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.

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COACHELLA 2010: Reporting from Day Two

Mike Patton, about to blow your house down, shot by Erik Voake

My personal OMG moment came on Day Two of the Coachella festival, when Spin sent me into the pit to cover Faith No More’s reunion set. A longtime member of the cult of Patton, I was flabbergasted when I began what I expected to be a slow approach to the front of the stage, and discovered the path clear. “I can’t fucking believe it,” was a common exclamation from my fellow devotees on the floor, but the crowd filled in eventually as echoes of the Freak King’s cries spread across the grounds. Faith No More slayed. Read all about it.

As on Day One, I contributed a bit to Spin‘s “Best and Worst Moments” feature as well. Click over to read some quick quips and bits on Dirty Projectors, Beach House, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Ezra Koenig.

Feature: Dirty Projectors and LA Phil Collaborate

With Bitte Orca, Dirty Projectors made the greatest album of 2009 — and, imho, one of the greatest albums of the last 10 years — a fact which I’ve really, truly gone out of my way to spread. And yet, how was I thanked for my efforts when I landed an LA Weekly feature on the band last year? With an interview by text message. Chalk it up to the distinct, unerring vision of head Projector Dave Longstreth — despite my initial frustrations with the format, the story came out all the better for it. That said, I jumped at the chance to actually speak to the man in advance of his band’s just-passed orchestral extravaganza at Disney Hall. Read about the making of that unique event here.

Things are looking up for Longstreth

L.A. Experiential: Dirty Projectors w/ Little Wings, The Happy Hollows, The Pixies w/ No Age

If you live in/around the L.A. area, seriously consider attending these:

* read “Balls Deep In The R&B,” a feature about Dirty Projectors, here.
** listen to Little Wings’ “Boom!” on the Now Hear This sidebar

  • Region: Silver Lake
    Music: The Happy Hollows, Pepper Rabbit, and Dirt Dress
    Vitals: Spaceland on Monday, November 2 (beginning of residency)
    (details at LA Weekly)
  • Region: Hollywood
    Music: Pixies and No Age
    Vitals: Hollywood Palladium on Thursday, November 5
    (details at LA Weekly)

Feature: Dirty Projectors interviewed by SMS

The Dirty Projectors may be responsible for the year’s best album, a manic and schizo piece of art-pop released last month titled Bitte Orca. It’s the kind of record that begs a lot of questions — thoughful questions that couldn’t, say, be crunched into the 140-character limitations  of a Twitter post, or squeezed to the parameters of a series of SMSes. And yet, the latter is exactly what went down when, after ducking my best attempts to conduct a proper interview, DP’s David Longstreth at last offered his undivided attention — via text message. Click here to read the story (via LA Weekly), which unfolds this modern narrative in the context of the new album’s importance.

Vamos a Guatemala!

Howdy there web friend. Things will be a little quieter around Funny Ha Ha for a little bit, as this blog’s sole author/editor is heading to Guatemala tomorrow morn. I’ve got a ton of fresh work dropping while I’m gone, starting with this somewhat unusual Dirty Projectors piece, Balls Deep In The R&B (via LA Weekly). I’ll attempt brief updates from time to time but all bets are off until my return. Fresh jungle air is calling…

Cult Bit: Best Music Of 2009 (so far)

Us A.V. Clubbers have spoken regarding the wonderful glut of great music 2009 hath wrought thusfar. You’ll find me at the top of the pile (read it here), waxing hyperbolic about: Animal Collective, DM Stith, Grizzly Bear, WHY? and Dirty Projectors. Read on from there to find some unexpected entries from Leonard Pierce (a vote for a recent Rhymesayers record) and Genevieve Koski, who brings a much-needed femme-focused perspective to the discussion.