Deconstructing: Alcest’s Shelter And Metal In A Post-Deafheaven World

By Michael Nelson / January 3, 2014 - 3:01 pm

In February 2011, Brooklyn Vegan did an interview with Deafheaven frontman George Clarke — only a year after the formation of his band, more than two years before their world-devouring Sunbather, still two months before the release of their debut LP, Roads To Judah. The interview included a word-association segment, and when presented with the… More »

Deconstructing: Justin Timberlake And The Dangers Of Overexposure

By Chris DeVille / November 19, 2013 - 3:46 pm

Hindsight is 20/20. More »

Deconstructing: Best Coast And “It All Sounds The Same”

By Chris DeVille / October 23, 2013 - 12:16 pm

Best Coast’s new EP Fade Away came out yesterday. It sounds… like Best Coast. There are distorted guitars, sugary girl-group vocals, simple major-key chord progressions, jaunty tempos, arching melodies, and plainspoken lyrics about romance, sunshine, and figuring out life. You wonder if she is singing about Wavves. You imagine what the song sounded like before… More »

Deconstructing: Neutral Milk Hotel And The Real Value Of Solo Performance

By Chris DeVille / October 14, 2013 - 4:17 pm

Neutral Milk Hotel reunited Friday in Baltimore and again Saturday in Richmond, the seminal psych-folk outfit’s first performances together in nearly 15 years. Everybody reunites these days, even the most hermetic of reluctant heroes, and Jeff Mangum has been making cautious strides toward the public eye since before #OccupyWallStreet was a cause célèbre. But thi… More »

Deconstructing: HAIM, Lorde, And The Monogenre

By Chris DeVille / October 3, 2013 - 4:10 pm

The singularity is approaching. Not just the dystopian rule of sentient robot overlords as prophesied by every sci-fi movie ever, but sure, that too. (Have you seen what Google wants us to put on our faces? Resistance is futile.) I’m talking about the musical singularity, pop music’s convergence into a single unified style I like… More »

Deconstructing: Chvrches, Icona Pop, And The Decline Of Guitar Rock

By Chris DeVille / September 20, 2013 - 4:05 pm

Last Saturday I attended the inaugural Breakaway Music Festival, a one-day fest targeted at college students, held in a modest soccer stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Headliners included Bassnectar, Empire Of The Sun and Kendrick Lamar, with Juicy J, Porter Robinson and Schoolboy Q among those filling out the bill. Also in the lineup was the… More »

Deconstructing: Elvis Costello, The Roots, And Album-Length Team-Ups

By Chris DeVille / September 18, 2013 - 10:39 am

The first thing to understand about Wise Up Ghost is that it isn’t a vanity project. Yes, the new LP, released yesterday on Blue Note, is a full-length collaboration between Elvis Costello and the Roots. And yes, full-length collaborations between well-known artists sometimes end up as mere historical curiosities (Jay-Z and R. Kelly’s Best OfMore »

Deconstructing: Big Sean, 2 Chainz, And The Racial Politics Of Punchline Rap

By Chris DeVille / September 12, 2013 - 12:19 pm

Big Sean is one of hip-hop’s worst misnomers, and not just because the guy is only five-foot-eight. Everything about the Detroit rapper screams “twerp.” In his inexplicably frequent guest spots on gargantuan hits by A-list rappers, he is the kid brother begging to tag along — a pest, a nuisance, a whoopie cushion rapping about… More »

Deconstructing: LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” And Trying To Define The Best Song Of The Millennium

By Ryan Leas / September 11, 2013 - 1:16 pm

About a week and a half ago, the sports-and-culture website Grantland crowned OutKast’s “Hey Ya!” the “Best Song of the Millennium,” an accolade awarded just before the tenth anniversary of the song’s release this past Monday. This was the end result of a bracket that ran from August 22 to August 30, in which te… More »

Deconstructing: Belle & Sebastian And Nostalgia Versus Reinvention

By Chris DeVille / August 26, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch took the stage at Pitchfork Music Festival last month wearing white pants, a tight black T-shirt, and a black jacket, looking like a character from Grease or West Side Story in search of a dance-off. He did the running man, shadowboxed, jumped, and clapped. On the rare occasions whe… More »

Deconstructing: Lauryn Hill’s Rise And Fall, 15 Years After The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill

By Max Blau / August 23, 2013 - 12:48 pm

Lauryn Hill currently sits inside a prison cell in Connecticut. The neo-soul legend is approximately halfway through a three-month sentence inside the Danbury penitentiary, located a little more than 80 miles from her hometown of South Orange, N.J., where she launched her illustrious career with the influential hip-hop trio The Fugees in the early 1990s. More »

Deconstructing: Death Grips’ No-Show Live Show And What We Expect From Concerts

By Michael Nelson / August 7, 2013 - 2:32 pm

When Death Grips “chose not to arrive in Chicago” for their scheduled set at Lollapalooza 2013, it led to outrage in comments sections, on Twitter, and in real life: Patrons at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge got violent when it became clear the band wouldn’t be performing at the official Lollapalooza after-show party for which they had… More »

Deconstructing: The O.C. And Indie Rock Gentrification

By Chris DeVille / August 5, 2013 - 12:48 pm

Ten years ago today, five words forever changed the nebulous concept known as indie rock: “Welcome to the O.C., bitch.” That dialogue was in the pilot of Fox’s teen soap opera The O.C., but you already knew that. The fact that it’s virtually impossible to imagine a reader of this website who isn’t aware of… More »

Deconstructing: Dead Girlfriends, Mansplaining, And When Being An Ally Goes Wrong

By Claire Lobenfeld / July 31, 2013 - 11:51 am

Former Elite Gymnastics member James Brooks released a new four-track EP this week called Stop Pretending under the moniker Dead Girlfriends. Its concluding cut, “On Fraternity,” is a sweetly menacing song about sexual assault. The song itself, without its divisive lyrics, is something else. It screeches with feedback in places, its synths twinkle and build… More »

Deconstructing: The End Of Maxwell’s And Leaving New Jersey

By Charlotte Murtishaw / July 31, 2013 - 11:07 am

Doors opened at 8, but really a few minutes past, the other week in Hoboken, and the audience — mostly young, mostly male — drifted into Maxwell’s discordantly, with the unsure babble of those anticipating a blowout but gearing up for a funeral.

Maxwell’s has been tough to talk about these days, to… More »

Deconstructing: Deafheaven, Disclosure, And Crossing Over

By Chris DeVille / July 11, 2013 - 12:29 pm

It was damn near impossible to breeze through the music internet last month without tripping over Deafheaven and Disclosure. The two acts, both duos, just released landmark albums that are catching on outside the genre niches from whence they came, though not without some consternation from certain genre purists. More »

Deconstructing: Jay-Z, Kanye West, And The #NewRules of Hip-Hop Marketing

By Max Blau / July 3, 2013 - 12:16 pm

Tomorrow, Jay-Z will release Magna Carta Holy Grail, which comes just three weeks after Kanye West’s Yeezus. Both new LPs are the first solo albums to be released by those artists since they worked together on Watch The Throne, one of 2011’s finest hip-hop records. In the two years since their massive collaboration, Kanye West… More »

Deconstructing: Black Flag, FLAG, And Punk Nostalgia

By James Jackson Toth / June 26, 2013 - 3:50 pm

Everything old is new again: a glance at some leading indie blogs might have you wondering if you’d suddenly time-warped back to some utopian alternative rock version of the ’80s, with names like the Replacements and My Bloody Valentine sharing headline space with Kanye West and Daft Punk. It’s easy to cynically view these ‘reunions’… More »

Deconstructing: Liz Phair And Indie Rock Poptimism

By Chris DeVille / June 24, 2013 - 12:36 pm

As chronicled by Tom last Friday, Exile In Guyville made Liz Phair an indie rock hero. The album blazed new trails: a woman invading (and mostly besting) a boys-club genre, addressing the thrills and spills of modern sexuality in bracingly honest fashion, delivered in the context of short stories deftly disguised as songs. She wa… More »

Deconstructing: Daft Punk, Will Oldham, And Two Decades Of Mysterious Musicianship

By Max Blau / May 22, 2013 - 12:37 pm

One of the things I remember most from this year’s SXSW isn’t a particular artist, a showcase, or party. It’s a Daft Punk billboard. More »

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