Reality shows, like war, can turn heroes into villains and villains into heroes. One day you’re a model soldier being considered for general, the next you’re going rogue and hiding out in the jungle. One day everybody hates you for being a loud alcoholic, then you get punched in the face and you're queen of the shore house. This week on RuPaul's Drag Race, Willam, heretofore the great villain of Season Four, dropped so many one-liners and rocked the challenges so hard that we couldn’t help but think she might be ready for a Purple Heart. Read More
Splendor Squalor (out now on Kanine), the second full-length from Brooklyn-based Xray Eyeballs, finds the quartet in a much poppier place than they were on their first effort, Not Nothing. The raw, energetic sound backing O.J. San Felipe’s husky vocals is still present, along with the perfect blend of nostalgia for sounds of the past with a vision decidedly focused on the future. Read More
After an especially traumatic breakup, Islands frontman Nick Thorburn moved from New York to Los Angeles, looking to find solace in a new environment. On Valentine’s Day of last year, Thorburn sat down at a piano and began to play what would become A Sleep & A Forgetting (out now on Anti-), an album in which Thorburn exorcises the demons of his heartbreak, showing both despair and forward-looking optimism. Recorded in just two weeks, the album is less tight than Islands’ previous work, which is dominated by chorus-heavy pop gems. Read More
Fake game shows were the name of the, yes, game, on this week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. For the mini challenge, Ru invented a four-round test of endurance called—wait for it—Beat the Cock. I will render its brilliance in detail for you here so that you may recreate it at home, because you are definitely, definitely going to want to play. The first round was essentially Pin the Tail on the Donkey, only the tail was a paper chicken and the donkey was a giant photo of Ru’s face. Read More
Last night on RuPaul’s Drag Race, things that we were only partially certain of became crystal clear. Phi Phi O’Hara, previously only semi-evil, went full Maleficent. The source of Willam’s high opinion of himself was revealed to be a guest stint on Sex and the City (which, by the way, ended eight years ago). Max Mutchnick, co-creator of Will & Grace, was every bit as demanding as you’d expect a TV executive to be (and he hates Sharon Needles, which is unacceptable). Read More
Melt, the title of Young Magic's debut (out now on Carpark), is just one word that could describe how the songs on this record came together. The album is not only a melting pot of the group’s talents but a retelling of their musical journeys, long in both miles and inspiration. In 2010, producer and Australian native Isaac Emmanuel found himself recording music while traveling across Europe and in the U.S. and Mexico. Coincidentally, Emmanuel’s pal Michael Italia was doing the exact same thing. Read More
The solitary struggles and internal vacillation that helped Erika Wennerstrom build The Mountain have led her to a grounded place of reflection on the Heartless Bastards' new album Arrow (out now on Partisan). This 10-song LP is a travelogue from the open road that rambles through the rust-colored dirt and expansive landscape of the Southwest. “Marathon,” a meditative prologue, is the warm-up stretch that kicks the journey into gear, rolling into the fits and starts of “Parted Ways. Read More
On this week’s episode of the drunken love child of Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model otherwise known as RuPaul’s Drag Race, it is not possible to focus on anything after Ru appears wearing the above suit. LOOK. AT. IT. It’s like two Lisa Frank bunnies dropped a handful of acid, ate a four-pound bag of Skittles, and gave birth to the greatest sartorial achievement since Maggie Gyllenhaal’s 2009 Golden Globes dress. But I digress. Read More
With Dr. Dog’s latest collection of songs, Be the Void (out now on Anti-), there’s a renewed commitment to the party-jam sound that fans of this Philly-area band have loved for over a decade. According to guitarist/vocalist Scott McMicken, the group looked for inspiration in “music that got its roots in live expression rather than that studio-perfected sort of vibe.” A refreshing thought indeed. Read More
MNDR hasn't been in the spotlight much since the release of their E.P.E. EP in 2010, but that's all about to change. I didn't think I could like anything as much as last year's "Cut Me Out" (which I still blast in my headphones at least once a week), but new single "#1 in Heaven" is quickly climbing to the top of my most played list. It's an infectious electropop jam anchored by a head-bopping dance beat and Amanda Warner's sultry vocals. The video's great, too, thanks to trippy visuals and Warner's incredible lipstick choices (seriously, tell me where to buy it). Read More