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Published: 2014/04/08

April_May

The String Cheese Incident: International Head Rush

In late April, The String Cheese Incident will release their first studio album in nearly 10 years. After weathering some storms, including a two-year hiatus prompted by Bill Nershi’s announcement that he would be departing the group, it’s sunny skies once again for the reunited collective. The band’s current state of mind was embodied by the climate in Mexico’s Riviera Maya where Editor-in-Chief Dean Budnick joined the band for their latest International Incident. There, they discussed the new Jerry Harrison-produced Song in My Head, future recording plans, a revamped touring schedule, destination music experiences and their collective commitment to the group, bolstered by a Michael Jackson impersonator and memories of mushroom tea.

Broken Bells: The Not-So-Odd Couple

When The Shins’ James Mercer temporarily ventured away from his primary band to release the first Broken Bells record with noted producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton in 2010, they were immediately branded as a 21st century odd couple. But while Mercer’s vulnerable, Garden State approved indie-pop may seem worlds away from Burton’s trademark Spaghetti Western neo-soul, their common interests and surprisingly shared roots in sci-fi fandom actually run much deeper. Editor-in-Chief Mike Greenhaus spent time with Broken Bells shortly before the release of their sophomore album After The Disco and explored how a pair of seemingly different hipster icons became close friends and managed to avoid the trappings of a traditional side project.

David Crosby & James Raymond: Crafting Croz

Keyboardist James Raymond was already an accomplished 30-something musician when he found out that David Crosby was his dad. After hearing on TV that Crosby had been hospitalized in the ‘90s, Raymond reached out to his biological father and started the process of not only connecting to his roots, but also forging a new musical alliance. Raymond and Crosby formed the project CPR in 1996, and have steadily collaborated during the years. Steve Silberman spoke with Crosby and Raymond about their unexpected family reunion and
how their late-in-life relationship led to Croz, Crosby’s first solo album of studio material in 20 years.

The Ugliest Girl in the World: The Reanimation of Bob Dylan in the 80s

The 1980s were unquestionably Bob Dylan’s lost years. Coming out of his left-field gospel period, Dylan embraced the glossy production of the time and plowed through a series of unexpected collaborations, personal changes and still-unexplained stunts before returning to prominence with a late-career renaissance in the ‘90s. Now, several decades later, Jesse Lauter and Sean O’Brien are shedding new light on those often-overlooked recordings, thanks to the compilation Bob Dylan in the 80s, Volume One. Contributing Editor Jesse Jarnow spoke with the producers and many of their musical pals and figured out how a pair of young producers managed to inject new life into a batch of forgotten Dylan tunes with the help of Gene Ween, Marco Benevento, Tea Leaf Green, Deer Tick, Craig Finn, Slash and many others.

The War on Drugs: Headphones on the Highway

On 2011’s Slave Ambient, War on Drugs frontman Adam Granduciel set out to make a rock-and-roll album with an experimental spiritual journey that started in his Philly-based home studio amid a gaggle of vintage guitars, synths, samplers and drum machines. For the band’s third LP, Granduciel widened the scope, seeking to showcase the individual talents of a group that has coalesced into a tight touring unit after three battle-tested years on the road. As Bill Murphy finds out, Lost in the Dream is everything that its title promises, rife with Dylan-esque lyrical touches, lush guitar atmospherics and the hypnotic rhythms that Granduciel heard in his head. The result is a true future-rock classic.

Plus: Andy Summers, Benmont Tench, Nels Cline, Trigger Hippy, Quilt, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Arc Iris, Kandia Crazy Horse, Tennis, Gary Chetkof and much more!

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