Once known as a controversial figure in music for his peculiar image, scathing lyrics, and perceived negative influence, Marilyn Manson’s impact as a counter-culture figure in the 90s has undoubtedly bled into the present day. What’s more, the band and their eponymous frontman are still at it! Let’s dive into Manson’s ninth studio album, The Pale Emperor, and see how it fares. Finally, join us for a brief chat on what it means to be a frontman or frontwoman in a brand-building enterprise. When is it more effective to market a single entity as opposed to a collective? Could this be considered an “afront” to its other members? What’s your take?
Prepare yourself for the smoothest vibes from the punchiest band name. We have GUSTER for you today! Staples of the alternative community since 1991, Guster’s craft is matched only by their humor and stage prowess. What should we be on the lookout for in their latest album, Evermotion? Listen in and join in the discussion! Also stick around for some topical thoughts on the impact of award shows, namely the Grammys. What distinguishes “awards” from “critical acclaim?” On what merits should we award… And who’s looking?
For our final album of the year, we look at Sonic Highways, a special project by the Foo Fighters, featuring eight tracks recorded in eight studios in eight different cities, all to commemorate—you guessed it—their eighth album. The project also serves as a companion to their HBO television series, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, which debuted on October 17th, 2014. Also stick around for a followup conversation on music idolatry: the types of idols we venerate, and the responsibilities that go with it.
What is Art Rock? Well, we won’t be answering that question today, but we will be examining the latest work by a band to whom the genre has often been attributed. Listen in and hear how TV on the Radio’s Seeds stacks up against the work that propelled them out of Brooklyn and into the public eye. Then, stick around for a discussion on the nature of “excusing” bands’ artistic choices. What are the challenges that artists face deeper in their careers?
Weeezerrrrr! A staple band from the 90s that has continued to be a bridge between genres, Weezer’s appeal is widespread, their albums anticipated, and their artistic choices hotly debated. Try to set all this aside (but keep it on the table) for our analysis of Weezer’s brand new album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End. As an album that could be said to explain and reassure its listeners, it certainly proves that Rivers Cuomo’s songwriting has firm footing for the next twenty years. Enjoy this hefty discussion, then stick around as we talk about fanship’s impact on an artist’s work.
Analyzing a free album may seem a bit harsh, but as Groucho Marx said: “Art is art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west, and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” Case in point, we’re doing it anyway. The altruistic album, by U2, is called Songs of Innocence and is available to all (with an Apple ID). Then, a few thoughts on a curious term: “Anthemic Pop.” What’s wrong with feelin’ good all the time?
Raise your glasses and call a toast with today’s musical homage to silverware! (The reference is Spoon.) Having established themselves as a staple of the Alt Rock community, Spoon has released their eighth studio album, They Want My Soul, which we take on for this week’s review. As Alternative Rock often harbors some of the most diverse artists, we then take some time to discuss Alt as both a name and a movement. Is the genre merely an aggregate of misfits branded under a careless label, or has it in fact grown a definitive character of its own?
Welcome to Crash Chords: Season 3! We have plenty else in store for you this year, but of course our album reviews continue to be the meat and potatoes. Today’s review looks at Jack White, formerly of The White Stripes, and his burgeoning solo work. His latest, Lazaretto, is a medley of ideas inspired by his own writings when he was 19 years old. Join in the analysis! Then, as a taste of what’s to come, we feature a special phone interview that Matt had the pleasure of arranging with Mawk (Mark Young) of (hed) p.e. Visit directly at 2:14:54.
Prepare to ease yourself into the creamy lo-fi world of Beck. After a six-year hiatus, Beck has returned to making studio albums. This week, we’ll be reviewing his highly-praised Morning Phase. Then, on the topic frontier, we sidle back over to an old favorite: cinema — only this time in regards to its bite-size self-portrait, the trailer! Join us in uncovering just what variety of music makes a good trailer flow… or better yet, sell.
This week we’re delving into the calculative and communicative characteristics of Math Rock! Join us in our review of The Chronicles of Marnia by the ever-imaginative Marnie Stern. Then we revisit our old Song Scales discussions by taking stock of our rating systems as they stand today. First impressions notwithstanding, tastes are malleable and adaptive. A good rating system boils down to a careful balance of subjectivity and objectivity