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Dec 11, 2009 Web Exclusive

The history of psych-pop outfit Nurses and its core members, Aaron Chapman and John Bowers, reads like a musical travelogue of sorts. Having grown up in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Chapman and Bowers took their love of music to California, Chicago, back to Idaho, and finally to Portland, Oregon, where the pair, along with drummer James Mitchell, has taken up permanent residence. The result of all their travel can be heard on the band’s sophomore album, Apple’s Acre. Under the Radar caught up with Chapman to discuss Apple’s Acre and the origins of a band that was built upon discovery, musical and otherwise. More

Local Natives

Nov 18, 2009 Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker

Having recently moved into a new place in Silver Lake, CA, vocalist/ guitarist Taylor Rice of Local Natives says he and his bandmates are still feeling out just how much noise they can get away with before the neighbors start to complain. More

Volcano Choir

Oct 22, 2009 Web Exclusive

Milwaukee post-rock outfit Collections of Colonies of Bees were introduced to Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) in 2005, when he toured with his old group, the Eau Claire-based Americana band DeYarmond Edison. According to Vernon’s “guitarist mentor,” Chris Rosenau and drummer/percussionist John Mueller, Bees and Vernon quickly bonded over their mutual appreciation of “classical songwriting with a straight-up structure” and “informal folk music that’s not as traditional.” When the experimental quintet started posting random snippets of field recordings on a common FTP and through email, the group saw it as a welcome escape from the gigantic soundscapes they were constructing live at the time. More


Sep 21, 2009 Suckers

At the moment, Suckers’ single-named multi-instrumentalist Pan is making his way on a cold February night toward Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, where he’ll spend the next several hours rehearsing with his cohorts Quinn Walker, Austin Fisher, and Brian Aiken. More


Sep 09, 2009 Telekinesis

One might say that Telekinesis’ Michael Benjamin Lerner was born to play music. Growing up the son of a classic rock radio disc jockey with a Beatles obsession, Lerner’s house was filled with music from the time he was an infant. As Lerner tells it, he was singing “Drive My Car” when he was still in diapers. But the Seattle native’s own musical pathway may have been set even before that. More

Findlay Brown

Sep 01, 2009 Issue #26 Spring 2009 - Bat For Lashes

The saying that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional holds resonance for East London’s Findlay Brown. The 29-year-old retro-pop singer/songwriter was lauded in the U.K. as a successor to Nick Drake with his heartrending 2007 debut, Separated by the Sea. Soon after, his soul-baring folk songs found their intended target and coaxed Brown’s girlfriend, Marie Nielsen, back from Copenhagen. But Brown’s banner 2007 turned sour in October when a cab driver reversed over his ankle, breaking it in two places and shattering his tibia. More

Harlem Shakes

Aug 20, 2009 Issue #26 Spring 2009 - Bat For Lashes

Harlem Shakes singer Lexy Benaim says that while working on the band’s full-length debut, Technicolor Health, he and the rest of the Brooklyn-based quintet would often laugh about the level of self-scrutinizing. “It wasn’t like we came in there punk-rock style and banged it out,” says Benaim. “We pay a lot of attention to detail.” Often joking that the band’s multifaceted compositions could only be fully appreciated by “stoners,” he says, “[It’s for] the kids that have big headphones on, in their dorm room…those people that really dig into the details of your music. You just love that—when people notice hidden harmony or little things that are super subtle like that.” More

Surf City

Jul 31, 2009 Surf City

Sure, it’s easy to pin down the provenance of Auckland, New Zealand act Surf City’s self-titled debut EP. There are delectable dashes of Pavement-style melodies, nods to the roughshod pop of the ’80s Flying Nun roster, and elements of the stomping tribal rhythms of Animal Collective. The band’s frontman Davin Stoddard admits this, but he’s unapologetic. “Those are all bands we’re into, a common thread among us all. A song like ‘Dickshakers Union,’ we got the idea from Animal Collective, and thought it was a great song. Some people said, ‘fuck, this sounds just like Animal Collective,’ and others said, ‘we dig it, it’s a great pop song.’” More

It Hugs Back

Jul 17, 2009 Winter 2009 - Anticipated Albums of 2009

Kent, England’s It Hugs Back make smart, positive indie rock that waves back to the major Matador Records and Merge Records acts of the early ’90s while moving forward in exciting new directions. After settling on their name with some advice from Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon (after a chance meeting at the Tate Modern in London), the band has slowly built up speed with an increasingly interesting series of releases that recall the intelligence, charm, and humor of acts like Teenage Fanclub and Pavement.