Indie rock collaborations can be ripe for disappointment, but Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile wow by doubling down on the clever lyricism and exploratory guitars that make them each revered figures on their own.
April's releases feature highly anticipated returns years in the making, new work by critical faves of a current vintage, and reissues of alt-rock touchstones. Check out the early word on new albums by the Knife and Kurt Vile, as well as the 20th anniversary edition of the Breeders' Last Splash.
Even seeing your favorite band can sometimes get monotonous over the course of a three hour set. But when each song features a legendary guest you may not have seen since the 90's, there's no choice but to surrender your full attention.
This year's top artists are a diverse lot represented by two of the world's biggest pop divas, a plethora of critically adored indie faves, some new talents emerging from the hip-hop underground, a couple of veteran Americana acts, and a few alt-rock legends among many more.
Some of 2011's best songwriting came from artists whose work could be broadly defined as "alternative". Few of these artists fit the mold of the traditional singer-songwriter, creating music the blurs the lines defining genres.
The War on Drugs have always been a highly-regarded band in critical circles, but with this year's Slave Ambient, Adam Granduciel finally started breaking through. As the Album of the Year accolades start to pile up, Granduciel takes PopMatters through the creation of his masterwork step-by-step ...