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John Lennon's Minimalist Journey to Independence

How an audacious, daring record from disgruntled ex-Beatle John Lennon became a major musical landmark.

Jacob Adams
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Music

Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.

Music

Jonnine's 'Blue Hills' Is an Intimate Collection of Half-Awake Pop Songs

What sets experimental pop's Jonnine apart on Blue Hills is her attention to detail, her poetic lyricism, and the indelibly personal touch her sound bears.

Music

The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.

Music

Godcaster Make the Psych/Funk/Hard Rock Debut of the Year

Godcaster's Long Haired Locusts is a swirling, sloppy mess of guitars, drums, flutes, synths, and apparently whatever else the band had on hand in their Philly basement. It's a highly entertaining and listenable album.

Music

Kate Bush's Splendidly Transitional 'Never For Ever' at 40

Kate Bush's Never for Ever served as the stepping stone for the artist to reach her full potential as a bona fide musical genius.

Music

Percussion Becomes the Narrative on Tangents' 'Timeslips'

Drummer Evan Dorrian makes a good argument to be the frontman of Australian improvisational band Tangents on their new album, Timeslips.

Music

Neu!'s Michael Rother Talks About Experimentation and Chance

Neu!'s Michael Rother reflects on the creative environment of lockdown, the struggles of playing experimental krautrock, and the collective beauty of live performance.

Music

JOBS Make Bizarre and Exhilarating Noise with 'endless birthdays'

Brooklyn experimental quartet JOBS don't have a conventional musical bone in their body, resulting in a thrilling, typically off-kilter new album, endless birthdays.

Music

The 10 Best Flaming Lips Sci-Fi Songs

In honor of the band with the most U.F.O.s and robots, here are the ten best Flaming Lips songs based on all things science fiction. The psychedelic band's new LP, American Head, releases this September.

Music

Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

Music

Paul Weller Dazzles with the Psychedelic and Soulful 'On Sunset'

Paul Weller's On Sunset continues his recent streak of experimental yet tuneful masterworks. More than 40 years into his musical career, Weller sounds as fresh and inspired as ever.

Music

Ohmme's Art Rock Is Mesmerizing on 'Fantasize Your Ghost'

Sublime harmonies and constant innovation make Ohmme's Fantasize Your Ghost an impressive work of modern indie rock art.

Music

Wire's '10:20' Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

On 10:20, Wire retain the sound they've been cultivating for the last few albums and use it to reinvigorate and reinterpret tracks from their various periods.

Music

Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo Share Lockdown, Shelter in Place, Protest Gems

One of the pleasures of human culture is that, as a combined stream of millions of individuals' efforts in this current moment, and millions of people's inputs across time stretching back thousands of years, no single person will ever have seen or heard it all.

Music

Steve Albini: A Biographical Collage

Everyone's favorite noise rock curmudgeon, Steve Albini sounds off as he prepares to release an eerie score to a horror film.

Music

Mr. Bungle Return with First Recording Since 1999, A Cover of "Fuck the USA"

Mike Patton's Mr. Bungle release a cover of the Exploited's "Fuck the USA". But what does it mean beyond its general timeliness?

Music

Carey Mercer's New Band Soft Plastics Score Big with Debut '5 Dreams'

Two years after Frog Eyes dissolved, Carey Mercer is back with a new band, Soft Plastics. 5 Dreams and Mercer's surreal sense of incongruity should be welcomed with open arms and open ears.

Music

Pere Ubu 'Comes Alive' on Their New, Live Album

David Thomas guides another version of Pere Ubu through a selection of material from their early years, dusting off the "hits" and throwing new light on some forgotten gems.

Music

The Dream Syndicate Spontaneously Combust on 'The Universe Inside'

The Universe Inside isn't a typical Dream Syndicate album. The verse/chorus structure has been neatly sidestepped in favor of a free-wheeling, improvised, truly experimental approach, and it's marvelous.

Music

The Brazilian Gentleman Celebrate Shoegaze on "Armageddon" (premiere)

The Brazilian Gentleman's "Armageddon" is a psychedelic part of a concept album about beloved New Jersey shoegaze collective All Natural Lemon & Lime Flavors.

Music

MetalMatters: April 2020 - Notes from the Quarantine

In times of quarantine we listen and we write, so here are 20 extreme (and some experimental) records to spin during these times.

Music

First Installment in El Ten Eleven Trilogy Good But Too Clinical

Tautology I's six songs lack the musical sorcery of post-rockers usually mentioned in the same breath as El Ten Eleven.

Music

Counterbalance No. 14: The Beatles - 'The Beatles' a.k.a. 'The White Album'

The Beatles' 1968 self-titled double LP has been referenced by everyone from Joan Didion to Charles Manson and analyzed literally backward and forward. Mendelsohn and Klinger, always smiling and arriving late for tea, discuss the Number 14 album on the Big List.

Music

Sir Richard Bishop's Guitar Histrionics Sound Dream-like on 'Oneiric Formulary'

Oneiric Formulary being a Sir Richard Bishop record, there are moments, of course, that will blow your mind.

Music

Alison Chesley Toils in Human and Musical Connectivity on Helen Money's 'Atomic'

Chicago-based cellist, Alison Chesley (a.k.a. Helen Money) creates an utterly riveting listen from beginning to end on Atomic.

Music

New Brain Trajectory: An Interview With Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree

Two guitarists, Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree make an album largely absent of guitar playing and enter into a bold new phase of their careers. "We want to take this wherever we can and be free of genre restraints," says Lee Ranaldo.

Music

Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras' tētēma Don't Hit the Mark on 'Necroscape'

tētēma's Necroscape has some highlights and some interesting ambiance, but ultimately it's a catalog of misses for Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras.

Music

Counterbalance No. 9: The Clash - 'London Calling'

Counterbalance offers up the right profile of the Clash's London Calling, an epic, sprawling disc that will leave you sprawled out on the floor as your mind tries to wrap itself around the sprawl of genres over the course of an hour plus.

Music

Experimental Rock's Trees Speak Summon Kosmische Sensations on 'Ohms'

On their inspiring second album, Ohms, Arizona avant-garde collective Trees Speak invoke the best of expansive electronica through motorik repetitions across a sprawling masterwork.

Music

Ayreon Preview 'Electric Castle Live' Concert Film with "Amazing Flight" (premiere)

Dutch progressive metal maestro Arjen Anthony Lucassen takes us on a stellar journey with "Amazing Flight" from the upcoming live performance of his third—and possibly best—Ayreon voyage to date.

Music

Horse Lords Create a Loud, Disciplined Roar on 'The Common Task'

Experimental rock's Horse Lords release their first album in four years, and it's meticulous and complex, but also undeniably joyous and celebratory.

Music

Cheer-Accident Work Through Their 39-Year History on 'Chicago XX'

Chicago XX is an absolute must for long-time fans and not a bad start for those curious about Cheer-Accident.

Music

Counterbalance No. 4: 'The Velvet Underground and Nico'

The Velvet Underground & Nico's self-titled debut album started as all hype thanks to Andy Warhol, but it somehow managed to become one of the most influential records of all time. Has this record outlasted its 15 minutes of fame? Peel slowly and see.

Music

Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree Create an Eerily Experimental Sound with 'Names of North End Women'

The fruitful collaboration between these two unique musicians continues on an album that is dark but surprisingly melodic.

Music

Plugging Into the Third Mind

Alt-rock supergroup the Third Mind launches a musical adventure that brings Alice Coltrane and Roky Erickson together and doesn't forget the guitar solos.

Music

Art and Politics Go Hand in Hand on Algiers' 'There Is No Year'

Algiers are what would result if Verso Books turned into an art rock band. This is a very good thing.


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