She answers the phone with a chirp and a lie. “This is Sally!” she says, in that cheery Swedish accent that suddenly makes the air brisk and the daylight blonde. But Sally isn’t her name. Not right now, at least. Sally Shapiro is the moniker she uses when she becomes the Italo disco princess that released 2006’s Disco Romance, an album of equal parts dreamy and dancey Eighties-inspired pop tunes. On the phone, she is but a humble office worker in the Swedish town of Lund (she’s never divulged her real name).
Never meet your idols. Something that’s been said by me (or to me) so many times in my urban second life that it’s beginning to sound like a bile-producing cliché. I’ve listened to local, professional defencemen crassly put down the quality of women in my city, I’ve nearly got in a fist fight with a certain action star’s famous “Entourage” and I’ve seen a “black eyed” rap (or “rap”) star pass out in his own throw up. In hindsight, none of these people were MY idols, they were yours, or at least they were the idols of the people whose bubbles I was respectively trying to burst.
If you haven’t yet heard of The Juan MacLean you’ve probably been sitting in a nuclear bunker waiting for shit to hit the fan or eroding in Middle America. With their latest effort, The Future Will Come, released in April on the acclaimed DFA records, The Juan MacLean are now touring, leaving kids from city to city whistling their tunes. If you like to dance to robot-tinged lyrical content and club/dance songs with actual melodies and instruments you will probably be into them.
The music industry, more than any other, is known for its constantly changing astrology. There are those few stars that have found a permanent home in the shifting constellations of music history—indelible pinpricks in the sky, whose perfectly coiffed and carefully managed images take years to arrive down on Earth. And even after they die, or disband, or otherwise go gently into that good night, their fame lingers like a beacon, their traveling reservoir of light not yet up. But more often, new artists are nothing but shooting stars. They appear suddenly and vanish just as suddenly.
One way to understand the story of Dinosaur Jr. is to consider the way of the mighty albatross. They learn to fly together, but inevitably break apart, returning to their roots only when they’ve reached maturity. Sound familiar? The band’s bassist, Lou Barlow, declares, “I wouldn’t be in this band, I wouldn’t be working as Dinosaur Jr. right now if I hadn’t gotten better at picking my battles.”
Rolling African plains, herds of galloping Zebras heading towards a watering hole, chants of the Massai in the distance. What does this have to do with Buraka Som Sistema? Absolutely nothing. Buraka Som Sistema are the first wave of Kuduro producers to gain worldwide notoriety. Hailing from Lisbon and Angola, the foursome have picked up some loyal and high profile followers like Diplo, Switch, Hot Chip and M.I.A. who count themselves among the legion of BSS fans.
MTV Europe Award nomination… CHECK!
Everyone likes …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. If you like indie music, you like them. If you like metal, you like them. If you like radio-friendly music, you like them. So if everybody likes them, why aren’t they on North American FM airwaves? Sometimes those in charge have no clue as to how to market a band with potential and a massive following. If you’ve got a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and Trail of Dead are a white hot rivet, holding up a futuristic ivory tower full of music’s fist pumpers and noblemen.
“The way this record is presented is more honest as what we are as a band,” says Dan Boeckner of The Handsome Furs’ latest album Face Control. Dan, who also co-fronts Wolf Parade, and music/life partner Alexei Perry’s personas and music stand out from their indie-rock comrades. Face Control, their follow-up to 2007’s Plague Park, is a brusque force. Their inspiration, drawn from Russian techno and their travels across Eastern Europe is evident in every aspect of Face Control.