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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Review: Jamie of the XX Reinvents Gil Scott-Heron for the Hipster Set

Jamie XX and Gil Scott-Heron, "We're New Here"

For more than two decades, younger artists have been reinterpreting the work of legendary spoken-word poet and rap forefather Gil Scott-Heron. He’s been sampled, quoted, name-dropped, and featured by Common, Blackalicious, Aesop Rock, and Public Enemy. One of his famous poems from the ’60s took up a startling amount of real estate on Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy last year, even as Scott-Heron returned with a stunner of a new album, his first since 1994, I’m New Here. The man’s relevance is established (gilded), so is a remixed version of his latest necessary, or is We’re New Here—a reinterpretation by The XX producer Jamie Smith—simply hype-mongering?

Read the rest of the review over at the A.V. Club.

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BONNAROO 2010: Reporting from Day One

L.A.'s Local Natives spreads infectiousness (Ian Witlen)

Dear Bonnaroo, you’ve stolen my heart.

Wait, no, I think I just dropped it in front of the What Stage and the mud swallowed it up along with the thousands of orphaned sandals and pot stashes. (What will the anthropologists think?) But seriously, that was four days of excellent festivalling, and I feel honored to have been a part of the incredibly hard-working Spin team for the duration thereof. Click here to access the magazine’s Bonnaroo 2010 homepage, where you’ll find video, photos and text from the trenches. Specific links to follow.

Here’s the Best and Worst of Day One. Yours truly wrote on the xx, Local Natives and the Dodos. Check out days two, three and four.