For me, the success of Florence + the Machine was one of the biggest musical surprises of last year. It wasn't because she's not talented of course, but because her version of epic pop, with quirky twists and turns has never really sold as well before.
Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dan Mangan has been making sturdy, smart music for nearly a decade now. In September, he released his third full-length album, "Oh Fortune."
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, better known by their acronym OMD, began their career in the UK in 1978, trading in synth-pop, new wave and experimental post-punk sounds for nearly two decades before lead singer and bassist Andy McCluskey (at that point the only remaining original member) called it quits. The original line-up reunited in 2005, and have been touring and recording ever since.
Performing under the name Grieves, the hip hop duo comprised of Benjamin Laub and multi-instrumentalist Josh Karp, who goes by Budo are one of the latest additions to the local label Rhymesayers. While both came from the Seattle scene, it was until they were both in central Illinois that they met.
If the idea of a soda made from dandelion and burdock makes you wince or if Arctic Monkeys have never worked for ya, try this, you might like it. Suck it and see indeed!
Neil was the guest on the final show of the Wits season and was nice enough to stop by that day to do a Theft of the Dial with us too.
Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard have a relationship that lies beyond band mates. Forming in 2001 immediately after their marriage, the two found themselves in a sea of differences years later and decided to call it quits after their fourth album in 2008. Fortunately for their dedicated indie rock and folk fans the two discovered a whirlwind of beauty and remorse as they define their relationship not only as musicians but as friends after a tumultuous marriage.
Does a whole equal the sum of its parts? For Thao Nguyen and Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, two accomplished solo artists plus producer Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, equals a complementary push-pull of an album.
Formed in Austin, Texas in 2007 the retro-blues soul band Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears began after lead-singer Joe Lewis picked up a guitar at a pawn shop. Heavily influenced by James Brown and Howlin' Wolf, Lewis played around town before getting the attention of locals Spoon and Okkervil River.
Mark Wheat spoke with collaborators Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi about the release of "Rome," their atmospheric and cinematic new album featuring Norah Jones, Jack White.
Tony Allen is a Nigerian born, self taught musician who for eleven years, was the drummer and musical director for the legendary band Fela Kuti and Africa 70. Allen along with Kuti have been credited with pioneering afrobeat music. His latest project, "Secret Agent" was released in early 2010.
Two Door Cinema Club are a band from Bangor and Donaghadee, Northern Ireland formed in 2007. They're signed to French record label Kitsune Music, through which they released their debut album "Tourist History" on 1 March 2010.
After a whirl-wind year of touring Foster the People, known for their synth-laced hazy pop, brought an acoustic set to The Current studio. The California trio spoke to Mark Wheat about their love of surfing, touring, and the German website that kick started their internet buzz.
Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, and Chris Tomson formed the band Vampire Weekend early in 2006, when they were finishing up their studies at Columbia University on the Upper West Side of NYC.
Almost everyone agrees that Cee-Lo's hit single "Forget You" (wink wink!) is the best song of the year.