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.
Dewy, dreamy, distorted guitar. Mumbled, barely-there vocals. It's ten classic shoegaze LPs, from MBV on down...
Tally your time-signatures! A guide to the essential, indispensable math-rock records.
The Scottish outfit have had a long (and brilliant) career of sterling pop songs. Here are the ten best.
From Tune-Yards to Sun Kil Moon to Angel Olsen, here's the highlights of another awesome year in indie music.
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering 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?
Home taping didn't kill music, it revolutionized it. Here's 10 classic home-made records committed straight to analogue tape.
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
Ever wondered where's the best place to start for a Fall neophyte?
Sort through the glut of new releases with this guide to the upcoming indie-music release schedule.
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
The '77 UK punk explosion has long been wildly overrated. It was everything that came after that was truly revolutionary.
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.
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
The non-spectacled half of the Norwegian soft-pop bards talks about staying true to their 'Quiet is the New Loud' ideal.
Let us chart the rise and rise of the Brooklyn outfit who's never met a bad review.
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
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Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
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.
The defining entries in any alternative record collection. The iconoclasts whose singular sound has shaped a whole generation of underground acts.
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
SXSW is suddenly on the horizon! The indie super-bowl takes over Austin, Texas, every march, with an orgy of bands and bloggers and bros getting righteous for
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When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 2'.
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
The VW frontman defends himself against charges of cultural appropriation.
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
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
Ten picks from the tastefully-artwork'd back catalogue of the mighty Montréal indie, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Clues.
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
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.
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
In the internet era, it's nearly impossible for a band to vanish. But these 10 awesome acts have come sadly close.
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
Essentially the early demos of Mark Kozelek, the debut Red House Painters' LP is a landmark in slow, sad, sombre songwriting.
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.' Here are the ten best.
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
Chronicle of the riot grrrl movement's furious surge in the early 1990s.
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Panda Bear felt the pressure of following up 'Person Pitch.' Rising above it was, he says, like battling depression. Page 2.
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The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
Trying to make sense of the madness in Austin? Here's a handy list: 10 killer bills at SXSW 2014.
With Vampire Weekend, The National, and Neko Case on the docket, the 2014 Best Alternative LP nominees are weirdly good...
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
Mountain Man Meath talks graduating college, touring the world, and taking her band's fragile music into dens of rock'n'roll iniquity.
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
The third Vampire Weekend album makes the band's most varied, divisive, daring work.
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.
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Julianna Barwick recorded her 4th LP in Iceland, but it sounds like it was made on a cloud.
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
You know you're a Southerner when you throw rocks at a dumpster. Toro y Moi talks touring far from South Carolina.
Ex Hex, Glass Animals, Nothing, Protomartyr, Your Friend: 10 bands building late buzz for SXSW 2014.
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
'Ultramarine' is populated by young dreamers dealing with the sadness of growing up.
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
The director-turned-musician's second LP boasts buzzing-fly bar-blues that doesn't measure up to his cinema.
My Bloody Valentine's remarkable third album manages to live up to 22 years of wild expectations.
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
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.
'Loud City Song' finds the Los Angeles composer writing songs for the metropolis.
'In Conflict' finds the Arcade Fire fiddler ditching concept-record fantasies for sentiment, songs, and sequencing stitched with conflict.
Ariel Pink's volumes of lo-fi home-recording were, he thinks, a form of therapy. Page 2.
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.
After five years apart, Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe are back on record together, writing a love-letter to each other.
Chit-chat with the chatty and charming St. Vincent. Page 2.
The Italians Do It Better mastermind talks the 'Drive' soundtrack, Chromatics' ascent, and being patient in an impatient era.
A riot breaks out, a bootleg is recorded, a mythical show is born.
Nico's legendary second LP unmoored itself from pop-song form and drifted into a terrifying avant-garde underworld of haunted hymnals.
No Age's fourth album explores unexpected soundscapes, using noise as a compositional tool.
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
The Scottish pop outfit's second LP is one of the greatest records ever committed to disc.
From Finnish synth-poppers to Australian oddballs, here's 10 choice foreign acts en route to CMJ 2013.
After a dozen years in the wilderness, the great recluse arose with the terrifying 'Tilt'...
One of recorded music's most powerful voices screams a terrifying suite of horror-songs hoping for Peace.
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
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The sweet-voiced singer talks the togetherness of Braids and the untogetherness of Blue Hawaii.
B-Cox talks blog haters, the Bob Pollard Curse, record stores, and about himself in the third person. Page 2.
Afghan Whigs fourth LP was a classic concept-album unloved in its day.
After penning his wildly-successful 'Autobiogaphy,' Morrissey returns to music-making armed with emboldened self-obsession.
Tasked with following up 2011's Whokill, Merrill Garbus's third Tune-Yards LP is both more anthemic and more anxious.
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
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.
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
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.
Laetitia Sadier discusses the state of Stereolab, and the state of the modern world, on the eve of her beloved band's ninth album.
Chronicle of the rise and fall of Manchester's legendary Factory Records, home to Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and more.
From Arp to Coke Weed, Glasser, Sisu, and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, here's ten standouts from CMJ 2013.
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
Thank God for mental illness. Jessie Stein talks an LP dealing with schizophrenia and hallucination.
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
The crossover success of Sleater-Kinney's anthemic third album marked the end of riot-grrrl as self-contained, insular movement.
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
Biography of the kings of lo-fi slackerdom, as told by Stephen Malkmus and Spiral Stairs
40 people were there, 4000 claim they were. A look at one of the most legendary, influential gigs in modern music history.
The life and times of the Scottish twee institution.
Sharon Van Etten's songs are stark confessionals recounting life in a destructive relationship.
Chronicle of the surprising rise of North Carolina's long-running independent label Merge Records.
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The best $606.17 recording budget Sub Pop ever presided over.
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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Reviled in its day, beloved three decades on. Suicide's debut LP might be the most unexpectedly influential in rock history.
Spoon's quietly-contrarian 8th album finds Britt Daniel and co sounding both brilliant and burdened.
To English ears, the psychedelic, progressive, cosmic sound of early-'70s West Germany heralded a brave new sound: krautrock.
Profile of the long-running, fiercely-independent Pacific Northwest imprint, from riot-grrrl beginnings to its rebirth in Portland.