Bobby Barlett

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Tom, Glad to read the Nellee Hooper Love. Dude owned serious real estate in my 90’s mixtapes.

Great piece!

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July 8, 2013 on Debut Turns 20

I am as excited about these two as I am about any act in dance/electronic music at the moment. They seem deeply rooted in garage, dubstep (the non bro-step kind–not that there’s anything wrong with that) and 90s house. It’s a great foundation to start from and I think they’re just going to get better and better as they mature. The remix of Jessie Ware’s Running was one of my favorite tracks of 2012 and I still play the shit out of it.

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April 25, 2013 on Disclosure – “You & Me” Video

“Drake is sad even when he parties. Mouse parties even when he’s sad. There’s a world of difference there.”

Good Shit man lol

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November 28, 2012 on Mixtape Of The Week: Mouse Millionaire Dreamzzz

Nice review. Solange is sorta like the head cheerleader’s much younger little sister who decided it’s pointless to try and follow in her sister’s footsteps and instead decides to hang with the goth kids and figure it out on her own. You can look at it two ways: (1) cynical. She knows that it’s pointless to even try (and to some extent, she somewhat did with her first album), and thus, recognizes she has a different angle to exploit, or (2) original. Despite her first album, she could have used familiar influences to push a solo career (Solange is infinitely more talented than Ashley Simpson, and yet……), but she decided that that would be boring and uninspiring and decided that besides being more commercially viable, a different path from big sis would also be more interesting for her personally.

I like Solange and I like to think she’s all the later. I remember that girl that hung with the goth kids. By senior year she figured out her place in the world existed somewhere between prom queen and goth outcast, and you could forgive any false pretenses or contrivances along the way because despite it all, she was just more interesting to watch than her more accomplished and admired sister.

And then in college, shit just got real……….

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November 27, 2012 on Album Of The Week: Solange True

I’ve just done a quick scan, and I am eminently pleased to see the lack of any “I used to like Radiohead…….when they were a rock band” blah blah blah….i.e. The Bends > everything else. THOSE PEOPLE deserve a swift, hard kick in the balls.

All that said, putting Pablo Honey anywhere but last is not much better. I think Thom would respond more warmly to “Play Freebird!!!!” than to a request to play ANY song from that album.

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October 25, 2012 on Radiohead Albums From Worst To Best

Came a little late to this one (3 days..gasp!). But when I found out they had a new album on the Guardian, I “dove” right in and was pretty blown away (as blown away as one can be on work computer speakers mind you). A few hours later I thought, “wonder what the Stereogum crew had to say about the album; I then said to myself “Tom HAS to be the one reviewing this album,” AND I wasn’t disappointed.

I’m 35, have a kid and a very square job, so it’s a little bittersweet when albums like this come out, because the absence of 3-4 hours to just sit and absorb an album like this one (that requires you do so) is a sad reminder of my youth slipping away (because once upon a time, time was ALL I had). But enough old man laments, tonight 11:00 to 2:00 am is mine!

You guys ALL rock.

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October 19, 2012 on Album Of The Week: Godspeed You! Black Emperor Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

Thanks for sharing this Tom. It’s fascinating and a little worrisome. While we all would like to think these musicians who make music that touches our lives all do so 100% for love for the art, I fear that we’re nearing a critical breaking point where the inability to make a living is going to seriously deter a lot of great talent from pursuing their dreams.

I think anyone whose goal in life is to become an artist sort of accepts the social contract that says “I will be pretty damn poor until I make it.” But shit, what if even when you “make it” you are unable to obtain the same quality of living as your buddy from undergrad who teaches English at a local high school (for starters, ALL teachers have HEALTH CARE). Chris Bear isn’t lamenting that fact he doesn’t make as much as bankers from Goldman Sachs, he’s talking about members of a band who have a song in a goddamn VW commerical and sold out Radio City not having health insurance. And once you throw children and a spouse into the mix, that becomes even MORE problematic (it’s one thing to eat Raman Noodles yourself, it’s another when you have to feed them to your son).

Perhaps some of this is hyperbole and sensationalism. Nevertheless, I worry. Despite the stereotypes, creative musicians tend to be very bright people, and if they can’t even make a solid living when they are objectively successful, at some point in the future, there will be a significant talent drain.

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October 1, 2012 on Grizzly Bear Are Not Rich

Kinda sad that Cheerleader didn’t make it, but that’s probably just personal taste.

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September 13, 2012 on The 10 Best Grizzly Bear Songs

Love the Lisa Stansfield comparison. This album definitely has a connection with those 80’s blue-eyed soul albums that were unique to the UK. I would throw in Style Council and the Mod-father himself, as well as a few Swing Out Sister joints; and of course, Soul II Soul is the Seminal UK R&B offering of that era.

I am sure there’s a very interesting piece waiting to be written comparing the outgrowth of the US’S R&B/Soul scene in the late 80’s and early 90s, which was very New Jack Swing focused, against the British scene, which seemed more rooted in traditional Soul and perhaps more reggae influenced. The two evolved in very distinct fashions, and by the mid-90s, the UK scene was much more dance/electro influenced(Massive Attack, trip-hop, and eventually garage/two-step, etc.) , while US R&B became obsessed with wanting to be Hip-hop (Jodeci, H-town, Silk, etc.) and I believe in response to that hip-hop embrace, we got the Neo-Soul Movement.

Today, music is just more global, but tracing those roots seems like it would be a great read. Really enjoyed this column, and I LOVE Jessie’s album.

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August 21, 2012 on Album Of The Week: Jessie Ware Devotion

Afraid to ask if this is sarcasm…..

*prays it is*

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August 16, 2012 on Dave Mustaine Claims Obama Staged Aurora, Sikh Temple Shootings

Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, can we go back to giving this asshole the 0% of our attention he so truly deserves? Dave Mustaine’s importance to contemporary music is about on par with Humpty Hump’s, and we can excuse Humpty for being a douchbag because at least he’s a made up person. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with Mustaine weighing down this planet for at least a few more years.

(cue the indignant replies from the 2 remaining diehard Megadeath fans that repeated 8th grade 5 times)

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August 16, 2012 on Dave Mustaine Claims Obama Staged Aurora, Sikh Temple Shootings

Right, but at that time, it’s not even like Rubin was seen as this Brian Eno or Phil Spector character that would make an instant hit. They both profited from the relationship because it reinforced Cash’s status as a Legend (not that it was needed) and made Rubin seem like a genius (not necessarily saying he is). My point was just that the idea he’s brought to add cache and sales to an album like having Nicki Minaj or Kanye do a guest verse on your new song is off base.

He might not be for everyone, but there are those that swear by him. Luke Worle below does a better job capturing his virtues than I think anyone else I’ve read so far. I think that’s a very fair assessment.

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July 27, 2012 on Rick Rubin Sure Pissed Off Crosby, Stills & Nash

I know the stadiums sure get a rockin’ when this jam comes on. All the babes lift up their tops and you just drunkenly sing along without a care in the world. Second only to Paradise City if you ask me:

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July 26, 2012 on Rick Rubin Sure Pissed Off Crosby, Stills & Nash

Ok sure. Because Johnny Cash and the Mars Volta are known for chasing hits and records sales. I am sure Omar and Cedric have hired Skrillex and Diplo to produce their next effort, since that’s what “generates record sales and gives their career a jolt.”

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July 26, 2012 on Rick Rubin Sure Pissed Off Crosby, Stills & Nash

Rubin doesn’t have the musical or technical background that other producers have, so it can seem that way, but he has an ear. Bottom Line: People more impressive and more accomplished than the Avett Brothers swear by his ability to coax out their best music. That’s not a diss to the Avett Brothers as much as it is praise to Rubin.

You don’t get asked to produce for the Dixie Chicks, Slayer, Beasties, Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Kula Shaker, Danzig, Jay-Z, Weezer…etc., unless you’re bringing something to the table. What he might lack in knob-turning, he makes up for with a preternatural ability to know what sounds great.

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July 26, 2012 on Rick Rubin Sure Pissed Off Crosby, Stills & Nash

(Hey, what’s the emoticon for a big winking smile?)

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July 17, 2012 on Coachella Cruise Rumored

See, I heard Bonnaroo is stricter than Coachella, but if that is the case, and if it is to be believed that Coachella is more strict than a cruise, then international cruises are VERY lax with their searches, cause anyone who’s been to the ‘roo in recent times will tell you that the candy store is open and well-stocked.

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July 17, 2012 on Coachella Cruise Rumored

And yet, you leave us hanging as to which bands you will send to a watery death!?!

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July 17, 2012 on Coachella Cruise Rumored

Hmm. This raises a question which would be a bit of an elephant in the room no one will mention: HOW will people get their “candy” onto a cruise ship that travels in international waters? Never been on a cruise, but my understanding is that they have security measures not that different from the TSA.

Of course, I am sure everyone here is too mature and responsible to worry about these sort of things…..

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July 17, 2012 on Coachella Cruise Rumored