Ryan Leas

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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


Q&A: A.C. Newman On Canadian Healthcare, Dan Bejar, And The New Pornographers’ Whiteout Conditions

For almost two decades now, the New Pornographers have operated as a shifting collective of musicians adept at crafting music filled with hooks that demand…
Ryan Leas | March 17, 2017 - 3:26 pm

The New Pornographers, Jamila Woods, & More Heat Up Stereogum’s SXSW 2017 Day Showcase

On Wednesday, Stereogum returned to the Mazda Studio At Empire Garage for our second official showcase of SXSW 2017, a diverse lineup of four artists…
Ryan Leas | March 16, 2017 - 3:03 pm


Q&A: Real Estate On Growing Up Together, Moving Away From Each Other, & Superpowers

Over the last few years, Real Estate have solidified their position as the beloved jangle-rockers once from New Jersey, now several albums deep into a…
Ryan Leas | March 16, 2017 - 9:34 am

Sleigh Bells, Real Estate, Girlpool, & More Rock Stereogum’s SXSW 2017 Evening Showcase

Last night, Stereogum took over the Mazda Studio At Empire Garage for our first official showcase of SXSW 2017. We curated a lineup that spanned…
Ryan Leas | March 15, 2017 - 3:38 pm

Adam Torres Delivers A Mesmerizing & Meditative Set At SXSW

Last September, Adam Torres returned with a new album called Pearls To Swine. This was after around a decade of him existing as a cult…
Ryan Leas | March 14, 2017 - 4:26 pm

SXSW 2017: Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, & More Bring Jazz To Mazda Studio At Empire Kickoff

Despite snowstorms arcing across the eastern half of the States threatening to strand festivalgoers, industry folk, and musicians alike, the music portion of SXSW 2017…
Ryan Leas | March 14, 2017 - 3:09 pm


U2’s The Joshua Tree Is 30: We Ranked Its Tracks Worst To Best

The Joshua Tree was the first time that U2 had truly looked outward, across the world. The four men -- always the four of them,…
Ryan Leas | March 9, 2017 - 9:23 am

The Anniversary

Pop Turns 20

It was a turning point in U2’s career. They had made an experimental album with a visionary producer, something that showed maturation, that suggested whole…
Ryan Leas | March 3, 2017 - 12:40 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