Author Archives: chris martins

Fearing & Loathing Music’s Biggest Awards Nights

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Whatever you think “going to the Grammys” means, we guarantee you it’s far less glamorous and far more bizarre than what you’re imagining. At least for most of the press, who sit in small room adjacent to the ceremony, watching the thing on TVs and praying that a famous person will make a wrong turn and wind up on our measly little stage with a microphone miraculously in hand.

And it’s not just “Music’s Biggest Night.” In the awards season bridging 2012 to 2013, we attended the MTV Video Music Awards, the American Music Awards, and, yes, the Grammys, and our surreal behind-the-scenes experience wound up the stuff of an unexpected trilogy. In 2014, we returned to the Grammys just to make sure its was still weird (spoiler alert: it was). Here’s everything.

Talking Tunes With Aaron Paul and Rose McGowan

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We went to Sundance for SPIN again this year and seriously stepped up our game. While, yes, that included bringing footwear that was actually waterproof (har har), it also means that instead of merely reviewing a snowplow’s worth of films, we also conducted a couple of interviews. There was the chat with Dawn director Rose McGowan in which she admitted to having a habit of hiring brass bands while stoned. And then there was the sit-down with Aaron Paul — we have more photographic proof — who talked about touring with Radiohead. Oh, and each shared a go-to karaoke jam or two. Join us for “Listening In.”

Holy Ship 2014: High With Skrillex on the High Seas

Skrillex at Holy Ship!! with Tiesto and Zedd

We went on a rave cruise and it was ridiculous. For your vicarious enjoyment (not ours, no, of course not) we left from Miami on January 9 and returned three days later, stopping along the way at two private Bahamian islands for beach parties featuring the likes of Diplo, Chromeo, Disclosure, and Duck Sauce. There were also a ton of skull-drilling EDM performances experienced within the hull of a mega-ship. And 4,000 fellow revelers. And a never-ending pizza buffet. And that time Skrillex smoked us out onstage while Pharrell performed two feet away.

Travel with us below:

Fancy New Landing Page

It’s just better this way. Meanwhile:

An Interview With Toro y Moi’s Chaz Bundick

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One of our favorite young music-making weirdos of the past five years is Chaz Bundick — a dude better known as Les Sins and best known as Toro y Moi. Befitting his chosen aliases, he’s a musical polyglot, weaving psych-rock and summery pop into rap beats and dance pulse. Unsurprisingly, Bundick is a sharp guy with a sweet disposition, as we learned first hand upon sitting down with him at a coffee shop across from the SPIN offices in Hollywood. Read here:

Done? Have some B-sides:

Where to Find Us

HERE. News, features, interviews, news, reviews, and news. [via SPIN]

Watch: Liza Oppenheimer Channels ‘Midnight Cowboy’ in Music Video for ‘Los Angeles’

We here at Aural Standards are particularly partial to songs about our city, and “Los Angeles” by friend-of-the-blog Liza Oppenheimer is a new fave. We’ve also got a certain affinity for all (er, most) things Dustin Hoffman, so upon learning that the Dee Robertson-directed video for this folksy jangler would pay a little tribute to Midnight Cowboy, well, we were elated. Check out the clip below, and then learn a little more from Liza after the jump.

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Full Time with SPIN, Senior Writer, Los Angeles

Alright, enough with the third person. I am very proud to share that after nearly three years of freelancing for the very publication that inspired me to scribble about music in the first place, I am going full-time with SPIN starting now with the title Senior Writer. (Unofficially, you might also refer to me as West Coast Dude.) So that means fewer updates here, but it also means virtually all of my work will be appearing in one place anyway, so who needs a blog? Read SPIN. Gonna be a lot of news stories, some shared songs and videos, and a great deal of old school reportage, so keep up over there as we kick off a new chapter of web dominance. Match me, Sidney! So begins my year(s) of living dangerously.

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‘It’s a Disaster’ Picked Up by Oscilloscope!

One in a two-part series of Big Thangz Poppin’ for Aural Standards. We are tickled pink to announce that Oscilloscope Laboratories, the film distro. co. co-founded by the late great Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, has acquired North American rights to It’s a Disaster. This is, of course, our most recent music supervision project with the brilliant Vacationeers team headed up by Todd Berger. Oscilloscope has also recently gotten behind the LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, and one of our favorites*, Bellflower. What does this mean? We’ll be in theaters and on demand early next year. This comes thanks to an extremely strong showing at the L.A. Film Fest. Whoo!

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Wallpaper. Makes the Internet Choke on Own Vomit via NSFW Lyric Video for “Puke My Brains Out”

Yes yes yes yes. A video that includes 3-D avatars having acrobatic sex. A song that includes the words “gotta get my brains outside of my face.” An interview that hinges upon terms like “vintage internet,” “sea punk” and “ayahuasca,” plus includes the following choice quote: “If you think you’ve seen the dark side of the internet, you haven’t seen shit until you’re on the porn message board circuit trying to figure out how to make 3-D figures fuck.” Loyal readers know Aural Standards has been backing Wallpaper since the VERY BEGINNING, so we’re pumped to have this up on the SPIN homepage right now. #tehinternetz

This is NOT the video in question, but also involves creative use of upchuck: