SPIN’s 300 Best Albums of the Last 30 Years

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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.

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The 100 Best Alternative Songs of 1994

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Posterity Post: I wrote thousands of articles while on staff at SPIN and blogged none of them.

Last year we went deep on 1994 (remember my interview with Coolio?), starting with the music of the time. Now, I was 12 years old that year, so you’ll have to grant me some lenience when it comes to my posts on songs by Counting Crows and Toad the Wet Sprocket. Actually, I’ll die before I apologize for loving August and Everything After. Adam Duritz may be a ham today, but he saw straight into my soul then. I also wrote about Rage Against the Machine, Supergrass, Nick Cave, Portishead, Bush, Beastie Boys, Weezer, and Beck. Continue reading

The Best Music of 2014 (Amazon Edition)

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It’s a special year-end list that makes room for Jessie Ware (above), Linkin Park, and Eric Church, and I’m happy to say I spilled positive ink on all three for Amazon’s Best of 2014 albums and songs roundup. Also held forth on such tuneful peeps as Sylvan Esso, Sam Smith, Bleachers, Little Dragon, Chromeo, the War on Drugs, Beck, Charli XCX, Alt-J, FKA Twigs, and ScHoolboy Q, to name a few. Visit Amazon to see what you missed, and why you should care.

Review: Beck Meets Thurston Moore on the Unplugged Psych Opus ‘Demolished Thoughts’

Thurston Moore, "Demolished Thoughts"

Beck produced Thurston Moore’s latest, and it seems strange that the two mop-topped, baby-faced ambassadors of alt-rock hadn’t met on record before. But Demolished Thoughts was worth the wait. An album of deeply psychedelic unplugged love songs, it’s the Sonic Youth singer’s most surprising solo outing yet …

Surprise! You’ll have to head over to The A.V. Club to read the rest.

Continue reading

Feature: Blazing Trails with Mickey Petralia

Mickey Petralia and crow. (Kevin Scanlon)

LA Weekly‘s annual People issue hits the stands today — snatch one up before they all disappear. I had the pleasure of speaking to Mickey Petralia, music producer/engineer extraordinaire and (more importantly to some) the founder of Griffith Park’s greatest secret, Trails Cafe. Read about it here, and check out the rest of the 2010 People stories here.

Photos by my incredibly talented next-door neighbor, Kevin Scanlon.

News Roundup: Beck + Tobacco, Jeans Wilder, One AM Radio, Le Switch + Les Blanks, more…

The origin of Jeans Wilder.

Quick bloggy bits from around the L.A. underground (and up). Share ’em.

  1. FEATURED: MP3 Exclusive: “Sea You” by Jeans Wilder*
  2. MP3: Beck and Tobacco’s “Fresh Hex,” TK on Anticon
  3. The One AM Radio Releases 3-D Video, Limited 7-Inch [MP3]
  4. Download: ‘Storefront Split’ by Le Switch and Les Blanks
  5. Watch: Beat Music Brings Out the Beasts w/ Take and Glitch Mob
  6. (all stories via West Coast Sound, via LA Weekly)

* “I recorded this song in my room, by myself, over the course of a two or three day cocaine and OxyContin binge at the beginning of the year.” – Jeans Wilder

Live in LA: Dios Throws Free Record Release Show

Dios fans have been doggedly devoted and consistently thwarted over the years. Despite the Southern California band’s immense talent and best efforts, it always just skirts broader fame, a fleeting thing that’s pushed further and further away by confusing name changes and label swaps. But Dios’ latest, WEAREDIOS, should give the band a chance at bigness, and if last night’s performance at the Troubadour was any indication, Dios is ready for the challenge. Read more here.

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Psychedelia abounds. (Timothy Norris)

News Roundup: Beck + Feist + Jamie Lidell, Flying Lotus, Snoop, Atlas Sound + No Age + Jim Jarmusch, Rage, and Madvillain

Quick bloggy bits* from around the L.A. underground (and up).

  1. Rage Against The Machine Wins UK Chart Upset, Issues Statement, Plans Free ‘Thank You’ Concert
  2. Watch: Indie Luminaries Covering Skip Spence and Neil Young
  3. Download: ‘A Decade Of Flying Lotus,’ Blended by Gaslamp Killer
  4. Snoop to Lead the 2010 Countdown at YOUR New Year’s Party
  5. (all stories via West Coast Sound, via LA Weekly)

*If you like it, then you better put a tweet on it.