Shut Up, Dude

This week we closed out Rocktober with reviews of Sky Ferreira, Young L, and Eminem. We ranked Smashing Pumpkins’ albums and celebrated the 20th anniversaries of No Alternative and Pussy Whipped. (Also, Isn’t Anything turns 25 today, but you gotta follow our Tumblr for bonus fun facts like that.) Kanye stayed busy doing radio interviews, canceling shows, and suing the co-founder of YouTube. And speaking of beefs, Foals dissed Spotify, insulted Tyler, The Creator, Bob Dylan snubbed My Morning Jacket, Marvin Gaye’s family accused Robin Thicke of theft, and some bro threw a cheeseburger at Best Coast. We interviewed Dum Dum Girls’ Dee Dee Penny, Parquet Courts’ Austin Brown, Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick, Midlake’s Eric Pulido, and the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne. R.I.P. Lou.


#10 captainbreakfast | Oct 27th Score:18

Name a band you like and it’s likely that they wouldn’t be around without Velvet Underground or Lou Reed.


Posted in: R.I.P. Lou Reed

Joseph Schafer | Oct 25th Score:18

Let England Shake over To Bring You My Love? Stories From The City? Fucking RID OF ME?





Posted in: NME’s Top 500 Albums Of All Time
#8 seanpen15 | Oct 30th Score:18

More polls!

Posted in: Please Don’t Throw Cheeseburgers At Best Coast
#7 spiritualize | Oct 31st Score:20

i hugged wayne coyne one time in milwaukee dressed as a giant chicken. win butler never hugged me in milwaukee when i was dressed as a giant chicken. just saying.

Posted in: Q&A: Wayne Coyne On The New Flaming Lips EPs, Passing Off The Space Bubble To Diplo, And His Rivalry With Arcade Fire
#6 Scott Lapatine | Oct 25th Score:20

2013 albums that made the cut:

497. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
478. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
449. Arctic Monkeys – AM
335. Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

Does this mean QOTSA is NME’s #1 album of the year?

Posted in: NME’s Top 500 Albums Of All Time

Heath D. Williams | Oct 25th Score:20

Still not understanding Stereogum’s intense annoyance with the album rollout, other than maybe the explanation that it’s harder to write about mysterious teaser videos and goofy band alter egos than it is to write about an mp3 plopped in your inbox by a record label.

Posted in: Premature Evaluation: Arcade Fire Reflektor

Bryan Mack | Oct 25th Score:21

I’ve gotta say that, while these lists are almost per se meaningless, I always appreciate the fact that groups put them out there. I was a teenager when Rolling Stone put out their first version of their 500 greatest albums of all time, and it made me excited to find all the random stuff on there that I’d not heard. As a result, I discovered the joy of Richard and Linda Thompson, dove head first into 50s rockabilly, gained my first appreciation for jazz and realized that Rolling Stone was very conservative in their musical choices. Of course this stuff isn’t consensus and represents a bunch of pale nerds cloistered in their flats listening obsessively to brit pop, but if it inspires some goofy kid to go listen to Frank Sinatra and Dexy’s Midnight Runners, good on them.

Posted in: NME’s Top 500 Albums Of All Time
#3 billy corgan when he had hair | Oct 28th Score:26

Never forget.

Posted in: No Alternative Turns 20
#2 awesome opossum | Oct 25th Score:26

This is a good album.

Opossum out.

Posted in: Premature Evaluation: Arcade Fire Reflektor
#1 mickrandom26 | Oct 25th Score:52

Yeezus isn’t number one. This list is invalid.

Posted in: NME’s Top 500 Albums Of All Time


#5 seanjean | Oct 29th Score:-13


Posted in: Album Of The Week: Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time

Will Cate | Oct 29th Score:-14

Yup. If this album is a hit, it will be because titties.

Posted in: Album Of The Week: Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time
#3 oh. | Oct 29th Score:-16

DISAGREE that music / art should be so relentlessly and consistently ranked and ordered.

Posted in: Smashing Pumpkins Albums From Worst To Best

Scott Gallagher | Oct 29th Score:-17

Oh please! Anyone who down voted this needs to grow up. She is using sex to sell her album. She’s cutting through all the BS and showering herself nude. (Metaphor for the music?)

Posted in: Album Of The Week: Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time
#1 miguelito1 | Oct 25th Score:-18

The Arctics’ debut is probably a bit better than any Radiohead, just barely ahead of Kid A.

Posted in: NME’s Top 500 Albums Of All Time


heckpaul | Oct 28th Score:15

Hi Michael –

Thanks for the thoughtful reappraisal of No Alternative, 20 years on. I forgot that the anniversary was right around now. We released a limited edition double vinyl on Record Store Day in April….(which apparently sold out in the first 10 minutes).

No Alternative was a fun album to make. It was my first for Red Hot (or anyone for that matter). It’s rewarding that people bought it when it came out – and that they still remember it today.

Many of the songs were not only specifically recorded for No Alternative – they were written specifically for the album. Of course some of the choices were a bit quixotic, like the Goo Goo Dolls, but, that was part of the roller coaster ride of making it. At the time the Nirvana track was only ever called and referred to as “Verse Chorus Verse”.

And – yeah – in regard to the exclusion of any mention of Red Hot’s AIDS Benefit work and mission – well, thanks to Ohyoko for bringing it up. We gave away over $1 million dollars from the proceeds of No Alternative, some of that went to worthy charities that were suggested by the artists themselves. That may seem like an amount from another (pre-internet) era, when records actually sold in larger quantities, but we managed to top that with the proceeds from Dark Was The Night. Red Hot’s model may be a bit of a 90s throwback, but it can still work!!

Thanks for taking the time to give it a look after 20 years!!


Posted in: No Alternative Turns 20
Comments (22)
  1. I’m about 90% done finishing writing up which albums will be in my year end list, but for the life of me, my top songs list is shaping up to be a pretty difficult task. The albums of 2013 was a monstrous assortment, but is it just me, or were the absolute standouts as far as singles and tracks that might as well be singles go just not as apparent this year?

    • I was actually thinking the opposite. The idea of ranking albums this year seems daunting, but I feel like I already have a good idea of how my favorite songs from certain albums stick compare to the others.

      That said, the fact that you’ve already got your list 90% done at the beginning of November hurts my brain.

    • What I have for top 10 songs as of now (pretty much based only on personal taste, however):
      1. Here Comes the Night Time – Arcade Fire
      2. Sail to the Sun – Wavves
      3. Normal Person – Arcade Fire
      4. Sea of Love – The National
      5. Reflektor – Arcade Fire
      6. Dream House – Deafheaven
      7. Lunge Forward – Wavves
      8. Diane Young – Vampire Weekend
      9. All I Know – Washed Out
      10. My God Is the Sun – QOTSA

      With a bunch more AF, Wavves, QOTSA, Joy Formidable, & Washed Out tracks knocking on the door…

      • I think that’s my qualm — I can pick enough songs to fill up however long my list is, but it’s going to be mostly songs that I think are great and based on personal taste, never were released as singles and what I’m really trying to find is if I’m missing the “Everything Is Embarrassing”s and “Midnight City”s of yesteryear that aren’t coming to mind right now. If not, I guess everyone will just be forced to find out what the songs I list exactly are, which is the whole point of lists to some extent anyway.

        • I never thought about it until you mentioned it but I think you’re spot on. Not a big year for the singles. I think “Get Lucky” fits the “Midnight City”s category. But outside of that I can’t really think of any real standouts – guilty pleasures, if you will.

        • Do we count remixes for best songs?

          Because James Blake’s remix of Drake’s “Come Thru” is really good, but not quite as good as the behemoth that is “Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for The DFA)” Those are the two current songs I’ve been listening to recently with wide-eyed amazement.

          My #1 song has been cemented since January. I don’t know if it’s just a guilty pleasure, but “Fuckin’ Problems” gets me every. single. time. I’ve been listening to it all year and it hasn’t gotten old. One of those rare songs that I want to know every lyric. Drake & Kendrick bring their A+ game and 2 Chainz is much better in small doses (read: hook duty). Plus that beat… those opening 10 seconds get me every time. That song in my head is the biggest track of the year.

          Rather than listing a bunch of candidates, I think Disclosure have many options for a top ranking song. One song that I’ve been in love with all year that has been passed over a lot is Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “No Need For A Leader” One of the greatest riffs of the year.

          As far as your “Midnight City” song of the year, pretty sure it’s “Get Lucky” or “Blurred Lines” this year. “Here Comes The Night Time” is definitely a fine choice for a top track of the year too. Aaaaannnnddd while I’m at it I’m obsessed with “Let Me Show You Love” off Cut Copy’s new album.

          p.s. Ya Hey

          • Good reminder on “Fuckin’ Problems,” which actually came out last December, but since it never made the cut for last year’s lists, I guess it qualifies. Same thing goes for Yo La Tengo’s “Ohm.”

          • I’ve been sleeping on that cut copy. LET’S GET IT ON.

      • I might have to regulate the list this year to songs that received an official accompanying music video, an early roll-out (looking at you, Eluvium’s “Don’t Get Any Closer”), or were a single. 2013 has been a monstrous year for music and I don’t think I could handle whittling down my personal favorites to just 10.

        All that said, there’s no way that Majical Cloudz’s “Bugs Don’t Buzz” doesn’t make either of those hypothetical lists; that song will haunt me to my end.

        My personal top 10 list also may just end up closely resembling the tracklist to Mikal Cronin’s MCII.

      • Song of the year: Badfinger – “Baby Blue”

    • #1 album of the year – Diarrhea Planet.

  2. If I see one more “Greatest Albums Of All Time” list without Apologies To The Queen Mary on it, I’m gonna cause a ruckus on a cruise ship.

  3. Sorry, I just need to express this in some form: the new CFCF record is excellent and I’ve been waiting for the solo synth chorus of “Strange From of Life” my whole, wrenched life – MAKING DEEEEEEZ NUTS BURN MY PANTALOONS WITH THE HEAT OF A THOUSAND CURRY BACKDOOR RELEASES YA HEAR

  4. That thread above about tracks of the year got me thinking, this is the best year for music in a while right? Best album lists are going to be stacked. Both top heavy, and deep as hell. For me releases from Kanye, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Disclosure, and Drake would all be legit #1′s any other year. “Modern Vampires” is a half notch below those imo, but a lot of people would have that as a legit #1 as well. Plus, I’m not discounting releases from Deafheaven and MBV which I didn’t really take the time to get into, but were both critical monsters. And then that second tier is absurd too. Rhye, Chance, Kurt Vile, Darkside, Courtney Barnett(thanks stereogum), Run the Jewels, and the list goes on.

    • I feel like a lot of people will be sleeping on Youth Lagoon’s Wondrous Bughouse, but that album is one hell of a trip. Be on my list at least.

      • I was thinking the same thing. Wondrous Bughouse is in my top 10 right now, but it came out in March (?) so I think it’ll get looked over by a lot of folks. Same thing goes for Local Natives.

        But right now Wakin’ is my numero uno by a big, big margin.

    • Hate to be a downer, but I don’t think it was a good year for music at all.. at least high profile shit.. I’m sure there’s been tons of underground stuff that I’ll find out about later and love. But there’s def 2 pretty sweet hip hop albums that should make tons of top 10′s: Old (which I haven’t even fully listened to yet but I’m pretty sure it bangs) and Doris. I’m likin HAIM’s album, gotta get on Run The Jewels. Maybe Nepenthe, Fade. Just scratchin the surface of Bill Calahan, but he’d be a good choice for the cool rootsy troubadour spot that FJM held down last year.

      To get back to my OG point, I just think the VW, and Daft Punk albums were really sweet but not amazing.. and unfort am not really an Arcade Fire or Drake fan enough to consider good albums from them equating to a good year for music.. tho have yet to listen to both. I think you’re right they’re the heavy hitters, but prob Yeezus will be everyone’s number 1 just like MBDTF was, no?

      What if everybody had Centipede Hz as the album of the year, like it finally hit them?

  5. My first appearance. Grand.

    Opossum out.

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