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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The Best of Coachella 2012 Weekend One: M83, Jeff Mangum, Hologram Tupac, Refused, A$AP Rocky, At the Drive-In, Death Grips, Azealia Banks and more…

It was Aural Standards’ ninth Coachella (and tenth, counting Weekend Two), but it may have been our most memorable yet. While Sacramento’s Death Grips left a deep, seeping impression in our minds (boot-shaped) and Hologram Tupac enjoys a second life as a lasting meme, it was the reunions that did us in. Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and Refused’s The Shape of Punk to Come are two of our favorite albums of all time (At the Drive-In’s Relationship of Command flies high on that list as well), but never did we imagine we’d witness those songs performed live by the folks who actually made ’em (NMH auteur Jeff Mangum was billed as a solo act). Cheers to the folks at Goldenvoice for throwing scads of money at the problem until it resolved itself. Here are our five faves from each of the first three days. Below is a list of what we covered with excerpted bits. Click on the DAY to read full reviews at SPIN.

FRIDAY
1. Refused: thick, primal slabs of punk that seemed to rattle the scaffolding…
2. Death Grips: Run DMC meets Aerosmith, cranked on incredibly foul PCP…
3. M83: doors opening infinitely to bigger and bigger doors, a galactic gasp…
4. Frank Ocean: for the line about Coachella, the screams were deafening…
5. The Rapture: rogue groups of get-down circles spilling from the sides…

SATURDAY
1. Jeff Mangum: he opened his mouth and for 50 minutes, we were his…
2. Flying Lotus:  a wild genre-crushing journey, heady but head-knocking…
3. Black Lips:  Cole dropped trou and executed a searing solo with, well…
4. Azealia Banks: fast-rapping and boasting over minimal sub-bass rumble…
5. A$AP Rocky:  a perfect storm of N.W.A., Public Enemy and Bone Thugs…

SUNDAY
1. Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg: who rose from below the stage but Tupac himself…
2. At the Drive-In: a high-octane inferno of post-hardcore mania…
3. AraabMUZIK: conducting a symphony of melody, effects and percussion…
4. Le Butcherettes: she ran out into the field, arms out like an airplane…
5. Gotye: the massive human traffic jam stretched 50 yards in every direction…

Tomorrow, we get caught up with Weekend Two.

Cult Bit: trippy kids shows

If you’re not familiar with The A.V. Club‘s “Inventory” feature, it’s time to get acquainted. These esoteric/nostalgic/encyclopedic lists are great reading — pretty much as good as it gets to a pop culture geek, no matter what bug you’ve been bitten by: music, TV, film or literature. The “Inventory” posted today is a fantastic one: “25 Notable Trippy Kids Shows”. I contributed the entries on ’70s shows The Electric Company and Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp.

Lancelot Link and Mata Hairi: on the case.

Lancelot Link and Mata Hairi: on the case.

An “Inventory” close to my heart ran in March, “25 Great Albums Best Listened To Start To Finish.” I covered records by King Crimson, Neutral Milk Hotel, Deltron 3030, Wyclef Jean, The Flaming Lips, and Parenthetical Girls.