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Alternative Music: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
10 Most Inspired German 'Krautrock' Albums
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
The 20 Best Record Labels for Indie Music
The greatest ever indie record labels.
The 10 Best Post-Rock Albums Ever Made
10 records, no singing. Well, almost. Ten of the brightest lights shining in post-rock's instrumentalist darkness.
Our 10 Favorite Math-Rock Albums
Tally your time-signatures! A guide to the essential, indispensable math-rock records.
Alternative Music 101 - Are 'Alternative' and...
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?
Top 10 Lo-Fi Albums
Home taping didn't kill music, it revolutionized it. Here's 10 classic home-made records committed straight to analogue tape.
Top 10 Songs From Twee-Pop Heroes 'Belle and...
The Scottish outfit have had a long (and brilliant) career of sterling pop songs. Here are the ten best.
The 10 Best Ever Slow-Core Records
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
The 10 Best Shoegaze Albums Ever Made
Dewy, dreamy, distorted guitar. Mumbled, barely-there vocals. It's ten classic shoegaze LPs, from MBV on down...
Sufjan Stevens - Artist Profile
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
Alternative Music 101 - Your FAQ Primer
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
Top 10 Albums by The Fall
Ever wondered where's the best place to start for a Fall neophyte?
Top 30 Albums of the 1960s
The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of artists to come.
Top 10 Post-Punk Albums
The '77 UK punk explosion has long been wildly overrated. It was everything that came after that was truly revolutionary.
Top 20 Concept Albums
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
Top 10 Twee Albums
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
Top 20 Albums of 2014 So Far
From Tune-Yards to Sun Kil Moon to Angel Olsen, here's the highlights of another awesome year in indie music.
Genre Profile - Shoegaze
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Top 10 Riot-Grrrl Records
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
Top 30 4AD Albums
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
Scott Walker - Artist Profile
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
Top 10 Bright Eyes Songs
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
10 Bands to Watch in 2014
FKA twigs, Haerts, Mas Ysa, Temples, and Thumpers headline 10 bands primed for a 2014 breakout.
Top 20 Sub Pop Albums
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.
Top 10 Indie Music Documentaries
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
30 Best New Bands of 2013
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
Genre Profile - Lo-Fi
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
Top 10 Bands Who'll Never Reform
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
10 Obscure Albums That Became Classics
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
Genre Profile: Math-Rock
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
Top 10 Most Influential Figures in Alternative...
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
Modest Mouse - Artist Profile
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
Top 10 Classic Indie-Rock Records
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.' Here are the ten best.
Upcoming Alternative Album Release Dates
Sort through the glut of new releases with this guide to the upcoming indie-music release schedule.
10 Infamous Concerts
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
Top 10 Alternative Starter Albums
The defining entries in any alternative record collection. The iconoclasts whose singular sound has shaped a whole generation of underground acts.
Genre Profile - Post-Rock
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
Top 20 Drag City Albums
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
10 Iconic Album Covers
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
St. Vincent - Artist Profile
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
10 Best Indie Bands to Follow on Twitter
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Alternative Music 101 - Genre Guide
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.
Bon Iver - Artist Profile
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
Genre Profile - Krautrock
To English ears, the psychedelic, progressive, cosmic sound of early-'70s West Germany heralded a brave new sound: krautrock.
Top 10 Broadcast Songs
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
Interview: Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend
The VW frontman talks blog haters, African pop-music, and his lyrical love of polysyllabic words. Page 2.
Interview: Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia and...
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
Vampire Weekend - Artist Profile
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
Nirvana - Artist Profile
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
Mazzy Star - Artist Profile
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
J Mascis Kicks Lou Barlow Out of Dinosaur Jr
When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
MGMT - Artist Profile
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
Iron and Wine - Artist Profile
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
Top 50 Albums of 2013
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
Kurt Cobain wears Daniel Johnston T-Shirt to VMAs
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
Sharon Van Etten Back with New Album
Sharon Van Etten has a brand-new album. Are We There, the Brooklyn-based songwriter's fourth album, will be out May 27 on Jagjaguwar. Are We There marks
10 Entertaining Interviews from the About.com...
Quotable notables, amusing anecdotes, public repudiations, and choice chit-chat. Here's ten killer conversations with indie royalty.
10 Biblical Indie Albums
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
Genre Profile: Chillwave
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Genre Profile - Riot Grrrl
Chronicle of the riot grrrl movement's furious surge in the early 1990s.
Interview: Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab
Laetitia Sadier discusses the state of Stereolab, and the state of the modern world, on the eve of her beloved band's ninth album.
Interview: Sufjan Stevens
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Top 10 'Obscure' Starter Albums
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.
Artist Profile: Nirvana
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends. Page 2.
10 Forgotten '90s Bands That Need to Be...
In the internet era, it's nearly impossible for a band to vanish. But these 10 awesome acts have come sadly close.
Top 10 K Records Albums
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
Interview: Alex Scally of Beach House
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.
Definitive Albums: The Go-Betweens 'Before...
The Go-Betweens second album helped define indie-pop, and gave the world the great 'Cattle and Cane'...
Constellation Records Profile
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
Interview: Noah Lennox of Panda Bear and Animal...
Panda Bear felt the pressure of following up 'Person Pitch.' Rising above it was, he says, like battling depression. Page 2.
Top 20 Vincent Moon Videos
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
Interview: Annie Clark of St. Vincent
Chit-chat with the chatty and charming St. Vincent. Page 2.
Genre Profile - Slowcore
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
Definitive Albums: Catherine Ribeiro and Alpes...
One of recorded music's most powerful voices screams a terrifying suite of horror-songs hoping for Peace.
Artist Profile: Sharon Van Etten
Sharon Van Etten's songs are stark confessionals recounting life in a destructive relationship.
10 Awesome Shows at SXSW 2014
When it comes to SXSW, getting to Austin is one thing, coming up with a schedule is a whole other story. WIth thousands of bands in town and shows crammed
Matador Records Profile
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
Kill Rock Stars Profile
Profile of the long-running, fiercely-independent Pacific Northwest imprint, from riot-grrrl beginnings to its rebirth in Portland.
Interview: Caroline Polachek of Chairlift
The Chairlift starlet talks blog sexism, Gemini nature, neural plasticity, and the songs on 'Something'.
Interview: Claire Boucher of Grimes
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
Belle and Sebastian - Artist Profile
The life and times of the Scottish twee institution.
Interview: Elizabeth Powell of Land of Talk
The talkative Canadian rocker talks broken bones, Broken Social Scene, Montréal hype, and being mellowed by Bon Iver.
Top 20 Matador Albums
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
Top 20 Alternative and Indie Xmas Records
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
Interview: Pat Grossi of Active Child
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10 Classic Rough Trade Albums
From Young Marble Giants to The Smiths to Galaxie 500, here's ten awesome Rough Trade LPs, from the golden age of indie.
Factory Records Profile
Chronicle of the rise and fall of Manchester's legendary Factory Records, home to Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and more.
Alternative Music History: The Sex Pistols Play...
40 people were there, 4000 claim they were. A look at one of the most legendary, influential gigs in modern music history.
Interview: Amelia Randall Meath of Mountain Man
Mountain Man Meath talks graduating college, touring the world, and taking her band's fragile music into dens of rock'n'roll iniquity.
Top 10 Constellation Albums
Ten picks from the tastefully-artwork'd back catalogue of the mighty Montréal indie, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Clues.
Interview: Victoria Legrand of Beach House
The Beach House vocalist talks about the 'sexual' qualities of their third LP, 'Teen Dream'.
Sub Pop Records Profile
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
The Pixies - Artist Profile
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
The National - Artist Profile
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
The Decemberists - Artist Profile
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
Genre Profile - Freak-Folk
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
10 Bands to Watch at Coachella 2013
From reformations (The Postal Service, The Make-Up) to buzz bands (Savages, Lord Huron), here's 10 intriguing Coachella picks.
Definitive Albums: Nirvana 'Bleach' (1989)
The best $606.17 recording budget Sub Pop ever presided over.
Top 10 Kill Rock Stars Albums
The label that gave riot-grrrl to the world has grown into an iconic independent imprint beholden to no singular sound or style.
Definitive Albums: Talk Talk 'Laughing Stock'...
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
10 Trailblazing Female Musicians
Tired of tepid 'women in rock' lists? Here's ten fiery heroines that blazed radical new musical trails.
10 International Acts to Watch at SXSW 2013
From Holy Balm to the Holydrug Couple, here's ten foreign acts bringing the goods to Austin.
Elliott Smith - Artist Profile
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
Album of the Week: Tune-Yards, Nikki Nack
Band: Tune-Yards Album: Nikki Nack Label: 4AD Release Date: May 6, 2014 On her third Tune-Yards LP, Merrill Garbus makes a masterwork out of dealing
Interview: Theresa Wayman of Warpaint
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
Interview: Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai
The guitarist of the Scottish post-rock heroes is howling.
Owen Pallett - Artist Profile
The life and times of a carrot-top'd, concept-album-obsessed Canadian fiddler who once called himself Final Fantasy.
Definitive Albums: Red House Painters 'Down...
Essentially the early demos of Mark Kozelek, the debut Red House Painters' LP is a landmark in slow, sad, sombre songwriting.
Vic Chesnutt - Artist Profile
Across 20 years and 15 albums, Chesnutt always had a host of willing collaborateurs. Page 2.
Definitive Albums: Various 'Tropicália ou...
This collaboration between a crew of young, reactionist rebels protest Brazil's military government ended up founding an entire genre.
Spoon 'They Want My Soul'
Spoon's quietly-contrarian 8th album finds Britt Daniel and co sounding both brilliant and burdened.
Interview: Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Braids...
The sweet-voiced singer talks the togetherness of Braids and the untogetherness of Blue Hawaii.
Tune-Yards New Album, Nikki Nack , Out in May
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Tune Yards 'Nikki Nack'
Tasked with following up 2011's Whokill, Merrill Garbus's third Tune-Yards LP is both more anthemic and more anxious.
Built to Spill - Artist Profile
The history of bearded fretboard warrior Doug Martsch, and his merry band of Built to Spill men.
Why? - Artist Profile
A look at the life and work of indie-pop/backpacker-rap confessionalist Yoni Wolf.
Dirty Projectors - Artist Profile
Dave Longstreth's project has gone from bedroom four-tracking to six-piece blow-out in a march from obscurity to popularity.
Grimes 'Visions'
The third Grimes LP finds Claire Boucher exploring bright new realms of genre-transcending electronic pop.
Interview: Bradford Cox of Deerhunter
B-Cox talks blog haters, the Bob Pollard Curse, record stores, and about himself in the third person. Page 2.
10 Last-Minute Picks for SXSW 2014
Ex Hex, Glass Animals, Nothing, Protomartyr, Your Friend: 10 bands building late buzz for SXSW 2014.
Definitive Albums: Neutral Milk Hotel 'In the...
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.
Definitive Albums: Nico 'The Marble Index' (1969)
Nico's legendary second LP unmoored itself from pop-song form and drifted into a terrifying avant-garde underworld of haunted hymnals.
Definitive Albums: Gal Costa 'Gal' (1969)
Gal Costa's second album of 1969 channeled the tropicalistas political rage into furious, terrifying psychedelia.
Beach House - Artist Profile
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Definitive Albums: Dinosaur Jr 'You're Living...
Review of Dinosaur Jr's 'ear-bleeding country' classic from 1987.
Definitive Albums: Os Mutantes 'Os Mutantes'...
These barmy Brazilians' riotous debut album is a freakadelic fusion of Beatles-esque studio experimentation and traditional Afro-Portuguese rhythms.
Owen Pallett 'In Conflict'
'In Conflict' finds the Arcade Fire fiddler ditching concept-record fantasies for sentiment, songs, and sequencing stitched with conflict.
Definitive Albums: Slint 'Spiderland' (1991)
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Artist Profile
The intently political Canadian co-op authored the blueprint for cinematic, apocalyptic post-rock.
Interview: JP Pitts of Surfer Blood
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Ariel Pink - Artist Profile
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Genre Profile - Twee
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >C86 cassette, which celebrates England's
Alternative Music History: Suicide's 23 Minutes...
A riot breaks out, a bootleg is recorded, a mythical show is born.
Definitive Albums: The Velvet Underground...
The Velvets' noisy, nasty riposte to their commercial 'failure' became an alternative landmark.
Factory Records' 10 Greatest Catalogue Items
Manchester's legendary Factory Records assembled an artful discography of far more than albums.
Broadcast - Artist Profile
Charting the Birmingham band's descent down a musical rabbit-hole of mysticism and memory.
Interview: Alison Mosshart of The Dead Weather...
Despite having toured for nearly 20 years, The Dead Weather's statuesque singer still suffers from stage fright. Page 2.
David Berman 'Actual Air'
The debut book of poetry for the Silver Jews frontman is a striking collection of razor-sharp syllables.
Definitive Albums: Wire 'Chairs Missing' (1978)
Wire's second LP captured the shift from punk to post-punk, challenging notions of what 'punk' could be.
Definitive Albums: The Jesus and Mary Chain...
Come for the noise, stay for the songs. It's 'Psychocandy,' the most distorted classic-pop-record ever made.
Interview: Trish Keenan of Broadcast
The late Broadcast singer speaks sound as literature, the passing of time, and the power of make-believe.
Pavement: Artist Profile
Biography of the kings of lo-fi slackerdom, as told by Stephen Malkmus and Spiral Stairs
10 Bands to Watch at SXSW 2013
Come March, all roads lead to Austin. From Bleached to Diana to Wax Idols, here's ten of the best bands en route.
Interview: Ariel Rosenberg of Ariel Pink's...
Ariel Pink's volumes of lo-fi home-recording were, he thinks, a form of therapy. Page 2.
Definitive Albums: Brian Eno 'Another Green...
Eno's third album exploded rock'n'roll form into a series of half-glimpsed fragments. The result: a perfect album that barely sounds like an album.
Definitive Albums: Nick Drake 'Pink Moon' (1972)
Nick Drake's third album found the prince of folkie melancholy stripped-back, sad, and in masterful touch.
Spiritualized Play World's Highest Ever Show
Never one for subtle symbolism, Jason Pierce commands his space-cadets up all 144 storeys of Toronto's CN Tower.

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