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Issue #34

Issue #34 - Year End 2010 - Sufjan Stevens

Dec 08, 2010

Under the Radar’s Year End Issue is about to hit stands. Sufjan Stevens graces the cover. The issue features an in-depth article on the musician by staff writer Matt Fink and includes an exclusive photo shoot conducted by co-Publisher/head photographer Wendy Lynch Redfern.

“I do think that the creative enterprise for me has always felt very close to madness.” – Sufjan Stevens

Our Year End Issue includes the time-honored tradition of lists where we salute our Top 50 favorite albums, songs, and television shows of 2010, as well as our Top 30 debut albums.

We also turned to artists got get their take on the last 12 months via our Artist Survey section, in which we send out the same set of 2010-related questions to some of our favorite artists and also ask for their Top 10 albums of the year lists. Want to know what musicians think of President Obama’s job performance, what their recurring dreams and nightmares are, the strangest fan encounters they’ve ever had, and what’s on their bucket list? Then check out our Artist Survey section. Artists who responded to our survey include: The Antlers, Bon Iver, Caribou, Club 8, Delphic, Rose Elinor Dougall, Gayngs, Hot Chip, Lost in the Trees, Love is All, The Love Language, Mogwai, of Montreal, Okkervil River, Yoko Ono, Owen Pallett, Plants and Animals, Mark Ronson, Superchunk, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Sharon Van Etten, and Vivian Girls, among others.

“I didn’t know who [SNL’s Seth Myers] was and he didn’t know who I was. But he looked so familiar to me—having seen him in passing on TV—that I assumed he was an old friend whose name I’d forgotten and gave him a hug and a warm hello.” – Owen Pallett

“Each one of us has a unique nose—not one nose is the same—so we can relax on that.” – Yoko Ono

Our Year End Issue also features interviews with artists who made in impact in 2010, such as: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Avi Bufflo, Beach House, The Black Keys, Brian Eno, Florence and the Machine, Janelle Monáe, Sleigh Bells, The Roots, and Yeasayer.

“I try to live my life by lowering my expectations and heightening my appreciations.” – Janelle Monáe

“I feel more rejuvenated now and more like this is my second year in existence.” – The Roots’ Questlove

We also take a look at some of the reigning trends of the past year, including: lo-fi, chillwave, one-man bands, music blogs (and hype), and the return of vinyl and cassettes.

Back to the Future: The Return of Vinyl and Cassettes: As MP3s take over, vinyl records and cassette tapes have been making a comeback as well. The vinyl thing has been happening for a couple of years now, but the cassette tape revival seems to be more something that happened in 2010. At a time when people are bypassing physical CDs for digital downloads, vinyl releases are becoming more prominent and more elaborate. For this article we interviewed various people in the music industry, as well as the following artists: The Black Keys, Free Energy, and Joan of Arc.

Chillwave: Scene, Genre, or Punchline?: This term/genre chillwave has risen in the last year, with even The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times using it/writing about it. But what is chillwave, who coined the term, and do the bands who have been described as such feel like they are part of a scene/musical movement or do they feel they’ve been mislabeled? For this article we interviewed the following artists: Small Black, Tanlines, Teen Daze, Washed Out, and Wild Nothing.

Houses of Hype?: Music Blogs and Websites Race to Find the Next Big Thing: There are so many unsigned/unheard of artists out there and so many blogs and websites competing with each other to be the first one to hype/break a new artist. Blogs and websites that thrive mainly on covering brand new artists have to post about new bands daily. In the race to find new bands, are too many bands being hyped up? Once something is hyped up on one notable blog/website, all the other blogs/sites pick up on it and the thing goes viral. But what about the listeners who can only listen to so much music and can only afford to buy so many albums? How do they filter through all these new bands being hyped? For this article we interviewed the people behind the following music blogs/websites: Chromewaves, Drowned in Sound, My Old Kentucky Blog, and Said the Gramophone.

We also interviewed members of the following bands: Cold War Kids, Tapes n’ Tapes, and Voxtrot.

Lo-fi Revival: Trapped in the Haze: So many indie bands hyped in 2010 have had a lo-fi sound. How many of these bands are purposefully going for lo-fi production as an aesthetic and how many actually don’t have the tools/budget to do any better? Why did clean/good production become a less preferred method for so many bands? For this article we interviewed the following artists: Lou Barlow, Best Coast, Cloud Nothings, The Mountain Goats, and Wavves.

One-Man Bands: The Highs and Lows of Going It Alone: There have been a lot of new artists in the last year or two who go under a band name, but are in reality just one man when it comes to who recorded the album (maybe they have a live backing band). Modern technology has allowed bedroom recordings by one man to sound much more like a full band and this article examines that, as well as the differences between recording alone and in collaboration. It also tackles the challenges of translating solo recordings to a live setting with a backing band. For this article we interviewed the following artists: Here We Go Magic, Lawrence Arabia, The Love Language, Telekinesis, and Wild Nothing.

Each issue comes with a download code for our digital sampler. The Year End sampler features previouslty unreleased tracks by Rose Elinor Dougall and Motorifik; an unreleaed demo by Club 8; remixes of songs by of Montreal, Plants and Animals, The Radio Dept., and Tame Impala; as well as tracks by Wild Nothing, Sufjan Stevens, Twin Shadow, Lost in the Trees, Beach House, Owen Pallett, Avi Bufflo, and others.

Over 150 CDs, DVDs, books, comic books, films, TV shows, video games, and comic books are reviewed in the issue, including reviews of releases by: Acrylics, Apex Manor, Bear Hands, Belle and Sebastian, The Big Pink, British Sea Power, Caribou, Chikita Violenta, Cloud Nothings, Cold War Kids, Danny Elfman, Deerhoof, The Decemberists, Depeche Mode, Destroyer, The Dismemberment Plan, Dntel, Dum Dum Girls, Einstuzende Neubauten, Elizabeth & the Catapult, Erland and the Carnival, The Fresh and Onlys, Fuijya & Miyagi, Girls, Gang of Four, Giant Sand, The Greenhorns, The High Dials, Home Video, Houses, Iron & Wine, Wanda Jackson, Liz Janes, The Jayhawks, Norah Jones, K.C. Accidental, Kisses, Les Sins, Maserati, Matt & Kim, Modest Mouse, Monotonix, Nightlands, Nine Inch Nails, No Joy, The Octopus Project, Robert Pollard, Pascal Pinon, The Russian Futurists, Say Hi, Jim Sullivan, Surf City, The Tallest Man on Earth, Tapes n’ Tapes, T. Rex, Thanks You, Tristen, Yann Tiersen, Martina Topley Bird, Violens, Warpaint, Weekend, Wire, White Lies, and much more.

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Behind the Scenes Video of our Roots Photo Shoot
Buy Our Current Issue to Access the Digital Sampler Featuring Sufjan Stevens, of Montreal, and more
Under the Radar’s Top 30 Debut Albums of 2010
Blogs: Houses of Hype?
Throwback Thursday: Florence and the Machine Interview from 2010


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