Mobb Deep is one of the most successful rap acts, with millions of records sold, including tracks like "Survival of the Fittest,'" "Shook Ones Part II," and "Quiet Storm RMX." But the duo's unity has been tested numerous times, including a feud that spilled over onto Twitter and caused a brief split back in 2012. Prodigy and Havoc have patched things up and reunited for the 20th anniversary of breakout album "Juvenile Hell" (1993) and the upcoming release of their first studio album in eight years, "The Infamous Mobb Deep,&… Read more
If you want to hear David J's new album, "An Eclipse of Ships," but can't make it to Austin for his three SXSW shows (March 12-16), you'll have to wait till spring. The acoustic album features musicians on violin, acoustic piano, Rhodes, stand-up bass, mandolin, oboe, percussion, and a bevy of acoustic guitars. It's a celebration of women -- some known to the artist and some conjured up in fantasies.
David J's time as founding member of death rock band Bauhaus ("Bela Lugosi's Dead," "Dark Entries," "Kick … Read more
British EDM duo Dirty Vegas first found fame when its debut single "Days Go By" reached the top of the 2002 club charts, won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, and appeared in a Mitsubishi Eclipse car commercial. Three top 20 albums and five top 40 club hits later, Dirty Vegas vocalist Steve Smith chatted with me about new … Read more
Dutch DJ trio Kraak & Smaak are best known in the US for singles like 2008's "Squeeze Me" and 2010's "Dynamite." A soulful house track, "The Future Is Yours," leads off "Chrome Waves" (perhaps my favorite party album of 2013) and has already topped US college radio charts. Kraak & Smaak returned to SXSW this week for three shows.
Are you excited to return to SXSW? What will you be doing there? It's great to be back again. We missed the US a lot! We will do three showcases … Read more
Primus frontman Les Claypool and M.I.R.V. guitarist Bryan Kehoe were jamming around the campfire one night. Claypool was suddenly inspired by the country music forced on him as a child -- Johnny Horton, Jerry Reed, and Vernon Dalhart -- and started playing his bass in a "Luther Perkins dig digga dang, dig digga dang" while Kehoe accompanied on guitar. They tested various songs, from obvious choices like Johnny Horton's "Battle of New Orleans" and Primus' own "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" to less likely candidates such as Alice in … Read more
Gary Numan is well aware that most Americans know him only for his "Cars" single. It's his only US hit, charting at No. 9 back in 1980. But when people call the electro pioneer a one-hit wonder, it drives me crazy. If "Down in the Park," "Are 'Friends' Electric?" "Me! I Disconnect From You," and "You Are in My Vision" (with Tubeway Army), "I Die: You Die," and "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" didn't chart in the US, it's not for lack of … Read more
For some, work is a chore. For JD Samson & Men, music is a labor of love. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the electronic outfit's new, aptly titled album, "Labor." The LP's 13 tracks tackle heavy, highly personal topics suited for a therapy session -- gender identity, relationships, the challenges of making it in today's musical landscape -- yet listeners will likely experience a post-confessional lightness, buoyed by Men's synth-driven dance sound. I recently spoke to JD Samson about "Labor," the tour, gender identity, ex-bandmate Kathleen Hanna, and her favorite … Read more
As technology moves from desktop to handheld to wearable (connected fitness bands, smartwatches, Google Glass), one might wonder if microchipping is the next step in our tech evolution. The answer is an emphatic yes, according to CBS's "Intelligence," a new suspense series that airs Mondays (10 p.m. ET/PT). Josh Holloway plays Gabriel, a high-tech intelligence operative enhanced by a supercomputer microchip in his brain, which gives him unfettered access to the Internet, Wi-Fi, telephone, and satellite data -- info he uses to protect the US from foreign enemies. On the show, actor P.J. Byrne (&… Read more
With explosive drums, fuzzed-out guitars, and Wolfmother-style vocals, YB's first English-language single, "Cigarette Girl," might finally break YB in the West. Though already regarded as the Bon Jovi of South Korea, YB has not made much of a dent stateside -- unless you happened to catch the band at one of its sold-out 2006 NYC performances or at its acclaimed 2007 SXSW showcase. Under new manager Doug Goldstein, who formerly managed Guns N' Roses, Danzig, and Blind Melon, they just might make it here. As YB prepared for its first US mini-tour in seven years, frontman Do-Hyun … Read more
British alternative rock band Maximo Park just released its fifth studio album (and follow-up to 2012's critically acclaimed "The National Health") "Too Much Information" on February 3. Synth-driven single "Leave This Island" is already burning up my iTunes.
The new album is called "Too Much Information." Are you implying that we're just bombarded with info via our computers and smartphones all day? Yeah, that's definitely a part of it. Being in the music industry, we became quite aware of people's attention becoming so much … Read more