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Articles by

<Jeff Klingman>

02/24/15 3:24pm

spa105

With their DIY roots and a hard-gigging work ethic, New Jersey’s Screaming Females come across as punks, but their music has always been a purer strain of classic, airbrushed-van-dwelling hard rock. The friction in their sound comes from sussing out the intended scale: It’s always been unclear whether they’ve been attempting arena fare and falling short, or if they’re consciously trying to make hard-riffing guitar rock into something more relatable and human-sized. They’ve got a scrappy, striving quality that makes them seem forever like a band that might suddenly rise to some higher level. But at this point, they’ve been a working band for a decade and put out six full-length records; to a large degree, they are what they are.  (more…)

02/11/15 8:48am
Photo via Bandcamp

Sam Ray has been creatively restless and irrepressibly prolific for years. The Maryland producer has multiple aliases for delivering lo-fi of differing flavors. He’s in indie-pop acts like Julia Brown and Starry Cat, and leans punk with the slightly more amped group Teen Suicide. More often he produces gauzy ambient and lightly glitchy electronic music, both in the collaborative group Heroin Party and what seems to be his primary creative vehicle, Ricky Eat Acid. Ray plays two headlining shows in New York City in the next couple of weeks, one at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium and one at Manhattan’s Mercury Lounge, a sign that the project might be entering a whole new phase. (more…)

01/28/15 1:48pm
Photo by David Waldman

“I think everything is ridiculous, is basically my philosophy,” says Matt Flegel. Going by his dark lyrics for the Calgary post-punk band Viet Cong, straight-up nihilism would have been another strong guess. If the end of Flegel’s previous band, Women, was one source of his bleakness, that’d be understandable. An onstage fistfight with bandmate and brother Pat in 2010 put that band on hiatus, thus nixing a European tour. And the tragic death of guitarist Christopher Reimer the next year precluded any chance the band had to continue. But despite all this, Flegel seems good-natured and bright about his second run at success, and is hardly the caricature of a tortured artist. And it’s perhaps because of his experience and perspective that even Viet Cong’s career-boosting “Best New Music” nod from Pitchfork was met with an even, matter-of-fact affability from Flegel: “Our manager was pumped.”

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