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...
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
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.
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.
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
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?
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.
From Tune-Yards to Sun Kil Moon to Angel Olsen, here's the highlights of another awesome year in indie music.
FKA twigs, Haerts, Mas Ysa, Temples, and Thumpers headline 10 bands primed for a 2014 breakout.
All insectile rhythms, elusive moods, and soul-singing vocals, the eighth Radiohead LP isn't primed for immediacy.
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
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.
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
The Go-Betweens second album helped define indie-pop, and gave the world the great 'Cattle and Cane'...
Long before he went off the rails, Phil Spector marshaled his wall-of-sound behind the all-time classic Christmas LP.
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
The mastermind behind the 'Take Away Shows' talks obliterating the clichés of the concert movie.
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
You know you're a Southerner when you throw rocks at a dumpster. Toro y Moi talks touring far from South Carolina.
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
Essentially the early demos of Mark Kozelek, the debut Red House Painters' LP is a landmark in slow, sad, sombre songwriting.
The defining entries in any alternative record collection. The iconoclasts whose singular sound has shaped a whole generation of underground acts.
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 best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
Taking drugs to make music to see God to.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Surfer Blood are
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
Little Dragon Unveil New LP and Single, Play Letterman
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >What it Means:
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
Fighting off Saab enthusiasts and a chorus of hater, Vampire Weekend remain eternally undaunted.
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
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
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
Cults Announce New Album, Singles, Tour Dates
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
My Bloody Valentine's remarkable third album manages to live up to 22 years of wild expectations.
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
'Loud City Song' finds the Los Angeles composer writing songs for the metropolis.
Julianna Barwick recorded her 4th LP in Iceland, but it sounds like it was made on a cloud.
No Age's fourth album explores unexpected soundscapes, using noise as a compositional tool.
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
40 people were there, 4000 claim they were. A look at one of the most legendary, influential gigs in modern music history.
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.
'Ultramarine' is populated by young dreamers dealing with the sadness of growing up.
The director-turned-musician's second LP boasts buzzing-fly bar-blues that doesn't measure up to his cinema.
The third Vampire Weekend album makes the band's most varied, divisive, daring work.
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
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
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.' Here are the ten best.
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
Blitzen Trapper Announce New LP, VII
When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
A barrage of funky, feminist, genre-crossing jams, the second Tune-Yards record beckons imminent crossover.
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
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.
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
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
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Born: November
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
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
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Ten picks from the tastefully-artwork'd back catalogue of the mighty Montréal indie, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Clues.
Tasked with following up 2011's Whokill, Merrill Garbus's third Tune-Yards LP is both more anthemic and more anxious.
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Pat Grossi is
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
With Vampire Weekend, The National, and Neko Case on the docket, the 2014 Best Alternative LP nominees are weirdly good...
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
In 1968, a group of San Francisco avant-gardist decided to try their subversive hands at a rock'n'roll band.
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Paralyzed after an accident, Robert Wyatt went solo with an introspective suite of yearning, personal psychedelia.
'In Conflict' finds the Arcade Fire fiddler ditching concept-record fantasies for sentiment, songs, and sequencing stitched with conflict.
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
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.
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.
Chit-chat with the chatty and charming St. Vincent. Page 2.
This multi-layered concept-record is one of the folk-revival's most enduring, and out-there, LPs.
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
Potted, spotted history of the impossibly successful Seattle indie-rock icons, as told by its members.
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
The Italians Do It Better mastermind talks the 'Drive' soundtrack, Chromatics' ascent, and being patient in an impatient era.
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
Charting the Birmingham band's descent down a musical rabbit-hole of mysticism and memory.
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
Spoon's quietly-contrarian 8th album finds Britt Daniel and co sounding both brilliant and burdened.
From Autre Ne Veut to Waxahatchee, via Chvrches and Savages, here's 10 indie acts who treated 2013 as a coming-out party...
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
Lance Bangs' history of the mysterious Slint finally brings to light facts to illuminate the dark Spiderland.
Afghan Whigs fourth LP was a classic concept-album unloved in its day.
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Chronicle of the rise and fall of Manchester's legendary Factory Records, home to Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and more.
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.
Throttling towards unlikely stardom, Oliver Sim tries to stay sane in the face of surreal experiences.
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
Potted history of the sprawling, many-membered, ever-evolving Canadian concern, as told by founders Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning.
Ex Hex, Glass Animals, Nothing, Protomartyr, Your Friend: 10 bands building late buzz for SXSW 2014.
Mountain Man Meath talks graduating college, touring the world, and taking her band's fragile music into dens of rock'n'roll iniquity.
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
Trying to make sense of the madness in Austin? Here's a handy list: 10 killer bills at SXSW 2014.
The sweet-voiced singer talks the togetherness of Braids and the untogetherness of Blue Hawaii.
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
After penning his wildly-successful 'Autobiogaphy,' Morrissey returns to music-making armed with emboldened self-obsession.
Tired of tepid 'women in rock' lists? Here's ten fiery heroines that blazed radical new musical trails.
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
Panda Bear felt the pressure of following up 'Person Pitch.' Rising above it was, he says, like battling depression. Page 2.
A story in which a warbling, harp-playing California girl becomes a towering colossus of the recorded medium.
The history of the rock'n'roll trio, as told by Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase.
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
The Chairlift starlet talks blog sexism, Gemini nature, neural plasticity, and the songs on 'Something'.
Sleigh Bells' New LP, Bitter Rivals, Out in October
Chronicle of the surprising rise of North Carolina's long-running independent label Merge Records.
The Scottish pop outfit's second LP is one of the greatest records ever committed to disc.
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
Kate Bush's grand, resplendent debut was a work of uncommon ambition and artistry for a teen prodigy.
Profile of the long-running, fiercely-independent Pacific Northwest imprint, from riot-grrrl beginnings to its rebirth in Portland.
The talkative Canadian rocker talks broken bones, Broken Social Scene, Montréal hype, and being mellowed by Bon Iver.
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
Cloud Nothings Announce New LP, Here and Nowhere Else
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >C86 cassette, which celebrates England's
Biography of Animal Collective member Panda Bear, from his teenaged home-recordings to his solo flowering whilst living in Portugal.
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 greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
Burying the stigma of the 'actor turned singer' forever, Zooey Deschanel's collaboration with M. Ward has produced some wondrous music.