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.
A barrage of funky, feminist, genre-crossing jams, the second Tune-Yards record beckons imminent crossover.
Home taping didn't kill music, it revolutionized it. Here's 10 classic home-made records committed straight to analogue tape.
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.
Dewy, dreamy, distorted guitar. Mumbled, barely-there vocals. It's ten classic shoegaze LPs, from MBV on down...
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.
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
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.
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.
FKA twigs, Haerts, Mas Ysa, Temples, and Thumpers headline 10 bands primed for a 2014 breakout.
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.
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
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?
The defining entries in any alternative record collection. The iconoclasts whose singular sound has shaped a whole generation of underground acts.
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
Ex Hex, Glass Animals, Nothing, Protomartyr, Your Friend: 10 bands building late buzz for SXSW 2014.
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
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.
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
The VW frontman talks blog haters, African pop-music, and his lyrical love of polysyllabic words. Page 2.
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
Their narcotic balladry went platinum in the '90s, then they disappeared. The story of Mazzy Star.
Tasked with following up 2011's Whokill, Merrill Garbus's third Tune-Yards LP is both more anthemic and more anxious.
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
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A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
Justin Vernon made a heartbroken record in a Wisconsin cabin in the middle of winter. Plenty of people have warmed to it.
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.'
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
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.
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
The best $606.17 recording budget Sub Pop ever presided over.
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
The National's perpetually-pounding drummer talks about dealing with the weight of expectations on 'High Violet'.
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.
In Austin for SXSW 2014? Here's ten bands, from Connections to Seoul to Solids, you best keep your eye on.
The guitarist of the Scottish post-rock heroes is howling.
The life and times of the Scottish twee institution.
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An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
Potted history of the sprawling, many-membered, ever-evolving Canadian concern, as told by founders Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning.
When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
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 life and death of the alternative legends. Page 2.
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
Eight years and four albums into things, the ultra-moody New Yorkers are in career-best form. Their throaty vocalist talks it like they walk it.
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Afghan Whigs fourth LP was a classic concept-album unloved in its day.
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
Potted, spotted history of the impossibly successful Seattle indie-rock icons, as told by its members.
In the internet era, it's nearly impossible for a band to vanish. But these 10 awesome acts have come sadly close.
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
The complete career output for Barack Obama's favorite moody, brother-filled Brooklynites.
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
Bands from all over the world are heading to Austin for SXSW. From Boogarins to Vaadat Charigim, here's 10 you better not miss.
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
Mountain Man Meath talks graduating college, touring the world, and taking her band's fragile music into dens of rock'n'roll iniquity.
A story in which a warbling, harp-playing California girl becomes a towering colossus of the recorded medium.
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
Chronicle of the riot grrrl movement's furious surge in the early 1990s.
Profile, history, biography of the warbling New Yorker troubadour.
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
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Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
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The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Burying the stigma of the 'actor turned singer' forever, Zooey Deschanel's collaboration with M. Ward has produced some wondrous music.
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
Profile of the long-running, fiercely-independent Pacific Northwest imprint, from riot-grrrl beginnings to its rebirth in Portland.
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
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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.
Yeasayer are a Brooklyn-based band that accomplishes no small task: defying genre.
Manchester's legendary Factory Records assembled an artful discography of far more than albums.
Dave Longstreth's project has gone from bedroom four-tracking to six-piece blow-out in a march from obscurity to popularity.
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A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
The warbling harpist's ambitious triple album cements her status as the most important artist of the 21st century.
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.
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.
Biography of Animal Collective member Panda Bear, from his teenaged home-recordings to his solo flowering whilst living in Portugal.
Essentially the early demos of Mark Kozelek, the debut Red House Painters' LP is a landmark in slow, sad, sombre songwriting.
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 2'.
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
Tired of tepid 'women in rock' lists? Here's ten fiery heroines that blazed radical new musical trails.
This Los Angeles-born Afro-Islamic-Hebrew jam-band is the music world's digitized global village made manifest.
Beirut's one-time wunderkind discusses growing up on record, life on the road, and finding a home on 'The Rip Tide'.
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.
On the brink of a breakout, Merrill Garbus is shocked she hasn't had to compromise one iota along the way.
Never really an 'album' band, the patron saints of indie-pop are captured in full-flight on this singles compilation.
After the tense 'High Violet,' The National's 'Trouble Will Find Me' is a fun record about dying.
Chaz Bundick talks about talking about people behind their backs right to their faces.
Biography of the kings of lo-fi slackerdom, as told by Stephen Malkmus and Spiral Stairs
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.
Post Primavera meltdown, Nathan Williams talks about being the most hated man in the blogosphere.
The history of the rock'n'roll trio, as told by Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase.
Clearly the greatest nightmare-doo-wop-with-children's-choir soundtrack to an imagined monster movie recorded by a Hollywood celebrity ever.
The Chairlift starlet talks blog sexism, Gemini nature, neural plasticity, and the songs on 'Something'.
Ten picks from the tastefully-artwork'd back catalogue of the mighty Montréal indie, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Clues.
Faust's krautrock landmark was visionary and exploratory, but still so easy to love.
History of glamorous English songstress Natasha Khan.
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.
From Tortoise to the National Trust, ten of the best from the artful back-catalogue of Chicago's ever-influential Thrill Jockey imprint.
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
Laetitia Sadier discusses the state of Stereolab, and the state of the modern world, on the eve of her beloved band's ninth album.
Alan Palomo talks the seminal influence of seeing Sonic Youth play 'Silver Rocket' on Saturday Night Live.
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
A career-long look at Chicago's genre-razing, forever-experimental instrumentalists.
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
Chronicle of the rise and fall of Manchester's legendary Factory Records, home to Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and more.
The third Vampire Weekend album makes the band's most varied, divisive, daring work.
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.
Vampire Weekend's hype-starting debut disc is one of the biggest alternative albums in aeons. But is it worthy of all the acclaim?
All insectile rhythms, elusive moods, and soul-singing vocals, the eighth Radiohead LP isn't primed for immediacy.
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
'Ultramarine' is populated by young dreamers dealing with the sadness of growing up.
To English ears, the psychedelic, progressive, cosmic sound of early-'70s West Germany heralded a brave new sound: krautrock.
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
Trying to make sense of the madness in Austin? Here's a handy list: 10 killer bills at SXSW 2014.
The English post-punks weigh up the art of listening, the power of silence, and the din of hype.
On their first EP, Yeah Yeah Yeahs made two instruments sound huge. On Mosquito, many instruments sound small.
These barmy Brazilians' riotous debut album is a freakadelic fusion of Beatles-esque studio experimentation and traditional Afro-Portuguese rhythms.