The 10 Best Depeche Mode Songs

By Justin M. Norton / November 7, 2012 - 12:47 pm

The singular genius of Depeche Mode’s music might be the way their songs inspire a gut-wrenching personal response. The best music is, of course, meant to do this, but when Depeche Mode started their career in the early ’80s, pop music was as expendable as it was in the 1950s: a product meant for easy… More »

Top 10 Rock Operas That Deserve A Stage Adaptation

By Joseph Schafer / November 5, 2012 - 5:04 pm

The world has come a long way since the Who released Tommy in 1969. Tomorrow night, a stage adaptation of the Flaming Lips’ seminal 2002 rock opera Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots will premiere at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse. It’s not Broadway, but it is an indicator that the era of the rock opera… More »

The 10 Best Misfits Songs

By Aaron Lariviere / October 31, 2012 - 8:00 am

“Candy apples and razor blades, little dead are soon in graves / I remember Halloween / This day anything goes, burning bodies hanging from poles / I remember Halloween!”

Thus cried Glenn Danzig in the classic Misfits song named for today’s hellacious, hallowed holiday, recasting Halloween as a day of purest evil instead… More »

The 10 Best Leonard Cohen Songs

By James Jackson Toth / October 19, 2012 - 12:11 pm

There’s just no getting around it: writing about Leonard Cohen is an intimidating proposition. Trying to put into words the magic of Cohen’s art is like trying to play a guitar solo about Jimi Hendrix. The most celebrated and identifiably literary figure in all of rock and roll, Cohen has, with his music, permitted u… More »

13 Essential DC Hardcore Albums

By Justin M. Norton / October 17, 2012 - 1:18 pm

Hardcore was regional music that reached and changed the world. The local references, in-jokes, and our-scene-is-best boosterism are part of what makes it so compelling. Like the best American detective fiction, it has a strong regional flavor; you can walk the streets, mosh with locals, and live vicariously through art. You could learn about Orange… More »

The Story Of Elephant 6’s Bill Doss, Told In 10 Songs

By Alexander Abnos / October 4, 2012 - 1:29 pm

When a musician dies, they leave behind an aural legacy — songs that serve as eternal reminders of what this person did when the microphone was on. This legacy isn’t always difficult to pick out. Sometimes it’s present in virtuosic mastery of an instrument. Sometimes it’s complex composition. Sometimes it’s just a voice — capable… More »

The 10 Best Big Star Songs

By Timothy Bracy And Elizabeth Bracy / September 27, 2012 - 4:28 pm

Was anyone in music ever so jaded and armored so fully, at such a young age, as Alex Chilton? The genius who launched a thousand great bands in his wake was seemingly burnt out by the music business by the time he had reached his twenties. As a 16-year-old, he fronted the Box Tops and… More »

The 10 Best Pixies Songs

By Doug Moore / September 20, 2012 - 2:26 pm

The best part of getting into music while growing up is the constant sense of discovery. This feeling disappears as the years go by. Most adults who spend a lot of time and money on music know the lay of the cultural land. The new albums we hear (or that I hear, anyway) come with… More »

The 10 Best Indie Rock Documentaries

By Doug Moore / September 18, 2012 - 2:26 pm

In a perfect world, all albums would be self-contained universes. A good album can communicate complex emotions and ideas with the aid of just a little context; a great album can communicate beautiful ambiguities with none. All you have to do is listen closely.

Even great albums and great musicians can benefit from… More »

The 10 Best Grizzly Bear Songs

By Colin St. John / September 13, 2012 - 4:20 pm

As far as being a band in 2012 goes, Grizzly Bear has it pretty good. Critical darlings aren’t often financially successful as artists and vice-versa. Yet, the Brooklyn troupe has spent the past decade creeping up Top 10 lists while winning over throngs of fans from sorority sisters to (you knew this was coming) the… More »

The 10 Best More-Obscure Bob Dylan Albums

By Timothy Bracy And Elizabeth Bracy / September 12, 2012 - 2:53 pm

When dealing with any individual possessing the sheer magnitude of Bob Dylan — a figure utterly massive in terms of talent, mythology and self-regard — it becomes difficult to speak to his “lesser” or “more obscure” works. All of his 35 studio albums, scores of live albums, best-of collections, and official and unofficial bootlegs, have… More »

Stereogum’s 40 Best New Bands Of 2012

By Stereogum / September 11, 2012 - 2:05 pm

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to select the rising bands which have connected them, someone wrote a long time ago. Or, something close to that. Here’s what we’re getting down to: It’s that time of year when Stereogum’s staff selects the 40 most exciting new* acts of… More »

The 10 Best Animal Collective Songs

By Alex Tatusian / August 31, 2012 - 11:07 am

I remember driving down Pacific Coast Highway with my dad, listening to Merriweather Post Pavilion, when he suddenly asked why Animal Collective repeat themselves so much. I was driving and looking straight ahead at the road, so we didn’t make eye contact. My dad is intelligent and constantly takes in a lot of information, but… More »

The 12 Best Acts At Electric Zoo That Aren’t Skrillex, Tiesto, Or Diplo

By Puja Patel / August 28, 2012 - 1:21 pm

Last year, New York City’s Randall’s Island hosted 85,000 EDM-loving festival-goers at Electric Zoo. This Labor Day weekend, when the massive party celebrates its third-annual event, the island is projected to be swarmed with almost 100,000 revelers. Thank the impossibly stacked lineup for that. Over the course of three days and four themed stages, Electric… More »

The 10 Best Elliott Smith Songs

By Michael Nelson / August 21, 2012 - 2:15 pm

Elliott Smith was born on August 6, 1969, and thus, August is Elliott Smith Month, according to his onetime label, Kill Rock Stars. To celebrate, KRS has been generously offering fans alternate versions of some old Elliott tracks: previously unheard versions of songs that appeared on Smith’s 1995 and ’97 releases, Elliott Smith and Either/Or,… More »

The 10 Best Wilco Songs

By Timothy Bracy And Elizabeth Bracy / August 16, 2012 - 10:24 am

Following the 1994 split of the celebrated Uncle Tupelo, the betting line amongst fans and critics alike held that between Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar — the band’s two major principals — it was the latter headed for bigger and better things. Both songwriters had produced inspired material during the Uncle Tupelo days, but the… More »

The 10 Best Blur Songs

By Michael Nelson / August 8, 2012 - 3:52 pm

I never should have signed up for this. Volunteered, even. It doesn’t matter what criteria you apply or artificial boundaries you create to make the task easier, there’s no way to pick 10 songs from Blur’s catalog and call them the band’s best without knowing you’ve left out at least a dozen more that not… More »

The 10 Best Cat Power Songs

By Liz Pelly / August 2, 2012 - 4:55 pm

Last month, Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, released her first single since 2006, “Ruin.” The track comes from her forthcoming Matador long-player, Sun, which is Marshall’s first album of entirely original material since 2006’s The Greatest.

In her 17 years of recording music as Cat Power, Marshall has evolved from a neurotically nervou… More »

The 40 Coolest NSFW Album Covers

By Aaron Lariviere / July 26, 2012 - 3:00 pm

Tapping the taboo appeal of physicality is nothing new — there’s a long history of using nudity to move product. The music business, like any business, is no exception. If a well-placed buttock gets you to pick a record up off the rack (or click through a blog header), the cover has done its work. More »

Six More Indie Songs Inspired By Baseball

By Kenny Herzog / July 24, 2012 - 3:28 pm

Something about America’s pastime inspires whimsical paeans from even the generally sports-ambivalent world of indie rock. Just ask Death Cab For Cutie frontman Benjamin Gibbard, who took a break from prepping his solo debut, Former Lives (out via Barsuk 10/16), to post a long-dormant track titled “Ichiro’s Theme” to Soundcloud. Gibbard was reflecting on yesterday’… More »

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