The Anniversary

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 »

Ready To Die Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / September 12, 2014 - 9:35 am

Word around the campfire is that Biggie Smalls, when he was recording Ready To Die, wanted to record a track with DJ Premier and M.O.P. and Jeru The Damaja. Can you even imagine what that would sound like? How fucking incredible that would’ve been? There are precious few Biggie/Premier collabs, but every last one of… More »

Definitely Maybe Turns 20

By Ryan Leas / August 29, 2014 - 9:16 am

Back in April, we marked the 20th anniversary of Britpop with Stereogum’s Britpop Week. We chose the date for a few reasons — the week marked the anniversaries of both Pulp’s His ‘N’ Hers and Blur’s Parklife, Damon Albarn was conveniently releasing his first solo album almost to the day of Parklife‘s 20th birthday, and… More »

Bakesale Turns 20

By John Everhart / August 22, 2014 - 4:59 pm

“Dinosaur have this weird Teflon thing,” Sebadoh frontman Lou Barlow told me in a 2013 interview for Under The Radar. “Sebadoh’s more vulnerable. There are more faces to the band. You have the strength of [co-frontman] Jason [Lowenstein]’s material, which is stunning. It creates something complicated. And fans kind of want things simple. But Sebadoh… More »

Grace Turns 20

By Chris DeVille / August 22, 2014 - 1:26 pm

Jeff Buckley would have slayed on American Idol. We know this because Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has become such a mainstay among TV singing contestants hoping to show off their virtuosic powers, and because nobody sang it better than Buckley. The song, originally released by Cohen in 1984, made its way to Buckley via John Cale’… More »

Dummy Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / August 22, 2014 - 9:13 am

There’s a certain type of drum programming that lets you know that the world is a cold and unforgiving place, that nothing is going to be OK. It’s the kind of drum programming you hear on three of the great bleak, depressive masterpieces of the mid-’90s: Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, Raekwon’s Only Built 4 CubanMore »

More Adventurous Turns 10

By Liz Pelly / August 18, 2014 - 10:58 am

I can remember with clarity the first time I heard Jenny Lewis’ voice — the place, the time of day, what I was wearing. It was during ninth grade, one weekday after school, in my friend Lauren’s basement, when her cool older brother’s cool girlfriend pulled up a Postal Service song and played it through… More »

Portrait Of An American Family Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / July 18, 2014 - 4:12 pm

Self-indulgent storytime: The first and only time I ever did acid, I was in ninth grade, and I stayed up all night at a friend’s house even though I had a basketball game the next day. Everything was going pretty well until we threw on Marilyn Manson’s debut album Portrait Of An American Family, which… More »

Blueberry Boat Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / July 14, 2014 - 1:31 pm

I spent the summer of 2004 living in Athens, Ohio, my one summer on campus during a four-year stint at Ohio University. Athens is an exceptionally sleepy place in the summer, a tiny rural college town 90 minutes southeast of Columbus. Ostensibly I was helping to run the weekly summer edition of our campus newspaper,… More »

Roman Candle Turns 20

By Sameer Rao / July 14, 2014 - 12:45 pm

Talking about the dead — especially those with tremendous, all-encompassing legacies — is a contentious task for any music critic. The conversations around deceased artists often get trapped in discussions about their legend — how they died, why they died, what their trajectory means in a broader context, what death does to fans — making… More »

A Ghost Is Born Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / June 23, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Following up a career-making, universally acclaimed opus is enough to fray the edges of a human being’s sanity. We saw this in Meeting People Is Easy, the impossibly morbid documentary about Radiohead’s tour in support of OK Computer, and we heard it in Kid A, Radiohead’s even more insular and paranoid follow-up album. Wilco’s 2002… More »

Bee Thousand Turns 20

By Chris DeVille / June 20, 2014 - 11:35 am

Like Mormonism, Guided By Voices worship is practiced worldwide, but the literal and spiritual homeland is especially dense with the faithful. Whereas all things LDS originate from Utah, the heart of GBV nation is Ohio. We Ohio indie-rock fans are extremely proud of our favorite sons, so much so that our state produces an innumerable… More »

Let’s Go Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / June 20, 2014 - 9:16 am

Let’s Go, the sophomore album from the Berkeley punk band Rancid, is not my favorite album ever. Most days, it’s not even my favorite Rancid album; that distinction bounces back and forth between …And Out Came The Wolves and Life Won’t Wait. But Let’s Go is something else: It’s the album that changed my life,… More »

Purple Turns 20

By Chris DeVille / June 6, 2014 - 12:17 pm

Stone Temple Pilots were better than Pearl Jam. Nobody was allowed to admit that in the ’90s, when self-seriousness reigned and alternative rock was supposed to be Very Important Business — or rather, A Very Important Indictment Of Business (see: Pearl Jam’s war against Ticketmaster). Plus Scott Weiland made it harder on himself by blatantly… More »

Ill Communication Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / May 23, 2014 - 9:26 am

Where did “Sabotage” come from? I’m not talking about the fake-cop-show video, a clear masterpiece of the form and the main reason Spike Jonze ever got to make movies in the first place. I’m talking about the single itself, a delirious chunk of Camaro-rock that has no precedent in the Beasties discography. The Beasties had… More »

Diary Turns 20

By Patric Fallon / May 9, 2014 - 2:08 pm

“Where were you when you first heard Diary?”

It’s a question whose answer will always speak volumes of the era Diary emerged from, the generation it spoke to, and the legacy it left behind. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a question that just about anyone who has ever heard Sunny Day Real Estate ca… More »

Weezer Turns 20

By Chris DeVille / May 9, 2014 - 8:55 am

I didn’t know my cousins from Cleveland all that well, so it was startling to see the two of them out in the street in front of my other cousins’ house, climbing up each other’s backs, shouting with loopy abandon, “If you want to destroy my sweater/ Hold this thread as I walk away!/ Watch… More »

Sung Tongs Turns 10

By Chris DeVille / May 2, 2014 - 11:19 am

It takes about three seconds to realize what an otherworldly album you’ve stumbled into. “Leaf House” begins with the sound of a digital ripcord pulling, but gravity is upside down, so the hallucinatory folk song that emerges from there keeps threatening to float away. It’s anchored, though, by tribal percussion and a sense that some… More »

American Recordings Turns 20

By Tom Breihan / April 25, 2014 - 4:56 pm

1994 was a big year for reclamations. Quentin Tarantino pulled John Travolta from Look Who’s Talking-franchise purgatory, gave him the closest thing Pulp Fiction had to a lead role, and reignited his career. George Clinton rode high with about five billion G-funk samples of his work, and he and his P-Funk All-Stars toured with Lollapalooza,… More »

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