Crossover duo re-imagines rarities by the Everly Brothers

The last thing Will Oldham wants to do right after recording an album is talk about the album. According to Oldham, who goes by the moniker Bonnie "Prince" Billie when he sings, you really don't have much perspective on the record. You're tired and the things that are interesting to him are the things he was doing when he was recording those songs.

It's been a frantic year for Portugal. The Man

The past year in the life of Portugal. The Man, according to its lead singer, has been a mess. The dour history of the recent past for the indie band -- cofounded by Alaskans Zach Carothers and lead singer John Gourley -- has been chaotic and creative, but above all busy.

Justin Ringle finds success with Horse Feathers despite the high turnover

Over the phone, Justin Ringle seemed to have trouble remembering something as he counted. It wasn't the number of years he's led the indie folk band Horse Feathers, which is now near eight. It wasn't the number of albums he's released -- four, including "Words Are Dead," which landed on National Public Radio's top-10 albums of 2006. Nor was it the number of shows he's playing in Alaska -- three, one each in Anchorage, Seward and Fairbanks.

Brandi Carlile returns to Alaska with a new album

When you interview someone as well known as Brandi Carlile, you sometimes get a pleasant guy named Sean or Chris who calls to let you know that the phone interview has been canceled. Someone named Shannon reschedules. When everything is sorted out, Sean or Chris will call to connect you to Carlile, letting you know that in 15 minutes he will chime in on the line to give you a five-minute warning. Carlile, 30, is touring behind her fourth studio album, "Bear Creek," which came out last month, peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 and No. 3 and No. 1 in rock and folk respectively.

Guitarists Erin McKeown, Natalia Zukerman play Alaska this weekend

Erin McKeown and Natalia Zukerman have cut back on touring, so it is unusual for a state as sparse as Alaska to be getting three opportunities to see the two. From Homer to Palmer, with a Saturday night in Anchorage at Tap Root, listeners will get to hear musicians with two distinct approaches.

Literate songwriter Josh Ritter finds time for fans

On stage, Josh Ritter is floating. Anyone attending his show three years ago can tell you: He looks like the happiest man in the room, with a giant, aw-shucks grin and charisma bursting from every pore. He said on the phone from his home in Brooklyn that the jubilation he feels on stage gives him the opportunity to be the person he wants to be the rest of his life. He said that up there, everything falls away and he is concentrating to such a degree that he ends up in a beautiful, slow place.

Deadheads galore

On the south wall of the Moose's Tooth hangs an unassuming and relatively small show poster in a frame, looking slightly out of place next to the larger and more psychedelic posters from past First Taps and other Bear Tooth shows. The poster advertises the momentous three-day appearance of the Grateful Dead at the West High School auditorium in 1980.

Slaying the crowd

The last time Murder by Death played in Anchorage, in April 2005, it made an impression. "People still talk about those shows six years later," said J.R. Zufelt, operations manager for Alaska Integrated Media, who was the program director for University of Alaska Anchorage radio station KRUA at the time. "The ones that didn't make it are still kicking themselves for not," he said.

Going electronic

It started with a drum machine. Two grocery store employees at Smith's Food and Drug in Las Vegas found each other somewhere between the perimeter of milk and bulk items that Ken Jordan kept stocked and racks of VHS tapes in the video department that Scott Kirkland managed. "Remember when you could rent VHS tapes at the grocery store?" asked Jordan over the phone. Well, he does. It was the late '80s. He remembers the day Scott waltzed through the door with that drum machine too. Up until then the two had been working independently on electronic music. That day they became fast friends.

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