The Anniversary

Exit Planet Dust Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / June 26, 2015 - 3:24 pm

In season four of Dawson’s Creek, there’s an episode, called “Great Xpectations,” where Dawson and his gang of photogenic friends go to a rave. Plotwise, it’s about what you’d expect from a Dawson’s Creek rave episode: They have follow a “yellow brick road” to the party, the music is somehow not loud enough to drow… More »

Mirror Ball Turns 20

By Ryan Leas / June 26, 2015 - 10:06 am

Last week, Neil Young released a new record called The Monsanto Years. It isn’t very good. It’s a cartoonish protest concept record revolving around the agriculture company Monsanto and GMOs. The other distinguishing factor of the album is that Young chose to record it with Promise Of The Real, a band led by Lukas Nelso… More »

Red Medicine Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / June 12, 2015 - 12:23 pm

“Target,” the most straightforwardly rocking song on Fugazi’s album Red Medicine opens with Guy Picciotto coming to an epiphany: “It’s cold outside and my hands are dry / Skin is cracked and I realize / That I hate the sound of guitars / A thousand grudging young millionaires.” As he’s singing this, of course, there… More »

Post Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / June 12, 2015 - 10:29 am

Here’s something you probably shouldn’t do: Listen to Vulnicura, the shatteringly sad family-breakup album that Björk released earlier this year, back-to-back with Post, the album she dropped 20 years ago tomorrow. Vulnicura is a great album, but it’s not an easy one to hear. It’s harsh and decentered and experimental and feverish and, again, shatteringly… More »

Jagged Little Pill Turns 20

By Caitlin White / June 12, 2015 - 9:38 am

Society taught me that a woman should be quiet. The church I was raised in taught me that anger was a sin. Alanis Morissette taught me to be loud, and that my anger was righteous. While the media dubbed the Angry Young Woman simply another trope in the long cast of mainstream music’s character sheet,… More »

Separation Sunday Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / May 4, 2015 - 3:03 pm

The first lines of Craig Finn’s first Great American Novel: “She says, ‘Always remember never to trust me’/ Ah, she said that the first night that she met me/ She said, ‘There’s gonna come a time/ When I’m gonna have to go/ With whoever’s gonna get me the highest.'” The characters that populate Separation Sunday,… More »

The Infamous Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / April 24, 2015 - 3:02 pm

When Kanye West was recording My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in Hawaii, he famously hung a sign on the studio wall that read “What would Mobb Deep do?” That means Kanye wanted people like Justin Vernon and Rick Ross to put themselves in the same mindset of two teenage Queensbridge hyenas, young geniuses at the… More »

Alligator Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / April 13, 2015 - 3:53 pm

As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the National’s Alligator, it behooves us to discuss two persistent myths, both related to Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare. The first one is truer, and it goes like this: Back in 2005, a promising Brooklyn-via-Cincinnati rock band released its third album and scheduled a tour… More »

Wowee Zowee Turns 20

By Chris DeVille / April 10, 2015 - 1:16 pm

Stephen Malkmus has always hated the Pavement/Nirvana comparison, but Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was Pavement’s own twisted sort of Nevermind: the boldest, brightest, poppiest album of their career and the one that got them on the radio, if only briefly. Pavement were never anywhere near as popular as Nirvana, but they had followed a similar… More »

Alien Lanes Turns 20

By Chris DeVille / April 3, 2015 - 10:37 am

“The club is open!” No other phrase out of Robert Pollard’s mouth ever rang quite so true. The once-again-former Guided By Voices frontman deals almost exclusively in the surreal, but the climactic lyric from Alien Lanes opener “A Salty Salute” is ridiculously literal coming from a band known for marathon three-hour sets anywhere American lager… More »

Picaresque Turns 10

By Brad Sanders / March 20, 2015 - 10:57 am

In a 2011 interview with Amanda Petrusich for the A.V. Club, the Decemberists’ Colin Meloy copped to his band’s reputation as a so-called “literate rock band”: “I guess it’s better than being called an illiterate rock band, because in fact we can all read. But yeah, I’ll take that. That’s fine. It’s English-major rock. I’ll… More »

Elastica Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / March 16, 2015 - 9:40 am

It’s oddly appropriate that Elastica’s self-titled debut came out on the same day as The Bends, Radiohead’s classic sophomore album. Those two records represent opposite sides of British rock in the mid-’90s. The Radiohead of The Bends was a sober band, one that took itself seriously. They played big, longing, starry-eyed melodies over layered guitars,… More »

The Bends Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / March 13, 2015 - 10:54 am

More than a year after they released The Bends, Radiohead spent their summer touring North America’s finer outdoor shed venues, opening for Alanis Morrisette. Considering the lordly spot Radiohead now occupy, that seems like a gross indignity. But they were lucky to be there. At least in the U.S., The Bends was not an anticipated… More »

To Bring You My Love Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / February 27, 2015 - 9:03 am

In 1995, a few months after she released her best album, I saw PJ Harvey play an American football stadium. Alternative rock was firmly entrenched as a business interest by then, and major labels and radio programmers had started seizing on bands — Candlebox, say, or Bush — who could replicate the sounds of young… More »

Maxinquaye Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / February 20, 2015 - 2:21 pm

The music critic Andy Pemberton coined the term “trip-hop” to describe an early DJ Shadow single, but I have this pet theory that the term caught on because nobody knew what the fuck else to do with Tricky. Smash-crash genre-blurring seemed like a revolutionary thing in the ’90s, in that moment before the internet made… More »

Silent Alarm Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / February 13, 2015 - 12:31 pm

You know who loved the NYC rock resurgence that kicked off this millennium? British people. Ryan Leas made the case in his remembrance of LCD Soundsystem’s self-titled debut that by 2005 the so-called “new rock revolution” had jumped the shark, Brooklyn had supplanted Manhattan as the epicenter of the New York music scene, and a… More »

LCD Soundsystem Turns 10

By Ryan Leas / January 23, 2015 - 10:25 am

When we revisited the early-’00s NYC rock boom back in November, one of the rules we put in place was that 2005 marked some kind of ending for that movement. We included songs from 2005, but that stuff seemed like the last gasp of the scene. By that year, the whole retro-rock/post-punk revival had lost… More »

Sixteen Stone Turns 20

By Carl Williott / December 5, 2014 - 10:51 am

Over the past 12 months, this site has commemorated numerous albums from 1994, partly because that’s what you do now when a pop culture work turns 20, but mainly because 1994 was an astounding year for music. And as an odd capper to that remarkable stretch, here we have reached the 20th anniversary of Bush’… More »

Vitalogy Turns 20

By Ryan Leas / November 21, 2014 - 10:52 am

Vitalogy was the dividing line between one understanding of Pearl Jam, the version that made them famous, and a different one. There are lots of schisms and permutations within the Pearl Jam fanbase. There are those fans that like everything, of course. There are those who were teens when Ten and Vs. became huge, and… More »

Wildflowers Turns 20

By Shawn Macomber / October 31, 2014 - 4:27 pm

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
Sail away, kill off the hours
You belong somewhere you feel free

The opening verse of the title track from Tom Petty’s 1994 mid-career high-water mark Wildflowers at first blush seems like little more than tattoo bait… More »

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