The Anniversary

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / July 31, 2015 - 9:11 am

At this past year’s Coachella festival, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, the only heritage rappers on the whole weekend’s bill, came out to a loud mid-afternoon reception on one of the two main stages. But when they told the crowd that they’d be performing all of Rae’s 1995 album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, I don’t… More »

E. 1999 Eternal Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / July 24, 2015 - 10:39 am

It’s practically a rap superhero origin story. Five guys from a decrepit Midwestern city stay out in the streets, trying to get money however they can. While they’re out on those corners, during quiet moments, they fill time by singing old songs together, harmonizing on Temptations tracks the same way the actual Temptations once did. More »

Q&A: Lou Barlow Reflects On The 20th Anniversary Of Kids

By T. Cole Rachel / July 21, 2015 - 2:04 pm

This week marks the 20th anniversary of Kids — Larry’s Clark’s infamous, lascivious, inflammatory film about a bunch of New York City teenagers drinking, drugging, fighting, skating and, most notoriously, having sex with virgins. Given how commonplace such subject matter has become in recent years, it’s easy to forget just how controversial Kids was at… More »

The Clueless Soundtrack Turns 20

By Gabriela Tully Claymore / July 17, 2015 - 10:50 am

Films made about teenagers are ephemeral by default. That doesn’t make them forgettable, but while plotlines traverse decades (Clueless is, after all, based on Jane Austen’s Emma), trends don’t. Teen movies are nothing if not a burial ground for every gadget and outfit once thought of as “cool.” But music doesn’t go out of style… More »

Illinois Turns 10

By Michael Tedder / July 3, 2015 - 12:15 pm

Like almost everything else about it, the release date of Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois is almost too perfect. It’s one thing to write an album about what it means to want to believe in your country during a time when many people struggled to believe in anything. It was something else to release that album o… More »

Foo Fighters Turns 20

By Ryan Leas / July 3, 2015 - 10:33 am

For many people, Dave Grohl will always be the drummer from Nirvana first and foremost, the frontman of Foo Fighters second. But the first Foo Fighters album turns 20 tomorrow, which means at this point there has to be many others who first became aware of Grohl because they heard “Everlong” on the radio or… More »

Brown Sugar Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / July 2, 2015 - 3:16 pm

When D’Angelo recorded Brown Sugar, neo-soul did not exist. Think about that. There were a few artists like Tony! Toni! Toné! or Joi who were messing around on the classicist end of R&B, but that’s really all the album had in terms of precedent. That whole subgenre had not yet come into existence. The woode… More »

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 »

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