Lars Gotrich

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for the class of 2018 this morning, presenting a group of first-time nominees that might make up the institution's most sonically diverse list in years.

Paramore's After Laughter captures the moment between rapture and its comedown, the glitter wiped away, left with skin rubbed raw. It's a record, more than a decade into the band's career, that not only exposes the sparkling pop that's always lit Paramore's songs, but also deals with the ache of growing up and growing apart.

If the producer and DJ Matthew Dear soundtracked our comedown earlier this summer with the goth-pop jewel "Modafinil Blues," he now returns to make sense of the season's revelry.

After releasing two new songs, playing them on Saturday Night Live, and not being totally stoked on a set of vinyl reissues, LCD Soundsystem has annou

The new album from Tigers Jaw, spin, revels in quiet pleasures, even as its rich production pulls power from the band's open wounds. It's the major-label debut from a band that, at one point, made yelping and earnest pop-punk before finding its way to intricate, and melancholy, pop.

Mlny Parsonz's bluesy belt has been the grounding force of Royal Thunder's stirring hard-rock for almost a decade now, and on the band's third album, Wick, the songs all knot and unravel with psychedelic power. True to its name, volume and a small army of effects pedals play a large role in Royal Thunder. But what happens when we ask the Atlanta band to unplug that... thunder?

When the reunited LCD Soundsystem played five nights at Brooklyn Steel in early April, the band brought along two new songs, delighting a legion of dedicated followers who have been clamoring for new material. Well, now James Murphy and company will release those songs at midnight — "and I mean, literally, midnight," he writes in a lengthy post on Facebook (embedded below). "Wherever you are.

What did we do to deserve new songs from both Paramore and HAIM? We are truly blessed this day.

Katie Crutchfield has been nothing but honest as Waxahatchee. Her careful words carry keen insight — and she writes sharp songs to match. Waxahatchee's fourth album, Out In The Storm, takes a hard look not just at broken relationship, but also at the spiraling aftermath.

The D.C. brewery Right Proper was like a cultural mullet during a recent visit: a posh baby shower in the front (complete with chocolate petit fours), a bunch of metal heads making beer in the back. Right Proper's head brewer, Nathan Zeender, was dumping a heaping spoonful of hop extract into a tank.

In some parts of the South, there's an accent where every conversation sounds like a song. Brent Cobb, a native of the small town of Ellaville, Ga., doesn't quite whistle through his teeth when he speaks, but he does push more air into his S's when he sings.

After much criticism around last year's round of '70s rockers and no women, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for the class of 2017 this morning, which include first-time nominees Tupac Shakur, Pearl Jam, Bad Brains, Joan Baez and Depeche Mode.

Don Buchla believed in the humanity of wires. The modular synth pioneer created an instrument like none other, one that relied on intuition, learning and, most importantly, human touch. He died September 14 after a long battle with cancer at the age of 79.

There's a point when a jam is just a jam, and when a jam becomes a journey... man. Ever since Chris Forsyth started The Solar Motel Band to fill out his long-form rock compositions, the Philly guitarist has proven his versatility not only as an instrumentalist, but also as a storyteller.

Robert Ellis somehow finds wide-eyed wonder in heartbreak. His downbeat themes come up against sonically ambitious and lushly arranged sounds on his self-titled, fourth album, which plays with country and Americana music tradition, not to mention the legacy of '70s singer-songwriters.

Julia Holter's music exists in tiny universes, colliding in torch songs and bits of cosmic cabaret that are as reverent as they are perverse. The most minute details and the plainest words suddenly form a grandiose spectacle.

On last year's Abyss, Chelsea Wolfe explicitly rendered the metallic tendencies that have always existed just below the surface of her music. Wolfe's soulful howl found its bite in gigantic riffs and devastating volume that suited some of her most significant songwriting yet. But at the Tiny Desk, Wolfe took her songs back to their primal form with just her voice, a muffled electric guitar and a loop pedal.

Beauty Pill's music is an invitation. In it, life whirs with plunderphonic glee and riffs are funky from the inside out, with rhythms that are equal parts hip-hop and go-go.

When listeners aren't writing to NPR to comment on a story, they mostly just want to know what music was played between segments. We call those buttons or breaks or deadrolls, and they give a breath after reporting a tragedy, lighten the mood after you most definitely cried during StoryCorps, or seize a moment to be ridiculously cheeky. How could you not play Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" following a story about why women shiver in the office?

Restorations' LP3 was a gorgeous, vulnerable and big-hearted rock and roll record with three electric guitars dialed to the lump in your throat. A year since its release, these introspective anthems about self-doubt and uncertainty still ring true and take on a whole new power live.

In 1998, Unwound was closing in on the height of its powers. Two years earlier, the Olympia band had released the career-defining Repetition, which dug into Unwound's weirder grooves with a muscle-constricting tension that, when released, made it feel as if the world was opening up. Challenge For A Civilized Society explored that mode with more studio experimentation, as the band added synths, saxophone and samples. The result was pulsing, ecstatic.

Let's talk about Frances Quinlan's voice for a moment. In "Horseshoe Crab," she whispers with a rasp that feels small, yet embodies the fears we try not to name; then, she throws her head back to ask, "Who is gonna talk trash long after I'm gone?" That gut-punching howl shatters like a plate on a concrete floor.

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