J R Van Cleave

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There are no bands which produce a sound with such a positive effect in my brain as Gish-PI era Smashing Pumpkins. Even the best songs on Mellon Collie, which are really good songs, don’t do the same thing for me. Something about the guitar tones and the way it’s all mixed and sounds like an eighth second behind sometimes just hypnotize me.

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October 6, 2014 on Pisces Iscariot Turns 20

Confession/memory lane time: This album was both the very first cd I owned (at age 9) and the album to which I lost my virginity (not at age 9). I really think it is unimpeachable in terms of quality and songwriting. The song “I can’t be with you” is my favorite, and now I can see it is an amazing Smiths tribute. I couldn’t stand anything they put out after this album (except for Just my Imagination), but I just can’t get enough of this one, even today.

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October 6, 2014 on No Need To Argue Turns 20

I just watched that Myrkur video on Noisey. She sounds completely awesome but I can’t enjoy it now because I feel like I’m being tricked. Who is she, really??? Is she really Scandinavian? Because I only know four female Scandinavians: Bjork, jj, Robyn, and the Knife. I really don’t think she is any of them…

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August 5, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – July 2014

Future Islands!!!!

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June 30, 2014 on Win Tickets To Iceland Airwaves 2014

Katy Perry – “Birthday”

Seriously the best song I’ve heard this year.

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June 17, 2014 on Let’s Shortlist The Song Of The Summer 2014

Agree one hundred percent about I’m Goin’ Down. Probably Bruce’s best pure pop song. Though Dancing in the Dark gives it a run for its money.

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June 4, 2014 on There’s Something Happening Somewhere: 30 Years Of Born In The U.S.A.

This is better than anything on her last album.

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May 14, 2014 on Sharon Van Etten – “Your Love Is Killing Me”

If this isn’t my favorite song, it’s definitely in the top 20 or so. It’s so so good and even like this sounds pretty much perfect.

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May 12, 2014 on Sunny Day Real Estate – “In Circles” (4-Track Demo)

Anyone else want to live inside “Winter Love”?

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May 5, 2014 on Sung Tongs Turns 10

Here’s a dorky story. When I was 12, I sold all my Korn cds at CD Warehouse to buy “BLUR” and “Parklife.” I had previously gotten into Bowie through Nine Inch Nails’ recommendation, and this was yet another step into indie music nerd life for me.

Maybe I’m lame, but my favorite track was Clover over Dover

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April 28, 2014 on Parklife Turns 20

Easily one of my ten favorite bands. They have legitimately forty great songs off a discography that’s not even that big, and excluding covers. These are my favorites, but I recognize that there are so many more good ones.

10. We’re Going to Be Friends
9. Do
8. Apple Blossom
7. Instinct Blues
6. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
5. The Air Between my Fingers
4. Fell in Love with a Girl
3. Little Cream Soda
2. Red Rain
1. I Can’t Wait

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February 26, 2014 on The 10 Best White Stripes Songs

I’m Only Sleeping

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February 20, 2014 on Win The Beatles The U.S. Albums Box Set

Dookie was my second. First was Cranberries, “No Need to Argue;” third was Offspring, “Smash.”

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February 5, 2014 on Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments

I’m not sure if it’s fair to say Rihanna never takes risks. My wife and I both think that the last Rihanna album is her best; every track is at least interesting. Beyonce is definitely the more creative, interesting artist; Rihanna still puts out an album every year that is at least worth exploring a few times.

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December 16, 2013 on Premature Evaluation: Beyoncé BEYONCÉ

As much as I love Watch the Throne, I think that “4” still wins. Party alone beats most of the stuff put out that year.

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December 16, 2013 on Premature Evaluation: Beyoncé BEYONCÉ

My favorite is Kill You, so I’m glad to see it on the list. But seriously, it’s better than the rest on there. Listen again and again until you agree.

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December 8, 2013 on The 10 Best Eminem Songs

IF ONLY someone had all the answers…

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December 7, 2013 on 2014 Grammy Nominations: Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift … And Sara Bareilles?

Did no one but me really really like the Strokes’ album this year? I’ve listened to it a ton.

Also, Sigur Ros’ Kveikur was probably their 2nd or third best album. It was awesome.

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December 5, 2013 on The 50 Best Albums Of 2013

I also couldn’t imagine saying “Put my fist in her like a civil rights sign,” but I’m not an artistic genius.

Why was no one pissed when he said “Eatin’ Asian pussy all I need is sweet n’ sour sauce?”

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December 5, 2013 on Anti-Defamation League Accuses Kanye Of Anti-Semitism

I guess this means I don’t have to make apologies for liking Burzum anymore.

Kanye IS a trendsetter.

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December 5, 2013 on Anti-Defamation League Accuses Kanye Of Anti-Semitism