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Alternative Music: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
The 20 Best Record Labels for Indie Music
The greatest ever indie record labels.
Our 10 Favorite Math-Rock Albums
Tally your time-signatures! A guide to the essential, indispensable math-rock records.
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.
10 Most Inspired German 'Krautrock' Albums
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
Tune-Yards 'Whokill'
A barrage of funky, feminist, genre-crossing jams, the second Tune-Yards record beckons imminent crossover.
The 10 Best Ever Slow-Core Records
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
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.
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 Albums by The Fall
Ever wondered where's the best place to start for a Fall neophyte?
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...
Upcoming Alternative Album Release Dates
Sort through the glut of new releases with this guide to the upcoming indie-music release schedule.
10 Bands to Watch in 2014
FKA twigs, Haerts, Mas Ysa, Temples, and Thumpers headline 10 bands primed for a 2014 breakout.
Top 30 Albums of the 1960s
The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of artists to come.
30 Best New Bands of 2013
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
Interview: Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi
You know you're a Southerner when you throw rocks at a dumpster. Toro y Moi talks touring far from South Carolina.
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 10 Twee Albums
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
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.
Top 50 Albums of 2013
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
Interview: Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend
The VW frontman talks blog haters, African pop-music, and his lyrical love of polysyllabic words. Page 2.
Top 30 4AD Albums
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
Alternative Music 101 - Your FAQ Primer
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
Top 10 Riot-Grrrl Records
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
Twin Sister 'In Heaven'
Twin Sister are a band of this era: their debut album a disjointed collection of ten individual sound files.
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.
10 Infamous Concerts
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
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.
Genre Profile - Shoegaze
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Scott Walker - Artist Profile
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
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.
Revisiting 2013's 10 Best Indie Music Groups
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
Mazzy Star - Artist Profile
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
Top 10 Bands Who'll Never Reform
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
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.
Genre Profile - Post-Rock
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
Definitive Albums: Robert Wyatt 'Rock Bottom'...
Paralyzed after an accident, Robert Wyatt went solo with an introspective suite of yearning, personal psychedelia.
Genre Profile - Lo-Fi
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
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 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.
Iron and Wine - Artist Profile
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
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.
Jeffrey Lewis - Artist Profile
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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.
Spoon 'They Want My Soul'
Spoon's quietly-contrarian 8th album finds Britt Daniel and co sounding both brilliant and burdened.
Grizzly Bear - Artist Profile
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
10 Best Indie Bands to Follow on Twitter
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Top 20 Matador Albums
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
Genre Profile: Math-Rock
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
St. Vincent - Artist Profile
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
Sufjan Stevens - Artist Profile
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
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.
10 Obscure Albums That Became Classics
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
Interview: Theresa Wayman of Warpaint
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
Bon Iver - Artist Profile
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
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.
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.
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.
The National - Artist Profile
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
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.
My Bloody Valentine - Artist Profile
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
Top 10 Merge Albums
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.
Definitive Albums: Can 'Tago Mago' (1971)
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
Ariel Pink - Artist Profile
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Animal Collective - Artist Profile
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.
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.
10 Bands to Watch at SXSW 2014
In Austin for SXSW 2014? Here's ten bands, from Connections to Seoul to Solids, you best keep your eye on.
Genre Profile - Slowcore
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
Yo La Tengo 'Popular Songs'
For their 14th-ish album, Yo La Tengo return to the 'variety show' format of 'I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One.'
Death Cab for Cutie - Artist Profile
Potted, spotted history of the impossibly successful Seattle indie-rock icons, as told by its members.
Top 10 K Records Albums
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
Constellation Records Profile
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
The Pixies - Artist Profile
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
10 Biblical Indie Albums
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
Interview: Eirik Glambek Bøe of Kings of...
The non-spectacled half of the Norwegian soft-pop bards talks about staying true to their 'Quiet is the New Loud' ideal.
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.
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.
Owen Pallett 'In Conflict'
'In Conflict' finds the Arcade Fire fiddler ditching concept-record fantasies for sentiment, songs, and sequencing stitched with conflict.
Vampire Weekend - Artist Profile
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
Interview: Pat Grossi of Active Child
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Morrissey 'World Peace Is None of Your Business'
After penning his wildly-successful 'Autobiogaphy,' Morrissey returns to music-making armed with emboldened self-obsession.
Elliott Smith - Artist Profile
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
Kurt Cobain wears Daniel Johnston T-Shirt to VMAs
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
Top 10 Breakout Bands of 2013
From Autre Ne Veut to Waxahatchee, via Chvrches and Savages, here's 10 indie acts who treated 2013 as a coming-out party...
Guide to the 56th Grammys Best Alternative...
With Vampire Weekend, The National, and Neko Case on the docket, the 2014 Best Alternative LP nominees are weirdly good...
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.
Beach House - Artist Profile
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
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.
Top 20 Vincent Moon Videos
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
WU LYF 'Go Tell Fire to the Mountain'
WU LYF's debut LP strips away the mystery, revealing them as artful practitioners of ambitious, cinematic indie-rock.
She and Him - Artist Profile
Burying the stigma of the 'actor turned singer' forever, Zooey Deschanel's collaboration with M. Ward has produced some wondrous music.
Genre Profile - Twee
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10 Iconic Album Covers
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
Interview: JP Pitts of Surfer Blood
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Interpol - Artist Profile
Chronicle of these well-dressed New Yorker dudes and their moody post-punk gloom.
Sub Pop Records Profile
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
Definitive Albums: The Raincoats 'The...
Best known for diffusing punk's heaving machismo, the Raincoats' remarkable, ramshackle debut summons a peculiar musical magic.
Top 10 Broadcast Songs
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
Interview: Claire Boucher of Grimes
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
Genre Profile - Riot Grrrl
Chronicle of the riot grrrl movement's furious surge in the early 1990s.
Interview: Bryan Devendorf of The National
The National's perpetually-pounding drummer talks about dealing with the weight of expectations on 'High Violet'.
Top 20 Drag City Albums
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Artist Profile
The history of the rock'n'roll trio, as told by Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase.
Artist Profile: Sharon Van Etten
Sharon Van Etten's songs are stark confessionals recounting life in a destructive relationship.
Definitive Albums: Tindersticks 'Tindersticks'...
Tindersticks' sprawling debut album showed the English orchestral-pop moodists as band bursting with ideas.
Interview: Jessie Stein of The Luyas
Thank God for mental illness. Jessie Stein talks an LP dealing with schizophrenia and hallucination.
Interview: Johnny Jewel of Chromatics and Glass...
The Italians Do It Better mastermind talks the 'Drive' soundtrack, Chromatics' ascent, and being patient in an impatient era.
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.
Factory Records' 10 Greatest Catalogue Items
Manchester's legendary Factory Records assembled an artful discography of far more than albums.
Definitive Albums: Bikini Kill 'The CD Version...
Second Class Riot "Suck! My! Left! One!" With that ferocious, gender-baiting, controversy-provoking cry,
Interview: Caroline Polachek of Chairlift
The Chairlift starlet talks blog sexism, Gemini nature, neural plasticity, and the songs on 'Something'.
Definitive Albums: Afghan Whigs 'Gentlemen'...
Afghan Whigs fourth LP was a classic concept-album unloved in its day.
Definitive Albums: The Velvet Underground...
The Velvets' noisy, nasty riposte to their commercial 'failure' became an alternative landmark.
Best Coast 'Crazy for You'
Bethany Cosentino's debut LP is a set of timeless pop-songs sparkling with Californian sun and laced with lyrical sadness.
Spacemen 3 - Artist Profile
The rise and fall of infamous English noiseniks Spacemen 3.
MGMT - Artist Profile
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
Breadcrumb Trail
Lance Bangs' history of the mysterious Slint finally brings to light facts to illuminate the dark Spiderland.
Matador Records Profile
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
Interview: Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards
On the brink of a breakout, Merrill Garbus is shocked she hasn't had to compromise one iota along the way.
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.
The National 'Trouble Will Find Me'
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
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.
Definitive Albums: My Bloody Valentine...
My Bloody Valentine's all-time-classic second album changed the way a whole generation of artists looked at the guitar.
Genre Profile: Chillwave
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Definitive Albums: Alexander 'Skip' Spence...
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.
Neu! - Artist Profile
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 2'.
Interview: David Berman of Silver Jews
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.
Interview: Stuart Murdoch of God Help the Girl
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.
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.
Alternative Music History: Suicide's 23 Minutes...
A riot breaks out, a bootleg is recorded, a mythical show is born.
Artist Profile: Nirvana
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends. Page 2.
Definitive Albums: Scott Walker 'Scott 4' (1969)
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
Merge Records Profile
Chronicle of the surprising rise of North Carolina's long-running independent label Merge Records.
Belle and Sebastian - Artist Profile
The life and times of the Scottish twee institution.
Antony & the Johnsons - Artist Profile
Profile, history, biography of the warbling New Yorker troubadour.
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.
Interview: Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius
The Perfume Genius frontman talks controversy, 'Twin Peaks', rehab, and 'Put Your Back N 2 It'.
Definitive LPs: Incredible String Band 'The...
Decades before freak-folk, The Incredible String Band had already made folkie weirdness into high, holy art.
Definitive Albums: Slint 'Spiderland' (1991)
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
Definitive Albums: Catherine Ribeiro and Alpes...
One of recorded music's most powerful voices screams a terrifying suite of horror-songs hoping for Peace.
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.
Interview: Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and...
Dan Boeckner talks concept records, Russian travelogues, childhood nostalgia, and the golden days of Canadian rock.
Modest Mouse - Artist Profile
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
'Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album'
Manchester's legendary Factory Records were long defined by their consistent, insistent visual aesthetic. This art-book chronicles the label's entire output.
Definitive Albums: Shirley and Dolly Collins...
This multi-layered concept-record is one of the folk-revival's most enduring, and out-there, LPs.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs 'Mosquito'
On their first EP, Yeah Yeah Yeahs made two instruments sound huge. On Mosquito, many instruments sound small.
Definitive Albums: Belle and Sebastian 'If...
The Scottish pop outfit's second LP is one of the greatest records ever committed to disc.

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