Under the Radar4 min letti
Letter From The Editor
Picking an all-time favorite album is a difficult endeavor. I know, because I have spent the last three months mulling it over. I imagine it might be akin to choosing your favorite child, although I only have the one and can devote all my paternal lo
Under the Radar2 min letti
Fred Armisen
Former Saturday Night Live and Portlandia star Fred Armisen is a big fan of Paul McCartney’s career trajectory, especially the singer’s 1971 album RAM, which featured his wife Linda. “It’s a masterpiece,” says Armisen. “I think the songs are beautif
Under the Radar3 min letti
Richard Reed Parry of ARCADE FIRE
I found it when I was 22 or 23. Or maybe it found me. I’d been at the big Salvation Army thrift store not far from my house and someone had dropped off this crate of really amazing records—an actual record collection of someone deep into music—while
Under the Radar3 min letti
Joseph Mount of METRONOMY
This album seemed relevant because of my new record, and me thinking about the kind of stuff that was released when I was a teenager and impressionable. To set the scene, it came out in the first year of secondary school. I’d been playing drums for
Under the Radar9 min letti
SLEATER-KINNEY Mere Anarchy
In 1919, poet W.B. Yeats wrote “The Second Coming,” his chilling expression of the despair after surveying the chaos created after World War I and the growing revolutionary violence in his own Ireland. “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,” he
Under the Radar8 min letti
Strand Of Oaks
For just a moment, Strand of Oaks’ Timothy Showalter got what he wanted. After years as one of music’s “best kept secrets,” Showalter says he was ready for something bigger. Real money was needed to pay real bills. More than anything, he was ready t
Under the Radar3 min letti
TEGAN and SARA
In January of 2018, when Tegan and Sara finished the tour and promotion for the band’s eighth album, Love You to Death, the Quin sisters were confronted with the question of what to do next. After tinkering with the idea of doing a podcast, their man
Under the Radar2 min letti
Nik Ewing of LOCAL NATIVES
From the very first listen, this album instantly sounded like an old friend. A comforting companion in a troubling year. Maybe that’s partially because the album is quite literally littered with old friends, like an Elliott Smith lyric or a repurpose
Under the Radar2 min letti
Amanda Palmer
There are a few albums I come back to again and again, wanting to listen to after repeated exposure. Every time someone asks me about my “favorite album of all time” I find myself going through the usual impossible mental gymnastics that hurt my brai
Under the Radar2 min letti
Alexis Taylor of HOT CHIP
I think Prince’s Sign o’ the Times is my favorite album. Sometimes it’s been [Prince’s] Parade, but recently I have veered back to Sign o’ the Times. For sheer pleasure, wonder at its musical breadth, and number of years spent listening to it, as wel
Under the Radar2 min letti
Carrie Brownstein
I’m sure that I discovered this record when I was living in Olympia, Washington, going to college there and hanging out in a very immersive and inspiring punk and music scene and being a very enthusiastic and eager record collector. In the pre-Intern
Under the Radar7 min letti
My Firsts Strand Of Oaks
My Firsts is our email interview series where we ask musicians to tell us about their first life experiences, be it early childhood ones (first word, first concert, etc.) or their first tastes of being a musician (first band, first tour, etc.). For t
Under the Radar2 min letti
Tegan Quin
The reason why I would choose Bruce Springsteen and that live record in particular is because that was really the first adult music that I loved. We always had music playing in the house. I loved Sinéad O’Connor, and I loved Phil Collins, and I loved
Under the Radar2 min letti
Noël Wells
It wasn’t easy landing on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass as my all-time favorite album, especially when there’s no denying the impact of other favs like Shania Twain’s The Woman in Me and “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Bad Hair Day had on me as a musi
Under the Radar3 min letti
Alan Tudyk
Loudon Wainwright III’s Grown Man—it’s hard to narrow down to any one album, but that album is important as far as when it came along in my life. And it’s a classic Loudon album. I was shooting a movie in North Carolina. It was the first movie I di
Under the Radar3 min letti
John Darnielle of THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
I was living in Portland in ’85-’86, and I wouldn’t say I was an apprentice speed freak, because I wasn’t on speed all of the time, but I was quite often taking really hard speed—crystal meth. And that kind of music was very popular with people who w
Under the Radar2 min letti
Corin Tucker
Hounds of Love Idon’t think that was the first album I bought by Kate Bush—that might have been Dreaming— but I bought every record by her that I could get my hands on, because I really fell in love with her work and her persona and her imagination
Under the Radar4 min letti
Under the Radar’s Writers
We talked to musicians about their all-time favorite album. And while it’s hard to pick just one all-time favorite, the following gave it a try. These articles didn’t make it in the print version of the magazine and are debuting in this digital versi
Under the Radar2 min letti
Sara Quin
I’m so uncomfortable when people ask me what my favorite anything is. I don’t think of myself as being a fair weather person, but I do think that as I grow and I change and I learn, that things become vastly different and more or less valuable to me
Under the Radar3 min letti
Jana Hunter of LOWER DENS
Since 1960, 82-year-old jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp has played saxophone and piano on at least 100 different releases, almost all as leader or co-leader. Shepp has shared blasts with John Coltrane, Max Roach, and Frank Zappa, but one of his better-
Under the Radar2 min letti
Emily Haines of METRIC
Thinking of the songs and lyrical lines from Silver Jews’ 1998 album American Water on a regular basis, Emily Haines is extremely emotional about frontman David Berman’s unexpected death on August 7, 2019 at age 52. From her home in the Canadian wood
Under the Radar2 min letti
Rose Elinor Dougall
My dad was a really big Joni Mitchell fan, so it was on in the house from early childhood, but I was really ready for it at 12 or 13. I had just started to tentatively write songs and it spoke to me. This was a woman who has this whole different lang
Under the Radar12 min letti
Angel Olsen
Use of the mirror as a medium can be found throughout schools of psychology, mythology, and literature. Psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan theorized a “mirror stage” in child development, when infants reach an age where they can first recognize their reflec
Under the Radar3 min letti
Spellling
Chrystia Cabral (stage name SPELLLING) is a new star of savory soundscapes. Her rare 2019 full-length, Mazy Fly, was helped by her label Sacred Bones’ general ambition. Cabral is enamored by the past—she doesn’t listen to much contemporary music, res
Under the Radar2 min letti
Jay Som
Melina Duterte has no need for embellishment. Ask her how she came up with the title of her third full-length release as Jay Som, Anak Ko, and she admits it has no particular connection to the album. The phrase means “my child” in Tagalog, and she si
Under the Radar2 min letti
MC Taylor of HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER
I first heard the record when it came out in 2006. I was in my previous band at the time [The Court & Spark], and it really struck me, this record. I was living in San Francisco at the time, and that band, Brightblack Morning Light, was based out of
Under the Radar3 min letti
Mark Gardener of RIDE
It’s impossible to choose a favorite album because there are so many, but if I had to pick one out it would probably be Surf’s Up. It’s more of an album for me because there’s a whole circle, which happened in my life around that record. I was introd
Under the Radar3 min letti
Hayden Thorpe
The reason I chose this record was because when I was in New York I saw his exhibition at the Jewish Museum. Which is just a genius installation. Within that was a series of around 300 self-portraits. I don’t think he started making self-portraits un
Under the Radar2 min letti
Angel Olsen
Lil Green is unfortunately largely forgotten as far as pre-World War II blues singers go. Born in Mississippi before moving to Chicago, Green began her career singing in nightclubs. She’s most famous for recording a slew of tracks for Bluebird Record
Under the Radar2 min letti
Austin Garrick of ELECTRIC YOUTH
While The Buggles are best known for their first album’s biggest hit “Video Killed the Radio Star” and its notable distinction of being the first music video to ever play on MTV, it’s their second album Adventures in Modern Recording that is [bandmat
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