The Seer, the new double album that follows Swans’ productive 2010 reunion and studio return, is a space in which to wander in furious mediation — as songwriter Michael Gira puts it, a “total experience.” Dense without losing immediacy, the album stretches over two hours of constantly shifting aural landscapes. This is a work to be enjoyed second by second, losing your mind to its deceptive repetitions.
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Formed in 2005, Cleveland-based duo Mr. Gnome has been offering introspective, spooky indie rock ever since its inception. Even though the art-rock band is composed of just singer/guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer/pianist Sam Meister, Mr. Gnome finds a way to make a lot of noise. And thankfully for us, it’s noise worth hearing.
Though two-pieces are fairly common these days, Mr. Gnome has managed to stand out with the best of them. The band’s latest effort, Madness in Miniature, finds Barille and Meister confident, collected, and ready for the limelight, armed with a catalog of varied instrumentation and musical styles.
The album flexes its muscles frequently. Oscillating between raucously distorted guitars, atmospheric soundscapes, persistent drumming, and Barille’s full-on belt-outs and soft-spoken vocal layers, the body of work immediately calls to mind the best stuff by Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Kills, with hints of Queens of the Stone Age peppered throughout. And just a few tracks in, it becomes apparent: this is fright rock at its finest.
In 2004, Rachel Nelson and Erik Zajaceskowski, along with a few friends, formed Secret Project Robot in Williamsburg, New York with the intent of fostering conversation among Brooklyn’s creatives by bringing innovative art and performances to anyone who is interested.
“Is there art if nobody sees it?” Nelson asks. “Yes, of course there is, but not on this whole social level. We figured we could get people to talk about it and have this whole dialogue.”
Secret Project Robot is focused on creating a solid sense of community through events and exhibits with a postmodern approach that allows for audience participation. “The viewer is completing the work of art,” Nelson says. The multipurpose venue features installation pieces and shows by a number of Brooklyn-based bands.
For the young Canadian indie band Braids, a rise in popularity has meant increased promotional responsibilities. See how the band balances its time — as well as its multifaceted music — with the pressures of press.
Cody Critcheloe, frontman and creator of SSION, has a lot to talk about these days — the mockumentary he’s working on, touring, his art and music videos, his eyebrows…but in an interview with ALARM, he opted to discuss his favorite ladies in rock.
Beneath the eye liner, street jizz, and punk attitude, there lies a softer side to Critchloe. All of these women have genuinely been a source of inspiration for him.