PODCAST: GEEKIN’ ON WYCLEF FOR THE CARNIVAL’S 20TH

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LISTEN AT BILLBOARD (in iTunes too)

I dug mantle-deep into Wyclef Jean’s The Carnival on Billboard’s Pop Shop podcast. This was easy because The Carnival is kinda sorta definitely very much one of my favorite albums of all time. The occasion for the chat was, of course, the LP’s 20th birthday (I’m sure you had it marked on your calendar), and the episode was part of Andrew Unterberger’s “Coming Around Again” series. He tags me in around 25:10. Sound quality leaves a lil’ bit to be desired ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

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The 15 Best Things I Saw at Coachella 2016

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READ IT AT ROLLING STONE

This was my 14th consecutive Coachella, and 17th if you count the short-lived cruise and the two years I went both weekends, but first with Rolling Stone. I teamed up with shutterbug Andy Keilen (that’s his shot of Kamasi Washington above) and writer Steve Appleford to tackle the best fest in the west. Half of the entries on this list are mine. Can you guess which ones without looking at the tags below? Make sure to keep scrolling downward on the article itself.

Kendrick Lamar’s Album of the Year (and 4 more)

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READ IT AT SPIN

It was an honor and a responsibility to write about Kendrick Lamar’s incredible To Pimp a Butterfly. It’s a monumental work that’s owed much more than I could give, but helping to crown it SPIN’s Album of the Year is a good start. I spilled ink on four others that made the year’s 50 Best LPs: Deerhunter’s Fading Frontier at No. 7, Protomartyr’s The Agent Intellect at No. 20, Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late at No. 23, and Blur’s Magic Whip at No. 37. Peep the whole list, which not only includes a ton of great music, but words by people I dig a whole lot.

SPIN’s 300 Best Albums of the Last 30 Years

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READ IT AT SPIN

I went big for this, taking on 30 of the 300 albums. Click through this hulking document for my posts on (in alphabetical order, no spoilers): Arcade Fire, At the Drive-In, Beastie Boys, Beck, Belle & Sebastian, Björk, Bright Eyes, Broken Social Scene, Clipse, Cloud Nothings, Dirty Projectors, the Flaming Lips, the Fugees, Frank Ocean, GZA, Interpol, Jimmy Eat World, Justin Timberlake, the Microphones, My Bloody Valentine, Neutral Milk Hotel, Pixies, Portishead, the Postal Service, Radiohead, TV on the Radio, the Unicorns, Vampire Weekend, the xx, and Wilco. So many of my all-time favorites in here, and so many I’d never had the chance to write about.

Informer: A Brief History of White Reggae

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READ IT ON SPIN

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