Archive | Music Interview

Music Feature: The Return Of Stone Temple Pilots

Ever since their chart-topping debut “Core,” Stone Temple Pilots have born the brunt of an avalanche of criticism. But despite being dismissed by critics as blatant mimics of their grunge peers, STP was met with unprecedented amounts of commercial success early on in their career. The sound was still mean and massive, but what set STP apart was their boisterous demeanor. They lacked all the dull theatrics of Pearl Jam, the angsty brilliance of Kurt Cobain and the heroin-fueled murk of Alice in Chains. Even if their music was never as consistent qualitatively, STP never succumbed to outright imitation. It had its own voice — it was like grunge for the alpha-male except, you know, good.

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Music Interview: ALO’s Zach Gill

Zach Gill is keeping busy this summer touring internationally with two new albums from two bands. While Gill and his band ALO are not yet household names, Jack Johnson is one of the most recognizable singer-songwriters of the decade.

Bridging the gap between rock and jam band, Gill and his band mates in ALO began playing together Saratoga High School. Gill first met Johnson when the two were attending college at University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Music Feature: Matisyahu Remembers His Time Wandering The Northwest

At 18 years old, Matthew Miller seemed like a typical teenager caught up in a rebellious lifestyle on the surface. When Miller arrived in Bend in the fall of 1998, he had spent the fall hitchhiking around the country, somewhat lost in the lure of youthful tendencies.

Drained from the long summer, Miller set out into the Oregon wilderness for five weeks with little to no human contact. Coming out of the forest along McKenzie Highway near the Cougar Hot Springs, Miller noticed a distinct change in his perspectives on life. Many of these perspectives would create the foundation of a successful career performing a mix of reggae, rock and hip-hop inspired by Jewish teachings.

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Music Interview: Brantley Senn Of Dead Confederate

Dead Confederate hails from the musically rich locale of Athens, Ga. Their music has been known for its moody southern melodies, simplistic and often-dark lyrics, not to mention grunge-like feel. Drawing inspiration from such renowned early ’90s acts as Dinosaur Jr., The Meat Puppets and Nirvana makes it easy to neatly package the band and write them off as simply following in the footsteps of their contemporaries.

This, however, would be a mistake. Dead Confederate has been working since the early 2000s, and has spent time building up their musical repertoire and touring with bands like R.E.M. and Alberta Cross, Deer Tick and Surfer Blood.

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Q&A with Taylor Hanson

Best known for the feel-good hit “MMMBop,” Hanson captured the hearts and ears of young people in the 1990s. But the pop-rock band of brothers soon fell under the radar after the band’s label merged with major record company Island Def Jam. After starting their own independent label, Hanson felt they were able to make music that allowed them to express themselves more creatively. The band released Shout It Out, their eighth studio album, in June.

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Pitchfork profile: Big Boi

Pitchfork profile: Big Boi

When the Pitchfork 2010 lineup was unleashed, one name surged above the storms of hype surrounding Pavement’s reunion and LCD Soundsystem’s potentially career-ending victory lap. That name was Sir Lucious Left Foot, known in your living rooms as Big Boi.

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Pitchfork profile — Best Coast

Out of all the faces that emerged and survived from the quicksand of the blogosphere this past year, Best Coast — the gloomy yet endearing creative project of L.A. songstress Bethany Cosentino — might be the brightest.

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Pitchfork profile: Sharon Van Etten

Last December Robyn Pecknold — creative honcho of the best modern folk group, Fleet Foxes — told Pitchfork “the world doesn’t need another traditional folk record.”

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Interview: The Liars’ Angus Andrew

Few bands can mirror Liars’ uncanny penchant for converging catchy melodies with experimental arrangements. Born in the wake of the early ought’s indie explosion and fronted by Filipino-born virtuoso Angus Andrew, Liars shocked shoe-gazing hipsters back to life with jerky stop-and-start art punk on their superfluous and aptly-titled debut album “They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top.”

But four subsequent releases and a Thom Yorke stamp of approval later, it’s clear the album barely even scratched the surface of Liars’ noisy, far-reaching sonic array. The L.A. -based musical vagrants are arguably the most inventive group in the ever-expanding bubble of indie rock and in their latest work “Sisterworld, “ the trio’s sound is more polished and murky than ever before.

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