Lists

The 10 Best Sets At Governors Ball 2014

By Ryan Leas / June 9, 2014 - 12:40 pm
31

I recognize this is an issue of taste, but Governors Ball 2014 was a little bit of a mixed bag for me. There were two headliners I loved, and they conflicted, and I had no interest in the subsequent four on Saturday and Sunday. After being impressed and surprised repeatedly on Friday, I had a… More »


The 10 Best Fucked Up Songs

By Brad Sanders / June 3, 2014 - 11:52 am
15

When you look at Fucked Up’s discography, it’s easy to force a certain narrative onto their career arc: they started as a hard-charging hardcore band terrorizing tiny Toronto shows and became genre-agnostic critical darlings, capable of comfortably sharing a bill with either Foo Fighters or Final Conflict and selling out venues with “Ballroom” in the… More »


The 10 Best John Lennon Songs

By Timothy Bracy And Elizabeth Bracy / May 13, 2014 - 11:42 am
78

John Winston Lennon was famously shot to death at age 40, midway through his tumultuous life and storied career, robbing the world of a towering talent and profoundly ambiguous personality.

During the four-plus decades following his unimaginably tragic and senseless demise, much of Lennon’s legacy has become reduced and calcified. For many of… More »


Aesop Rock Albums From Worst To Best

By Joseph Schafer / May 8, 2014 - 12:25 pm
19

In 2014 we appraise hip-hop on its forthrightness. Take, for example, the two front-runner Grammy-nominated hip-hop albums of 2013: Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City and Macklemore’s The Heist. Both albums, in different ways, present up-front opinions on the word we live in, be it the gangland problems still present in Compton or the bigotry… More »


The 10 Best Jens Lekman Songs

By Brad Sanders / April 29, 2014 - 10:12 am
43

The appeal of Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman has often been described in terms of his apparent lack of appeal. His signature baritone is slightly nasal and far from classically accomplished, and his arrangements borrow recklessly from 20th century pop — both canonized and disreputable. In any given Jens Lekman song, you’re as likely to hear… More »


The 10 Best Verve Songs

By Ryan Leas / April 24, 2014 - 12:09 pm
61

Few British bands from the 1990s, Britpop or otherwise, have been pushed to the sidelines more forcefully than the Verve. I can think of, well, quite a few reasons for this. You’ve got their singer, Richard Ashcroft, a perfectly arrogant British rock star who continues to play that role even as his solo output ha… More »


Caught By The Buzz: A Look Back At Britpop’s B-List

By John Everhart / April 23, 2014 - 12:02 pm
89

Akin to the early-’90s post-Nirvana feeding frenzy in the Pacific Northwest, the Britpop explosion of the mid-’90s spawned a similar slash-and-burn signing boom on the other side of the pond. And as with post-Nirvana culture, the milieu surrounding Blur and Oasis gave way to a litany of fates for bands just hungry for their slice… More »


The 10 Best Galaxie 500 Songs

By James Jackson Toth / April 15, 2014 - 10:56 am
37

If rock-critic clichés never existed, Galaxie 500 would have had to invent them. Named after a classic model Ford that none of the band members had ever actually driven, Galaxie 500 — vocalist/guitarist Dean Wareham, bassist/vocalist Naomi Yang, and drummer Damon Krukowski — began like many eighties bands reared on rock and roll radio and… More »


Van Morrison Albums From Worst To Best

By Timothy Bracy And Elizabeth Bracy / April 14, 2014 - 10:59 am
47

Amongst the major musical titans emerging during the second half of the 20th century, the Belfast-born Irish soul troubadour Van Morrison is perhaps the most underappreciated — a figure every bit the equal of Dylan, Young, and Cohen in terms of achievement and influence — but somehow one also subtly marginalized in the annals of music history. More »


The 10 Best Nirvana Songs

By James Jackson Toth / April 4, 2014 - 12:10 pm
170

The story goes something like this: Sheriff Kurt moseys into town just long enough to purge the spandex-clad outlaws before riding off into the sunset forever, leaving behind the Clinton Administration, Lollapalooza, and lucrative major label deals for flannel-flyin’ underdogs everywhere. More »


The 10 Best Joy Division Songs

By Jonathan Dick / April 1, 2014 - 10:53 am
64

In the seemingly infinite discussion of influence, Joy Division’s place in the halls of music’s most revered is just as sure as the band’s equally esteemed mythos. Generations of fans old enough to have remembered the band’s breakthrough in 1979, and the countless more born well after the 1980 suicide of Ian Curtis, hold the… More »


Scumdogs Of YouTube: 10 Memorable GWAR Moments

By Adrien Begrand / March 24, 2014 - 3:24 pm
3

GWAR singer and mastermind Dave Brockie, who died Sunday at the far-too-young age of 50, will be remembered as a shock rock innovator. An obnoxious spitball in the face of Marilyn Manson’s humorless pretension, GWAR followed the tradition set by Alice Cooper, bringing a strong sense of tongue-in-cheek humor alongside savage wit, broad comedy, and… More »


Stephen Malkmus Albums From Worst To Best

By James Jackson Toth / March 18, 2014 - 12:19 pm
41

Few solo careers justify wholesale rebranding. Though it has become common for aging indie rockers to want a “clean slate” following the dissolution of their respective beloved bands, listeners can usually spot an old dog doing old tricks, and a fresh moniker alone is unlikely to persuade them to reconsider their already-established impressions. But unlike… More »


The 10 Best Hold Steady Songs

By Brad Sanders / March 11, 2014 - 1:10 pm
50

Rumors of rock and roll’s demise have been greatly exaggerated for almost as long as there’s been rock and roll, so it’s not like this generation has a monopoly on rockist panic. But as today’s most popular rock acts cease to be rock acts — Mumford And Sons’ pop-folk, Eric Church’s country-fried wallop, the car-ad… More »


Iron Maiden Albums From Worst To Best

By Adrien Begrand / March 4, 2014 - 12:12 pm
66

Rivaled only by Black Sabbath and Judas Priest in regards to influence and impact on the early development of heavy metal, Iron Maiden took the burgeoning musical style to a new and very unique level, starting in the UK in the late-1970s, and soon after, all over the world. Formed in 1975 by bassist Steve… More »


The 10 Best White Stripes Songs

By Carl Williott / February 26, 2014 - 1:09 pm
84

The White Stripes were Occam’s razor manifested as rock. Underneath the misdirection and mythology, it was just two people, wearing three colors, obsessed with one musical concept: the beauty of simplicity. More »


The 10 Best Dirty Projectors Songs

By Elliah Heifetz / February 19, 2014 - 3:31 pm
62

When Dirty Projectors mastermind and bandleader Dave Longstreth sings about being “in the gray mesh shorts” of his alma mater, honestly, I freak out a little bit. When he croons, “I boogied down gargoyle streets, searching in every face for something I can believe,” my stomach burns. Every time I hear about how his “college… More »


Elliott Smith Albums From Worst To Best

By Brad Shoup / February 11, 2014 - 12:22 pm
68

Elliott Smith at the 70th Academy Awards ceremony: When it’s mentioned, it’s as one of those cautionary anecdotes, an example of the fundamental incompatibility of the underground with commercial artistry. But it’s all there, or if it isn’t, we can pretend it is. Trisha Yearwood has finished her performance, and the onstage columns drift apart… More »


The 10 Best Beta Band Songs

By Miles Bowe / February 6, 2014 - 3:18 pm
33

When Rolling Stone released their best albums of the ’90s list, Nirvana’s Nevermind stood predictably at the top. I’m not saying that it doesn’t deserve it, but didn’t you just know they’d pick that? It makes complete sense. Later, we got the ’00s list with Kid A at #1, with the safer bet as runner-up. More »


El-P Albums From Worst To Best

By Joseph Schafer / January 29, 2014 - 11:31 am
24

I saw El-P perform live for the first time in 2013. The stage, situated under the I-65 overpass at Louisville, Kentucky’s Forecastle festival, sat a stone’s throw from both the Ohio River and a decoratively beached yacht, so it felt preternaturally appropriate when El stood next to his partner in rhyme, Killer Mike, and rattled… More »


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