Ryan Leas

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The Anniversary

Be Here Now Turns 20

Be Here Now was the beginning of the end for Oasis. You know the story: Going into 1997, the Gallagher brothers were larger than life,…
Ryan Leas | August 18, 2017 - 2:16 pm


Ardyn – “Throwing Stones” (Prod. Tourist) Video

Ardyn, the brother/sister duo of Rob and Katy Pearson, haven’t released a ton of songs just yet, but the music we've heard so far often…
Ryan Leas | August 17, 2017 - 10:00 am


Q&A: Death From Above’s Sebastien Grainger On Changing Their Name (Again) & New Album Outrage! Is Now

When they first appeared in the early '00s, Death From Above -- then without the "1979," once more without the "1979" today -- drew attention…
Ryan Leas | August 15, 2017 - 10:17 am

Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: Grizzly Bear Painted Ruins

While 2016 was a year dominated by high-profile albums from visionary pop stars and rappers (Kanye West, Solange, Frank Ocean, Chance The Rapper, Beyoncé, Rihanna)…
Ryan Leas | August 14, 2017 - 11:28 am

Sounding Board

Car Seat Headrest Played One Of The Best Sets At Lollapalooza 2017

Teens Of Denial, Car Seat Headrest's breakthrough album from last year, was a minor miracle. It was built on music that had plenty of retro…
Ryan Leas | August 7, 2017 - 12:22 pm

Sounding Board

Arcade Fire Bring New Songs, Old Favorites, And “Mind Games” To Intimate Chicago Show

We're used to Arcade Fire being gigantic now. Years past the moment where the band started to attain the kind of magnitude their music always…
Ryan Leas | August 6, 2017 - 1:45 pm

Cover Story

Can We Get A Witness

About a minute after a car drops us off in the heart of one of the older, scenic neighborhoods in Lisbon, Benjamin Booker sees a…
Ryan Leas | August 1, 2017 - 10:47 am

Sounding Board

Tame Impala Headlined Panorama With Hits And Rarities

It's been just over two years since Tame Impala released Currents. And in that time, the man behind it all, Kevin Parker, has seemed fairly…
Ryan Leas | July 30, 2017 - 3:16 pm

Sounding Board

Tom Petty Brought All The Hits To Forest Hills

Last night, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers brought their 40th anniversary tour to New York for the first time. After playing an arena in New…
Ryan Leas | July 27, 2017 - 2:03 pm

Sounding Board

Last Night Guns N’ Roses Played An Epic Set At The Apollo, Today Appetite For Destruction Turns 30

Appetite For Destruction turns 30 today. If you’re a fan of rock music, it doesn’t really matter when you were born -- that’s bound to…
Ryan Leas | July 21, 2017 - 1:22 pm


Q&A: Warpaint’s Jenny Lee Lindberg On Playing The Festival Circuit, Touring With Harry Styles, & Superfan Ellen DeGeneres

It's bizarre to think that Warpaint have been around for almost 10 years. One EP and three albums later, they still come across as a…
Ryan Leas | July 19, 2017 - 11:07 am

Depeche Mode, Savages, & Lisbon Ambiance Help Make NOS Alive One Of 2017’s Coolest Festivals

Though it's had a few different names over the years, NOS Alive has been taking place in Lisbon since 2007. Like some of its European…
Ryan Leas | July 10, 2017 - 10:13 am

At NOS Alive Foo Fighters Prove They’re One Of The Greatest Festival Headliners Around

There are plenty of big names at this year's NOS Alive. The xx and the Weeknd, Fleet Foxes and Spoon and, uh, Imagine Dragons, who…
Ryan Leas | July 8, 2017 - 3:14 pm

Ryan Adams Turned Up To 11 At Lisbon’s NOS Alive

Lisbon's NOS Alive festival has been around, in some iteration or another, since 2007. In the last 10 years, it's garnered a reputation similar to…
Ryan Leas | July 7, 2017 - 12:10 pm

U2 Return To The Joshua Tree In Trump’s America

The justification for U2’s current tour — in which they play their classic breakthrough album The Joshua Tree in its entirety — is that the…
Ryan Leas | June 30, 2017 - 12:47 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