Stephen Malkmus: Xian Man

A single from Stephen Malkmus’ forthcoming solo record, Traditional Techniques, “Xian Man” is far more acoustic and western rock-influenced than his previous release—an electronic album titled Groove Denied. The guitars (which act as the song’s guiding force) flow together until separating at the onset of a 12-string solo. Reminiscent of work by the Velvet Underground, this release will please longtime fans of the genre and …

Loog Guitars’ Electric Instruments For All Ages

More than a toy but a range of instructional tools with an AR app, games and built-in amplifier

Instruments can be particularly difficult to master at an older age—especially without previous experience from earlier formative years. Loog Guitars, having recognized this, designs guitars for kids—age 3+ to 12+—that are entertaining, easy to learn and good-looking. Their newest line of  electric guitars with built-in amplifiers is available to back on Kickstarter now. “We started out making three-string guitars, so for us innovation was never about …

Mdou Moctar: Tarhatazed

Mdou Moctar, a Tuareg guitarist raised in northern Niger, debuted his first studio band album, Ilana (The Creator) last week. From it comes “Tarhatazed,” a blazing, seven-minute-long track laden with Hendrix-rivaling solos—especially from the four-minute mark on. Moctar boasts an odd origin story: he was raised in a family that forbade music and built his first guitar out of spare wood and brake wires.