Ryan Leas

Read more from Ryan Leas

Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: Ryan Adams Prisoner

You usually can't take Ryan Adams seriously when he discusses his influences. He's a metalhead, a hardcore acolyte, and a diehard Simple Minds fan. None…
Ryan Leas | February 13, 2017 - 11:28 am

Cover Story

Wasted Days

I. THE MARKET STREET BRIDGE It began with the tattoo on Tim Showalter's forearm. An arch from a bridge I'd seen countless times…
Ryan Leas | February 2, 2017 - 11:36 am

2016 In Review

The Year The Mainstream Discovered Tame Impala

Last year, Kevin Parker released Currents, his third album under the Tame Impala moniker. It was the moment where he moved beyond the dense psych-rock…
Ryan Leas | December 29, 2016 - 3:49 pm

2016 In Review

Charli XCX Reviews 2016: On Brexit, The Chainsmokers, “Damn, Daniel,” & More

Over the last few years, Charli XCX has become one of the most exciting and idiosyncratic pop stars of our time. She’s had a hand…
Ryan Leas | December 13, 2016 - 12:40 pm

2016 In Review

Wayne Coyne Reviews 2016: The Flaming Lips Frontman On Pokémon Go, Lemonade, Ken Bone, Harambe, & More

We've started a little tradition here at Stereogum: each year, I call Wayne Coyne and ask him about a bunch of the big stories from…
Ryan Leas | December 8, 2016 - 9:51 am

2016 In Review

You Want It Darker: 2016’s Musician Deaths & Where We Go From Here

At the tail end of last year, Lemmy Kilmister died. You could see that one coming, between recurring reports of the man’s failing health and…
Ryan Leas | December 2, 2016 - 2:00 pm

Interview

Goodbye To My Dancing Days: Cymbals Eat Guitars Forge Ahead With Pretty Years

Joseph D’Agostino keeps apologizing for all the negativity. Reclining on couches in a Brooklyn Heights bar that, for whatever reason, has a bocce court in…
Ryan Leas | November 30, 2016 - 2:22 pm

Interview

Fufanu Take Us Around Reykjavik And Talks New Album Sports

At Iceland Airwaves 2014, I accidentally saw Fufanu. I had no idea who they were, but followed two English friends to a venue in downtown…
Ryan Leas | November 15, 2016 - 11:25 am

Interview

Q&A: Liima On Touring America, Donald Trump, & The Future Of Their Other Band, Efterklang

Back in the summer of 2014, Casper Clausen, Rasmus Stolberg, and Mads Brauer of Efterklang, and their touring drummer, Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö, were invited…
Ryan Leas | November 8, 2016 - 11:21 am

Arcade Fire, The Weeknd Among Voodoo 2016 Highlights

Each year since 1999, the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience has taken over New Orleans' City Park for a weekend around Halloween. Now, Halloween in…
Ryan Leas | October 31, 2016 - 1:53 pm

Stereogum At Voodoo 2016: Toyota Music Den Recap

For this year's iteration of New Orleans' Voodoo Fest, SpinMedia returned to curate the Toyota Music Den -- now an official stage at the festival.
Ryan Leas | October 31, 2016 - 1:03 pm

Interview

Q&A: Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Ben Jaffe Takes NOLA Jazz To The Indie Set

Every now and then, you look at a lineup for Bonnaroo or Panorama or some other mainstream festival, and tucked amidst all the expected indie…
Ryan Leas | October 31, 2016 - 12:20 pm

Interview

“I Can’t Make You Love Me”: A 25th Anniversary Oral History

The year Bonnie Raitt turned 40, she became a pop star. …
Ryan Leas | October 27, 2016 - 11:34 am

Interview

Q&A: David Crosby Talks Twitter, Streaming, Kanye, And His New Album Lighthouse

David Crosby is a legend, but you already knew that. Between the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, & Nash (& sometimes Young), he's been in some…
Ryan Leas | October 12, 2016 - 2:05 pm

Interview

The Wanderer: The Searching, Expansive Career Of Dan Boeckner

Dan Boeckner has one of those voices. He speaks, and it's low and worn and gravelly, the sound of someone who's been around, who has…
Ryan Leas | October 6, 2016 - 12:55 pm

Comments from Ryan Leas

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
"Pass Me Down The Wine" was a close contender, but there was too much to choose from the Don't Believe The Truth era, so it just barely didn't make the cut.
0 |
November 25, 2015 on The 18 Best Oasis Songs Since Be Here Now
I actually love that album and it has some of my favorite National songs (particularly "Available" and "Lucky You"). But I think they were still building something there that got really refined on Alligator in comparison, and that Alligator was where their identity and voice came into their own.
+2 |
November 16, 2015 on American Beauty: Snapshots Of The National In Transition
A personal thread I didn't touch on in the piece: I grew up in a nowhere-ish place in the US as well, and also found myself drawn to Blur and Pulp and all that for some reason. So I can relate to what you're saying, but one thing I also started thinking about with The Great Escape today is: obviously, this is still a quintessentially British album, but even though the self-titled was their embracing America stylistically and all that, there are elements of this one that feel very American to me. Or, much more relatable to an American than the rest of the Britpop trilogy. The '90s suburban ennui bit, for sure. You mentioned driving around with your friends but what really hit me while writing this was "He Thought Of Cars," which is one of my favorite Blur songs, but I hadn't heard it for a while. Ignore the reference to Heathrow, take “He thought of cars and where, where to drive them/ Who to drive them with/ There, there was no one." Totally feels like living in one of those nowhere American places to me. Only now realizing why this was my favorite Blur record for a while when I still lived in my hometown.
+1 |
September 11, 2015 on The Great Escape Turns 20
I can recognize that the Bends is great as an album and I do really like it when I put it on, etc., but I tend to gravitate towards '00s Radiohead the most, so I can relate to that particular contrarian impulse. If I'm going to throw a random Radiohead song on a playlist, chances are it's from Kid A onwards, and I get a lot more out of "Supercollider" than I do out of most of the Bends stuff. "Street Spirit" is one of their best songs, though, so I always have to give the Bends that.
+1 |
March 10, 2015 on In Defense Of The King Of Limbs