Stepping away from the distractions of genres, Felony Flats is one of the most exciting releases of 2012 and the beguiling Anya Marina continues to establish herself as one of the decade’s most interesting musicians. Her latest batch of sonic narcotics bring together a number of styles, anchored by her sultry whispers, serrated wit and impossibly addictive melodies.

Marina’s savvy pop has decorated the scenes of numerous films and television shows, with her biggest placement on the New Moon soundtrack, catapulting her into the heart of the Twilight franchise maelstrom. Although that album boasted the likes of Thom Yorke, Bon Iver and Deathcab for Cutie, it was  Marina’s sparse, haunting “Satellite Heart” that hijacked the attention of the film’s obsessive fan base.

Before he became one of the music industry’s most-coveted producers, Butch Walker was a musician. As a glam rocker, a solo artist, the frontman for Marvelous 3 or playing with his band The Black Widows, Walker has accumulated a deep catalog of material that continues to inspire worldwide adoration. In the past two years, he has sold out a solo headlining tour of the United States and opened for Pink in a sold out tour of the stadiums of Europe. Taylor Swift heard Butch’s cover of her song “You Belong With Me” and was so excited by his re-tooling that she invited him to perform the song with her at the Grammy Awards ceremony (to see Walker’s creative process at work, check out this video and watch it blow up just before the three minute mark).

Humping Gear

By Tyler McMahon

Music

The secret to rock and roll resides in the nose hairs. Years ago, a veteran bassist taught us to pluck them in order to stay awake during all-night drives. I remind Josh of this, as the sign for the last Truckee exit glows green and white in the van’s headlights then disappears into the darkness.

Eli snores from the back seat, wedged between amps, instrument cases, and the world’s heaviest Hammond organ.

“Maybe we should stop,” I say.

“Too late,” Josh says. “We passed all our crash pads.”