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Cyndi Lauper’s Battle for ‘She’s So Unusual’

By Barry Walters, Contributor

I'm ashamed to admit that I once booed Cyndi Lauper. Her early band, Blue Angel, was opening for the Human League at that band's New York City debut. (At the time, they were conquering America with "Don't You Want Me.") Dressed in my student-budget approximation of New Romantic duds, I, like the rest of the crowd, came anticipating synths, Brit cool — the future. Instead, Lauper's band delivered rockabilly guitars, bridge-and-tunnel accents and the past.… more »


Ted Leo and Aimee Mann Talk Twitter, Songwriting and Twitter

By Maggie Serota, Contributor

It was a fateful run in with a Fonzie statue, while sharing a bill on tour, that led Aimee Mann and Ted Leo to collaborate. The two aren't likely partners on paper: Mann has carved out an enviable career as a melancholy and cerebral singer-songwriter, while Leo has spent a decade-plus toiling through the DIY punk circuit. They clicked, however, and began writing songs together despite living on separate coasts. The result, called The Both,… more »


Interview: Mø

By Marissa G. Muller, Contributor

Ask singer Karen Marie Ørsted about the Spice Girls and you unlock the key to her heart. The Danish singer, who records as Mø alongside producer Ronni Vindahl, was raised on the British group's girl power and pop. And even though she spent her teen years and early 20s in a crust-punk band situated in Copenhagen's leftist underground, the Spice Girls are still very much a part of her heritage. Just last month she released… more »

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Heavy Metal Parking Lot

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Triptykon, Melana Chasmata

2014 | Label: Century Media / The Orchard

Along with Venom and Bathory, Thomas G. Fischer is a pioneer of the first wave of ’80s black metal. First with the primitive thrash outfit Hellhammer, and then with the more experimental Celtic Frost, he pushed the genre’s boundaries to their limits. Celtic Frost released the essential albums To Mega Therion in 1985 and Into the Pandemonium in 1987 before disbanding; motivated by a renewed hatred for the mainstream and the human race, they reunited for 2006′s colossal, doomy Monotheist, but internal friction promptly tore the band apart and… more »

The Both, The Both

2014 | Label: SuperEgo Records / The Orchard

It was said of Fred Astaire’s partnership with Ginger Rogers that “He gave her class and she gave him sex.” Duties in The Both, which fuses Aimee Mann’s wry mopery to Ted Leo’s pop-punk passion, don’t break down along the same lines, but like all the best team-ups, one provides the other something vital they’d been missing.

It’s not simply a matter of each pulling the other in their direction, although Mann certainly benefits from Leo’s adrenaline surplus, and her harmony vocals remind him to write the accompanying melodies. Writing together,… more »

Woods, With Light and With Love

2014 | Label: Woodsist / Revolver

The excellent Brooklyn band Woods has recently backed away from its image as (to quote an unfortunately-worded Noisey headline) “gross, smelly hippies.” Not that they ever had anything to apologize for. Sure, earlier efforts like 2011′s At Echo Lake and ’12′s Sun and Shade were a little jammy and espoused a quaint nature-boy ethos. But they were also focused, concise and consistently-melodic folk-pop records, more akin to mid-’80s R.E.M. than the Grateful Dead. With 2012′s Bend Beyond and the new With Light and With Love, Woods have become even… more »

Tweens, Tweens

2014 | Label: Frenchkiss Records / The Orchard

There must be as many garage-rock songs about boredom as there are American suburbs. But that universal quality can be a plus, especially if the blasé band finds other ways to distinguish itself. Enter Tweens, a Cincinnati-based trio whose scrappy, bubblegum-coated take on punk has landed them well-deserved opening slots for the Breeders and the Black Lips.

Frontwoman Bridget Battle graduated to Tweens from high school choir, but her delivery tends more toward Poly Styrene or Ronnie Spector than Glee. Drummer Jerri Queen and bassist Peyton Copes honed their scuzz-pop chops… more »

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Gimme Indie Rock!

By Marc Hogan, Contributor

Calling all poseurs, dilettantes and part-time punks: Check your head and check your cred at the door. From Buzzcocks to Iceage, from dream-pop to chillwave, Gimme Indie Rock gives you the sickest vibes out of the scene that can't stand to be pigeonholed. Whether Dum Dum Girls or the Strange Boys, the Field Mice or Killer Mike, James Blake or PJ Harvey, you'll hear them all here — where it's totally OK to hang the… more »

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