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...
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.
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.
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
From Tune-Yards to Sun Kil Moon to Angel Olsen, here's the highlights of another awesome year in indie music.
Ever wondered where's the best place to start for a Fall neophyte?
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
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.
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
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.
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
The non-spectacled half of the Norwegian soft-pop bards talks about staying true to their 'Quiet is the New Loud' ideal.
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
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.
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
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.
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
Tasked with following up 2011's Whokill, Merrill Garbus's third Tune-Yards LP is both more anthemic and more anxious.
Ten picks from the tastefully-artwork'd back catalogue of the mighty Montréal indie, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Clues.
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
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
'Ultramarine' is populated by young dreamers dealing with the sadness of growing up.
The third Vampire Weekend album makes the band's most varied, divisive, daring work.
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
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'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.
Julianna Barwick recorded her 4th LP in Iceland, but it sounds like it was made on a cloud.
My Bloody Valentine's remarkable third album manages to live up to 22 years of wild expectations.
No Age's fourth album explores unexpected soundscapes, using noise as a compositional tool.
Fighting off Saab enthusiasts and a chorus of hater, Vampire Weekend remain eternally undaunted.
The director-turned-musician's second LP boasts buzzing-fly bar-blues that doesn't measure up to his cinema.
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
Blitzen Trapper Announce New LP, VII
Let us chart the rise and rise of the Brooklyn outfit who's never met a bad review.
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.
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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
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.' Here are the ten best.
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Chaz Bundick talks about talking about people behind their backs right to their faces.
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The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
With Vampire Weekend, The National, and Neko Case on the docket, the 2014 Best Alternative LP nominees are weirdly good...
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
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.
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
One of recorded music's most powerful voices screams a terrifying suite of horror-songs hoping for Peace.
Mountain Man Meath talks graduating college, touring the world, and taking her band's fragile music into dens of rock'n'roll iniquity.
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
From Arp to Coke Weed, Glasser, Sisu, and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, here's ten standouts from CMJ 2013.
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 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.
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
Little Dragon Unveil New LP and Single, Play Letterman
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
Panda Bear felt the pressure of following up 'Person Pitch.' Rising above it was, he says, like battling depression. Page 2.
Essentially the early demos of Mark Kozelek, the debut Red House Painters' LP is a landmark in slow, sad, sombre songwriting.
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
Tired of tepid 'women in rock' lists? Here's ten fiery heroines that blazed radical new musical trails.
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
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.
Thank God for mental illness. Jessie Stein talks an LP dealing with schizophrenia and hallucination.
Laetitia Sadier discusses the state of Stereolab, and the state of the modern world, on the eve of her beloved band's ninth album.
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
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.
Chit-chat with the chatty and charming St. Vincent. Page 2.
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
The intently political Canadian co-op authored the blueprint for cinematic, apocalyptic post-rock.
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
In the internet era, it's nearly impossible for a band to vanish. But these 10 awesome acts have come sadly close.
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
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.
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
Jim James Tours New Solo Album
The Italians Do It Better mastermind talks the 'Drive' soundtrack, Chromatics' ascent, and being patient in an impatient era.
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
Lost in oblivion for nearly three decades, Bunyan's magical debut has been granted an almost holy status by smitten listeners.
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
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.
After five years apart, Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe are back on record together, writing a love-letter to each other.
A tale of four Canadian gentlemen and their merry rock'n'roll band.
Nico's legendary second LP unmoored itself from pop-song form and drifted into a terrifying avant-garde underworld of haunted hymnals.
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
The best $606.17 recording budget Sub Pop ever presided over.
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends. Page 2.
The greatest album ever made? The worst? Both?
Sharon Van Etten's songs are stark confessionals recounting life in a destructive relationship.
Ariel Pink's volumes of lo-fi home-recording were, he thinks, a form of therapy. Page 2.
Potted, spotted history of the impossibly successful Seattle indie-rock icons, as told by its members.
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
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.
History of glamorous English songstress Natasha Khan.
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
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Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
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From Autre Ne Veut to Waxahatchee, via Chvrches and Savages, here's 10 indie acts who treated 2013 as a coming-out party...
From Finnish synth-poppers to Australian oddballs, here's 10 choice foreign acts en route to CMJ 2013.
Burying the stigma of the 'actor turned singer' forever, Zooey Deschanel's collaboration with M. Ward has produced some wondrous music.
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
From Tortoise to the National Trust, ten of the best from the artful back-catalogue of Chicago's ever-influential Thrill Jockey imprint.
A film divided into three: one part study of Cohen, one part all-star variety concert, one part stuck-listening-to-Bono.
Paralyzed after an accident, Robert Wyatt went solo with an introspective suite of yearning, personal psychedelia.
Kate Bush's grand, resplendent debut was a work of uncommon ambition and artistry for a teen prodigy.
Vampire Weekend's hype-starting debut disc is one of the biggest alternative albums in aeons. But is it worthy of all the acclaim?
For all intents and purposes, The Fall begins and ends with 'Hex Enduction Hour.'
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
Trying to make sense of the madness in Austin? Here's a handy list: 10 killer bills at SXSW 2014.
B-Cox talks blog haters, the Bob Pollard Curse, record stores, and about himself in the third person. Page 2.
Chronicle of the life and times of the fallen angel of disco-as-art, New York cellist and home-recording scientist Arthur Russell.
Tune-Yards has a brand new album! Nikki Nack, the third LP for Merrill Garbus, will be released May 6 via 4AD. The first single, the blistering Water