionized it. Here's 10 classic home-made records committed straight to analogue tape.
Dewy, dreamy, distorted guitar. Mumbled, barely-there vocals. It's ten classic shoegaze LPs, from MBV on down...
The Scottish outfit have had a long (and brilliant) career of sterling pop-songs. Here are the ten best.
Tally your time-signatures! A guide to the essential, indispensable math-rock records.
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
Sort through the glut of new releases with this guide to the upcoming indie-music release schedule.
The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of artists to come.
Ever wondered where's the best place to start for a Fall neophyte?
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
A barrage of funky, feminist, genre-crossing jams, the second Tune-Yards record beckons imminent crossover.
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
The '77 UK punk explosion has long been wildly overrated. It was everything that came after that was truly revolutionary.
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
Once famed for their uptight rhythms, Franz Ferdinand sound relaxed on their poppy fourth LP.
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?
FKA twigs, Haerts, Mas Ysa, Temples, and Thumpers headline 10 bands primed for a 2014 breakout.
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
The defining entries in any alternative record collection. The iconoclasts whose singular sound has shaped a whole generation of underground acts.
Bands from all over the world are heading to Austin for SXSW. From Boogarins to Vaadat Charigim, here's 10 you better not miss.
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.
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
The VW frontman talks blog haters, African pop-music, and his lyrical love of polysyllabic words. Page 2.
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
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Justin Vernon made a heartbroken record in a Wisconsin cabin in the middle of winter. Plenty of people have warmed to it.
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
In Austin for SXSW 2014? Here's ten bands, from Connections to Seoul to Solids, you best keep your eye on.
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
Their narcotic balladry went platinum in the '90s, then they disappeared. The story of Mazzy Star.
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.'
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends. Page 2.
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
Ex Hex, Glass Animals, Nothing, Protomartyr, Your Friend: 10 bands building late buzz for SXSW 2014.
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.
When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
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.
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
The life and times of the Scottish twee institution.
Potted, spotted history of the impossibly successful Seattle indie-rock icons, as told by its members.
A story in which a warbling, harp-playing California girl becomes a towering colossus of the recorded medium.
The best $606.17 recording budget Sub Pop ever presided over.
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
Tired of tepid 'women in rock' lists? Here's ten fiery heroines that blazed radical new musical trails.
These barmy Brazilians' riotous debut album is a freakadelic fusion of Beatles-esque studio experimentation and traditional Afro-Portuguese rhythms.
Yeasayer are a Brooklyn-based band that accomplishes no small task: defying genre.
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
Vampire Weekend's hype-starting debut disc is one of the biggest alternative albums in aeons. But is it worthy of all the acclaim?
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.
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
Chronicle of the rise and fall of Manchester's legendary Factory Records, home to Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and more.
The history of the rock'n'roll trio, as told by Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase.
In the internet era, it's nearly impossible for a band to vanish. But these 10 awesome acts have come sadly close.
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
Afghan Whigs fourth LP was a classic concept-album unloved in its day.
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Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
Biography of the kings of lo-fi slackerdom, as told by Stephen Malkmus and Spiral Stairs
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
Potted history of the sprawling, many-membered, ever-evolving Canadian concern, as told by founders Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning.
History of glamorous English songstress Natasha Khan.
Chaz Bundick talks about talking about people behind their backs right to their faces.
Post Primavera meltdown, Nathan Williams talks about being the most hated man in the blogosphere.
A career-long look at Chicago's genre-razing, forever-experimental instrumentalists.
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
The man behind BSS's kuduro beats talks about the political agenda of the Portuguese/Angolan party-starters.
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 2'.
On the brink of a breakout, Merrill Garbus is shocked she hasn't had to compromise one iota along the way.
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.
The tall Canadian songsmith talks raiding rubbish skips, building instruments, and the everyman inspiration of the lo-fi movement.
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
Chronicle of the riot grrrl movement's furious surge in the early 1990s.
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
The Scottish pop outfit's second LP is one of the greatest records ever committed to disc.
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.
The National's perpetually-pounding drummer talks about dealing with the weight of expectations on 'High Violet'.
Daniel Rossen talks his Elvis-obsessed childhood, mimicking Nick Drake, Department Of Eagle's dark songs, and the joyousness of 'Veckatimest'.
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Kate Bush's grand, resplendent debut was a work of uncommon ambition and artistry for a teen prodigy.
Clearly the greatest nightmare-doo-wop-with-children's-choir soundtrack to an imagined monster movie recorded by a Hollywood celebrity ever.
40 people were there, 4000 claim they were. A look at one of the most legendary, influential gigs in modern music history.
Tim Hardin's singular Suite for his newfound family makes for his most personal, profound album.
Unlike recent Banhart records, here the ambling, genre-dabbling, pastichey feel isn't a product of lazy happenstance, but written into the album's ambition.
Matching Morrissey's mopey lyricism to Johnny Marr's evergreen jangle, The Smiths' founded an infinitely-influential sound on their debut.
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
M.I.A.'s industrial-sounding concept-album about internet surveillance isn't a political misstep, it's a musical one.
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
Alan Palomo talks the seminal influence of seeing Sonic Youth play 'Silver Rocket' on Saturday Night Live.
Manchester's legendary Factory Records assembled an artful discography of far more than albums.
Arcade Fire's ambitious song-cycle delivers a double barrel-load of gumption: the band hoping to define not just their career, but a generation.
Panda Bear felt the pressure of following up 'Person Pitch.' Rising above it was, he says, like battling depression. Page 2.
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
The English post-punks weigh up the art of listening, the power of silence, and the din of hype.
Faust's krautrock landmark was visionary and exploratory, but still so easy to love.
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.
To English ears, the psychedelic, progressive, cosmic sound of early-'70s West Germany heralded a brave new sound: krautrock.
All insectile rhythms, elusive moods, and soul-singing vocals, the eighth Radiohead LP isn't primed for immediacy.
Burying the stigma of the 'actor turned singer' forever, Zooey Deschanel's collaboration with M. Ward has produced some wondrous music.
Nico's legendary second LP unmoored itself from pop-song form and drifted into a terrifying avant-garde underworld of haunted hymnals.
My Bloody Valentine's all-time-classic second album changed the way a whole generation of artists looked at the guitar.
B-Cox talks blog haters, the Bob Pollard Curse, record stores, and about himself in the third person. Page 2.
The gentle folkie with the high, high voice colors in his pre-Sub Pop musical backstory.
The non-spectacled half of the Norwegian soft-pop bards talks about staying true to their 'Quiet is the New Loud' ideal.
Profile of the long-running, fiercely-independent Pacific Northwest imprint, from riot-grrrl beginnings to its rebirth in Portland.
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
A riot breaks out, a bootleg is recorded, a mythical show is born.
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
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Laetitia Sadier discusses the state of Stereolab, and the state of the modern world, on the eve of her beloved band's ninth album.
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The talkative Canadian rocker talks broken bones, Broken Social Scene, Montréal hype, and being mellowed by Bon Iver.
For all intents and purposes, The Fall begins and ends with 'Hex Enduction Hour.'
Biography of Animal Collective member Panda Bear, from his teenaged home-recordings to his solo flowering whilst living in Portugal.
Austin's garage-rock wailers invented psychedelic rock, tapped into the counter-cultural underground, and provided an early spark for punk.