Syndrome: Curing Ailing Wardrobes

I’ve spent more weekends than I’d like to admit aimlessly wandering city streets, searching for the item that will both affirm my connection to and set me apart from the masses. It’s…

Watchers: The Punk-Funk Gospel

While New Yorkers boast about the excess of talented bands coming from their metropolis, it wasn’t that long ago that Chicago represented the heliocentric center of the indie rock universe. And …

Hefty Records: Looking to the Future

What’s not to love about a label bold enough to release records by jazz trombonist Phil Ranelin and dirty techno-meister T. Raumschmiere? Despite, or perhaps because of, brash eclecticism, John …

Pelican: New Millennium Metal

Lets get this out of the way: Pelican is a heavy metal band without a singer. This has prompted journalists to create clever labels like “instrumetal” to describe them–and while such…

Pit Er Pat: Magic and Mystery

Pit Er Pat’s music achieves a strange kind of alchemy. Their new album, Shakey (Thrill Jockey)–which follows last winter’s mostly instrumental “Emergency” EP (Overcoat)–pieces …

Chicago Rocks!

Some say Chicago is the Windy City. Okay, first things first–it is not windy. It is damn cold at times, but not windy. It was thusly named for the blowhard politicians who took up residence here in th…

Steve Albini: Black Magic

If ’80s punk was about finding nothing sacred and everything profane, Chicago’s Big Black was it. Steve Albini and Santiago Durango’s guitar swordplay imitated the symphonies of the …

K-Swift: Baltimore's Club Queen

This is music as martial law. Tons of stuttering trombones bleat out a shuffling time like “Taps” on cocaine. Snares back up against each other and pop-pop like automatic gun fire. Demandi…

Semi-Permanent Design Conference

When it launched in 2002, the Semi-Permanent design conference–curated by online magazine/portal Design Is Kinky–made everyone jealous they didn’t live in Sydney, Australia. But this fall, the l…

Hank Shocklee vs. Jason Forrest

Jason Forrest’s music (formerly released under the Donna Summer alias) is a crazy pastiche of recognizable pop themes and postmodern noise, from glitch to cock rock. But before 34-year-old Forre…

Kutmasta Kurt In the Studio

Kurt Matlin, a.k.a. Kutmasta Kurt, has been spinning and conjuring ill tracks since the late ’80s when he was a Cali radio DJ at Stanford’s KZSU. His year has been busy with beats for Redn…

Midnight Movies: Elegant Surrealists

During the day, the modern world and its straight lines prevail–money and machines, time and technology, order and organization… but after dark, the winds of the imagination come into play. In t…

Turbulence: A Rising Singjay

“Let me tell you this again, I could have been one of the most notorious/I got saved by the king, and his grace is so gloriooooous.” If you’re a follower of dancehall, you couldnR…

Andrew Pommier: Figurative Fantasies

Andrew Pommier likes to draw bunnies, sparrows, and people wearing animal heads. And more often than not, they’re smoking. Seems pretty weird for someone whose favorite saying is “never sm…

Chris Cunningham: Cunning Man

Chris Cunningham is the award-winning film director who built Björk into a robot and morphed Madonna into a murder of crows. Best known for grafting Aphex Twin’s head onto a gang of unruly kids …

Norwegian Disco: Disco Infernal

Pick up any travel brochure on Norway and they all talk about one thing: fjords. For some reason, these glacially carved inlets of water have come to define the country and its people: cool, distant, …

Röyksopp: Passion In Colored Pulp

Talking to Röyksopp’s tow-headed Torbjørn Brundtland and bearded Svein Berge is like wandering through a densely overgrown forest–comments meander off the beaten path, sometimes rejoining the tr…

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