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Sunday, October 1st, 2023  

Album Reviews

I Don’t Want You Anymore

Cherry Glazerr
I Don’t Want You Anymore

Sep 29, 2023 Web Exclusive

It seems there’s no ceiling for Cherry Glazerr. Building on the indie rock stomp of 2017’s Apocalipstick and blending in the slamming grunge rock of 2019’s Stuffed & Ready, new album I Don’t Want You Anymore continues the skyward trend with a power-packed collection of raucous rhythms, bouncy beats, and rough riffs delivered with an emotional intensity akin to Wolf Alice and The Kills.

No Fixed Point In Space

Modern Nature
No Fixed Point In Space

Sep 29, 2023 Web Exclusive

Jack Cooper (the main creative force behind Modern Nature) graces us with another helping of his wonderfully organic compositions on No Fixed Point In Space.

Cousin

Wilco
Cousin

Sep 28, 2023 Web Exclusive

Following up on last year’s countrified masterwork Cruel Country, Chicago’s finest return with their first album since 2007’s Sky Blue Sky to be guided by an outside producer.

Classic Interviews

2014 Artist Survey: Wampire

2014 Artist Survey: Wampire
Eric Phipps on Ferguson, the Ice Bucket Challenge, Mark Kozelek vs. The War on Drugs, and His Favorite Music Video as a Child

Dec 17, 2014 Artist Surveys 2014

For Under the Radar’s 12th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2014. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2014 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Comic Book Reviews

Home to Stay!: The Complete Ray Bradbury EC Stories

Home to Stay!: The Complete Ray Bradbury EC Stories
Fantagraphics

May 02, 2023 Web Exclusive

In 1952 EC publisher Bill Gaines received a hilarious letter from Ray Bradbury gently requesting $50 in payment for the rights to his two stories “The Rocket Man” and “Kaleidoscope.”

Book Reviews

Sex and Gender in Pop/Rock Music

Walter Everett
Sex and Gender in Pop/Rock Music

Sep 25, 2023

Walter Everett’s Sex and Gender in Pop/Rock Music takes a studied look at how sex and gender have been dealt with in music throughout the ages.

Interviews

W.H. Lung On Their Forthcoming U.S. Tour

W.H. Lung On Their Forthcoming U.S. Tour

Sep 27, 2023 Web Exclusive

W.H. Lung start their first ever US tour in New York this evening. Earlier this month, Under the Radar spoke to founder member and vocalist Joe Evans about the tour, their impending third album and future plans for the band.

Tiffany Anders and Mato Wayuhi on the Music of “Reservation Dogs”

Tiffany Anders and Mato Wayuhi on the Music of “Reservation Dogs”

Sep 26, 2023 Web Exclusive

Music supervisor Tiffany Anders and composer Mato Wayuhi take us behind the scenes of how they heighten key moments on Reservation Dogs through music.

Pleased to meet you

Gabriels on Their Debut Album “Angels & Queens”

Sep 25, 2023 Web Exclusive

Hearing Gabriels’ debut album, Angels & Queens, for the first time is somewhat astonishing—from the first surreptitious moments of pizzicato strings to the enchanting flutter of Jacob Lusk’s voice, it’s clear that Gabriels has tapped into some previously hidden, preternatural vein of music-making.

Lists

Under the Radar’s Top 100 Albums of 2022 Part 1

Dec 23, 2022

Are things back to normal in 2022? They are, aren’t they? Well not quite. In the past year we eased out of the pandemic, but COVID-19 is still around and still deadly to some (just look at what’s happening in China, now that their long national lockdown has lifted). The pandemic door has been left ajar, rather than fully closed. We put the chaos for the Trump administration in the rearview only for us to relive it via the very necessary January 6th Commission and the specter of the former president running again in 2024 (if he’s not barred from doing so or even in jail). And while Biden’s administration has been fairly steady and helped lead the Democrats to an unexpectedly strong showing in the midterm elections, over in the UK chaos has reigned with no less than three different prime ministers in one year (Liz Truss being the shortest serving prime ministers in British history), the death of the Queen, strikes across the country, and a recent poll having a majority of Brits admitting that Brexit was a mistake.

Those of us who grew up during the tale end of the Cold War and the beginning of perestroika have not been totally surprised that Russia has become a major adversary to the West again in the last decade, but it was still shocking when Russian President Vladimir Putin followed through with his threats to invade Ukraine. On top of the terrible toll on the Ukrainian people and its extraordinary President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the war has destabilized financial markets worldwide and helped lead to massive inflation, with all this talk from financial experts of a possible recession next year seemingly willing such a thing into existence.

After the last few years of the pandemic and all the political upheaval worldwide, the massive right and left divisions in this country and in others, it leaves one wondering if the events of every single year felt this monumental to our younger selves and to our ancestors. Certainly there have been other eras of even greater turmoil (World War II, the 1960s), but will things ever feel truly normal again?

Musicians continued to find their footing in 2022, with live shows and festivals pretty much back to normal and free of major COVID restrictions. Still, many musicians were finding it more expensive than ever to tour this year, in large part because of inflation, but also because of the unfair financial cuts some venues were taking of merchandise sales. With it being hard for indie artists to make much money from streaming or record sales in recent years, this year touring also became a less reliable source of income, with bands such as Animal Collective cancelling whole tours because they knew they’d lose money. 2022 also saw a slew of albums written and recorded during the pandemic, with some lyrics betraying their lockdown inspiration. Ben Gibbard, for example, sang about missing strangers on Death Cab For Cutie’s return-to-form, Asphalt Meadows, a lyric likely written at a time when interacting with strangers could prove deadly.

Asphalt Meadows lands at #12 on Under the Radar’s Top 100 Albums of 2022 list. Prior to June 2021, we had never even heard of the band that made it to #1 on our list, so meteoric was their rise. The rest of the list is filled with some familiar faces to be sure, but some other debut albums are peppered throughout our Top 100. To arrive at such a list, 23 of our writers and editors (including myself and my co-publisher/wife Wendy Redfern) submitted ballots of their 45 favorite albums of 2022, listed in order of preference from first to last. They were submitted via a Google Sheets spreadsheet that helped tabulate the eventual list. An album had to be picked by at least three or four writers to make the list (19 of our writers had our #1 album on their list and it was the clear winner of the vote, getting 100 more points than our #2). Then we worked out the Top 94 albums and held a separate vote to determine which albums should round out the bottom six, with our writers deciding between 21 albums that could make the bottom of the list. Some albums that almost made the list include (in no particular order) ones by GIFT, Tomberlin, Crack Cloud, Broken Bells, Skullcrusher, Sam Prekop and John McEntire, Just Mustard, Florence + The Machine, Warpaint, Cheekface, The Weeknd, Maggie Rogers, Craig Finn, The Orielles, and My Idea. Consider those honorable mentions.

As the next year dawns, I’ve already heard some January to March albums that will surely make our Top 100 Albums of 2023 list. It’s already shaping up to be another great year for new music. But it’s been exhausting living through history, so can 2023 please just be a boring year?

Live reviews

Riot Fest, Douglass Park, Chicago, US, September 15-17, 2023

Riot Fest, Douglass Park, Chicago, US, September 15-17, 2023

Sep 26, 2023 By Candace McDuffie

Under the Radar went to Chicago’s Riot Fest earlier this month and witnessed incredible performances from The Cure, Foo Fighters and many others.

Blog

NYFF 2023: 10 Films On Our Radar

NYFF 2023: 10 Films On Our Radar

Sep 18, 2023 By Kaveh Jalinous

This year, NYFF boasts a spectacular lineup, and working through the festival’s slate–which is divided into four sections (Main Slate, Currents, Spotlight and Revivals) can be overwhelming. To assist with the task, here are the 10 films we’re most excited to see.