KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Lars Gotrich

Nighttime is restless. Even in our sleep, we are moving in our dreams, or involuntarily flopping around the bed disturbing a loved one, be it a significant other, a dog. Lullabies are written to calm these restless minds, but maybe they should also recognize the motion of the day.

With a reassuring voice that howled over an acoustic guitar, Jesy Fortino made records as Tiny Vipers about emptiness and absence that were severely intimate. She channeled both Neil Young and Stevie Nicks in "Landslide" — two songwriters who knew a thing or two about being bummed out, but would try to find something hopeful in the mess.

In early 2016, The Megaphonic Thrift won a Spelleman Award (Norway's Grammy equivalent) for the previous year's Sun Stare Sound. It's a noise-pop record that puts the emphasis on pop, bursting with earworm-y melodies sunk into lysergic effects, guitar and bass interlaced like latticework with dreamy, dueling vocals. The record will now be available stateside for those of us that had to hunt it down for the first time, but here's a track for those that maybe missed it, a tribute to the band's hometown, "Bergen Revels."

It's spring, a time for renewal and flowers and sunshine and... sadness, if Football, etc. has anything to do with it. For nearly ten years, singer and guitarist Lindsay Minton has flown the flag for '90s-era emo, with all of that movement's signature heart-on-the-sleeve confessionals and a voice that knows how to carry a weight. As I wrote a couple years ago, Football, etc.

We stayed up late, damaged our ear sockets and gave into the ecstasy of live music at SXSW: Diet Cig, Lizzo, Moor Mother, Sleigh Bells, S U R V I V E, Anna Meredith, Weezer, The Revolution's Prince tribute — even Garth Brooks. Here are 50 photos from the festival shot by Adam Kissick, with a few by our own Bob Boilen.

Katy Perry's "Chained To The Rhythm" is one the year's low-key-subversive pop songs with a title that suggests Top 40 pop, but is actually about how They Are Controlling You. WAKE UP SHEEPLE.

"Turn it up, keep it on repeat / Stumbling around like a wasted zombie / We think we're free / Drink, this one's on me."

On Tuesday, Feist's new album, Pleasure, was announced with a release date of April 28 — amusingly, to the surprise of Leslie Feist herself. Now we have the title track, her first new original song in six years.

Sometimes the hard-working, completely badass punks win. Downtown Boys signed to Sub Pop recently, an open invitation for a wider world to hear the Rhode Island natives' wild, bilingual, no-filler, can-still-throw-down punk rock.

Feist has been known to take her time between albums, but it has been a long stretch since 2011's Metals.

This is some nasty, nasty jazz. Featuring saxophonist Matt Nelson (Battle Trance), bassist Tim Dahl (Child Abuse), and drummer Nick Podgurski (New Firmament, Feast Of The Epiphany), GRID's debut album bubbles up from the East River like a toxic monster amalgamated from New York's improvised and extreme music scenes.

While we patiently await the follow-up to 2014's brash and bubbly pop smash Sucker — "Boom Clap" is still bedazzled on our hearts — Charli XCX has released a mixtape ahead of her as-yet-untitled third album. Over 10 tracks, Number 1 Angel plays out like a pop diary of the London songwriter's past few years, indulging in the margins of slinky R&B, hip-hop and bizzaro electro-pop. But it's also just a really stellar group of songs, tossed out like she hasn't written more pop hits.

With Slowdive's live reunion, stellar new song and promise of more material, you could forgive guitarist Christian Savill if he set aside any other projects for the time being. But no, Slowdive's return actually seems to have spurred more activity — he and Sean Hewson's long-running project Monster Movie will release Keep The Voices Distant, its fifth album and its first with an expanded band, next month.

PWR BTTM is goofy as hell, like we could ever forget. The fab rock 'n' roll duo's "Answer My Text" is the latest single from their upcoming Pageant, a nervous flirtation wrought in emojis and a "funny joke from that TV show you said that you like."

Fire-Toolz's hyper-digitalia sounds like a row of belching slot machines expectorating into a pachinko machine in Hades. The glowstick noise that Angel Marcloid makes as Fire-Toolz is an oblong step past The Soft Pink Truth's electronic black-metal covers project in 2014, but far more unhinged — and that's saying something — and far more fluid in how it simultaneously dismantles and celebrates its own click-and-drag melange.

Pharmakon's industrial noise is a pus boil cauterized into a scar. For over 10 years Margaret Chardiet has left a permanently disfigured mark on the New York City experimental music scene and beyond, hammering her deeply tumulted noise into grueling punk structures. Contact is Pharmakon's third LP made available to a larger audience — at least, those not already combusted by her previous work — following two earlier full-lengths and intermittent releases on limited cassettes and CD-Rs.

Japan's current psychedelic scene honors its roots – from the motorcycle guitar-rock of Les Rallizes Dénudés and High Rise to the still-running and unpinnable Acid Mothers Temple – but also puts a premium on meditative transcendence.

Nick Bairatchnyi and Jackson Mansfield have been making music together since they were teenagers, which wasn't too long ago. After graduating high school and a move to Philadelphia from Washington, D.C., they locked into The Obsessives' sound, informed by the yelping and dexterous emo of Braid with a touch of Pixies.

Ahead of a long string of dates with Kilo Kish — dubbed The Life Aquatic Tour — the Long Beach rapper Vince Staples has released a new track. "BagBak" is punchy piece of Detroit club music with gritty beats that sound like DJ Assault mining Kraftwerk for dirt.

On the internet, we can be anonymous, hitting up a dating site as "smooth0perator1" in hopes of a hook-up, or subtweeting frenemies under the comfort of an inscrutable avatar.

Grails could never be accused of staying in its lane. The instrumental rock band plays with its far-reaching influences like a world-building card game, adding and taking away sounds with thoughtful strategy.

There's an electric thrill to Caddywhompus not heard in too many guitar and drum duos. Where others examine the extremes of the spare or the loud, Chris Rehm (guitar, vocals) and Sean Hart (drums) mine math-rock, frenetic punk and the bombastic end of pop to generate a signature, euphoric sonic boom.

Well, you can't deny the title. Blondie has announced its 11th album, Pollinator, with lead single "Fun," a disco-heavy new wave track that recalls the Blondie of yesteryear, which was written by TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek.

On more than one occasion, I've passed along James Toth's songwriting tips and tricks to help musician friends out of a rut. These are just a few of his actionable suggestions for a creative in crisis: "Put a capo on a random fret," "Write a song that sounds like what you imagine the unheard band/record sounds like, based solely on the description in the review," "Borrow an instrument from someone who plays the same one that you do."

There they were, Greenpeace activists hanging from cranes in the sky. The banner, reading "RESIST," unfurled within sight of the White House after President Trump froze EPA grants and ordered the environmental agency to remove climate-change research from its website. It was a potent image Wednesday, perhaps setting a tone for years to come.

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