Spirit Animal: TAS Tour Diary

Brooklyn's Spirit Animal was affected, like so many others, by Hurricane Sandy, but the kinetic psychedelic rock quartet shook off the setback and embarked on a brief tour earlier this month. The Alternate Side asked frontman Steve Cooper if he could keep a blog of the band's East Coast travels, which included a Hurricane Sandy benefit. Spirit Animal, which released the EP This Is A Test earlier this year, plays a late show at Mercury Lounge on February 1.

Tracey Thorn On 'Tinsel And Lights' (And Boxing Day Quizzes): TAS Interview

Throughout her career — from Marine Girls to Everything But The Girl to her solo work — Tracey Thorn has always quietly rebelled from a predicatable route. While a Christmas album of mostly covers might sound like a surprising choice for Thorn, the unconventional path she's chosen for her beautiful new release, Tinsel and Lights, is evergreen, extending far beyond the holiday season. Thorn's insightful song selections, from the White Stripes to Scritti Politti to Sufjan Stevens, are wintry walkabouts of reflection and regeneration. The Alternate Side chatted with Tracey Thorn, not only about her new album, but her family's Yuletide traditions, from clementine cake to slightly inebriated Boxing Day quizzes.

Frank Ocean, Alt-J, Django Django And More On TAS Staff 'Best Of 2012' Lists

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Never mind the naysayers — 2012 was a great year for new music. The Alternate Side staff cheated a bit by coming up with a six month list earlier this summer, but as we edge closer to the end of the year, our final "Best of 2012" tally of music faves includes Frank Ocean, Alt-J, Django Django, Poliça, Tame Impala, Bob Mould, Public Service Broadcasting, Divine Fits, Beach House and much more. And what was your favorite music of 2012?  

Gold Fields: Tour Diary

When Australian quintet Gold Fields visited The Alternate Side's Studio A earlier this year for a session, they had just released a self-titled EP. Fast forward six months, and the band is on the brink of releasing its debut album, Black Sun, on February 26. The Ballarat group is currently touring North America — they play New York's Bowery Ballroom on December 4 — and TAS asked Gold Fields' frontman, Mark Robert Fuller, if he'd keep a blog of their travels earlier this fall and he did, noting everything from a first Stateside Halloween to an encounter with a peeved police officer in New Mexico.

Full Lineup Set For WFUV Holiday Cheer On December 5, Tix On Sale Now

Lucinda Williams, Shawn Colvin, Shelby Lynne and special guest Steve Earle are now set for The Alternate Side's parent station's annual fundraising concert, Holiday Cheer for WFUV, on Wednesday, December 5, at the Beacon Theatre. Tickets for the show are on sale now through Ticketmaster. A portion of the proceeds will support WhyHunger's local Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts.

TAS Tour Diary: Sylver Tongue's Charlotte Hatherley

As one of Britain's most gifted young guitarists, Charlotte Hatherley has followed an unconventional path. She departed Ash in 2006, released three terrific solo albums, and took side jobs touring as a guitarist for bands like Bat For Lashes. Hatherley's latest project is the sleek, sultry and synth-propelled Sylver Tongue. A new EP is out this week, Something Big and Sylver Tongue just supported Bat For Lashes on a UK tour. The Alternate Side asked Hatherley if she'd keep a tour diary of part of that journey through Scotland and Manchester.

How To Help: Sandy Relief Efforts

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The tri-state area is still reeling from the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but there are many ways you can help your neighbor via donations or volunteering. Here's a list of where to start.

Toy: TAS Tour Diary

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London rockers Toy have an interesting backstory, they're good friends with the Horrors, and they can claim one of the best debut albums of 2012, a self-titled, blissed-out kaleidoscope of melodic, Krautrock-infused psychedelia. Toy hasn't toured the States yet, but they kick off a UK tour tonight, October 24, in London.The Alternate Side asked the five members of Toy if they could keep a tour diary for us.

CMJ Showcase Interviews: Indians, Little Green Cars, Savoir Adore, Wax Poetic

WFUV and The Alternate Side's very first CMJ Music Marathon showcase takes place tomorrow, October 16, at the Living Room. We had a few questions to ask our four international bands — Copenhagen's Indians, Dublin's Little Green Cars and New York bands Savoir Adore and Wax Poetic — and they kindly offered up their views on everything from Brooklyn "myths"  to not-to-be-missed CMJ acts. The WFUV/TAS CMJ showcase, which airs live on 90.7 WFUV on Tuesday night beginning at 7 p.m. EDT,  is supported by TuneIn. Listen to the world.

Zulu Winter: TAS Tour Diary

Zulu Winter spent its summer like many British bands; doing the European and UK festival circuit. There's a wild diversity of festivals — from the fancy dress Bestival on the Isle of Wright to the massive joint venture of Reading and Leeds to Belgium's Pukkelpop — so it's intriguing to get a band's take on its travels. The Alternate Side asked Zulu Winter's vocalist and bassist Will Daunt if he'd keep a tour blog of the band's September stops at Bestival and the brand new Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion, Wales.

California Wives: TAS Interview And Free Download Of 'Blood Red Youth'

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California Wives' synth-sweetened brand of indie pop strays, spiritually and sonically, towards the UK rather than the Chicago band's sturdy Midwestern roots. The quartet just released its debut, Art History, earlier this month and they're touring with Stars and Diamond Rings, playing New York's Webster Hall this Saturday, September 22. Read TAS' chat with California Wives' drummer Joe O'Connor about the band's many influences and, as a bonus, download a track from the album, "Blood Red Youth."

Efterklang: TAS Interview

Efterklang's fourth studio album, the intricate, haunting Piramida, is streaming now via WFUV and NPR Music prior to its release next week on 4AD, but New Yorkers who haven't seen the innovative, daring Danish band live have a unique opportunity to do so this Saturday, September 22, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Efterklang will join the Wordless Music orchestra for a concert performance of the new album, the group's only show slated in the States thus far this fall. The Alternate Side caught up with bassist/multi-instrumentalist Rasmus Stolberg to discuss Piramida — Efterklang's first as a trio — and the band's journey to the ghost town that inspired the record.

FUV Boat 80s Flashback! The TAS Staff Picks Our Decade Faves

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WFUV and The Alternate Side are going back to the future on the FUV Boat time machine on September 7 with an 80s-themed dance bash down the Hudson River, a vital fundraiser for both stations. Head to rtrcruises.com for tickets and details, but to get ourselves in the mood, the TAS Staff dug out our vinyl, parachute pants and VHS tapes to come up with a list of our faves of that decade.

 

Alt-J: TAS Tour Diary

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Prefering a lower-case identity, alt-j — or ∆ — has garnered a pretty high profile in a short span of time. The quartet of friends from Leeds University has already released a critically praised, haunting debut An Awesome Wave in the UK and the album finally comes out in the States on September 18 via Canvasback. The group is playing New York tonight, at Mercury Lounge, and tomorrow, August 7, at Brooklyn's Glasslands and in preparation for that, The Alternate Side asked the band if they'd blog about their adventures through Japan, Spain and Portugal earlier this month.

Jukebox The Ghost: TAS Tour Blog

Since Jukebox The Ghost's freewheeling, effusive new album is christened Safe Travels and the Brooklyn-based trio is tirelessly touring North America this year (they return to New York to play Irving Plaza on November 6), The Alternate Side asked Jesse Kristin, Tommy Siegel and Ben Thornewill if they'd keep a blog documenting the very start of their summer tour. The trio, slated to play Riverside Garden Park in Red Bank, NJ on August 3, supplied photos too, courtesy of their intrepid tour manager, as they navigated bowling, burritos, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, long drives and "the nicest fans in rock 'n' roll."

The TAS Staff Picks Our Top Albums And Singles Of 2012 ... So Far

The first half of 2012 has already come and gone. The Alternate Side staff, looking at the scores of WAV files, MP3s, CDs and even vinyl singles we've trundled through over the past six months, is slightly overwhelmed by the abundance of good music, so we've made some midpoint selections for our top 10 (or 11) albums and tracks of the year thus far. We have the freedom to change our minds completely by December, but in the meantime, bands and artists like Japandroids, Jack White, Hot Chip, The Walkmen, 2:54, Zeus, Public Service Broadcasting, Father John Misty, Cold Specks, Alt-J, Bobby Womack and Damon Albarn have made the cut. Read the lists after the jump.

TAS Interview: Brian Borcherdt Discusses Dusted And The Future of Holy F***

Never one to stand by idly, Brian Borcherdt has long split duties between his ambiently aggressive band Holy F*** and outside or solo projects. His latest endeavor is the lovely, lo-fi Dusted, a collaboration with producer  and drummer Leon Taheny. The duo's debut album, Total Dust, was released this week on Polyvinyl/Hand Drawn Dracula and Borcherdt and Taheny play Manhattan's Cake Shop tomorrow, July 12, and Brooklyn's Glasslands on July 15. The Alternate Side caught up with the traveling Borcherdt and he not only discussed Dusted, but the immediate — and rosy  —  future of Holy F***.

These United States: TAS Tour Blog

These United States — which actually hail originally from two states, New York and North Carolina — are currently on tour with Trampled By Turtles and both bands land at Webster Hall tonight, April 17. The geographically-minded These United States release a fifth eponymous album on June 12 and after finishing their tour with Trampled By Turtles, they'll hit the road with Heartless Bastards in May. TAS asked These United States if they'd blog about their tour journey, well, across several states leading up to their New York show. New bassist Anna Morsett kindly obliged and recruited Lindsay Giles McWilliams to take photos.

Young Magic: SXSW 2012 Blog

Although they've got Australian and Indonesian roots, Young Magic is based out of Brooklyn and have a brand new album, Melt, out now on Carpark Records. The band just kicked off their North American tour today, March 29, and will play Brooklyn's Cameo Gallery on April 6. The Alternate Side asked the three members of Young Magic if they'd keep a SXSW blog for us tracking the highs, the lows, the deflated air mattresses and the free tacos. They were a little tardy turning it in —  traveling and illness got in the way — but we forgive them.

Workaholics: SXSW 2012 Interview

Workaholics, Comedy Central's slacker sit-com telemarketers, got into the spirit of SXSW this year and hosted their own Austin house party on March 16, featuring bands like Wavves, Reptar, The Cool Kids and Trash Talk. The Alternate Side's Alisa Ali had a chance to sit down with Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, Kyle Newacheck and the hirsute Blake Anderson to talk up their music expertise and house party imprisonment. The third season of "Workaholics" begins May 29 on Comedy Central at 10:30 p.m. EDT.

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