Chris Murphy on Sloan’s New LP ’12’ and the Band’s Journey ‘Out of the 1990s-Sounding Alt-Rock Jail’

Chris Murphy on Sloan’s New LP ’12’ and the Band’s Journey ‘Out of the 1990s-Sounding Alt-Rock Jail’

Sloan has been cranking out undeniably catchy power pop and rock tunes for nearly three decades. Just don’t call them “earworms.” Chris Murphy believes that term has a negative connotation and cited Crazy Frog’s worldwide 2005 chart topper “Axel F” as an example. People would think, “I can’t get this fucking song out of my […]

Martha Davis of the Motels on the Durability of the 1980s and Her New Album, ‘The Last Few Beautiful Days’

Martha Davis of the Motels on the Durability of the 1980s and Her New Album, ‘The Last Few Beautiful Days’

A cinematic quality surrounds several songs on The Last Few Beautiful Days, The Motels’ first new studio release in a decade. Its cover art displays a shuttered Troy, N.Y. movie theater built in 1914. Martha Davis says her compositions serve as time machines or travelling agents and are “supposed to transport you…When I was a […]

Jon Fratelli on the Enduring ‘Chelsea Dagger’ and the Fratellis’ New Album ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’

Jon Fratelli on the Enduring ‘Chelsea Dagger’ and the Fratellis’ New Album ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’

When The Fratellis appeared on the U.K. music scene in the mid-2000s, they immediately drew attention due to a unique sense of irreverence and exuberance. “Chelsea Dagger,” off the rousing debut disc Costello Music, sold more than a million copies there. Two more top 20 singles and a BRIT Award followed. Meanwhile, “Flathead” was used […]

Grant-Lee Phillips Q&A: On History, Protest Songs, ‘Gilmore Girls’ and Going Against the Grain

Grant-Lee Phillips Q&A: On History, Protest Songs, ‘Gilmore Girls’ and Going Against the Grain

Grant-Lee Phillips first came to national prominence as the leader of Grant Lee Buffalo, a critically-acclaimed Los Angeles alt-rock trio that released four albums in the 1990s and was best known for the songs “Mockingbirds” and “Truly Truly.” Since then, Phillips has put out eight eclectic studio efforts. The latest one, Widdershins (definition: to proceed […]

Simple Minds’ Staying Power: Jim Kerr Talks 40 Years, ‘Worlds,’ and a Return to Abbey Road

Simple Minds’ Staying Power: Jim Kerr Talks 40 Years, ‘Worlds,’ and a Return to Abbey Road

Don’t you – think of Simple Minds as a heritage act. Unlike other bands that formed in the late ‘70s, this Glasgow alt-rock group doesn’t do nostalgia package tours. It releases new studio albums semi-regularly and still retains the original creative core of singer Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill. “I’ve never criticized anyone for […]

Q&A: Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos on ‘Always Ascending’ and the Band’s Evolution

Q&A: Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos on ‘Always Ascending’ and the Band’s Evolution

Franz Ferdinand came on like gangbusters in 2004 with its excellent, acclaimed self-titled debut album, which went platinum in America and spawned two Top 20 singles at alternative radio (the gold-certified “Take Me Out,” “This Fire”). The indie rockers’ initial success was magnified at home in the U.K., where they snagged Brit, Mercury Music Prize […]

Box Sets, Reissues and More: 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Music Fans

Box Sets, Reissues and More: 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Music Fans

For music fans, seeing their favorite artists release box sets and elaborate reissue packages of nostalgic albums is big deal. Recent news has seen announcements of new sets from the Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, to name but a few… Whether you have a music aficionado on your Christmas shopping list or just want […]

Q&A: Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno Talks ‘For Crying Out Loud,’ Touring the U.S. and His Band’s Shape-Shifting Career

Q&A: Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno Talks ‘For Crying Out Loud,’ Touring the U.S. and His Band’s Shape-Shifting Career

Kasabian is practically a household name among alternative rock fans in Britain. Hailing from Leicester (located just outside Birmingham), the band’s 2004 self-titled debut record sold more than a million copies at home and spawned four top 20 singles. Since then, each successive studio release has entered the U.K. charts at No. 1. The four-piece […]

The Wonders of Vinyl, Guitar Solos and ‘The Simpsons’: Q&A with Matthew Sweet 

The Wonders of Vinyl, Guitar Solos and ‘The Simpsons’: Q&A with Matthew Sweet 

Modern technology, a major relocation and personal loss all influenced Tomorrow Forever, Matthew Sweet’s first studio album in nearly six years. Among the veteran rock musician and Nebraska native’s strongest solo efforts to date, it features guest appearances from Rod Argent (The Zombies), Gary Louris (Jayhawks), Debbi Peterson (The Bangles), Ric Menck and Paul Chastain […]

Saint Motel Front Man A/J Jackson on Beethoven, Mariachis, Virtual Reality and Reggie Watts (Q&A)

Saint Motel Front Man A/J Jackson on Beethoven, Mariachis, Virtual Reality and Reggie Watts (Q&A)

Los Angeles-based alt-pop band Saint Motel made their full-length indie debut with 2012’s memorable Voyeur, but came to international prominence two years later after putting out the My Type EP via Elektra Records. The jaunty title track went top 20 in Italy, Scotland and Canada and did even better in America. It was followed by […]