There's good reason why some bands are talked about more than others, and it's rarely due to the quality of their music. With radio and video play becoming increasingly irrelevant, new factors are now crucial to creating that career-launching chatter.
Here's why avant-electro-rockers Battles are so damn hot at the moment:
Links to notable artists from decades past: John Stanier played drums in Helmet, guitarist Dave Konopka was in Lynx, and Ian Williams is a former member of math rockers Don Caballero.
Bitchin' bloodlines: Egghead jazz man and former chess hustler Anthony Braxton is the father of Battles guitarist/keyboardist Tyondai Braxton.
Fortuitious acquaintances: Prefuse 73, Parts & Labor
Home base that's cooler than where you live: Brooklyn
Indie label cred: Warp
Inspired by artists you know are awesome but haven't actually heard: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Glenn Branca
MySpace friends: 32,241 including Kieran Hebden, Black Dice, TV on the Radio
Desirable merch: Customized Neighborhoodies T-shirts
Glossy tastemakers on board: XLR8R, Stylus, Filter, Urb, Alternative Press, Spin, Uncut
Pitchfork praise: New disc Mirrored (Warp) scored a 9.1 rating.
Lazy reviewer comparisons: Animal Collective, Tortoise, Devo, Kraftwerk, Flaming Lips
Club relevance: Their track Atlas was remixed by DJ Koze.
Overseas hype: "Puzzle-pop mentalists who masterfully drag music into the future" (NME); "Fantastically rewarding" (The Guardian).
Breathless blogger love: "Powered by its fluid and seeming invincibility, Mirrored is almost frighteningly cosmic." (No Ripcord)
Battles (www.myspace.com/battlestheband) play Lee's Palace (529 Bloor West), Monday (July 16). $13. 416-870-8000.