Informer: A Brief History of White Reggae



This one’s, ahem, a Labour of Love if you will (shout out UB40). It went live a few days after my D’Angelo review, and I was too embarrassed to post these two side by side. Four months later, I’m into it. Like so many lefty caucasians raised in 420-friendly families, I ingested a lot of reggae as a yout’ and, for a brief high school moment, thought I’d found saviors in 311 and Sublime. I still bump a lot of Jamaican roots, but the time has come to give dap to the odd phenomena of blond dreadlocks and fake patois (shout out Das Racist), plus the restless audio hybridizing of the ’90s. This list goes back to the very birth of white reggae in 1965, and ends in 2014 with that most irie and unexpected of recent hits, “Rude.” Peep it on SPIN.* Continue reading

Review: Nude Beach’s ‘II’ – Angry Young Men Navel-Gaze from the American Heartland

The headline kinda says it all, but if you’d like to read an 803-word version of it, may we suggest the full-length SPIN review of the new album II by the new band Nude Beach? You can read that yon, and an excerpt right here:

Brooklyn doesn’t always breed bands like Nude Beach — bands without DJ nights or vintage synth gear or famous friends or food blogs. But though this power trio(!) calls the big borough home, BK didn’t breed them. No, Chuck, Ryan, and Jimmy are Long Island boys, children of a village called Northport, the kind of place that only winds up on the news when enough of its manhole covers are jacked for scrap to make it a national concern. And the kind of place that held onto its Reagan-era heartland rock well into the Clinton age. Which is to say, through the formative years of Misters Betz, Naideau, and Shelto, respectively. The three played Rancid-inspired punk together as teens, but after recording a fun but messy self-titled tape in 2008, they’ve returned with II, an album that excises the oi! in favor of those other influences, of songs with easy-rolling guitar solos and keywords like “baby,” “radio,” and “dreams.”