The Anniversary

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 for young patchouli-spritzed women possessed… More »


MTV Unplugged In New York Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / October 31, 2014 - 9:32 am
Funny thing about suicide: It's not a mystery to be solved. When someone you know, or someone you admire, takes her own life, there's always a temptation to rifle through your memories of that person, looking for some clue of what might happen. It's not there -- or, if it is, there's usually no reaso… More »


Pisces Iscariot Turns 20

By Ryan Leas / October 3, 2014 - 5:09 pm
Every now and then, a band releases a collection of B-sides and outtakes and otherwise semi-available material that transcends the notion of an artist emptying the vaults to buy a bit of time between full-fledged albums, or simply trying to cash in a bit. (We're going to be talking about a period of time here… More »


No Need To Argue Turns 20

By Ryan Leas / October 3, 2014 - 10:33 am
The Cranberries and I go way back. All the way, in fact, to those kinds of memories that linger (yeah, I know) with no distinct images, but more so just some kind of visceral, unknown connection. I think of the Cranberries and I think of the stuff from their debut, Everybody Else Is Doing It,More »


Chocolate And Cheese Turns 20

By Hank Shteamer / September 26, 2014 - 2:06 pm
"A good part of Ween's philosophy is 'Fuck you,' you know? Any good band, that should comprise a bit of the message." -- Mickey Melchiondo (a.k.a. Dean Ween) When opening the jewel case of the original Chocolate And Cheese disc, you were greeted by a sketch on the CD face: a meaty cartoon hand, overlaid… More »


Monster Turns 20

By Ryan Leas / September 26, 2014 - 10:32 am
There aren't a lot of bands that have a trajectory remotely like R.E.M.'s. After years of crafting perhaps the purest embodiment of '80s college rock and developing a fervent cult following, they found breakthrough commercial success as that decade waned, with singles like "The One I Love," "Stand," and "Orange Crush," and then serious mainstream… More »


Whip-Smart Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / September 19, 2014 - 9:05 am
When Liz Phair tried to go full-on pop with her 2003 self-titled album, working with Avril Lavigne's songwriting team and posing in Xbox magazine ads, the indie universe predictably reacted with absolute abject horror. Today, the album plays as a piece of top-shelf MOR pop music; it's a whole hell of a lot better tha… More »


Funeral Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / September 12, 2014 - 11:03 am
What I remember most is two deranged geekboys drumming on each other's helmets. There was so much to love about Arcade Fire in 2004, but the image of Richard Peed Parry and Will Butler frantically pounding each other's skulls during performances of "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)" is the one that sticks with me above all else. More »


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