Ryan Leas

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Sounding Board

LCD Soundsystem Continue To Preview American Dream At Second Brooklyn Residency

In case you missed it, LCD Soundsystem are playing a lot of shows at Brooklyn Steel this year. On the heels of their residency there…
Ryan Leas | 11:16 am

Sounding Board

Dylan Brings (Some Of) The Hits To Firefly

This weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival. You might've noticed headlines recently looking back at Monterey, calling it the moment rock…
Ryan Leas | June 18, 2017 - 6:57 pm

Sounding Board

Weezer’s Hit-Filled Firefly Set Was A Nearly Perfect Situation

Like many American festivals through the first half of 2017, Firefly's lineup has suffered this year. Whether it's over-saturation or simply artists' touring and album…
Ryan Leas | June 17, 2017 - 2:02 pm

The Anniversary

“Bitter Sweet Symphony” Turns 20

The Verve have a lot of great songs. From 1993 to 2008, they released four albums. An always combustible group, the period (for now) in…
Ryan Leas | June 16, 2017 - 12:30 pm

Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: Ride Weather Diaries

When Ride reunited in 2014, they were there to give the people what they wanted: the hits. In those initial shows, the setlists featured songs…
Ryan Leas | June 12, 2017 - 11:47 am

Arcade Fire, The Magnetic Fields, Grace Jones, & More Make Primavera Sound The Best Festival In Europe

Primavera has a particular reputation, as being one of the best, most interestingly curated festivals in Europe. (Or, anywhere, for that matter.) It earns it.
Ryan Leas | June 5, 2017 - 10:49 am

Sounding Board

On The Scene At Primavera, Where Arcade Fire Played Two Days Early

Yesterday was the first full day of Primavera 2017, and as usual with this festival, there were a ton of great bands playing. But for…
Ryan Leas | June 2, 2017 - 11:25 am

Sounding Board

Nick Cave Traces Grief And Catharsis At Brooklyn Show

When Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds released their monumental, heart-shattering album Skeleton Tree last year, it was hard to imagine them ever taking it…
Ryan Leas | May 29, 2017 - 2:14 pm

The Anniversary

Boxer Turns 10

Boxer is where the National became the National as we know them. People often talk that way about its predecessor, 2005's Alligator, the one where…
Ryan Leas | May 22, 2017 - 1:16 pm


15 Essential Chris Cornell Songs That Aren’t Soundgarden

After the news of Chris Cornell’s tragic passing broke yesterday morning, tributes and remembrances steadily appeared throughout the day. Whatever angle they took, almost all…
Ryan Leas | May 19, 2017 - 12:23 pm

10 Best Songs

The 10 Best Soundgarden Songs

**This piece originally ran in 2013, and engaged with topics central to Soundgarden's work, including depression, addiction, and suicide. At the time, these seemed to…
Ryan Leas | May 18, 2017 - 5:45 pm

Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: Slowdive Slowdive

We're used to reunions now. Burnt out on them, maybe. In the last five or 10 years, we've become accustomed to all our old favorites…
Ryan Leas | April 28, 2017 - 11:13 am

Cover Story

Dancing At The End Of The World

"Imagine a night where everything that you believed in was turned on its head. How would you feel?" Just over a year ago,…
Ryan Leas | April 11, 2017 - 12:20 pm

LCD Soundsystem Played 3 New Songs At Brooklyn Steel And They Sounded Like This

Last night, LCD Soundsystem kicked off their five night residency at the new 1800-capacity north Brooklyn venue, Brooklyn Steel. If you live in or around…
Ryan Leas | April 7, 2017 - 9:18 am

Spoon Turn SXSW Into A Huge Homecoming Party

Today, Spoon release their excellent new album Hot Thoughts, an occasion they celebrated with a three-night residency during SXSW 2017 at a venue currently known…
Ryan Leas | March 17, 2017 - 3:40 pm

Comments from Ryan Leas

I almost put "Yesterday To Tomorrow" on here but thought I'd already gone a bit overboard with Audioslave material. Aside from Cornell on that track...man, Morello's guitar solo is cool on that one.
+5 |
May 19, 2017 on 15 Essential Chris Cornell Songs That Aren’t Soundgarden
I love the Waterboys' '80s records and I've been looking for some reason to write about them for a while. They really don't get their due, imo. And you're right, I think there's interesting stuff to consider re: these two Irish bands and what directions they went in.
+5 |
March 9, 2017 on U2’s The Joshua Tree Is 30: We Ranked Its Tracks Worst To Best
I've shit on the record in a few pieces but my issue's more with the overall premise, and all the covers + live stuff...and then it still being counted as a sorta-album. But most of the studio material is amazing—"Heartland," "Hawkmoon 269," and then "All I Want Is You" is one of their best songs imo. Also there's that outtake "A Room At The Heartbreak Hotel," which is one of my favorites out of the songs where U2 go full cartoon Americana.
+5 |
March 3, 2017 on Pop Turns 20
Yeah I actually agree that it's another underrated/wrongfully maligned one. I think it's also a frustrating one because it's so easy to imagine what could've been if they had pushed further in some of the directions suggested on it. Oddly there are only 2-3 songs I'd point to as being part of the problem, but I remember it as an album with very strong opening and closing thirds and a gaping hole in the middle.
+4 |
March 3, 2017 on Pop Turns 20
I have to limit myself to one Wilkes-Barre-referencing piece a year.
+7 |
February 2, 2017 on Wasted Days
Yeah, originally I mentioned that in the piece—I used to drive up Giant's Despair every day for my summer job during college. Also, incredibly, Tim and his friend (who did the album art) had a plan to make a Lord Of The Rings style map of Wilkes-Barre as Middle-Earth but didn't do it. The Sterling Hotel was going to be Mordor.
+5 |
February 2, 2017 on Wasted Days
You can't go wrong with most of the songs on that album, including "Nylon Strung." "If Rah" and "Ova Nova" almost edged out "I Exhale" for me, but "I Exhale" blew my mind when it first came out and still does.
+3 |
December 6, 2016 on Stereogum’s 100 Favorite Songs Of 2016
Damn, felt like someone was missing. Thanks for calling that out, we added Vega in. I actually saw LCD Soundsystem play "Bye Bye Bayou" in tribute to Vega at Panorama back in July; it was pretty amazing.
+6 |
December 2, 2016 on You Want It Darker: 2016’s Musician Deaths & Where We Go From Here
Yeah, this has always been my feeling, and was more so the point I was trying to make in that last paragraph than to suggest the old icons were more inherently talented than the newer ones. I think you're right that it's just impossible to be omnipresent on the same level that some of those '60s artists were.
+9 |
December 2, 2016 on You Want It Darker: 2016’s Musician Deaths & Where We Go From Here
Agreed re: Push The Sky Away, but I'm a little biased because that's around the time I really got obsessed with his work. Would say that's essential alongside Tender Prey and Let Love In...those three were my way in, and I think they hold up as classics within his career.
+8 |
September 12, 2016 on Premature Evaluation: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
1. "The Mercy Seat" 2. "More News From Nowhere" 3. "Jubilee Street" 4. "O Children" 5. "Do You Love Me?" If the studio version of "Weeping Song" sounded like how they play it now, that'd be on the list.
+14 |
September 12, 2016 on Premature Evaluation: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
Wow, when you restrict this to bands it is really difficult to come up with any ideas to add to your list. Closest I got was that any of Pulp's '90s classics would technically count, except I think that's sorta cheating, like with Tusk.
+3 |
September 9, 2016 on New Adventures In Hi-Fi Turns 20
Chris and I were actually discussing that list earlier. There are several baffling decisions, the ranking of "Daydreaming" definitely amongst them.
+6 |
May 11, 2016 on With “Daydreaming,” Radiohead And Paul Thomas Anderson Have Converged At Last
I meant the comparison more in the sense that the song has bits of the mood/pacing of some of those other songs but now that I think about it the new song I was referring to does sound a bit like if "Hot As Day" was on Shriek.
+5 |
March 21, 2016 on Q&A: Wye Oak On Moving Apart And Moving Forward
As a defender of Local Business, maybe this is why I still really like those songs. I can hear what you're saying about those sounding related to that album.
+9 |
December 10, 2015 on Patrick Stickles Reviews 2015: The Titus Andronicus Frontman On Grimes, Tidal, Trump, Drones, & More
Whaaaat..."Lonely Boy" and "I Lost My Mind" (+@) are squarely in the "Perfect" column for me. Totally agree with yr "Perfect" column otherwise, though. Actually, I'd make "Come On, Siobhan" and "A Pair Of Brown Eyes" trade spots.
+12 |
December 10, 2015 on Patrick Stickles Reviews 2015: The Titus Andronicus Frontman On Grimes, Tidal, Trump, Drones, & More
Those guys have since become friends of mine, so I'm a little biased—but it was one of my favorite LPs this year one way or the other. The climax in "Swam Out" is such a gorgeous conclusion to a record. I really hope they start getting some more (deserved) attention in the States.
0 |
December 10, 2015 on Stereogum’s 80 Favorite Songs Of 2015
"Pattern" was *very* close to making my top 10...that album in general stuck with me through most of the year and I wish they'd gotten more recognition.
+3 |
December 9, 2015 on Stereogum’s 80 Favorite Songs Of 2015
Some honorable mentions: Jim O'Rourke - "Half Life Crisis," "Last Year" (not on Spotify, unfortunately) Everything Girl Band put out A$AP Rocky - "Holy Ghost," "L$D," "Fine Whine" Adele - "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" Blur - "Pyongyang," "Ong Ong" Brandon Flowers - "I Still Want You," "Lonely Town" Pretty much all the new archival material on Springsteen's River box set, which I'm not sure even counts Carly Rae Jepsen - "Run Away With Me," "Emotion" Destroyer - "Dream Lover" Django Django - "Giant," "Shot Down" EL VY - "I'm The Man To Be," "Happiness, Missouri" Father John Misty - "The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment" Florence + The Machine - "Ship To Wreck" Fufanu - "Northern Gannet," "Blinking" Gardens & Villa - "General Research" Grimes - "Realiti" (demo), "Artangels" Heather Woods Broderick - "Wyoming" Hot Chip - "Need You Now" Jamie xx - "Gosh," "The Rest Is Noise" Kamasi Washington - "Change Of The Guard" Kendrick - the songs others mentioned in their own lists, + "The Blacker The Berry" Kurt Vile - "Wild Imagination" Line & Circle - "Roman Ruins" (technically originally released in 2012, but my favorite off their debut this year//one of my favorites of the year) Los Colognes - "Backseat Driver" Lower Dens - "Sucker's Shangri La" Mark Ronson - "Uptown Funk," "Daffodils" My Morning Jacket - "Like A River," "Tropics (Erase Traces)" Other Lives - "Pattern" Outfit - "Swam Out" PINS - "Curse These Dreams," "House Of Love" Ryan Adams' cover of "Shake It Off" Ryley Walker - "Summer Dress," "Love Can Be Cruel" Pretty much everything on Shamir's record Sharon Van Etten - "I Don't Want to Let You Down" Slonk Donkerson - "Sonata," "Build Something, Break Even," "Destiny" Susanne Sundfor - "Accelerate," "Fade Away" The Tallest Man On Earth - "Sagres" Tame Impala - "Cause I'm A Man" (since Tom called it) Title Fight - "Chlorine" Titus Andronicus - "Lonely Boy," "I Lost My Mind," "Dimed Out," "Fatal Flaw," "Mr. E. Mann," "Come On, Siobhan" Torche - "Loose Men," "Restarter" Viet Cong - "Death" Wilco - "You Satellite"
+8 |
December 9, 2015 on Stereogum’s 80 Favorite Songs Of 2015
As long as Wayne is up for it, I'd gladly do an interview like this every year.
+6 |
December 4, 2015 on Wayne Coyne Reviews 2015: The Flaming Lips Leader On Trump, Hoverboards, Baby Hitler, & Heady Nuggs